Thursday, September 20, 2012

Join the list

Now that you've read 4 posts, I'd like to give you an update.

Since The Pink Chipmunk Clubhouse's ghostwriter has seen fit to use my writings as a basis for his/her own ideas, I'm going to limit access to this blog.  If you'd like to have access, leave a comment.  I'll consider adding you.

Otherwise, tough toenails for you if you want to read me but are afraid of signing up.

I don't care either way.  I don't do this for admiration, don't care how big my "fan base" is, and don't give a fig about whether I can "grow" my "audience."

So either sign up if you want to keep reading, or enjoy today's access and be disappointed or turned away or whatever starting tomorrow.

The Chipmunks will have to resume the mining of other, less insightful and lower-talented writers starting tomorrow.  And isn't that a pity?

No, it's not.  Alvin, Simon and Theodore don't have a creative bone in their little chipmunk bodies, which is why their author has to write not just the original post (op!  what a riot!) but also every single comment thereafter -- because the lack of creativity and absence of humor leaves their site stagnant and full of musty carpet, corner cobwebs, and at least 0.125" of dead skin cells on all flat surfaces, rendering the Clubhouse a boring and foul-smelling place that repels most visitors.  That, and the insular Econ-Bro lingo mixed with Labor Relations arguments, all of which tend toward slow-pace, 1000-year-cycle meliorist "change".  All these things combine to create an un-funny irony where people are urged to hate the Donkeys, and not vote for them, even though the Donkeys provide no slower or worse change than the Chipmunks would seek.*

Access will be free -- I have no plan to make money off you.   But I am sorta tired of "Michael J Smith" and "owen paine" and "Al Schumann" and "Mike Flugennock" having no originality and being so flippin' lazy that they do a Joe Biden of my posts' Neil Kinnock messages.**



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* "Hah!  See!  We spoofed you!" says Michael J Owen Flugennock Paine Smith!  That's our Ratchet at work!

** My predecessor already ran through that with "Jack Crow" being a lazy, dull-witted copycat. But when Crow's copycatting efforts (which involved mild attempts at re-writing my predecessor's analyses) became too much for his feeble little self-impressed "intellect" to handle, he resumed his approach of appeasement toward his fellow Rule Of Law Liberals. So my predecessor stopped worrying about Crow's lazy xerographic approach.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reader call-in

Reader calls in with the following question:

What is the appeal of willard?

I'll try to answer as best I can.

I assume the reader means Willard "Mitt" Romney, and not Willard Scott the jovial rotund weatherman, nor Willard the kid who was fond of rats in the 70s pseudo-horror movie, nor Fred Willard the deadpan humor guy.

I'm pretty sure the "appeal" of Romney can be reduced to these things:

1) tribal affiliation

2) pepsodent grin

3) PGA tour pro appearance

4) relatively rich/privileged background

5) superficial claim to religion adherence

If you are even half-awake and 1/4 astute, you'll notice that all 5 items apply equally to our current President, Barry Obama.

What this means is, the current formula for a high-ranking elected office in America boils down to those things, from an appearance/superficial presentation point of view.

Where the two men differ is in the details of (1). Each tribe has its own calling cards, its own lingo, its own rhetoric for describing what is "success," what is "individual responsibility" and what is the "American dream".

Some people who consider themselves progressive are reflexive haters of religion.

Take, for example, the uberpwog Expert at Being An Expert, the one and only Jack Crow.

He likes to spout crap about "magical thinking." In so doing he tries to elevate himself above those who are followers of this religion or that one. "I'm not engaged in magical thinking, only those religious nuts do that crazy stuff." That's what Crow is implying. He's saying, "I'm superior, they're not, and you should want to be superior like me, so please hurry up and denigrate religion."

Now, I'm a powerful progressive myself, as well as a righteous leftist and staunch Feminist. This should go without saying, it emanates from my soul and oozes from every electrical pore of this blog. But I'll state it for the record anyway.

Nonetheless, unlike most progressive leftist Feminists, I don't make it a point to walk over to a religious person, hike up my bloomers, take a squatting position, and pee or shit on the religious person.

Which makes me unlike Crow.

And unlike most of my fellow progressives, leftists and Feminists.

You see, I believe in treating other humans with dignity unless they come out of the gate hurling expletives, vituperation, scathe, denigration or the like at me before I get a chance to hold out a hand or offer a smile in greeting. In those situations my patience is tested and I might just respond in kind, for a moment, in the heat of concern for self-protection. This may last 10 seconds or so, until I realize that my lizard brain response has exaggerated the actual degree of threat.

Most people who come out of the gate hurling hate are just trying to set up a fence between you and them. They are using an offense as their defense. They are being a porcupine. "Don't mess with me!" is what they're conveying.

That message is tough for the average progressive leftist, who tends to imagine everyone is his/her friend, or would be -- if only given the chance to hear the wonderful preachings...oops, that's a bad word for the idea... lessons about life that the progressive leftist has to offer.

The average progressive leftist imagines, and therefore assumes, that everyone is enamored of the goals and ideals held by progressive leftists.

The discovery that this assumption is mistaken, that's where the hatred of "reactionaries" first takes form.

The average progressive leftist simply cannot believe someone would view the world differently. So the different view gets chalked up to a quantum of evil residing within the other. Typical labels heard or read are "sociopath" or "psychopath" when the hackles are up fully, and when the hackles lay down again, the common label is "reactionary."

Or "magical thinker."

Unlike my fellow progressive leftists, I think that this knee-jerk assumption of evil is itself a demonstration of evil character! But I don't label it as "psychopathy" or "sociopathy."

Instead, I think of it as juvenile selfishness.

********************

It seems difficult for most progressive leftists to understand that other humans have different values.  In fact it seems so difficult that the average progressive leftist simply refuses to believe that others might have different values.  Any different value, or complex of values, has to be due to some character defect -- like, as said above, "evil" or sociopathy or psychopathy. 

After all, everyone should agree with the average progressive leftist.

Because the average progressive leftist has thought it all out, weighed every possibility, decided the merits of all options, separated conceptual wheat from shapeless aimless chaff.

But as said above, some of us progressive leftists actually are tolerant.  We do more than remind others of our tolerance with t-shirts, bumper stickers, tote bags, blog posts, comments in threads, or, in the case of Corey Robin, entire books.

The average progressive leftist wants you to pay attention to his or her pronouncements of value, bragging statements of proper choice, and slogans of political correctness -- while ignoring the intolerance and prejudgment that inheres in a closed-minded scheme.

The average progressive leftist wants you to believe that "liking" or "endorsing" or voting for Mitt Romney shows evil, psychopathy, sociopathy, misanthropy, misogyny, homophobia, racism and bigotry.

The average progressive leftist wants you to ignore that Barry Obama has done the very same things that Mitt Romney would do!  Please ignore that Obama used Romneycare for Obamacare!  Please ignore that Obama has been friendlier to Wall Street than even Dubya Bush!  Please ignore that Obama has done more to curb your civil rights, or destroy/eliminate them, than even Dubya Bush did! 

What you need to do is fear Mitt Romney because he's got a capital R next to his name and an elephant on his lapel, while Barry Obama has a capital D and a donkey.

In the mind of the average progressive leftist, D/donkey means a whole lot more goodness (of whatever nebulous sort) than R/elephant.  For reasons unspecified, on grounds illogical.

**********************

You may notice I haven't said much about Feminism above.  On this issue, I suppose, the Feminists may have a serious beef with Romney that distinguishes him from Obama.  Romney doesn't believe that a human baby is created in the moment where it breaches the birth canal and enters the world outside the womb.  Romney believes the baby's life begins at conception.  On the other hand, Obama thinks babies should be considered "human" only when they have left the womb, and therefore abortion should be a natural right of every woman.

I suppose if sophistry and biological dishonesty were the essence of Feminism, I'd think Feminism requires supporting Obama on this one. 

But I happen to think Feminism is about preservation and protection of life, from the female perspective as the carrier of gestating infants and as the mammary-equipped natural nurse of the born child. 

I don't see Feminism being advanced by saying women can willy-nilly kill a fetus as if it were an invading alien parasite seeking to destroy its host.

I don't see Feminism being advanced by the glaring inconsistency of calling it "my baby" when the pregnancy is desired, while crassly destroying it via abortion when it is found "inconvenient" or the like.

I see that disparity denigrating women, not helping them.

I see that disparity making women haters of life, not lovers of life.

And I think a few other women might agree.

And on that count, they might be drawn to Romney.

If they're the voting sort.

Which I'm not.

Culturally imposed guilt

One of the least appealing things about being a Feminist progressive leftist is the way my fellow Feminists, my fellow progressives, my fellow leftists are always trying to shame me into feeling insufficiently Feminist, or not progressive enough, or a bit too close to the center and too far from the Leftist Ideal.

Because we progressive leftists are very polite, the shaming from the progressives and leftists is always passive-aggressive.

But we Feminists can be pretty abrasive, especially when encountering The Patriarchy and all those walking examples of misogyny.

Personally, for reasons I don't quite understand,* I am a bit more comfortable with the abrasive approach of my fellow Feminists.  I don't sit very comfortably among people who prefer passive-aggression.  I prefer it when people actually say what they mean, rather than trying to force you to feel inferior for not agreeing with them.

In the past few months, I've noticed my fellow progressive leftists getting very preachy and moralist about their progressiveness and leftism.  Lines are being drawn in the sand.  But only indirectly by implication, as is standard for passive-aggressive people.

For example, love and admiration of cats is considered and assumed to be essential to the progressive and leftist lifestyles.  In times of relative positivity, the progressive and leftist show this by constantly using those "LOLcat" creations to make a point -- and in so doing, they suggest that they (the progressive or leftist) are clever and superior for supporting the feline sector of the animal kingdom, while also suggesting that the felines are superior for supposedly sharing in the progressive or leftist view of life.

This tends to bother me, because what I've found from dealing with cats over my lifetime is that cats are far more reactionary, conservative, and --do I dare say this?-- stupid.  Not only that, they are distinctly and profoundly anti-social.  And arrogantly aloof.

Maybe that's why many leftists and progressives admire cats?  The arrogant aloofness?  As in, "Yes, I am superior, and just like my arrogantly aloof cat who couldn't care less about you or your reactionary views."

This perspective of greatness by affiliation rests upon a mistaken view of cats.  As I said, they're stupid!  Why would you try to affiliate with stupidity, while pretending to be intellectually superior?

*******************

Ultimately, the best animal for a self-respecting, self-sufficient, independent-minded person is a dog.  But not just any dog!  Some dogs are far more like cats -- meaning, stupid!  aloof!  and snobbish!

The cat is your friend only because you give it food.  Hence, aloof.  "You want to play, human servant?  That's nice.  Go get a stupid dog," says the cat.  Projecting its stupidity onto dogs, the cat obscures the cat fan's awareness of cat stupidity.

The cat won't go backpacking with you and let you know about the presence of animals you may want to investigate or observe.  The cat wants you to give it a crystal bowl of caviar-like Upscale Food and then leave it alone to groom its perfect coat of white angora fur.

In short, the cat is a lot like the stereotypical Gay Friend in a movie or sitcom.

Which probably explains why my fellow progressives and leftists like them, because it seems that affiliation with gayness is the ultimate trump card for a leftist or progressive.

Shame, for being heterosexual!

*********************

I remain confused by the ironic impulse of my fellow Feminists, leftists and progressives toward behavior that actually resembles the sorts of closed-minded, backward-oriented and reactionary viewpoint that my fellow Feminists, leftists and progressives so often complain about.

Maybe someone can help explain this situation?  I remain optimistic about it, though guardedly so.


_______________________________

* I'm not too introspective, though I do enjoy being mistaken for an intellectual.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I showed up for a debate, and my adversary was wielding a hammer

Since I'm a Feminist, I have a lot of Feminist friends. And one of the things I notice about my Feminist friends is their faddish (because relatively new) admiration for someone I've never heard of until one of my Feminist friends started throwing his name around with regularity. This hot new admiration-fad property is called "Corey Robin."

When I discovered Hot New Fad's website, I tried to read some of Hot New Fad's entries, and the comment threads they prompted. Each time I waded in, the kelp and sea grape entwined themselves around my legs, and nearly held me in place. It was a little bit stifling, an odd claustrophobia. Above the waterline I was free to move, but down below the surface my legs were caught in a thicket of aquatic plants that held on with a strange vengefulness.

Since I'm an open-minded sort, I started with the assumption that maybe Hot New Fad was a lot smarter than I am. I humbled myself to Hot New Fad's insider lingo, his favorite turns of phrase (however awkward), and his steady aim narrowed down on one particular target.

I have to admit that I share in the targeting of this particular category of human. If you've read my last entry, you know this already. Just like Hot New Fad, I am gravely concerned about the problem of Reactionary Thought on the American Landscape. It concerns me so deeply and is so pervasive in my everyday consciousness that I considered it very likely that I would feel a spiritual kinship with Hot New Fad.

I was let down.

I sought a little audience with Hot New Fad, so that I could test the grounds for the inconsistency between what I saw as "reactionary," and what Hot New Fad is inclined to label as "reactionary." Initially, HNF refused, but allowed his small cadre of blog-visiting commenters to unfurl the banner and march into battle. But the cadre weren't really up to the task. Within several posts I'd already had them chasing their own tails and beating a retreat back to the welcoming arms of HNF's Expertise on The Subject.

It was at this very moment that I implored HNF to step forward with his superior grasp of things. Having been cowed and shamed, the cadre joined in the imploring and ramped it up nicely, essentially forcing HNF to join the battle.

Once underway the discussion took a strange course. It quickly became apparent that HNF doesn't want for overgeneralizing impulses. Nearly everything that HNF found distasteful on the American Landscape, he blamed on The Reactionary Mind. Obama wasn't succeeding as The Progressive Saviour because reactionaries were thwarting him. Obama couldn't stop the bailout of Wall Street because if he did, reactionaries would squeal like stuck pigs -- and Obama can't, and shouldn't have to, be put in a position to answer to such shrieking. Obama had to use Romney's Romneycare plan for the reform of health care because if he didn't, reactionaries would filibuster and hold up the process. Everywhere one turned (or, everywhere HNF turned, at least) there was a reactionary stopping progress.

It all seemed a little too trite, a wee bit oversimple, a scoche broad-brush, a mite unsubtle.

By this point in my Feminism* I'd learned that Obama might have a beautiful, self-confident Feminist wife, but he didn't seem a Feminist himself. It was as if Obama married Michelle because she was Feminist, so that he wouldn't have to court Feminists himself -- he could always point at Michelle and by so doing, imply that he must be a feminist because he's married to one, so stop questioning his commitment to women's rights.

For a lot of my progressive friends, marriage to Michelle and the jokes about using weapons of destruction to "protect" his daughters was proof that Obama is a true Feminist.  But I was skeptical.  Maybe a bit too skeptical, but perhaps some of you can understand my skepticism.

I found it tough to believe that Obama was "forced" or "required" to do anything merely because random reactionaries on the American landscape might be displeased by one path or another.  It seems to me that Obama is very principled, and a fairly strong person.  Why would such a person feel bullied by vague, unspecified sentiments of reactionary thought that might possibly be circulating in the American populace?

In response, HNF just pulled out his big hammer and started smashing things, while making repeated reference to Reactionary ABC, or Reactionary JKL, or Reactionary PQR.

"See?  He CAN'T do the right thing because he's surrounded by REACTIONARIES, and they are constantly pressuring him to serve the interests of REACTIONARIES rather than executing the will of the true progressives of America."

whack!

"Obama actually wants to give full medical care without a massive windfall for private insurance companies, but REACTIONARIES have created too many obstacles to that end.  Because of REACTIONARIES, we have to use Obamacare, and we have to give yet another windfall to sectors of the economy that aren't in trouble."

whack!

"Yes, it's true -- Obama did bail out Wall Street instead of taking the same amount of money and awarding it to people whose mortgages were in default, but REACTIONARIES required him to do this, so he wasn't free to do what he really wanted there.  Besides, you can't just go giving money to poor people, their default shows they're irresponsible!"

whack!

Thank you Corey, may I have another?


Where's the nuance?  There is no nuance with HNF, not when laying blame for things that trouble HNF.  But if you ask HNF why we Progressives can't manage to wrest free of the fettering power of the free-floating Reactionary Mind's presence in American culture, you'll find all the nuance you seek.

Why is that?


_____________________________

* Yes, it's true.  I was once a pitiful pawn of misogynist cultural imagery and the dominant patriarchal arm of our culture, and considered myself a mere female human, rather than a far superior organism with special entitlements.  My, how far I've come.  What's most shocking is that I did so without ever encountering the thoughts of HNF.  How did I ever manage it?

Monday, September 17, 2012

What we all love

We Feminist progressive leftists are keen on letting others do the work.  That's why we're Feminists!

Work is for reactionary knuckle-dragging MEN, those horrific penis possessors who prefer to insert their tool into vaginal, rather than anal, openings.

Our most favorite thing between now and the November Anniversary of Democratic Participation in The Big Charade is a big surging boost for Occupy:___________.

Now, we've been apathetic and ignorant toward Occupy: during the past 9 months, but it's highly crucial for all of us to re-invigorate our desire to have others do the heavy work of social change!

After all, if we don't renew our worship of those Occupy: people, it may devolve to the point where we actually are tasked with helping to change things ourselves.

And let's remember our battle plan, fellow Feminists.

1) Blame Reactionaries.  By blaming reactionaries, we deflect attention away from our own complicity and inaction.

2) Seek social change through academic appointment of leftist intellectuals to teaching or research slots. We have been taught to seek change from within, incrementally, over a several-thousand-year cycle. We don't dare question the utility of that approach. Those who taught it to us are our superiors.  Who are we to doubt them?

3) Effect social change by browbeating reactionaries regarding the heroic revolutionary impulses shown by Occupy:________ personnel. This is a relative of point (1) but the emphasis here is on having others doing the work of social change, while we sit back and pontificate or lecture on the subject. Our participation is limited to juvenile pot-shots, catty limpwristed snark, and declarations of outrage at the existence of people who hold opinions different from our own.

4) Cross our fingers regarding eternal avoidance of personal social change activity. This one is crucial to our continued comfortable existence. Honestly, if we have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, we're going to do it planting an organic garden in a windowbox at our 5k sq ft McMansion, or we'll dirty our hands making "art" that we imagine to be a post-modern critique of the horrible idiocy of reactionary misogynists.

******************

We've got another big issue we can rally around, fellow Feminists.

That's public education.  Imagine this:  there are actually people in America who do not worship at the altar of The Church of Public School Perfection.

There are actually people who criticize the quality of public education!

Can you believe it?

Now, we've all been through highly refined private schools ourselves but we are truly committed to the struggle experienced by the unfortunately less-economically-gifted and social-superiority-deficient members of the sub-middle class.  Truly committed.

So truly.

So very truly.

We'll remind you of this at any opportunity.

From our background of private schooling, we can tell you that the claims of public school inferiority are trumped up, or massively exaggerated. We happen to know from not experiencing public education that lowest common denominator teaching is superior to individual attention and individual pacing. There's absolutely no comparison! LCD always wins!

Whenever you see some poor, slobbering reactionary criticizing public schools, just tell him:

YOU'RE AN IDIOT REACTIONARY!

That will get the point across nicely.

And if you can't scream (i.e., you're at a funeral) then simply remind the poor dumb reactionary that many people in your family were public school teachers, and that means public schools are superior in every way.

WPVU

No, it's not a radio station.

Women's Progressive Vitriol Union.

Membership applications currently being accepted.  XY genetic humans may apply, but must offer solid credentials to support their claim to Feminist identification.  For example, if you're a guy but you run around the Internet looking for what you imagine to be misogyny or other reactionary attitudes, and can provide links to the corrective put-downs you've typed and left at others' web sites, please share them.

The Comments Thread is where you may apply, fellow Feminists.

Viva Vagina!

(By the way:  it is now the duty of you, visitor, to be able to discern when I am joking, when I am serious, when I am making fun of your favorite hero/ine, and when I am showing respect to a person, entity or construct that you hate with all your might.  Vegas and local bookie odds on your accuracy in such discernment are almost exclusively set against your success, but you're always encouraged to make a good effort.  Your failure in such labors is the fuel propelling American Society forward.)