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Monday, February 28, 2005
 

The Doctors Are In: Part Deux


Last week, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” announced that we were reviving our Official Advice Column feature. As we noted before, this Official Advice Column, before becoming dormant, had been of great service to circa three of our readers. As such, magnanimous humanitarians that we aren’t, we figured that we’d set up shop again.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to help you. In fact, we want to help you help yourselves. In fact, we want you to allow us to help you help yourselves. In fact, we want us to want you to allow us to help you help yourselves.

It’s kind of complicated, actually.

Naturally, given our colossal readership, we immediately received a call for advice from one of our colossal readers.

The e-epistle in question comes from the curiously named Dr. Rabbi Philosopher. As far as we’re concerned, his name sounds like the beginning of a rip-roaring joke. You know: A rabbi and a philosopher walk into a bar…. We hope that his middle name is “Irishman.” That way, the gag would go: A rabbi, an Irishman, and a philosopher walk into a bar….

We’re not certain of the punch line, but it would probably be a crack at Nietzsche’s expense. Or it would make fun of the Irish as a bunch of drunks.

Anyway, his e-missive, which we have edited slightly for the purposes of cacophony, reads as follows:

Dear Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,”

I'm glad you've hung out your sign and announced that you're open for business.
I’ve got a couple of problems:
1) I'm not a rabbi.
2) I'm not a philosopher.
3) In real life, I'm a licensed psychologist who attempts to treat other people's neuroses while mine run wild and free.
4) NOBODY LISTENS TO ME! I give them diamonds and pearls (advice and wisdom) but do they take advantage of my 30 years in the business? NOOOOO! Frankly, they make me sick. They carp, complain, and cry. They ask for my advice—and then they reject it? Apparently I'm not allowed to shoot them, but they're driving me CRAZY!

So, I need your advice to deal with ALL the problems I've listed above. And, unlike my insurance-carrying clients, I'll pay attention to your wisdom and apply it appropriately to my life.

Yours &c.,

Dr. Rabbi.Philosopher


As you can imagine, dear reader, we were pleased as petulant, partisan politicians to receive an e-letter from an accredited mental health professional. This, officially, makes us a doctor’s doctor. Well, actually the doctor’s doctors, but that’s a really clunky phrase.

In order to demonstrate what consummate professionals we aren’t, we intend to deal with the Good Doctor’s questions in the numerical order in which they appear in his e-missive.

1) I’m not a rabbi.

Hmmm. This is a rather nagging difficulty, isn’t it? Pretty much every healthy, sane individual we know is a rabbi. Or at least a cantor.

Still, we would be remiss if we did not mention that a few people of our acquaintance are beacons of sanity and not rabbis. For instance, Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine. Oh, and Jesse Jackson. (Or is he the rabbi of “Hymietown”?)

Anyway, our larger point here is that not being a rabbi, though a potentially grave situation, can actually turn out just fine. Sure, you’ll never be elected president of the United States without being a rabbi, but, other than that, your life will be pretty much the same.

2) I’m not a philosopher.

Frankly, we’re less inclined to see this as a major disability. After all, Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger were both philosophers, and neither of them turned out so great. Unless, of course, you take a shining to apologists for totalitarian terror.

Also, with the notable exception of the ease with which one can pick up chicks, it really doesn’t help to be a philosopher. Jacques Derrida wasn’t a philosopher, and look how far he got!

3) In real life, I'm a licensed psychologist who attempts to treat other people's neuroses while mine run wild and free.

Before we offer our advice on this score, we ought to mention that we appreciate the Good Doctor’s candor. Sure, he may have a completely misleading name (given problems 1 and 2 listed above), but he’s honest about the important things: Psychologists are normally about as sane as the March Hare.

Indeed, status as a licensed psychologist is a major trouble. After all, it is extraordinarily difficult for psychologists to change careers and become, for instance, first basemen for the Chicago White Sox. In fact, if you want to be a professional athlete of any kind, you’re not in a good position. Except for a woman’s basketball player: Pretty much anyone can do that.

Our advice to you, Good Doctor, is to train to become a rabbi and a philosopher. That way, you can kill three of your problems with one stone. Or, we should say, kill three of your problems with grueling years of biblical exegesis and painstaking readings of Richard Rorty.

4) NOBODY LISTENS TO ME! I give them diamonds and pearls (advice and wisdom) but do they take advantage of my 30 years in the business? NOOOOO! Frankly, they make me sick. They carp, complain, and cry. They ask for my advice—and then they reject it? Apparently I'm not allowed to shoot them, but they're driving me CRAZY!

Well, that’s pretty much all the space we can devote to today’s post, so we want to thank the Good Doctor for his e-missive. Obviously, we’ve saved another life.

If you, dear reader, yearn for this kind of soul-saving advice, drop us a line by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen.

We promise that we’ll help, and, more importantly, listen to you.
 
Friday, February 25, 2005
 

The 50,000 Club


Recently, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have passed a milestone. Which, if you come to think of it, is much like passing a gallstone, only a bit more portentous. And a bit less painful.

Our humble “weblog,” dear reader, has earned more than 50,000 hits. Although we never collectively patted ourselves on the back for reaching other numbers on the old hit count, we feel as if 50,000 deserves some celebration, however tepid. After all, we’re not talking about 43,298. This is (as American highschool students would put it) the big five-zero-comma-zero-zero-zero-zero.

Naturally, there are reasons to be unimpressed by our glorious feat (or even our glorious feet). After all, many a “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” reader stumbled on our “website” by accident. Having typed in a Google search for something such as “feculent Phil Collins,” they inadvertently wound up at this humble e-address.

In addition, many of the quotidian visitors to “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are members of the crack young staff itself. Come to think of it, once you figure in the staff’s sundry family members who routinely check up on its animadversions, we are left with the following tally:

An Impromptu and Informal Tally of Our 50,000 Hits:

Total number of hits from members of the crack young staff: 36,000

Total number of hits from members of the crack young staff’s families: 13,997

Total number of hits from those entirely unrelated to “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”: 3


Naturally, dear reader, we must thank the three people who troubled themselves to check out “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” It is you who made this fruitless endeavor fruitful. You are the veritable wings beneath our veritable wings.

In fact, we see no reason not to thank you personally:

1. Herman Smith of Hackensack, NJ
2. Col. Frederick Blount of Traverse City, MI
3. Edie Jacoby of Trenton, NJ

Apparently we have a rather large following in New Jersey. Anyway, we offer the sincerest thanks to Herman, Frederick, and Edie—if we may address you by your Christian names.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” earnestly hope that three more people will inadvertently visit our humble “weblog” in the coming months. If so, soon 100,000 hits will come apace.
 
Thursday, February 24, 2005
 

Addlebrained


A few days ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” complained profusely about the horrendous advertisements that sit atop our lofty “weblog.” These feculent “web-ads,” if you will, are really cramping our style. And—far more importantly—they aren’t brining in much in the way of revenue.

We hate to beat a dead horse, mostly because it accomplishes very little. Unless you count the anaerobic exercise involved. (You can really whale on your glutes if you beat a dead horse correctly.)

In addition to having an aversion to flogging deceased steeds, we also dislike discussing the same topic more than once, mostly because it accomplishes very little. Unless, of course, you count the anaerobic exercise involved. (You can really whale on your pecs if you discuss the same topic more than once.)

Even so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel it is our obligation to excoriate the drooling morons who are responsible for the adverts that appear on our site at the top of your computer screen. (Or at the bottom, if you hold your computer screen upside-down.)

Why, you may be asking yourself, does the crack staff feel so strongly about this? Well, frankly, we had hoped to retire off our advertising revenue, and, as it is right now, we aren’t exactly sitting pretty. In fact, our ads have proved such a bust that we can’t even afford a time-share in Buffalo right now. Off-season.

Indeed, dear reader, things are pretty grim. And as much as we’d love to blame you for not clicking on the links to our sponsors, we simply can’t blame you. Our sponsors are so, in a word, feculent that we can’t hold you collectively responsible.

For instance, dear reader, one of our sponsors for a given day is ineluctably a dubious company known as CafePress.com. This shady outfit appears to make the big bucks—without any Whammies—from marketing a bunch of junky T-shirts, bumper stickers, &c. In short, it’s everything the discriminating shopper does not need.

And yet sometimes it seems as if the CafePress likes to go overboard, and offer potential customers products that are not only useless, they are ridiculous.

For example, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” kindly exhort you to take a gander at this silly bumper sticker, which reads: “Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam.”

First off, we should admit that none of us has taken any Arabic. We’re more into Farsi. Even so, we are relatively certain that “Iraq” is not Arabic for “Vietnam.” In fact, from our cursory “web-browsing,” we have concluded that “Vietnam” is Arabic for “Spiro Agnew.”

Just when you thought the geniuses behind CafePress couldn’t get more obtuse, they up the ante. Take a gander at the following example of thong underwear, which reads “Lesbians Against Bush.”

What a clever double entendre! What undergarment magic!

All we must do is find a lesbian whose dislike of the Republican Party is sufficiently strong for her to wear a piece of clothing no one will see. She also has to enjoy a string up her posterior.

Hmmm. Well, that leaves out our dentist.
 
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
 

The Doctors Are In


Some time ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” inaugurated an Official Advice Column. Having exhorted our colossal readership to send us an e-missive asking for personal guidance, we undertook to answer its queries, thereby offering succor and warmth to mankind.

In fact, dear reader, our humble Advice Column has helped well nigh four people. That gives us a better record than the UN.

Even so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think that we can do better. After all, we embarked upon the world of “weblogging” in order to make the world a better place. And for our own personal aggrandizement, of course.

As far as we can tell, we possess pretty much all of the attributes necessary for successful advice-column scribblers: Lingering neuroses; massive inferiority complexes; a shoe full of Valium.

Some of you may be saying to yourselves: The crack young staff may think it can solve the complex personal problems of its readers, but they don’t have one iota of training as psychologists. To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Who’s going to listen to you about psychological care? Aren’t you the ones talking to yourselves?

We should mention, moreover, that many so-called experts in the land of personal advice don’t possess any real qualifications for their jobs. Dr. Laura, for instance, doesn’t have a degree in psychology or psychiatry. Although we can’t quite remember, we have a hunch she has an animal husbandry background. But perhaps we’re thinking of Pauly Shore’s parents.

Anyway, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are absolutely certain that we can answer any and all questions to our readers’ satisfaction. And we have a track record to prove it: So far, we’ve helped about three people, and we haven’t been sued once. Can Michael Jackson say that? We think not.

So don’t be shy, dear reader. Take some time out of your day and compose an e-mail to us by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. (For our dyslexic friends, it’s on the top left-hand corner.) We, in turn, will do our absolute best to give you a helping hand. Or, failing that, some Hamburger Helper.

Write us today: You have nothing to lose except possibly your misery. Although, frankly, that’s unlikely too.
 
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
 

Hardly Addictive


Around a fortnight ago, dear reader, the Official Tax and Revenue Department of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” took a gander at our annual assets. After all, April is approaching apace, and we wouldn’t want to cheat our good old friend Uncle Sam.

Upon discovering the income that our “Blogspot” advertisements were fetching, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were simply aghast. Ten measly dollars?! And 35 measly cents?! How could our luminous “weblog” be as much of a financial disaster as the XFL?

At first we thought things may not actually be that bad. For certainly our advertising revenue is greater than, say, Uruguay’s GDP. Still, our deep-pocketed financial backers aren’t going to enjoy finding out that our humble “website” is about as popular as genital warts.

After nearly minutes of a-fussin’ and a-fumin’, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided to check out the advertising for our “website,” to see if anything was remiss.

Something is remiss, alright. In fact, as our dear friend Misspent mentioned on his luminous “weblog,” our advertisements are abysmal. They’re galactically wretched. They’re the Internet equivalent of Howard the Duck.

And what, you may be asking yourself, makes these “Blogspot” adverts so irksome? We, as always, are glad you asked. In fact, it’s your curious mind that makes us so attracted to you in the first place.

We hardly know where to begin. First, we suppose, we ought to mention the fact that “Blogspot” appears to place any old advertisement on our “website,” as if somehow we’re likely to attract oodles and oodles of hacky-sack purchasers. We mean, come on: What kind of a hemp-wearing operation do you take this for?

Allow us to offer a few examples. A few days ago, our humble “website” was featuring “Women of WWII War Posters.” Hmmm. We hardly know what to say in response. Has “Blogspot” somehow confused us with Rosie-the-Riveter.com?

And who the heck would want such items? Why not hawk tasty Microwave Pork Rinds instead? Or how about guides to Turkish grammar? Or how about a four pack of rhetorical questions?

Until “Blogspot” offers our readers some sensible advertisements—for such products as The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, Colt 45, and Vaseline—we can’t blame ourselves for our financial straits.
 
Monday, February 21, 2005
 

Uninteresting Secrets Revealed!


As dutiful readers of this humble “weblog” well know, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has been around for some time. Sure, it’s not yet one year old; still, in the world of the World-Wide Web, that’s is a pretty long run. Our career has officially lasted longer than Carrot Top’s. Which reminds us: When do we get to appear in some obnoxious collect call advertisements?

That is to say, dear reader, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is no longer the New Kid on the Block. (Gee, that would make a great name for a really aesthetically uncompromising rock-n-roll group.)

Anyway, what we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are trying to get at is the fact that we serve as an inspiration for sundry fledgling “webloggers.” Nary a day goes by, it seems, without our e-mail box receiving a message from such a newcomer to “webloggery,” if you will.

In such e-epistles, “weblogging” tyros laud our impressive skills. How, they ask, do you people put together a mediocre “weblog” that receives well nigh five hits a week? Or words to that effect. In short, they yearn to know the secrets to our success.

If by “success” you mean “almost complete anonymity as unheralded hacks for an obscure ‘weblog.’” And, hey, we don’t know about you, but that sure means “success” in our books.

Normally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t like to offer much in the way of a response to such e-missives. And that is the case for a number or reasons. Well, two reasons, actually. But, hey, two is a number.

First, we hope that our fellow “webloggers” will find their own path to semi-inspired mediocrity. We don’t want to dictate to people how to run a tepid “weblog.” What would be the fun in that?

And, second, we aren’t thrilled about giving away some of our big secrets. Although it seems really easy, it’s actually rather difficult to run a “weblog” with a staff of fewer than 250 people. Especially when nearly 47 percent of the staff is female.

Even so, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we should answer these plaintive e-scribblings in today’s humble post. That way, we can make sure that every aspiring “weblogger” gets a peek at the tricks of the trade. It’s our way of giving back to the community. And, yes, it counts as community service.

As such, below you will find a few handpicked secrets to our collective success. These serve as just a few reasons why “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is a beloved destination in Al Gore’s World-Wide Web.

A Few Official Secrets to the Luke-Warm Success of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”

1. Absolutely No Diversity: Unlike pretty much every company in these here United States of America, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” realize that “diversity” is meaningless. Accordingly, staff members here are virtually indistinguishable. And almost everyone goes by the sobriquet “Chip.”

2. Inspirational Posters: Sure, other “webloggers” may guffaw at the inspiring slogans that adorn the walls of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” headquarters. But nothing gets our creative juices flowing quite like exhortations to “get your creative juices flowing.”

3. New Low Fat Pringles.

4. Magazine Subscriptions: When we have trouble coming up with new ideas, we often take a gander at some other fine humor journals. You know, like Renaissance Quarterly, Mother Jones, and Radical Teacher. After all, as Rich Little never told us, nothing says “funny” quite like Radical Teacher.

Well, dear reader, there’s a few juicy tidbits to get you started. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will serve up another batch soon—provided we can’t come up with a better idea.
 
Friday, February 18, 2005
 

The Inequities of Academe: Part the Second—Binge Drinking


A few days ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” inaugurated what will be a series of lucubrations on the downsides of the life of a professor. As we noted previously, various media outlets are always criticizing academics as a bunch of tweed-soaked pin-heads who are busy brainwashing your children instead of educating them. Though that sounds pretty much dead-on to us, it's not particularly pleasant.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that our society treats the average college professor as slightly less suspicious than the average child molester.

As such, dear reader, we established our lofty “Inequities of Academe” series in order to discuss some of the difficulties that academics must face. Although no one asked us, we think it’s darn nice of us.

Anyway, today’s installment of “The Inequities of Academe” focuses on a perennial problem on the college campus: Binge drinking. And, no, we’re not talking about alcoholic tenured radicals. Rather, we mean the students.

Pretty much every college educated member of our civilization recognizes that the average American university student has the drinking habits of Dean Martin. In fact, as far as we’re concerned, Dean Martin is the most appreciated dean in the history of higher education.

To be honest, it makes a certain sense that college students are a passel of dipsomaniacs. After all, if you put a university in Allentown, Pennsylvania, what the heck do you expect students to do? Go play on a rusty forklift?

And yet, dear reader, there is something awfully disturbing about all this underage binge drinking. If kids can’t enjoy their relatively stress-free lives at universities without the requisite eight beers a day, how are they going to get through the rest of their drab, miserable lives?

Wow. We just depressed ourselves.

Perhaps what most irks us about students’ binge drinking, however, is universities’ responses to it. Every college administrator knows that most students can out-drink an Irish longshoreman. And yet they pretend that their school prohibits such activity.

Universities normally champion strict guidelines regarding the student consumption of alcoholic beverages. If college administrators were offering the truth, however, they would probably write a drinking policy that looked much like the following:

“STATE UNIVERSITY’S OFFICIAL DRINKING POLICY”

We, the administration of this god-awful school we would never have attended, realize that you, the libidinous pleasure-machines who inhabit these environs, would never have considered coming here in the first place if you could not drink more than an Irish longshoreman at a wedding. As such, we promise to look the other way as 18-year-old coeds guzzle Everclear until they end their evenings with a stomach pump. One student each year will ineluctably perish as the result of our administrative malfeasance, and this will inevitably lead us to sponsor an annual festival of self-flagellation, at which a few sexually frustrated feminists and teetotling Mohammedans carp on the evils of booze. This, naturally, will never compel us to alter our policy one iota. After all, you didn’t come to this miserable excuse for an intellectual environment for the Petrarch and Plato, now did you?
 
Thursday, February 17, 2005
 

Sorority Girls


As the longtime reader of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” well knows, we have often pontificated about the real and imagined failings of the weaker sex. In fact, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have harped and harpied on the failings of women to such a great extent that we are surprised the National Organization for Women has not launched a national campaign against us.

We suppose we’re lucky that no one reads what we write—if they did, we’d be in a lot more trouble.

As a result, dear reader, the Official Gender Relations Liaison at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has attempted to make sure that we lay off the ladies for a while. Instead of constantly kvetching about female lapses, he argues, we should adumbrate some of the sins of a man. K.D. Lang, for example. She’s a guy, isn’t she?

Anyway, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have refused to give in to the Official Gender Relations Liaison’s pressure. As we always inform our readers each time we are poised to rant about a member of the weaker sex, roughly 47 percent of the crack young staff is of the feminine persuasion. And many of those staff members are women.

In addition, the Official Gender Relations Liason’s title doesn’t exactly strike fear into our collective hearts: It’s actually rather girly. Accordingly, we feel safe to take the ladies to task.

And it’s a good thing, too: Hardly a day goes by in which women don’t collectively bother us. In fact, they disturb us so often you’d think that they make up more than half the human population.

We were reminded of all of this, dear reader, when last a few staffers took a lunch break at one of our local eateries. This establishment, which we shall call “The Soccer Mom Cafe,” is chock-a-block with upper-middle class leftists; it’s the kind of place that serves as a haven for tote-bag clutching weasels who have “Re-Defeat Bush” stickers on their Volvos. The kind of people who love impoverished minorities, but, oddly enough, don’t live near any of them.

As the crack young staffers made their way up to the counter of “The Soccer Mom Cafe,” they noticed something deeply, deeply irritating: A gaggle of sorority girls waiting in line to order.

And what, you may be asking yourself, makes these young gals so offensive? We’re darn glad you asked.

First, one must note that the sorority girl is the closest the modern world has come to human cloning. Each one of these young things looks exactly alike. They all have the Official Wardrobe of the Sorority Chick: Designer sweat pants; designer T-shirt; expensive puffy winter coat; clunky designer sunglasses; oodles of makeup; &c.

As if this weren’t bad enough, dear reader, each one of these women has the exact same bone structure. It’s as if the test to get in to the Lambda Sigma Delta sorority was established by early physical anthropologists. It’s as if sororities were the brainchild of eugenicists and other discredited cranks.

In addition, each one of these gal’s names is either Amber or Ashley. Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are—as our name implies—rather youngish, we still recall the time when every female in these here United States of America was named Jennifer.

Clearly, just as gray is the new black, Ashley is the new Jennifer.

If the automaton-esque quality of the sorority girl weren’t enough to drive one crazy, one need only turn to her habits. Nary a minute goes by, dear reader, in which the sorority gal isn’t immersed in sub-literate conversation on her cellular ‘phone. As far as she’s concerned, the J. Crew catalog is so, like, awesome, and she’s, like, got to tell Amber all about it.

All of this, dear reader, has naturally compelled us to rethink our position on the War on Terrorism: As far as we’re concerned, if you allow your daughter to become a sorority girl, the terrorists have won.
 
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
 

The First Official Greatest Norwegian Award: And the Winner Is…


Not long ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” announced that we had become fed up with the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Although we, like any civilized human beings, had previously scoffed at this Norwegian committee’s chuckleheaded choices, their nomination of murderer-cum-Crips-founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams was officially the last straw.

As such, dear reader, we decided that we weren’t going to take the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s appalling choices lying down. Or, if we were going to take them lying down, at least we weren’t going to get comfortable. No pillows for us.

In fact, we aimed to get even. Accordingly, we decided to inaugurate our own award, the Official Greatest Norwegian Award. If the Nobel Peace Prize committee was going to offer nominations to the most disgraceful American scoundrels, we were going to present awards to the most despicable Norwegians in history.

And, like the Nobel Peace Prize committee, we were going to pretend that said despicable humans were paragons of magnanimity and goodliness.

At the end of our announcement for the First Official Greatest Norwegian Award, we exhorted readers to send in a nomination.

And send them in they did. Pretty much everyone who owns a personal computer offered up a name for our contest. In fact, we had no idea that we were so popular until we had our crack young interns open our crack young e-mail box. Our readers were growing. Kind of like a fungus.

Naturally, this gave our Official Greatest Norwegian Award Judges much to ponder. Obviously, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” weren’t the only ones who wanted to stick it to Norway.

Still, we would be remiss if we did not mention a curious fact about the nomination process: All but two of the nominations went to Norway’s Benedict Arnold, Vidkun Quisling. And one of the remaining nominations went to Edvard Grieg. This wasn’t, dear reader, because the late composer was a horrible character; our lone nominator simply informed us that he was the only Norwegian of whose existence he was aware.

All of this naturally left our Official Greatest Norwegian Award Judges a bit miffed. How could they hand the award to such an obvious moral reprobate as Vidkun Quisling? His very last name is a synonym for “traitor”!

To be sure, giving the award to Vidkun Quisling would offer us the opportunity to revel in Norway’s past sins. We could point out that Mr. Quisling was a disgraceful Nazi sympathizer who urged his countrymen not to fight invading German forces during World War II. And we could point out that, in addition to his horrid racism, Mr. Quisling was also a loser: Even his short stint as Hitler’s puppet in Norway proved unsuccessful.

And there is one more reason to laud Vidkun Quisling: The Norwegians executed him on October 24, 1945. Accordingly, he could serve as a perfect platform for some delightful moral preening: Clearly, the state-sanctioned murder of Mr. Quisling demonstrates the disgraceful barbarity of the Norwegian people. Why not rehabilitate poor Mr. Quisling? Why did all of Norway stoop to his level?

As you can imagine, dear reader, if we were going to offer an Official Greatest Norwegian Award, we couldn’t very well leave Vidkun Quisling out of the picture.

Our Official Contingencies Department came up with the perfect solution: We shall henceforth refer to our contest as the Official Vidkun Quisling Greatest Norwegian Award. That way, the very name of the prize is liable to irk our Scandinavian chums.

Without further ado, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are content to present:

The First Official Vidkun Quisling Greatest Norwegian Award

This year’s award goes to Varg Vikernes. And what, you may be asking yourself, makes Mr. Vikernes worthy of this prestigious prize? We’re collectively glad you collectively asked.

The good Mr. Vikernes is serving a 21-year prison term for the murder of a guitarist named Oystein Aarseth and the burning of three churches, which led to the death of a fireman. In addition, whilst he was on a 17-hour leave from prison in 2003 (!), the good Mr. Vikernes was briefly on the run, until he was captured in a car chase.

Clearly, Mr. Vikernes is one of the most admirable men in the history of Norwegian civilization. What’s more, his rough treatment at the hands of his countrymen demonstrates that Norway has a lot to learn about the civil treatment of society’s great humanitarians.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the brutal—nay, ghastly—maltreatment of Mr. Vikernes demonstrates Norway’s religious intolerance.

How’s that, you say? Well, obviously Mr. Vikernes’ “crimes” were making a statement about the Judeo-Christian oppression rampant in Norwegian society. As such, he took it upon himself to murder a Jew (if “Oystein” isn’t a Jewish first name, we don’t know what is) and to burn three churches.

Although Mr. Vikernes admittedly went a bit far, clearly he was intent on demonstrating the crushing Islamophobia—not to mention the irrational fear of Buddhism—rampant in Norwegian society.

Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted to offer our First Official Vidkun Quisling Greatest Norwegian Award to Varg Vikernes, a true Norwegian patriot.

Take that, you dilapidated Vikings.
 
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
 

The Inequities of Academe: Part the First—Student E-Mails


These days it seems as if college professors simply can’t do anything right. Journalists are always carping on their sins; students are busy ranting about their shortcomings.

And academic freedom? Forget it: Modern college professors can’t even criticize the victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns” and pray for another attack against America without getting in some kind of trouble. It’s patently unfair.

As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, a gig as a tenured radical must surely be one of the most horrific jobs in the history of occupations. We’d collectively prefer to slave away in a peanut factory.

In order to do our part to right these wrongs, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have initiated a new intermittent series for our humble “weblog”: “The Inequities of Academe.”

We aim to hone in on some of the hardships associated with being a university professor. This way, faculty members all across these here United States of America can treat “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” as a kind of journalistic oasis. Sure, they may get criticized at The Wall Street Journal. And, sure, The New Criterion may never let up on them. But here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we aim to please unfairly maligned professors, and soothe their souls (if they have them).

In today’s humble edition of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” we tackle one of the most unfortunate features of university life: Students. As far as we’re concerned, if it weren’t for students, academia would be fairly tolerable.

More specifically, we are devoting the inaugural edition of our “Inequities of Academe” series to a particular aspect of student-professor relationships. No, dear reader, not sleeping with students. That’s one of the few fringe benefits of life as an academic. (The other one is use of a free Xerox machine, which hardly seems as enticing.) In today’s humble post, we discuss the topic of the ineluctably horrendous student e-mails.

The Iniquities of Academe: Student E-Mails

Some of our superannuated readers may recall a time when students needed to attend a given professor’s office hours in order to present phony excuses for their academic indiscretions. No longer. Thanks to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, today’s savvy slacker is a few short mouse clicks away from instant sub-literate communication. As a result, professors are routinely inundated with e-mails such as:

To: Professor Cohen
From: Ed Smith
Subject: Sorry, Dude

Hey, prof. So sorry I flaked on the last eigth [sic] weeks of class. My pet iguana got super sick, if you know what I mean :^)

If I get a chance, dude, I will probably sea [sic] you in clas [sic]. Do I still have to take the final? Also, itd [sic] be really cool if you forgot about my midterm.

Peace out,
“Steady” Eddie
 
Monday, February 14, 2005
 

Donald Trump


As befits a passel of aesthetes and poetasters, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” love to claim that we don’t watch television. For pretty much everyone who’s anyone has realized that, in intellectual circles, admitting that you watch the boob tube is tantamount to saying that you molest children.

Or, worse yet, vote Republican.

Anyway, dear reader, we collectively delight in pretending that, for us, television is a mysterious device of which we have no experience. Kind of like the laundry machine. When friends discuss, say, “Trading Spaces,” we like to pretend we haven’t a clue what they’re talking about; as far as we know, we bray, “Trading Spaces” is some kind of homosexual pornography. (Well, that’s pretty much accurate, but we digress.)

Still, even we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must drop our flawless display of studied ignorance in order to excoriate a fellow who really has it coming. We refer, of course, to Donald Trump.

Since Donald Trump (or “The Donald,” as nobody calls him) is a particularly juicy topic for our evisceration, we feel that it is necessary to set some ground rules.

First, we shall not make fun of his coiffure. Sure, he’s got the worst comb-over (or, we should say, comb-back) in the history of hair-care. Yet a few male members of the crack young staff—and one female member—have their own tonsorial issues, and thus we consider it ungentlemanly to blast a fellow human being for his sub-par locks. Even if they’re as patently ridiculous as Donald Trump’s.

Second, we aren’t going to make fun of Mr. Trump’s longstanding feud with Merv Griffin. Although we’d like to say that there was some high-minded reason behind this, in reality, it’s because we couldn’t think of anything humorous to say about it.

So, dear reader, with the ground rules established, we shall begin our critique.

Fan(s) of Donald Trump no doubt watch(es) his hit reality show, “The Apprentice.” Even the most dimwitted of viewers must recognize that Mr. Trump uses this show as an exercise in self-celebration.

After all, Mr. Trump incessantly offers viewers his déclassé take on the so-called good life. He’s always prattling on about his fleet of helicopters, his meretricious real estate, and his celebrity hobnobbing. This from a guy who has declared bankruptcy more times than a tenured radical has screamed “hegemony”! What a boob!

Doesn’t he realize that he’s unwittingly making himself the butt of many a joke? We mean, come on, Donald: Prancing around like a billion bucks—that’s so ‘80s.

In addition, dear reader, Mr. Trump loves to offer television viewers the impression that he has uncanny business acumen. Nothing could be further from the truth: His decisions to fire his hopeful apprentices on his television broadcasts are entirely irrational.

And yet somehow this sordid slime-ball has managed to land himself fetching woman after fetching woman. (Well, at least they used to be fetching: Ivanna has pretty much fetched for the last time.)

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder how Donald Trump does it. How can he, as our feminist friends put it, score with the babes?

Perhaps he has a really good sense of humor?
 
Friday, February 11, 2005
 

College Op-Ed Disasters Redux


Oftentimes, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have used this space to dilate on the disgraceful character of college op-eds. As such, we are wary of repeating ourselves. After all, we don’t want to become some sort of broken record, mindlessly prattling on about the same arrant piffle. After all, we don’t want to become some sort of broken record, mindlessly prattling on about the same arrant piffle.

And yet, dear reader, the quintessential example of the ridiculous college column has just crossed our desks. It was penned by one Bridget Newman, a young woman who composes a bi-monthly feature entitled “Looking for the Holes.”

One would hope, dear reader, that someone who writes under that heading would refrain from naming one of their columns “The V-Word.” Alas, in the case of Bridget Newman, you would think wrong.

The piece offers all the typical characteristics of the whiny college feminist tract: All-knowing tone; mindless self-absorption; overwrought claims; &c.

And yet, dear reader, it is so much more. Just take in its final paragraph—perhaps one of the most impressive pieces of unintentional humor in the history of the American university:

I, too, want to live in a world in which our fates are not so defined by our genitals, but unfortunately we’re not there yet. I’m so much more than my vagina, but it has and will always shape my life. Until we talk more about vaginas, we can’t progress to a world where all of us are safe, happy and respected.

Wow. After reading this passage, dear reader, we collectively wondered: Is it possible to offer a non sequitur on the same topic? Although Ms. Newman’s “vagina disquisition,” if you will, remains firmly in the nether regions, it somehow manages to be a disconnected mess.

This does not mean, however, that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope to inhabit a world in which our fates are “defined by our genitals.” After all, where would that leave the Japanese? In addition, dear reader, there isn’t a doubt in our minds that Ms. Newman is “so much more than her vagina.”

As far as we can tell, she’s three parts vagina, four parts women’s studies automaton.

Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” eagerly desire to know the ways in which Ms. Newman’s vagina “has and will always shape [her] life.” In fact, we hope to figure out the ways in which Ms. Newman’s vagina “has and will always shape [our] life.” All of our lives, actually. Other than in the realm of underwear purchases.

In fact, now that we know what a profound effect Bridget Newman’s genitals have had on her, we shall cast away our previous Christian-centric manner of dating (BC and AD) and replace it with the following:

DBBNVSHL: The Days Before Bridget Newman’s Vagina Shaped Her Life

and

DABNVSHL: The Days After Bridget Newman’s Vagina Shaped Her Life.
 
Thursday, February 10, 2005
 

Announcing the First Official Greatest Norwegian Award


A few days ago, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—came across an Associated Press report that gorgeously encapsulates the problems with the Nobel Peace Prize. It reads as follows:

Court Clears Execution for Crips Gang Leader

San Francisco—A Federal appeals court yesterday refused to consider blocking the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams, a founder of the notorious Crips gang who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize while in prison. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to grant a new hearing on Williams’s claim that prosecutors violated his rights when they dismissed all potential black jurors. Williams will appeal to the Supreme Court, said defense lawyer Andrea Asaro. Williams was sentenced to death in 1982 for killing a store clerk and also was convicted of killing three other people.


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to cast aspersions, but we feel as if Mr. Williams—or “Tookie,” as we never call him—is manifestly under-qualified for any Peace Prize.

And this, dear reader, has nothing to do with the fact that approximately 47 percent of our staff are members of the Bloods. Rather, we collectively feel as if Mr. Williams should be disqualified because he killed people.

We do not mean, however, to belittle Mr. Williams’ heart-warming journey of self-discovery, upon which he realized that peace is more easily obtainable if you don’t murder people. Although we have not read up on Mr. Williams’ history, we’re sure that his post-conviction realization that killing is, for lack of a better word, wrong makes for a compelling story.

Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think it was undignified of the distinguished panel of the Nobel Peace Prize to nominate a cold-blooded killer. After all, there must have been a few people around who had never committed murder. What about Sophia Loren?

But perhaps we are asking too much of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Perhaps we are asking too much of Norway, the home country of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Instead of spending our days pondering such thoughts, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim on getting even. If the Nobel Peace Prize committee insists on nominating such unsavory American characters as Mr. Williams, and giving the award to such unsavory Americans as Jimmy Carter and such unsavory Egyptians as Yasser Arafat, we aim to take them down a peg or two.

As a result, dear reader, we are pleased as purple peacocks to present:

The First Official Greatest Norwegian Award

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are currently accepting nominations for our First Official “Greatest Norwegian Award,” which will be presented to the most nefarious deadbeat in Norwegian history. If the Norwegians enjoy celebrating the invented magnanimity of various American scoundrels, we hope to laud the most disgraceful human in Norwegian history.

Our Official Greatest Norwegian Award Committee exhorts you to send it the name of the most odious, repellent Norwegian you can dredge up. Soon, we shall announce the winner, and praise him to the skies. Please, dear reader, send us a nomination, and give Norway a taste of its own medicine.

 
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
 

Bumper Sticker Blues


As regular readers with extraordinarily good memories may recall, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t stand bumper stickers. Even when people think that a given bumper sticker is clever—say, “My Boss Is a Jewish Carpenter,” or “Imagine Whirled Peas”—we ineluctably consider it atrocious.

If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had to choose what vehicular eyesores to view on the backside of our fellow drivers’ Ford Tauruses, we’d actually prefer those snooty stickers that inform us that you attended Beaver College.

Anyway, dear reader, we have had reason to reflect upon our distaste for bumper stickers for one very good reason: A ridiculous number of people have kept their presidential election bumper stickers on their automobiles.

We don’t think we’re overstating matters by claiming that this is a horrendous catastrophe. Sure, it isn’t worse than what happened in Rwanda. (Well, according to the UN it may be.) And it isn’t as bad as Rick Astley’s singing career. But it’s upsetting all the same.

And it is all in stark contrast to the end of the Democratic primaries. If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” remember correctly, pretty much every Howard Dean sticker was removed from every Volvo in this country faster than you can say “Yaaaarrrrhh.” The erstwhile Democratic frontrunner swiftly became that retarded uncle that nobody likes to talk about.

But, unlike your retarded uncle, Howard Dean supports civil unions. And your retarded uncle has better manners. But we collectively digress.

Unfortunately, dear reader, we have spied bevies of Bush/Cheney and Kerry/What’s-His-Name stickers—even though it has been some time since the election. Perhaps W. fans are still gloating. Perhaps Kerry fan(s) is/are still mortified.

Regardless, dear reader, we want these awful eyesores gone. And we think we have just the plan.

Late at night, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to replace Bush bumper stickers with McGovern bumper stickers. If that doesn’t get rid of the menace faster than you can say “Neat and Clean for Eugene,” then nothing will. In addition, we shall replace Kerry bumper stickers with Pat Buchanan bumper stickers. Democrats’ fellow yoga classmates won’t find those too fetching, now will they?

On second thought, Pat Buchanan and the Democrats are starting to agree on foreign policy. And Israel. Hmmm. Perhaps we need a better idea?

 
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
 

Billy Packer


Many regular readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” no doubt dislike sports. After all, having cultivated a strictly highbrow audience with our cosmopolitan toilet humor, we shouldn’t expect any different. Still, dear reader, we hope that you do not hold it against us if we inform you that numerous members of the crack young staff enjoy an occasional college basketball game. Or, as they call it in college basketball, match.

Naturally, dear reader, we consider such sporting events rather silly. After all, celebrating the fact that your university rounded up the most talented pituitary cases in the land and pretends that they attend school isn’t exactly much of an accomplishment. But, hey, something’s got to make you proud of your school, and, quite frankly, it’s unlikely to be the English Department.

So, dear reader, before the ersatz excitement that surrounds March Madness draws apace, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to excoriate one fellow who does his best to make college basketball excruciating. He’s even worse than Greg Gumbel, a man so un-hip he makes Pat Boone seem like James Brown.

We refer, of course, to Billy Packer.

And who, you may be asking yourself, is Billy Packer? Well, dear reader, Billy Packer is surely the most agonizingly irksome “color commentator” in the history of televised sports. And that, as fans of athletics worldwide know, is saying something.

What exactly makes Mr. Packer so wretched? Why, we’re collectively glad you asked.

Billy Packer is a nasty troll who constantly carps on everyone else’s faults. Just because he coached Wake Forest to some sub-par seasons, he thinks he is God’s gift to basketball, coaching, officiating, and—now that we’re at it—life.

Whereas other play-by-play men go out of their way to laud the coaches and players of college basketball, Billy Packer offers nothing but mean-spirited grunts. Nothing ever lives up to Billy Packer’s standards.

In Billy Packer’s world, Daniel Ewing can’t take free throws as well as Billy Packer. Dee Brown can’t dunk as well as Billy Packer. Sean May can’t rebound as well as Billy Packer. John Chaney can’t coach as well Billy Packer.

Geez: We think that Lynne Cheney could coach basketball better than Billy Packer.

In fact, we think that CBS, the network that gives this chuckleheaded misanthrope a paycheck, ought to initiate a “Billy Packer Basketball Season.” All of the teams can be coached by Billy Packer. All of the teams will be made up of Billy Packer. And Billy Packer can do all the officiating, so that we can be sure all of the calls are correct.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a hunch that this would prove about as entertaining as a dentist’s appointment.

Still, it would probably be more popular than women’s basketball.

 
Monday, February 07, 2005
 

The Two Types of Platitudes


Normally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are eager to read Stanley Kauffmann’s film reviews in the pages of The New Republic. After all, Mr. Kauffmann, unlike movie critics with fewer “f”s and “n”s in their names, usually offers smart commentary.

He’s kind of like the thinking man’s Rex Reed—except he’s not gay. And Rex Reed is even too stupid for the un-thinking man.

Yet the January 31 number of The New Republic contains such a horrific review of two films—In Good Company and Head-On—that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were sincerely befuddled.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: A member of the crack young staff must appear in one of these pictures, and hence aims at excoriating a critic who dared to offer a lukewarm review. To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Not so, not so.

In fact, nary a member of the crack young staff has had an acting gig in a while. Ever since “Chip” cleaned up in Roger and Me (in which he played a fat documentary-maker), not a one of us has been on the big screen. We think we’ll have to call our agent.

Anyway, dear reader, we didn’t much care about Mr. Kauffmann’s overall opinions of these two films; rather, we were appalled by his uncharacteristically horrid prose.

The review starts with what may be the most insipid paragraph in recent memory. We have quoted it below, and have affixed our own humble commentary:

All films belong in one or the other of two groups.

What a clunky way to express a ridiculous platitude! After all, pretty much anything can be arbitrarily split up into two categories. For instance, “All people belong to one of two groups: Those who make their beds in the morning, and those who don’t.” Or, “All superannuated hacks belong to one of two groups: Those who are Stanley Kauffmann, and those who aren’t.” You get the idea.

(Fiction films, that is, not documentaries.)

Oh, for crying out loud! He even qualifies his initial banality, to make sure that it isn’t true. For, according to Mr. Kauffmann’s logic, there are at least two types of films: Fiction films and documentaries. And there are two kinds of fiction films. That leaves us with at least three kinds of movies. Geez. We don’t want to taunt the editorial staff of The New Republic, but we think they were asleep at the wheel. Why not write: “All fiction films belong to one of two groups”?

The first group is manufacture [sic], concoctions for the marketplace. The second group is committed work, films that are made because the subject is the concern of the maker. Occasionally a film blends the two kinds, or seems to, but the schism stands.

Huh? So, is there another kind of film, or not? We don’t think we’ve been this confused since we saw John Kerry explain his Iraq war votes. It’s as if Mr. Kauffmann were saying, “I voted for two kinds of movies, before I voted against them.”

As if this weren’t bad enough, dear reader, the article contains one of the most unforgivably bad lines we’ve ever seen: “I haven’t liked a creased male face as much as [Dennis] Quaid’s since W.H. Auden’s.”

Well, now. Thanks for sharing. Perhaps Mr. Kauffmann owns a book at home entitled Great Creased Male Faces in the Mid to Late Twentieth Century.

All in all, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have to conclude that there are two types of movie reviews. And two third kinds. And a fourth one. And this one sucks.

 
Friday, February 04, 2005
 

A Regressive Foreign Policy


Manifold readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” routinely ask us how we find inspiration for our quotidian animadversions. Well, that may not be their exact words, but you get the picture. In short, they want to know how we happen upon suitable material to discuss.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wish we possessed a handy formula for the dredging up of potential topics. Heck, we wish we had nice cars and fancy jobs. We’d even settle for one or the other. Or, barring that, Missy Gold. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Alas, dear reader, coming up with fantastic material isn’t easy, as the Official Ideas Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” knows all too well.

Yet there are a few helpful guidelines we could suggest. First, it helps to be literate. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that reading is fundamental. Gosh: That’s an awfully catchy slogan.

Anyway, dear reader, it also helps to know of the existence of sundry journals that are simply brimming with comic possibilities. Such as, for instance, The Numismatic Chronicle. If that doesn’t scream “mad cap,” we collectively don’t know what does.

Another great example of unintentional comedy is surely The Nation, a weekly whose impressively low-grade paper quality eerily matches its articles’ impressive low quality. We’ve seen better writing on the menus of Chinese restaurants.

Any time we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t come up with a topic to discuss, dear reader, we ineluctably head over to The Nation’s “website.”

A case in point: Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel’s feculent article regarding a “progressive foreign policy.” Those blissfully unaware of The Nation may not realize that its writers employ the word “progressive” just slightly more than they use the word “the.” To put it in the form of an analogy, “progressive” is to The Nation what “diversity” is to the college campus.

Those who trouble themselves to read Ms. Vanden Heuvel’s piece will note that, as crucial as she thinks a “progressive foreign policy” is to this country, she has precisely no idea what this “progressive foreign policy” would be. To her, it’s merely a nice phrase—one that would look awfully good on Louis Vuitton luggage.

To be sure, dear reader, Ms. Vanden Heuvel deftly offers the usual left-wing boilerplate about American foreign policy: Greater reliance on the ultra-effective United Nations; robust disrespect for democracy; &c.

And Ms. Vanden Heuvel even throws in an assortment of far-left gimmicks: She puts the word terrorism is scare quotes, as if it doesn’t exist, and, via the Communist historian Eric Foner, offers some trenchant commentary on what un-progressive folks call “freedom.”

Yet all of this, dear reader, ultimately covers up what should be obvious even to the marginally intelligent: Ms. Vanden Heuvel hasn’t a clue what a real alternative to President Bush’s foreign policy would look like.

That’s where we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” come in. We have penned the following article on a “progressive foreign policy” that we shall submit to the editorial eminences at The Nation, to see whether our humble prose can appear in the same pages as Alexander Cockburn’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. We can dream, can’t we?

Toward A “Progressive Foreign Policy” That’s Progressive by The Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”

Good progressives like ourselves earnestly pine for progress. It is the only hope for the benighted rogues whom we claim to help. Accordingly, we must take up Katrina vanden Heuvel’s call for a genuinely progressive American foreign policy.

We think that the key to such a progressive foreign policy is its progressiveness. Such a policy must move us away from the Police State that the thoroughly unprogressive George W. Bush has ushered in to American life.

By killing terrorists, of course, George W. Bush has helped the terrorists. All good progressives, in search of progress—genuine progress—should aim to put a halt to this, and right quickly.

But what should we good progressives do instead? Many progressives would say we should give up our national sovereignty and allow the United Nations to make military decisions for us. After all, the UN has proven so effective in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia that there hardly seems to be any need for an American military force anywhere in the world. Osama bin Laden quakes when he hears the words “Kofi Annan.”

Yet we, progressive as we are, don’t perceive this to be suitably progressive. As a result, we are left with one clear option: Surrender to the terrorists and allow them to establish their enlightened society in the place of the United States. Nothing says “progressive” quite like sharia.

 
Thursday, February 03, 2005
 

SullyWatchWatch


“Weblogging” the Guy Who, in Typical Homophobic Style, Claims To Be “Blogging the Blog Queen”


As almost everyone attuned to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web must know, dear reader, the esteemed Andrew Sullivan has decided to go on an extended hiatus from “weblogging” for his Daily Dish. This has caused many to take time to reflect on the “weblogging” oeuvre of one of the genre’s most popular stars.

Many are wondering how they will fill their time, now that they can no longer turn to Mr. Sullivan for quotidian commentary. Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are intrigued by a question that at least three other people in these here United States want to know: What will the dunderheaded author of the feculent “weblog” Sullywatch do?

The regular reader of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” no doubt remembers Sullywatch. It’s a painfully lifeless “weblog” devoted to harping on the alleged sins of Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish. In torturously ungrammatical prose, the author—whom we call Mr. Sullywatch—criticizes the purported grammatical blunders of Mr. Sullivan.

The “weblog” is, in short, the Internet equivalent of a remora fish.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” first tussled with the loveable proprietor of Sullywatch when he criticized Mr. Sullivan for deigning to link to a post we offered on something called “breastcasting.” To Mr. Sullywatch, this was a grave mistake on Mr. Sullivan’s part: After all, what is so odd about making a plaster of paris cast of your breasts in the celebration of female “diversity”? He couldn’t think of anything.

As a result of Mr. Sullywatch’s impertinent attack on the crack young staff, we took umbrage with him. We noted, for instance, that he has never met an infinitive he couldn’t split. And we noted, furthermore, that his miserable “weblog” was pathetic—a congeries of witless rants penned by a guy who should head back to third grade.

In return, dear reader, Mr. Sullywatch took a few more shots at the crack young staff. He mentioned that his “weblog” gets more “hits” than “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” and thus is manifestly superior.

Apparently, Mr. Sullywatch wasn’t clever enough to realize what a peculiar argument this was: After all, his “weblog” is devoted to demonstrating how sub-par Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish is, and yet Mr. Sullivan gets more hits each minute than Sullywatch gets each day.

So much for consistency. Anyway, when we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” heard the news, we headed right over to Sullywatch. Just how would this obsessed popinjay discuss Mr. Sullivan’s departure?

Well, we got through a few sentences of ugly prose and encountered this whopper. As Roger Kimball would say, apologies in advance are due to the English language:

The real reason for Sullivan to suddenly (well, not so suddenly, really, if you think about it) stop blogging was more related to his blog’s inability to regain the commanding heights in the rightblogging [sic] ecosystem it once held from the more virulent and reactionary LGF and Powerline, where [sic] not coincidentally he picked a fight in the last couple of weeks.

Oh, dear. And to think this is the language of Frost, Eliot, and Orwell! Perhaps this sentence can win the World Record for Most Ridiculous Split Infinitive?

Anyway, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have no idea what Mr. Sullywatch will do without his beloved Mr. Sullivan.

Given his captivating prose style, may we suggest a job as a janitor?

 
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
 

Our Secret Love, or The Face That Launched a Thousand Shifts


For a goodly amount of time, dear reader, the male members of the crack young staff here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have been irritating the heck out of the female members with their lovelorn ways. To misquote musical genius Duke Ellington, they’ve got it bad and that ain’t good. To misquote musical buffoons Wilson Phillips, they’re in love—that’s the way it should be, and we want them to be happy.

It appears as if pretty much every fellow here on staff is head over heels in love with the same coquettish vixen. Except for Ted, of course: He’s into guys.

Anyway, dear reader, you are no doubt wondering what charming minx is worthy of the affections (and affectations) of the male crack young staffers. Is it Paris Hilton? Or the non-anorexic Olsen twin? Or, more remotely, Barbara Boxer?

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: No, sir. The hunks here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have their collective eyes focused on a gorgeous creature they’ve seen day-in and day-out for months.

By now, dear reader, you have no doubt guessed exactly whom we mean: This woman—the Yahoo Mail woman.

If you have not done so, dear reader, we invite you to take a gander at this bewitching enchantress. Sure, this picture of her only presents the viewer with a small portion of her body. Still, the men here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are so taken aback by this photograph that they’re willing to sweep her off her feet (if she has feet) without even taking a gander at the rest.

Sure, the picture doesn’t offer a view of her upper forehead. For all we know, Ms. Yahoo Mail may be bald. She could even have some sort of Gorbachev birthmark deal. But the guys here will take her all the same.

By now, dear reader, many of the feminists among you are probably saying to yourselves: “How typical of men! They fall in love with the first comely lower forehead they see. They don’t even care if their prospective mate has anything resembling a personality.”

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Hold on now, Gloria Steinem. We happen to possess evidence that Ms. Yahoo Mail is not just easy on the eyes. Rather, she’s possesses a rare intellect.

Why, just take a gander at the statement she wrote that is affixed to her beauteous photograph: “Yahoo Mail helps me stay in touch.” Okay, so it ain’t exactly T.S. Eliot, but it’s obviously a complete sentence, which makes her a better writer than most college graduates.

So, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly exhort you to ask the staff of Yahoo Mail for some information on Ms. Yahoo Mail for our lovesick male staff.

After all, it’s far better for them to be in love with Ms. Yahoo Mail than Ms. Yahoo Male.
 
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
 

Dead Certainties Indeed


As is his wont, dear reader, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the latest number of The New Republic. In said issue, he came across a review of a new collection of Isaiah Berlin’s letters, penned by Simon Schama, the University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University.

In the midst of his disquisition on Isaiah Berlin, Mr. Schama offers the following curious digression:

The naïve fancy that one-size-fits-all democracy could be transported from the Potomac to the Tigris, or that any sort of system of ideas could be held to be objectively “timeless” and thus deliverable independently of specific cultural circumstances, or that a major war might be fought on such deeply mistaken premises, would have filled him [Isaiah Berlin] with foreboding and grim disbelief.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: For crying out loud! Has the Left grown so obsessed with the liberation of Iraq that it absolutely can’t stop nattering on about it, regardless of its appropriateness?

And how can Mr. Schama—whose discussion of the benefits of bringing democracy to Iraq leaves much to be desired—magically intuit the thoughts of a dead man? Has Mr. Schama conducted a séance?

If Mr. Schama is truly psychic, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” eagerly desire to know what Isaiah Berlin’s thoughts are on the upcoming Superbowl. We have a hunch that Isaiah Berlin favors the Patriots; is that correct, Mr. Schama?

Naturally, dear reader, Mr. Schama’s digression is pathetic. As if he couldn’t find enough living intellectuals to discredit the Iraq war, he has to dredge up a deceased fellow to solidify his prejudices.

This all made us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder: What other dead people would be opposed to the liberation of Iraq? Although we don’t pretend to possess Mr. Schama’s sixth sense, we have come up with this short list of historical figures who, were they alive today, would blithely join the ranks of International A.N.S.W.E.R.

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official List of Dead People Who Would Not Support the Iraq War

1. Attila the Hun: He wasn’t much for democracy.

2. Napoleon Bonaparte: France didn’t lead it. Plus, Dominique de Villepin opposed it.

3. Helen Keller: She couldn’t see the benefits.

4. Ed Asner: Okay, he’s not dead, but his acting career is.

5. Peter Paul Rubens: We just have a hunch on this one.

6. Irving Berlin: He figured if Isaiah were against it, he might as well oppose it too.

UPDATE: Dear reader, we are delighted to share with you an e-mail the late Isaiah Berlin sent to Simon Schama, and forwarded along to us. We think that it certainly puts Mr. Schama in his place.

To: Simon Schama
From: Isaiah Berlin
Re: The Liberation of Iraq

Dear Prof. Schama,

Although I am currently deceased, I thought it very important to write to you. I have recently read your review of a portion of my correspondence in
The New Republic, and I was mortified (so to say) by your granting me an official position on the Iraq war.

As an assiduous reader of my works, you should know that I have refrained from commenting on political matters since my death. As such, I am deeply dismayed by your claims.

Can’t you pick on Gore Vidal? Isn’t he still alive?

Cordially,
Isaiah Berlin

PS: I love “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” It’s my favorite blog. Why didn’t you mention that in your review?


 

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