August 24th, 2005


Buh...spluh...wha?, or, Town Hall Today

In part 21 (!) of his interminable series on the innate superiority of Judeo-Christian values over anything else, radio dingbat Dennis "My Son Has a Black Friend" Prager drops this baffler:

Overwhelmingly, the "poor" of America live in a home with two or more rooms per person and air conditioning, and own a car, refrigerator, stove, clothes washer and dryer and microwave. They have two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player and a stereo, and obtain medical care (even without health insurance). Nearly half actually own their own homes.

This would seem like an odd thing to say without defining the word 'poor' upwards quite a bit, but does Dennis give any kind of citations or evidence of his remarkable claim? Of course not. Nor does he provide any background to this howler:

Now, of course, Judeo-Christian values care about material progress. In fact, it was the Bible that gave the idea of progress to the world.

It might seem foolish to get irate at this sort of lunacy (which is right up there with his claim that there was no democracy in the world until the debut of Christianity), but it helps to remember that Prager has a reputation, like fellow Muslim-basher Victor Davis Hanson, as one of the right's intellectuals -- he's cited by people like Lileks and Goldberg as a reasonable, intelligent, moderate right-centrist and not a flamethrower like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. So, in other words: this is the best they can do. And they're in charge! Which proves what? That's right: we R dumm.

Speaking of d-u-m-m, no-longer-so-wunderkind Benny "The 24-Year-Old Virgin" Shapiro coughs up this one while defending chickenhawks:

Deciding to enter the armed services isn't a choice the left understands

Yes, of course! The liberal mind simply cannot fathom the choice of military service, with a tiny few exceptions like Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Al Gore, Bob Kerrey, Daniel Inouye, John Kerry, Chuck Rangel, Max Cleland, Fritz Hollings, all the Kennedys, Tom Harkin, Pete Peterson, Mike Thompson, Gray Davis, Wes Clark, Chuck Robb, Howell Heflin, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, John Glenn, and maybe a few dozen others. Meanwhile, deciding to enter the armed services is definitely a choice the right understands -- they understand it well enough to know they'd rather have no part of it, thank you very much.

For the record, and it's painful to type these words, I agree with Ben Shapiro that there's no reason that civilians shouldn't run the military, and that there's nothing shameful or improper about commanding armed forces even though you haven't served yourself. But he's trying to have it both ways by arguing against the chickenhawk cavil while simultaneously claiming that liberals are cowardly wimps who could never understand serving their country. If that's such an important and noble choice, why do so many Democrats join up and so many Republicans wriggle out? Can't have your war cake and eat it too, Benny.

Finally, Rebecca Hagelin writes a touching piece about how even though it seems like most clothing for little girls is meant to turn them into dirty filthy sluts, there are a few companies, some of them even run by responsible Christians, that sell clothing that modestly conceals their budding man-tempters. Now, I can't argue with her central point -- who wants their little girl to look like a dirty filthy slut? What's funny is that Rebecca, like many Town Hall hired guns, has written her share about those horrible Muslims and their evil, woman-hating ways, and here she is, nakedly endorsing the central argument behind veiling: that the bodies of women -- even the bodies of little girls -- are sacred things, not to be made apparent to the wicked eyes of man, and the best way to prevent immorality is to hide them away under layers of modestly placed cloth. Of course, the hyper-Christian Hagelin would never admit that she's ideologically aligned with the vile Mahometan, so she never makes the link explicit, but dig how she ends the piece:

I’ll close with something Muhammad Ali’s daughter says her father told her:

“Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. … Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered, too.”

Hey, Beck! Guess what religion Muhammad Ali is! Hint: not Christian.
flavored with age

Brothers Grimm

Boy, it wasn't good.

Gotta save a longer review for the people who pay me, but in brief, I'm entirely with rollick on this one. I'm sure he just made the thing so he could pay for stuff like Tideland, but man, couldn't he have made a different mainstream yawner? Okay, sure, lotsa Gilliam visual treats, but they were far, far outweight by an aimless snore of a script, completely uncharismatic performances by the leads, and a general sensibility that was a lot more like Van Helsing than it was Brazil, or even The Fisher King. Worst of all, and nearly unforgivable for a Terry Gilliam flick, it lacked any kind of viewpoint, any strong directorial presence or outlook. When Gilliam doesn't really care that much about a project, boy, can you tell. Easily the worst thing he's ever done, and all the more disappointing because it's the first thing he's done since the excellent, underrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not terrible -- there's too much craft in it for that -- but just uninspiring and dull.

Man, I hope Tideland is good. It'll have to be to make this worthwhile.
a resounding daaar

The IMDB Message Board Dialogues

SOCRATES: Come, then, Melitus, tell me, do you not consider it of the greatest importance that the youth should be made as virtuous as possible?

MELITUS: If you make decent money, have you ever thought of using your position as a U.S./Canadian/European citizen to get a girl who would really love you and would be interested in the same things as you -- computer games, staying in, having a permanent relationship filled will trust and loyalty? A lot of East Asian women nowadays are very computer literate and totally love Western men (it doesn't matter if you are white or Asian or whatever yourself!).

SOCRATES: Well, now, tell the judges who it is that makes them better, for it is evident that you know, since it concerns you so much; for, having detected me in corrupting them, as you say, you have cited me here, and accused me: come, then, say, and inform the judges who it is that makes them better. Do you see, Melitus, that you are silent, and have nothing to say? But does it not appear to you to be disgraceful, and a sufficient proof of what I say, that you never took any concern about the matter? But tell me, friend, who makes them better?

MELITUS: I am white but have a lot of blacks friends. I am around them all the time and they use the word a lot even to refer to me. I will amdit a few times i almost said it on accident but caught myself. hey have told me its ok but i still just for personal reasons dont say thee word. I think the way Mark Whalberg said it was just said at an apporpriate time where not to many people even noticed. None of my friends who were there were offended and he wasnt using it to put someone down he was tryin to help a guy realize he was bein treated like a slave. Soemthin bout the way mark whalberg said it didnt bother me or anyone else while i was there. As far as him growin up ina bad area and havin 2 blacks brothers than i think its ok as long as the brothers were cool with it. It just depends on the situation

SOCRATES: I do not ask this, most excellent sir, but what man, who surely must first know this very thing, the laws?

MELITUS: I'm not an asian, I'm a white guy. I must say here that the asian comment was actually a compliment. Asians don't often date outside their race (it happens), but because it is so rare-that's why a white guy would treasure an asian woman. I've dated white, black, and asian women. The non white families often gave me disapproving looks and treated me as if I was stalking a prize that would be abandoned once the treasure was conquered. If only they had known that it was the woman-in all cases, who was the sexual aggressor. I haven't read the article in question, but it's hooey about being undesireable if you are a black woman. There are black women I ignore, but it's because they weigh over 400 pounds, dress poorly (wear house slippers in the supermarket), and have worse manners than some barnyard animals. There are other black women who obviously take care of themselves, obtain some manners, and dress as if they have pride in themselves.

SOCRATES: How say you, Melitus? Are these able to instruct the youth, and make them better?

MELITUS: having read the book...her nude scene prob wont be sexy...either dead or breastfeeding, i'm afraid...

SOCRATES: Whether all, or some of them, and others not?

MELITUS: Whatta effin Faggggg...Ashlee Simpson is so effin gay.... why doesn't try and get her own life and not try and follow Jessica.... god she is so gay i hate her.

SOCRATES: You say well, by Juno! and have found a great abundance of those that confer benefit. But what further? Can these hearers make them better, or not?

MELITUS: 6 million Jews and 6 million Blacks, gays, mentally retarded etc did not die in WW2. Modern scholarship shows the number of Jews who died to be nearer to 3 million and very few blacks died in WW2 outside of American soldiers. However, you show that you have been well indoctrinated. Killing Hitler would have had no noticable effect on WW2 as it was the conditions in Germany and the world that created WW2. No one person had any real effect. Remember, their are always consquences to actions and responsibility does not leave a people even if they are powerful. I would go back in time to convince myself to start fencing sooner so i could make it to the olympics.
bizarro am drunk motherfucker

Is it 4PM yet?

Googlism is played. Also played, but still mildly enjoyable if you’re bored past the ability to feel, is running Googlism and then substituting the name of the celebrity newsmaker with a stupid comic book character until it reads like really bad spoken word performance art.

Brother Power the Geek is a man against the odds.
Brother Power the Geek is his father's son.
Brother Power the Geek is no poet.
Brother Power the Geek is America's choice.
Brother Power the Geek is not a steward.
Brother Power the Geek is genuinely born again through Jesus Christ.
Brother Power the Geek is becoming more like Hitler every day.
Brother Power the Geek is as clever as his defenders claim he is.
Brother Power the Geek is definitely an ambiguous figure for us.
Brother Power the Geek is targeting America Online users with interactive banner ads that appear automatically on top of web pages.
Brother Power the Geek is scrambling to find places to save money in his budget.
Brother Power the Geek is not responsible for the increased pace of executions.
Brother Power the Geek is also a member of the Illuminist Satanic secret society.
Brother Power the Geek is trying to modify and moderate his perceived positions on guns.
Brother Power the Geek is a mere puppet.

The Disco Dazzler is not a witch.
The Disco Dazzler is stalking your dog.
The Disco Dazzler is still free.
The Disco Dazzler is one of K-mart’s most important brand partners.
The Disco Dazzler is nothing if not contradictory.
The Disco Dazzler is certainly long overdue.
The Disco Dazzler is my mother.
The Disco Dazzler is somehow better than us.
The Disco Dazzler is getting on Congress' nerves.
The Disco Dazzler is the embodiment of a “strong woman”.
The Disco Dazzler is doing a great job of plastering her face everywhere these days.
The Disco Dazzler is not human.
The Disco Dazzler is not painful.
The Disco Dazzler is the winner of an award she'd probably rather give back.
The Disco Dazzler is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Disco Dazzler Living Omnimedia LLC.

Congo Bill & Congorilla are enjoying Sundance to the hilt.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are the most hysterical non-celebrity celebrities ever.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are used to being the belles of the ball wherever they go.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are really taking this modeling thing seriously.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are…what the?
Congo Bill & Congorilla are in an ideal location for both.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are situated only one block from the seine river.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are ready for their close-ups.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are perfect clients for the Bongwater Brothers.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are the beneficiaries of a “makeunder”.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are really pretty.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are located practically at the base of the Eiffel Tower.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are cold.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are hysterical.
Congo Bill & Congorilla are giving head.