Rumproast is lucky to have a considerable backlog of the wild wit of StrangeAppar8us, so watch this space for Strange reposts. This piece is from May 2011 (original, with comments, here), and ought to do for the New Progressive Alliance what Thomas Nast did for Boss Tweed..
by Larry “Buzz” Dymaxion
Destiny is a funny thing. Even though it’s written in advance, Googling it gets you nowhere and its still unavailable on Kindle, much like my own unpublished novel, Robot Dragon-Racers of Floon. Yet, when it’s time to rise up out of your Aeron chair and primary a sitting President whose criminal inversion of Liberal principles makes you want to gnaw the hair off your own ass, somehow you just know.
And, today, what I “just know” is that answering the NPA’s cattle-call for a steely, uncompromising human sacrifice to challenge Mr. Obama’s otherwise-unobstructed crypto-Wilsonian March of Malfeasance is the right thing to do.
Of course, “knowing” isn’t enough. I have “reasons,” as well. Because, if you can’t cite authoritative justifications for your opinions, you shouldn’t be on Twitter:
1. I saw your ad on Craigslist, which always has great deals and happens to be the same place I totally pillaged this still-in-the-box Aeron chair from a Social Media startup bankruptcy sale.
2. I’m over 35, but mostly in the face, where it helps.
Thers at Whiskey Fire detects a new smugness in seasonal mercantile greetings:
So this afternoon MollyI&I went to a diner, and as we were getting the check the waitress said “Merry Christmas.” Which was nice. But she said it kind of smugly, which was weird.
“Gosh,” I wondered, “did this woman genuinely wish us well, or did she say to us, ‘take THAT, SECULAR PROGRESSIVE ENEMY!’”
Either way, thanks, Fox News, for deliberately using Christmas to make Americans resentful and suspicious of each other over bullshit.
I’ve noticed this too. The cashiers at an ostentatiously Christian local grocery chain were wearing badges this week that declared, “It’s OKAY to say ‘Merry Christmas,” and some at that retail outlet as well as at other establishments delivered the greeting with an unnerving (and un-Baby-Jeebus-like) note of triumphalism.
I’m sure none suspected that they were addressing a godless proponent of militant secularism in me since I appear to be a garden-variety, middle-class Southern lady with all the cultural markers that implies. (Boy are people surprised when they get to know me!)
But Thers is right: The propaganda arm of the conservative movement is screwing up its audiences’ always absurd sense of victimization to lofty new sticking points this year. You’ll find no better example than self-appointed General of Christian Soldiers Sarah Palin, whose bizarre comments about President Obama’s holiday greeting card and follow-up in-yer-face-heathen-scum Facebook screed embody the true spirit of seasonal evangelical grievance-mongering.
Oh well. In the certainty that we will indeed “remain resentful and suspicious of each other over bullshit” into 2012 and beyond, I offer a hearty “Happy Holidays” to Palin and the rest of the Christian-supremacist crybabies. And I offer sincere season’s greetings and best wishes to the readers of this here humble blog. Dog bless us, every one!
There’ll be snark about ponies
And such sanctimoni-
-Ousness it’s like give me a break
Yes, we’re all disappointed
But fuck self-anointed
Saviors of the Left with a rake
It’s the emo-iest time of the year
When the difference ‘tween that
And the fucking of rats
Ain’t entirely cleeeeaaaar
It’s the emo-iest time
Whine about O-iest time
Jesus Christ, I hate this time
Of the yeeeeeeaaaaaar!
WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan always gets more maudlin around the holidays. This week’s column is no exception. As an opener, she meditates on the death of Steve Jobs and implies that his final words (OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.) may have been a reaction to the appearance of a Jesus only babies can see coming to take the irascible Buddhist home. Well, maybe. Or maybe he was whacked out on morphine. I really don’t know.
For her next topic, Noonan shares that she is stoked about the new Maggie Thatcher flick, “The Iron Lady.” I’d like to see it too, mainly because I think Meryl Streep is a genius, and I love Jim Broadbent. Noonan uses the film’s release to draw unflattering conclusions about UK and US lefties:
The left in America has largely thrown in the towel on Ronald Reagan, but in Britain Thatcher-hatred remains fresh. Why? Because she was a woman.
Steve M dissects Noonan’s self-serving use of the identity card here. I question Noonan’s original assumption: Most lefties I know think Reagan was a shitty president. But if there is a gap in active emnity towards the two conservative icons, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Reagan has been taking a dirt nap since 2004 whereas Thatcher is still with us? Could be.
For her final note, Noonan, laments that, with the exception of the Thatcher bio-pic, Hollywood has debased American culture with drunkenness, gore and boobies:
We are at a point in our culture when we actually have to pull for grown-up movies, when we must try to encourage them and laud them when they come by. David Lean wouldn’t be allowed to make movies today, John Ford would be forced to turn John Wayne into a 30-something failure-to-launch hipster whose big moment is missing the toilet in the vomit scene in Hangover Ten. Our movie culture has descended into immaturity, deep and inhuman violence, a pervasive and flattened sexuality. It is an embarrassment.
That’s just a steaming load of crap. Filmmakers are still allowed to make sweeping epics, and if John Wayne were still with us, he could have reprised his Rooster Cogburn role in last year’s excellent remake of “True Grit.” Yeah, there is brainless frivolity on offer at the local Megaplex, just as there was inane crap purveyed at the Bijou of Noonan’s halcyon youth. A quick survey of her hero Reagan’s oeuvre would confirm this (only fewer boobies).
A prediction: next week’s column will feature cloud-shouting.
Betty’s eggnog recipe sounds delicious, but it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi (French for “Jenny said what?”). It could use something to wash it down wi… no wait, something to wash down… damnit, no, something to be washed down by it? Fuck it, here’s a cookie recipe.
Gil’s* Cruelty-Curtailing Chocolate Chunk & Cranberry Christmas Cookies
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 rabbit (optional)
1&1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cage-free, certified humane egg
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter substitute
2 fucktons Good Life vegan chocolate chunks
1/2 shitload Ocean Spray Craisins
1 big-ass glass of grass-fed, certified pasture milk
1 smug look on face
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Shoo cat off stovetop, think back to that time you meant to turn the oven on but grabbed the wrong knob and lit a burner and cat went up like a bundle of oily rags, laugh. Oh, you can laugh, she wasn’t hurt. Hell, she walked away from a full-body incineration none the worse for wear, yet you can barely use a whisk without slicing a finger off, ya spaz.
In large bowl, whip Earth Balance and white sugar into a cream, then mix in brown sugar. Insert awl into ear canal, dislodge Stones tune from head.
Beat in egg, add vanilla extract. If you don’t have vanilla extract you can substitute crumbled Nilla Wafers or just hum “Ice Ice Baby” into bowl.
Add combined baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir well. Mix in all-purpose flour, but try to keep this step on the down-low if you’re letting OWS protesters crash at your place, lest you have to listen to some hippie go off on how hemp’s the real all-purpose flower, man, but you’ll never hear about that on Martha Stewart, cuz she knows what masters she serves.
Mix in chocolate chunks and Craisins. Okay, wait, back up a sec—stop shoveling fistfuls of chocolate chunks and Craisins into your big fat maw, for Chrissakes. Okay, now mix in chocolate chunks and Craisins. Stir vigorously; if Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, take out rage on mixture, cranking up intensity until you explode violently and hurl bowl against wall. Move on to rabbit.
If not Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto ungreased baking sheets. Since your oven is an unbelievable piece of crap, keep minimal space between cookies so they’ll touch when they spread out, otherwise they’ll come out as rings of burnt yuck with cookie centers. Also, line all four sides of baking sheet with cheap store-bought dough—you refer to this as the “doughrimeter,” because you’re a total dork—so that oven will think that’s part of the batch proper and burn it to a crisp, sparing the rest. You have no idea why your Goddamn oven does this. Probably something to do with conduction, and also it’s evil.
Bake for anywhere between 6 and 12 minutes, because that fucking oven. After 40 minutes, note odor and apartment filled with smoke, chastise self for doing this every single time you try to cook something, you idiot, wonder deep down if you haven’t just given in and bought a friggin’ egg timer because you secretly relish these moments of self-flagellation. Scrape blackened discs into garbage and start over.
Yields: 12 cookies
Serves: 4 people without severe impulse-control issues, or you
*oh pseudonymity, how you thwart alliteration
I know I’ve shared this recipe somewhere on this blog at some point, but it’s so delicious and useful that it warrants republishing. It is also directly relevant to Gil’s post below on innovative strategies to deal with pesky holiday visitors as it has an irresistibly soporific effect:
So here’s the original with a couple of updates added:
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Southern Comfort*
1/2 cup rum**
1/2 cup bourbon***
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate eggs and reserve whites in fridge in a separate container. In a large bowl, beat yolks until lemony, gradually adding sugar. Add the booze. Refrigerate mixture overnight.****
Next day, add milk to booze mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peak stage. Separately beat whipping cream to the consistency of that nasty Cool Whip crap. Fold egg whites into booze mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Don’t over-mix—leave it a little lumpy. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy!
* As vile and hideous as Southern Comfort is (and no one despises it more than I do, having once yerked up great quantities of it all over a golf course during a teenage drinking binge), it is for some reason an essential ingredient in this recipe. I tried doubling the GOOD bourbon once and eliminating the SoCo, and it wasn’t as good. Really.
** I generally use Appleton’s, but recently I tried it with Kraken rum, which is just insanely good. In my opinion.
*** I usually use Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek. Because I care.
**** We’ve omitted the refrigerate overnight step a time or two. If you’ve already had several cups of it made the proper way, you won’t notice the difference. If you haven’t you will. Funny how that works.
Trailer for the upcoming HBO film “Game Change,” which is based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark “Dick” Halperin:
From that snippet, it appears Ed Harris pulls off McCain’s trademark peevish, constipated affect to a tee. Julianne Moore perhaps lacks the vocal range to accurately mimic Palin’s home fire alarm-speaking voice, but in that clip at least, she nails the verbal cadence, and kudos must go to the hair, wardrobe and make-up peeps.
I read the book when it came out a couple of years ago. The most revealing insights it provided were perhaps unintentional, as it was a window into the obsessive tabloid mindset with which our stupid media has so debased coverage of US politics. But for that reason, it’ll probably make an entertaining movie.
The holiday season is upon us—well, it’s upon you, I’m just holing up with cheap beer and my GameCube until it blows over—and that means family gatherings, and family gatherings sometimes mean interacting with people we’d really rather not. To make the next few days as tension-free as possible, I offer the following excerpt from my upcoming book The Gilful Life: Advice From Someone You Should Totally Take Advice From due out next year from Simon & Shuster, or if those guys keep refusing to take my calls, one of those vanity presses that help lonely women channel their sadness and frustration into stories about steampunk Wiccans.
Via Balloon Juice by way of Gawker, a story of parental angst in The Heartland occasioned by a Wisconsin motel owner’s cheeky support of the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker:
You know, people with kids are driving by. And you know there are little kids who are 8, 9, 10 years old who are old enough to be able to read that and might say, ‘Mommy, what does that mean?’” said Andrea Lombard, a Sauk County supervisor and first vice chairwoman of the Republican Party of Sauk County. “Well, how does Mommy explain that? I’m not sure.”
Well, Andrea, since I’ve had to explain both TruckNutz and “erectile dysfunction” to preschoolers thanks to yahoo neighbors and Viagra (respectively), perhaps I can help. The trick is to explain this delicate subject in age-appropriate, non-judgmental language:
Union-busting Republican politicians and billionaire bosses of multinational super-polluters like each other very, very much, and sometimes the Republican politician, like Governor Walker, wants to express his friendship in a very special way, so he pretends that a billionaire super-polluter, like Mr. Koch, is something super-tasty. Sort of like a popsicle. Yum!
Something like that would probably work. You’re welcome.
The other 49 states are now humiliating Texas by giving it furtive, pitying glances when they think it’s not looking. The one-two punch of stupid delivered by George W. Bush and Rick Perry has probably knocked Texas’ presidential prospects to the mat for at least a generation.
So now the GOP will almost certainly nominate Mittens. Hopefully the Democrats have already put out casting calls for all the laid-off workers whose jobs Bain Capital shipped to China.
Said the GOP to the would-be king
Do you hear what we hear?
List’ning to the news, would-be king
Dittos to what we hear!
Your polls, your po-o-olls
High’r than we did think
We’re too stupid to forecast they’ll sink
Or to see that, as nom, you would stink
Said the would-be king to the sitting prez
Do you know what I know?
In your oval digs, Mister Prez Kenya guess what I know?
This land, this la-a-and
Is clamoring for me
Won’t get called on my hypocrisy
In this wormhole back to ‘93
Said the prez to the worried Democrats
Listen, lend me your ears
Pray for Newt, worried Democrats
Let me be ve-RY clear
His head? Yo, that’s no moon
I can’t lose in a run ‘gainst this goon
And he looks sort of like a Plymptoon
A comeback? There’s a chance—
If the Macarena’s your dance
And you miss wearing loud Hammer pants