. We understand that the lefty netroots are starting to get antsy
about the upcoming Obama administration. We'd like to allay their
fears. The Obama Revolution has always been about turning
the clock back
to simpler times when the standard Democrat nostrum
of piling on more federal government programs still seemed like it
might work. The truth is, nobody in Washington really believes that
anymore, and the rare occasion of a Democrat presidency is more like a
Time Out than any serious attempt to resolve the nation's problems. The
wisdom of scheduling a Time Out at this particular juncture may be
questionable but it's moot. We have opted for it in an electoral
landslide, and that's what we're going to have.
The good news is that the Obama Administration also perceives that it
can't hope to accomplish anything productive, ameliorative, or even
positive in the next four years. All they can do is indulge a wave of
nostalgia that will make all the time-displaced persons in America --
Viagra-dependent Clintonites, Alzheimer hippies, fossilized union activists, decrepit anti-war radicals, Civil Rights era relics,
post-post-menopausal feminists, retro-psychotic Watergate obsessives,
wheelchair-bound Great Society lampreys, two-foot-in-the-grave New Dealers, and mummified Soviet Communist
apologists -- as happy as possible in a new world they can't
possibly begin to comprehend. It's too bad for the young'uns who bought
all the hope'n'change hokum, of course, but it might ultimately prove a
history lesson for them. If they can't learn to bury themselves in the
long defunct past, they're just not going to have much of a place in the
Democrat Party. Call it a Coming of Age experience for them. Their best bet would be to research their elders at Nickolofeon, where they might gain a glimpse of the future in old episodes of "The Love Boat" and "Love American Style"-- where they'll learn that fame means the hopelessly old and obsolete keep coming back in ever duller roles.
At any rate, the appointment strategy of the Obama Administration will,
in fact, be a new American political phenomenon. It will be modelled on
the smash hit television series called "Fantasy
Island" (with an assist from "Survivor"). The political appointees nominated and confirmed by the Democrat Congress (led by septuagenarians Reid and Pelosi, lest we forget) will not be intended as long-term office holders so much as
Guest Stars, each flourishing for a brief time in the admiring cataractic
eye of the blue-haired MSM. (Barbara Walters and Andy Rooney will have what passes with them as an orgasm.) Each will have his or her own little story
behind their selection for renascent adulation, and they will bask for
days or weeks on the pre-yellowed covers of Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times
Magazine before being tactfully retired and replaced by another before
they can do serious harm. It's going to be great. And much much easier
than trying to find any Democrat who has actual competent and relevant
experience at running anything, unless you count running various enterprises wholly into
Herewith, the projected list of Obama Administration appointees They'll
all take their turn as cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, presidential
commission chairmen, 'czars' of this, that, and the other momentary cause
of the instant, and eternal spokesmen for the permanently inept... BUT we'll be able to vote them off the island every
week by calling (or
texting) the numbers posted at the end of "Democrat Idol," as hosted by the brilliant young androgynist Ryan Seacrest. Sound cool? Of course it does.
The Guest Stars
Warren, Madeleine, and Teresa
Mike, Jimmy, and Walter
Ron, Susan, and Vince
Ramsey, Jesse, and George
Wilbur, Tipp, and Richard
Lyndon, and Adlai
one, the only, MLK Jr.
Are you happy yet? Are they "Hope and Change"-ey enough for you? No? Well, wait till the Fox Fantasy Administration
series starts airing twice a
week. You'll love it. LOVE IT. Even rotting dinosaur carcasses look good with enough makeup on. Ask Tom Brokaw.
We can get back to trying to run the country in four years or so. Let's
you're all still with us then.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I Got the (Reincarnation) Blues
II. He lived into his nineties. Before the "miracles" of modern medicine.
. Of course it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things,
last week we saw a History Channel program about the most spectacular
Egyptian tomb find since King Tut. It's called KV5
, and it
represents the answer to one of the most enduring mysteries in ancient
Egyptian history. Ramses the Great, purportedly the pharaoh defied by
Moses in the Bible, lived for so long that he survived twenty-some
sons, and no one has ever been sure what became of the men who would
have succeeded him if he weren't -- as the priests of his time declared
him -- a living, in fact deathless, god. This status was so official
that many of his sons served as pharaohs themselves, carrying out all
the traditional pharaonic duties under the remote, celestial authority
of their father, who watched them, guided them, and ultimately buried
But where? Where did he bury his sons? Thanks to the work of Kent
, an American archeologist, we now know that he buried them
all together in the single largest tomb ever constructed in the Valley
of the Kings.
It contains over 150 rooms and is so extensive that most
of the underground chambers still haven't been cleared -- even after
more than 10 years of digging -- of the three
millennia of debris that fills them to the ceiling. But the excavations
completed to date have turned up nine mummies, all of them identifiable
as sons of the greatest pharaoh who ever lived.
The mummies of KV5. Can you see the
It begins to look as if he'll even
outlive the city in the song if
Wall Street's Dow Jones
Industrial Average is any measure.
Scholars say they know who the mummies
are, but do they? Really? They think they know that Ramses II is dead
for certain, too. But where else have we seen an instance of a larger-than-life
who miraculously outlives all who would follow and presume to outlast
less a judge than Martin Scorsese chronicled one such exemplar
seemingly impossible longevity.
Funny thing, though. When we went through that footage frame by frame,
we found something odd. See if it strikes you the way it did us.
Still don't see it? Take a look at this. Do we have a 3,000
year-old-pharaoh strutting and prancing among us? How would Richard
Obviously, we can't prove a thing. (Though there is precedent
this kind of analysis...) But it's damn suspicious, don't you
Thursday, December 04, 2008
What to Do:
The 'When' Question
IS ALWAYS THE QUESTION
all like to think we'd have been heroes if we'd been put into that one
precious place in time which never corresponds with our own humdrum
experience of life. We'd have died with the Spartans at Thermopylae.
We'd have stood with Arthur against Mordred. We'd have charged
Napoleon's troops at Waterloo. We'd have attacked from the heights of
Little Roundtop with Joshua Chamberlain at Gettysburg, We'd have gone
over the top at Verdun. We'd have protectd the Jews and joined the
Resistance against Hitler in occupied Europe.
It's a fallacy. The hard part isn't being a hero. It's recognizing the
historical moment when heroes are required, which is always just before
the shit really hits the
fan. When you finally know for sure how huge the stakes are, it's easy
to go the extra mile and lay down your life if necessary. But when
you're still in doubt, you might be risking everything for nothing, and
that's when good men go weak in the knees.
Here's the good news. The time for heroes is right now
. You need have no doubt
about that. Everything that's going bad is going to get worse. The
economic situation will continue to deteriorate. The Democrats will make
every possible attempt to increase federal power in every arena of
life. The world itself will keep getting more dangerous. We are now
less than four years away from a nuclear war of some kind -- in India,
Pakistan, and/or Israel and Iran.
Everything we have always taken for granted is going to be gone.
Prosperity. Peace. Predictability. We have entered a time when men will
be judged not by how much stuff they have, but by how they conducted
themselves in a series of dire crises, some of which will be
catastrophic beyond belief.
Will we be up to it? I like to think so. America has never been only or
even mostly about money. It's been about liberty, the right to life, and
the pursuit of -- no, not 401Ks -- but happiness.
The whole world, including the U.S. government, is preparing to descend
into chaos, one result of which will be the annihilation of Israel. The
day after it happens, what will you say to yourself?
What will you say? I was too busy... I didn't know... I didn't realize... I
believed in the hope and change spiel... I really thought we could all
just get along...
No. Those are nothing but excuses. It's 1933. It's 1860. It's 1776. Right now.
Time to decide where you stand and what you're prepared to do about it.
Not to put any pressure on you or anything. Are you Spartans, and is this Sparta? No. Unless we're really really lucky.
A Third Clinton
Well, maybe when it comes to the boytoys...
. The answer is no. We're not
looking at a third Bill Clinton
term. (Even Media Matters
agrees with me on this.) The only real restraining factor in Bill
Clinton's administration was Bill Clinton himself. He's the one
who chose a relatively moderate course after the disaster of his first
100 days. The people he surrounded himself with weren't political
philosophers, moderates by education or inclination. They were
political assassins, skilled at destroying all who opposed or
threatened the president. Bill himself had no real political
convictions. He was just gifted at gauging public opinion and moving
swiftly to positions he thought would be popular. After HillaryCare
failed, he never again took any big risks for any cause but his own
survival in office.
Which is why the various Clintonian appointments make such great sense
for an Obama administration. As a tyro in every discipline he will now
be called on to demonstrate in office, he's going to need the very best
political liars, stonewallers, parsers, apologists, mudslingers, and
weaselling toadies available to cover his screwups. TA DA. He has
them. The one thing they don't care a rat's ass about is his political
principles. Whatever he wants to do, no matter how insane or
destructive, they will be happy to do. Except for Hillary, of course.
She has her own agenda, obviously, and her own unique skill set.
Let's face it. This is the single most interesting appointment so far.
Why would Obama need a cabinet secretary whose only verified talent is
quashing sex scandals? Isn't Michelle up to that job? Or is it that the
greatest danger lies overseas, where all those people of variegated
colors and snazzy dictator uniforms and aphrodisiacal anti-Americanism
are to be found?
But that's a side issue. (Hopefully.) The main point is that the hard
lefties needn't worry. Obama will stll be able to pursue whatever
legislative program he wants to, and the talking points will go out to
the talking heads like clockwork, and everything he dreams up will be
reported and explained as the smartest idea anyone ever had, even if he
wants to knock down the Washington Monument and put up a statue of
Lenin instead. Or install a marble icon of himself in Lincoln's chair
at you know where. or whatever else he wants. Rahm Emmanuel and Eric
Holder and Bill Richardson and Jamie Gorelick and Paul Begala and
Lannie Davis will be drooling in very public admiration the whole way.
They don't care. They really don't. They. Just. Want. To be. At the
White House. Again. Of course, these folks do have a habit of getting
into messes of their own, Hillary included, and that part of the deal
may begin to seem like deja vue, but on policy there's going to be
absolutely, positively (and did we mention absolutely
?) no problemo.
Does that make it clear to everyone? Good.
*Don't know Media Matters
? They're the guys
who ferret out all the right-wing bias in the mainstream media. They're
very very talented
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
What to Do:
What Is 'Local'?
is that exactly? You tell us. Or, more helpfully, yourself.
. In a previous post
I suggested that the right answers to the question "What to Do?" are to
be found in local efforts. But what does that mean? Is everything
really a matter of geographical location?
There's an old truism among fiction writers that "If you would be
universal, first be local." It doesn't mean that we all have to be like
William Faulkner, who wrote almost exclusively about Oxford,
Mississippi. It means start with what you know. What you
know and what you
are interested in. Obviously,
be a function of
geography, particularly if you want to take action in the real world
and not on the internet. For example, if you're disposed to get
involved with party politics, your home town, city, or county are the
places to start.
Geography can also be a productive focus on the internet. Patterico
watchdogs the LA Times
from his home in the Los
Angeles area. There's a small mafia of bloggers who watchdog the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Minnesota. During the 2002 election campaign, there was a blog called Cornfield
, which made life miserable for the Des Moines Register
in the same
way. (I'm not going to discuss the value of such media-centered
activity here, but I will get to it in a future post.)
But you can also be local without being tied to any particular place.
David Hogberg, the author of Cornfield Commentary, subsequently moved
on to produce a blog focused on health care issues, and he now writes
for some national publications as well. One of our favorite bloggers
(and a frequent commenter here), David Hardy has two specialized blogs,
one dealing with the journalistic
corruptions of Michael Moore
and one that meticulously analyzes Second Amendment issues
including specific legislation and lawsuits. These are particular
subjects he is interested in and has acquired encyclopedic knowledge
Another 'local' blog that has suddenly acquired definite national
relevance is EagleSpeak
has quietly tracked the facts and issues surrounding international
piracy for years now. If you want to understand what's really going on
behind all the news stories, go there and bring yourself up to date.
This isn't meant to be a definitive list of the things individual
people can do if they're resolved to "make a difference." It's just a
teaser, a way to prod the action-oriented into taking the right first
steps. Begin where you are, based on who you are, and start looking for
opportunities where you have or can define a unique competitive edge.
That's why our definition of the internet as a 'bulletin board' is so
crucial. It's such a huge board that any notice pinned to it must offer
something that speaks to particular interests of passersby. Identify
such a particular interest, make yourself very good at serving it, and
you may very well find yourself making a difference.
Clearly, that's not the direction we have chosen here at InstaPunk. We
belong to the vast, relatively undifferentiated throng of blogs whose
only mission is to speak to anything and everything that pricks our
interest in the human parade. Maybe that doesn't make much difference
in the scheme of things, but it makes a difference to us. Which is
something else we'll discuss in future posts.
That's all for now. There are many ways to jump into the rat race of
national thought, advocacy, and action. We'll try to flesh out various
opportunities in more detail as we continue pondering the question of
"What to Do."
But we'll keep on doing all the usual goofy, pointless stuff, too. If
you don't mind.
Speaking of goofy, pointless stuff, for those of you wondering where
the strange audio file comes from, it's from Follow the Fleet
, and the singer is
Harriet Hilliard, who later became the Harriet of Ozzie and Harriet
. She gives a
heartbreaking little performance in the movie as a jilted wallflower,
which you can see here
if you're feeling a bit like a jilted wallflower yourself these days.
Not that I'm intimating anything about you personally... What to do
What to Do:
Smarter, better, cooler.
don't ordinarily spend much time studying Technorati
made abundantly clear, we're not running for Blog of the Year. But I
did look today, aware that that the 'local efforts' message might seem
to some like a gentle letdown -- don't feel obligated to act because
there's not really
can do and why try anyway?
When I looked, I found a lot of links I hadn't known about (our traffic
has been increasing of late btw), including some bouquets like this one
I refer the reader to this splendid bit
of the character Gregory House in House as portrayed by Hugh Laurie
(whose piercing blue eyes and raw talent have mesmerized me) by
CountryPunk @ Instapunk, an exquisite penman whose precision and skill
with the written word, along with depth of knowledge and understanding
of the human condition is--well, to be savored as one would a fine wine.
I won't put Mending Wall down by citing traffic figures or comment
volumes, just as I won't minimize the import of this post* by The
Department of Hate
, a blog authored by one Snotty McShot (pictured
September 11, 2008
You know what I hate? I hate 9/11.
Not the event, you understand; the event was far too interesting to be
subject to the simple gnawing monotony of hate. It was spectacular and
horrifying and amazing and awful and everything else between and
beyond. It was a colossal crime and a heartbreaking tragedy, sure, but
it was also totally exhilarating, especially for the billions of us who
were mere spectators, who didn’t lose anyone in the glorious
Technicolor collapse. Stockhausen was right.
Nah, what I hate about 9/11 is all the pampered little shits that keep
pissing on about it every fucking year, without fail, like they have
suffered uniquely for having watched people die on TV that one time.
I’m being slightly disingenuous, of course, for the victims were not
just any people. No, these were people with whom our emotionally
wounded chums shared naught but a vast landmass, an accident of birth
or circumstance, and a vague subscription to an abstract concept called
“America”. If it were otherwise – if these had been the citizens of,
say, Iraq – we surely would not still be stumbling unawares across
these unreasonably tedious festivals of boo-hooing all these years
later, these little narcissistic landmines strewn across an internet
that already has its fair share of poisonous hazards.
One such hazard is InstaPunk, a group blog written by a big bag of
wilted dicks and named for its founder, of whom the word “punk” only
applies in the sense that Harry Callahan meant it. It’s no surprise to
find that they have milked their precious little tear ducts to produce this
of the Remembering Where I Was On 9/11 genre – an
utterly contemptible yawn-factory every bit as dull as the Twin Tower
Like practically all of these rambling, self-indulgent snoozefests, it
is 6 million words long, yet inevitably amounts to scarcely more than:
“We watched it on TV, it reminded me of some movie or other, our phones
didn’t work for a while, and we had a bit of trouble getting home”.
Well, you know something? Me too, and so fucking what. It’s like those
couples you meet who tell those long and skullfuckingly boring stories
about how they met, and they’re telling it in that allegedly cute
tag-team fashion, and your fucking blood is boiling and there’s just
the ripped red and ragged frayed fibre of your last fucking nerve
standing between their cooing pusses and the soon-to-be-broken fat end
of your beer bottle and they can’t tell that behind your quivering
grimace you are silently screaming: “YOU MET AT FUCKING WORK LIKE
EVERYONE ELSE, YOU GODAWFUL PRICKS”.
You know what I mean? That’s how I feel about these 9/11 bores.
Go ahead. Read it and tell me I’m wrong. And while you’re at it, think
about what an incredible fucking luxury it is to be able to piss and
moan about 9/11 for seven years as if it was the only thing that ever
happened on the goddamn planet, while the people of Iraq and
Afghanistan, made to pay for the Worst Event Ever a thousand times over
by a different accident of birth, suffer a new atrocity practically
every other day, with barely a moment in between to update their blogs
or their Facebooks with mawkish, sentimental bullshit, and without the
luxury of thousands of miles of television cable separating them from
Despite receiving zero comments, Snotty still feels compelled to
subdivide them into categories like "Mewling Pricks" and "Awful Cunts."
He's an angry man.
This is the new reality we are facing. People who have been raised to
be self-satisfied and superficially self-righteous sociopaths. The
source of their superiority is that they don't care. About anyone. And
they've convinced themselves their emotional deadness is a virtue. It
is beyond the scope of their stillborn empathy that
citizens of this country can feel pain for people who are not like them
in certain demographic ways, can feel the historical ignominy of being attacked on
our own soil for the first time in fifty years, can feel revulsion for
the barbarism that irrationally targets the one great force for good in
can remember and experience the event as a personal blow which must
never be forgotten because to forget is to consent in our own eventual
subjugation and enslavement.
What to do? Every voice that speaks out against the enraged but numb
solipsism of some 'Department of Hate' is a cancellation, a repudiation
of the worst in us. Your expressed desire to build and believe rather
than curse and contemn becomes part of a record which says, even if we
ultimately fail or lose or die, that there were
people here who knew better,
people who preferred civilization to a pornography of sado-masochistic
There's more than that to do, of course. But this is the minimum everyone
can do. Even if it consists of no more than writing a blog that says,
"I got up this
morning, and I still love my family, my country, and life itself."
No more for now. But do check out the asterisk above.
*Uh, yeah. The same post also drew this response from the Old Fart's Blog
One of the web sites I read often is
instapunk.com. Today’s post on that site was prefaced by this video.
The clip is from the movie Terminator 2, and portrays one of the
greatest fears which we as a country should have – a nuclear explosion
within one of our major cities. Watching that video clip, you almost
get sick to your stomach thinking about what such an explosion would
mean. That such a thing has not happened yet is a tribute to the hard
work of our country’s intelligence operations, and in no small part to
good luck and a lack of courage on the part of our enemy.
We live in a market of ideas. Start doing your own bidding and
bargaining. (And, yes, I know, we're giving DOH more traffic than he's
ever had before. Make it worth our while.)
It's also possible that we have in DOH is another Canadian
posing as an American. Either that or a plain poseur
Consider this quote from his post: "there’s just
the ripped red and ragged frayed fibre
last fucking nerve..." Hardly the kind of spelling we're used to from
Air America. Well, he could also be a Brit
living in the United States, because if you're a Brit
living in the United States is the smartest fucking thing you can apply
the whole fibre
of your being to doing. Sorry for the language. I'm just saying. If ICE
ever figures out how to deport people, I'm in favor of starting with
How about you?
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