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Jonah Goldberg “traffick[s] in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago”

[ 32 ] May 5, 2013 |

That theory being, of course, that what he says matters.

It doesn’t.

But what’s frightening is that in this isolated case, he may be right. (In all others? Not so much.) After trying to apply our new Internet Tradition to what Republicans said on the Sunday talk shows, it occurred to me that a weapon this dangerous can’t be allowed to fall into conservative’s grasp.

The power of Peak Exculpation must remain in our scheming hands and our mocking hearts for all eternity. Imagine if conservatives realized that they could say anything they wanted so long as someone followed with a note that they were merely “trafficking in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago”? That can’t become acceptable.

Sadly, given Jonah’s ability to influence conservative “scholars,” I’m sure it’ll become more than acceptable — it’ll become the excuse du jour among the professionally wrong. It’s not their fault they’re old and white and male, so how can they be held accountable for “trafficking in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago.”

If you have an issue with their obsolete positions, take it up with Father Time, Jefferson Davis and The Patriarchy.

NOTE: Someone who knows how to use the Twitter machine better than I should show @JonahNRO the power of his despicable phrase. Start a clever #hashtag and all. I’m just saying!

Thank you, Jonah Goldberg, for this new Internet Tradition

[ 116 ] May 4, 2013 |

I’ve already kicked a downed Goldberg while having a laugh and taking a piss on him today, so you know that I wouldn’t target him again unless he wrote something so exquisite his nuts left my knees no choice.

Which is exactly what happened.

According to Jonah in the article the Other Scott linked, Niall Ferguson should be forgiven because he “was trafficking in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago.” Not since “a very serious, thoughtful argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care” has Jonah provided us with a sentence of such valuable vapidity.

Consider its lack of specificity: the “old theory” is “old,” but there’s no indication as to how old it is; not that its age matters, mind you, because this “old theory” wasn’t merely acceptable back then, it was “perfectly within the bounds” of polite society; moreover, “not very long ago” this “old theory” wasn’t merely “perfectly within the bounds” of decorum, it belonged to the “intellectual discourse,” meaning that the right kind of people discussed this “old theory” all the time, whenever that happened to be.

Thanks to Jonah’s brilliant formulation, conservatives can now blame recent historical “traffic” — of an unspecified age and purview — for every vile thought that leaks through their lips. It’s not their fault we’re unfamiliar with social etiquette from whenever it was.

I feel like a bad person. Not that I am one.

[ 47 ] May 4, 2013 |

Ben Shapiro’s a beanie wearin’ homosexual!?

[ 59 ] May 3, 2013 |

Well I’ll be! I always thought Ben Shapiro’s name was “Ben Shapiro.” I know it used to be. Breitbart says I need an update:

I wonder what his Jew priest will say when he learns Ben tossed off his slave straight name to honor a black gay? Who cares! For the first time in my life I’m tempted to feel pride in the little shit.

Too bad they can’t all be Jason Collins now.

UPDATE: Jason “Ben” Collins’s standard of heroism explained.

Another LGM podcast: Game of Thrones, “Kissed by Fire,” with SEK and Steven Attewell

[ 42 ] May 2, 2013 |

In this episode we discuss many things before short-changing you on the subject of religion. If the podcast seems to end abruptly, that’s because there’s another ten minutes we tabled for a later discussion. Watching it, I must say I’m very disappointed in the manner in which I presented my Grand Theory of Significant Asses. It deserves to be taken more seriously than the words used to refer to the human bum allow. Enjoy!

Avoid knowing what I do with my hat by listening to the .mp3 version of this podcast.

Our very civilized discussion of the premiere (S03E01).

Fancy-talking about “Dark Wings, Dark Words” (S03E02).

Here we are blathering on about “Walk of Punishment” (S03E03).

Don’t watch — because you can’t — us discuss “And Now His Watch Has Ended” (S03E04).

EXTRA! EXTRA! FEMINISM DEBUNKED! RAPE NOT REAL!

[ 142 ] May 1, 2013 |

What are we going to do with all you lying bitches? Here we are generously giving you privileges you don’t deserve, and one of you pulls this shit? I just don’t — what else can I say?

We tried.

We tried to make you rational. We pretended not to ignore your vaginas and needs and civil rights and you repay us by having one of yours fake rape? Don’t you realize this discredits everyone who shares your junk? Christ — that’s it. I’ve had enough.

Feminism is officially cancelled.

Shut the fuck up. I don’t want to hear it.

You don’t have the right to complain anymore. You could’ve stopped this one woman from fabricating this one rape but you didn’t. And I don’t want to hear about all the other rapes that are real or go unreported because I don’t.

I don’t want to hear about them.

This woman lied about a rape threat! Just imagine what the person she invented is going through right now. His fictional parents are crying great heavy tears at this false accusation against the son they never had.

If he already didn’t exist he’d be wishing he never had.

So that’s it feminists. If you can’t rally in defense of men who were never born then I just can’t fathom what you’re good for.

Can I call them or can I call them?

[ 46 ] April 30, 2013 |

In what must be the most compelling evidence that Things I Write On The Internet Come True — and in that order no less — one of you lot sent me an email containing the following image of a cousin’s Facebook post about Jason Collins:

I’m not sure I should be happy about being able to forecast stupidity so accurately.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

[ 104 ] April 30, 2013 |

STUDENT: It’s so great to get to college and finally have a gay professor.

SEK: I bet it is. Ain’t culture shock grand?

STUDENT: Absolutely. So what was it like for you in college?

SEK: What do you mean?

STUDENT: When you first found out one of your professors was gay.

SEK: I don’t know that I ever did. Wait, what are we talking about now?

STUDENT: I read that thing you wrote yesterday. It made me proud to be in your class.

SEK: Wait, I’m your gay professor?

STUDENT: It’s awesome to finally have a teacher to relate to.

ALL THE OTHER STUDENTS: Scott’s gay?

SEK: How about we discuss Game of Thrones now?

Why the Collins “non-story” will matter

[ 50 ] April 29, 2013 |

The most important aspect of Jason Collins’s decision to become the first theoretically employable openly gay male in a major American sport isn’t that this “accomplishment” requires that many qualifiers, but that he has a twin brother who’s a heterosexual. So much of the rhetoric about homosexuality focuses on whether God made homosexuals gay or whether they’ve turned their back on the Lord by succumbing to learned perversions. The distinct sexualities of the Collins twins seem a boon to those who think homosexuals are etymological perverts: Jason has “turned aside” from the righteous path that is his birthright. Why did he do so? He was converted by childhood trauma or an agenda-driven homosexual into thinking his feelings for other men were normal; which is to say he “turned with” an individual who convinced him that other men were as attractive as women.

God didn’t put the gay in him — someone abused it into him. Whether that abuse is sexual or rhetorical in nature matters less than the simple fact that it’s abuse. That it’s become socially acceptable for prime-time faggots to queer the very foundation of marriage is a sign that American culture’s in steep decline. Children are being converted into perverts — are turning with those who would turn them aside — and political correctness prevents decent people from objecting to this abuse. But all this talk of conversion and perversion obscures the fact that homosexuals haven’t always had their agenda implemented as precisely as a Zionist plot. Homosexuals were once considered a diaspora of narcissists who wandered the world looking for themselves. They were inverts. They’d “turned inward” and demanded of others the love the mirror denied them.

Which is only to say that the operative metaphor changed.

What was once thought to be a loathsome inversion of God’s love has become what happens to children when they watch Glee. Because when you introduce contemporary American culture into the classic conversion narrative you end up with a system of dissemination indistinguishable from infection. You don’t need to convince someone to “turn with” you if society’s “putting in” or “doing to” them what the homosexual agenda wants it to. Which is why conservatives express their concerns about Collins’s revelation by not caring with thunder. So long as they ignore its importance the epidemic can be contained. They want Collins to become a non-story.

Hence the significance of the fact that Jason Collins has an identical twin brother who’s straight. The temptation to use Jarron Collins’s heterosexuality as proof that Jason was either converted to or infected by homosexuality will prove too great. That Jarron shares Jason’s DNA but not his perversion demonstrates once and for all that God doesn’t sanction the birth of gay babies. Jason couldn’t have been born this way because Jarron was too and look at him. Which means homosexuality is essentially a function of bad parenting: parents either didn’t pay enough attention to who tended to or played with their children or they allowed their children to be exposed to the pernicious influence of American culture. Better parenting can prevent children from being converted or infected by homosexuality by regulating who their children meet and what culture they partake.

That Jason and Jarron met the same people and partook of the same culture isn’t significant because the first theoretically employable openly gay male in a major American sport couldn’t have been born homosexual. Science says that stuff with the same genes is identical and therefore the gay can’t be genetic. You’ll see this argument repeatedly in the coming months — not because it’s valid but because Jarron Collins prefers sex with women. No grand conversation about how the same genes can express themselves differently depending on environmental factors will be had. The word “epigenetic” will not enter the national discourse. Why not?

Because as I type these words conservative “journalists” are combing through Jarron Collins’s life trying to discover where it differs from Jason’s. They’re searching for the Holy Grail of Gay and will use their rudimentary understanding of genetics to prove that someone either proffered Jason a sip or forced it down his throat. Jarron will become proof that Jason could’ve been “normal.” In short the “facts” of this particular case — as they understand them — accord too neatly with operative conservative metaphors for them to let it become a non-story. They will run with this because they mistake language for logic. They will run with this because they mistake logic for science. They will run with this because it eliminates God from the suspect pool.

And unless we point out that theories based on “conversion” and “infection” as are arbitrary as those predicated on “inversion” they will be successful.

Surprisingly, not unwatchable: Hannibal

[ 34 ] April 28, 2013 |

(There’s a television show in the title. How could it not be yet another one of those posts?)

I say “surprisingly” because the show’s producer — and at this point, principle director — is David Slade and I’m not exactly a fan of his work. That means Hannibal is a litmus test for my brand of auteur theory, because I’m genuinely impressed by some of his work here and consider him a derivative hack with all the subtlety of a nine-year-old learning to play the trumpet: whatever talent he possesses is masked by the fact that all he can do is blow. I took the fact that he does so as hard as he can for as long as he can sustain his breath as a fairly damning character flaw. But Hannibal suggests he may have finally learned something.

For those of you who know nothing of American popular culture, Hannibal is a show about a man named Hannibal Lecter. He’s a serial killer who loves playing psychological games with know-it-all FBI agents. That’s the show’s motivating irony: he’s contacted by the FBI to provide psychiatric support for their most gifted criminal profiler. He’s solving crimes! While copycatting them! Talk about dramatic irony! The point being that this is a show about people with deep insight into the thought and behavior of sociopaths who fail to notice that their consultant’s therapist is one. It’s a show about psychological isolation — about people who can’t interact with the world or the people who inhabit it because there’s a felt distance between themselves and their humanity. So it only makes sense that even when they’re together, they’re alone. In “Potage,” for example, Lecter meets with the head of the FBI’s behavioral science division and one of their top psychiatrists:

The long shot establishes that they’re all in the same room, which is important because if it didn’t, you might not realize that. The conversation proceeds via a series of medium close-ups in shallow focus:

The depth of field is so shallow that the items on the front of his desk as unfocused as the wall behind him. His body occupies the thin slice of the world that the camera and lighting conspire into focus. Same with her:

And with him:

The three of them are sitting in the same room but are connecting neither with it nor each other. Their psychological isolation is being represented by the thin slice of the diegetic world that happens to be in focus. How thin is it?

Thinner than this man’s face. It’s almost as if this man — the aforementioned criminal profiler — doesn’t even understand himself. Maybe he should see somebody about that.

That’s right — he already is and it’s not working. You can tell because even when Slade switches from medium close-ups that suggest that all men are islands to two-shots that should suggest companionship, the thin depth of field isn’t even ample enough to include both subjects in focus. How isolated does Slade want these people to seem? Even when they’re four of them in the same frame he racks the focus from one to another depending on who’s talking:

Sticking four people in a frame and creating a sense that they’re talking at rather than to each other requires a deft touch I didn’t think Slade possessed. It’s not exactly unsubtle, but it effectively creates a mood that untrained viewers would describe as “creepy” without exactly knowing why. Instead of the shallow focus functioning as it normally does — to focus the audience’s attention on one element in the composition — the cumulative effect of these shots is a claustrophobia tinged with obsessive attentiveness. The world is small and largely unfocused except for this little slice of clarity. And on Hannibal, as often as not that little slice of clarity contains corpses mutilated by someone with an eye for composition. The mundane world of homes and offices and other people exists only in an unfocused and isolating haze; the frail horror of artfully desecrated bodies is sharply in focus.

Wherever there’s a racist being racist, I’ll be there.

[ 102 ] April 26, 2013 |

As someone who writes about race and also teaches at the University of California, Irvine, I take full responsibility for this egregious recording. Clearly, I’m a horrible teacher because students I never taught wore blackface on the Internet.

So say the emails that poured in after a prominent conservative blogger tweeted my email address in connection with this local scandal. But as I scanned subject lines while deleting said emails, I noticed that I’m not the only one to blame. Irvine also has an African American Studies program that failed to prevent this racist display from happening. And a department of Asian American studies that neglected to inform an Asian American student that racism is bad. The Women’s Studies department also did nothing to prevent this performance of antebellum proportions from occurring on its campus (because abortion).

Point being, despite all these programs and departments dedicated to creating a more compassionate body politic, there are still students on the Irvine campus who are racist. Therefore, per these emails and the dictates of logic, the aforementioned departments should be shut down. They’re disappointing the corporate charter.

The only real solution to fighting racism is to stop fighting it.

Then it’ll just go away.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention how humorless these “studies” people are, and how their humorlessness is responsible for everything wrong with America.

Yet another LGM podcast: SEK and Attewell on Game of Thrones, “And Now His Watch Is Done”

[ 13 ] April 24, 2013 |

Attewell is brilliant, as per usual; SEK is scattered, as per usual. Enjoy!

Us talking about it in the .mp3 of formats for them that prefer such.

Our very civilized discussion of the premiere (S03E01).

Fancy-talking about “Dark Wings, Dark Words” (S03E02).

Here we are blathering on about “Walk of Punishment” (S03E03).

All LG&M podcasts can be found and subscribed to here.

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