Home / General / For god’s Sake, Somebody Please Give Victor Davis Hanson His Meds

For god’s Sake, Somebody Please Give Victor Davis Hanson His Meds

Comments
/
/
/
142 Views

Via…

Oh wow, it’s bspencer riffing on some truly bizarre articles she found via alicublog. How unusual. How unlike her. I know. I know. But, my god, I could not not let these pass without commenting. At the very least, I could not experience them without making you experience them too. Yes, that’s right–I’m hate-linking now. If I must suffer, so, too, must you.

First there’s this fun little butt-nugget from David French. Here he goes from “liberal men are unhappy” to “liberal men are unhappy because feminism and political correctness run amok.” He does not pass “Go.” He does not collect $200. Hell, he doesn’t even collect any facts or citations to back up his little thesis. But I reckon you don’t need facts when anything you’re wildly grabbing everything that’s currently residing in your ass.

Anyway, I just wanna say to all the liberal men of the world that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being such a ball-twisting harpy who doesn’t let you get away with being a bigot or misogynist. I’m know it’s people like me who make you unhappy, not that fact that you share the world with David French. I’M. SORRY.

Next up, we have a real tour de force from Victor Davis Hanson. It’s all about the sense of freedom one feels when one is doing back-breaking and sometimes dangerous work while not making as much money as Victor Davis Hanson. I give him credit for keeping it slightly less rambling and nonsensical than usual, while still managing to sneak in some vintage VDH-flavored surrealism. Go ahead, click. You will not be disappointed.

A highlight:

Aside from the idea of glimpsing rare species in their natural habitat, a second theory suggests that viewers are smugly satisfied that they are not like these uncouth white boys, who are certainly worse spoken, more emotional, less mature, and more intolerant than the viewership.

They usually script a clueless laborer forgetting to gas up the drilling rig and then wondering why it won’t start – the producers’ use of a sort of postmodern white version of Stepin Fetchit. Sometimes a foolish driver takes his tracked vehicle over a ridge — only to be surprised when it tips over. Things seem to smoke, blow up, and go kaboom a lot, as the good ol’ boys apply baling wire to broken, but once sophisticated, store-bought machines. These white boys also seem perennially broke — just one good gold vein, a bunch of crab legs, or a good batch of moonshine away from at last dealing with their joyless, bottom-line-watching creditors.

The viewer assumes that such unsophisticated folk are not padding their 401(k)s in anticipation of the time when their arthritic joints, bad backs, or incipient diabetes makes sawing or driving too excruciating. No accountant seems to be around to remind them to depreciate the tractor or write off the doctor’s bill for the bad leg. They eat poorly, often smoke, and will not end up at 65 like the viewer who long ago got his cholesterol below 200 and avoids trans fats. Apparently, these strange shows offer viewers the reassurance not just that they are looking better, feeling healthier, and enjoying more security than those on screen, but also that the latter brought their problems on themselves. The ice truckers probably do not go in for their periodic colonoscopies.

Indeed, someone does seem to be smugly enjoying the plight of these working joes…but I don’t think it’s liberals.

I saved the best for last:

So good-ol’-boy reality offers glimpses, premodern though they may be, of unrestrained freedom. In our upside-down world, the eighth-grade teacher understands that one wrong word, an ill-timed joke, a casual pat on the shoulder can end a career, pronto — while his punk student with the gang-banging parent who shouts profanity at him are mostly exempt from worry. The boss at the DMV accepts the fact that the whiff of a sexual-harassment suit, the rumor of an impending racial-discrimination allegation, the suggestion of inhospitality to the handicapped are more terrifying than the rowdy 16-year-old who pulls in to take his driving test in a monster truck. In our dreams it is better to be an ax man, where it’s Mother Nature, not the local diversity czar, who is after you.

I’m sorry. That was mean.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Peter Hovde

    And, harking back to an earlier bspencer post, will whoever stole VDH’s antique butt plug collection please give it back.

  • How come I never get any hate links?

    Here are some blog posts from me recently that are much more to the extreme right than the ones you linked to.

    http://jpohl.blogspot.com/2014/01/2014-international-year-of-solidarity.html

    http://jpohl.blogspot.com/2014/01/more-on-deportation-of-kalmyks-70-years.html

    • So let me see if I can follow this: the first link is “extreme right” because it speaks favorably about national self-determination, which is something leftists despise, thus making it right-wing. You know leftists despise it because Communist regimes sometimes oppressed nationalist movements, even though pre-Communist and post-Communist regimes in those same areas also oppressed the same people. You know that these opinions are right-wing and that your opponents are left-wing because you are clearly not a leftist — in fact you despise leftists, regardless of the fact that you largely agree with the bulk of the Left on matters of self-determination, unionization, etc.

      Is that about right?

      • Good for you. I blanked out before I got that far.

      • No, the first one is extreme right because it is in support of the Palestinians and critical of Israel. As Edward Said has noted:

        Something like this sentiment, with its hierarchical imposition of Zionism on “the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs” of Palestine, has remained constant for the major figures of Western liberalism, especially after World War II. Think of Reinhold Niebuhr, or Edmund Wilson, or Isaiah Berlin, of the British Labour party, of the Socialist International, of the American Democratic party, of every American president from that party, of every major candidate who has spoken in its name, with the exception of Jesse Jackson, and you have that evaluation maintained and given force. There was hardly a Western liberal during the late 1940s through the 1970s who did not explicitly say that the establishment of Israel in 1948 was one of the great achievements of the postwar era, and did not think it at all necessary to add that this was so for its victors in particular.

        Edward Said,

        Reflections on Exile and other Literary and Cultural Essays

        (London, Granta Books, 2000), 432.

        Growing up in the US the only people I can ever remember criticizing Israel were people like Patrick Buchanan. This was true as late as 2001 when I left the US. No left wing Democrat in California with political aspirations would dare support human rights for the Palestinians at that time. All of the mainstream Left media, politicians, and academics were and largely still are all unconditional supporters of Israel. When I arrived at SOAS the Palestinians they were surprised that I supported their cause. But, then I told them I was not a liberal, but rather a rightist and then it all made sense to them. In 1948 the International Left including the USSR, the CPGB, and the CPUSA all supported the formation of Israel and the expulsion of the Palestinians.

        • Malaclypse

          Growing up in the US the only people I can ever remember criticizing Israel were people like Patrick Buchanan.

          You are either lying, or had the most sheltered college experience imaginable.

          • I went to Grinnell College in Iowa during the late 1980s and most of the liberal and left wing activists were hard core supporters of Israel. There were absolutely no pro-Palestinian organizations on campus at that time, but there was a pro-Israeli group associated with AIPAC. There was once a huge incident when a Quaker speaker criticized Israel for supporting South Africa while I was there. Because South Africa and Israel were held to be exact opposites by many of the most outspoken left wing student activists.

            • During the actual 1980s it was conservatives who formed the bedrock of support for Israel, but you can find noted liberal actress and activist’s record of very vocal support for the PLO with a simple Google search.

              • Sorry, forgot to include Vanessa Redgrave’s name in my previous reply. I plead lacknof caffeine.

                • She is British not American and most of the liberals in Hollywood who were American were horrified that Redgraves would break with the orthodox line on Israel.

                • J, during the 1980s, as today, the hardcore supporters of Israel were and continue to be the conservatives. Buchanan’s attacks on Israel made him an outlier, rather than a mainstream conservative.

            • Col Bat Guano

              This is the consequence of spending your entire college experience drunk.

            • Halloween Jack

              Counter-example: I went to a second-tier Midwestern state university in the early-mid eighties, and there was definitely strong pro-Palestinian support.

        • pillsy

          No, the first one is extreme right because it is in support of the Palestinians and critical of Israel.

          …Wait, what?

        • What I find refreshing in this sub-thread is that the criticisms of J. Otto are relevant to his posts, and possibly even constructive.

          • Now, if they would make a difference in him claiming that support for Palestinian self-determination is a right-wing position………….

    • AcademicLurker

      But your posts don’t include whinging about how horribly oppressive it is that you can’t sexually harass women in the workplace without fear of repercussions like in the good old days.

      You’ll have to up your game if you want to compete in today’s competitive hate-linkage market.

      • AcademicLurker

        For example, if you were to write a post blaming the Soviet famines of the 1930s on feminism, that would probably earn you some hate linkage.

    • Anna in PDX

      Someday, JOP, you are going to actually have a breathtaking personal Eureka moment when you realize that you are not, actually, a reactionary extreme right-winger. I wonder if it will be while commenting on LGM.

    • Malaclypse

      How come I never get any hate links?

      Because, as you so frequently point out, nobody reads you, while VDH has a large audience.

      • DrDick

        Especially not us.

        • I actually do read it now and again! I sometimes almost post a comment. I ignore the boring obvious trollbait that tends to rile me over here.

          I wish Jotto would unite what seems to be very cool work (afaict) on Soviet relocation with, well, sense. I.e., that he would replace his nonsense overarching narrative (that Leftist Academics Deny All Wrongdoing and Hate the Palestineans) with something more illuminating. For example, I’m perfectly willing to believe that many Soviet ethnic relocations were (and perhaps still are) understood differently from others (Soviet and non Soviet). I’m esp. willing to believe that there was racism involved and that this was officially denied. I’d love to have a picture of how all this worked out.

          But poor Jotto is so analytically untrustworthy, I don’t feel I’ll ever get such insight from him. I find that sad. I’m unclear why he clings both to his identity as a right wing reactionary and the extreme silliness he seems to feel flows from it. Clinging to the former is fine, I think, but to the latter?

          • Malaclypse

            That is what I find frustrating about JOP – he knows about stuff that would be fascinating, but 1) he is a god-awful writer who is 2) both obsessive and narcissistic, and 3) often uses pseudo-ignorance to troll (remember “why is Trayvon Zimmerman a story about race?”).

            • Rigby Reardon

              I’d forgotten about #3. Yeeesh.

            • witless chum

              Yup. I’m pretty sure some of Otto’s nuttiness is trumped up for trolling’s sake, but he occasionally posts things that are really interesting.

      • Ahuitzotl

        Although frankly I see no reason why this should be so

    • Try being more hateful and exciting.

      • DrDick

        All things considered, JOtto just isn’t batshit crazy enough to be interesting.

        • come on, Doc, Narcissism is in the DSM, isn’t it?

          • DrDick

            I diod not say he wasn’t crazy, just not crazy enough. That has become a very high bar to clear among rightwingers.

      • rea

        JOP would like to be a wicked, evil troll, but his basic decency preventss this, and the most he can accomplish is “boring monomaniac.”

        • DrDick

          Sort of like Manju.

          • You know when its time to get off the internet? When you are reading, deep in the weeds at tnc, and you can identify one of Manju’s posts before you see hus nym. Right after he says “strom thurmond…” On an original post about melisssa harris perry and mormonism, and even before he explains that jesse helms doesnt count. You know its manju, and you know you need to get up and stop reading blogs.

    • Roger Ailes

      What kind of meds are used to treat V.D. these days?

      • N__B

        VD or VD Hanson?

        • DrS

          Some of them respond to MMM-antibopotics

    • Matt T. in New Orleans

      Dude, no one is ever going to appreciate you if you keep begging so pitifully for attention like that.

      • Ahuitzotl

        hey it works for Tucker Carlson

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    just going by the excerpt (sorry b, but no national review for me) Vic is so full of shit his eyes must be brown

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      (& on reflection I must make my apologies to all brown-eyed people for connecting them to Victor Davis Hanson. it was a heinous thing to do and I regret it)

      • Are you saying brown eyes can be beautiful? No way. I don’t believe it.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          hey, who’s the cute kid? you know him?

          (ducks)

      • JKTHs

        No apology can undo that linkage.

  • Marek

    I can’t accept your apology. It doesn’t seem sincere.

  • so, let me get this straight. VDH, who makes his living by WRITING, is extolling Amercian he-man society by watching TV SHOWS?

    Not to mention talking about guys who carry axes.

    plus, this:

    In our upside-down world, the eighth-grade teacher understands that one wrong word, an ill-timed joke, a casual pat on the shoulder can end a career, pronto — while his punk student with the gang-banging parent who shouts profanity at him are mostly exempt from worry.

    Victor He-Man is now in favor of teacher’s unions and tenure protections?

    He makes his living by writing, but apparently doesn’t understand what he just he wrote.

    • I think that VDH thinks swinging an ax or catching lobsters is so gosh darn freedomy, maybe he should give it a try.

      • DrDick

        Having had a friend that worked on the Bering Straights fishing fleet, I heartily encourage him to do so as well.

        • Linnaeus

          An acquaintance of mine worked on that fleet, too. From what he told me, it sounded like a job I’d never want to do ever.

        • ChrisTS

          Hell, few of us would want to work on a New England cod boat.

      • herr doktor bimler

        swinging an ax
        Did someone steal his chainsaw?

        • delurking

          You made me LOL.

    • Joshua

      Victor He-Man is now in favor of teacher’s unions and tenure protections?

      No, I think he wants teachers to be able to assault the blahs when they speak out of turn.

      • DrDick

        That and for them to be able to screw their female students with impunity.

        • rea

          for them to be able to screw their female students with impunity.

          VDH is an authority on the ancient Greeks, after all.

      • I thought that was Derbyshire’s shtick.

      • Yes. I think this is right. VDH would probably recommend each teacher to stand up for himself (be his own 911 as Professor Duck Dynasty would say) and go armed into the arena that is modern public school education. He can take his chain saw or power mower, or a strigil and a bottle of oil if the students are nubile enough.

    • Anna in PDX

      Our local MLS team is the “Timbers” and their mascot is Joey Timber who carries a chainsaw and revs it up when they score. I wonder what VDH would feel about the cognitive dissonance of a soccer (rather than American football) team with that kind of mascot?

  • As a liberal man, I blame feminists for the complete lack of porn on the internet.

    • I’M SORRY.

      • If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.

        • njorl

          I’m part of the colloidal suspension.

          • You’re one of Loomis’s mustard lackeys, I see.

            • BigHank53

              The Mustard Lackeys: isn’t their demo tape dropping next week?

              • Lee Rudolph

                Loved their “No Thixotropy!”

          • Halloween Jack

            I was part of the viscous ejaculation, but I grew out of it.

  • He just hates everyone. He envies and despises the “Good Old Boys” (Stepnfetchit? Really?) who are free and careless and icky and uncouth. He pities and despises the viewers who are liberal well behaved and timid and let jackbooted Diversity Czars boss the around. Also screaming gang-bangers and monster truck drivers.

    • It reminds me so much of this wingnut thing I read a few months back that was similarly schizophrenic. It was about Honey Boo Boo and how liberals surely hated the Boo Boo clan, but the author was clearly filled with loathing for them. (He kept going back to how fat the matriarch is.)

      • njorl

        One is judged by one’s ability to discriminate between those whom one should hate and those whom one should loathe.

      • It reminds me so much of this wingnut thing I read a few months back that was similarly schizophrenic.

        Just one wingnut thing?

        The multiple personality disorder in regards Real Americans has become a key marker of the conservatarian movement.

        Even elected officials don’t bother to mask their disdain for anyone who isn’t rich and healthy while at the same time claiming they’re just there to protect the Real Americans(TM) from Government Interference(C).

        It reminds me of the way they talked about soldiers at the height of the Iraq War (The Sequel). The Troops as an abstract concept could do no wrong and must have our complete support. Individual soldiers who needed equipment or medical care or (gasp!) dared to suggest that the war was stupid, could get fucked.

        So maybe that’s the difference. Abstract concepts – which don’t need help – are OK. Individuals – who need to eat and the like – are garbage.

        • The Frank Luntz interview linked to at Booman today is kind of jaw dropping in that regard.

          But Luntz’s side had lost elections before. His dejection was deeper: It was, he says, about why the election was lost. “I spend more time with voters than anybody else,” Luntz says. “I do more focus groups than anybody else. I do more dial sessions than anybody else. I don’t know shit about anything, with the exception of what the American people think.”

          It was what Luntz heard from the American people that scared him. They were contentious and argumentative. They didn’t listen to each other as they once had. They weren’t interested in hearing other points of view. They were divided one against the other, black vs. white, men vs. women, young vs. old, rich vs. poor. “They want to impose their opinions rather than express them,” is the way he describes what he saw. “And they’re picking up their leads from here in Washington.” Haven’t political disagreements always been contentious, I ask? “Not like this,” he says. “Not like this.”

          Luntz knew that he, a maker of political messages and attacks and advertisements, had helped create this negativity, and it haunted him. But it was Obama he principally blamed. The people in his focus groups, he perceived, had absorbed the president’s message of class divisions, haves and have-nots, of redistribution. It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back. In reelecting Obama, the people had spoken. And the people, he believed, were wrong. Having spent his career telling politicians what the people wanted to hear, Luntz now believed the people had been corrupted and were beyond saving. Obama had ruined the electorate, set them at each other’s throats, and there was no way to turn back.

          You spend literally years marketing lies to people and convincing them that anyone who doesn’t speak their language and give them what they want is evil incarnate and then you are shocked to discover that the people you didn’t poll and your side didn’t lie to about things like “death taxes” and death panels or whatever actually refuse to listen to your propaganda and have different ideas. And its their ideas that are corrupt? It is “the people” who don’t talk to one another or have trust in politicians?

          • BigHank53

            Luntz lost. D’you think he’s going to accept that he screwed up, or do you think he’s going to blame those fickle, useless voters?

            Hint: he’d like to have a paycheck in 2014.

          • Hogan

            It was a message Luntz believed to be profoundly wrong, but one so powerful he had no slogans, no arguments with which to beat it back.

            A more reflective person might take this as an indication that the message is not, in fact, profoundly wrong. A less reflective person . . . probably doesn’t exist.

          • Roger Ailes

            Luntz can’t find refuge from the psychic pain in any of his four homes.

          • But it was Obama he principally blamed.

            Oo, wow. There’s a shocker.

            I for one am glad to see that even while admitting defeat, these jackholes can’t figure out why they lost and tell inflammatory lies of the kind that contributed to their defeat.

            It’s like watching the evil villain set himself on fire while he rants against the pitchfork brandishing mob. Go it Luntz!

            • Hogan

              With Gingrich in the background saying, “We belong dead.”

          • As I said on Twitter earlier today, Luntz’s comments translate to “I didn’t start the fire; I only poured the gasoline and handed out matches.”

          • witless chum

            Haven’t political disagreements always been contentious, I ask? “Not like this,” he says. “Not like this.”

            Historical illiteracy like this should be punished by the forced wearing of a clown nose at all times when in public and, for writers, the addition of “Dangerously Ignorant” to their byline.

          • Halloween Jack

            The real knee-slapper is that one of the reasons he’s down is that he can’t get a break in Hollywood. That has to go in the “too sad for schadenfreude” category.

            • Halloween Jack

              Ooh, just picked up this bit from the Atlantic piece:

              When he’s at home in Los Angeles, The Newsroom is the high point of Luntz’s week. He turns off his phone and gets a plate of spaghetti bolognese and a Coke Zero and sits in front of his 85-inch television, alone in his 14,000-square-foot palace. “That’s as good as it gets for me,” he says.

              • I know. Mr aimai could not figure out why i was reading the piece to him till i got to that part. And then his freude was shadenned.

      • Patricia Kayden

        It’s called projection. I accuse my enemies of my own shortcomings.

    • Anna in PDX

      It’s really confusing. Does he extol the white working class or despise them?

      • I think he’s trying to do both at the same time. It’s really weird.

      • Yes. I mean, both. But he attributes both the need to worship a primal male other to effete, Napa Valley wine bibbers and to himself. Its virtuous when he does it. Its a sign of their sickness when they do it.

        My personal favorite is the run on babbling brook of a paragraph:

        Despite the wide variety of the shows, the characters in all their manifestations are stock. One is the aged patriarch who has no business still hobbling around, poking this and banging that, as if he cannot survive without a few dollars in wages that day. The viewer assumes that such unsophisticated folk are not padding their 401(k)s in anticipation of the time when their arthritic joints, bad backs, or incipient diabetes makes sawing or driving too excruciating. No accountant seems to be around to remind them to depreciate the tractor or write off the doctor’s bill for the bad leg. They eat poorly, often smoke, and will not end up at 65 like the viewer who long ago got his cholesterol below 200 and avoids trans fats. Apparently, these strange shows offer viewers the reassurance not just that they are looking better, feeling healthier, and enjoying more security than those on screen, but also that the latter brought their problems on themselves. The ice truckers probably do not go in for their periodic colonoscopies.

        Apparently its a liberal shibboleth (stock figure) that elderly patriarchs, having no retirement security, keep going in to do hard manual labor in order to make a little extra money. Because they are so poor, they also don’t have anyone to advise them about how to safe the money they don’t have for that retirement they aren’t going to be able to get or how to “write off” the doctor’s appointment (does he think that people get to write off their health depreciation on their taxes like they do the trucks they don’t fully own?) they can’t afford to get to diagnose all the conditions he thinks they have, or ought to have, or don’t have? I got confused there–do these noble savages with axes, performing their scripted but ultimately authentic southern grunts and groans with accompanying dangerous tree falling stunts, get cancer and diabetes or not? Obviously they don’t have to care about their blood pressure or cholesterol because these are diseases of metrosexuals in Napa Valley and San Francisco and, similarly, they don’t get colon cancer because they don’t get checked out for it.

        In George Painter’s biography of Proust he describes one of the society women who Proust knew and lightly parodied in A la Recherche… She was known as the “stupidest woman in Paris” and used to say things like “Its not going to snow because they are putting down salt on the street.” The last part of that VDH paragraph where he observes that these workers “probably don’t get colonoscopies” is just like that. No wonder we can’t get anywhere with the ACA in red states if a man VDH’s age simply has no idea that people actually get sick and need health care for all the same conditions, the country over. Illness and death are not things that can be overcome with a manly attitude and an axe to a tree stump.

        • DrDick

          VDH is perhaps the best argument against a Classical Education that I can think of.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            apparently it leads one to be patronizing in all directions he looks, except the mirror

            • Lee Rudolph

              As it happens, all the (few) Classicists (trained as such) that I know are rather patronizing.

          • Julia Grey

            I don’t think he paid attention in class.

        • So apparently not only are pajamas and hot chocolate emasculating now, but so is health care. Before you know it clean toilets, pure water, and sewage treatment will be for queers.

          • Obvs. And this is why they congregate in bathrooms.

          • rea

            Real men die of cholera.

            • Jay C

              Nobility In One’s Demise From Dysentery

              The title of VDH’s next “scholarly” study?

            • herr doktor bimler

              Self-love in the time of cholera.

              • Julia Grey

                +1

            • Roger Ailes

              Real men don’t work for The Daily Choler.

          • Karen

            Well, they’ve made having educated taste and proper grammar a girly thing (see Bush, George W), grooming something for “metrosexuals,” and belching and farting in public the marks of Real Manhood, so why not dying of dysentery just like Great-great-grand pappy?

            • Provided other people die of dysentery (or at least live under the conditions that contribute to dysentery).

              Don’t expect the Hansons of the planet to live anywhere they have to worry about the relative locations of the latrine and and the well.

              • True. But just the same, I fart in his general direction.

          • DrS

            Huge amounts of their lives have been spent being ever vigilant about someone, especially a dude, putting something up their butt.

            Guys like VDH applaud these guys for (supposedly) being so committed to this ideal that they will take huge risks with their health.

            Of course, your average tea partier is of age to get Medicare, and they’ve probably gotten that scope. So shameful. And on the governments nickel.

        • Lias “Cliff” Bluestone

          Jerry: So, we’re going to make the post office pay for my new stereo, now?
          Kramer: It’s a write-off for them.
          Jerry: How is it a write-off?
          Kramer: They just write it off.
          Jerry: Write it off what?
          Kramer: Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.
          Jerry: You don’t even know what a write-off is.
          Kramer: Do you?
          Jerry: No, I don’t.
          Kramer: But they do – and they are the ones writing it off.

    • Karen

      It takes a truly epic level of cluelessness to compare white workers to an insulting character played by an African American and who was a collection of insulting stereotypes. At least the Ice Road Truckers are doing a real job.

      Why doesn’t he discuss whether any of these shows are accurate in how they depict the workers and their jobs? Is what we see on TV typical or not? For example, are the Ice Road Truckers members of the Teamsters? The Duck Dynasty guys are obvious fakes; Cracked.com has pictures of them as the beardless yuppies they were until TV money arrived. Why no comment on that aspect?

      • Karen

        Oh, that first sentence should be “a fictional character made up enitrely of insulting stereotypes played by an African American.” The character is the stereotype, not the actor.

    • Helmut Monotreme

      I wonder how much of VDH’s ire, is regret over a life well squandered. Seriously, he makes a living reading about the giants of classical Greek and Roman history and berating his audience for not living up to their example. The people he studies are known two thousand years after their death, and he can’t help but imagine how fleeting his own meager fame will be. He might just live long enough to be a virtual stranger at his own funeral, his few remaining friends and relatives could show up and mention how much he hated suspected chainsaw stealing minorities but not know much about his professional accomplishments.

      • Or maybe he’s a big leaky bag of festering dicks.

        • William of Ockham

          *nods sagely*

        • You know, you might be onto something there.

      • Julia Grey

        That should be “accomplishments.”

  • fledermaus

    It all smacks of them trying to convince themselves that all these other people are as miserable as they are.

  • Sly

    French’s assumption is that there are not racial delineations between “liberal men/women” and “conservative men/women” when there are, or he thinks these delineations do not matter. This is relevant because:

    (a) Males of racial minorities benefit from “PC Run Amok” as defined by conservatives (which typically means that white people now pay a social cost for being white supremacists). Theoretically, minority women should benefit moreso, and should therefor be more happy.

    (b) Both liberal men and women who are racial minorities are probably less likely to be “happy” in a culture as racist as the United States, where the attitudes and experiences associated with whiteness are assumed to be the default attitudes and experiences of everyone. Particularly by people who write for The Friends of Jim Crow National Review.

    As for VDH, didn’t bother. Is he blaming the fall of the Roman Empire on the lack of reality shows under the Theodosian dynasty?

    • Cheap Wino

      . . . where the attitudes and experiences associated with whiteness are assumed to be the default attitudes and experiences of everyone.

      That’s the thing. So many of these vapid columns, whether that liberal David Brooks or right wing intellectual star VDH is the writer, always seem to assume the white, upper middle-class stereotype is the unquestioned ideal life. No wonder they go off the rails so easily.

      • In what universe is Brooks a liberal?

        • Cheap Wino

          The right wing one.

      • Sly

        The assumption isn’t in and of itself problematic; every human being on the planet is, to one degree or another, a prisoner of their own experience. I see this constantly in the cultural gap between age groups: parents assume that the lives their children are leading are mostly if not entirely similar to their own youth, and become shocked when they discover that this just ain’t so.

        The problem lies in the vehement and aggressive denial that it is an assumption once the holder comes in contact with a conflicting perspective.

  • Sorry, but I ain’t-a clickin’!!!

    ‘Cause it’ll make me sicken!!!!!

    And you can’t make me, bspencer, you ball-twisting harpy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

    • Surreal American

      If you ain’t-a clickin’

      ‘Cause it’ll make you sicken.

      Just call for Super Chicken!

  • Scott P.

    The way I see it is that he is taking a different tack than discussed above. He is saying that these shows exist for liberals to laugh at (or feel distant pity for) white lower-class workers, and that shows that liberals are ivory-tower elitists.

    He also seems to be saying the people on these shows are lower-class because of liberal oppression or something. But despite that oppression they manage to live lives of quiet dignity. On reality TV shows.

    At least, that’s what I think he’s trying to say.

    • No. He’s arguing that there are three types of people who watch, or that people watch for three different but not mutually exclusive reasons:

      1) Liberals like to watch the zoo animals do work and enjoy thinking that these rubes, stepinfetchit types, are stupid and will die early deaths from preventable diseases. This makes Liberals feel good because it plays into the obvious liberal fascination with people getting “what they deserve” and suffering because they are not smart enough/educated enough or upper class enough to protect themselves and their health and 401ks.

      2) Liberals like to watch manly men at work in the forests and on the roads, belching and farting and being un pc, because from the depths of their cubicles where they have been neutered and denatured by the femi-nazis and the foul mouthed (lower class? non white?) parents of the drug addled teens they teach they long for the life of the open road.

      3) Those who watch these untrammeled, but fully scripted, nobility of the green wood and knights of the road are yearning for the healing hand of mother nature to rub one out I mean to put her cool hand on a brow fevered by the suffering torments of civilization.

      • #1 should serve as the new definition of projection.

      • ChrisTS

        I have to say both of you found far more coherent substance in this mess than I would have believed possible.

        • Anna in PDX

          Yes! Kudos to you guys.

    • Col Bat Guano

      His assumption that liberals are the main audience for these shows is where things go off the rails. Everything after that is just the efforts of an infinite number of monkeys.

      • Just one monkey, actually.

  • Patricia Kayden

    All I got from those snippets was that minorities are scary and are constantly trying to cost White people their jobs. You know, all us Black folks work for the “Diversity Czar”, doncha?

    Poor White people. Such suffering.

    • Tybalt

      Very reverse racism.

  • Lurking Canadian

    You SHOULD BE SORRY! I’ve been thinking for years now that I’d be happy with life if only that damned vacuumslayer would STOP OPPRESSING ME!

    On VDH…I have recently gotten hooked on “The Great Courses” series of audio lectures, which I am using to fill in the gaps in my education. I had a nearly surreal experience while listening to one of the lectures in the “War and World History” course, when the lecturer (apparently an accomplished scholar) positively cited Hanson as some kind of expert in his field. I only know the guy as the utter clown who gets ripped apart regularly here, at Sadly, No, by Roy…It’s hard to imagine somebody reading Hanson without snickering, but apparently some do.

    • Linnaeus

      A friend of mine does ancient history and he told me that Hanson has (or at least had at one point) a very good reputation as a scholar of ancient military history.

      • He’s got one of the finest minds of the 4th Century.

        • That would be funny if it weren’t a slur on an entire century and, lets face it, an entire world of people.

        • rea

          4th Century BCE.

      • Allandaros

        Yes, pretty much. Having engaged with Hanson’s scholarship in that area – I will listen to Hanson when it comes to the mechanics of ancient Greek infantry warfare. I will ignore him when it comes to anything else, including (and especially) attempting to place said ancient Greek infantry warfare into a continuum with the American military as the “Western Way of War.”

        • Linnaeus

          That was pretty much my friend’s view as well.

    • BigHank53

      He’s probably fine when he’s talking about stuff that happened more than 2,000 years ago. When it comes to the present day he’s just a wingnut with a PhD.

    • Joshua

      Hanson is very well regarded on the warfare of antiquity. I’ve heard his work on it is very good and I wouldn’t hesitate to read it if I was curious.

      He got big in wingnut welfare circles after 9/11 when he endlessly compared the war on terror to ancient Greece’s wars against Persia. The film 300 was the apex of this: in the war on terror, the United States was the 300 Spartans and the rest of the world was the vast army of Xerxes.

      • Ahuitzotl

        Right idea, wrong way round

    • Karen

      He wrote a book called, if I remember correctly, “What happened to Greek?” lamenting the decline in Classical studies and the lack of support from institutions for such things. I actually agreed with him and thought his analysis pretty good. Sadly, that was the LAST time he ever critiqued anything about corporate involvement in school, and, having read his NRO ‘oeuvre’ I have to conclude that he deeply regrets ever writing that book.

  • VDH is famous in the Ancient history world and very well regarded. The sweet addiction of wing nut welfare has got him playing the “Fleecing the Rubes” just like the rest of them, though. Also he’s got a screw loose.
    heh heh A big gut can add gravitas to the moonshiner’s biceps in a way impossible to achieve at the gym IS classic. It’s like so many ways wrong that it makes VDH sense.
    When is LGM going to put in a hate link button?

  • Anonymous

    his punk student with the gang-banging parent who shouts profanity at him

    Definitions are fluid but punks and gangbangers used to be different groups with different demographics…
    I am beginning to suspect that looking for internal consistency in wingnut rhetoric, or trying to construct a coherent mental image from a random string of pejoratives, is a mug’s game.

  • Matt

    the eighth-grade teacher understands that one wrong word, an ill-timed joke, a casual pat on the shoulder can end a career, pronto

    Ah yes, the “OMG I can’t even say nasty shit or do creepy things anymore without getting called on it” worry of every true wingnut.

    Here’s what the rest of us worry about: that one ill-chosen neighborhood to walk in, one casual car accident or even something as simple as knocking on a door might end our LIVES. Oddly enough, VDH’s base and their gunz figure strongly in that…

  • Here he goes from “liberal men are unhappy” to “liberal men are unhappy because feminism and political correctness run amok stupid Republicans are stupid.”

    Why, yes, that’s it exactly.

  • JL

    Since everyone else has demolished VDH’s nonsense, I’m going to be the nagging humorless asshole who points out that VDH’s problem is that he’s a wingnut jerk, not that he’s mentally ill or needs meds. A lot of people, across the political spectrum, have mental illnesses and/or benefit from meds. It’s not the same as being stupid or incoherent.

    • That’s a good point. I imagine Hansen as being similar to the Roman Centurion that made Brian write our “Romans go Home” 100 times that John Cleese played in “The Life of brian”.

    • And yet V.D. appears to be an accomplished/respected scholar (in a small field, but …) so what is the explanation for his stupidity & incoherence in, apparently, everything else? Why the inconsistency? Is he an idiot savant of some sort? Is “wingnut jerk” something that can not be explained or cured?

      Or: How fucking deluded must someone be before we can question their sanity?

      And how much longer, oh admittedly humorless asshole, before we are forbidden to ask “Are you nuts?” or “How crazy was that?”

      • That’s next week. You will however be able to say something is nuts, provided you make it clear you’re referring to testicles by pointing at your crotch.

      • evodevo

        Yes. It is QUITE possible. Let me tell you a little anecdote from my university-teaching past …
        I taught freshman non-major Zoology lab and the woman at the lab next door taught the Bio major labs. We were the go-to people for the dept secretary, when there were inquiries from other depts/the public on animal ident. questions (we even went on house calls to pick up snakes from people’s yards). One day a history prof (as far as I know a full professor!) came in bearing, I am not kidding, an earthworm from his yard – wait, it was half an earthworm – insisting it was a “baby copperhead”. My co-worker was a snake expert, her husband was an accomplished herpetologist, and I am familiar enough with Ky reptiles to know a snake from a worm. He would NOT believe either one of us – and I assume it was because we: a) were wimmens; and/or b) didn’t have PhDs, only Masters Degrees…. He left muttering to himself, still carrying his worm in a paper cup. I’m guessing he STILL thinks it was a snake.

      • JL

        There’s a lot of fucking wingnuts out there. You might have noticed this. Why would you think mental illness has anything to do with it? People are good at being wrong. Even people who are smart and talented in some area.

        Every time people the “meds” phrasing to take a shot at someone for being wrong, for having political beliefs that are destructive or immoral, it’s a slap in the face to people with mental illnesses. You’re equating their illnesses with wingnuttia. You’re stigmatizing them.

        People, of course, do this all the time, and no matter how much it makes me cringe I usually just let it go. I let most things that bother me in discourse go, most of the time, as it’s not actually fun to call them out. I bothered to comment this time because the usage is one where a lot of people might understand the problem, because I respect bspencer – even if she doesn’t ultimately agree with what I said I trust her to at least consider it intelligently – and because I’ve been an established part of this commenting community for a long time.

        • I do understand and in addition, the citizens of Wingnuttostan provide such ripe fields for insults that a crack about meds seems like a cop out.

          I mean, a five second Goggle search turned up this:

          Unfortunately, victorhanson.com has been experiencing some difficulties as of late. As a result, everyone who has subscribed to the blog has been erased. Please, sign up again!

          OMG, Hanson has zapped all of his readers out of existence! Bwahaha!

          And if it turned out VDH does have a mental illness which can be (or is being) treated with medication. Would that place him off limits as a target for mockery?

          Of course not! Again, his health isn’t relevant to the fact he’s a big bag of dicks.

          However, I’ll take comments like that over actual attempts to pin a specific diagnosis on le wingnut du jour (which hasn’t happened on this blog to my knowledge) any day.

        • Julia Grey

          Every time people the “meds” phrasing to take a shot at someone for being wrong, for having political beliefs that are destructive or immoral, it’s a slap in the face to people with mental illnesses.

          No, now wait. The “meds” line seems to me to be perfectly appropriate when someone is INCOHERENT and DELUSIONAL.

          It wasn’t aimed at his political beliefs or his supposed “wrongness” (who the hell could figure out what the guy was trying to say, anyway? Anybody?). It was aimed at the meandering, ultimately meaningless nature of the entire screed.

          Seriously, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. A person who could write that Unibomberish mess and think that he’s actually making sense about….something….might very well need medication.

  • Sirius Lunacy

    OT, but I just thought bspencer might appreciate this art.

    • That is so joyful and wonderful and creative.

  • Pingback: [BLOG] Some Tuesday links | A Bit More Detail()

It is main inner container footer text