February 28, 2008 - February 21, 2008
. All right. This is embarrassing. But it still has to be
done. All of the dozens of you out there who are trying your best to
live the InstaPunk Lifestyle are going to have to change channels on
No more Twenty-Snore. Jack Bauer died in China during the hiatus, and now there's some sort of impotent clone wandering pretty helplessly around L.A. while the parallel universe depicted in the show spirals into chaos. There's nothing left to attract our interest. Apparently, no President of the United States is ever again going to finish his term in this bizarro world. And the replacement Bauer has lost all his powers. He can't stand up to his evil father. He can't stop crying. He can't compensate, as he used to, for the fact that his agency, CTU, is staffed exclusively with losers, incompetents, traitors, and soap opera villainesses. He can't appear on screen for more than about 15 minutes an hour. And he can't stop a single terrorist act from happening.
That last item is pretty crucial. I mean, isn't that the whole premise of the show? Preventing the terrorist acts planned by the bad guys? Not this year. It's not even the middle of the season, and the terrorists have already nuked L.A. and put the President of the United States into a coma. And did we mention just how tired we are of the endless parade of fascist vice presidents who can't wait to ditch the Constitution in favor of rule by sadistic VP brownshirts?
Enough already. Rush Limbaugh can excommunicate me if he wants, but I'm abandoning ship. You can laugh if you must, but Mrs. IP and I are watching Dancing with the Stars instead.
Go ahead. Get it out of your system. Laughter is the best medicine.
Are you done yet? No? Okay.
(tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...)
Now? No? Well, okay, then. I'm going to resume talking anyway, and you can catch up later, when you feel like it.
We like the latest crop of dancing celebrities. Clyde Drexler is charming, and he might actually have the talent to master ballroom dancing. John Ratzenberger is game, an old guy who joined the show late as a replacement but still seems determined to work his ass off. Heather Mills is brave (screw you, Beatles fans), and as early as the first episode, she's already overcome the handicaps of her so-so looks and awful dress to become a longshot contender. Apolo Ohno, the speed skater, has Mrs. IP's heart all aflutter. There's also an incredibly tall woman who's not without grace and a fat-ass Italian boy band alum who could take the whole thing if he can manage to lose 50 pounds before the finals. There's someone to root against as well. The country singer. Who thinks he can dance but can't.
And then there's Laila Ali. The daughter of Muhammed Ali. She's got all of her dad's star quality. She's also a boxer. And a dancer. There's no question she could kick Jack Bauer's ass, and her Russian dance partner is so intimidated by her that whenever he thinks the camera isn't looking he sneaks a testosterone injection into his overflexed bicep.
Watching her first dance number felt like some kind of time warp. I could see her father in her face, and as she glided and whirled to the music, I kept flashing back to the fourteenth round of the Thrilla in Manila, which is probably the most brutal three minutes of sport I have ever witnessed, a display of courage and athleticism and character such as I never expect to see again. But here's Laila, dancing, graceful and beautiful but nevertheless competing, as if ballroom dancing were actually some kind of sport.
Come to think of it, it is. This is the one show where the celebrities aren't just glitter and makeup. They're working really hard and accepting the risk of looking like an idiot every time they set foot on the dance floor. Kind of admirable. And kind of irresistible too.
Are you done laughing yet? Let us know.
. TruePunk here. What I don't get -- Michelle Malkin is such a
prude her trackback function won't accept a post that uses any off-color words, including
"crap" and "breasts." But her blogroll includes Protein Wisdom and actually
begins with Ace of Spades. They're
both gutter-mouthed adolescents. Michelle Malkin is a hypocrite.
InstaPunk goes on and on about how stupid and shallow the lefties are. I'm here to tell you that the righties aren't much better and in the case of the blogosphere, they're just about equally mediocre. Which is a shame. Political discourse in this country needs a kick in the pants. All it's getting from the most popular righty bloggers is a knee to the groin.
Michelle Malkin works hard, but she can't think, and her sense of humor adds up to exactly zero. (If you don't believe me, go look at her pitiful performance art at HotAir. Nice looking, but not funny. At all.) Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom posts a billion words a day, but he can't write. Every comment thread includes a complaint about his endless sentences. He laughs it off every time because he's got the half-smart knowledge that many good writers do produce long sentences, which even leads him to congratulate himself for being more literate than the complainers. But he also has a convenient (and more than half-dumb) blindness that prevents him from perceiving his complainers have a point. You can diagram his long sentences and verify their grammatical correctness, but there's no tool besides judgment capable of revealing that his paragraphs are stuffed with redundancies and inflated with verbose rhetorical flourishes designed to conceal the slightness of his insights. Remove all his purple references to penises, and he's little more than a long-winded bore.
And then there's Ace of Spades. He's an exponent of what he calls the "Ace of Spades Lifestyle," which is magnetically attractive to cow-college political conservatives who are part-time drunks and full-time porn addicts. Ace is so popular he actually makes a living from his blog. You'd think he'd have the time to proofread his posts. But he doesn't. He's so busy generating vapid bullshit that he feels entitled to boast about his bad grammar and worse spelling, taking it as common knowledge that these lowly attainments consume additional time that just isn't available to a VIB (Very Important Blogger).
Well, Ace of Spades is a fraud. It does not take much time at all for a literate person to write correct sentences without missing words and lunkheaded misspellings. But Ace of Spades is not a literate person. He's not even what he most prides himself on being, a politically incorrect freethinker. He's far less a pirate than a conventional and utterly unoriginal cartoon dude. His idea of a piratical punchline is to repeat anti-gay cliches couched in the leaden irony of the fact that he's not really anti-gay. In fact, he's not really much of anything he plays at being. He's not a critic of pop culture; he's simply one more of its creatures, captivated by bad movies and worthless celebrities who aren't interesting at all. He's not a political philosopher; he's an illustration of just how ignorant young people are of history, religion, and ideology. He's not a male chauvinist; he's the inevitable by-product of a generation of feminism -- a crude-mouthed macho blowhard who nevertheless accepts the premise that despite 5,000 years of nonperformance, women are basically as capable and creative as men. Maybe that's why Michelle Malkin retains him on her blogroll. She'd no doubt love the buccaneering entry today musing about why it is that women laugh sooner and oftener than men when someone is trying to be funny.
Pirate, my ass. Ace of Spades is a pussy-whipped moron who believes in
his heart of hearts all of the propaganda we've heard over the last 30
years about the innate social and emotional superiority of women. He
believes it because he's an emotional (and intellectual) dwarf himself.
Problem is, that's the only part of the equation he's got right.
Women laugh early and often because they don't really have a sense of humor. They have learned (i.e., decided) to laugh in the vicinity of jokes they don't really understand. They are attracted to men who are funny, which they correctly read as an indicator of power, because it gives a man dominance when other men laugh at his jokes. (Also, except for AoS, men do not hoard their laughter; when something's funny they laugh, without a thought about sexual competition.) And, yes, there is absolutely no question about the fact that men are funnier than women. Female comedians are always playing a part, earning laughs from those who recognize the accuracy of their performance. Male comedians are trenchant observers of the absurdities in life, making us see the familiar in unfamiliar and illuminating ways.
The Ace of Spades lifestyle is a total dead end. Men who are men all know what Ace never will. Look for the one woman in a hundred who really does have a sense of humor. Pursue her to the ends of the earth, regardless of her bust measurement, and marry her. Chances are, she won't think the Three Stooges are funny, but she's actually right about that. They're not. Girls may giggle. That's their fatal flaw. Too many men confuse their appetite for the grossness of fart jokes and Benny Hill tit skits for real humor. That's theirs.
The blogosphere needs a house cleaning. The left doesn't know where to start. But thanks to me, the right has a chance to get the job underway.
UPDATE. InstaPunk here. Apologies for permitting TruePunk to slip his leash again, but I have to admit he has a point this time. On the topic of men being funny, it's hard not to give you a contemporary example. Wuzzadem. And it's impossible not to make mention of the William Butler Yeats/James Joyce of stand-up, the absolute genius who calls himself Dylan Moran. Here's a taste, but if you're worth anything you'll go to YouTube yourself and watch every scrap you can find of a comic funnier and more brilliant than any female who has ever stood at a microphone for the purpose of making us laugh. (And by all means, study the women in the audience. They're laughing all right, but they don't understand a word he's saying, yet they laugh and laugh and laugh because they know he is funny, and they wish like anything they could figure out why.)