May 23, 2009 - May 16, 2009
Sunday, April 27, 2008
A Candid Conversation
THE GREATEST GAME
with the PGA Gallery
(from left to right) Tom Darfa, Fred
McCutchy, Ted Angelo, Zippy Kendall,
and Mac Duff.
It's Day 3 at the Byron
in Irving, Texas.
With no Tiger Woods on this course -- or any
PGA tournament course for the
next four to six weeks -- the play proceeds in the near silence of an
interment. The leader, whoever he is, nobody's quite sure, tees off
from the first hole and no one's eardrums are shattered by the cry of
"GET IN THE HOLE!" The few television announcers on hand are amazed to
discover that the striking of a golf ball has a sound, which they keep
reporting as an "odd thunk" or a "strange thwack." But when the ball
comes to rest several hundred yards down the fairway, there is another
sound that seems in this setting quite unexpected -- a smattering of
polite applause. The PGA Gallery has just been heard from. A caddy
looks in their direction, crosses himself, and whispers, "Thank God."
It's not what you'd call a big
gallery. As the final pairing of pros heads down the first fairway
toward their second shot, we introduce ourselves to the new unsung
heroes of the PGA: Mac, Zippy, Ted, Fred, and Tom. They don't look like
heroes, but what do you call the people who do what no one else will do
in a time of urgent need? Our conversation is brief, conducted in
whispers, but nevertheless revealing. What, one wonders, are they doing
"Sure, it's boring," concedes Mac, who seems to be the leader. "Without
Tiger, spectator golf is basically watching grass grow under the feet
of plump, poorly dressed strangers. But if we weren't here, there
wouldn't be anybody at all. That hardly seems right when millions of
dollars are going to change hands at the end of it. If people can clap
at the close of a day of Wall Street trading, I can contribute
some applause and an occasional 'ooh' or 'ah' to a clever bunker shot."
Fred concurs with a sotto voce chuckle. "Being here gives you a sense
of real purpose most people don't get to experience. The guys who are
going to NBA or NHL playoff games this weekend may think they're being
loyal in some way, but they have to have at least a suspicion that
they're also being entertained
All that action, exciting plays, leads changing hands from minute to
minute, they'd have to admit is fun. During the work week, I'm an
attorney for a big firm. We don't do pro bono. I like to think of this
as my way of giving back."
"Well, I actually enjoy it, " murmurs Zippy, who's sporting binoculars
and looks happy to be the odd man out. "I signed up as soon as I heard
about Tiger's surgery. I mean, where else can you find this kind of
total peace and quiet? The Tiger Gallery is a loud, thundering herd.
You can't hear yourself think when they're on the course. And he's too
predictable anyway. What I really enjoy is watching some total unknown
line up a difficult putt for three minutes and then, with that look of
incredibly earnest dedication and doubt playing across his face, take
his best shot and blow seven feet past the hole. In silence. That's
what I call real life."
There's a soft snort from Ted. "These guys are shining you on, dude.
The truth is, we all like golf. No matter who's playing. Yeah, it's
true we don't have any idea who these guys are for the most part, but
they're all really good at golf. They've worked and sacrificed their
whole lives to get here and yet when they do, there's no one here to
watch. That's just not right. That's why all these jokers are really
here. Regardless of what they tell you. They're honoring the game. And
the men who play it really well. So what if they're not all handsome
and personally charismatic and rich enough to turn an aircraft carrier
into a private yacht. All of these guys could play eighteen holes at
St. Andrews and come back alive, if slightly over par. They deserve
some basic human respect."
Only Tom hasn't been heard from. We're almost to mid-fairway, where the
leaders' second shots await. What about it, Tom?
"Me, I'm a Tiger fan. He loves
this game. What does it mean if everybody who plays it is a chump but
him? Doesn't it kind of say we don't have any real respect for him and
his accomplishments, either? I'm here because he
'd like to be playing here,
against the best of the best. If I yawn from time to time, it's only
because I stayed up way too late last night, watching "The Greatest
Game Ever Played
" for the fifteenth time.
Then the gallery shushes us and turns completely away. The leader has
begun the intricate process of selecting his club. You could hear a pin
In fact, we did drop a pin. We heard it land. It made an odd if tiny
THE EXCITEMENT BUILDS:
to right) Mac Duff, Zippy Kendall,
Ted Angelo, Fred McCutchy, and Tom Darpa. Hang in there, guys.
The PGA Gallery. They don't really expect any recognition. The way they
see it, they're just doing their duty.
Patti Smith wasn't a racist, is she?
. When you get
hundreds of comments to the effect that you're a racist, mostly from
people who have lived their lives in such a tiny sliver of protected
America that they think black people are Halle Berry and Samuel
Jackson, you get worn out. I give up. I admit it. I'm a racist. The way
the endless waves of lefty certainty define it, at least.
I'm not changing anything I said before. There are still black people I
admire. What I acknowledge that I may not have been clear about before
is that I believe American black people
made themselves inferior in the competition for the
Does that change the equation in any way? I used the N-word because so
many people regard NOT using it as the proof of their color blindness.
Personally, I think all the people who got so exercised about the use
of the unspeakable "Nnnnnnnnnn" term proved that they
are racists. There's no equivalent
term for whites that would have made them so choleric: hence, the Grand
Inquisitors have a double standard. They're obliged to oversee the
welfare of poor black folk because
they're inferior and need protecting.
So I'm a racist because I don't
think they need protecting. I think they need a hiding. Unlike all the
suburban I-met-all-my-best-black-friends-in-college-and-they're-willing- to-like-me-for-my-ingratiating-obeisance, Obama-worshipping illuminati, I
actually grew up with black people. Why don't they trust each other?
Why do so many of them have multiple names and identities, like fugitives? Why do they warn
even their white friends against doing business with (or buying drugs
from) other black people? Why, after all these years, do they still act
like members of the Resistance, happy seditionists who acknowledge no debt
and seize on every opportunity to misuse a mistaken credit card?
Obviously. Even my lamenting
of this state of affairs makes me "patronizing," "paternalistic," and
somehow Simon Legree-like. Apparently, the rest of you like
to be conned, lied to, played
for a fool, and generally suckered by anyone who can spin you a good
This isn't your experience? Where are you from, then? Maybe not from
the part of the African-American community that contributes 40+
percent of the prison population to the record-setting incarceration
total in the U.S. That's racial profiling, right? No. It isn't. It's why black people are more afraid of black people than you are. They have more common sense. The
violence Europe sneers at us for is overwhelmingly caused by
But it's okay because their ancestors were slaves? No. It's not
okay. If your oppressors' major charge against you is that you're
stupid, violent, sexually insatiable, childishly drawn to shiny
objects, and not to be trusted around expensive mechanical objects, how
do you help yourself by demanding millions of dollars for chanting 100-decibel
doggerel about how many gold chains and guns you're wearing while you screw all the
beautiful blondes in your neighborhood in the back seat of your Bentley
Mulsanne? Oh, and by the way, you'll actually KILL anyone who claims
he's wearing MORE chains while screwing MORE beautiful blondes in the
back seats of even MORE expensive Bentleys.
And we white people aren't supposed to notice the race angle...
We're not supposed to notice that our own sons and daughters are being
swept up in the iambic death knell of rap. We're supposed to think there's nothing racial about the transformation of our daughters into tattooed ho's (Heard the term 'tramp stamp'? No? It's the visual distraction from premature doggie-style ejaculation inked on your daughter's lower back...)
and our sons into mush-mouthed thugs who can't escape the law because their pants
are buckled around their knees. So that if anyone anywhere dares to use
the N-Word, that fact alone makes him worse -- even when it comes to
protecting our own sorry-ass children -- than all the pimps who destroy girls with
drugs for money and more opportunities to sell drugs and show their
tits and ass to all comers. The people who do this kind of thing are N______.
I know. Everyone's against me on this. Even my own wife. You just can't
say that awful word. It brands you as something unspeakable. As
something worse than the underprivileged manipulator who lies in wait
at the bus station to capture 14 year old girls and send them back into
the streets as prostitutes until they die from drug addiction or random
murder. You can't call pimps a dirty name. And we already know what to
call a girl who spreads her legs for drugs or fear or money. Especially
if she's white.
But there's nothing racial about such tragedies. My own wife has never
once in her life even thought
the N-Word. Not ever. It's never even occurred
to her. She's lived all her life within a hundred miles of Newark and
Jersey City, and when she sees the "snippets" of news about wildings
and rapes and murders she never connects it with any racial component.
In fact, she hasn't even realized that local news in Philly and New
York no longer identifies the race of a suspect being urgently sought.
I mean, why would they do that? It's so unfair to go looking for a
"black male" when everybody already knows that the guy who raped the
college girl and stuffed her severed head into the dumpster was a
black male, isn't it? Just because you know doesn't mean you're allowed
to get that racist confirmation of wha
you know. That would merely reinforce your unacceptable prejudice.
Unless you're me. The guy who doesn't know how to say it pretty. The guy too old to fuck around. The
racist. The guy who didn't grow up in some narrow economic slice of
suburbia with a bunch of false notions about how un
dangerous a criminal underclass
might be. The guy who grew up in two counties where everyone, black and
white both, knew that black guys were responsible for almost all the
violent crimes, no matter how much the psychologists wanted to pretend
that murder was just the "acting out" of childhood grievances.
I have a rebuttal for all the suburban saints who danced on my head for
using the N-Word. Fuck you. You have no ugly real-world experience. But I do. And I repeat
the fact that I don't hate black people. I don't fear them either; I know when to fight, when to run, and when to do the trash talk or the oh-so-humble guilty white act. I'm old as the hills, wrinkled as a year-old peach, and still alive, dammit, even though I have more than once been drunk as a skunk in an all-black bar. Match that, you cartoon dude motherfuckers. But
I DO believe absolutely that black people in this country have to get their own act together
before they start telling the rest of us how to live. And as for you
twenty-somethings who think you know something about life, guess again.
Try to kill me and I'll kill you. Funny thing is, try to kill you
in another 20 years, and you
'll kill the ones you're
defending today. The ultimate color-blindness is realizing that killers
need to be killed, even black ones.
If we've got all that straight, maybe you can start gettiing to the real problem. It's not me. It's all of you out there who never use or think the N-word and yet believe that black people need all kinds of special protections and favors because they're too inferior to compete on an equal basis. Which includes most black people and all you assholes who get more fired up about the N-word than you do about 'kike' or 'gook' or 'spic' or 'mick.' The differential in your outrage is the measure of your racism. How are you planning to root that out? By yelling at me? By cutting off any part of your own body which dares to notice that black people can't get ahead without massive, federally enforced cheats in their favor? Or by facing down your own prejudice and trusting black people to be equal enough to compete like every other disadvantaged group has -- by expecting more of themselves and each other than the 'oppressors' do.
Even you must have noticed that prejudice didn't really stop them from succeeding in areas where they excelled for real. Otherwise, there'd be affirmative action programs in the NBA and you'd never have heard of the Motown sound. How do you explain such exceptions to yourselves? Sports and music aren't as cutthroat competitive as the rest of life? Please. I'm the racist and I have the explanation you can't quite put your finger on. A free market isn't racist.
Let me repeat that. A free market isn't racist. Only rigged markets are. And really superior competitors can shoulder their way past the phony restrictions of rigged markets. That's why black athletes broke through the color barrier in collegiate and professional sports. That's why they parlayed the tiny beachhead called 'race music' into dominance in jazz, R&B, blues, and other popular music genres. If you really believe they aren't inferior, they can do the same in every other aspect of American life. But not if you coddle them like retarded children. That's what saps their will, their self-confidence, and the resolve it takes to overcome all the unfair obstacles that lie in wait for everyone.
If you really aren't a racist, prove it. Stop overprotecting them. Stop making excuses for them. Take the wraps off the N-word. Use it as much as they do, until it's utterly lost its black magic sting. Do away with affirmative action. Treat them as you would anybody else -- with suspicion and distaste -- like those damn pushy Jews, workaholic Koreans, money-grubbing Indians, getting-by-on-looks-alone blondes, evil chicks who sleep their way to the top, old boy networks who've always had the inside track. You know what I'm talking about. Your mind is a forest of prejudice and bigotry. There isn't any group you don't have some stereotyped grudge against. Except black people. For them you have nothing but love and understanding and deep-seated convictions about equality. Even as they're slashing your throat for the seven bucks in your wallet. Horseshit.
Do them the honor of suspending your own hypocrisy. Resent them the way you would anyone else who's slightly different from you. Stab them in the back exactly the way you would your best friend if he stood between you and a golden financial opportunity. Call them every dirty, foul name you can think of, the way you would if your significant other cheated on you and didn't care when you found out. When you can do that, you won't have to worry about me and my kind anymore. You'll have to worry about them acing you out of your job, your spouse, your sense of inborn moral superiority. And won't that be a paradise on earth?
Friday, April 25, 2008
Twists & Turns
you hear something freezing over?
THE WIDENING GYRE
Peculiar things are going on. The falcon is definitely getting mixed
signals from the falconer. For example, there are actually two good
reasons to watch 60 Minutes
this Sunday. When has that ever
happened? But if you tune in, you'll get to see Justice Scalia put Leslie
in her place.
"I say nonsense," Scalia responds to
Stahl's observation that people say the Supreme Court's decision in
Gore v. Bush was based on politics and not justice. "Get over it. It's
so old by now. The principal issue in the case, whether the scheme that
the Florida Supreme Court had put together violated the federal
Constitution, that wasn't even close. The vote was seven to two," he
Furthermore, says the outspoken conservative justice, it was Al Gore
who ultimately put the issue into the courts. "It was Al Gore who made
it a judicial question…. We didn't go looking for trouble. It was he
who said, 'I want this to be decided by the courts,'" says Scalia.
"What are we supposed to say -- 'Not important enough?'" he jokes.
Cool. And that's not all. In another reckless move, 60 Minutes
is also featuring an
interview with the head
of the Israeli Air Force
, who is given air time to make a point as
dead obvious as Scalia's -- that Israel doesn't think Ahmadinejad is
joking when he declares Iran's intention of wiping Israel off the map.
Of course, you can expect them to do some CBS-style spinning and
misrepresentation, but we know for sure that some of the necessary
things do get said on the air -- not on the editing room floor -- by
the interviewees. Amazing. (Just remember to change channels before
that old bastard Andy Rooney starts squawking at the end of the show.)
Next thing you know, Barack Obama will miraculously agree to appear on Fox News Sunday
with Chris Wallace.
Just kidding. Never gonna happen.
Obama Watch Comes To An End: Fox News Sunday Gets Obama!
Chris Wallace must be happy...
FishbowlDC has learned that Sen. Barack Obama will finally appear on
Fox News Sunday this weekend. A pre-taped interview is slated to take
place Saturday in Marion, Indiana.
You'll recall that Wallace started the "Obama Watch" in March (and even
put notice of it on his office door) and dated it back to May 2006,
when Wallace said Obama agreed to a face-to-face interview on Fox News
What do you suppose changed his mind? Could it be the other absolutely
unbelievable thing that happened on Fox News this week?
Actually, this kind of turnabout is happening enough on Fox of late to make
left-wingers start scratching their heads. Back in January McAuliffe
complained about mainstream media bias (?!) to Chris Wallace and even joked
about Bill Clinton's ugly Fox interview. Then, this week,
he was a guest on John Gibson's Fox radio show and utterly trashed
MSNBC's Chris Matthews. And McAuliffe isn't the only former DNC chair to
start cozying up to the most hated name in cable news. Governor Ed Rendell
praised the network in March
and again this
, which earned him Keith Olbermann's ultimate plaudit
(1:40 in), to which he responded
pretty directly on the Charlie Rose Show: "Keith Olbermann should be on
the Obama payroll."
It all kind of defies analysis, doesn't it, to hear any
Democrats talking this way?
It's reminiscent of that terribly ominous scene
Venkman: "This city is headed for a
disaster of biblical proportions."
Mayor: "What do you mean, biblical?"
Ray: "What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor... real
Wrath-of-God-type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies."
Venkman: "Rivers and seas boiling!"
Egon: "40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanos."
Winston: "The dead rising from the grave!"
Venkman: "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats, living together... mass
Dogs and cats living together. Would that be anything like this?
What the hell is going on? Gingrich is trying to explain
, but we're inclined to think it's part of some astrological
inversion where Mercury is in retrogade and all the houses are
misaligned with the planets under a bad rising sign or something. How
else would you explain Jenna
suddenly -- pointlessly -- volunteering on national TV that
she might not vote for John McCain? Or John McCain -- still sorely in
need of winning over a recalcitrant conservative base -- going out of
his way to slam
for a Katrina screw-up most conservatives believe owes more to
city and state incompetence than to Washington's?
For that matter, who would have expected that the decisive rebuttal of
a Washington Post
on McCain's dangerous temper would have been delivered by arch-Democrat
? (btw, many hat tips to Hot Air for the above.)
And above all, who out there could possibly have imagined that a New
York Times columnist delivering a speech on an Ivy League campus would
as if he were Ann
Coulter or Pat Buchanan
some doesn't-deserve-to-live scum like that?
Yet in this most extreme circumstance, we can see the beginning of an
explanation for the chaos. It's all about the New York Times
. For at least a
century, the "Paper of Record" has been the linchpin of the intricately
interleaved framework of the vast American media-political complex.
Everyone from senators to network news producers to small town
editorialists to professors and novelists looked to the front page of
the Times and its op-ed section for guidance about what was news, what
was a legitimate political or social issue, and what didn't count for
squat. In a very literal sense, the Gray Lady was the Great Nanny who
ordered the way to our current over-protected and hyper-sensitive
Then she gradually went senile and, frankly, insane. Imposing her will
through increasingly inept sons and grandsons, she hired reporters for
their color and sex and politics rather than ability, she forgot the
meaning of basics like fact-checking and fairness, and she began to embarrass herself in public
Without her even being aware of it, everyone has stolen silently out of
the room. They're loath to admit it, but these days the place everyone
looks first to see what's happening is the Drudge Report, where the
only criterion for the front (and only) page is sensationalism. If a
headline isn't the umpteen-zillionth reworking of "Man Bites Dog,"
you're out of luck -- unless you can prove that hundreds or thousands
have died or maybe possibly might.
"Man Bites Dog" is the approximately correct headline for most of the
anomalies we've reviewed here. We've all subtly absorbed the lesson
that doing the unexpected is the last way left to get attention in this
increasingly silly media circus. So Republicans scorn their own two-term president who has prevented another 9/11 and tilted the odds against al qaeda, blue-chip liberals eviscerate the Clintons for exactly the same attributes they defended tooth-and-claw a decade ago, and everyone everywhere pretends that what used to be called advocacy (and sometimes truth-telling
) is some kind of hate crime that gives all decent people a paralyzing anxiety attack. All the also-rans and has-beens and might-be's scramble ceaselessly around with their hands in the air and in each other's pockets, hoping to be the next surprising headline. And, oh yeah, every hack attention-seeker who claims the sky is falling must be some kind of irreproachable saint.
Good God Almighty.
Is this what we want? Is it? It's at least something to think about. Can we really continue in this overwrought, I'm-so-offended, I'm-so-perfect, look-at-meeeeee media hysteria in perpetuity without having some kind of national nervous breakdown? Don't we need SOME adults in the mix? Where might we find them? (HINT: Not at Drudge.) Any ideas?The New York Times
won't be coming
to our rescue any time soon in case that's what you were hoping for.
Various processes have already been initiated to assess the old gray mare's deterioration
with an eye to having her declared incompetent
and sent, well, to the glue factory.
This is what the Brits call "deep tapioca
." Deep indeed
may offer some insight as to exactly what kind of glop was hurled at
Roger Friedman in his appearance at prestigious Brown University.
Lest you feel the New York Times
is a unique phenomenon, it may help to realize that the London Times
is pursuing a similar
downward spiral. For just one brief example, here's an op-ed
published in that paper by one of its editors (also linked in Drudge btw)
who condescendingly observes that America is not ready to elect a black
president. Never mind that his dissection of the troubled Obama
campaign describes garden-variety political missteps and character issues that could derail
any presidential bid. Never mind that the author
Russian-born London resident whose association with the U.S. could most
charitably be summarized as visitor. We're supposed to be impressed
with the acuity of his pronouncements on the basis of his superior
Euro-intellect. The London Times
is also going not-so-gentle into that good night. The one where the
lights finally go out, for excellent reasons.