Quick Hits, or Two-for-the-Price-of-One
Recently, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have become at least mildly irked by a handful of irritating characters. These folks—obnoxious as they are—didn’t strike us as individually worthy of an entire edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” devoted to their excoriation.
And this, dear reader, established a problem: We clearly wanted to tear into these chuckleheads, but we weren’t prepared to waste a full day’s post on them. To waste so much time and energy on idiots of their ilk was simply foolish.
For a good deal of time, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t know what to do. And then it collectively struck us: Why not devote a few humble posts to their collective demolition? That way, we can kill a few birds with a smaller number of stones (so to say), and offer our readers a veritable extravaganza of contumely.
As a result, dear reader, we are pleased as peaches to present the following truncated rants:
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have always thought about the craft of acting much as the Romans did: It is an occupation fit for a slave. But the vapid Andie MacDowell sinks to such inscrutable levels of talentlessness that one is simply left dumfounded.
What can one say about Ms. MacDowell? She makes the fellow who played the Hamburglar in those McDonald’s commercials seem like Sir Lawrence Olivier. She should compel Roddy MacDowell to change his last name, just in case some believe that he sired such ungifted progeny.
If Ms. MacDowell’s appearance in “Green Card” with Gerard Depardieu wasn’t a sign of the apocalypse, we don’t know what is.
Continuing with our filmic theme, we would like to comment on Joel Siegel, the yes-man-cum-movie-reviewer for the feculent television program “Good Morning America.” Mr. Siegel seems to be about as discriminating in his reviews as Wilt Chamberlain was with the ladies.
As a result, Mr. Siegel’s bromidic blurbs grace the advertisements of umpteen horrid films. Upon the terribly rare occasion that Ebert and Roper don’t like a movie, one can always count on Mr. Siegel to come up to bat with a ridiculous complement. This guy would say something nice about “Joe Dirt,” for crying out loud!
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have thus established a foolproof system for choosing movies: Any flick that Joel Siegel has lauded gets a pass. So far it’s worked for us.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long heard our fellow “webloggers” excitedly discuss all the “buzz” (as Tina Brown would say) in which they are embroiled. It was the “blogosphere,” after all, that short-circuited Dan Rather’s prestigious career as a teleprompter reader. And the “webloggers,” moreover, helped “energize the base” (as the pundits would say), ensuring that George W. Bush was re-elected.
Naturally, the “webloggers” were also largely delighted to find that four more years for the Bush Administration greatly perturbed our European friends, who appear to consider President Bush a curious amalgam of Jack Palance and Gomer Pyle.
Despite this impressive resumé, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have the sneaking suspicion that pretty much all of our fellow “webloggers” pine to write for prestigious publications. Or, failing that, The American Spectator
We know what you are thinking, fellow “webloggers”: Not me; I’ll never sell out and pen articles for hoity-toity journals and receive impressive book deals. To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Yeah, right. We think that pretty much every “weblogger” yearns to become the next Norman Mailer—except, unlike Mr. Mailer, they don’t want to stab their wives, and experience their artistic peak in 1948. We mean, come on: Has anyone actually read Mailer’s rancid The Naked and the Dead
? The publisher should rename that “The (Thankfully) Clothed and (Unfortunately) Still Alive.”
But we collectively digress. As far as we are concerned, manifold “webloggers” hope to use their “websites” as stepping-stones to careers as famous public intellectuals.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have no idea how to do this. In fact, if we did, you can be darned sure we wouldn’t be tied down to this sinking ship, writing a bunch of arrant piffle each weekday.
Even so, dear reader, we believe that we can offer you a few good ideas of what not
to do, if you secretly yearn to parlay your “weblogging” into a career in the world of literature and journalism. As such, we are pleased as peacocks to present:
“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official “Weblogging” No-Nos:
1. Never give your “weblog” a title that could be deemed offensive to some, such as “Women, Minorities, and Other Problems,” or “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”
2. Don’t dilate on uninspired personal anecdotes. Sure, you work in a cubicle, and your boss is a jerk. Thanks, Dilbert. That’s about as interesting as watching paint dry.
3. Never write a “weblog” as feculent as Sullywatch
. (If you have a third-grade education, you needn’t worry about this, as your musings—however stupid—will surely dwarf his.)
4. Although attempting to find a niche market for your “weblog” is all fine and good, topics such as animal husbandry and royal blue crayons probably have too limited an appeal to catapult you into the intellectual stratosphere.
5. Don’t write in Norwegian, as even Swedes won’t be able to read your posts.
6. Never carp on the sins of a publication to which you would like to contribute. For instance, never “weblog” about the hypocritical pseudo-radicalism of Perry Anderson, Marxist-cum-millionaire editor of The New Left Review
7. Don’t write ridiculous posts that offer inane lists of things for other “webloggers” to avoid.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year—According to Capitalist Oppressors
Well, dear reader, today is the busiest shopping day of the year. Whilst you waste away in a cubicle fretting over useless busy work, millions of Americans are out spreading holiday cheer by purchasing all sorts of gifts for their respective loved ones. Kind of makes you feel like a surly loner, doesn’t it?
Indeed, dear reader, the day after Thanksgiving is always a hectic time. And yet there are some who hope that it would be far less so.
To whom, you may be asking yourself, does the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” refer? We’re glad you asked.
A few years ago, a junior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was accosted by a youthful ne’er-do-well, who urged “Chip” not to purchase anything on the day after Thanksgiving.
And why, you may ask, was this young derelict exhorting “Chip” to keep his wallet shut? Was it to celebrate Casino Day, a new holiday in which Native Americans can glory in the filthy lucre they have won from their manifold gambling establishments? No, sir.
Rather, this dimwitted post-adolescent hoped that manifold Americans would refrain from purchasing gifts, in order to protest against the disgraceful consumer culture we all inhabit. By not buying presents, it seems, we would come one collective step closer to the wonders of Communism.
Well, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had to admire some things about this fellow. After all, he was right: Not many lucky inhabitants of Communist countries would receive gifts for the holidays—as those holidays are of religious import, and only the high-ups in the classless society of Communism would have the expendable cash to afford such goodies.
Even so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had the sneaking suspicion that this fellow’s idea wasn’t so great. Suppose all Americans refrained from their holiday purchases. We have a hard time believing that the economic effects of this would be benign. Unless you consider everyone losing his or her job and eating garbage benign. (And if you do, you’re a libertarian.)
Intrigued by the striking lack of forethought on the part of this fellow, “Chip” strolled up to him and asked him the following question: Do you have a job? Naturally, “Chip” expected this fellow to reply that he slaved away for The Socialist Workers Magazine
, or held some other suitably anti-capitalist occupation.
But no: This fellow informed “Chip” that he worked for IBM. IBM? Oh, come on, Mr. Marxist! We hated to quote Stokley Carmichael (we much prefer Hoagy Carmichael), but if you ain’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Or something.
So, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a message for our readers: Please refrain from buying any IBM goods for the holidays, and perhaps this ignoramus will lose his job.
No, Screw You, Clif Garboden
Recently, dear reader, a correspondent from our Great Barrington (MA) office sent us a curious opinion piece
penned by one Clif Garboden, the senior managing editor of The Boston Phoenix
. Although it is difficult to discern, it appears as if Mr. Garboden is upset with the outcome of the recent American presidential election.
The piece, delicately titled "Screw You, America: Sometimes the Fish in the Barrel Deserve To Die," offers an oblique and nuanced condemnation of these here United States. It begins thus:
Don’t forgive my anger. All this needs to be said. And I know that as soon as that stiff-faced to-the-manure-born right-wing lackey in the White House tries to appoint a 21st-century counterpart to Roy Bean to the Supreme Court in a few weeks, more people are going to wish they said it sooner. John Kerry f***ed up. More important [sic], America f***ed up. And the people who f***ed up the most—you infamous red-staters—are going to suffer along with the rest of us. To put it in a lingo a NASCAR devotee would understand, “Ya’ll deserve a good talkin’-to.”
Charming, isn’t it? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can see how Mr. Garboden has risen through the editorial ranks at a prestigious free-bee newspaper that features copious ‘phone sex advertisements.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t help but admire Mr. Garboden’s vitriol. After all, who are we to cast aspersions on our hate-filled journalistic colleagues?
In addition, we particularly enjoyed the way Mr. Garboden offers a warm vision of Middle America. Is this the famous Democratic Party populism we have heard so much about? We are delighted that Mr. Garboden cares so deeply about the degenerate slush that inhabits this great country.
But we needn’t speak for Mr. Garboden, since Mr. Garboden does such a good job himself:
A lot of us effete Easterners want to know: What the f*** is wrong with you?! You voted against your self-interest at every turn (you dumb-asses in South Dakota deserve special credit for voting out one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate) and re-elected an ignorant cowboy who can’t be trusted to remember a lunch order, never mind run a country. What in the name of God….[sic]?! Wait, it
was in the name of God, wasn’t it? Rendered weak and ignorant by a spoon-fed climate of fear, you slack-jawed inbred flatlanders have sought refuge in the traditional twin towers of mindlessness—jingoistic patriotism and fundamentalist religion.
Gee, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are awed by the command of logic Mr. Garboden displays. He’s not just some mindless nitwit hurling epithets. No, that would be too “inbred.” Rather, he has offered his readers a subtle—if slightly effete—argument.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have only one question: What the heck is a “spoon-fed climate of fear”? We don’t want to come across as a bunch of “slack-jawed inbred flatlanders,” but we have the sneaking suspicion that Mr. Garboden has offered us some rather poor writing. Perhaps even a NASCAR devotee could realize its kindergarten-esque flaws.
Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to offer Mr. Garboden huzzahs for presenting his readers with an inordinately lengthy article without any semblance of an argument. That’s pretty impressive: Normally, even the most pathetic congeries of mean-spirited fluff occasionally stoops to the level of “argument” once in a while. But not Mr. Garboden’s work.
May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemongeer’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest that Mr. Garboden receive a position in President Bush’s cabinet? Not, of course, as a representative of the Bush administration, but in one of his cupboards.
The Crack Young Staff Steps Up to the Microphone
In a recent post, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discussed an insipid graduate student conference entitled “Transformations and Mutations.” One of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—decided to submit a paper to this conference. Below is a transcript of the speech, which we hope will be delivered at the conference.
Before I begin my talk, I want to thank the Department of Romance Studies here at august Duke University, for accepting this paper—especially since I do not hale from the University of Richmond, Salem State University, or any of the other prestigious institutions of higher learning whose graduate students, like a plague, have descended upon this campus.
I would also like to thank the previous speaker, Mary Adkins, for offering such an illuminating look into the culture of hermaphroditism and otherness. It is this kind of work that is compelling political figures worldwide to stop and take notice of the important contributions to human learning that the academy is making.
My paper ostensibly answers a question that the conference organizers, in all their wisdom, have proffered in their advertising for this event: Why is a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Titus Andronicus different from one put on by prisoners at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky?
I believe that I can present a few reasonable answers to this deeply serious—nay, crucial—query.
First, though, a little postmodern theoretical throat clearing, as it is my understanding that such papers are always replete with this kind of palaver. As Baudrillard once wrote: “In the Euclidean space of history, the shortest path between two points is the straight line, the line of Progress and Democracy. But this is only true of the linear space of the Enlightenment.”
Frankly, this statement appears to have no relevance to my topic today, and does not even appear to make much in the way of sense. (I always thought that Euclid wrote before
the Enlightenment, but that may simply be the result of my white-male narrative of history.)
Without further ado, then, I humbly submit some potential differences between an RSC and an LLCC production of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus
. May I simply say, however, that the Department of Romance Studies’ decision to foist this text into its advertisement seems elitist? Why not highlight a less Eurocentric play—a play less linked to the traditions of the classical canon? How about Cloud 9
? It’s like this department has never heard of women before.
Anyway, on to my list of potential differences:
1. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance is less likely to feature performances by men named Bubba or given the sobriquet “Fingers.”
2. The Luther Luckett Correctional Complex is infamous for having one of the worst black-box theaters in the history of American correctional facilities. As such, its performance is more likely to be vexed by bad acoustics.
3. Idiotic graduate students such as those represented in today’s audience are far more likely to attend a performance of Shakespeare offered by the RSC, despite their misguided championing of the thespianic art of the LLCC.
4. Ticket prices.
5. Although an equal number of RSC and LLCC actors are likely to have been brought up on sodomy charges, the LLCC will pretty much have a lock on arrests for other crimes.
6. The LLCC actors, being American, will have better dental work.
7. The prison uniforms of LLCC actors in the play will not amount to a dramatic political statement regarding the injustices of contemporary life in the West. Rather, they will be prison uniforms.
8. The RSC actors will have better headshots.
Fight, Fight, Fight!
Literate fans of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” may have noticed two particularly revealing recent news items. (And no, we aren’t discussing the brouhahas regarding The Spectator
; we’re using “revealing” in another sense of the word. So keep your trousers up, Boris.) First, at an awards ceremony presided over by something called Vibe
magazine, a melee broke out, in which one man was stabbed. Second, at a basketball game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, a full-scale brawl occurred, in which a number of players took part.
Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not big fans of “rap music,” and we don’t hale from Detroit. Even so, we believe that we have gleaned something about contemporary American society that is—if we must say so ourselves—intriguing.
It appears as if the American public is just itching for some fisticuffs. To our friends on the Left, this is no doubt related to the brutal misadventure in Iraq, which was undertaken to enrich a cabal of evil neoconservative blah, blah, blah.
We aren’t so sure that’s true. But we do know that citizens and illegal aliens of these here United States of America are dying (literally and figuratively) to take in some scuffles.
And, no, we aren’t implying that this sets the stage for renewed interest in boxing, karate, wrestling, or violent videogames. Rather, visionaries that we are, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think we have landed on just the thing to captivate the American public and take in billions of dollars.
Our idea? How nice of you to ask. We call it “Beating the Tar Out of the Stars,” and we think it could make us squillionaires.
“Beating the Tar Out of the Stars,” broadcast, naturally enough, on the Fox Television Network, pits a group of ten ordinary Joes battling it out with ten A-List celebrities. Ten construction workers, say, could take on ten professional baseball players. Ten lawyers, say, could take on two boy bands. You get the picture.
Think, dear reader, of the entertainment value this would offer the greater American public. Most celebrities would brandish noses more broken than Geraldo’s. Average working folk could glory in pummeling Madeline Albright. And ten members of British Petroleum’s executive board could thrash Sean Penn, proving that some people actually consider “blood for oil” a reasonable transaction.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Television networks, in all their moral earnestness, have already offered the public various grudge matches between C-List celebrities such as Vanilla Ice and Tanya Harding.
But that stuff’s all child’s play. No one cares about Vanilla Ice getting pummeled; most of his career has been one long drubbing. But when Jack Nicholson is missing some teeth, the whole world will smile.
Where’s the Romance?
Recently, a correspondent from our Durham (NC) office sent us word of a spine-tingling conference
that is soon to take place at Duke University. This graduate student colloquy, entitled “Transformations and Mutations,” is sponsored by Duke’s Department of Romance Studies
In the course of the advertisement for this meeting of the minds, the Department of Romance Studies does its best to make it crystal clear to its readers that this conference will offer the requisite genuflections to “interdisciplinarity” and kindred beacons of academic fashion.
To be sure, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t originally believe there was much novel about this grad student gathering. In fact, we originally presumed it was yet another ho-hum attempt to appear trendy.
But then we took a gander at the end of the advertisement, and we couldn’t stop laughing. It reads in part as follows (with our own humble commentary humbly affixed):
Papers could engage such questions as:
--How does sand change into a pearl?
Gee. That’s a heck of a question. We suppose we don’t know. But we have the feeling that a conference dedicated to “Romance Studies” isn’t the best place to present a paper on this topic. Perhaps an eighth-grade science class would prove more sufficient?
--How have linguistic changes enhanced or hindered self-expression?
Well, back in the past we could chastise the sponsors of this conference for being a passel of toplofty witlings, whereas nowadays we’d have to label them a group of self-important boobs. How’s that for self-expression?
--How did Mr. Rogers use words and music to create meaning for his television neighborhood?
Oh, for crying out loud. This
pathetic dross is the stuff of academic fashion? We can almost see the smug self-satisfaction that drips from these grad students’ faces. We’ve mentioned Mr. Rogers, they chirp; that means we’re really with it.
--What, exactly, triggers a revolution?
Wow, that’s too bad. One of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—recently composed a paper entitled “That Which, More or Less, Triggers a Revolution.” Since our friends in Romance Studies want the specifics, however, we guess “Chip” will have to submit his talk to another mindless exercise in intellectual masturbation.
--Why is a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Titus Andronicus different from one put on by prisoners at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky?
Finally a question we can answer! First, for the sake of the RSC’s future, we hope there would be some distinction in quality, however slight. In addition, we have the sneaking suspicion that the RSC’s snacks at intermission would be manifestly superior to the bread and water offered by the convicts.
Come on, Department of Romance Studies! Was that really so difficult a question?
As any reasonably literate person knows, all the highfalutin newspapers and magazines—such as, say, Maxim
—have a corrections section. This small part of each issue allows editors and writers to apologize to their readers for their various errors.
As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, our humble “weblog” has never made a mistake. Okay, okay: Every once in a blue moon we commit some sort of grammatical peccadillo; or perhaps we spell sumthing rong. These, naturally, are minor sins in comparison with, say, the entire oeuvre of Jayson Blair.
Even so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” pine and yearn to become one of the media’s big boys—a paragon of journalistic integrity. Kind of like The New York Post
, only respectable.
Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to offer an intermittent series of posts in which we apologize for defamation, libel, and kindred minor lapses in judgment. In truth, of course, we’ve never stooped to such levels of skullduggery. In order to be taken really seriously by such beacons of integrity as The Daily Mirror
, however, we’re compelled to invent some faults.
Without further ado, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly offer the first in our intermittent series of dubious apologetics and ritual self-flagellations:
1. In an uninspired post
we published long ago, we made manifold references to the ponderosity of Michael Moore. In fact, we insinuated that he was a Marxist in regard to everything but the doughnuts. Although this may technically be true (we’d blithely put money on it), it wasn’t very pleasant. So, to all of our readers who head to “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” in order to get a daily fix of happiness, we most humbly apologize.
2. In an uninspired post
we published long ago, we ridiculed comparative literature graduate students. More specifically, we mocked their pseudo-radical sartorial choices and their obnoxious moral preening. Although we firmly believe that everything we wrote was dead-on, we may have led our readers to believe that we were a collection of WASP oppressors, whose castigation of lowly radicals stems from our deep-seated desire to maintain the status quo. This is entirely unfounded: Roughly 47 percent of the crack young staff is not Protestant.
3. Upon the “death” of academic guru Jacques Derrida, our friends the Llama Butchers
hoped that we would make fun of the late doyen of deconstruction. We would have done so, yet we figured that, since language is an imperfect system and the signifier has an arbitrary relationship to the signified, it is impossible to state unequivocally that Jacques Derrida is dead. In proper postmodern form, we could note that “Jacques Derrida” is “dead,” but we figured that simply wouldn’t cut the proverbial mustard with the Llamas. We deeply regret this omission.
We don’t know about you, dear reader, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel a lot better about ourselves. We’re really glad we got this off our collective chest. Now we can return to our usual schedule of preaching to the converted and utterly misinforming the public.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” never thought we’d say it, but there were couple of benefits to this year’s World Series appearing on the Fox Television Network. Well, perhaps we made too bold a claim. Even so, there was one
benefit to Fox’s broadcast of the Major League Baseball playoffs. And this, dear reader, was the fact that NBC’s Bob Costas wasn’t covering the games.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Pretty much every sportscaster is a major league irritant. Joe Morgan, for instance, has risen to the pinnacle of his profession despite the fact that he shares Magic Johnson’s grasp of the English language. Tim McCarver routinely ‘phones in his weak performances. John Madden is fat. And Bob Uecker: Come on! We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” lost respect for him ever since they cancelled “Mr. Belvedere.”
Still, there is something particularly enraging about Bob Costas, NBC’s half-pint sentimentalist. This panjandrum seems incapable of discussing a sporting event without incessant recourse to stories that are supposed to tug at the viewership’s collective heartstrings.
For instance, the diminutive Mr. Costas is always bleating about his relationship with his father. My dad would never talk to me, he babbles, unless we were sitting side-by-side at a baseball game. If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were Bob Costas’ dad, we’d never
take our son to a game; then we’d never
have to talk to him.
There are, in fact, myriad reasons to loathe Bob Costas. Instead of discussing sporting events, he ineluctably offers dubious parallels between them and more grandiose occurrences. To Costas, baseball isn’t just baseball. Baseball is the quintessence of America. Baseball is democracy in action. Baseball is blah, blah, blah.
To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Oh, puh-lease
. This guy is so sappy he’d make John Hughes vomit. He’s like the black Ahmad Rashad.
In his sundry television appearances, Costas is always attempting to demonstrate his fantastic sense of humor. It was due to his alluring charm, in fact, that he was the host of an NBC late-night show—until he was replaced by the even more gifted Carson Daly. Talk about talent.
All in all, though, clearly it is Costas’ penchant for turning any broadcast into some sort of ersatz tearjerker that should inspire all sports fans to bristle at the mention of his name. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t know what “Costas” means in Spanish (or even if it is a Spanish word), but we have a hunch it stands for “Thank God for the mute button.”
Introducing Lefto, the Amazing Left-Wing Mind-Reader
Ladies and Gentlemen, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a special treat for you today. In fact, this edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is even superior to the preternaturally high quality material we normally feature on our humble “weblog.”
And why, you may be asking yourself, is today’s installment such a gift? We thought that you might ask. Well, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are proud as peacocks to present an impressive guest. His name is Lefto, and he is one of the world’s preeminent left-wing mind-readers.
We suppose, dear reader, that you are wondering what a left-wing mind-reader does. Naturally, you have discerned that this character reads minds, and that he probably agrees with the political views of, say, Cornel West. But what is the stuff that makes a left-wing mind-reader
? Sans the afro.
Well, dear reader, wonder no more. Without much in the way of further ado, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are content to offer you Lefto. In order to showcase his impressive talents (his sixth sense is so keen that it is worth six votes in the electoral college), we have provided some quotations below; Lefto will analyze these quotations, and offer the true rationale behind the statements.
Lefto, the Amazing Left-Wing Mind-Reader, Intuits the Hidden Meaning Behind Quotations:
Quotation the First:
If one allows the infidels to continue playing their role of corrupters of the Earth, their eventual moral punishment will be all the stronger. Thus, if we kill the infidels in order to put a stop to their activities, we have indeed done them a service….War is a blessing for the world and for every nation. It is Allah himself who commands men to wage war and kill.
The late Ayatollah here demonstrates his typical concern for economic inequality. As anyone schooled in left-wing mind-reading can tell, the Ayatollah merely desires the United States to implement a more progressive tax policy, and to offer socialized health care. If the West does so, the Ayatollah clearly would have no longer supported any kind of military action against non-Muslims. For this, of course, would be intolerant, and the Ayatollah was most assuredly a beacon of tolerance.
Quotation the Second:
America is now controlled by the Jews, completely, as are its news, its elections, its economy, and its politics. It uses Israel to attack its neighbors and to slaughter those who are living peacefully there….If we are a nation of martyrs—as we claim—all that we need is courage of heart and the will of killers and the belief in what we claim be love of death for Allah’s sake.
The distinguished Mr. al-Zawahiri is clearly concerned about the contracts that the American government has bestowed upon Haliburton. In addition, he is troubled by Israel’s military response to such “militant” groups as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. After all, Mr. al-Zawahiri is obviously a firm supporter of a two-state solution. In addition, like the Ayatollah, Mr. al-Zawahiri is gravely upset by the economic inequality he can detect in the Western world. Oh, and one more thing: He doesn’t hate Jews. He would gladly welcome one into his neighborhood, and would be delighted to dine with one if his precious, virginal daughter took one home to dinner.
Quotation the Third:
The first thing that we have to make clear is that no distinction must be made between the Jew and the Israeli….The Jew is a Jew, through the millennia...in spurning all moral values, devouring the living and drinking his blood for the sake of a few coins.
--Dr. Lufti Abd al-Azim
One does not need a Ph.D. to realize that the Good Doctor is here troubled by the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just like Mr. al-Zawahiri, Dr. Abd al-Azim is a staunch supporter of a two-state solution. Obviously, if the United States were more “evenhanded” in its approach to the Middle East, the Good Doctor would blithely live in peace with his blood-sucking, immoral infidel neighbors, whom he only in jest referred to as “devouring the living.” As a result, Dr. Abd al-Azim’s reasonable criticisms underscore the insanity of the current policy of the United States toward Israel. Dr. Abd al-Azim desperately yearns to hug a Jew, but mean old America simply won’t let him.
So, dear reader, there you have it: The eerily insightful mind-reading of the Amazing Lefto. Just how does he do it? Well, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to spoil the magic, but we have a hunch that the first step to left-wing mind-reading is utterly ignoring the quotation itself.
Diligent readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” may have noted that the crack young staff often takes aim at what characters in Eugene O’Neill plays charmingly call “goils.” Or, as our feminist friends know them, “broads.”
And, to be sure, there is a degree of truth to this: Throughout the course of the wild, wild ride that has been “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we, the crack young staff, have oft taken umbrage with the weaker sex.
Now, as loyal readers of our humble “weblog” will no doubt inform you, roughly 47 percent of the crack young staff is of the feminine persuasion. And we’re not even including Tim. Accordingly, before you malign us as a passel of hysterical misogynists, you should at least note that roughly half the staff is, as our friends on the Left say, “internalizing the oppressor.”
Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that it was about time to make sure that the fellahs got their share of the lumps too. After all, an excruciatingly large number of men are torrentially irksome.
And what better subset of the gentlemen to contemn than the common, garden-variety frat boy? Frankly, dear reader, we couldn’t think of a reason either.
As such, without further ado, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly devote today’s edition of our humble “weblog” to that most noxious of collegiate creatures, the frat guy.
You know the kind of guy we mean, dear reader: Drowning in Abercrombie & Fitch gear, the frat guy is a full-time acquaintance-rapist who is moonlighting as a student. (Or should we say daylighting
as a student?) In general, the frat guy has the brainpower of the average mollusk. Yet, unlike a mollusk, the frat guy does not have a soft unsegmented body that is usually enclosed in a calcareous shell. The idiot.
When not engaged in acts of rape, the frat boy is usually absorbed in his ancillary activities: Turning his liver into a brown banana and cheating on examinations. Adjusting the brim of his cap also takes up much of the frat guy’s free time. This cap, naturally, offers the name of a college with a suitably witty mascot: The University of South Carolina Game Cocks, for example. Apparently, this kind of ingenious humor is a big hit with eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old girls.
Oddly, the more aggressive and uncouth the frat guy, the more popular he is with the ladies. It’s as if college women are desperately in search of the most Cro-Magnon-esque young men on the planet.
As far as musical tastes, the average frat boy tends to like the three “Bs”: Bruce, Billy Joel, and Bowie. Well, actually, that kind of fare proves too esoteric for him: He prefers the odious brand of popular music one might dub “college rock”: Whiny, know-it-all singers, and pseudo-heavy metal guitars. And a bit of rap, just to prove to the ladies that this white boy is “down with it.”
This all leads us to one final question: What should one do when confronted by a frat guy? (In reality, it is difficult to confront just one of them, as they tend to travel in packs.) We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suggest that you chuck a can of Budweiser at him and run in the other direction.
Who Gets the Academic Job?—The Answer
In our last post, dear reader, we inaugurated the higher-education version of the old television commercial “You Make the Call.” According to our updated and slightly intellectualized version, the audience plays the role of the chairperson of a prestigious university’s comparative literature department, and must decide between three final candidates.
After offering you, dear reader, potted profiles of the three finalists, we exhorted you to send us an e-missive, and, as they said on the commercials, make the call.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would now like to offer you the official answer to our query.
First, a brief review of the candidates. Janet Stancill is a left-wing chucklehead who focused her research on the arrant nonsense contemporary academics label “cultural studies.” (Interestingly, “cultural studies” has essentially nothing to do with culture or studying, but that is another matter.) The second candidate, Philip Largent, is a left-wing chucklehead who focused his research on the crucial sub-field of wax modeling. Apparently, this has much to tell us about the patriarchal, misogynistic, xenophobic society we inhabit. The third candidate, Jose de Jesus, is Latino.
We are delighted to inform you, dear reader, that the large majority of our readership answered correctly: The tenure-track gig must surely go to Mr. de Jesus. This hasn’t anything to do with the caliber of his work; he appears to be engaged in the same kind of pseudo-academic dross that has enraptured Ms. Stancill and Mr. Largent. In fact, it is certain that—like Ms. Stancil and Mr. Largent—Mr. de Jesus is slightly to the Left of Joseph Stalin. Some mistakes were made, but, overall, the Gulag was a good thing.
Yet, as many of our readers realized, none of this matters a jot in the world of contemporary academe. Jose de Jesus is a Latino; as such, he offers a unique perspective on matters, even though he has precisely the same opinions as everyone else in his department. This, you understand, is the real meaning of the word “diversity”: A passel of folks of varying skin tones who tout the same left-wing political shibboleths.
One clever reader offered the interesting notion that Mr. Largent had formerly been Ms. Largent. In addition, this reader claimed, Mr. Largent was black. To be sure, if this were true, Mr. Largent would be hired immediately. After all, blacks trump Latinos in the “oppression sweepstakes,” much as a royal flush beats a straight. (In fact, a black beats a straight, too.)
Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” certainly would have informed our readership about all of Mr. Largent’s intellectual qualifications for his job: I.e., that he’s a transsexual black.
The prestigious university for which you served as the chair of the comparative literature department blithely informs its applicants that it is “an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.” To us, this is much like saying that one’s organization is firmly dedicated to pacifism—and routinely kills people.
So, congratulations to those of you who answered Mr. de Jesus. You made the right call.
Who Gets the Academic Job?—Academe’s Version of “You Make the Call”
Perhaps, dear reader, you recall those old television commercials that required viewers to pretend they were referees, and make calls to close plays in sporting events. As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, those were pure television magic; we haven’t any idea why they still aren’t on the air.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider them so indescribably sublime that we have decided to offer our own version of them. Naturally, though, we have offered a twist.
Without any further ado, then, we are proud as peacocks to present:
Who Gets the Academic Job?—The University Version of “You Make the Call”:
Imagine, dear reader, that you are the chairman of the comparative literature department at a prestigious American university. (Excuse us: You are the chairperson
; “chairman” is so phallocratic.) Anyway, as the chairperson of comp lit, you are casting the deciding vote on the candidate for a tenure-track gig in your department.
Your department has already covered all of the rudimentary subjects that a good comp lit program should: Comic books, film theory, Deleuze, etc. Accordingly, you hope to choose the applicant who will make the best addition to your department.
The following, then, are potted summaries of the applicants’ resumés. After perusing them, dear reader, you, the chairperson of comparative literature, must decide whom to hire.
Candidate the First: Janet Stancil
Ms. Stancil received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation, titled “Pork and Mindy: Judaica and the Early Work of Robin Williams,” offered an Althusserian take on the oeuvre of the hirsute comedian. She has published one article, entitled “Mon-tell: Toward a Queer Hermeneutics of Montel Williams,” which appeared in the journal
Uninterestingly Radical Comparative Literature Professor.
Candidate the Second: Philip Largent
Mr. Largent received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Columbia University, where he wrote a dissertation titled “Waxing Poetic: Madame Toussaint and the Other.” Most of his scholarly work has pertained to the crucial topic of wax modeling; in 2003, he gave a talk at the controversial “Wax Models and Comparative Literature” conference, which three people attended.
Candidate the Third: Jose de Jesus
Mr. de Jesus received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from New Mexico State University. His dissertation, “Queer Aztlan: The Poetics of Chicano/a Resistance,” was highly touted by both of the faculty members of New Mexico State’s comp lit department. Although he has never published a scholarly article, Mr. de Jesus does write regularly for
Latin Dog Fancy.
So, dear reader, those are the statistics. Who gets the academic job? You make the call.
In order to vote, simply click the “Contact Us” link found at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen, and send us your pick.
Techno, Techno, Techno, Techno, Techno
Do you, dear reader, thoroughly enjoy the music of Philip Glass, but don’t find it sufficiently repetitive? Do you, dear reader, thoroughly enjoy the music of Philip Glass, but don’t find it sufficiently repetitive? Do you, dear reader, thoroughly enjoy the music of Philip Glass, but don’t find it sufficiently repetitive?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, techno “music” may just be for you.
And what, you may ask, is techno? Well, first, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” should note that most techno is created in the soul capital of the world: Brussels. Yep: Belgium is not only known for its excruciatingly obnoxious EU red tape; on the contrary, it is also home to a brand of music so irksomely iterative that a monkey, upon hearing it, would immediately start pummeling you with feces.
In essence, techno is dance music for those who find rap a bit too subtle and sophisticated. It offers its listeners an incessant thud, thud, thud beat and a small assortment of industrial-esque sounds repeated ad nauseam. (And, depending on whether you are enjoying techno whilst drinking like an Irish sailor, the sounds may actually repeat literally ad nauseam.)
In order to fashion a really popular techno song, it seems, one must record a snippet from an eight-year-old British girl and repeat this over the mind-numbing beat. This little tot should say something such as “Mommy likes the carpet,” or “Excuse me, mister,” or “I’m high on a shoe-shine”—in short, a nonsensical phrase. This, apparently, is the sine qua non
of techno artistry.
All this may lead you to think, dear reader, that becoming a famous techno “music” producer isn’t particularly hard. Simply ransack your old Steve Reich albums and water them down with a viciously inept 4/4 beat. What could be simpler?
Well, dear reader, it ain’t that easy. First, one must come up with a suitably hip name; kids these days aren’t going to buy records by a guy named Norman Shapiro, now are they?
And this new name could prove very difficult to invent. May we humbly suggest a few? How about “DJ Herniation and the Blind Bat”? Or “Growth Stunt”? Or “Rabid Toes”? Or, following the Belgian theme, “Aan & Uit”?
Or why not offer a bit of truth in advertising: “DJ Guy Who Can’t Read Music Attempting to Cash in on the Fact that Some People Seem to Enjoy Music that is the Aesthetic Equivalent of Chinese Water Torture”?
Sure, it isn’t very catchy, but it has a certain, as the French Belgians say, “we don’t know what.”
Over the past few days, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t been particularly vituperative. In fact, devotees of our humble “weblog” may have noted that we haven’t proved as spiteful of late. Where, they may be asking themselves, is the contumely?
Well, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the comparatively mannered tone of our e-musings in recent days is related to the subject matter that we have chosen to tackle: C-Span callers, NOW boosters, and other assorted ne’er-do-wells.
Sure, these things are all irritants, but they aren’t galactically wretched. As such, in order to live up to our full vindictive potential, we needed to hit upon a topic that could inspire the wrath of a comatose nun.
We think, dear reader, that we have found just the thing—a topic so repellant that if you don’t hate it, you are probably dead. Or, French-Canadian, which is just as bad.
And to what, you may ask, are we referring? Why, France, naturellement
. It has come to the attention of the Official Archives Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” that we have yet to offer a full frontal assault on our frog-like friends.
Frankly, dear reader, we find this mystifying. After all, it’s not as if France could withstand a full frontal assault—or, at least, for more than a couple of days. We distinctly recall friends informing us that frog-legs taste like chicken; well, the Frogs who inhabit France may not taste like chicken, but they sure act like them. A few insults from the crack young staff should have our Gallic pals shouting “We surrender” faster than you can say “Le Car.”
So, dear reader, allow us to roll up our sleeves and deliver an official “smack-down” on the beloved land with a curious history of complaining and capitulation.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal
reported the following comment from Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, on the topic of France’s role in world affairs:
Our world needs several powers….We are in the process of gathering the pieces and the will to become another power.
To be certain, this kind of rhetoric is the meat and potatoes of French Foreign Ministers. Moreover, it’s difficult to take pugnacious rhetoric from a guy named “Michel” seriously.
Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this particularly irksome. M. Barnier is informing us that he hopes France will “gather the pieces and the will to become another power,” eh? Well, it may not take too long to collect “the pieces,” but we have a sneaking suspicion that mustering “the will” shall prove a whole different matter altogether.
In fact, M. Barnier’s comments seem about as laughable as an Irish Foreign Minister (if such a creature existed) informing the world that his great nation yearned to “gather the pieces and the sobriety to become another power.” We wouldn’t bet a Guinness on it, lad.
Such polemical rhetoric from a nation only slightly less cowardly than the average new-born infant would seem merely laughable if it weren’t for one thing: France has the irritating habit of grumbling about everything that the United States does. Sure, France spends only 3 Euros a year on national defense; but this doesn’t stop its populace from incessantly carping on America’s role as a so-called hyper-power.
And when the French government isn’t preoccupied with complaining, it’s usually acting munificently—toward odious thugs, terrorists, and dictators. When Yasser Arafat feels a cold coming on, he heads to Paris, thanks to the warm welcome of Jacques Chirac.
All of this has led us to wonder: Which aspect of the French personality do we most detest? The inept, effete caterwauling, or the disgraceful moral preening? Or the inflated sense of ego? Or the coddling of authoritarians? Or Gerard Depardieu?
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose there’s only one thing to love about France: There are so many things to hate.
Subvert the Dominant Paradigm with Visa or Mastercard
A little while ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” poked fun at EdChange’s Social Justice Store
, an Internet shop from which one could miraculously purchase “social justice.” Fools that we were, we figured that this was the only e-boutique that stocked anti-capitalist paraphernalia—and then charged lots of cash for people to buy them.
After a bit of e-snooping, however, the Official Investigative Team of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” found a few other “websites” of note. It appears as if the World-Wide Web is home to destinations other than the Drudge Report
, The New York Times
, and Internet pornography. Who would have thunk it?
Take, for example, the National Organization for Women Store
. It offers, among other examples of sartorial splendor, T-shirts with catchy slogans such as “Doing My Best to Piss Off the Radical Right
.” Well, well, well: May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” be the first to suggest to our friends at NOW that, given the outcome of the Presidential and congressional elections, they start putting in a little extra effort? If we weren’t so dedicated to NOW’s mission, we might conclude that the “Radical Right” is fairly un-pissed.
Another T-shirt for sale at the NOW Store presents the fetching slogan “Hate is NOT a Family Value
.” To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: You’ve never visited our
family, now have you? In our households, “hate” is right up there with “obstinacy” as the bedrock of our family values.
Though the NOW Store certainly has a clever array of lefty accoutrements, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t find it sufficiently polemical. Sure, this stuff may win you friends at your local food co-op, but it simply isn’t radical enough for us.
Never fear, dear reader: The Official Investigative Team of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” came upon a far more rabid “website” hawking an assortment of gear heralding offensively radical messages.
We refer, of course, to the delightful e-boutique FidelChe.com
. Now this, dear reader, is the locus classicus
of anti-capitalist ridiculousness: Even the name of this “website” should be enough to inspire cackles. Prominently displayed on this virulently anti-American and anti-business “website” is the fact that prospective purchasers can easily pay with Visa and Mastercard. What, no American Express? We told you the store was anti-American.
And what, you may be asking yourselves, can you buy? Why, an assortment of excruciatingly radical T-shirts, mugs, mouse-pads, and coasters. Yes, coasters: So you can champion a world revolution without leaving unsightly watermarks on your tables. Violent anarchy has never been so compatible with an earnest regard for home décor.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were particularly impressed with the mouse pad for sale at FidelChe.com with the inspiring message “A President (Worth Assassinating).” How clever! How reasonable!
Then there’s the gorgeous mouse pad that offers an American flag that ingeniously turns into a swastika. America—or is that Amerika?—is just like Nazi Germany! Get it? What powers of discrimination the proprietors of FidelChe.com must possess! They can tell that there are no differences between the United States and the Third Reich. Bravo, comrades!
Among all these upbeat items, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” finally came upon one we really fancied: “I Love Police Brutality.” Now there’s
a slogan that we can all rally around.
Don’t Worry, Lefties: George Bush’s Second-Term Agenda Revealed
Many of our friends on the political Left have been awash in a sea of terror and vitriol. Now that the Nazi-esque George Bush has duped slack-jawed chuckleheads into voting Republican, think such characters, our country will soon become a more autocratic version of North Korea.
To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Relax, dear lefties. Sure, George Bush shall be in office for another four years. But everything is going to be okay in this police state you know and love as Amerika.
And how, you may ask, do we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know that, in the words of Bob Marley, everything is gonna’ be supereminent? We’re glad you asked.
Recently, a senior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—received a missive from a key aide in the Bush Administration. We know what you are thinking, dear reader: It isn’t bloody likely that anyone in the White House would deign to speak with us. Well, it may not be bloody likely, but it also wasn’t bloody likely that the Democrats would run a dovish liberal Democrat for President in a time of war. In short, that is to say, stranger things have happened.
This leak from the Bush Administration offered some specifics about the President’s agenda for his second term. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly offer a few of the items from this list in an effort to assuage our friends on the Left. After reading the moderate and reasonable agenda that President Bush is offering, lefties shall probably abandon their quests to pack their bags and move to a less odious country—like Saudi Arabia.
The following, then, is simply an assortment of bills the Bush Administration intends to shower on the Republican houses of congress. If this does not satisfy our friends on the Left, nothing will.
An Unofficial Leak from the Bush Administration to the Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”: The Republican Agenda for the Next Few Years:
1. The Breathe-No-Kid-Behind Act
: This piece of legislation intends to deprive children from the ages of three to fourteen of oxygen. These tykes don’t pay any taxes, and thus it’s simply unfair that they get free air. The Bush Administration is going to put a stop to it—and right quickly.
2. The Barcode Act
: As any card-carrying leftist knows, the USA Patriot Act has established an Orwellian society here at home. Only executives at Haliburton possess anything even faintly resembling civil liberties. As such, the Bush Administration hopes further to expunge the freedoms we enjoy by forcing all American citizens to receive a barcode tattoo on their foreheads. This way, officials in the FBI and kindred shadowy organizations can track our every move. Members of some minority groups will receive two barcodes, one specifically for the purpose of racial profiling.
3. The Re-Writing of the Constitution by Pat Robertson Act
: Although the President has a keen respect for the American Constitution, the document is simply too progressive. As a result, the Bush Administration will propose a wholesale redrafting of the document by televangelist Pat Robertson. In order to ensure that this is done fairly, Ralph Reed will oversee the process, and suggest further changes.
4. The Elimination of the State Act
: It seems as if every member of the ACLU is carping on the cardinal import of the separation of Church and State in this country. President Bush entirely agrees. In fact, in order to make sure that no crossover between Church and State takes place in America, the Bush Administration offers this act, which aims to eliminate the State. Once only the Church remains, there can be no possibility of overlap.
Now, dear reader, don’t you feel better?
Regular readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” may have recognized that our humble “weblog” is somewhat different from most of those found on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web. Unlike many e-scribblers, dear reader, we here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are content to present one post per day, or, as our Roman friends would put it, per diem
As a result of this editorial decision, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are often put in the unpleasant position of being unable to celebrate the “weblogs” we love. During the course of a few weeks, discriminating “webloggers” across the e-universe are kind enough to link to our humble musings. And yet, dear reader, tragically we are often unable to reciprocate.
That is, dear reader, until now. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have taken time away from our busy Saturdays in order to “show some love” to the e-community. In other words, we intend to laud some of our favorite “websites.”
We should first note, however, that we heartily recommend all of the “weblogs” to which we have linked on the right side of our humble “website.” Every one of these—including those that appear defunct (hint, hint, Forward Edge of Freedom
)—are well worth an e-traveler’s daily perusal. Some of these “weblogs” immediately astound you; others grow on you, much like a fungus. Either way, we blithely exhort our readers to check them out.
Still, we here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” want to take some time to dilate on the wonders of a few “weblogs” to which we are particularly indebted. Each day, the crack young staff reads these “weblogs” with a giddy excitement eerily reminiscent of a 12-year-old schoolgirl. As such, we simply must elaborate on their wonders at some length.
The Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Overwrought Laudations of Impressively High-Quality “Weblogs”:
Blog the First: The Llamabutchers
We know what you are saying to yourselves, dear reader: The Llamabutchers!?! But have no fear: They’re far less delicate than their name implies. Robert and Steve-O, the two proprietors of Llama-land, offer their readers hysterical musings on a variety of topics. Their mastery of Photoshop has made them the envy of “webloggers” everywhere, and has earned them more hits than Irving Berlin.
Blog the Second: The Cranky Neocon
Chock-a-block with biting humor, Gordon, the maestro also known as the Cranky Neocon, serves up a daily feast that would leave Paul Wolfowitz in stitches. He’s kind of like Alan Bloom—only not gay, not dead, and funny.
Blog the Third: Seldom Sober
One never knows how inebriated the proprietor of this wonderful “weblog” will be when he writes his next post. And therein lies the fun. From teetotaling balladry to rip-roaring vituperations, Seldom Sober is a cornucopia of goodness.
Blog the Fourth: Armavirumque
Who could leave the folks at The New Criterion
off their list? Featuring distinguished writings from the distinguished keyboards of the distinguished James Panero, Stefan Beck, and Roger Kimball, Armavirumque offers more bang for your buck than any other “weblog” in town. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will go so far as to name Messrs. Panero, Beck, and Kimball the First Triumvirate of “weblogging.”
Blog the Fifth: My Pet Jawa
It’s no surprise that the whole World-Wide Web is abuzz over My Pet Jawa, a.k.a. The Jawa Report. Its maestro, Dr. Rusty Shackelford, presents his readers with insightful commentary and gruesome videos. What’s not to love?
Blog the Sixth: Patum Peperium
Ah, yes. We have come to the handiwork of the Jacksons, the World-Wide Web’s answer to Michael and Tito. Their learned little site, Patum Peperium, has just got going, but it's already become a must-read for those in the know.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” urge our readers to visit these “websites” and take in their splendor. For those “webloggers” who have noticed that we haven’t mentioned your brilliance, have no fear: We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will recommend more “websites” in the near future.
So much to read, so little time. It makes one wonder why one is wasting one’s time pouring through our drivel, doesn’t it?
People Who Call in to C-Span
Oftentimes, dear reader, members of the chattering classes dilate on the rhetorical deficiencies of our current Commander-in-Chief. Mr. Bush’s speech, say his manifold detractors, is replete with malapropisms and grammatical lapses.
To be sure, George W. Bush isn’t the most eloquent of characters. Those in the smart set would like to think that this proves our President’s idiocy; as far as we’re concerned, his brazen stupidity has not hindered him from trouncing any of his political opponents. The dunce.
Anyway, a senior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—reflected on our newly re-elected President’s verbal dexterity as he was catching a few short hours of C-Span
C-Span, for those of our readership unacquainted with it, is kind of like PBS
—only it’s not miserably tilted toward the political Left, and never features Yanni concerts. In between hours of broadcasting Dennis Kucinich eating French toast with three superannuated ne’er-do-wells, C-Span offers a variety of programming for those who like to keep up with political and intellectual matters. And are very, very bored.
Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” do not watch the network with sufficient regularity to be certain, we have a hunch that C-Span features a morning current affairs program. In the course of this show, the anchorman offers his viewer(s) newsclips, and demonstrates that his network has such a colossal budget that it can splurge on highlighters.
In addition, dear reader, this morning program features various guests, from the high end (e.g., Peter Beinart) to the low end (e.g., a desiccated hippie from the non-profit organization Let’s All Hug the Trees) of the intellectual totem pole.
And this, dear reader, leads us to the focus of today’s humble post: The people who call this morning program and ask its guests questions.
Anyone who believes that George W. Bush hasn’t the firmest grasp on the English language ought to take in a few minutes of these calls. Without fail, each and every one of them is mumbled by a guy who can barely speak a word of our nation’s lingua franca. It’s as if they’re all AT&T customer service representatives.
Somehow, C-Span has managed to exhort the entire country’s stuttering buffoons to call in with torturously rambling queries. After a few false starts, the caller in question ineluctably “ums” and “ahs” his way to a ridiculously insipid comment. Naturally, the only fun involved in this horror is watching the televised guest, who puts on his best poker face, and attempts to offer the impression that the fellow on the ‘phone isn’t a drooling moron.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t have any idea how to run a television network, but we still think we could make some improvements to C-Span’s forays into audience participation. Who screens C-Span’s calls? It’s as if they have a direct line to every loony bin in the continental United States.
And just when you think you’ve heard the most poorly delivered question in the history of humankind, inevitably the next caller offers an even more impressive Helen Keller impersonation.
So, dear reader, the next time you bemoan the poor oratorical skills of contemporary politicians, head on over to C-Span. That network makes Mike Tyson seem like Alan Keyes.
A Short Post Against the Obligatory Interviewing of Athletes After Sporting Events, Being a Sharp Rebuke to the Idiocy of Sportscasters Everywhere
Now that the election is over (well, mostly, we guess), dear reader, and all is right with the world (well, pretty much, we guess), we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to use today’s edition of our humble “weblog” to dilate on an issue unrelated to politics.
Some, following the diktats of Gloria Steinem and her ilk, might say that “the personal is the political,” and thus, we assume, anything we say has political ramifications. That, we think, is a pretty good point, except for one thing: It’s inane.
Without further ado, then, let us turn to the subject of today’s post: The ineluctably unenlightened interview with athletes after sporting events. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to submit this humble plea to those receptacles of hair gel known as “sportscasters”: Please stop interviewing athletes.
Many readers may be wondering why we find such interviews so pernicious. Well, allow us to elaborate.
First, we should note that most athletes are (how to put this inoffensively?) outrageously stupid. They make Tony Danza seem like James Joyce. They make the Olsen twins seem like Steven Hawking. In a word, they’re pinheads.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: Some athletes are rather smart cookies; why take Mike Tyson, for example. Touché. Touché. Still, we feel as if we are hardly going out on a limb by concluding that most professional athletes are about as articulate as a mute stutterer.
We suppose we could point to many instances that would prove our point. For example, television interviews with winning racecar drivers are inevitably unwatchable. No matter what the question, no matter what the circumstances, the triumphant professional motorist always offers this remark:
Well, the car was running good [sic].
Why don’t our chuckleheaded sportscasters simply save time and inform the audience of how good (sic) the car was running themselves? That’s at least three seconds of stupidity that we could avoid each Saturday afternoon.
Personally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would love it if the American tax-payer could flip the bill for duct tape to be placed over the mouths of all professional athletes. After all, anyone who incessantly spits and scratches his groin probably isn’t going to be modernity’s answer to Cicero, now is he?
The World’s Most Muddleheaded Idiot
The September/October number of Foreign Policy
, dear reader, features a section entitled “The World’s Most Dangerous Ideas
.” The editorial staff of Foreign Policy
, it seems, asked eight famous intellectuals to discuss what they considered the most toxic notions currently floating around what R. Buckminster Fuller once labeled Spaceship Earth. This way, we suppose, readers can collect all eight of the world’s most pernicious conceptions, and trade them with their friends.
A few of the articles offered little more than public intellectual boilerplate: Paul Davies informs us about the dangers of denying free will, and Martha Nussbaum offers another in her never-ending series of articles dedicated to proving that Martha Nussbaum is morally superior to you.
Yet one contribution to “The World’s Most Dangerous Ideas” struck us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” as particularly inane. And that, dear reader, was the brief piece penned by Eric J. Hobsbawn, entitled “Spreading Democracy.”
For those of you blissfully unaware of the oeuvre of Mr. Hobsbawm, let us inform you that he is to this day an unrepentant Communist. That’s right, dear reader: This impressive emeritus professor of economic and social history at the University of London feels little in the way of remorse, it seems, for the good old days of Stalinist purges.
It seems to us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” that anything Mr. Hobsbawn excoriates should be practiced by all sane people. By virtue of his love affair with one of the most murderous ideologies the world has ever known, he should certainly be excluded from the realm of moral seriousness.
After all, would you take music advice from an unrepentant booster of Michael Bolton? Of course not. Then why, dear reader, would you take political advice from a popinjay who looks back with affection at Soviet pogroms? Even Kenny G is superior to the gulag—though just barely.
As a result, dear reader, knowing that Mr. Hobsbawn was firmly opposed to “Spreading Democracy,” we decided that we earnestly support it. Our instincts were only further strengthened after reading Mr. Hobsbawn’s piece—a sloppy piece of anti-neoconservatism composed by a man with a striking hostility to democracy. Indeed, Mr. Hobsbawn appears to be one of the many lefty intellectuals who loves “the people,” but loathes people. For people, it appears, have the pesky predisposition not to be killed. The bastards.
All of this made us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” pause for reflection. How could the editors of Foreign Policy
ask this moral cretin what he considered the “world’s most dangerous idea”? Was David Duke not answering his ‘phone, and thus they were compelled to pick Hobsbawm’s name from their Rolodex?
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that if one is going to ask Eric Hobsbawn what the “world’s most dangerous idea” is, one might as well go all out and offer a series of articles such as:
“The World’s Most Dangerous Ideas and People” as Presented by Various Nutters, Ideological Stooges, and Kindred Chuckleheads
Pat Buchanan, “Jews”
Houston Baker, “Whitey”
Ann Coulter, “Those Treasonous Bastards Known as Democrats”
Judith Butler, “(Re)contextualization(s) of Queering the Boundries: Why I (H)ate Men”
Cornel West, “The Jews”
bell hooks, “People Who Capitalize Their Names”
Either Vote, or Don’t
Well, dear reader, today, if you did not realize it, is election day. As we speak, millions of American citizens and illegal aliens will head to the poles and plump for the candidate of their choice.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to sully ourselves by endorsing a particular candidate for President of these here United States of America. After all, just like Jim Lehrer (or is that Tom Lehrer?), we’re professional journalists, and we wouldn’t want an official endorsement to hinder our humble “weblog’s” veneer of objectivity.
As a result, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will simply tell you for whom not to vote. And then we’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Over the past few days, we here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have set up an informal straw poll regarding the ineptness of various politicians running for the Presidency. In addition, we collectively decided which candidates we hate.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” officially recommend that you, dear reader, not vote for the fellow who shares Jay Leno’s good looks, Sam the Eagle’s genial comportment, and a curious inability to move his forehead.
We also suggest that you not cast a ballot for that one-eyed borderline megalomaniac who is ineluctably nattering on about how great the world would be if it weren’t for the great evils known as “businesses.”
In addition, we do not suggest you vote for any other third-party candidates—whether they be a creepy libertarian, whose life-long wish is to starve little children, or the representative from the Christian Falangist Party
. The fellow from the American Burqa Party
seems pretty good to us, but we're not sure about him either.
Now that we have cleared this up, dear reader, we can move on to the topic of today’s edition of our humble “weblog”: Voting. It seems as if this year everyone in America is compelling you to vote. Nary a mildly retarded rock-n-roll “musician” or “rap artist” fails to weigh in on the crucial import of heading to the polls.
As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, these people are far too pushy. Why is it that so few people are bothered by adultery, thievery, and kindred peccadilloes, but are deeply upset about a fellow citizen’s lack of desire to vote? Which is worse: Cuckolding your spouse or staying home on November 2? Are we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” the only
people who would vote for the former?
These days, dear reader, it seems so. Now, diligent readers of our humble “weblog” will note that we have dilated on this subject before. To be more specific, we took issue with the degenerate cable station MTV for its pathetic “Rock the Vote” campaign
Frankly, we thought that one post on this subject would have been enough. But no: In the last few weeks, everyone from Sean “P. I-Never-Voted-For-Diddily” Combs to Lambchop has somberly informed you of the import of voting. And we thought that the mastermind behind Lambchop was dead.
So, dear reader, at the risk of repeating ourselves, we shall repeat what to us is mind-numbingly obvious: Vote if you want to do so; if not, don’t.
It’s not that we here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are a passel of dirty hippies who believe that anyone can do whatever he wants. Dude. But we just can’t stand morons exhorting pinheads to vote.
Many might say that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are attempting to disenfranchise the poor, who are less likely to head to the voting booths than others. Or, perhaps, they are blathering on about our desire to disenfranchise the young, who are too lazy to head to the poles.
To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Not so, not so. We just hope that we restrain most idiots from voting.
College Op-Eds Redux
Some time ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discussed the ridiculousness known as the college student op-ed
. Anyone who has perused a given campus’ student newspaper knows that it is ridden with feculent, blustery “essays” penned by moronic 19-year-olds who are under the delusion that they have important insight into, say, international relations.
Naturally, these op-eds are ineluctably atrocious—the kind of writing you wouldn’t put underneath your parakeet.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” inexplicably gave more thought to the subject of college op-eds, and decided that we had more to say about them. As this is a free country (the ACLU has yet to scare us into believing that this isn’t true), we figured we would use today’s post to excoriate a particular brand of collegiate op-ed.
Before we discuss this topic, however, we had to mention yet another irritating feature of many a college-student op-ed: We refer, of course, recourse to Webster’s Dictionary
as a means to solve a problem.
Nothing quite says “I’m an inept ignoramus” quite like genuflecting to the authority of Webster’s Dictionary
. And yet this does not stop the intrepidly moronic college op-eder. As a result, students opining on the horrors of state-sponsored terrorism offer their readers the Webster’s
definition of “terrorism.”
Normally, the op-eder in question does this with a snooty air of authority, as if quoting a source that is one step up from the Encyclopedia Brittanica
were somehow deeply serious. This, after all, is the dictionary that offers such mindless translations as “Premeditation: an act or instance of premeditating.” Gee, that ought to suffice.
But let us return to the real focus of today’s excoriation: The “I’m in the Middle” column.
What, you may be asking yourself, is the “I’m in the Middle” column? Well, dear reader, we’re glad you asked. Simply put, the “I’m in the Middle” column is an all-too-common subspecies of the collegiate op-ed, according to which the writer identifies two sides of an argument, and then triumphantly places himself in the middle, thereby dubiously casting both sides as extremist. By this means, the op-eder in question can falsely trumpet himself as a beacon of reason—the only man who (at the ripe old age of 20) can see how foolish it is to have an opinion on an issue.
Let us offer you an example of such a column. Take the instance of composing an ill-considered “essay” on terrorism. The “I’m in the Middle” columnist notes that there are those who support terrorism, and those who oppose it.
But here, the chuckleheaded op-eder offers his own opinion: Both sides are wrong; it is bad to support terrorism, but condemning terrorism can stifle free speech, blah, blah, blah.
Thus, avers the swashbuckling columnist, I neither support terrorism, nor am opposed to it. Only ideological stooges take sides on such important matters. But not me. I’m right in the middle. And I’m a jackass.
As far as we can tell, there are collegiate op-eders who base their entire pseudo-journalistic career on this kind of moronic reasoning. It’s their one irritable mental gestation that resembles an argument—and it’s not even original.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose some support the murder of progenitors of the “I’m in the Middle” column. And there are those who think that such a position is ghastly.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to put ourselves in either camp: As far as we’re concerned, it’s foolish to kill such noxious op-eders, but equally foolish not to.