First the “presidential sock analyst” complains that Toobin’s book on the Supreme Court is too fluffy and unrigorous. Now she wants to “bang [her] head against the wall” because every chair-moistener in the media devotes valuable periods of near-sentience to interpreting the meaning of Hillary Clinton’s laughter.
The onion-rings-and-cleavage jokes pretty much write themselves at this point. I’ll merely note that within eight hours, Althouse — not content to let her apostles hog all the stupid — finally takes a huff from the paper bag and unleashes a potential classic:
I think it was her strategy to make us talk about that instead of substantive problems she has. It’s a distraction. She’s deliberately laughing in a way designed to derail us from going in a direction that would hurt her. (So was the cleavage.)
I suppose there’s something commendable about conceding you’re an unthinking tool. But it seems that Althouse’s narcissism has reached such a degree that she now confuses presidential campaign strategy with her own defensive, post facto gibberish (e.g., “I was trying to draw you into my vortex! I love the traffic!)
I’m not going to link to her, but in case anyone is wondering, Althouse devoted an entire post today to the question of whether the NY Times was deploying subliminal messages to evoke sympathy for Jose Padilla. Strangely, she didn’t wonder why authorities didn’t drape Padilla’s head after the verdict to prevent him from blinking messages to the people who last saw him in 2002.
Yes, did you see those photos of Bill and Hillary in Iowa, with him in that bright yellow shirt? We all know yellow is the color of hope, and Bill is the man from Hope, and Hillary’s name begins with H but her image is not so much one of hope but of grim resignation. Obama is the candidate who embodies hope. (It’s the main thing he does!) So, naturally they put a bright yellow shirt on Bill.
With that out of the way, AA moves on to ponder the most important question surrounding Hillary Clinton’s campaign: whether her husband will get his bone smooched in the White House. And all of this a mere hour after posting an irony-free photo of the Washington Monument, towering over us all like a gigantic carrot.
I think some of those cat scratches have gone septic.
Bonus contrarian silliness: Althouse approvingly cites this allegedly “debunking” argument by Mickey Kaus: “Murray reminds me of those radical feminists who insist that their reasons for censoring pornography are completely different from Pat Robertson’s. No they’re not.”
You’d think that as a MacKinnonite radical Althouse would understand this, but yes, they really are. Catharine MacKinnon and Donald Wildmon really don’t want to censor pornography for the same reasons, and often don’t even favor the same remedies. Both of their conclusions are, I believe, mistaken–I don’t believe that state suppression of sexually explicit material is desirable on policy grounds or consistent with the First Amendment properly understood–but to argue that there’s no normative difference between wanting to ban sexually explicit material to uphold traditional (and patriarchal) sexual mores and wanting to create a civil remedy in cases where pornography has demonstrably harmed women is absurd.
Here, as an educational service, is a quick quiz. One of those quotes is from Catherine MacKinnon’s Feminism Unmodified, another from Robert Bork’s Slouching Towards Gomorrah. See if you can spot the difference!
“Pornography turns sex inequality into sexuality and turns male dominance into sex difference…Thus does pornography, cloaked in the essence of nature and the index of freedom, turn the inequality between women and men into those twin icons of male supremacy, sex and speech, and a practice of sex discrimination into a legal entitlement. Confronting pornography through civil rights law–meaning, with a concrete intention of actually doing something about the damage pornography does to women’s safety and status–has somewhat illuminated the social meaning of state power.”
“Sooner of later censorship is going to have to be considered as popular culture continues plunging to ever more sickening lows…It is possible to argue for censorship…on the ground that in a republican form of government where the people rule, it is crucial that the character of the citizenry not be debased…Can there be any doubt that as pornography and depictions of violence become increasingly popular and increasingly accessible, attitudes about marriage, fidelity, divorce, obligations to children, the use of force, and permissible public behavior and language will change?…It would be better, I think, to drop the word “feminism” because the movement no longer has a constructive role to play; its work is done. There are no artificial barriers left to women’s achievement.”
Tough one, eh? Everyone else is dismissed. For Althouse and Kaus, Bork is the second set of quotes. You’re welcome!
Jewel’s talent, no matter how much you disparage it, has made thousands, and millions of people happy. That’s a pretty good accomplishment for anyone. And what have you done? Established for a crowd of hundreds that Ann Althouse is a moron? Congratulations, you should be proud of yourself.
Don’t fall into the lazy blogger approach of calling your opponents f*ckwits and assh*les. It was never good writing. It’s a cheap way to seem spicy, and it may seem cool to some readers, but it doesn’t show off your skills even now, when you’re just getting started writing. The fact that later it may screw up the career you’re trying to promote is a huge other reason not to do it, but it was never good. Think of better, more original ways to express yourself. You should want to distinguish yourself through writing. Calling people assh*les… it’s been done.
Well, Scott, I see a tiny little image that looks like this: d. I was under the impression that that was a picture of a tiny little prick, and I thought it was you. I’ll take your word for it that I was wrong and that despite your loathsomeness, you’ve managed to find other little pricks who are willing to associate with you. I have corrected my post to indicate that it was not you. Now, have you corrected your vicious stupidity, you pathetic little man?
I know it’s redundant to use a phrase like “Althouse reveals her ignorance,” but in this post the dumb just clings to her words like fresh morning dew:
And why does reading even need to be a separate subject from history in school? Give them history texts and teach reading from them. Science books too. Leave the storybooks for pleasure reading outside of school. They will be easier reading, and with well-developed reading skills, kids should feel pleasure curling up with a novel at home. But even if they don’t, why should any kind of a premium be placed on an interest in reading novels? It’s not tied to economic success in life and needn’t be inculcated any more than an interest in watching movies or listening to popular music. Leave kids alone to find out out what recreational activities enrich and satisfy them. Some may want to dance or play music or paint. Just because teachers tend to be the kind of people who love novels does not mean that this choice ought to be imposed on young people via compulsory education. Teach them about history, science, law, logic — something academic and substantive — and leave the fictional material for after hours.
Althouse clearly hasn’t ever spoken with anyone who teaches middle school language arts or high school literature courses. Aside from the obvious point that social studies and science teachers are usually incapable of teaching basic grammar and other academically and substantively vital reading and writing skills, it’s of course both arbitrary and condescending to suggest that certain subjects — music, art, literature — are somehow stripped of their emotional or creative authenticity if they’re included in primary and secondary school curricula (which, thanks to NCLB, is less and less the case anyhow). Given that we can’t predict which academic subjects are “tied to economic success in life” for any particular student, it makes more than a little sense to offer them a comprehensive range of intellectual experiences. But I suppose in Althouse Land, every home offers a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for kids to read books if they feel so inclined. And if not, who cares? There’s lots of goodtelevision to watch!
. . . UPDATE! EXCLUSIVE! MUST CREDIT LGM! In comments, Scott goes on deep recon and discovers that Althouse ain’t much of a novel-reader. She claims she’d rather be “learning about things that are true and hearing great ideas.” Um, ok. I suppose explains why she thinks Bush v. Gore was correctly decided.
What really struck me about that audio clip though was what a gasbag Obama is. I hear a tired-sounding man, who rambles on and on. I know he’s speaking before a group. I hear them respond now and then, when he mentions that Iraq is a war that should never have been waged and when he says teachers deserve higher pay. But if I didn’t know who he was and that there was a crowd there, I would picture an old man slumped in an armchair, expatiating for the benefit of anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot. It’s formless stream of consciousness.
Project Runway, March 28 (as discovered by TBogg):
I suppose we now know how she lives with herself now that her favorite Supreme Court justices have revealed their moderate souls.
Sorry to return to this, but I found it while researching something else and it’s too good to pass up. Althouse, you may recall, has justified her unprovoked rage at GFR by claiming that she was merely engaging in a sober political discussion about feminism and Bill Clinton, and liberals who claim that she was engaging in personal attacks are being horribly, horribly unfair to her, and even worse is when they label her very serious political arguments the “Jessica Valenti breast controversy,” which is a grievous insult. Evidently, it’s not exactly news that her rationalizations are utter nonsense. But I now call to the witness stand…Ann Althouse:
No, you’ve mischaracterized the original post, which mocked the bloggers for effusing over Clinton. A commenter made a wisecrack about Monica Lewinsky. The person you refer to as “woman with the rack” showed up in the comments to refocus things on her, at which point, I decided to write a post making fun of her for sort of unwittingly and indirectly claiming to be good-looking.
To write the post, I visited her blog and saw that it was loaded with breast images! She was a total breast-blogger! How is that not hilarious? I then made fun of her ridiculous hypocrisy.
I have no particular desire to revisit the issue, and indeed have every intention of continuing my post-Pelosi-smear policy of ignoring her except for MSM appearances or unusual circumstances such as her bullying a colleague, but since Garance has implied here that there’s some sort of mutual personal grudge between me and Ann Althouse I suppose I have to clarify something. I invite anyone to click on the link and look at what I’ve written — you’ll see nothing remotely resembling the kind of genuinely personal insults Althouse has directed at me or Glenn Greenwald (among many others.) I criticize Althouse a lot because she happens to combine in one package several of the most annoying and most pernicious types of punditry: “Everything changed for me on September 11. I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick” fake moderation, obsession with meaningless trivia and junior-high-school personality narratives when discussing politics, and crying “civility” to pre-empt your vicious smears form any scrutiny. But whether you agree or disagree, these are things I consistently believe to be odious irrespective of the party involved. If you look at most of the things I’ve criticized her for — completely undefended assertions that Sam Alito is a moderate, apologizing for the Bush administration’s foreign policy (including its assertions of arbitrary power and use of torture), claiming the Iraq War is rationally seen as part of a conflict with Islamic terrorism, repeating lies about Nancy Pelosi requesting a luxury jet — you’ll find that I’ve criticized other people who have made similar arguments. Admittedly, some of her arguments are sui generis, so you’re just going to have to take my word that I would find claims that liberals opposition to Sam Alito reflected their belief that people don’t have rights, or that New York’s most prominent feminist blogger was invited to a meeting by Hillary Clinton’s campaign as part of an elaborate ruse to get Bill Clinton some action equally idiotic if someone else made them. I don’t think this is much of a stretch.
Of course, saying that this is all about a personality clash, in addition to being an almost comically transparent case of projection (and her meltdown in the face of Garance’s mild questions is just the latest example), is also yet another clever strategy for insulating her silly arguments from any criticism on the merits. People criticize her not because they disagree, but because they’re been “sucked into the Althouse vortex” or some such nonsense. This her way of seeing the world, not mine. And in fairness, given the quality of the arguments Althouse would have to try to defend, you can’t really blame her for using various diversions to avoid having to do so. Don’t buy it.
I’m glad that MY enemy is Mickey Kaus, and not Ann Althouse. Garance:
After the episode, Althouse brought another controversy to my attention, in the shape of a rather nasty personal spat between herself and Scott Lemieux, with whom she apparently has a long-standing beef. So between Ezra’s prior comments at his personal site about the Jessica Valenti episode and the thing with Lemieux, I suspect that’s what she was talking about when she raised the topic of my co-writers at Tapped, and then her voice.
Mickey, as I’ve noted before, has always been quite a good sport regarding criticism from LGM. Indeed, last Bloggingheads he described me as an “enefren”, which is, I think, more or less the same as a “frenemy.” Even if Bob Wright thinks my name is “McFarley”.