Subscribe via RSS Feed

Author Page for bspencer

rss feed

Visit bspencer's Website

Go Fund Yourself, John C. Wright

[ 112 ] October 21, 2016 |
Sorry about the spittle

It’s her period!!!!! HER PERIOD!!!-John C. Wright, probably


Oh man, is this a sad I’m hazzing? Or is it just my sides aching from laughing so hard? Oh, it must be the latter, because it appears that John C. Wright has fallen on hard times. This is a shame because no one can veer manically between florid, overwrought, unreadable prose and seething, overwrought, unreadable prose like Wright. I mean, do you want to live in a world where Wright can’t stab his fingers into his keyboard while frothing at both the mouth and butt and typing out stuff like “I didn’t like this animated film because Batwoman is a lesbian“?


The premise is that Bats is missing, and it is up to Nightwing, an annoying kid named Damian Wayne (Bruce’s son by Thalia Al-Ghul), Lucien Fox’s son Iron Batman, and an annoying sexual pervert dressed as Batgirl, but who uses a gun to find and save him.
She is named Batwoman (the second or third of that name, if my count is right) and she has the same origin story as the Huntress or, for that matter, the Punisher.
If they film makers had kept the sexual pervert stuff in the background, or even the annoying brat quality of how annoying she was, or made the rest of the film good, I would be more understanding. They did not, it was not, and I am not.
Nothing is kept in the background. Instead we have  scene of her father asking her over coffee in a kindly fashion is she had found the right girl yet, because all widowers want their remaining daughter to expend her life in sterile sexual abnormality rather than, you know, give him grandkids; and then a scene of her hitting on a girl in bar, and the girl looking pleasing; and when Dick Grayson says it took him a while for figure out how to talk to girls, she says it took her a while, too.
Get it? Because she is a homosexual, and, so, as a girl, she had to learn how to chat up girls. To have sex with them. Because homosexual girls have sex with girls. See? It is meant to be funny. Or something.
So the sexual pervert thing is made fairly obvious and in-your-face.
Gonna defend Wright here for a moment–that is disgusting! Fathers and daughters having innocuous conversations about dating is pretty much THE WORST. I’m bleaching my brain as soon as I hit “publish.”
When invited to blow in the front doors of the Church, Fox smirks “God ain’t going to like this…” and Batwoman replies, “She has not been here for a long time….”
Get it? She? Calling God a ‘she’ is a sign of hipness, or smirkiness, or godlessness. Or something. It is meant to be funny.
What it actually is, is a blasphemy, because the writer has contempt for at least half his audience.
I’m not a religious woman, but it was my understanding that blasphemy was not nearly as serious as the prospect of upsetting psychotic comics fans.
Please read and support my work on Patreon!
OK, but this doesn’t seem very in keeping with the libertarian spirit. (Thanks to old pal, BBBB and Origami Isopod for these links!)

New and Exciting Ways to Blame Trump on Liberals

[ 138 ] October 17, 2016 |

Thanks, Weekly Standard, for beating this horse. Sure, it’s dead, but the vultures haven’t quite picked its bones clean yet. That’s where you come in I guess.

One of the weirder aspects of anti-Trump mania is its sniffy tone. And it’s especially weird coming from card-carrying liberal Democrats. For two generations our culture and its institutions have been living under a liberal ascendency. The country’s elites—the Bigs of the news media and Hollywood and the non-profit world and the arts and the academy—have signed on to a catechism of personal liberation, particularly sexual liberation, and a kind of radical individual autonomy that even lets you choose whether you’re a boy or a girl. We are taught to be “nonjudgmental” in matters of lifestyle and to accept a pristine relativism in metaphysics and morality.

In pursuit of perfect liberation we’ve had no-fault divorce, open access to abortion, the celebration of inverted sex, elimination of the blue laws, and wars against censorship that continue long after the censors have cried uncle. Say what you want about this regime, you’d never call it a triumph of puritanism.

I mean, there’s lots of bullshit to comb through here, but honestly I can’t past “inverted sex.” Which now I want to try, of course, because liberal.

Yet puritanical is precisely the tone of the Trump haters on the left.

No. It’s not.

But why? Consider Trump himself. Here’s a man who’s famous for his wide-ranging sex life, his disdain for conventional marriage, his eager embrace of divorce, his public use of profanity, his non-judgmental attitude toward unconventional sexual minorities—a man whose way of life seems unrestrained by religious impulses of any kind—a man who, in short, is a walking summation of our present-day cultural principles. Yet on each of these scores, from his many marriages to his cursing in public, he is vilified by journalists, politicos, TV starlets, right thinkers of every kind. After years of egging on potty-mouthed rappers and scolding religious believers, our cultural guardians suddenly sound like the General Conference of Methodist Bishops circa 1922.

No, they don’t. Also, please don’t confuse tolerating the private choices of people with emulating them or, indeed, approving of them. I like that divorce is an option for people in bad marriages; I don’t celebrate divorce. I understand that adultery is something that even good people partake of; it doesn’t mean that I celebrate it. Aww, but this tiresome shit knows this, he’s just depending on these strawmen to make his lazy, stupid argument. Nevermind that he’s equating sexual harassment and assault and adultery to consensual sex between adults that don’t involve any of those things.

ANYHOO…next Andy Ferguson goes on to tell some long boring story about a guy I’ve never heard of who apparently is some sort of snobby coastal elite who probably dips his arugula in Dijon mustard and washes it down with the sweat of hardworking Americans who live in flyover country and DOESN’T. LIKE. TRUMP. But in the bad, liberal way, not the good, principled way #NeverTrumpWellMaybeButComeOnHillaryIsTheDevilAmiriter s dislike him. Anyway he–HE–is at least partially to blame for the rise of Trump.

He calls the Trump ascendency the “final stage of a dumbed down America.” Who could disagree? Trump’s rise, boosted by the forty percent of our fellow citizens who see him as a plausible president, is indeed evidence of a serious, system-wide failure. Dumbing down is a good name for it.

The question is, Who did the dumbing down? Our public schools? Our universities? Our entertainment media—television, movies, popular music? The press? Glossy magazines like Vanity Fair?

Um, no? Perhaps it’s the Republican party and a conservative movement that demonized government, governing, science and fancy book-learnin’ for 30+  years.

Surely all of them share in the blame. And all of them, from the schools to movie studios, rest snugly (I almost wrote “smugly”) in the control of liberal Democrats, and have done so for fifty years or more. If we’re getting dumber, we know whom to thank. How odd is their sniffy contempt for Donald Trump, the purest flowering of the culture they’ve created.

And, with that, the poor dead horse evaporates into a mist of pure, undiluted stupidity.


If This Ain’t a Metaphor for SOMETHING… (Election Madness Open Thread)

[ 63 ] October 11, 2016 |

Yesterday the fam and I visited the Sonoran Desert Museum. There my son learned about different kinds of desert animal tracks…and droppings. I took a few pictures of him picking out desert poo. It reminds me of  the Republican primary, because here you see a child selecting the biggest piece of shit.


And, really, if that ain’t a metaphor for SOMETHING…

Any election thoughts/anecdotes/funnies? Share ’em here.


Some Thursday Evening Links

[ 177 ] October 6, 2016 |

JAQing Off In Service of Poor Black Women

[ 267 ] October 4, 2016 |
Giuliani: Roger, how we gonna make the world better for poor, black women? Ailes: I won't sexually harass any of them.  Giuliani: Done and done. That felt good.

Giuliani: Roger, how we gonna make the world better for poor, black women? Ailes: I won’t sexually harass any of them. Giuliani: Done and done. That felt good.


Jason Brennan has some questions: What if…people had to pass some sort of test in order to vote? If this sounds suspiciously like old methods folks used to stop minorities from voting decades ago, I’d say you’re hearing the same thing I am and probably making a face like someone just made you eat a combination of rotten onions and dirty toes.

Consider an alternative political system called epistocracy. Epistocracies retain the same institutions as representative democracies, including imposing liberal constitutional limits on power, bills of rights, checks and balances, elected representatives, and judicial review. But while democracies give every citizen an equal right to vote, epistocracies apportion political power, by law, according to knowledge or competence.

Voters tend to mean well


but voting well takes more than a kind heart. It requires tremendous social scientific knowledge: knowledge that most citizens lack. Most voters know nothing, but some know a great deal, and some know less than nothing. The goal of liberal republican epistocracy is to protect against democracy’s downsides, by reducing the power of the least-informed voters, or increasing the power of better-informed ones.

Dooooo go on. 

One common objection to epistocracy—at least among political philosophers—is that democracy is essential to expressing the idea that everyone is equal. On its face, this is a strange claim. Democracy is a political system, not a poem or a painting. Yet people treat the right to vote like a certificate of commendation, meant to show that society regards you as a full member of the national club. (That’s one reason we disenfranchise felons.) But we could instead view the franchise as no more significant than a plumbing or medical license. The US government denies me such licenses, but I don’t regard that as expressing I’m inferior, all things considered, to others.

Ah, but not being able to…plumb…legally won’t do things like drastically erode your autonomy over your own body. 


Others object that the equal right to vote is essential to make government respond to our interests. But the math doesn’t check out. In most major elections, I have as much chance of making a difference as I do of winning the lottery. How we vote matters, but how any one of us votes, or even whether one votes, makes no difference. It might be a disaster if Donald Trump wins the presidency, but it’s not a disaster for me to vote for him. As the political theorist Ben Saunders says: in a democracy, each person’s power is so small that insisting on equality is like arguing over the crumbs of a cake rather than an equal slice.

Numbers–how do they work?

On the other hand, it’s true (at least right now) that certain demographic groups (such as rich white men) are more likely to pass a basic political knowledge test than others (such as poor black women). Hence the worry that epistocracies will favor the interests of some groups over others. But this worry might be overstated. Political scientists routinely find that so long as individual voters have a low chance of being decisive, they vote for what they perceive to be the common good rather than their self-interest. Further, it might well be that excluding or reducing the power of the least knowledgeable 75% of white people produces better results for poor black women than democracy does.

Math checks out. After all, the US has a history of showing that rich white men have routinely taken the plight the poor black women into account–almost above all!–when voting! Ya know, I want to snark more but my breath just left my body. 

Does Trump Know What Taxes Do?

[ 133 ] October 3, 2016 |

Most of you were probably not at home so you might have missed MSNBC’s broadcast of part of Trump’s rally today in Pueblo. During the broadcast he extolled the virtues of the military and how he wanted to build it up, make it yooge and classy. This on the heels of his past complaints about America’s infrastructure.

This offends me for many reasons–mostly because I find that people who talk up the military rarely want to put their money where their mouth is. But also because it shows a profound ignorance about how taxes work. Taxes pay for our infrastructure. You want our infrastructure to look like Germany’s? You gotta pay for it. Germans pay higher taxes than we do, and it shows. And taxes pay for our military. Now, how is a man who probably hasn’t paid taxes for decades gonna help contribute to the yooge military he desires? How is babby military formed?

10 Songs that Changed Your Life

[ 213 ] October 3, 2016 |

Welp, it’s that time of year again: my son has begun school, and he’s bringing home a cold to me roughly every two weeks. In short, I’m often busy and under the weather. Which it makes it hard to do posts of substance (though I very much miss doing those and will get back to them shortly). In the meantime, please list 10 songs that changed your life. Not quite the same criteria as the last list–I don’t want it be so youth-focused. Just name any 10 songs that got under your skin in a way few songs do.

Me, in no particular order:

  1. One Day–Fishbone
  2. Testify–Parliament
  3. Love and Communication–Cat Power
  4. Cherry Blossom Girl–Air
  5. What You Know–T.I.
  6. Elastic Heart–Sia
  7. Annie Lennox–Love Song for a Vampire
  8. You’re the One–Kate Bush
  9. I Turn My Camera On–Spoon
  10. Take Me to Church–Hozier

Now VERY MUCH regretting keeping this list 10 choices…

They’re Good Spices, Brent

[ 105 ] October 1, 2016 |
They're good spices, Brent.

I don’t see Scary in there anywhere, haters.


Your hatred of Pumpkin Spice is stupid and illogical. Granted, I understand some people object to its ubiquity, but that’s not Pumpkin Spice’s fault; that’s the fault of companies overusing a seasonal gimmick. Pumpkin Spice is good. It is a completely inoffensive blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. These spices are…awesome.  In fact, Garam Masala uses cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in its blend. And if you’ve got a problem with Garam Masala, I’ve got a problem with you, bud. Mind you, I loathe “spice-y” desserts, despite my sweet tooth. But I love the idea of using these Pumpkin Spice spices in savory recipes. In fact, here’s a Rachael Ray one right now:


  • 3 delicata squash (8 to 10 oz. each)–trimmed, halved lengthwise and seeded, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 1 stick butter
  • 20 fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tbsp. chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, plus 1 tbsp. chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 tbsp. chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus shaved Parmesan for garnish


  1. Preheat the broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash, oil and pumpkin spice. Season with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Broil, turning once, until the squash is tender and golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves, rosemary leaves and thyme leaves; cook until the leaves are crispy and the butter is browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to paper towels; season. (Leave the rosemary and thyme in the butter.)
  4. Toss the pasta with the brown-butter mixture in the skillet. Stir in the chopped herbs, cream and the grated Parmesan, adding the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, as needed to make a thick sauce. Add the squash, season and gently toss. Transfer the pasta to bowls; top with the fried sage leaves and shaved

So, can we stop with the Pumpkin Spice hate? Aside from the weird gendered aspect to it, it’s just kind of moronic.

Albums that Changed Your Life

[ 438 ] September 28, 2016 |


I thought we could all use a reset, a palate cleanser, post-debate, so how’s this? What are 10 albums that changed your life? By “changed your life” I mean had a profound impact on you, shaped how look at music, shaped your tastes, that you played a million times. A lot of my choices  are from my tweens/teens/20’s, because that’s naturally when you’re gonna form your opinions about music. I have a feeling I’m going to regret narrowing this down to ten choices, but I think if we go beyond this, things will just get unwieldy. If this thread is popular I’d also like to do a “10 Songs that Changed Your Life” thread.


  1. Duran Duran–Duran Duran
  2. Stevie Wonder–Musicquarium
  3. The Beastie Boys–Paul’s Boutique
  4. Public Enemy–It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  5. Fishbone–Truth and Soul
  6. Redd Kross–Third Eye
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers–Mother’s Milk
  8. Jane’s Addiction–Nothing’s Shocking
  9. Bryan Ferry–Bete Noire
  10. Arrested Development–3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of…


The Hedgehog and the Fox and the Newt

[ 99 ] September 26, 2016 |
Donald Trump, maybe

Donald Trump, maybe

A tweet by Newt Gingrich caught my eye:

It was sort of a weird tweet, fun to riff on; but an alert follower showed me this: It’s an essay by Isaiah Berlin. (Note: I’m not familiar with him even slightly; just reporting the facts.) Here’s what wikipedia wikisays about the essay:
“The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ’ οἶδ’ ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ’ ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα (“a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing”). In Erasmus’s Adagia from 1500, the expression is recorded as Multa novit vulpes, verum echinus unum magnum. The fable of The Fox and the Cat embodies the same idea.Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea (examples given include Plato, Lucretius, Dante Alighieri, Blaise Pascal, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen, Marcel Proust and Fernand Braudel), and foxes, who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea (examples given include Herodotus, Aristotle, Desiderius Erasmus, William Shakespeare, Michel de Montaigne, Molière, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Aleksandr Pushkin, Honoré de Balzac, James Joyce and Philip Warren Anderson).”

It seems a rather obscure reference to me. I wonder if Newt used it to troll liberals into saying things like this:

If so, well-played, Newt. Well-played.

“American Horror Story:” Where Are We Now? Oh, Roanoke

[ 41 ] September 19, 2016 |

American Horror Story is a show with a mixed record. On the one hand, I think it’s one of the boldest, most transgressive shows on the air. I think it’s far scarier than most R-rated horror movies. I think it’s artful, I think it’s beautiful to look at. I think sometimes it overreaches. And recently I feel it crossed a line by depicting a brutal rape (and extraordinarily gory murder scene). (TRIGGER WARNING FOR MY STORIFY BELOW.)

If you read the Storify you’ll see I missed seasons 3 and 4. Three I missed because the witches’ coven didn’t interest me as much as past settings and because it aired the year I was taking care of a toddler by myself while hubby was overseas. I attempted to watch Season 4 but was so freaked out by the punch-you-in-the-face-scary clown murdering someone in broad daylight I could not make it past the first episode. Don’t know if I’ll ever go back to try again. This is what I mean by overreaching. Sometimes AHS’ violence, sex, and mixing of the two is downright traumatizing.

Currently, I’m watching season 6, which seems promisingly to be the perfect balance of the off-the-charts signature AHS creep factors and poignant psychological drama. I am also streaming season 5. Its premiere episode knocked me on my ass, and frankly I’m not sure how I feel about it. It will be interesting comparing and contrasting these two seasons as I go forward.

Any of you watching AHS? Have thoughts?

Burning White-Hot Friendship-Ending Movie Hot Takes

[ 937 ] September 15, 2016 |



pooproadI recently read a tweet asking folks to share their most potentially controversial movie-related hot takes. As soon I shared mine, I knew I’d want to hear LGM’s hot takes.

Me? I really disliked “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I found it goofy, and not endearingly so. The whole time I was watching it, my eyes were lodged so far up in my skull (I was rolling my eyes, get it?) I’m not even sure I’ve actually technically seen it. But, seriously, I’m legitimately baffled by its acclaim. Don’t get it. At all.

I’ve talked about this before, but I enjoy the movie “Sin City.” Stylistically, I think it’s a terrific film. I think there’s a sense of play at work that is really appealing to me. It’s fun to look at. I even enjoy its goofy dialogue. I think it’s over-the-top, extraordinarily misogynistic, hyper-macho and profoundly silly. And yet I continue watching it and wringing enjoyment from it. Come at me.

Now give me your best movie hot-take. And don’t make it mealy-mouthed. Let’s piss some people off.

Page 1 of 5612345...102030...Last »