To Poe Or Not To Poe?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Throwing-Stone Concessions Rebound on Publication of Sally Quinn Column


WASHINGTON DC—July 30, 2013— With millions of consumers making the move to glass houses, stone concessions—kiosks that dispense hefty rocks suitable for hurling through plate glass—were thought to be part of a dying industry, a relic like typewriter ribbon production plants and “Wite-Out” factories. But a new piece by “On Faith” columnist Sally Quinn has unexpectedly breathed life into a waning economic sector.

In a column entitled “Blaming Huma Abedin,” Quinn outlines her objections to Anthony Wiener’s wife’s decision to stand by the pixyish peen-pix purveyor rather than doing something more dignified, such as finding a rich, married managing editor to hump and then parlaying that opportunity into a lofty nepotism perch from which to lord it over the Beltway social scene for the next 50 years.

“I’m telling you, this industry was on its last legs, what with the loss of privacy thanks to the Internet and people’s growing sense that they could attract an incoming barrage if they let stones fly at a neighbor’s glass house in a particularly hypocritical manner,” said Bash Brickbat, proprietor of Ye Olde Stone Shoppe, a colorfully painted pushcart on K Street.

“I mean, everyone is a little hypocritical, but come on. Sally’s column landed like a meteor in the side of the Hoover Dam, just sending hypocrisy gushing through the wall and flooding the valley,” Brickbat continued. “This is emboldening a whole new bunch of eye-mote removers with beams of their own. It’s like that time Bill Kristol accused someone of being wrong about Iraq.”

When read the following excerpt from Quinn’s column, several throwing-stone industry analysts responded with incredulity and terminated a reporter’s call, concluding that they were victims of a prank:

I have nothing against Abedin. I like her: She is a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman. I ache for her need to come to the rescue of this man who has betrayed her so often and will likely do it again. I ache for all women who find themselves in this position. And yet, there she stood in front of the cameras, this modern American career woman, by her man, saying she had forgiven him, loved him and believed in him. Just what exactly does she believe in? The only thing she can believe in for sure is that he will continue his infidelity.

Though her friends say she is strong and resolute and defiant, sadly she makes all women look like weak and helpless victims. She was not standing there in a position of strength. It was such a setback for women everywhere.

Other analysts urged caution at the prospect of a tossing-stone industry resurgence sparked by Quinn’s column:

“Look, the Washington Post shunted Quinn off to their online edition years ago because she’s such an embarrassment,” said one analyst, under the condition of anonymity. “You can think Wiener’s an eFlasher who would make a terrible mayor, and you can believe Abedin’s an idiot for putting up with his bullshit.

You can even imagine that Abedin’s choice somehow reflects badly on every other woman on the planet, though to make that leap, it helps if you’re psychotic. But you don’t publicly tut-tut ‘infidelity,’ not if you’re Sally Fucking Quinn.”

Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/30/13 at 02:42 PM

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thank God Easter Only Comes Once a Year

There’s so much seasonal WTF in this clip from FilmOn TV Networks (via Battlecam TV) which is going viral.

There’s a fairly graphic trailer near the beginning for their stunt at the weekend, when they plan to crucify a guy identified by a usually reliable source (Daily Mail) as Robert Garrison, “a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida,” so presumably as long they’ve found some card-carrying sadists to do the nailing, everybody’s cool with that.

Then there’s the increasingly tetchy mobile unit interview between Joe Fioranelli of FilmOn TV and David Phelps—which, for the by now no doubt growing increasingly nervous, I’ll excerpt below, but sounds like it’s an outtake from SNL.

As the scene begins, Phelps—who starts off the interview as grumpy as Hell, and doesn’t get any sweeter as it progresses—kicks off with the charming opener, “I’m David Phelps. And God hates fags. If you hear nothing else I say, I need that message to get out.” Then Fiorelli cites biblical reasons for some skepticism about Jesus’ heterosexuality, which doesn’t go any way toward making make him Phelps’ BFF.

Phelps: This is a mockery. It’s been a mockery from the very beginning. Is this what you plan for your mock crucifixion as well?
Fioranelli: It’s not a mock crucifixion, we’re actually crucifying the guy. I mean, he is actually gay.
Phelps: Do you have any idea, do you have any idea what it is to receive the payment for your sins from a wrathful, an angry God? Romans 12 says He will pile it on your head like hot coals from a fire. ... May God bring His wrath in a way that all will know it comes from Him.

Things don’t get any better from there on in for Phelps as he makes a bid to abandon the interview, and the fate that awaits him may have made him pray for a visitation from a nice cozy bushel of hot coals. Whatever, he will verily have been in no doubt that It hath come from Him, who moveth in mysterious ways.

For at this point (at 1:30 for the impatient), yea, a 500-pound stark naked ex-wrestler MC by the name of Billy the Fridge emerges from the closet (imagery!) where he’s been waiting and lurches ominously toward Phelps.

Phelps: What do you want?

Now, in the circumstances, most of us might agree that’s not the sort of leading question you want to be asking. Never mind, since Billy ignores it anyway.


At this point Phelps makes an extremely rapid getaway through the door, with Billy in hot, hot pursuit. Over to the Mail again:

An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.

Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said: ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now Davey?”’

The way the Phelpses have been bailing out of the hitherto lucrative family cult over the past few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Davey—his cherry now well and truly popped, possibly along with some vital organs—and Billy are an item. Happy Easter.

Posted by YAFB on 03/28/13 at 07:27 PM

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Breitbart Memorial Disinformation Site to Change Name to “Friends of Humus”

During last year’s election, we and many others remarked on the possibly disastrous consequences of politicians believing the BS that the rightwing blogosphere and other online media peddle and parroting it in public, where occasionally more stringent evidential standards apply. It cost Mittens dear during the second Presidential Debate when his attempt to bully President Obama about when precisely he characterized the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism backfired catastrophically and left him scraping egg off his coif.

The latest episode illustrating this syndrome involves our old pals the Breitbartlets, in particular Ben Shapiro. Simon Moloy at Media Matters summarizes:

On February 7,’s Ben Shapiro reported that Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel (according to “Senate sources”) received money from a group called “Friends of Hamas.” The report spread quickly through the conservative media as damning of Hagel, until Dave Weigel at pointed out a salient fact—there’s no evidence that “Friends of Hamas” exists. Now, New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman is claiming that a joke he shared with a GOP source is the provenance of “Friends of Hamas.” In response to their story falling apart, Shapiro and—who angrily and self-righteously demand accountability from the rest of the media for every slip-up, real or imagined—are lashing out and refusing to accept responsibility for publishing a report based on a falsehood.

If Shapiro deserves credit for anything, it’s introducing us to a new meme about his oeuvre—”accurate and clearly caveated,” which translates as, “I pulled this out of somebody else’s ass, and I warned you it was probably bullshit at the time.” (It’s also led to much Twitter punnery on the lines of “Friends of Hummus” etc., to which the title of this post is a humble contribution.)

Meanwhile, the unspeakable John Nolte has been wearing out his iPhone in a desperate CYA campaign on Twitter. You can always tell when they’ve screwed up particularly badly because he goes postal.

Malkin’s Twitchyite horde have also been trying to comfort each other, distracting and covering their embarrassment by picking up on a brief minor omission by BuzzFeed’s Cat Correspondent Andrew Kaczynski.

There’s a conspicuous silence and lack of support for Shapiro on this issue from the rest of the RW blogs, some of whom, like Hugh Hewett, were also caught out, the buffoonery also ensnaring Rand Paul. Others are crediting the ‘bartlets et al. for fouling the pitch for their conspiracymongering and virtually ensuring Hagel’s appointment next Monday.

I may be premature and overly optimistic here, but the era of knitting your own reality seems to be drawing to a close. Will Republicans ever learn to factcheck before shooting their mouths off on the basis of the nonsense their online organs churn out? I hope not.

Posted by YAFB on 02/21/13 at 06:51 AM

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oh, Won’t Someone Please Think of the Insurance Companies!

Alternatively I could have started with something along the lines of “First they came for the insurance companies and I said nothing because I’m not an insurance company.”

So, yes, some kook in Idaho has actually compared insurance companies to victims of the holocaust because Nobama is going to load them all on that train,  send them to the concentration camps and “establish a socialistic health care system”.  And something, something about how the companies are being forced to dig their own graves because the “private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange”.

Beyond the fact that I have a hard time actually boo-hooing about health insurance companies who are madly gouging their customers to boost their bottom lines higher every year, the fedz do have a way to establish that sochulistic health care system.  It’s called Medicare.  If Congress had actually wanted Obamacare to become the “Crown Jewel of Socialism”, in the words of the Girl with the Faraway Eyes (h/t Charlie Pierce), they could have expanded Medicare.  It was even in one of the original proposals to allow the 55 to 64 year old crowd to buy into Medicare but even that was too much socialamism for a Congress that was, at the time, controlled in both houses by Dems.

So I’m guessing the insurance companies will not be loaded wholesale onto those trains after all.  More’s the pity.

Posted by marindenver on 01/31/13 at 07:21 PM

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hedgehogs on the Beach

This post is a slightly elaborated version of a post I put up at my blog last night.  I originally didn’t think it was good enough to post here, but a comment by Smut Clyde improves my post immeasurably:

From the annals at Right Wing Watch, here’s a story of creationist grifters Kevin Swan and “Creation Museum” creator Ken Ham claiming that they are “effectively very, very close to Omaha Beach in the war of the worldviews?”

I think Swanson and Ham are being surprisingly accurate in their characterization of their role in the culture wars.  Swanson and Ham are the human equivalents of the “Czech hedgehogs” that littered the beaches of France- they are vicious, dense, and serve only as an impediment to progress. 

As an added bonus, here’s Ham’s talk of the specter of the loss of the “war of the worldviews”:

It is, it’s an extremely important battle. Because, you know what, it only takes one generation to lose a culture. That’s all it takes. And if you can capture one generation, you’ll have the culture. And just as, you know, when the Israelites crossed the Jordan river and there were 12 stones to remind the next generation of what God did and what did we find? They weren’t reminded, the next generation, they lost it in one generation, we’re losing this culture before our very eyes today because the church opened the door to allow the philosophy of naturalism, and evolution, millions of years, to permeate into God’s word. We need to shut that door. If we don’t shut that door, that’s where the battle’s at right now, if we don’t shut that door, we’re going to lose this culture, America will be the England and Europe of tomorrow.

GASP, we’ll be the England and Europe of tomorrow?  Will that mean that we’ll have super high-tech jet fighters trains from the future?  Well, clear those goddamn hedgehogs off the beach already!

Postscript: The danger of posting a link to a Nena video (even Nena singing in English, which is second-rate Nena) is that I will now spend the rest of the night watching Nena videos. 

Addendum:  Smut Clyde pointed out an unintentional bit of autogodwinning on the part of Ham and Swan:

I would have chosen the Battle of Britain, myself, if I were looking for an example of an underdog in a climactic clash of civilisations to obtain the sympathy of my audience. But if Ham and Swanson prefer to identify with the Nazis, I’m not gonna stop them.

Smut nails it- Swan and Ham are talking about defending “their” culture from the onslaught of modernity, in essence comparing themselves to the German soldiers who were trying to stave off the Normandy invasion.  And to think, all this time, I thought creationists had problems with Poe’s law, not Godwin’s.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 01/27/13 at 10:29 PM

Categories: PoliticsTo Poe Or Not To Poe?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Cutting-Edge Career To Which I Can Never Return (NSFW)

Ask anyone in advertising: they’ll tell you this video clip is the most spot-on parody of creative hackdom ever produced, and proof positive that Poe’s Law abides.

It goes without saying that I will never again be involved in graphic or video advertising services; and, certainly no one will ever pay me to put my eyes behind an SLR viewfinder or at the wheel of a high-end digital videocam.

‘Tis true: the biggest job on my plate right now is to find a way to feed myself for the next twenty years. The cats are living in foster homes. I’m probably moving to subsidized housing for the disabled. And my one great hope is that talking computers can compensate for a blind man’s keyboard disorientation. It’s gonna be a brand new future for me. One that I hope will be more than modestly shared with the brave ranks of Rumproasters!

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/13/12 at 03:53 PM

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No, I Just Meant God Wants Rape To Have A Happy Ending

Oh! Well, that’s all right, then. Stating that God wants women to go through forced pregnancy after rape isn’t extreme when you think about it, as Richard Mourdock has. After all, God loves life, and every woman’s womb could be stocked with life all the time, if women weren’t so abysmally dedicated to saying when. So will you leftie b*tches just leave the man alone already? Mitt Romney’s still exhausted from distancing himself from Todd Akin, and now he’s going to have to dodge and weave his way around poor Richard. Paul Ryan is going to have to distance himself, too, but at least we know he can do it in record time. Stop martyring poor Richard Mourdock! You’re making Michelle Malkin simply furious!

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 10/23/12 at 11:21 PM

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Romney/Biden 2012! Or Even Just Biden 2012?


As the dust settles slowly from the VP debate, the election trundles on regardless, the polls take their own sweet time to give any clear indication of WTF is going on, and Paul Ryan fans feverishly adapt to the abject drubbing their idol took by collapsing onto the crowded fainting couches of denial, Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner twangs his readers’ last nerves by pointing out a quirk of the Constitution:

It might be hard to believe after his assault on Mitt Romney in last night’s debate, but there’s a scenario under which Joe Biden could serve as Mitt Romney’s vice president.

As noted in an earlier post, there are plausible scenarios under which next month’s election could result in a 269–269 electoral vote tie, which would send the presidential election over to the House of Representatives. Such an outcome would favor Romney over President Obama, according to an analysis by the Washington Examiner.

But in such a case, it would fall on the Senate to choose the vice president, with each Senator getting a vote. Given that it’s quite possible (arguably likely) that Democrats will retain control of the Senate, it means that they could vote for Biden to remain on as VP, even if the House elects Romney as president.

In theory, if the election outcome is a 50-50 Senate, Biden could be the tie-breaking vote for himself. This would allow him to remain on as VP and for the Democrats to retain effective control of the Senate. It would also usher in the Romney-Biden administration.

Somebody alert vanguard of the Biden underraters, the unspeakably unfunny aggro troll clown Jim Treacher, last seen emitting a butthurt squeal of a post titled “Last night, Joe Biden was a three-letter word: J-E-R-K,” having greeted news of the Ryan pick back in August with: “Fortunately, Biden wears Depends Or else there could’ve been an embarrassing scene when he heard the news.”

Clear some space around Treacher if you do, since Klein caps his musings with:

If the House ends up deadlocked in choosing a president, then the candidate the Senate chooses as vice president would be sworn in as commander in chief. In other words, this scenario could produce a President Biden.

Here’s an open thread if you want it.

Posted by YAFB on 10/13/12 at 09:19 AM

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Projection Always, Constantly

Wow, ever see an ad which absolutely floors you with the sheer level of projection that it embodies?  Today, Pupienus, the food pr0n obsessed emperor of Portland linked to a Republican PAC in a comment at Sadly, No!, which led me to this wonderful ad: 

Holy Hannah, that is some serious, serious projection on the part of GOPTrust PAC… in the context of an ad which claims that Democrats use words to manipulate the public into voting for them, the ad actually uses the Frank Luntz tested neologism “Democrat Party”.  Tellingly, the ad only references three examples of “tested” words- “extremists”, “hope”, and “change”.  Meanwhile, the Republicans have brought us such terms as “death tax, “death panels”, “job creators”, and “religious freedom”.  Once again, it’s all about projection with these wingnuts.

To cap it all off, the ad is narrated by someone using a kitschy Kissenger faux German accent (is he supposed to sound like the stereotypical cartoon psychiatrist?), and the ad veers off into a Godwin’s Law violation. 

It’s a strange ad, more ridiculous than effective.  In this post Poe’s Law political reality, it’s impossible to tell if it’s a really bad ad by a genuine Republican PAC, or if it’s a really good act of political sabotage on the part of a culture-jamming Democratic Party operative.  At any rate, it’s not manipulating anyone.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 10/11/12 at 06:28 AM

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Romney Still Firmly in the Uncanny Valley: Exploiting the Dead for Political Gain

As part of the Romney Family’s reboot of the Mittbot’s campaign, he’s been trying to go all “real Mitt” and demonstrate that he can relate to specimens of Homo sapiens by choking up on cue on the stump as he recounts tales of his encounters with the inferior classes.

Surprise. It’s not working out so well.

The mother of Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attack in Libya, told a Boston TV station that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldn’t politicize her son’s death.

Romney told an Iowa campaign audience Tuesday about a chance encounter with a Navy SEAL during a Christmas party in San Diego, although he did not invoke Doherty by name. Romney owns a home in the California area and Doherty was stationed there, serving in the military. Romney cited the SEAL’s dedication to the Middle East and his commitment to foreign service as a way to draw a contrast with President Barack Obama’s response in the region, which Romney has criticized as lacking in leadership.
After Romney’s remarks, Barbara Doherty told Boston’s WHDH 7News that the GOP nominee shouldn’t invoke her son that way again.

“I don’t trust Romney,” she said. “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”

This is borne out by the memories of a friend of Glen Doherty:

Romney was visibly emotional during the story, and the video of the speech was repeated throughout the day on network and cable news.

But one of Glen Doherty’s best friends remembered Doherty’s impression of this meeting much differently.

Elf Ellefsen met Glen Doherty skiing in Utah when he was 19, and the two men remained friends for more than 20 years.

“A guy living life wise beyond his years. Always trying to be progressive as well as do the right thing. Always challenging himself to his greatest ability,” Ellefsen remembered.

He last saw Doherty a week before the final mission to Libya. “I stayed in his house (in California), we paddled out in the ocean together, spent some good quality time.”

Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.

According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.

“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”

Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.

“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”

Ellefsen described Glen Doherty as a humble, non-political guy, and said it was ironic for him to be used during a presidential campaign.

“Whether it be Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian, it doesn’t make a difference. Because this guy is using our great friend, our humble, and honorable great friend…who is truly larger than life…He has become part of the soapbox routine for politics in a presidential race.”

Ellefsen said he understands why people would want to link themselves with Doherty. “Of all people to tie yourself to for advancement in life, it’s not surprising that Romney or anybody else would want to tie themselves to Glen Doherty. Because he was incredible. And I can honestly say beyond a shadow of a doubt, he was the greatest person I have ever met in my life.”

I asked Ellefsen what he thought of his friend’s story being used on the political stump:

“Honestly it does make me sick. Glen would definitely not approve of it. He probably wouldn’t do much about it. He probably wouldn’t say a whole lot about it. I think Glen would feel, more than anything, almost embarrassed for Romney. I think he would feel pity for him.”

Even in death, Glen Doherty’s evidently a better person than I am. As for Mitt ...

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/10/12 at 01:33 PM

Friday, October 05, 2012

Romney Abandons Abandonment of the 47%

The wheels fell off Mitt Romney’s Etch A Sketch last night when he appeared on ace racebaiter Sean Hannity‘s show to denounce Mitt Romney for denouncing 47% of Americans a while back as shiftless scroungers not worthy of his time and effort.

This is Mitt Romney doubling down on September 17:

I believe the point I was made is that the president starts off with a large number of the voters, 47, 48, 49 percent, something like that. These are people who are in his camp and, uh, they will vote for him almost no matter what. ...  I point out I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I’m not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes. ... And so I then focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me win the 51 or 50.1 percent that I need to become the next President.

Romney said that his remarks were “not elegantly stated,” but added that he won’t back down from them. “It’s a message which I’m going to carry and continue to carry,” he said.

This is Mitt Romney yesterday, not backing down:

“Well, clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of question and answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

This will have come as news to the likes of Mary Matalin, Hannity himself, and the hordes of other rightwingers who’ve been joyfully applauding and amplifying Romney’s secret spiel to super-rich sots:

“There are makers and takers, there are producers and there are parasites,” she said. “Americans can distinguish between those who have produced and paid in through no fault of their own and because of Obama’s horrible policies who cannot get a job or are underemployed. That’s what the campaign is about.”

But Mitt’s running for office, for Pete’s sake!

Erick Erickson and the denizens of RedState, and all points right are currently desperately scouring their health plans to see whether they cover epistemic whiplash and acute cases of egg on face.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/05/12 at 07:56 AM

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mitt Romney: Send in the Clown


Having trolled the entire Intertubes earlier in the week, Politico’s Roger Simon offers some desperately needed advice to Mitt Romney:

Mitt Romney: King of comedy
... Jokes have power. When a politician makes a joke, he can make a point and also leave people with the impression that he is a regular guy and not some cardboard cutout.

Romney needs some jokes. And he needs them for his first presidential debate on Wednesday.

Eddie Scarry at the Blaze talks up what he describes as a recurring theme:

Both Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove have written columns this week on what they think Mitt Romney should do in the first debate with President Obama. Both of them threw in passing references to Romney using humor as a tool.

“Romney must … set the record straight in a presidential tone—firm, respectful, but not deferential. And a dash of humor is worth its weight in gold,” Rove wrote.

Gingrich said, “No president in my lifetime has been as vulnerable to humor as President Obama.”

Mitt’s telegraphed intention is to factcheck President Obama on the fly during the first debate, so I expect him to bring a clown horn onstage, and each time he detects a mistruth, *HONK HONK* and a slap on the head with a pig’s bladder. “You were saying ...?”

Mitt loves to recycle material, so expect the reprise of such impromptu kneeslappers as:

• “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.”
• “Corporations are people.”
• “I’m unemployed, gissa job.”
• “They should have let Detroit go down the tubes.”
• “It would be helpful to be Latino. For one thing I’d save a fortune on spray tan.”
• “The President’s a n-n-n-nice man, just a totally incompetent and lazy lyin’ liar.”
• “Romneycare was my biggest mistake.”
• “Those cookies look like dogmess and probably taste like it too, what were you thinking?”
• “The chief of MI6 is at this moment in 10 Downing Street, just sayin’, al Qaeda.”
• “The Soviet Union is America’s number one global threat. Sorry, did I say ‘Soviet Union’? I meant China. No, wait, Iran. Aw heck, all of them. I’ve got money in all of them.”
• “47 percent of the country are shiftless scrounging assholes fit only for fertilizer.”
• “I like being able to fire people. Unless they’re my campaign staff and know where the skeletons are buried, in which case they get hush money bonuses.”
• “I feel your pain, though obviously not in a literal nor metaphorical sense.”
• “I’m going to cut your taxes hahahaha no I’m not. My taxes. I’m going to cut my taxes. Not that I pay any. Oops. Too soon?”
• “Companies are Soylent Green, my friends.”
• “I am SO going to win this thing.”
• “Quit whining and get on the roof.”

You can probably do far better than me in trawling Mitt’s past utterances that the po-faced liberal media mistakenly took as serious statements, only to be punked yet again because Mitt was just pulling our legs.

As an incentive, during next week’s presidential debate, I’ll offer a sammitch to whoever’s the first to spot a Mittens quip. It may be a bit stale by the time it reaches you, as it could take from then till November to figure out whether he was kidding or not.

Posted by YAFB on 09/28/12 at 10:23 AM

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Dangers of Snark in a Post-Poe World

Tom Lehrer once observed that “political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize.” Despite the urban legend, this isn’t what prompted him to retire, as he explains here, where he also makes some observations on the problems of satire in the modern world, including: “everything is so weird in politics that it’s very hard to be funny about it.”

In recent US election cycles, where even weirder things are afoot and some folks’ grip on reality is extremely tenuous at the best of times, while others of us are having the boundaries of what we consider feasible in the political arena expanded by the hour, perils abound.

For example, some on the left have apparently taken Politico’s Roger Simon’s transparently snarky article from yesterday, “Paul Ryan vs. The Stench”, at face value, and seem to buy into the idea that Hottie McStudMunster is now literally in the habit of referring to his running mate as “Stench.” You can take issue with Simon’s abilities as a satirist, and even his omission of any overt flag to indicate that he wasn’t being entirely serious, but had his words appeared in The Onion rather than Politico, the situation might have been clearer. The fact that people thought this was a plausible story is far funnier than the story itself, but less funny than the absolutely OUTRAGED reactions of some of the commenters at Simon’s Politico article.

Now, there are times when it may suit people to wilfully misinterpret snark as truth. For instance, back in 2008, when Larry Johnson at No Quarter was furiously pushing the “Whitey Tape” fiction for all it was worth, Booman wrote a post that I’ve always interpreted as snark-tinged, which included this passage:

From what I understand, it is a tape of Michelle Obama criticizing the Bush administration.

How you’d write it:

Why did Bush cut folks off medicaid?
Why did Bush let New Orleans drown?
Why did Bush do nothing about Jena?
Why did Bush put us in Iraq for no reason?

How you’d say it:

Why’d he cut folks off medicaid?
Why’d he let New Orleans drown?
Why’d he do nothing about Jena?
Why’d he put us in Iraq for no reason?

How Larry Johnson wants you to hear it:

Whitie cut folks off medicaid?
Whitie let New Orleans drown?
Whitie do nothing about Jena?
Whitie put us in Iraq for no reason?

When I read that, I laughed. But it didn’t stop PUMAs and their ilk and fellow travelers taking it as Booman confirming that the tape actually existed, and posting selective quotes in every comment stream they could find, even while other well-meaning folks on the left quoted it as an explanation that Michelle Obama had been misunderstood, in the process implying that the tape did exist. A lot of good it did them in the end, but I’m sure you’ll still find some who believe it’s only a matter of time before it finally emerges on Fox, given that we’re apparently now at such a desperate stage in the election that the much-maligned Reverend Wright is again featuring in their output.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 09/26/12 at 12:34 PM

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