• Hey! We're on Twitter!

  • Buy The Book!



    Click to Buy The Mug

    Buy The Book

Archive for June, 2010

Classy, PBS-Like Foreign Post

Posted by s.z. on June 29th, 2010

In an effort to add some international savoir-faire to our blog, I decided to post a recent article from a French news source. You can use it both to improve your foreign language skills and to gain some Continental perspective on current events.

The piece I have selected is from an online publication called “Pure People.” For those of you who don’t read French, I will try to translate as we go along. However, I must warn you that WordPress apparently metamorphized into a new species while I was trying to post this, so some of the prose may have been mangled during the transition. Read at your own risk.

David Caruso : Avec ses enfants, il oublie tous ses soucis judiciaires !

David Caruso: With his children, he forgets all his legal worries

Chaussé de Crocs, le sympathique mais peu souriant acteur David Caruso s’accorde des moments de qualité avec ses enfants pour chasser de sa vie ses récents problèmes…

Chased by crocodiles, the sympathetic but little smiling actor David Caruso grants a few quality moments to his children in an effort to drive from his life his recent problems

Bien embêté par son ex-femme qui lui réclame des sommes considérables, la star de la série Les Experts : Miami a décidé d’emmener dîner ses enfants…

Really bugged by his ex-wife who wants a lot of money from him or she goes to the police, the star of the series “The Experts: Miami” decides to eat his children.

En tenue terriblement décontractée, David Caruso a préparé son fils Marquez Anthony et sa fille Paloma Raquel pour sortir… Celui qui incarne à l’écran Horatio Caine leur a offert un bon repas au restaurant Carney’s train à Studio City, en les inondant de son amour… Un vrai papa poule !

Looking terribly laid-back and icky, David Caruso has prepared his son Marquee Anthony and his daughter Palm Tree to leave the house. The guy who incarnates on the screen Horatio Caine is giving the kids a good meal at the Studio City restaurant “Meat”, where he floods them with his love, a true father hen and a big pussy.

Epaulé par une nounou, le comédien de 54 ans s’est bien occupé de ses deux adorables bambins qui aiment eux aussi passer du temps avec leur papa, sans se soucier de la déchirure de leur famille…

Helped by a nanny who does all the real work, the 54-year-old comedian cares for his two adorable kids, who are forced to pretend that they like spending time with their papa, pretending not to worry about the rending of their family by their creepy father, who destroyed their home with his weird sexual practices, his overweening ego, and his head filled with poop.

There, wasn’t that educational? I hope you have found amusant this tres gentil post about un dickhead formidable.

Get Out the Voodoo Dolls

Posted by s.z. on June 29th, 2010

We recently learned that Wo’C favorite heydave hates the TV series “Bones” with “the burning fury of a bazillion evil suns scorching the surfaces of a gadzillion dead planets.” Good call, heydave!

So, question to the rest of you is: what television program do you dream of cutting to pieces with a machete, dousing the remains with jet fuel, lighting them on fire, and then flushing the ashes down the toilet?

My pick would have to be “CSI Miami,” partly because it tries to be super trendy, sexy, and edgy, but is really just dumb — and still gets in the top ten, ratings wise, every week. It’s just not fair! But the main reason I hate it is because of David Caruso. It’s obvious that the writers have specific instructions to make his character Horatio Caine (or Ho Canine, as I like to call him) the most knowledgeable, sensitive, macho, intelligent, desirable, action-star-who-is-looking-out-for-the-children crime scene investigator EVER! But he comes across as a humorless, boring, egomaniac, so the disconnect between what I am supposed to think of him and reality annoys me. Plus, he reminds me of an old boss. Oh, and I think I am still suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from viewing Jade, the “erotic thriller” Caruso made after deciding he was too good for “NYPD Blue.”

But maybe I am wrong, and there are other TV shows that I should be detesting instead of “CSI Miami.” What is your pick for the coveted honor of “TV Show That Should Be Shot and Then Forced to Watch Itself for All Etenity”?

Snaphots of Sarah

Posted by s.z. on June 29th, 2010

Last week AOL News did a piece about Sarah Palin’s official photographer, by Sarah’s biographer (“Shushannah Walshe is the co-author of “Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar”). For those of you who don’t subscribe to AOL (which, I imagine, would be all of you), here are the highlights of the article.

Palin’s Private Photographer Has Seen It All

And that’s why she drinks to forget

By Shushannah Walshe

Shealah Craighead works in pictures, not words, but she’s got a lot of good Sarah Palin stories. Here’s one from this winter:

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Palin is spending it at the Daytona 500. As Palin is greeted by the usual crush of fans, Craighead and other members of Palin’s retinue are eyeing another celebrity in attendance, a certain dreamy jazz musician-slash-actor.

Afterward, Craighead can’t resist the opportunity for some girl talk.

“You just sat next to Harry Connick Jr. for 10 minutes! Isn’t he so dreamy?”

“Isn’t he!?” replies Palin, laughing.

Wow, that IS a great Sarah Palin story! (Seriously, that’s the whole story.) Not only do we learn something new and unexpected about Sarah (that Harry Connick Jr. would sit next to her for 10 minutes without excusing himself), we also discover that Sarah’s biographer has to really work to find a story that make Sarah seem half-way human.

(As Ms. Walshe observes, Sarah “has a reputation of chewing through even loyal aides and advisers.” She adds that “the less-than-a-handful of people in her current inner circle seem to genuinely like Palin as a person and enjoy being around her,” but frankly, we find it very hard to believe that Sarah found 3 or 4 people who like her.)

As we learn later, photog Whitehead purposefully tries not to learn anything about Sarah, because she’s afraid if she does, her contempt will affect how she photographs her subject. Here, I’ll let her tell you:

In keeping with her preferred approach, Craighead never talks politics or religion with Palin. If other aides broach those topics with Palin while she’s present, she tries to excuse herself. Of course, that’s not always possible in the rapid-fire world she’s working in.

Craighead says she still recalls the infamous prank call on the Palin campaign from a Canadian comedy duo who duped Palin into believing she was speaking to the president of France. As staffers swung into damage-control mode, things got “awkward” for Craighead. “Those are the moments when I’m like, ‘I’m out. You shouldn’t hear this,’” she says.

Yes, Sergeant Schulz, you know NOTHING! Keep your head in the sand long enough and not only won’t you realize that Sarah is an idiot, the lack of oxygen to your brain will probably make her even seem smart!

“I don’t judge my clients on what they’ve said or didn’t say or their beliefs or non-beliefs or their actions or non-actions, because that’s not my job,” Craighead adds. “If you don’t like this person for whatever reason, you might tend to photograph it in a light that’s negative. You might publish some unflattering photographs … or take photos from an angle that might be unflattering to anybody. At the end of the day I don’t want that to even be a possibility.”

Yes, if you spend anytime talking to Sarah, you would probably photograph her in a light like this:


Anyway, Craighead, who followed Sarah around as she campaigned for VP and then went along on the “Going Rogue” tour, has snapped about 500,000 pictures of Ms. Palin. What for, you may ask?

Everyone who had a copy of “Going Rogue” signed by Palin was able to buy a snapshot by Craighead memorializing the moment.

So, it’s like when you go to the amusement park and they take your photo as you puke your guts out on the roller coaster, and then they try to sell you those shots.

But the vast majority of her photos have been kept from public consumption, retained for some as-yet-undetermined use — perhaps a Palin 2012 website, or an exhibit in a future Palin Presidential Library?

Or perhaps Whitehead is trying to steal Sarah’s soul (as a public service), and it just isn’t working (because obviously hasn’t got one).

Or, maybe if the Presidential Library doesn’t pan out, the photos can be used as part of Sarah’s beatification . . .

The throngs of adoring followers who turned out for Palin’s book tour, Craighead says, was an intense thing to witness and photograph. “People would come through the line after waiting for hours. Sometimes the line moved so quickly that they weren’t able to get in a conversation, but they would just want to touch her and some people would want to pray with her,” Craighead says. “It’s just a whole religious aspect around the governor in itself in the way people reacted to her thinking that maybe she has a higher power.”

And, that, folks, is the scariest thing I’ve read all day.

Anyway, if you want to see some of the book-signing crowd, Whitehead has a gallery online. As you look through it, you can just see the people reacting to Sarah’s higher power.

MysteryFanFic 3000

Posted by Maryc on June 28th, 2010

As you may have noticed, I’m got a huge crush on Nathan Fillion. Any film or show he’s in? I am so there. And thus it is with his latest (and most successful) television series, Castle.

In a nutshell, Castle is a comedic crime procedural, with a hefty dose of classic, romantic Unresolved Sexual Tension. In it, Nathan (as Richard Castle) is paired with the stunning Stana Katic (as Kate Beckett) in a “will they, won’t they…..okay. They totally will, but when will they” story of a mystery novelist who is shadowing a no-nonsense homicide detective as research. Hilarity, hijinks and double entendres ensue! (Also, dollops of grim backstory about the cop’s murdered mother, but mostly hijinks).

So what do you do when your favorite show goes on hiatus for the summer? You visit the fan fiction sites devoted to that show, and (because you’re married to one half of a writing team that seeks out and mocks bad movies, and it’s sort of rubbed off to the point that you occasionally feel a need to rock the mock yourself), you dig around looking for the most horribly written and unintentionally hilarious piece of crap you can find.

And so, with no further adieu, I give you the absolute worst (so far) Castle fan fiction ever, riffed on by yours truly.


Click and go below the fold…if you dare!


In Case of Fertilization, Break Glass

Posted by scott on June 27th, 2010


Judie Brown, as you may recall, is president of the American Life League, which I think is the one that used that flashy red, white, and blue ball; an advisor to Pope Benedict; and “one of the top 100 Catholics of the 20th century,” according to The Daily Catholic. She probably would have made the Top 100 Catholics of the 21st century, but The Daily Catholic, as commenter Djur pointed out, is “a sedevacantist rag,” so they hate pretty much everyone who continued to Catholicize after 1962.

Ethics, morality, and in vitro fertilization

Shorter Judy: One of these things is not like the other/One of these things does not belong.

Shortly after my insights on the clinical problems with in vitro fertilization were published…

…in the prestigious and peer-reviewed forum of her own blog, where she offers the following clinical analysis: “While it is a blessing for these couples to have the opportunity to bring children into the world, we wonder if they realize that they are proceeding along a route that is fraught with danger and death.” But some of her readers don’t quite understand how the introduction of a turkey baster turns motherhood into a summer tentpole action film.

Subsequently, we have received a few questions about why American Life League so vehemently opposes in vitro fertilization. Many Americans do not understand Catholic teaching on this question nor do they understand how a couple facing infertility can actually find answers without going down the very costly path of assisted reproductive technology (assisted reproductive technology).

Oh. (Oh.)

In order to clearly understand why assisted reproductive technology is problematic, it is essential to know that the Catholic Church teaches that the child has the right to be “the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents; and he also has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception [biological beginning].” Children are not chattel nor are they property.

Okay, but I was conceived naturally, and obviously nobody told my mother about the No-Chattel Rule, so maybe if I hadn’t been Conjugal Love Fruit she wouldn’t have made me go out in the yard every day and pick up dog crap with a trowel.

The desire to give birth to a child is laudable, but when technology gets in the way of God’s plan, it can have devastating consequences on everyone involved. For example, one researcher has documented that the hormones doctors use to stimulate the ovaries can have negative effects on the women to whom they are administered. There may well be additional clinical reports that address the downside of in vitro fertilization as it affects the woman — and subsequently her husband.

There may indeed be additional clincial reports that address more stuff — who knows? There may well be hormones so powerful that simply by being in the same room with you, your husband will begin weeping and watching Lifetime. (In case you don’t want to get out of the boat, the link above leads to a .pdf of a report by the delightfully named Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, who was (in 1998 when her paper was published) an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, St. Mary’s University, the oldest Catholic college in San Antonio, TX. In other words, she’s got unimpeachable hard science credentials which rule out even the whiff of a possibility of bias.)

However, the fundamental question is, what can a couple facing infertility actually do? There are several options available for those who understand the moral and ethical dangers of using in vitro fertilization but still desperately desire to have a child.

By an amazing coincidence, they all involve the advanced scientific breakthroughs of Catholic dogma!

The best option is NaProTechnology. The doctor who mastered this treatment, Thomas Hilgers, M.D., points out, “Most medical approaches today bypass the woman’s problem or simply override her natural processes altogether. With NaPro, we find out why the body isn’t functioning correctly, then apply treatments that work cooperatively with the body.”

Although Dr. Hilgers is competing with IVF providers, he points out that his treatment is much less expensive — because it’s basically just the Rhythm Method in reverse. (Said Dr. Hilgers: “If you have a clogged sink, are you just going to pray about it-or are you going to call a plumber?” He explained that he is not playing God, he’s just being used to bring about God’s plan.) You know, I had surgery once, and I would have felt a lot more comfortable in that operating room if, just before I lost consciousness, the masked man standing over me holding a knife had said, “I am an instrument of the Lord.”

The truth is that practitioners of in vitro fertilization do not work to cure the underlying causes of infertility because they are not motivated to do so.

All they want to do is help you conceive a child and bring him or her to term; they clearly don’t even care about unclogging your sink!

Dr. Hilgers’ studies — and those of others who truly want to help couples overcome their infertility —

– as opposed to doctors working in IVF clinics, who don’t truly want to help, and are only using their patients’ wombs to hide their teeny tiny Easter eggs.

– indicate that “infertility is a symptom of underlying disease.”

Remember girls: if, at any moment, you’re not pregnant, you’re probably sick.

As long as in vitro fertilization and its progeny bring in the big money, there won’t be a huge outpouring of support from the medical community for those who, like Dr. Hilgers, believe in solving problems naturally instead of using technologies that are fraught with danger and disappointment.

But when aspiring parents finally realize that IVF is nothing but a pseudo-scientific boondoggle, they will gladly (and financially) support the research of Dr. Hilgers and his team of menstruation-timing monks, who are on the verge of proving that by inserting a poultice filled with a thermometer, a tiny hourglass, several ground-up rabbit testicles, and the ashes of St. Margaret of Antioch into a woman, they can make her great with child.

If you know someone who is experiencing infertility problems, the very best thing you can do for them is recommend that they contact the Pope Paul VI Institute.

Press “1″ if you are suffering from the disease of nonpregnancy. Press “2″ if you are possessed by Satan. Press “3″ if you are pregnant, but your fetus is possessed by a lesser demon. Press “4″ for Billing.



“I don’t get it…Why are they talking during the movie?”

And Moondoggie:


“I’m trying to be noir, but I can’t seem to get past beige…”

Death Wish Meets A Bug’s Life

Posted by scott on June 26th, 2010

You remember mental health professional Robin of Berkeley, who believes liberals are pathologically joyless because they always look depressed whenever she walks into the room, and who provides the same distance-diagnosis schtik as Charles Krauthammer, but at only half the price and a third of the credentials. Well, she’s back, and today she’s taking on the Bug Zappers of the Anti-Christ!

Deliver Us from Evil

It’s funny how trivial events somehow get seared into your brain.

Or into your column.

This one is from years ago, when I was enjoying a yogurt on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Suddenly, a large exotic bug appeared and started dancing around. Its iridescent colors caught the sun and glistened like a rainbow. A crowd formed to watch its antics in shared delight.

It’s funny how the trivial events in your life sound like they were stolen from a Warner Brothers cartoon.

Out of nowhere, a lunatic pushed through the crowd. I’d seen this guy before — paranoid, menacing. His rage toward the bug slit me like a knife.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m willing to bet that, in the 1500 year history of the English language, this is the first time anyone has written that particular sentence (at least since the Great Vowel Shift).

The insect was getting attention, people were happy, and he was out for revenge.

He’d already pithed Michigan J. Frog for a similar offense.

The man bolted through the crowd, possessed. He jumped on the bug, over and over and again. People gasped. A child cried. And then, as quickly as it began, it was all over.

This is bringing up memories — repressed, horrible memories! — of that tragic day when my Dad took me to the Flea Circus, and a lunatic stepped on the acrobats.

Silently, numbly, the crowd dispersed. The man, now triumphant, smiled hideously. I threw away the yogurt, which was now rendered tasteless.

I know exactly how you feel, Robin. I haven’t been able to touch Cheez-Wiz since I saw a hobo swat a Pacific Dampwood termite.

I’ll never forget the look of blind hatred on that man’s face. It communicated this: “I want what you have.”

“…a chitinous exoskeleton and a segmented thorax.”

And: “If I can’t have it, I’ll destroy it.”

He punctuated this threat with insane, cackling laughter, then asked, “Is that from Pinkberry? You gonna finish that?”

This random experience flashed in my mind recently when I was in a Berkeley bookstore. With my newfound interest in religion, I wanted to peruse that section.

After hunting down a clerk to unearth the tiny religion area, I perused the shelves.

That’s some pretty fierce determination. Reminds me of Caesar’s stark report to the Roman Senate on his battle with Pharnaces II of Pontus, “I came, I saw, I perused.”

In actuality, the area should have been called the Anti-Christianity Section.

While there were respectful tomes on the other religions, the Christianity section was a virtual pillorying of Jesus.

Shocking, I agree. That kind of thing has no place in a bookstore, which is supposed to cater to, even foster, an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and openness. Virtually pillorying Jesus is a pastime that’s much better left to some of the kinkier Catholic roleplay areas of Second Life.

Every book denounced him, mocked him, or reinvented him as something entirely new. There were books debunking the Gospel, with each author sounding gleeful, like a wicked child.

Now, I understand that some people reject religion. But why the venom? The contempt, the need to torpedo Christ?

Gleeful but contemptuous children always attack the Savior with venom-tipped torpedoes. We tried training sea snakes to attack him while he’s walking on water, but they’re all draftees and lack the necessary gung ho and esprit de corps, so our best strategy is to use a submarine to track the Messiah with passive sonar, running silent, running deep until he reaches the middle of the Dead Sea. Then we rise to periscope depth and fire our fish. If we’re lucky, he’ll get confused and accidentally multiply the fish so he goes up in a really big explosion.

This campaign against Christianity isn’t confined to an obscure Berkeley bookstore. And it didn’t begin with Obama. There’s been an active crusade for decades to try to destroy Jesus with Alinksy-like[sic] tactics: freeze the subject, humiliate, marginalize.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste.
I’ve been around for a long, long year,
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.
And I was round when Jesus Christ
Was subjected to Alinsky-like tactics such as freezing, humiliating and marginalizing.
Pleased to meet you!
Hope you guess my name…

“Saul Alinksy?”

“Uh…It’s Alinsky, actually, but, uh…Yeah. That’s right. (SIGH) Here…you win the plush panda.”

But while demonizing Christianity is nothing new, it’s reached a fever pitch since Obama came on the scene. It’s no wonder: Obama sent out clear messages from the start.


First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of placing a mildly irreverent pop-up book about Jesus in an obscure bookstore in Berkeley…

Obama’s first interview as president was for an Arab broadcaster. Then he covered up a cross at Notre Dame and was a no-show on the National Day of Prayer.

Lately, it seems like open season on Christians. The Pope has been subjected to unprecedented condemnation, with atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens plotting ways to have him arrested.

Actually, that seems more like open season on child molestation, which does sound kind of unfair, since pedophiles have traditionally been hunted in May, along with the spring gobblers.

Comedy Central plans a cartoon show mocking Jesus. On the TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David does something so offensive that I will only offer you a link.

That would be the Curb episode where Larry is taking some drug with diuretic side-effects and he pees so hard that some of the backsplash hits a portrait of Jesus over the toilet. The woman who owns it immediately assumes that the image is miraculously weeping, and Larry feels awkward about raining on her parade after golden showering her Messiah.

In the past I would simply put on my therapist cap with people like these. I’d probe their childhood for evidence of maltreatment. I’d label them as narcissists and antisocial personalities.

Which is how I plan to get therapy from Robin without paying for it — all she has to do is walk past a copy of , and she’ll be psycho-analyzing the hell out of us.

But now I have a different worldview, one that goes much deeper than just the psychological. Now I understand that this world is infused with the Divine. And that there is a competing force, one that is the polar opposite.

…a force that didn’t star in a series of John Waters films

I now have a word for that creepy feeling deep down in my gut. And I finally understand the source.

Excellent! I think we’ve made a breakthrough. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have today –

Now I see what’s really behind the campaign to banish religion; it’s to render us utterly helpless. Because after all, without God, what protection is there in this brutal world?

Sadly, grievously, I look out on my country. I see the corruption and undoing. I witness the ever-growing tsunami of hate that threatens everyone in its path.

And I see citizens oblivious to the dangers because they’re mired in the slime of moral relativism. They have no language, no hiding place, no possible way to shield their children in the deep and darkest nights.

Geez! One guys steps on a cicada, and suddenly it’s The Road.

And I see that lunatic, the one with the crazy, hollow eyes. But he’s not just on Telegraph Avenue.

“Wherever there’s a guy beatin’ up on a bug, I’ll be there…”

He’s far and wide: in the hallowed halls of Congress, in the institutes of higher learning, in basement rooms where small men troll.

I don’t care how small you are; if you can troll in your basement, you really ought to check to see if your water heater is leaking.

If you listen closely, you can hear that same diabolical cry: “I want what you have.

That’s the same diabolical cry I often hear at Baja Fresh when I order the Mahi Mahi Crispy Tacos but my companion unwisely went with the Bare Burrito.

And if I can’t have it, I’ll destroy it.”

Curiously, this is the same thing Robin says to her clients when talking about their sanity.

Thought I’d take a stroll around the Boulevard and environs and check out our friendly neighborhood golems.



Let Them Drink Tea*

Posted by s.z. on June 23rd, 2010

*Or, The Conservative Intellectual Elite Should Meet American Thinker.com.

It seems that the Conservative Elite had a garden party last week, and somehow World o’Crap’s invitation got lost. But let’s read about it anyway, won’t we?

The Party, in Exile

THAT the e-mailed dinner party invitation warned recipients not to forward “due to security reasons” lent the evening a frisson of intrigue, even danger.

I think that Emily Post says that if you’re going to use email instead of the proper engraved vellum note paper to invite people to a party, the least you can do is to add a “security reasons” caveat to give it that upper-crust cachet.

But here in a tiki-lantern-lighted backyard garden in northwest Washington last Saturday night, the only palpable threat was the leaden humidity.

“We’re originally from Canada,” the hostess, Danielle Crittenden Frum, declared, throwing her slender arms up in the air.

“We still haven’t quite realized that in D.C., garden parties are meant for September, not June.”

Translation: “Despite living here for years, we’re not bright enough to know that summer is hot – but we try to make up for it by being slender.”

Otherwise, the ambience at this intimate cocktail and buffet in honor of the Somalian-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali — a woman who faced death threats even before she wrote a film that led to the murder of its director, Theo van Gogh — was one of ease.

It’s so nice to see conservatives enjoying themselves in their native habitat, the cocktail party.

“Nice to see you,” total strangers said upon introduction, as if fearing the failure to recognize someone possibly met on a previous occasion. Or perhaps in certain Washington circles people assume they already know everyone else. Either way, here at the stately Wesley Heights home of the former Bush speechwriter, David (“axis of evil”) Frum, and his wife, the writer Ms. Frum, nearly everyone did. Far from the typical New York book party, this was more a bunkering of the conservative intellectual elite, a group that domineered its way through the Bush years but is now sidelined, a somewhat baffled shadow of its former blustery self.

Yes, it is sad to see this species on its way to extinction. I remember just six or seven years ago, when the Axi of Evil used to run wild and free across most of Northern America.

Whither the conservative establishment in today’s bilious political landscape? Certainly the typical Tea Party denizen, with his “I Wanna Party Like It’s 1773” T-shirt and “You Lie!” trucker hat, would seem out of place on the Frums’ well-tended grounds, nibbling chicken skewers and mini-B.L.T.’s.

They would seem out of place because, well, they weren’t invited. Who wants uncouth yokels like the Tea Partiers at a classy shindig?

On hand was a coterie of commentators, more in summer-frock mode than Fox News attire — Laura Ingraham, Mona Charen, Meghan Cox Gurdon,

Meghan Cox Gurdon, America’s Worst Mother, was there!? Now we feel really bad about not being invited!

. . . and Barbara Amiel, the wife of the disgraced media baron Conrad Black, now incarcerated at a Florida prison.

Yeah, the prison time is one of the drawbacks of being part of the conservative intellectual elite.

Also milling about the white-painted porch and leafy garden were the “independent” gay journalists Jonathan Rauch and James Kirchick and members of the disenchanted left, most notably the contrarian in chief Christopher Hitchens.

Come on, even though Hitchens was a Marxist wacko back in the day, since at least 9/11 he’s been a Bush-supporting wingnut scaredy-baby, so the law says that the conservatives have to claim Hitchens as one of their own.

But the majority of guests occupied a newly precarious purgatory. Among those on the waning right was the host, Mr. Frum, who welcomed everyone with brief, glowing remarks about the guest of honor, using words such as “strength,” “courage” and “intelligence.” Mr. Frum lost his salaried post at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, in March, after calling the passage of health care legislation the Republican party’s “Waterloo.” The institute denied any connection between the two events, but Mr. Frum’s column elicited a ferocious slap from the conservative blogosphere.

Sure, the conservative blogosphere slaps like a girl, but when it pouts and flounces it can really make its pique known.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal editorial page witheringly described its former employee this way: “Mr. Frum now makes his living as the media’s go-to basher of fellow Republicans.”

Hell hath no fury like a Wall Street Journal scorned.

Also present was The Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, prom-girl pretty and winner of a Pulitzer this spring for “gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions,” including a rebuke of Sarah Palin.

Kathleen won a Pulitzer this spring? And she won it for graceful sharing of values??? This is the same Kathleen Parker who wrote the Town Hall column “Gay marriage: A trip to the moon on Gossamer wings”? Geez, the world really has changed since I stopped paying attention to it!

“Like all the best conservatives, I started off as a liberal,” she trilled.

Well, at least she’s still the annoying twit that I remember.

In a similar display of the intellectual right’s discomfort with Wasilla-brand populism, Ms. Frum mocked a speech by Ms. Palin in April on The Huffington Post. (“There was not a single memorable line, not a single new political idea, not a single proffered solution beyond the cliché.”)

Yes, it’s girls like Sarah who are getting invited to the prom these days, not “intellectuals” like Danielle, Kathleen, and the lovely Mona Charen. But instead of moping, all you denizens of Precarious Purgatory should take a lesson from Ms. Palin: being easy is a sure path to popularity!

And lending a poignant immediacy to the rejiggered state of affairs was the Republican Senator Robert Bennett, ousted last month in the Utah primary for his votes on health care and Wall Street reform.

Yeah, it’s always poignant when Republicans get fired for not being crazy enough.

After an exhortation from the Frums’ bobbed 8-year-old daughter, Bea, to “Please buy lots of books now,” Ms. Hirsi Ali signed copies at a table in the corner, where a bookseller sat, unattended. The people at a party like this — pontificators, politicians — are typically sent such books free.

The nobility never has to buy its own books like a common NewsMax subscriber! But I do think it’s a nice Gurdonian-touch that the Frums make their bobbed 8-year-old daughter shill for the bookseller at their dinner parties.

Dinner conversation over poached tilefish and grilled asparagus ranged from the flotilla to health care to headscarves.

And I’m sure it also touched on the yacht races, the latest “in” vacation site, and the impossibility of getting good help these days.

The conversation turned to Iran. “Look at the way the left stood up to South Africa. Where are the feminists when it comes to the situation for women in Iran?” Ms. Sommers said. “Liberal intellectuals are more offended by Islamophobia than they are by sharia,” or Islamic law, Mr. Hitchens offered.

Mr. Hitchens, I am only a member of the liberal hoi polloi, but in my opinion it’s more effective to speak out against wrongs I see in America than it is to tell other countries how offensive I find their legal system, religious beliefs, and stupid traditions. But hey, feel free to tell feminists they are caring about the wrong stuff, Chris — I’m sure they appreciate it.

By 11 p.m., the guests had finished the remaining bottles of red wine and berry-topped petit fours. The Frums’ daughter had long ceased splashing in the pool and gone up to bed.

I imagine that there was a nanny or two keeping an eye on her, but I still have the image of a bobbed nine-year-old playing in the pool, all alone in the dark, while the pride of conservatism finishes off the remaining bottles of wine and carps about feminists. Eventually the girl puts herself to bed, wondering if anyone would have noticed if she had drowned.

Say, maybe Danielle could take over as America’s Worst Mother!

Anyway, for the Tea Party perspective, we now turn to Mary Grabar, the People’s Ph.D.

Profiling Populists and the Tea Party

I guess I’m a populist even though with a Ph.D. in English I don’t fit the profile.

You remember Mary Grabar – like Dr. Mike, she has a Ph.D. But unlike Dr. Mike, she mentions it in EVERY FRIGGIN COLUMN!

As someone who has attended tea party rallies and town hall meetings here in Georgia I’m supposed to have “common sense” but not much book-learning. You know, we can fix cars, bake a cherry pie, and clean a pistol.

Yeah, she’s way too smart and well educated to be considered “one of the people,” and yet she is!

I’m part of a group that can be “ugly,” according to Paul Krugman.

Oh, Mary, I’m sure Paul thinks you’re pretty! (Not as pretty as Kathleen Parker, of course, but pretty in your own way.)

This sentiment, unfortunately, was repeated by Lee Harris in his new otherwise impressive book titled The Next American Civil War: The Populist Revolt against the Liberal Elite. Harris does see the movement as evidence of a healthy American “natural libertarianism.” But in placing the movement into the context of populist movements (many of them bloody) in history, he mischaracterizes it as tending toward irrationality and paranoia.

The Tea Party movement has the reputation of tending towards irrationality and paranoia? Say it ain’t so, Mary!

Anyway, Mary goes on to explain why the liberal elite (which are the real bad guys in Harris’s book) are a bunch of jerks, especially the ones she works with.

In academia I’ve seen them spin their grand theories, cite each others’ theories, and then claim that their work has been “peer-reviewed.” Their intellectual circle becomes smaller and smaller, their language more specialized as it obscures the paucity of real learning.

And because they have controlled education and the media, they simply instate like-minded, intellectually intolerant peers. They award each other graduate degrees, tenure, editorships, and awards.

Wait, academics are the ones who give out the academic degrees? That doesn’t seem right!

They dumb down educational requirements.

Um, Mary, are you sure you want people to start doubting the worth of Ph.D.s?

That a certain group of people sees through this charade indicates their knowledge of history and human nature. They are rightfully leery of a celebrity politician who promises to “spread the wealth.” They educate their kids at home, teach them Latin and Aristotle’s rhetoric—the hard subjects that have been eliminated by these supposed intellectuals in charge of education. And as this month’s elections show, they are having an influence through the electoral process—and not as modern-day mobs of pitchfork-carrying peasants.

I would encourage liberals—and conservatives—to learn more about the tea party. Most of the participants know more about the history of the West and the Constitution than do most high school social studies teachers.

Yeah, David Frum and Danielle Crittenden! Those tea-partiers whom you despise know Latin and Aristotelian rhetoric and history and such. They probably even know that it’s hot in D.C. in June. And, unlike you conservative intellectuals, THEY are the ones who are influencing the electoral process, being interviewed on Fox News, and coming up with the good ideas, like paying for insurance with chickens. So, you might consider inviting the Tea Party crowd to the next party you hold at your stately home with the white-painted porch and leafy garden. They might wipe their mouths with their sleeves, but they are a lot more smarter than you think!

There are even some professors among them.

But, sadly, not Mary – she’s just an “instructor.” So maybe she really does fit the profile as a populist after all.

UPDATE: The link to the NY Times story about the party is now fixed (thanks for letting us know about it, D. Sidhe). And if you go here, you can see an artistic depiction of some of the guests, all ready for their own appearances in court to answer charges of “disgrace.”

Mary and I want to hit the Pause button on the snark and take a moment to thank the many, astonishingly kind people who have contributed to the Beg-A-Thon.


I had a lot of trepidation going into this (okay, “shame” might be a better word), but the response from the World O’ Crap community has caused me to develop that same enlarged heart condition suffered by the Grinch, which is tremendously moving, but also a sign that maybe I should go easy on the roast beast, or at least stick to the white meat.


I learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature; and because of it, the greatest in the universe…

A surprising number of people (well, surprising to me, as I’m a misanthrope) have stepped up to help us — old friends o’ the blog, some of whom are in reduced circumstances themselves, and yet still scrounged up cash to help; old-timers — some of them veterans of the Salon blog days — who I was touched to discover are still reading WOC; and a lot of people whose names were new to me, but who’ve nonetheless been dropping by regularly for the past few years. And as I was staring at all these emails in slack-jawed amazement, Mary looked over my shoulder and said, “I bet you feel a little like George Bailey.”

It’s funny because it’s true.

And because, as you know, I kinda hate George Bailey.

I also want to extend my humblest thanks to the inimitable s.z., who — despite being the sole caretaker for a dozen rescue animals, some of whom have special needs (beyond the usual need to barf and pee all over her house) — very generously offered to write something for the Beg-A-Thon. It was like the super ninja assassin coming out of retirement for One Last Job, except she wound up contributing three posts, so it was sort of like the super ninja assassin rediscovered her taste for blood and really started tearing through the supporting cast. It was a joy to read her again, and though I know she doesn’t have a lot of free time to surf the wingnut sites, I hope we’ll see her back here again before long.

Actually, I know we will…

Thanks to you guys we’ve gotten some enormously welcome breathing space around here. I’ve been able to make things right with our hosting service, refill my cluster headache medication (which may help to stem another kind of service interruption), and — a small action item in the greater cosmic scheme, but a joyous thing for me nonetheless — I was able to reactivate my Netflix account, so we’re now back at work on (which still needs a title, but that’s a future contest). Anyway, s.z. and I will be posting some of the new material here as we start to hammer it into shape.

The PayPay button will remain in case anyone else wants to get in on the love (a few people wrote to say they were waiting til the end of the month, and to chide me for my crappy timing) or if you’d prefer the Pony Express, feel free to write to me at scott.clevenger-at-gmail.com for our snail mail address. But in the meantime, let’s take a quick look at what’s New in Wingnuttia today. First up, this eye-catching item from Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller:


Daily Caller goes on to imply that at some point in the near future, the eponymous road will be used by Obama’s feets, providing they do not fail him.


Over at RenewAmerica, Shermp, the Forgotten Stooge has repeatedly warned us that America is about to become a dictatorship! Then she warned us that it’s become a dictatorship! Then it went back to just about to become a dictatorship! Now it’s a dictatorship again! And I have it on good authority that tomorrow America will be Half-Dictatorship, Half-Peanut Butter Nougat.

The Obama slippery slope is gone and it’s day 563 of our captivity

The slope is no longer slippery, folks.

This is invariably the sign that a democratic society is about to collapse; if you recall your Gibbon, the death of the Roman Republic became inevitable when Julius Caesar was appointed dictator perpetuo, and all the inclined planes in Rome became dry and scaly.

In fact, the slope is no longer visible.

I come from simple hill folk, and the first bits of woodlore my grandpappy taught me was, “always approach your prey from downwind,” and “you can’t see a mountain unless it’s damp.”

We-the-People are already tumbling head over heels down the mountainside.

If only the mountain had been moist, we might have seen it. Even worse, because it’s so dry, We-the-People are getting slope-burn.

And said mountainside is Mt. Everest.

That’s what we show biz folk call “the reveal.”

For those of you who are still unaware, we are already living in and under the Obama Tyranny.

Well, to get technical about it, some of us are living in and around and out and about the Obama Tyranny (although a small number of us are living over and under the Tyranny just to be dicks about it).

You may have missed it but, you and we were forced over the cliff’s edge with ObamaCare;

Oh, me know. And us feel sorry for I and them.

which was passed by Dictator-in-Chief Obama with the full knowledge and gleeful demeanor that he was forcing it against the will of the American people.

Well, at least he’s .

After the first poison pill was shoved down our throats, there was nothing to stop The Obama.

He began shoving fistfuls of a fruited bread stuffing with raisins and pecans and apples down our throat. We’re dead, but delicious.

He got away with it the first time and will now rule everything in true tyrannical fashion — without the need of a pesky legislative or judicial branch and certainly not the opposition votes from an increasingly aware US electorate.

The more aware the electorate becomes, the more quickly our democracy decays, so if you really care about liberty, you’ll put down that newspaper and go watch The Jersey Shore. It’s what John Adams would’ve done.

It was announced yesterday the Obama is seriously considering a blanket Amnesty for ALL illegals in the country.

But then he decided to get the Pigs-in-a-Blanket with a side of German potato salad, slice of honeydew melon, and an Arnold Palmer.

He plans to affect it via Executive (make that “Tyrant”) Order. In that way, he can overturn the 2010 — and most certainly the 2012 — elections before they even occur.

We-the-People are now completely irrelevant.

We’re also kind of clumsy, and even I and we have to admit it’s hard to respect a You-the-People who are always screaming and flailing their arms as they pinwheel down a mountainside.

Regarding ObamaCare, Seniors are now being summarily dropped from care or refused treatment by their doctors who can no longer afford to treat them. And if there is still a November Miracle and the Marxists are removed from power, Democrats have already announced that they will employ a scorched earth policy and pass Cap & Trade which will bankrupt each and every one of We-the-People!

With these costly carbon credits, I’m going to have to shut down my E-Z Bake Coal-Fired Power Plant out on the balcony and go back to using it as a hibatchi.

Aren’t these the treasons against the people that precede real revolutions? Folks, we have finally been backed into a corner with no way out but to fight. Still think we can last until November? Do you?

No, absolutely not! By early November you and we will be too bloated from gorging on Halloween candy to drag ourselves to the polls, so best to pick up a battle rifle at a gun show and launch a bloody rebellion now, while you and the rest of the RenewAmerica staff can still fit into your matching velour camouflage track suits.

Thanks again to the wonderful World O’ Crap readers. You-the-People are not just good, you’re