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Friday, December 31, 2004
 

A Presidential Candidate Gets Skinned


We here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are delighted that the 2004 presidential election is over. Sure, we like politics as much as the next truculent homicidal subversive, but a number of us treasure the end to the bitter political feuding. In fact, a few of us pine for President Bush to offer some Arafat-style democracy: He’ll tell the country that we no longer need elections, and stay in office forever. Seems to have worked for the PLO.

Regardless of our surfeit of presidential politics, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” stumbled upon a story about November’s election so important—nay, crucial—that we felt the need to discuss it in today’s humble post.

One of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—had been looking in to the profiles and platforms of the lesser-known candidates for president. You know, like John Kerry.

Anyway, he came across something very interesting. Apparently, someone named Chris P. Carrot mounted an unsuccessful bid for president. His photograph, which can be found on his “website,” is incriminating, to say the least.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not experts in identifying people’s ages, but we have the distinct impression that Mr. Chris P. Carrot can only be around 12 years old. In addition, he’s a carrot.

This breaks two cardinal rules of the American electoral process: Candidates for president must be at least 35 years of age; in addition, they can’t be carrots. Actually, we’re not totally certain of the latter rule, but we’re pretty sure that’s true. After all, a carrot has never made it higher in the American political system than congressman. (Joe Scarbarough, for those of you who do not know, is a carrot.)

Just when you think that Chris P. Carrot’s illegal run for our nation’s highest office was sufficiently awful, it gets even worse. It appears that his vice-presidential running-mate, Colonel Corn, isn’t a day over 15. This makes Mr. Corn’s claim to a military rank quite suspicious. In addition, he’s an ear of corn.

But wait, dear reader; it gets worse. On his “website,” Colonel Corn identifies the following cause as most near and dear to his heart: “I support a Middle East peas for peace process.” Not only is that nonsensical, it’s ridiculously unfunny.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are appalled that American election officials would allow such clearly unqualified vegetables to run for president of these here United States of America.

Thank God Chris P. Carrot and Colonel Corn only received a few more votes than Ralph Nader.
 
Thursday, December 30, 2004
 

Bookstore Elitists


A few days ago, dear reader, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the shelves at his local independent bookstore. You know the kind of shop we are discussing: A store that boasts Noam Chomsky’s latest piece of radical agitprop as its bestseller. This, dear reader, isn’t a Mitch Albom kind of place; it’s pure Howard Zinn.

Naturally, it was right before Christmas, and the place was teeming with all kinds of halfwits in search of last-minute gift items for various (un)loved ones.

Whilst taking a gander at the recent releases, dear reader, “Chip” came to a rather unsurprising realization: Independent bookstores are chock-a-block with self-important twits. It seems, in fact, as if many customers enter the shop merely to demonstrate their intellectual acumen to unsuspecting onlookers. They want to show off all their learning from the one Molly Ivins book they read this year.

As “Chip” toured the fiction section, a few tote-bag-wielding nerds were pontificating to their friends—and anyone else within a five-mile radius—about their deep understanding of political and cultural life. “I heard a wonderful review of this book on NPR,” sniffs one such panjandrum. As if any radio station responsible for Garrison Keillor’s monotone pseudo-humor were the locus classicus of high quality book criticism.

“The Bush administration is such a joke,” exclaims another bookstore popinjay. Ah, yes: The Bush administration is a joke, but a miserable fifty-something prattling on about politics in a bookstore in order to impress others is really serious. Seriously pathetic, that is.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t stand such irksome quasi-intellectual preening. Why don’t such characters go out and buy T-shirts that read “I Very Much Want You To Know that I Am Smarter Than You”? It would save us the irritation of listening in to their stentorian pronouncements. And it would spare us of their opinions on the supposed masterly prose of whoever wrote The Devil Wears Prada.

And surely, dear reader, there is something particularly loathsome about a reader who feels far superior to ordinary Americans because they don’t read books by Paul Begala. Although we’re not a passel of born-again Calvinists, we think that not reading books by Paul Begala is a sign of grace.
 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
 

New Year’s Resolutions


Well, dear reader, the year 2004 is almost gone, and 2005 will soon be upon us. As a result, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to use today’s post to share our Official Crack Young Staff New Year’s Resolutions.

Over the course of the coming year, the entire staff here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” aims to live up to these resolutions. Naturally, these are, if you will, professional resolutions; they should not stop staff members from making their own private resolutions. For instance, some of the male members of the staff may put a halt to their extra-marital philandering, and some of the female members of the staff may put a halt to their marital philandering. That sort of thing.

Anyway, without further ado, we the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are proud as punch to present:

The Official Crack Young Staff New Year’s Resolutions

1. Stop Making Fun of New Age Music

A while back, we had endless fun at the expense of New Age charlatan Enya. And frankly, dear reader, we feel really bad about it. As a result, we aim never to offer cheap jokes at the expense of New Age music. Jokes such as: Q: What do you get when you play New Age music backwards? A: New Age music.

2. Disregard Michael Moore’s Shenanigans

Nothing could be easier than some yuks at Michael Moore’s expense. After all, he’s a Marxist—until the Krispy Kreme doughnuts arrive. As a result, we feel as if nasty taunts at his expense are simply too easy. And, as such, we aim to eliminate them from our already limited repertoire. This will prove hard, since Michael Moore is very fat. But we shall do our best.

3. Leave Sullywatch Alone

Regular readers of our humble “weblog” probably realize that we have had a long-running feud with Mr. Sullywatch, the dimwitted fellow who runs a “weblog” devoted to inept trashing of Andrew Sullivan. Over the past few months, dear reader, we have excoriated this fool at length. Well, no longer.
We have decided that dueling with him is much like jousting with a retarded fellow: It makes everyone involved look bad. And it probably hurts the mentally-challenged guy.

4. Stop Taking Shots at the Weaker Sex in an Obvious Attempt To Vent Frustration

The female members of the crack young staff—who make up almost 47 percent of the team—have become entirely revolted by our incessant jibes at the expense of women. Sure, they say, women aren’t that smart. And, certainly, they are duplicitous and conniving. But this is no reason to blast them at every opportunity. Why, doing so simply makes the crack young staff seem like a bunch of misogynists. Although we hate to admit it, we, the male members of the crack young staff, had to admit they had a point. These barefoot and pregnant ladies are smarter than we thought. Perhaps we’ll let them out of the kitchen for a while. Nah.

Anyway, dear reader, these are our humble New Year’s resolutions. We shall have a wonderful time in the months to come failing to live up to them.
 
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
 

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition: And the Winner Is…


Well, dear reader, the big day has finally arrived. Our Official Contest Judges have devoted the requisite hours of work necessary to announce the winner of the First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition.

As you can imagine, dear reader, it proved very difficult for our Official Judges to sort through all of the pseudo-intellectual fluff we received and arrive at a clear victor. Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to offer a few runner-up prizes to those entrants who submitted titles that were gloriously stupid, but didn’t quite have the stuff to take home the trophy, if you will.

Before we get to the Official Announcement of Our Official Contest Winners, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to thank all of our readers who troubled themselves to send us an entry. In a perfect world, you would all win, as you are all winners. In reality, however, some of you lost big.

We must also mention one contestant whose magnificent entry, unfortunately, was disqualified. Mr. Mike Zorn sent us this hysterical title to an academic book: The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams. Now that, dear reader, is the stuff of pseudo-theoretical hilarity! Alas, dear reader, it is the title of a book, not a paper, and could not be considered for the prize. Given the quality of Mr. Zorn’s entry, we would not be surprised to learn that rag-tag assortments of Americans nation-wide were gathering to protest our Official Disqualification Team’s ruling.

With that friendly throat-clearing out of the way, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as peacocks to present:

The Official Announcement of Our Official Contest Winners

Fourth Runner-Up:
Justin Torres sent us the following article title, which offers a glimpse into the world of professors of education—the kind of academics whom even sociologists look down upon:

“The Circle of Learning: Individual and Group Processes” by Ernest Chang and Don Simpson.

What wishy-washy garbage! Even though this title is not ultra-ridiculous, we thought that it beautifully captures the noxious stench of political correctness that wafts in the academic breezes. No wonder our children can’t read or write. And, if you thought the title was vaguely horrendous, check out a portion of the abstract: “Using combinations of two dimensions, the first being whether the learner’s activities are By-Oneself or With-Peers, and the second whether the process orientation is toward the Person as the focus of the learning or toward the Group as the focus, we derive four quadrants in Activity-Orientation learning space.” We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” earnestly hope that our children never compose such hackneyed trash.

Third Runner-Up:
Ally, the clever mind behind the marvelous “weblog” Who Moved My Truth, offered this entry, from the journal "Archives of Sexual Behavior":

“Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Indian Men and Women” by S. Saghesan and M. Natarajan.

Given the scintillating topic for discussion, we were surprised to find that neither of these two authors are household names. We wonder how they came up with the idea. Perhaps another learned character penned an article entitled “Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Hungarian Men and Women,” or “Sexual Behavior After Head Injury in Scottish Men and Sheep,” which inspired Saghesan and Natarajan.

Second Runner-Up:
Stephen Baldwin, the “weblogging” aesthete who runs the great “website” Stephenesque, sent us the following entry, which is the title of a paper given this year at the University of Leeds:

“Queer Slants and Straight Orientations” by Sara Ahmed.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking: That’s clever and all, but what the heck does it mean? Perhaps a portion of the abstract may help you: “[This paper] explores the spatiality of sexuality and suggests that heteronormativity involves the repetition not just of norms, but also of certain 'directionality,' which puts some objects (and not others) into view.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Ms. Ahmed. We particularly savored the ridiculously redundant phrase “which puts some objects (and not others) into view.”

First Runner-Up:
The good Colonel Blimp, the master behind the thoughtful “weblog” Blimpish, offered this entry, taken from “GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies”:

“Eternal Flame: State Formation, Deviant Architecture, and the Monumentality of Same-Sex Eroticism in the Roman d’Eneas” by Noah D. Guynn.

Boy, and you thought Mr. Baldwin’s title was confusing! As the good Colonel remarked: “Putting state formation, architecture and queer theory all in one article takes some doing, I think.” Indeed, this article must have taken Mr. Guynn at least ten minutes to write. And imagine all the examples of “deviant architecture” he had to visit for his research!

The Winner:
Naturally, dear reader, given the high quality of the runner-up titles, the winner was going to have to be a humdinger. And a humdinger it is. A reader who goes by the curious name Its [sic] Just Dan sent us the following title, culled from the journal “College English”:

“Befriending the Medieval Queer: A Pedagogy for Literature Classes” by Richard E. Zeikowitz.

Wow! That’s academic inanity for you! The summary of the piece says it all: “Analyzes Grendel ('Beowulf'), the Green Knight ('Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'), and the Pardoner ('The Canterbury Tales'). Notes that they are all 'queer' characters in that they are not typical men of the time and they pose a challenge or threat to normative homosocial desire. Suggests that traditional readings of these characters have obscured their disruptive queerness.”

Oh, dear. Grendel, the disruptive queer? We think that you will agree, dear reader, that this feculent article clearly takes the cake.

As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted to announce that Mr. Its [sic] Just Dan has won our First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition.
 
Monday, December 27, 2004
 

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Christmas Party


Well, dear reader, Christmas has come and gone, and now most of our friends in the “blogosphere” are no longer scribbling away. Rather, they are enjoying the holiday season with their loved-ones. The slackers.

We here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have too keen a commitment to our three or four readers to take such an unnecessary break. Why go on holiday when there are plenty of useless jokes to make? We don’t mean to toot our own horns, but we think that’s a wonderful question.

Naturally, dear reader, you are wondering about a couple of things. First, when will the results to the Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition be announced? We don’t mean to toot your own horn, but we think that’s a wonderful question.

Unfortunately, the contest’s Official Judges are currently on holiday hiatus (with hiatal hernias and hyetal hernias), and we shall have to await their return before we announce the victor. Rest assured, however, that we shall soon announce a winner, and that this person—unlike the most recent Nobel Peace Prize recipient—doesn’t think AIDS is the result of an evil scientist’s plot to kill Africans.

With that in mind, dear reader, we can move on to your next pressing query: What happened at this year’s “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Christmas Party? We’re glad you asked.

As you no doubt know, dear reader, our Christmas Party is one of our most treasured annual events. Sure, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” isn’t yet a year old, and thus there’s never been a Christmas Party before. But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel confident in predicting that this fete will become a great tradition.

So, enough with the prognostications, you say, and get on to the good stuff. What happened at the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Christmas Party? Did “Chip” hook up with “Chip”?

Good questions, those. Frankly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must admit that the party was something of a tepid event.

Indeed, there was lots of good music to be heard—if by “good music” you mean Paul McCartney’s feculent tune “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.” In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider this song so offensive that it has compelled us to disqualify Mr. McCartney from being our collective favorite member of the Beatles. Now we’re into Ringo; he’s really dreamy.

In addition, dear reader, the entire crack young staff crawled away from its dim, lifeless cubicles, and pretended as if it would ever spend free-time with the assembled throng if the party weren’t mandatory. Naturally, a few of the secretaries flirted with some of the senior editors, in hopes that they would sleep their way up the slippery totem pole that is “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” (Talk about a mixed metaphor!)

So, dear reader, we regret to tell you that there isn’t much gossip to report. Except for the stuff about Eileen: She’s such a slut.
 
Friday, December 24, 2004
 

An Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” “Web”-Quiz


Recently, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been fussing and fuming about our recent un-popularity. As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, we haven’t exactly been the World-Wide Web’s answer to Jay Leno. And, quite frankly, even before our sudden downturn in hits, we weren’t exactly Craig Kilborn. Or Merv Griffin. Or Charo.

Anyway, this has all compelled us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to ponder the ways in which we can revive our sagging “weblog.”

And then it hit us: Why not offer a tepid “web”-quiz, which presents to other “webloggers” an assortment of insipid questions? Through such a quiz, of course, manifold “webloggers” will link to our humble musings, as they pine to answer the questions we pose.

You, dear reader, have probably seen this kind of thing before: A dull “website” offers a list of hum-drum queries, and “webloggers” rush to offer their own snarky responses.

Without further ado, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope to be that dull “website,” and offer our own vaguely unsatisfying quiz below. If this doesn’t garner some attention, we have the feeling that we’ll become really desperate.

An Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Tepid “Web”-Quiz Designed To Boost the Crack Young Staff’s Rapidly Declining Hits

1. If you had slept with Bob Novak and Paul Begala, could you still watch “Crossfire”?

2. Who has more religious authority: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, or Rev. Sun Yung Moon?

3. Which drink is the lamest: Diet Fresca, Zima, or V-8?

4. Don’t you hate it when writers forget to offer the correct punctuation at the end of their sentences.

5. What’s the best adjective to describe documentary filmmaker Michael Moore?

6. A fight breaks out between Paris Hilton and Hilton Kramer. Who wins?

7. Name three actors who have had more disappointing film careers than Whoopi Goldberg.

Well, dear reader, that ought to do it. Just in case you’re interested, we offer our own snarky answers to our tepid questions below:

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Snarky Answers to Our Own Tepid Questions


1. If you had slept with Bob Novak and Paul Begala, could you still watch “Crossfire”?

This question implies that we watch “Crossfire” in the first place. We would never stoop so low. The female members of the crack young staff, however, find Paul Begala attractive—as does one of our androgynous male interns. There’s something about a man with a big forehead…

2. Who has more religious authority: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, or Rev. Sun Yung Moon?

This is a trick question: Jessica Hahn has more religious authority than these three clowns. The female members of the crack young staff, however, find Rev. Jesse Jackson attractive—as does one of our androgynous male interns. There’s something about a man with a big forehead…

3. Which drink is the lamest: Diet Fresca, Zima, or V-8?

Another trick question. The lamest drink is surely O’Douls: All the great beer taste without that annoying buzz.

4. Don’t you hate it when writers forget to offer the correct punctuation at the end of their sentences.

Yes?

5. What’s the best adjective to describe documentary filmmaker Michael Moore?

Fat.

6. A fight breaks out between Paris Hilton and Hilton Kramer. Who wins?

Hilton Kramer, hands down. We mean that literally: He won’t even have to use his hands.

7. Name three actors who have had more disappointing film careers than Whoopi Goldberg.

Boy, this is tough. We’ll go with Ralph Macchio, Adrian Zmed, and Foghorn Leghorn. But, quite frankly, we like some of Mr. Leghorn’s earlier work.
 
Thursday, December 23, 2004
 

Free To Be Us and Them


Perhaps you have noticed, dear reader, that hardly anyone is bothering to head to the office this week. As a result of the upcoming holidays, you, dear reader, are probably the only poor sod hunched over your desk in your miserable cubicle.

Accordingly, our humble “weblog”—humble as it is—hasn’t proved as popular this week as it has in weeks past. Now that manifold fans of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are out shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts, very few of you are pouring over our most recent posts.

At first, dear reader, this caused us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” a great deal of consternation. Isn’t it awful, we thought to ourselves, that our loyal readership has betrayed us? Wouldn’t this mean that we would have to come up with a more a propos adjective to describe our readership than “loyal”? It seemed so.

And then it collectively hit us: Now that so few of you are bothering to keep up with our humble musings, a great weight has been lifted from our collective chest. Well, figuratively, at least.

In short, dear reader, this pre-Christmas, pre-Kwanzaa downtime allows us an opportunity to write posts that aren’t that good. All this week, we can prove about as funny as the sit-com “Small Wonder” and pretty much no one will notice. We can offer posts that don’t have as many yuks as a Fidelity commercial, and all will be well with the world.

Frankly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this truly liberating. In fact, we find this so liberating that we aren’t even troubled by the fact that this mediocre post has a very poor ending.
 
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
 

Profound Political Insights from Colonel Qaddafi


Recently, that venerable beacon of journalistic integrity, The New York Times, reported some of the deep musings of Col. Mummar el-Qaddafi, everyone’s favorite unhinged Libyan dictator.

It seems as though Col. Qaddafi believes that he—not Karl Rove, not John Kerry—was responsible for President Bush’s November reelection. Speaking on Italian State Television, the Colonel claimed that his decision to give up prohibited weapons “contributed by 50 percent to his electoral campaign.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t mean to question Col. Qaddafi’s sentiments, but we have a hunch that he does not possess an impressive understanding of the American electoral system. Given the fact that Qaddafi believes that his country’s “power is now in the hands of the Libyan people,” it is possible that he lacks an impressive understanding of democratic governance.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider his 50 percent figure so odd that we would venture to guess that he lacks an impressive understanding of mathematics. What are they teaching the kids in Tripoli these days?

Now, it seems, Col. Qaddafi yearns to reap the benefits of his previously unheralded Alliance with the Republican Party. In short, he desires nuclear technology for non-military goals. Are we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” the only ones who don’t feel totally certain that this is safe?

Yet this was not, dear reader, the only pearl of wisdom the Colonel bestowed upon his Italian viewing audience. In addition, Qaddafi unveiled his thoughtful ideas for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

His idea? Why, the creation of a bi-national state, of course.

If this were the Colonel’s only view on this topic, it wouldn’t be newsworthy in the least. After all, what Muslim leader doesn’t pine for a bi-national state that would allow the Palestinians to achieve a peaceful settlement with the Jews, and then allow them to massacre the Jewish population wholesale?

But this is where Col. Qaddafi goes one step farther than his fellow Muslim dictators. He’s come up with a name for this bi-national state: “Isratine.”

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: That sounds an awful lot like a name rejected by the company that finally settled on “Ovaltine.” Kind of like Preparation A through G.

As a result of his most recent ravings, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to salute Col. Qaddafi. Sure, he’s a deranged authoritarian nutball. But in comparison with other deranged authoritarian nutballs, he’s so darned entertaining.
 
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
 

Free Will Astrology?


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have never been big fans of astrology. We suppose that’s because we think it’s a bunch of new-age quackery designed for dunderheaded women in the midst of their mid-life crises. But we could be wrong.

Anyway, a senior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—recently happened upon an example of astrology that’s even more ludicrous than usual.

Sounds pretty unlikely, doesn’t it? That’s what we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” thought before “Chip” showed us something called Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology.

At first, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” thought to ourselves: Who’s Will Astrology? And what did this unsavory character do to land himself in prison?

But then it hit us: Rob Brezsny is not lobbying against the incarceration of a fellow named William Astrology; rather, he offers astrological readings that are, it seems, anathema to Calvinists. Well, we’re glad we got that cleared up.

Yet we still found the designation “free will astrology” rather curious. What in the Lord’s name can that mean?

But then we started to read Mr. Brezsny’s work, and we figured it all out: Rob Brezsny is a loony-tune and a chucklehead to boot.

Allow us to offer you a humble example—one culled from the “Week of December 15” batch of astrological prognostications.

Regarding Aries, Mr. Brezsny writes:

In 1874, a fire broke out in an underground coalfield in western China. It burned nonstop until 2004, when firefighters finally squelched it. In the intervening 130 years, 200 million tons of fuel went to waste, spewing out copious amounts of polluting gases. I nominate the denouement of this long-running drama to serve as your personal metaphor for early 2005.

Oh, dear. First, perhaps we should note that an underground fire on its own isn’t really a “drama.” If it were, this fire in China would be the only drama longer than the film “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (which should have been named either “The Unbearable Length of This Movie,” or “Read the Book Instead”).

But let us sweep aside this niggling criticism. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t figure out why anyone should consider the squelching of this fire—which Mr. Brezsny curiously labels its “denouement”—as a “personal metaphor for early 2005.” Obviously, though Mr. Brezsny’s tortured syntax doesn’t make it explicit, the entire episode acts as a “personal metaphor.” If not, we need not travel as far as China for “personal metaphors”; any grease fire would do.

In fact, if we didn’t have so much respect for Mr. Brezsny’s talents, we’d conclude that the only reason he chose some Asian fire is to impress his dimwitted readership into supposing that he’s a man of wide learning.

If you thought Mr. Brezsny’s disquisition for Aries was illuminating, check out his ideas for Taurus:

Have you heard of the book Toxic Sludge Is Good for You?: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry? How about George Orwell’s science fiction novel 1984, in which the government trumpets the slogan “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”? If I could, I’d give you these books as holiday gifts, Taurus. I’d also present you with an altar made of fine wood. With these foundation materials, I’d ask you to begin building a Truth Shrine in your home. This source of power might help you to stay alert for and immune to the elevated levels of BS you’ll be called on to fend off in 2005.

Where do we begin? Perhaps we should note that anyone stupid enough to think that 1984 is a science fiction novel probably shouldn’t be prattling on about it in his “free will astrology column.” Next week Mr. Brezsny may tackle such other landmark works of literature as the spy novel War and Peace and the murder-mystery The Scarlet Letter.

May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” also humbly suggest that anyone attempting avoid “elevated levels of BS” could do no better than throw Rob Brezsny’s execrable astrology in the garbage?

 
Monday, December 20, 2004
 

Outsourcing Lou Dobbs


Do you, dear reader, enjoy your entertainment unentertaining? If so, you are probably one of the three people in these here United States of America who watches Lou Dobbs, one member of CNN’s scintillating line-up of tedious hosts.

Mr. Dobbs, who has the fortune to possess Donald-Trump-meets-Pigs-in-Space good-looks, is a self-important popinjay. In addition, the only person more downright dull than Mr. Dobbs is CNN’s Dan Brown—and we’re not even sure the latter has a pulse.

And what, you may be asking yourself, makes Mr. Dobbs so irksome? Gosh, we’re glad you asked. For starters, Mr. Dobbs is always prattling on about outsourcing. Just because he had an insta-book on the subject ghostwritten under his name, Mr. Dobbs appears to believe that he is the world’s leading expert. When Mr. Dobbs isn’t pontificating on outsourcing, he’s opining on illegal immigration.

As a result of Mr. Dobbs’ impressive erudition, he garners a large viewing audience each evening—only slightly fewer people than those who watch reruns of “Who’s the Boss” and nuns knitting drink cozies. If he isn’t careful, soon enough his program on CNN will tout lower ratings than the Comb-Over Network and the Racketeering Channel. Or, even worse, C-Span.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t quite decide whether Mr. Dobbs is more boring than he is self-important, or more self-important than he is boring. In fact, we feel as if this question is kind of like one of those queries for Zen masters: If a tree falls in the forest, will it strike Howard Dean? We here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are no Zen masters, and thus we couldn’t begin to answer such a brainteaser, but we surely hope so.

After literally minutes of viewing Mr. Dobbs on television, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—had a magnificent idea. He figured that we should outsource Lou Dobbs.

We don’t mean to pat ourselves on our collective back, but we think that’s simply brilliant. We would happily watch a poorly compensated twelve-year-old take Mr. Dobbs’ place at the anchor desk.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: What if this malnourished pre-teen doesn’t know a word of English? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” firmly believe that CNN would still get higher ratings from this youngster.

 
Saturday, December 18, 2004
 

You May Be an Academic Huckster if…


In a few short days, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will no longer be accepting entries to our Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition (the details of which you can read here). Although we’ve already received a number or entries, and hence the competition, like Delta Burke, is hot and heavy, we hoped that we could drum up a few more submissions.

In order to exhort you to send in a ridiculous paper title, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that presenting another example of pseudo-intellectual ridiculousness would do.

Perhaps, dear reader, you have let your subscription to College English lapse. If so, you probably have no idea that this erstwhile fusty publication has become a locus classicus of academic inanity.

If you think this an overdramatic statement, we urge you to take a gander at the November 2004 number of said publication. It contains the following careful lucubration, penned by one Jennifer Beech: “Redneck and Hillbilly Discourse in the Writing Classroom: Classifying Critical Pedagogies of Whiteness.”

Ms. Beech, an assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is deeply concerned about the influence comedian Jeff Foxworthy has had on our language.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Aren’t we all? We, in fact, are delighted that someone has finally done the requisite, painstaking research necessary to classify “critical pedagogies of whiteness.” Now if only someone could get around to classifying “critical pedagogies of ridiculous professors who employ fancy terminology to mask their vacuous ideas.” Such a topic may not concern Jeff Foxworthy, but we have a hunch that Ms. Beech will be involved.

So, dear reader, we’ve offered yet another example of academic hucksterism at its finest. All you must do to enter our contest is send us an e-mail by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. Our Official Contest Judges are masters of “redneck and hillbilly discourse,” and thus your submission will be in the right hands.

 
Friday, December 17, 2004
 

Kofi Annan


Among the more bizarre stories we’ve heard in recent weeks, dear reader, is the news that the Bush administration and über-hawk John McCain have officially expressed confidence in Kofi Annan, the feculent Secretary-General of the United Nations. In fact, this was so astounding that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wondered if Messrs. Bush and McCain remembered who Kofi Annan is: He’s the little African fellow who keeps on screwing things up.

Just in case President Bush and Senator McCain require a refresher course, let us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” offer a potted introduction to the career of Mr. Annan, who is surely the very personification of incompetence and pusillanimity.

Mr. Annan played key roles in the UN’s horrendous misadventures in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and the Middle East. Although he is deeply suspicious of the Israelis (who have the temerity to desire to exist), Mr. Annan has few concerns about such peaceable organizations as Hezbollah. In fact, if it weren’t for the Stern Gang, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would suggest that Mr. Annan has never heard of a terrorist organization he couldn’t love.

And let’s not forget this whole Oil-for-Food scam, shall we, Messrs. Bush and McCain? It turns out that Mr. Annan’s family had something of a monetary interest in allowing Saddam to stay in power.

On top of all that, he named his son Kojo—an appellative so ridiculous it would make Frank Zappa cringe.

In short, Kofi Annan is the white Neville Chamberlain. He’s Jimmy Carter with a better accent. He’s such a blithering fool and a moral coward that he makes one almost pine for the glory days of the UN under Alger Hiss. Now there’s a guy with some standards.

But perhaps we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are actually coming to an incorrect conclusion; perhaps Messrs. Bush and McCain remember exactly who Kofi Annan is, but cannot recall the meaning of the word “confidence.” That surely would explain what would seem to be their quizzical reactions to this Busch-League Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

If so, dear reader, allow us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to pull out the official staff copy of Webster’s Mightily Abridged Collegiate Dictionary. Turning to the word “confidence,” we find the following: “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.” Even Kofi Annan’s wife probably doesn’t have that kind of faith in him. Frankly, if we were her, we would have slept with Kurt Waldheim years ago.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wouldn’t trust Kofi Annan for an afternoon with a bowl full of sea monkeys. By the time 5:00pm rolled around, good ole’ Kofi would have been powerless to stop the Islamist sea monkeys from terrorizing the others.

In fact, by around 4:00pm, Mr. Annan would have adopted a feckless UN Resolution that would guarantee his “impartiality” whilst the terrorist sea monkeys raped and killed the peaceful ones.

Perhaps the stumbling Mr. Annan merely requires a slogan—something that will compel our cynical age to embrace this dribbling buffoon who’s spent his career coddling terrorists and ensuring that massacres occur without any hitches. May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest the following?:

Kofi Annan: He’s Got All of U Thant’s Good Looks and Paris Hilton’s Good Sense.

Lucky for him it isn’t the other way around.

 
Thursday, December 16, 2004
 

Introducing the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics


Are you, dear reader, an aspiring academic who doesn’t understand what all that jargon means? We neither. Even so, you may be interested in the latest development of our Official Marketing Department: The Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics.

And what, you may be asking yourself, does this newfangled dictionary offer? Why, we’re glad you asked.

Unlike other dictionaries, the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics was put together by postmodern intellectuals who realize that, in the famous words of a recently deceased academic huckster, there is nothing outside the text. Words, that is to say, don’t refer to reality. Accordingly, all the entries in the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics have definitions that can be attributed to any other entry. So, if you want “mustard” to mean “white male oppressors,” this is the dictionary for you!

But the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics isn’t just a book that refuses to offer a bogus metanarrative. In addition, it offers definitions for all kinds of crucial terms bandied about by assorted professors and administrators. If you aren’t fully hip to the hegemony of academic lingo, the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics cures what ails you.

But you don’t have to take our word(s) for it. Enjoy, dear reader, a smattering of entries culled at random:

Diversity: (n.) An assortment of people of various skin tones and genders, all of whom hold the exact same opinion on each and every matter of political and cultural import.

Hybridity: (n.) A trendy way of saying “composite,” this word is used by postmodernists as often as the Smurfs use the word “smurf.” As such, it also can mean “excellence,” “fortitude,” and “maple syrup.”

George W. Bush: (n.) The most evil man ever. If only he could be a bit more like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and other political heroes.

Truth: (n.) This word has no meaning, and must always be put in scare quotes.

Discursive: (adj.) This word can be used to mean anything. Everything is discursive, from lead pipes to Ray Bourque.

As you can see, dear reader, the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Dictionary for Academics is a must-have for any pseudo-intellectual twit on your Christmas list.

 
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
 

Martin Peretz and the Crown Prince Sittin’ in a Tree


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long been readers of The New Republic, the slightly-left-of-center weekly magazine of politics and culture.

And though it is true that, as a long-time confidante once told us, The New Republic is a magazine that miraculously went from having the worst graphic design to a magazine that has the worst graphic design, we quite enjoy it. In the world of left-wingery, The New Republic is a beacon of sanity.

Well, we suppose we shouldn’t go that far. Every once in a while, The New Republic offers a jaw-droppingly horrendous advertising section paid for by the wretched government of Saudi Arabia. As such, the magazine, which normally presents a reasonable criticism of Islamist extremism, becomes a mouthpiece for the odious thugocracy that is the principal supporter of world-wide terrorism.

Frankly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder how editor-in-chief Martin Peretz sleeps at night. Probably on his left side. But we digress.

The December 13th number of said publication offers a four-page “symposium” on “The Future of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship.” This conversation, which presents a few pull-quotes that are most flattering to the horrific Saudi royal family, is laughably advertised as “sponsored by the people of Saudi Arabia.”

Ah, yes: Sponsored by the people of Saudi Arabia. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are darned sure that each and every citizen was in on the decision to print this propagandistic piffle in The New Republic.

If we know anything about the people of Saudi Arabia, it’s these two things: 1) They are particularly fond of a radical version of Islam; 2) they are huge fans of The New Republic, and desperately hoped that their tax money would be used for special inserts that flatter the Saudi status-quo.

In fact, if the women of Saudi Arabia were allowed to drive automobiles, we are darned sure that they’d trek over to Washington, DC, and do some of the copy-editing for The New Republic. (Naturally, if these ladies made any mistakes, their husbands could beat the tar out of them, as is allowed by Saudi Arabia’s enlightened legal code.)

At the end of this pathetic exercise in pro-Saudi propaganda, the reader is greeted by a small box that informs them that “the people of Saudi Arabia” are “allies against terrorism.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t quite seem correct. Perhaps there is a typo here; what they mean to say is that Saudi Arabia is allied with the terrorists. After all, they fund them.

And, come to think of it, they fund The New Republic too. So be proud, Marty Peretz: Both you and al-Qaeda receive money from Saudi Arabia. That’s surely something to brag about.

 
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 

U Terrorist


Perhaps, dear reader, you have been following the brouhaha that erupted regarding the teaching career of one Susan Rosenberg, which was tragically cut short. As Roger Kimball detailed in both The New Criterion and The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Rosenberg, a former member of the cheerful group the Weather Underground, was soon to become an activist-artist in residence at Hamilton College.

It seems as if some spoilsports were offended by the fact that Ms. Rosenberg had been arrested for her role in various sordid dealings related to the cheerful Weather Underground’s terrorist activities, and that she has little in the way of remorse for her actions. As such, Hamilton College’s administration, after weeks of championing Ms. Rosenberg as a wonderful addition to the faculty, summarily chucked her.

It appears as if Ms. Rosenberg, as a result, is out of a job.

And this, dear reader, struck us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” as, in the inimitable words of Howlin’ Wolf, a cryin’ shame. Why must a woman without any kind of academic credentials be blackballed from teaching at an American university merely because her activities led to murder and mayhem? Don’t kids these days want to learn about “feminist revolutionary anti-imperialism”? In short, what has this world come to?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel as if Ms. Rosenberg’s forced departure from Hamilton College is a foreboding sign of right-wing neo-McCarthyism. Okay, perhaps that’s a little excessive: Her departure is a foreboding sign of the coming apocalypse. That’s better.

Anyway, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” care deeply about the little people (except Danny Devito—he’s a jerk), and thus we hope to secure employment for Ms. Rosenberg. After all, she’s a perfectly healthy, self-described “former US political prisoner” who has intricate knowledge of explosives. What company wouldn’t want to employ her?

And then it struck us, dear reader. Why not establish an American university whose faculty is solely made up of terrorists? It would be kind of like the University of South Florida, only bigger.

Just think, dear reader, of the kinds of courses such a college could offer: Bomb Detonation 101; Jihad 221; Feminism 101. Perhaps it could boast Dr. Sami al-Arian as the Dean of Political Prisoners (once they let him out of jail) and Laura Whitehorn as the Yasser Arafat Distinguished Professor of Destroying the Capitol Building.

We aren’t sure about you, dear reader, but we have the sneaking suspicion that plenty of parents from Middle Eastern countries would be delighted to have their kids attend this University of Terrorism. And Ted Turner could fork over some of his funds to pay for the all-important chemistry department.

All this fledgling university would need, dear reader, is an excellent basketball team. With a team name like the University of Terrorism “Militants,” we can’t think of any reason why they’d have difficulty recruiting aspiring athletes.

 
Monday, December 13, 2004
 

Don’t Know Much Biology


For those of us inhabiting planet earth, the Norwegian Nobel Committee would seem to have a little egg on its face. After all, it granted the Nobel Peace Prize to one Yasser “She’s My Baby” Arafat, a man who, to put it mildly, had some oblique connections to terrorism. In addition, the venerable Nobel Committee also handed this award to one Jimmy Carter, a man who, to put it mildly, was a disappointing president, and who, to put it mildly again, wrote some insubstantial poetry.

As a result, dear reader, one would think that the Nobel Committee would be a bit more careful in doling out Peace Prizes in the future; one wouldn’t want, say, Robert Mugabe blithely to display the award on his mantelpiece.

Ah, but you would think wrong, dear reader. As has been recently reported, one Wangari Maathai, a professional biologist from Kenya, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

And who, you may be asking yourself, is Wangari Maathai? Well, we’re glad you asked. In fact, we’re always happy when you pose questions that are so useful to our train of thought. But we digress.

Anyway, Wangari Maathai helped plant millions of trees in Kenya through her Green Belt Movement. That sounds all fine and good, you say. Naturally, we hope that no lizards were killed during the planting of the trees. Sure, this may not exactly be tantamount to the achievement of peace in our time, but it sure beats Jimmy Carter’s poetry.

But, dear reader, there’s one little problem. It seems as if Ms. Maathai—a professional biologist, mind you—has some peculiar thoughts on a rather infamous disease known as AIDS.

To be more specific, dear reader, The New York Times reports that Ms. Maathai said the following:

AIDS is not a curse from God to Africans or the black people. It is a tool to control them designed by some evil-minded scientists.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Oh, dear. You lost us after the “curse” part. Naturally, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist opined that whitey is to blame for AIDS.

In an inept response, Ms. Maathai pleaded that her remarks had been taken out of context. Ah, yes: The old Trent Lott Defense—“I’m sorry if my remarks gave you the impression that they gave you.” That ought to pass the test.

And pass the test it did: The Nobel Committee has officially blessed Ms. Maathai with their impressively prestigious award.

This has all made us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder: Is there anything that would disqualify someone from this impressive award? When will Louis Farrakhan receive the prize?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have, as the result of literally minutes of reflection, decided to recommend Robert Mugabe for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Sure, only 47 percent of the crack young staff is Norwegian, and thus we may not have that much clout with the committee. But we’re going to do everything in our—significant—power to lobby on behalf of Mr. Mugabe.

In fact, we feel as if Mr. Mugabe is the very embodiment of peace. He’s a man of pacifism in the great tradition of Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein.

Now, if we could only convince him to write some horrid poetry…

 
Saturday, December 11, 2004
 

Academia Goes A-Wrasslin’


Although everyone this side of Delta Burke seems preoccupied with the 2004 Weblog Awards, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to remind you of another ongoing contest: Our Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition (which you can read about here).

In the past week or so we have received a number of entries from our rabid fans, but we hope to exhort more. As a result, we have taken it upon ourselves to offer you, dear reader, a weekend post that delivers an example of the kind of pseudo-academic ridiculousness we are urging you to submit.

Today’s example comes from that venerable beacon of academic hucksterism, the Duke University Press. As we may have remarked before, Duke University Press appears to be in a dogfight with Routledge to deliver readers the most noxious pseudo-intellectual dross in the land. And who’s winning this fracas? Hard to say, really; hard to say.

But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are prepared to shout “Advantage Duke!” thanks to the following forthcoming tome, which we humbly submit as an example for our contest: Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling.

Edited by one Nicholas Sammond, an assistant professor of media and society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Steel Chair to the Head offers articles by such intellectual luminaries as Roland Barthes, who apparently came out of death in order to write it. Mr. Barthes, for those of you blissfully unaware of his work, opined about the so-called “death of the author”; now, alas, it appears as if this particular author won’t die off.

It’s nice to know that, whilst many earnest scholars have difficulty getting serious work published, Duke University Press blithely wastes its energies on trendy garbage. It’s enough to make us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” desire to put Professor Sammond in a figure-four leg-lock.

So, dear reader, there’s our example. Think you can do better? If so—and even if not—send us an e-mail by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen.

 
Friday, December 10, 2004
 

To “Blog” or Not To “Blog”—That’s an Uninteresting Question


The past few days here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have been devoted to our overwrought discussion of the 2004 Weblog Awards. Careful readers of our humble “weblog” will note that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t even get a nomination for “Best Use of the Word ‘Feculent,’” or “Most Inapt Reference to Animal Husbandry.” And frankly, dear reader, we thought we had a lock on the latter category.

Keen readers of our daily musings will also note that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have momentarily dispensed with our quotidian animadversions on all and sundry, and wasted our time caterwauling like a bunch of pathetic pre-teens. Where, our manifold readers may be asking themselves, are the yuks at the expense of Stanley Fish and other tenured radicals? Where are the barbs directed at Al Sharpton? Where are all the caustic excoriations of Bob Herbert? Where have all the flowers gone (long time passing)?

Good questions, dear reader; good questions indeed. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are sick and tired of our vapid Internet navel-gazing.

And this brings us to another topic. It seems to us as if the 2004 Weblog Awards have inspired a ridiculous amount of e-malaise on the part of “webloggers” everywhere. Erstwhile talented “webloggers,” due to the introduction of the “weblog” awards, have been nattering on about some sort of existential crisis they are enduring.

Now that my “website” has or has not been nominated for such awards, say manifold “webloggers,” I simply can’t go on. I’ve lost that e-loving feeling. “Weblogging” just doesn’t have the beauty, the purity with which I used to associate it.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Get over yourself, Sartre. You are an indigent hack who wastes endless hours penning posts that will be read by three people and a mule. And two of the people will have stumbled upon your “website” by mistake, whilst hunting for Internet pornography.

So let’s not pretend that your foray into unpaid pseudo-journalism has lost its magic just because your “website” has suddenly attracted four people and two mules.

Allow us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to offer a word or two of advice, which you can even cut out and carry along with you in your wallet: Write a “weblog” if you want to; if not, don’t. We have the sneaking suspicion that Western culture will survive, whether or not the auteur responsible for “congenital-warts.blogspot.com” keeps pumping out illiterate piffle.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” realize that, without us, the Internet, like Gloria Gaynor, will survive.

 
Thursday, December 09, 2004
 

We Do It for the Children


Our recent spate of self-flagellation over our failure to receive one measly nomination for the 2004 Weblog Awards has met with a number of friendly e-mails from our warm-hearted fan-base. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have finally understood why the weaker sex spends so much of its time whining: It really pays some dividends. Honestly, you ought to give whining a try. (Isn’t that a number from “The Music Man”?)

Anyway, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been basking in the luminous glow of sundry friendly e-epistles. The crack young staff, say such devotees, was robbed; your humble “weblog,” they remark, is the bee’s knees. Or words to that effect.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Thanks, friends. You—the manifold readers of our humble musings—are all that matter. Well, you and global warming.

Sure, we may be shunned by fancy “Weblog Awards.” Sure, we may not even be nominated for such coveted prizes. Sure, we may be as popular as Denny Terrio, whilom host of “Dance Fever.” Sure, we may be as big as Danny Devito. Sure, we may…

Hold on a second, dear reader: Somewhere in the midst of that last paragraph we lost our train of thought. Oh yeah, we remember what we wanted to say: We suck.

Wait a minute. How come we don’t feel any better? We undertook the composition of today’s edition of our humble “weblog” in order to raise our spirits, and we’ve ended up lower than Robert Downey Jr. at the Betty Ford Clinic.

We guess what we are trying to say is that “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” like fine wine (of fine whine) is not for everyone. Sure, the masses may go for pathetic “weblogs” such as, say, Sullywatch. But “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is the Lamborghini of “weblogs.” It’s the beluga caviar of the Internet. It’s the kind of “website” men want to be, and women want to be with.

Now we feel much better. Accordingly, we may use the remainder of today’s humble e-musings to discuss some of the recent constructive criticism we have received.

One intelligent reader of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” thought that the crack young staff might have been overlooked come awards time due to its “website’s” name. The “Quarterly” part of the title may have misled some e-readers.

Perhaps so. Yet, as we detailed in one of our first posts, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” title was taken (with permission) from an old print publication to which we are very much devoted. We couldn’t very well change it. Also, we should note that Gentlemen’s Quarterly is not actually a quarterly. In fact, it’s not even for gentlemen—unless by “gentlemen” you mean “effete weirdoes who still slick their hair back like Pat Riley.” Yet that hasn’t stopped it from becoming festooned with Ralph Lauren advertisements.

Our pal Gordon, basking in the glow of his impressive 2004 Weblog Award nomination, has suggested that our lack of a “comments” section has hampered our “website’s” popularity. That’s probably true. Still, as we noted long ago, we despise “comments,” in large part because they are made by a passel of illiterate chuckleheads.

We’d rather read the telephone book. Or, even worse, the collected works of Andrea Dworkin. But perhaps we’ll change our minds.

Gordon also noted that we lack a “trackback” feature on our “website,” which puts yet another wrench in the works. Very true, very true. Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are such incorrigible technophobes that we can’t figure out what the heck “trackback” does. In fact, “trackback” sounds to us like a crappy techno band. It conjures visions of Bill Clinton wolfing down Big Macs in an Adidas tracksuit.

And, believe us: Even the female members of the staff don’t want to give him a Monica Lewinsky. If that’s what you need to get a nomination these days, count us out.

As a result, dear reader, we suppose we’ll have to be content with the fact that our humble “weblog” is beloved by some of the world’s most gifted e-readers. Sure, it’s a small audience, but the Bolsheviks took over Russia with a fairly small crowd.

Perhaps that wasn’t such a good analogy.

Anyway, dear reader, let us end this rambling edition of our unheralded “weblog” with a butchered quote from some famous movie we never saw: 2004 Weblog Award nominations!?! We don’t need no stinkin’ 2004 Weblog Award nominations!

With that in mind, we humbly exhort you to vote for the Llamas, Dr. Rusty, Gordo, and the other fine “weblogs” that have been nominated.

 
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
 

The Self-Incriminations Begin


As we noted in yesterday’s post, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” received nary a nomination for the 2004 Weblog Awards. Naturally, this caused much displeasure here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”

We mean, come on: Not one measly nomination? Not even for “Best Horse Thief” or “Most Likely To Be a Subsistence Farmer”? Any way you look at it, it’s just downright embarrassing.

As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not taking our lumps lying down. On the contrary. Much like the Kerry campaign, we are beginning a festival of post-mortem incrimination. No one—not even “Chip”—is protected from biting criticism.

And what, you may be asking yourself, is so wretchedly sub-par about our humble “weblog”? The Official Blame Department at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has been pondering this very question for literally minutes, and has come up with some illuminating answers.

First, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” should note that our humble “weblog” isn’t exactly on the cutting edge of Internet aesthetics. Whereas other “weblogs” feature nifty graphics and impressive fonts, our “website” looks as if it were put together by a small group of mildly retarded fourth-graders. The Irish Elk has all the latest gizmos for “web design,” and we put our “weblog” together with a butter churner and a ball of twine. And frankly, we’re such a bunch of Luddites that we haven’t figured out how to use the ball of twine yet.

But let us not pour contumely only upon the heads of the Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Technical Department. There is plenty of censure to go around.

After all, dear reader, the Official Ideas Department of our humble “weblog” isn’t exactly a pack of budding geniuses. Instead of harping on topical humor we all can enjoy, our vaguely crack and somewhat youngish staff constantly beats horses that have died years ago. We mean, come on: How original is a post excoriating Phil Collins? Joe Queenan beat us to that eons ago.

Naturally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could go on and on about our collective sins. But, as you can tell, this is a rather painful process.

As such, we’ll simply take a page out of the Democratic playbook and blame our own failings on the pseudo-moral indignation of a bunch of inbred, homophobic born-again Christians. You see, dear reader, it’s all their fault.

Man, that felt good. We’ll have to listen to Joe Lockhart more often.

 
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
 

Web Envy


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” couldn’t help but notice the hoopla surrounding the 2004 Weblog Awards. In fact, if we didn’t detest the horrendous rock band Starship so much, we’d say that we are knee deep in the hoopla.

It seems as if many of the “websites” that we, the crack young staff, read each day, are becoming bigwigs in the land o’ “weblogs.” Our pals the Llama Butchers, the Cranky Neocon, and Dr. Rusty are among those nominated in various impressive categories.

Now, we love all of the aforementioned “websites”; we read them all religiously. But we couldn’t help but notice that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t get nominated for jack-bone anything. Not a thing. You can count all our nominations on no fingers.

We’re like Tony Danza on Oscar night; we didn’t even get an invitation to the big party. As the clipboard Nazis would say: Sorry, you’re not on the list. Pretty soon, people will be making comparisons between our humble “weblog” and the vapid, illiterate hokum offered by Mr. Sullywatch. Well, it may not get that bad, but we should always prepare for the worst.

Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader: We’re not crying over spilled milk. We’re crying over the fact that we are about as popular as a Ford Taurus in Amish country. We’re about as desirable as genital warts. We’re as loveable as Mark Furhman’s and Geraldo’s love-child.

And what, you may be asking yourself, does the crack young staff intend to do about this? Well, first we intend on voting for our pals. And then we hope that the ultimate triumph of our “weblog” friends will bring us some residual hits. Kind of like Internet shrapnel.

Until then, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” intend to whine like a bunch of stuck-up thirteen-year-olds whose parents wouldn’t let them purchase thongs at Abercrombie & Fitch. It’s, like, so, like, unfair.

Whilst we are busy kvetching, dear reader, we humbly exhort you to vote for your favorite “weblogs.” And check out the Llamas, Gordo, and Rusty; they deserve to be a part of your daily routine. We remember them way back when they were insignificant “webloggers”—like we are.
 
Monday, December 06, 2004
 

A Well Kept Secret


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope you are sitting down, because we’re about to lay some astounding news on you. Frankly, given the fact that you are currently at your computer, in all likelihood you are seated. Those of you who are not, however, we urgently implore to pull up a chair and ease yourself into it.

Recently, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have had reason to suspect that some professional baseball players…take steroids.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: That’s really farfetched. And we certainly would have agreed with you a few weeks ago. Sammy Sosa may have no neck and Barry Bonds may currently be eating a baseball bat, but that’s no reason to think that this is the result of some sort of medicinal contraband.

Yet the new testimony of slugger-cum-humanitarian Jason Giambi appears to have solved a question that has vexed sports journalists for decades. As was widely reported in the press, Mr. Giambi, living up to the standards of another paragon of morals in the world of sports, Pete Rose, has finally admitted what he has long denied: He has taken steroids.

Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Jason Giambi is doped up! Who would have guessed that a fellow with his girlish good looks is actually on the juice? Not us.

Sure, when Major League Baseball stars aren’t smashing homerun records they are out howling at the moon and punching in car windows; but don’t we all do that kind of stuff? We here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” don’t want to speak for anyone else, but we think we all do. Every last one of us.

Now that this whole steroids issue has been sufficiently addressed, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder what ingenious investigative reporters will discover next. Perhaps they’ll find out that college basketball players at universities with fancy teams aren’t really the “scholar-athletes” they are advertised as.

Maybe they’ll find out that such “scholar-athletes” would be more appropriately named “rapist-athletes”? Perhaps they will discover that these “rapist-athletes” actually don’t do much in the way of studying? Or, if an enterprising young journalist works hard enough, he may even find evidence of big-time college sports stars receiving all kinds of hidden perquisites. Boy, that would really be newsworthy.

For now, however, we shall all have to be sated by the steroids story, and wait a little bit longer for another installment in the journalistic series “Profiles in the Obvious.”

 
Saturday, December 04, 2004
 

Lawful Entries


Well, dear reader, it’s the weekend, and normally we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are off gallivanting and cavorting. Or taking out the trash. But not this week, friends. For, as we discussed in a recent post, we eagerly await more entries to our humble contest: Our Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition.

In order to tease more entries out of our enormous readership, we decided to offer you yet more examples of the kinds of marvelously ridiculous items we hope to receive.

For instance, dear reader, you may not be aware of the publication Psychoanalytic Dialogues. If so, allow us to get you up to speed with a scholarly lucubration from this journal’s eleventh volume: D. Evans’ “Unlawful Entry: Male Fears of Psychic Penetration.”

As an Irishman drinking his first swig of bourbon would say: That’s the stuff! Indeed it is: Dr. Evans’ title offers just the right amount of outré sex-talk to titillate a bunch of sexless radicals who inhabit the purlieus of academe. We might like it to offer a little more academic jargon, but that’s a rather niggling criticism.

Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope that you, dear reader, can offer us some lawful entries to our contest. Even the female members of the crack young staff hope that you send in some titles that don’t lead to fears of “psychic penetration”—whatever the heck that is. We much prefer the old fashioned kind.

If Dr. Evans’ piece didn’t get you sufficiently hot and bothered about our contest, how about Jane Gallop’s wonderful article “Phallus/Penis: Same Difference,” which appeared in the collection intriguingly titled Men by Women? The distinguished Dr. Gallup, for those of you blissfully unaware of her, received a gorgeous excoriation from the pen of The New Criterion’s Roger Kimball, after she published her learned tome Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment.

So, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” again urge you to click the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen, and send us a hideously wonderful submission. If you don’t, you may have fears of psychic penetration for the rest of your life.

Probably not, but maybe.

 
Friday, December 03, 2004
 

Enya


Have you, dear reader, ever been to a department store? If so, you have probably been bombarded by the repulsive sounds of Enya.

And who—or what—is Enya? Why Enya, along with Xerxes and Attila, is surely one of the most fear-inspiring one-word names in the history of civilization. In addition, she appears to be a “New Age” musician.

Devotees of yuppie comfort music can’t get enough of the saccharine, over-produced garbage Enya offers. She’s plays music for those who admire James Taylor, but find his tunes a little too edgy. Her noxiously silky music is the aesthetic equivalent of drinking three entire jugs of maple syrup.

Why, you may ask, is Enya so popular? Good question. The most obvious answer, of course, is that people are outrageously stupid. But that doesn’t appear to get to the heart of the execrable Enya’s vogue.

It seems to us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” that Enya presents her listeners with a suitable patina of pseudo-respectability that fools the dimwitted thirty-something neophyte into believing that her music is somehow deeply sophisticated. After all, think her mindless fans, Enya often features a ‘cello or two. What could be more high-toned than that?

As such, dear reader, Enya markets herself as essentially Bach for morons—the brand of music that know-nothings can enjoy once they get a bit too old for MTV. Enya offers all the worldly intellectualism that people associate with classical music, without any of that irritating competence. Her music is, in essence, a simpleton’s version of classical music.

Naturally, as a “New Age” artiste, Enya must present herself as deeply concerned about one’s “inner child,” the “spirit bear,” and all that other adult-contemporary hokum. Her “website,” as a result, offers fans a discussion of lyrics supposedly “inspired by a Hokku, or Haiku, written by the Japanese poet Basho, while he was traveling to Otsu.”

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Oh, come on! This is pathetic! It’s as if the chuckleheads who love Enya will be deeply impressed by the fact that she knows a fancier way of spelling haiku.

In fact, Enya’s “website” has inspired us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to compose a haiku about her music:

A Hokku, or Haiku, about Enya by the Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”

This sounds like garbage.
We can’t fathom anyone
Who would like such crap.

 
Thursday, December 02, 2004
 

The Clif Garboden Fan Club


A little while ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discussed a pathetic rant penned by one Clif Garboden that appeared in The Boston Phoenix. Mr. Garboden, who was mighty peeved at John Kerry’s electoral defeat and who apparently hadn’t taken his medication for a few weeks, let off some steam in his piece, delicately titled “Screw You, America.”

In said article, the delightful Mr. Garboden hurled nasty epithets at those Americans who have the audacity to disagree with Clif Garboden. He memorably labeled those who hale from so-called red states as a passel of “slack-jawed inbred flatlanders.”

Well, it appears as if the good Mr. Garboden’s piece has ruffled a few feathers. It seems as if some of the “slack-jawed inbred flatlanders” are actually literate, and decided to take issue with Mr. Garboden’s miasmic ravings.

Still, not all of those who troubled themselves to read Mr. Garboden’s piffle reacted with scorn. One Vana Prewitt of Chatham County (NC) had this to say:

I loved the article by Clif Garboden. I can’t remember a time when I saw something in print that sounded like it came out of the mouths of my best friends. We have this crazy idea that the written word needs to be more formal than spoken language and for the most part, written language is sterile. Not the case with “Screw You, America.” Thanks for making me laugh at our pathetic political situation.

Oh, dear. Where do we begin? We wonder if Mr. Garboden, who snubbed his nose at the hoi polloi, had an audience as learned as Ms. Prewitt in mind. After all, she’s no slack-jawed inbred flatlander: She’s from North Carolina.

The second sentence of this pathetic missive is gorgeous: “I can’t remember a time when I saw something in print that sounded like it came out of the mouths of my best friends.” May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest that’s because Ms. Prewitt isn’t much of a reader? Or, alternatively, perhaps all of her pals are slack-jawed inbred flatlanders?

As bizarre as all this is, Ms. Prewitt’s letter becomes even more unhinged. She considers the notion that the written word should be more formal than colloquial conversations “crazy.” Due to this pernicious idea, she posits, “written language is sterile.”

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: No, Ms. Prewitt; language isn’t sterile—that’s your boyfriend you’re discussing.

Mr. Garboden should be proud to have such an eloquent defender in her corner. Sure, she’s about as educated as the average block of wood. And she ain’t exactly a master prose stylist. But, given the fact that she would happily don a “Clif Garboden sounds like he came out of the mouths of my best friends” T-shirt, we suppose that Mr. Garboden shouldn’t be so picky.
 
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
 

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition


If you, dear reader, are anything like us, you can’t get enough of academic articles. They’ve got everything you want—if you’re a chronic insomniac who has a weak spot for such phrases as “the dyadic mirror phase.”

As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided to offer an Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition. We figured that our manifold readers could come up with prime examples of the most gloriously inane titles in the history of the ivory tower.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: This competition is riding on the coattails of Philosophy & Literature magazine’s annual contest that gives a prize for the worst crafted academic sentence. To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Yeah, that’s pretty much true.

But frankly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that hardly anything would rile up our tenured friends like an Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition. After all, as we noted here, our pals in humanities departments can’t stand it when lowly journalists poke fun at the titles of their recondite studies.

In order to give you a sense of the kind of thing we are hoping to receive, dear reader, allow us to present an example.

Perhaps, like us, you are a subscriber to the Journal of Lesbian Studies. If not, you probably missed a recent article by one Debra Roth, which bears the jaw-droppingly wonderful title “Engorging the Lesbian Clitoris: Opposing the Phallic Cultural Unconscious.”

Aha! That’s the stuff we’re looking for. Not only is this moniker unintentionally porno-humorous, it’s utter gibberish.

In fact, the paper is so rebarbative that even the first sentence of its summary sounds stupid:

This paper argues that colloquial language that casually refers to the male genitals as signifcations of power and authority (i.e., “having balls,” “getting it up,” “strapping it on,” etc.) has a particularly injurious effect upon lesbian subjectivity because of the critical ways in which lesbians must reject the hegemony of the phallus in order to experience themselves as richly embodied.

We don’t want to have a particularly injurious effect upon lesbian subjectivity, but may we humbly suggest that Ms. Roth, the author of this fine piece, has some balls? After all, we’ve never heard anyone utter the colloquial phrase “strapping it on.” Perhaps we aren’t traveling in the right circles.

Naturally, dear reader, Ms. Roth’s piece is replete with jargon-laden piffle:

A phallogocentric (Derrida, in Evans, 1996) ideational framework works to severely circumscribe the ways in which lesbians can grapple with the experiences of embodiment and otherness because it asks us to reach too far outside our own intrapsychic experience of self as subject or object in order to engage and more fully know our own sexual potency and aliveness.

Savor, dear reader, the sublimely clunky phrase “ideational framework works to severely circumscribe.” Perhaps Ms. Roth should put down her Derrida for a second and pick up a grade school grammar textbook; she ought to check out its “split infinitives” section.

But we digress. We hope that you get some sense of the magnificently ridiculous titles we want you to send us. As such, we are pleased as peacocks to announce:

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official First Annual “Worst Academic Paper Title” Competition

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” exhort you, dear reader, to send us an inane title from an academic article (i.e., a piece penned by an academic and/or published in an academic journal).

As we do not, alas, have the resources to track down each article, entrants are required to submit e-documentation of this article’s title. Simply click the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen and offer us your entry, complete with an e-citation of the article in question.

Entries must be submitted by 5:00 pm EST on December 20th, 2004 in order to be considered. Our Official Contest Judges will pour through the entries, and the lucky winner will have his/her title published on this humble “website,” along with copious praise for his/her genius.

Naturally, dear reader, the winner will be the envy of all and sundry. So find a ridiculous article and enter today!

 

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