Archive for ‘culture’

July 24, 2009

Best. Column. Evah!

Never underestimate the power of Rule 2:

Last week, I called the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to press [“science czar” John] Holdren on his views about forced abortions and mass sterilizations; his purported disavowal of Ecoscience, the 1977 book he co-authored with population control zealots Paul and Anne Ehrlich; and his continued embrace of forced-abortion advocate and eugenics guru Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist.
After investigative bloggers and this column reprinted extensive excerpts from Ecoscience, which mused openly about putting sterilants in the water supply to make women infertile and engineering society by taking away babies from undesirables and subjecting them to government-mandated abortions, the White House issued a statement from Holdren last week denying he embraced those proposals. The Ehrlichs challenged critics to read their and Holdren’s more recent research and works. . . .
In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.
In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown’s work. . . .

Read the whole thing. This is a healthy competition among columnists that should be encouraged. Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn have linked me from their sites in the past, but they ain’t been linking me lately. Despite the lack of recent linkage, however, Ann Coulter’s take on the “health care crisis” is brilliant:

Insurance plans that force everyone in the plan to pay for everyone else’s Viagra and anti-anxiety pills are already completely unfair to people who rarely go to the doctor. It’s like being forced to share gas bills with a long-haul trucker or a restaurant bill with Michael Moore. On the other hand, it’s a great deal for any lonely hypochondriacs in the plan.

Read the whole thing, because she’s exactly right. I hate going to the doctor. I hate taking medicine. If my aortic valve blows out tomorrow, don’t mourn this as “tragic” or “senseless.” Such a mercifully sudden departure from this vale of tears would to me be infinitely preferable to the ordeal of filing out an insurance form and spending 15 minutes in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, to say nothing of idling around a drugstore while I wait for the pharmacist to fill my prescription.

Think about this: The percentage of your life spent leafing through a three-week-old copy of Newsweek in a doctor’s waiting room — is that really “life” at all? We’re all gonna die some day, but some of us actually try to live first. And that otherwise healthy idiot who chooses to waste his life shuttling back and forth between MRI screenings, cardiac stress tests, colonoscopy appointments and the Rite Aid prescription counter isn’t practicing “preventive medicine.” He’s just running up the bill at someone else’s expense, like when I go to a Reason happy hour and tell the bartender to put everything on Matt Welch’s tab.

Have you ever known one of those “lonely hypochondriacs” of whom Coulter speaks? Talk about your persuasive arguments for euthanasia! Feeble neurasthenics who run to the doctor every time they get an ache or pain should be sent directly to the Soylent Green factory.

Honestly, I knew America was doomed when they announced that Medicare would pay for Viagra. Oh, just great: The Federal Bureau of Boners.

Patriots died of frostbite at Valley Forge so that we could tax nurses to pay for their geriatric patients to get aroused. Ask the staff at the “retirement center” about the septuagenarian whose idea of a joke is to take his little blue pill and hit the nurse-call button.

Nurse: “Is there a problem?”
Patient: (Exposing himself) “Yes, ma’am, I had this sudden swelling . . .”

But why bring John McCain into this? My point was that health care is not a right, no matter what Ted Kennedy says. “Health care as a right, not a privilege,” says Ted. (Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.)

My real point, however, is this: Ann Coulter should link me more often. But did I really need to say that?

UPDATE: Speaking of The Rules, how about ObamaCare bashing from a sexy redhead in her underwear? Say what you will about Rule 5, if sexy chicks can save us from socialized medicine . . . well, it’s a sacrifice we’ll have to make. Freedom is never free!

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June 2, 2009

Daniel Glover on HateF***Gate

At Accuracy in Media:

From the Department of Lousy Timing: New Playboy magazine CEO Scott Flanders told the Chicago Tribune, “I don’t think Playboy is broken in any respect.”
His interview was published on the very day that the Playboy empire, which made a fortune exploiting women for decades, finally crossed an ethical line — and then retreated.
It all started when Playboy.com decided to publish a hate piece by rape-fantasist Guy Cimbalo that envisioned sexual attacks on leading conservative women, including Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and bloggers Amanda Carpenter, Pamela Geller, Mary Katharine Ham and Michelle Malkin. The writing and the entire concept of the piece were so vile that the AOL News publication Politics Daily wouldn’t leave a liberal writer’s criticism of it online. . . .

Read the rest, and see more about this story at NTCNews.com.

May 13, 2009

Lee Pefley goes to Hell

Fans of novelist Tito Perdue are intimately familiar with the eccentric protagonist of his books, Lee Pefley. In his most recent work, Fields of Asphodel, the reader sees the afterlife through Pefley’s eyes. It seems Pefley must atone for his sins — or rather, for his virtues — and Fields of Asphodel is sort of like Dante’s Inferno updated to account for Satan’s modernized methods:

Just now they were running through a neighborhood of superb homes, structures of four and five stories with balconies and fountains with sculptures in them. The youngest of the men noted his amazement.
“You approve of these homes, Dr. Pefley?”
Lee admitted it. “Gosh,” he said. “And just look at that one! Why, it must be the post-mortem residence of some great philosopher or composer? Melville’s house, is it? Poe’s?”
“Who? No, actually it’s the summer place of one of the finest strong side tackles in the country. Hell of a nice guy, too.”
“And that one! Moses!”
“I can see you have good taste. That one belongs to a really great man, doctor. He picked just the right time to unload half a million contracts of orange juice futures. Two lovely children, too.”
“And there! Happy the man or woman who dwells in that!”
“Lottery winner.”
“And yonder!”
“Rock singer.”
Lee gaped at it. He had subscribed all his life to the meritocracy theory, and now he was being vouchsafed a look at one of the meritocrats himself, a fat man in an undershirt snoozing by the pool.

I’ve known Tito for about 15 years. He never ceases to denounce me as a “philistine,” mainly due to my abhorrence of opera, and I return the compiment by calling him a “pagan,” to which he never objects. To anyone who enjoys a fine novel, I heartily recommend all of Tito Perdue’s books.

May 10, 2009

Brit Army Lasses Preggers in Iraq!

Sort of a Fleet Street headline for this story from the Daily Star:

At least 133 Brit servicewomen have been sent home from Afghanistan and Iraq after getting pregnant.
The Daily Star Sunday has learned 102 of Our Girls returned early from Iraq between January 1, 2003 and February 28 of this year because they were expecting. And at least 31 female squaddies were fl own home from Afghanistan for the same reason.
Of those, 50 returned early from Iraq or Afghanistan between April 1, 2007 and February 28, 2009.
A total of 5,600 women have been sent to war so far and the Ministry of Defence admitted there may be even more cases which have not been recorded.

Shocker! Send women to war and they’ll be women, not warriors. And lads will be lads, after all . . .

May 10, 2009

Just call me Lucas, ma’am

A post about “cowboy values” at The American Thinker inspires Pundette to muse at the Hot Air Green Room:

So mamas, go git yurself some Westerns fur yur young ‘uns to watch this weekend. Ah’m right parshull to the television series The Rifleman. In addition to the qualities above, Lucas McCain and the folks in North Fork believe in personal responsibility, risk-taking, hard work, and no cussin’ in front of the womenfolk.

Ah, The Rifleman! Arguably (and yes, I know this will inspire fierce arguments from fans of “Gunsmoke”) the best television Western ever. It debuted the year before I was born, ran for five seasons, played in re-runs forever, and the delightful coincidence of the protagonist’s surname meant that I spent years answering to, “Hey, Lucas!”

For those too young to remember, here is the famous opening sequence, followed by the closing credits:

Like other frontier icons of that era — Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, for example — Lucas McCain was an ideal role model, a paragon of virtue. His actions were always just. His words were always wise. And the Rifleman was utterly fearless.

Manly courage was the essence of Lucas McCain. It didn’t matter how numerous the bad guys were, Lucas was never going to be intimidated. Why? Because he knew he was fighting on the side of right.

Lucas McCain was always the friend of the helpless, always a defender of the weak, always the righteous avenger of those done wrong by the selfish and vicious. And the series took pains to show that Lucas was, by nature, peaceful and amiable. He had a cheerful sense of humor, and could always smile at the mischief of his boy, Mark. There was a poignant nostalgia in his heart for his late wife.

That Lucas was a widower — a key scriptwriter’s convenience he shared with many another fatherly protagonist of the 1950s and ’60s — allowed for the development of romantic subplots. There frequently seemed to be some lovestruck schoolmarm in need of rescue, and you could be sure that in his conduct toward her, Lucas McCain would be impeccably honorable, the embodiment of medieval courtliness transposed to the rustic terms of the 19th-century American frontier.

He was loved by women because Lucas was a man’s man. This aspect of the Rifleman’s character expresses a great truth that I would advise any young man to contemplate: If you wish to be admired by women, conduct yourself in such a way as to win the respect of men.

You will always notice that the man who is genuinely popular with women is not a selfish, dishonest, cowardly loner, but is the sort of frank, generous and cheerful comrade who is always a welcome companion to his fellow man. He is a team player, always ready in the hour of crisis, and modest enough not to care whether he receives public credit for his good deeds. He does what is right because it is right, confident that his true merit will be known among those courageous souls who shared the burden of his labors.

Lucas McCain was not a show-off, not a braggart, not a bully. He never lied, he never quit. His quiet confidence inspired others to hope that humble virtue must ultimately triumph over arrogant evil. He never started a fight, and always sought to avert violence, so long as it could be averted without dishonor or injustice. But when it was time to fight, he was never afraid, and when the fight was over, the bad guys were always vanquished. The good, the true and the right were vindicated. And Lucas was standing tall.

Which is to say, he was not remotely like David Brooks.

Having just completed the celebration of National Offend A Feminist Week, I should point out that I often fall woefully short of the high mark set by Lucas McCain. Yet I alway know where the mark is set, you see.

Therefore, I agree wholeheartedly with Pundette. If you want your sons or grandsons to have a role model of old-fashioned manly virtue, The Rifleman is the man for the job.

May 4, 2009

The Demographics of Dhimmitude

DEMOGRAPHIC CRASH

April 17, 2009

Tito Perdue, literary genius

Woke up this morning at 8:30 a.m. after staying up until 3 a.m. talking to my old friend Tito Perdue. The morning sun is streaming down on the lakefront here about 10 miles north of Wetumpka, Alabama. It’s beautiful, although I thought the midnight stars were more beautiful.

We watched opera last night, and Tito reminded me how we met. I’d written a column for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune which (humorously, I thought) explained why I couldn’t stand the caterwauling of an operatic soprano. Tito, who was then living in Cave Spring, Ga., wrote a letter to the editor denouncing me as a philistine. This was the start of a long and eventful friendship. More after this operatic interlude featuring the Russian soprano Netrebko:

Among other things, I’m semi-responsible for Tito’s “outing” as something other than a liberal. (Don’t ever call him a “conservative”; he’ll reply, “No, I’m a reactionary!”) Tito’s first two novels were published to critical acclaim and he looked to be well on his way to being the next Winston Groom (who is, in fact, a cousin of his). Critics thought his Faulkneresque style was “postmodern,” and he was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, etc.

Then, after we met, I wrote a feature profile about Tito, describing his library full of classics, his enjoyment of Wagner, his admiration of Nietzsche, his general loathing of all things new or even recent. Among other things, he mentioned in the interview that, if there were ever to be a film made of his books, the only director he’d want would be Elia Kazan — who, you may recall, “named names” for the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Tito thought the article was splendid, and copies of the article were distributed by his agent. At which point, the game was up. His book contract was cancelled and it was a couple of years before he published his next novel, which the New York Times didn’t review. Difficult as is the life of a literary novelist in the Age of Illiteracy, imagine what it’s like for Tito being marked as an antagonist of the liberal culture — really, an antagonist of the entirety of contemporary society. And, doggone it, Elia Kazan is dead!

Tito is a fine storyteller and his first novel, Lee, is great, even if the critics agree. The book introduces the protagonist Lee Pefley, who is featured in his other novels. His second book, The New Austerities, was actually better, I thought. More recently, he’s published a wonderful tale of Lee Pefley’s romantic youth, The Sweet Scented Manuscript. This is a roman a clef of Tito’s own wild experience at Ohio’s Antioch College, where he met, wooed and married his wife Judy.

Their love affair was scandalous enough to get them both kicked out of school in 1957. They’ve now been married 51 years, and I think young readers — who have zero idea of what the 1950s were really like, much less the kind of love that causes two kids to get married at 18 — would get a thrill out of The Sweet Scented Manuscript. Of course, this postulates the hypothetical existence of young people who read literary novels for any reason other than being assigned to do so by their teachers. Sigh.

At any rate, I’m sitting barefoot in Tito’s living room, which has a magnificent view of the lake. Last night, as we stood out on the deck underneath a star-filled sky, I said I wished my friends up in D.C. had any inkling of how wonderful Alabama is. This horrified Judy, who expressed the fear that such a revelation might result in an influx that would ruin the place.

So whatever you do, don’t tell anyone that the nearest place to heaven on earth is 10 miles north of Wetumpka on Alabama Highway 111, just off County Road 23. Take a right turn at Martin’s Bait & Tackle and keep going until you find the end of Muscadine Lane.

Of course, you’ll never find the place. You probably won’t even bother to try. And isn’t that sad?

April 10, 2009

I’ve seen England, I’ve seen France . . .

. . . I’ve seen Miranda Kerr in her underpants:

“I don’t look at myself as a sex symbol. I see it as a job, and I’m working for a company that I really love and enjoy working for,” the brunette beauty told In Touch at the launch of the new Dream Angels Push-up Bra for Victoria’s Secret in New York on April 7.

“Sex symbol?” Where did people get that silly idea?

(Via Conservative Grapevine.)

March 26, 2009

In Search of Right-Wing Gonzo

Or, Why Culture 11 Sucked So Bad:

In less than six months of publication, Culture 11 burned through a stack of start-up capital rumored to be north of $1 million. . . .
“I never even heard of this Culture11 site until I read that it was gone,” said veteran conservative blogger Dan Riehl. “If someone wants to know why it failed, extrapolate that out to other bloggers and web surfers, that was it. Having never seen it, all I can conclude is that it really must have sucked.”
Charles Homan of the liberal Washington Monthly naturally pursues the theme that there is some ideological flaw in conservatism that accounts for the failure of Culture11. . . .
Homan has got it all wrong. The problem at Culture11 was that personnel is policy.

Please read every brutal word, you stupid punks.

UPDATE: Linked at Nashville Post.

UPDATE II: Linked by Paco.

March 25, 2009

Last word on Culture 11?

“I never even heard of this Culture11 site until I read that it was gone. If someone wants to know why it failed, extrapolate that out to other bloggers and web surfers, that was it. Having never seen it, all I can conclude is that it really must have sucked.”
Dan Riehl

Logical assumption, Dan. Donald Douglas has more. I might eventually decide to heap a bit more opprobrium on the wretchedness that was Culture 11, but I’m not feeling it now. I saw the Washington Monthly story right before I had to leave my house Tuesday, en route to (a) pay the water bill and (b) attend an important conference. The Monthly comes at the story from the wrong angle.

What was really wrong with Culture 11 was . . . well, everything. And I am not going to write everything this morning.