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Thursday, March 31, 2005
 

It Was a Very Good Year—For Hate


Well, well, well. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hate to toot our own collective horn, but on this august occasion, we have no choice. Even if it’s only March.

As our avid readers may realize, today, March 31st, marks the one-year anniversary of our humble “weblog.” Only one short year ago, dear reader, we set about inaugurating the World-Wide Web version of the storied “Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”

And, man, what a year it’s been. We’ve laughed; we’ve cried; we’ve hated. But mostly we’ve cried.

On our humble “weblog’s” anniversary, then, we have decided to offer a series of reflections on our year on the Internet. It’s kind of like Newsweek magazine’s Year in Review, without any discussion of such beacons of high culture as Eminem and Jude Law. Or any George Will columns. If you prefer, it’s kind of like The Nation’s Year in Review, only not printed on toilet paper.

Anyway, dear reader, as we’ve scanned the hallowed halls of the “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” headquarters, we’ve had time to reflect on our twelve months in “webloggery.” Like Madonna, it’s been quite a ride.

First, we noted that, over the course of the entire year, our Official Technical Department has not changed the look of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” one iota. Just like Roseanne Barr, we started ugly, and we’ve stayed ugly.

Whereas other “weblogs” have been busy offering their fans such ephemeral things as “aesthetically pleasing designs” and “pictures,” we’ve resolutely stuck to the same formula. Heck, as they say out in the Heartland, if it ain’t violently separated into parts, don’t repair it. (To be honest, we’ve never been to the Heartland. But we hear the Rocky Mountain Oysters are delicious.)

Some “webloggers” may say that our Official Technical Department is merely lazy. Others may claim that we’re a passel of mildly retarded Luddites.

They’d probably both be correct.

But just think, dear reader, of all the fun we’ve had these past twelve months. We’ve given away “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” T-Shirts with the catchy slogan “We Get More Hits Than Tina Turner” to our contest winners. We’ve received links from such fancy outfits as The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, and a “website” devoted to discussing monkeys. We even are the “weblog” fathers of a “weblog” that lasted all of two days. But what a fine two days those were.

Most importantly, we were completely overlooked for a Weblog Award. Darn, it’s been great.

So, dear reader, you have good reason to suspect that Year Two of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” will be equally chock-a-block with mediocre Internet humor. It’s what we live for. In addition to taxes, of course.

In order to celebrate our anniversary in style, tomorrow night we are heading to the local ballroom for our First Annual Celebrate Our Anniversary in Style Party. We’ve received numerous e-mails from loyal readers suggesting the theme for this fete, and we’ll share this theme with you tomorrow.

It’s going to be a killer soiree: Rumor has it that Ed Meese is going to show up. And Ari Fleischer will be playing the part of Grover Norquist. If that doesn’t say party, we collectively don’t know what does.

We don’t want to get all mushy on you, dear reader. But we think some thanks are in order. You, the slack-jawed yokels who check out our quotidian animadversions, are the veritable wind beneath our veritable wind. You are, as they say in French, our “reason to be.”

And we thank you from the bottom of our cold, remorseless hearts.
 
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
 

A Second Amendment Woman


We know what those of you astute enough to have read the title of this post are thinking: What the heck is a “Second Amendment Woman”? Allow us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to explain.

A few days ago, two members of the crack young staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—headed out for dinner at the local designer pizza establishment. You know the kind of place we mean: Individual-sized clam and broccoli pizza; home-brewed root beer; obnoxious clientele.

Yet something made this particular restaurant particularly unappealing: For some reason, even though it was a relatively small place, it was loud as heck. Patrons were jammed together in tiny tables, and could easily eavesdrop on others’ conversations.

Our two members of the crack young staff were seated at a table directly next to two women—one of whom we have conveniently labeled the “Second Amendment Woman.” Simply put, this woman was so galactically irksome that she made you take pride in the Second Amendment. To put it in Texas parlance, she needed killin’.

And what, you may be asking yourself, made said woman so irritating? We’re darn glad you asked.

Mrs. Second Amendment—we know she’s married because we unwittingly overheard every moment of her conversation—possesses the most stentorian, nasal voice in the history of what women’s studies professors call peoplekind.

Her voice was both ridiculously loud and unbelievably piercing. She sounded like a mix between Gilbert Godfried and a deer whistle. Her darn voice was on the threshold of pain.

We swear: If you plugged this woman’s nose up, she couldn’t talk. Her voice was so nasal that when “Chip” left the establishment, their noses hurt. It was brutal.

Naturally, she spent her entire dinner discussing the intricacies of her private life. In…horrendous…detail.

Accordingly, “Chip” had a thought that was simply amazing: “Chip” realized that they would rather listen to Kenny G than to Mrs. Second Amendment.

As anyone on planet earth knows, that’s a darn strong statement.
 
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
 

Gangsta Haiku


With great regularity, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” receive e-missives devoted to one particular question: How do you people come up with such wonderful ideas for your “weblog”? Or words to that effect.

Even though we have been loath to mention it in the past, we suppose there is no harm in discussing one of the tricks of the trade. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” employ a small army of young Malaysian tykes, who spend their 7am to 9pm workdays searching the World-Wide Web for potential material.

Although you might think that this would prove expensive, it’s surprisingly cheap. These kids will work for almost nothing. Just ask Nike.

Most of the time, of course, these small children don’t come up with suitable subject matter for our humble “weblog.” When this happens, of course, our Official Torture Department pumps soft rock into their quarters, as a means of punishment. Because nothing says torture like Sade’s ditty “Smooth Operator.”

Every once in a while, however, our little Malaysian pals find something fantastic. And such was certainly the case with a “website” devoted to “Gangsta Haiku.”

Gangsta Haiku is the now seemingly defunct “website” of one M.C. Haiku. We’d be happy to introduce the genius that is M.C. Haiku to you, but we think that he does a brilliant job of it on his own:

mc haiku comin [sic] from here, there and everywhere, muthaf***az…
readin [sic] the s*** back to you from the next level, name all
up in lights, ain’t no shuttin [sic] it down…
droppin [sic] mad haiku drama then takin [sic] your wallets and
your watches and s***…


Aha: So that’s what M.C. Haiku is like.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Are M.C. Haiku’s haikus as “mad” as he claims? We are delighted to inform you that the answer to this question is a resounding Yes.

Why, just take a gander at the last “Haiku of the Week” M.C. Haiku left for us:

whoops! i stepped on your
ass and almost tripped but still
i’m on top the hill


Pretty good, n’est pas? We particularly enjoyed the “i’m on top the hill” line; it’s so mellifluous.

For those intent on some more hip haiku, M.C. Haiku has left us with a veritable cornucopia of street-smart poetry. This guy is part T.S. Eliot, part 2 Live Crew. But mostly T.S. Eliot.

Take, for instance, this beauteous example:

shot my accountant
cuz i gotta pay taxes
government asses


Pretty good stuff, eh? And it makes a great deal of sense: If you’re mad at the government, you ought to shot your accountant. Word up.

Naturally, it’s a crying shame that M.C. Haiku no longer presents his readers with new examples of his artistry. His “website” does allow readers to submit their own haikus, however, which he places under the delicate title “Some Niggaz Haiku.”

Humorously enough, this section appears to have been attacked by white supremacists, who have added their own creations to the “website.”

Gee, that’s a brilliant idea. Nothing says white supremacy quite like the Japanese art of haiku.
 
Monday, March 28, 2005
 

The Intellectual Lumpenproletariat


Another day, another horrid freebee publication to castigate. Or so it has seemed these past few days.

Avid readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” will undoubtedly recall that our last two posts have been devoted to the dissection of a couple of rebarbative rags: The Village Idiot and The Richmond Offender. As far as we’re concerned, they both ought to be called The Village Idiot.

This weekend, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemogner’s Quarterly,” received yet another putrid magazine in the staff mailbox. A correspondent from our Chicago (IL) office recently sent us a copy of a low-budget journal entitled Lumpen.

The cover of the most recent issue of Lumpen sports a picture of John Kerry’s head on a plaque. A small caption in the top right-hand corner of the magazine reads: “Look who’s hanging out at Dick Cheney’s Hunting Lodge. It shouldn’t be a surprise.”

This immediately made us think that Lumpen was either a horrendously titled hunting magazine or a horrendously titled far-left rag. And a quick perusal of Lumpen made it crystal clear that the journal isn’t devoted to venery.

Flipping through Lumpen, for instance, one of our junior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—saw a sentence that caught his eye. In an interview with Lumpen, one Charlie Cray, who is described as a “veteran corporate crime activist,” exclaimed: “You want to talk about security, let’s talk about real security. Give people a living wage, give people health care.”

Ah, yes: Government entitlement programs are real security. Never mind that whole “saving your life” kind of security. That’s so transient.

Anyway, “Chip” was particularly interested in an article in the latest number of Lumpen penned by Meredith Kolodner. Ms. Kolodner, a contributor to that cheery publication International Socialist Review, offers her reader(s) “Rebuilding the Anti-War Movement.”

Naturally, given her serious commitment to revitalizing the Democratic Party, Ms. Kolodner proves capable of a dispassionate examination of its current situation. She writes:

Two camps of explanation have emerged from the debris: one says that Kerry’s loss shows just how conservative the church-going American heartland is, while the other argues that, even though they advocated a vote for him, Kerry’s pro-war, pro-corporate, pro-NAFTA, pro-Patriot Act record alienated the “base” of the Demoratic Party. The result, the second camp says, is that this Democratic Leadership Council controlled campaign resulted in mediocre turnout among young voters and people of color, as opposed to the enthusiastic rush to the polls of bigoted evangelical Christians.

We know what you are thinking: Gee, we wonder which camp Ms. Kolodner belongs to. It’s tough to say, isn’t it? After all, her analysis is so fair-minded.

“Chip” particularly savored the “bigoted evangelical Christians” bit. Ms. Kolodner is clearly a woman who cares deeply about The People. Even those disgraceful racists who disagree with her and don’t deserve to live.

But that’s not our favorite sentence. In fact, the following easily tops it: “The occupation [of Iraq] itself—that is making the country unsafe, unjust, and undemocratic.”

Now let’s get this straight. The occupation of Iraq is making Iraq “undemocratic”?

Hmmm. We suppose that Ms. Kolodner believes that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a beacon of democratic governance. After all, he did receive one hundred percent of the popular vote.

Not even Al Gore fared that well in America.
 
Friday, March 25, 2005
 

The Richmond Offender


In the past few days, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been lucky enough to experience an embarrassment of riches. As we noted in yesterday’s humble post, we were fortunate enough to receive the latest issue of “The Village Idiot” from one of our humble correspondents. To make matters even better, a member of our Richmond (VA) office has sent us the March 2005 number of the prestigious Richmond Defender.

Never heard of it, you say? Well, perhaps that’s because the good ole’ RD (as nobody calls it) has only published two issues, and isn’t available on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web.

Yet the editorial collective in charge of the Rich. D (as nobody calls it) certainly has big plans for its publication. According to the magazine’s tag-line, the R. Def. (as nobody calls it) is the “Monthly Newspaper of the Defenders for [sic] Freedom, Justice & Equality.”

And what better way to defend for (sic) justice, freedom, and equality than with an article by convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal? Our pals at the Rich. Def. (as nobody calls it) couldn’t think of one.

Accordingly, page nine of said edition of The Richmond Defender boasts Mr. Abu-Jamal’s opus, “American Liberty & Tyranny.”

Although TRD (as nobody calls it) claims that Mr. Abu-Jamal “has been imprisoned on Pennsylvania’s Death Row for more than 20 years after being unjustly convicted of murder,” we were more drawn to another biographical point it offers: “Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist, author and former member of the Black Panther Party.”

Well, we buy the bit about the Black Panther Party. But after reading “American Liberty & Tyranny,” we can’t fathom why anyone would hand him a writing award.

Take a gander, for instance, at the article’s first paragraph:

It is virtually impossible for one to sit through the meandering, imperial blatherings of president George W. Bush, and not hear, in the ears of the mind, the words of George Orwell, the great British writer, who wrote the pivotal political novel of the 20th century, “1984.”

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: The “ears of the mind”? What the heck is that? Why not simply hear something with one’s ears, instead of the more elusive “ears of the mind”?

In addition, we are glad to hear (in the ears of our minds, as it were) that Mr. Abu-Jamal is a big fan of George Orwell. But we think he ought to slink back to the top security prison library and give the book another read. We think he’ll be surprised to find that Mr. Orwell wrote a political dystopia about Communism. Although it may be painful for Mr. Abu-Jamal to realize this, George W. Bush is not a Communist. In fact, he’s not even a socialist.

If you thought the last paragraph was a specimen of meandering, imperial blather, just feast your eyes (of the mind) on the one that follows:

Almost with every ghost-written presidential phrase, its inner echo, like an interpreter speaking in another language in the halls of the United Nations, could be heard its [sic] Orwellian meanings: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

“Its inner echo”? What the heck is Mr. Mumia talking about? This sentence isn’t just rebarbative; it’s nonsensical.

Ignorance is strength, indeed.
 
Thursday, March 24, 2005
 

Lots To Fear


A few days ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” opened up our mail bin to find a small package sent to us from one of our sundry regional correspondents. Since we hadn’t received such a bundle in some time, we were naturally elated. (That is to say, we didn’t need any recreational drugs for our elation.)

Imagine how blissfully blithe we were when we found out that said package contained the February 2005 issue of the freebee publication “The Village Idiot.”

What’s that you say, dear reader? You’ve never heard of “The Village Idiot”? Given its catchy slogan “When You’re Looking for Something To Do…Pick Up An Idiot,” we find it hard to believe that word of mouth has been traveling so slowly.

Allow us to introduce this delightful rag to you. “The Village Idiot,” like all freebee publications found at the local Revolution Books, offers a variety of radical boilerplate and ‘phone sex advertisement for the discriminating reader. The discriminating reader, that is to say, who doesn’t have the requisite $2.95 for a copy of The Nation.

Anyway, for those of you benighted enough to have missed all 14 issues of “The Village Idiot,” we shall offer a bit of a preview of the publication in question. Unfortunately, the editorial geniuses behind this brilliant magazine do not appear to have come up with a World-Wide Web version. So, if you can’t wend your way to your neighborhood food co-op(t), you may just miss out on “The Village Idiot’s” delights.

On page four of the February number, for instance, one can find a subtle poem entitled “I Fear Religion.” Penned by the cleverly named A.N. Onimus, it sits directly above William Shakespeare’s Sonnet CXLVII (as our Roman friends would put it).

We don’t want to laud the poetic skills of A.N. Onimus to a ridiculous degree, but we think that “I Fear Religion” looks pretty good sitting atop one of Mr. Shakespeare’s ditties.

And, unlike with that Shakespeare fellow, you can be pretty sure that A.N. Onimus’ poem was actually written by A.N. Onimus.

The poem reads as follows:

I Fear Religion by A.N. Onimus

I fear religion.
I fear religion when it takes over a person’s sanity.
I fear religion when it is taken to extreme.
I fear religion when people use it to hid behind.
I fear religion when those use it to justify their actions.
I fear religion when people are pro-life and pro-war.
I fear religion when it is pushed upon us.
I fear religion when those who are in charge are radicals.
I fear religion when the news and reporters can’t see through it.
I fear religion when people are dying because of it.
I fear religion when it has been written by a man.
I fear religion when it is not the person’s core but exterior.
I fear for the religious persecutions from the extreme
insane radicals that hide behind and justify their actions
by pushing their views upon all of us which cause people
to die.
I fear imprisonment because of my views.
I fear those that believe they are the saviors.
I fear religion could ruin the world.
I fear the religious wrong.


We know what you are thinking, dear reader: That’s darn good stuff. But it wasn’t sufficiently repetitive. Not for our tastes, at least. Not for our tastes, at least.

Poor A.N. Onimus, though: (S)he’s got so much to fear.

Perhaps A.N. Onimus would feel more content if (s)he realized that there was no reason to fear that (s)he is a world-class poet.

Regardless, we must note that the oeuvre of A.N. Onimus—such as it is—has inspired us to write our own piece of doggerel. We call it “We Fear Bad Poetry.”

We Fear Bad Poetry by The Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”

We fear bad poetry.
We fear bad poetry when a dunce composes it.
We fear bad poetry when said dunce thinks (s)he is deep.
We fear bad poetry when it contains nothing but shopworn clichés.
We do not fear imprisonment because of our views.
We do not fear that religion could ruin the world.
But, darn, do we ever fear bad poetry.
 
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
 

Academic Freedom: A Comparative Study


Periodic browsers of this humble “weblog” have probably noticed that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been eerily silent about the brouhaha at Harvard related to President Laurence Summers' remarks on women and science. If it keeps up with anything, this humble “weblog” tends to stay abreast of academic scandals.

As such, perhaps our small yet contumacious readership is wondering why we haven’t offered our collective opinion on the row at Fair Harvard. After all, this flap seems to relate to almost every topic that interests the crack young staff: Moronic feminists (pardon the redundancy, dear reader); ersatz campus radicalism.

(We don’t mean to digress from today’s topic too much, but that last thought was depressing. We mean, gee: We could only come up with two measly things that interest us? That’s pathetic. Why don’t we just take our boring posteriors to the couch and watch episodes of “Friends” till our eyes drop out?)

Anyway, dear reader: There has been a method behind our madness. Or something. Basically, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t like to discuss hot-button issues. For, as anyone with a pulse recognizes, hot-button issues tend to attract readers. And our humble “website” needs popularity as much as a 15-year-old tuba player. That is to say, our humble “website” needs popularity as much as it needs a 15-year old tuba player.

Today, however, we have decided to break our collective silence on what we call the Lawrence Summers Has the Temerity To Tell the Truth Debacle (or LSHTTTTTTD, for short). In essence, we figured that now was an appropriate time to discuss this matter, since pretty much everyone has moved on to the Terry Schiavo issue.

As any member of the American reading public must know, much ink has already been spilled about Larry Summers and the Feminist Gestapo. Accordingly, one can’t very well offer up the same boilerplate as the next chucklehead and assume it will pass the proverbial muster (or, as our illiterate friends would have it, the proverbial mustard).

Never fear, dear reader: We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have come up with our own way of examining the matter. We aim to compare it to another famous academic scandal. We call this—if we may employ some technical vocabulary—the comparative approach.

Perhaps our reader(s) still recall(s) Ward Churchill, the Ethnic Studies professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder who got so many people’s knickers in a twist this year. The Good Mr. Churchill has become the very embodiment of the Left’s supposedly hearty concern for academic freedom.

The Official Comparative Approach Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has decided to take a look at the respective offensive statements/writings of Ward Churchill and Lawrence Summers, and the campus Left’s reaction to them. We think you’ll be intrigued by what we find.

The Official Comparative Approach Department’s Official Comparative Approach to the Ward Churchill and Lawrence Summers Debacles:

1. Ward Churchill:
The Offensive Writing in Question: An article in which he likened the victims of the 9/11 attack to notorious Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann.
The Campus Left’s Response: Although Mr. Churchill has refused to apologize for his morally obtuse comparison, the campus Left has rallied around him as an academic martyr.
2. Lawrence Summers:
The Offensive Statement in Question: Mr. Summers had the temerity to suggest that maybe—maybe!—genetic differences between women and men account for one of the reasons—one of the reasons!—why there are fewer tenured female faculty members in some of Harvard’s hard sciences departments.
The Campus Left’s Response: Immediate call for Mr. Summers’ job. Immediate call for Mr. Summers’ head. Immediate call for the damnatio memoriae of Lawrence Summers.

Well, gee: Nothing hypocritical here, is there? We can’t think of a thing.
 
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
 

Like Father Like Daughter


Every once in a great while, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” stumble onto a bit of news that speaks of staggering stupidity. Perhaps a recent story, found in the weekly version of The Daily Telegraph, demonstrates some of the most appalling chuckleheadedness in recent memory.

Penned by Matt Born, the piece is almost jaw-droppingly unbelievable. Just take a gander at it’s beginning:

Elizabeth Jagger and Calum Best had a “legitimate expectation of privacy” when they engaged in sexual activity just inside the front door of a West End nightclub, a High Court judge said last week.

Rather staggering, isn’t it? As the story makes clear, the 20-year-old Ms. Jagger—the daughter of some erstwhile celebrity named Mick Jagger—engaged in some sort of hanky panky with her boyfriend in a London hotspot. When pictures from said “private” liaison were published in a tabloid, Ms. Jagger, who daylights as a model, brought the suit.

We know exactly what you are thinking, dear reader: Who the heck is stupider—Mick Jagger’s dunce of a daughter or Mr. Justice Bell, the fellow who made this strange ruling?

At this juncture, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are inclined to shout “Advantage Bell!” Admittedly, we don’t possess a keen understanding of the British legal system. Even so, we have a hard time believing that a location called “just inside the front door of a West End nightclub” counts as “private.”

In fact, we’re willing to expand on this idea: We also don’t think that a location called “just inside the front door of an East End nightclub” counts as “private.” So this isn’t some kind of geographical quibble.

This story made us collectively wonder what kind of places Mr. Justice Bell also deems “private”: The hood (excuse us: Bonnet) of a car; Fenway Park; cable television.

Yet let us not forget to mention another mentionable regarding this story. It appears as if Mick Jagger has somehow—gasp!—raised a less-than-morally-upright daughter.

Shocking, isn’t it? How did this happen?

Perhaps we’ll have to ask Jerri Hall.
 
Monday, March 21, 2005
 

Event Planning


As longtime readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” must know, soon we shall be celebrating our “weblogging” anniversary. Naturally, dear reader, this is quite an Internet landmark. As far as we can tell, the authors of most “weblogs” don’t post more often than once a year.

Accordingly, dear reader, the Official Events Planning Team of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is getting ready to mark our one-year anniversary with a fitting soiree. You know the kind of fete we mean: Balloons; female-impersonators; balloon animals; chocolate-flavored modems; balloons; crazy staws; &c.

This has all made the home office of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” brimming with a certain excitement that seems eerily remiscent of tension. And with good reason: To quote both George Orwell and the Sub-Par Talent Formerly Known as Prince, soon we’re going to party like it’s 1984.

There’s just one hitch. The Official Events Planning Team of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—God bless it—isn’t exactly chock-a-block with precocious talent. In fact, its “Fog a Mirror” entrance exam hasn’t ensured that the team is made up of the best and brightest.

We mean, it’s not as bad as the CIA, but it certainly has its share of dim bulbs.

As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are at a loss as to the theme of our upcoming “weblogging” anniversary soiree. We’ve come up with a few ideas, but we’re not certain they’re any good.

First off, we dreamt up a “Studio 54” theme party. The Official Events Planning Team thought it was a dynamite idea. We can almost picture it: Hirsute male interns clad in nothing but “Hooter’s” shorts acting as bartenders; KC & the Sunshine Band blaring in the background; cocaine at every table; &c.

But then we thought of the downsides. Sure, we could easily find a member of the crack young staff to play the part of an outlandish homosexual club owner. Heck, darn near half the crack young staff fits that job description. But how were we going to happen upon a lisping, tax-evading recluse to work behind the scenes? We don’t suppose we could very well rent one, do you?

And then another thought troubled us: If we were going to have a “Studio 54” party, did we have to invite Mick Jagger? We don’t want to seem snobbish, but Mick is so 1970s.

That’s when it collectively hit us. Why not ask you, our (semi-)loyal readers, what theme would most suit our upcoming party?

Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quartelry,” humbly exhort you to send us your ideas for the fete. We’ll publish a representative sample of ideas on our humble “weblog,” which could bring fame and fortune upon you. (It’s not bloody likely, but we suppose it’s within the realm of possibility.)

And the winner, of course, will have the anniversary party in part named in his (or her) honor. We can’t think of anything more exciting. And God knows we’ve tried.

So send us an e-missive by clicking the “Contact Us” link found at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen, and bring out your inner event planner.
 
Friday, March 18, 2005
 

Blasphemy—Modern Style


Oftentimes, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” spend our Thursday afternoon pondering some of life’s great questions. How can you get a job without experience, and how can you get experience without a job? What’s that smell? Can you smell that smell? What kind of hair products does Stone Phillips use? And has he used them all up yet? That sort of thing.

Anyway, this past Thursday one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was thinking about questions such as these, and a curious thought struck him: In the Western world, there’s pretty much no such thing as blasphemy anymore.

After all, our friends in the so-called blue states have already uttered every kind of religious blasphemy. In fact, many of them blithely sport anti-Christian blasphemy on their car bumper stickers. And everyone in the art world knows that the key to jump-starting a lagging painting career is covering Mother Mary in some kind of animal feces.

Our friends in the red states may say that politically incorrect humor is the modern Western version of blasphemy. To a certain extent, that’s true. Yet nothing strikes us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” as stale quite as much as boldly announcing one’s politically incorrect bona fides. Hasn’t anyone noticed that most people who claim to be politically incorrect aren’t politically incorrect in the slightest? We blame Bill Maher.

All of this naturally troubled our co-worker “Chip.” What’s this world without blasphemy? It isn’t the kind of place we want to inhabit.

As such, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” set to work to fill the void. The only modern equivalent of blasphemy that we could come up with was angry denouncements of various pop culture icons. Whereas no one gets upset at Pope jokes anymore, pretty much everyone has a fit if you manage to insult Ringo Starr. And that’s rather silly, because he’s a terrible drummer.

Without futher ado then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” proudly present our humble contribution to the blasphemic tradition, if you will. If the following remarks make you mad, good: They’re supposed to.

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Attempts at Blasphemy:

1. Eric Clapton is an overrated guitarist.

2. The Rolling Stones never wrote a song worth listening to.

3. Tom Hanks is no Ryan O’Neal.

4. Tom Foley is no Tip O’Neill.

5. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a talentless hack.


Got you riled up? We bet we did: Them’s fighting words.
 
Thursday, March 17, 2005
 

Cinema Studies


We don’t mean to come across like a passel of reactionaries, but we don’t think that undergraduates should study film. After all, barely any contemporary college students are functionally literate; under such circumstances, we feel as if it’s far better that they spend their precious time in between bouts of binge drinking with a book, rather than a movie.

Some might say that our stance on this issue demonstrates what a tired bunch of fuddy-duddies we are. Perhaps so. Still, we don’t want to see a day come when students are watching Joe Dirt for homework. Or for any reason, for that matter.

And then there’s the related issue of scholarly publications on film. So many college professors seem to think that merely discussing movies—the more ridiculous the better—in an academic setting is deeply “transgressive.” Naturally, these days the only thing that would be earnestly “transgressive” in academic circles is voting Republican. Even so, academic types get all giddy expatiating on stupid movies.

Don’t believe us? Then clearly, dear reader, you have not taken a gander at the Fall 2001 number of the journal Cinema Studies, which features an article penned by one Nicholas F. Radel, a professor of English at Furman University.

The magnificently ridiculous title of Mr. Radel’s piece says it all: “The Transnational Ga(y)ze: Constructing the East European Object of Desire in Gay Film and Pornography after the Fall of the Wall.”

Delicious, isn’t it? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” particularly savored Mr. Radel’s pathetically typical use of parentheses. You can imagine him patting himself on the back after typing the word “Ga(y)ze,” can’t you? Sure, his ideas may all be pseudo-radical academic boilerplate; but, man, can he use those parentheses!

Mr. Radel’s article begins with a sublimely ridiculous sentence: “Of all the effects of the collapse of the Iron Curtain on East-West relations, perhaps the one that will be the least discussed is its effect on gay communities in the United States.”

Gee, Mr. Radel, we wonder why that is? Actually, given the number of idiotic English professors in these here United States, we have the sneaking suspicion that the influence of the collapse of the Iron Curtain on US gay communities will be among the topics most pondered.

So what, you may (or may not) be asking yourself, is Mr. Radel’s landmark work of scholarship about? Let Mr. Radel tell us himself: “In particular, I wish to examine the ways of in which Eastern Europeans are constructed as desirable sexual partners for American gay men in Gary Terracino’s popular short film My Polish Waiter (1994) and in some examples from the increasingly large number of gay pornographic films that feature young men from Eastern Europe.”

Ah, yes: A typical subject for today’s scholar of English. And just think of all the trouble Mr. Radel has gone to. He’s probably had to take in hours and hours of homosexual pornography.

Naturally, Mr. Radel’s lucubration contains the usual postmodern methodological throat clearing (with nods to Foucault, Zizek, and kindred academic gurus) and dubious political points.

For an instance of the latter, enjoy this sentence: “But, as the fall of the Berlin Wall has taught us, even our most cherished binaries perish.”

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: That’s what the collapse of Communism taught him? Gosh, it appears as if Mr. Radel was asleep in history class. Or perhaps he was watching homosexual pornography.

If you think that’s bad, take a gander at our favorite sentence from Mr. Radel’s magnum opus: “To make moral and aesthetic distinctions between a film interested in the muscles and limp penises of athletic young men and one interested in the anuses of ephebic younger ones is to evade the ways in which both types of film position their subjects as figures to be watched, objects waiting to be seen.”

A darn good point, that.
 
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
 

Even a College Professor Can Be a Jackass


If you’re anything like us, dear reader, you are a voracious reader of the delightful academic rag entitled the Journal of Gender Studies. If the world were fair, this fine publication would prove just as popular as The Numismatic Chronicle.

Alas, as Al Gore will tell you, the world manifestly isn’t fair, and thus the Journal of Gender Studies risks publishing in a veritable penumbra of obscurity. It seems likely that no one reads this visionary periodical—not even the post-operative transsexuals who make up the subject of pretty much half of its lucubrations.

As far as we’re concerned, this is, as hefty blues star B.B. King would put it, a cryin’ shame. After all, just imagine all the examples of coruscating genius that most readers miss.

Don’t believe that there is much of interest in the good ole’ Journal of Gender Studies? Clearly, then, you have not taken in the November 2004 number of the periodical.

In said issue, one Tim Nelson offers his masterful discussion of Marvel comic books and issues of masculinity. It’s clever title speaks volumes about the high quality of the piece: “Even an Android Can Cry.” Just in case readers are wary of this insightful contribution to Western culture, the beginning of the article contains a list of “keywords,” which are the focus of the article: “Marvel Comics; superheroes; Vision; bodybuilding; masculinity; America.”

We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: Boy, this is going to be excellent. And quite right you are.

Take a gander, for example, at the insightful abstract of this brilliant piece:

“Even An Android Can Cry” is a short piece that uses a critical examination of a full-page illustration from a Marvel comic book to explore larger issues regarding the relationships between superheroes, bodybuilding and ideas of masculinity. The piece contrasts the ideal of the bodybuilder/superhero as male role model with the more ironic and ambiguous approach of the illustration, going on to suggest that the version of masculinity depicted by Marvel Comics during the 1960s offered a fuller response to the problem of growing up than the traditional approach of the superhero genre. The piece explicitly refers to Mark Simpson’s arguments regarding bodybuilding from Male Impresonators, Sam Fussel’s bodybuilding memoir, Muscle and Susan Sontag’s “Notes on Camp.”

Wow. We have so much to say about this curious abstract that we hardly know where to begin.

Let’s start with the obvious: Tim Nelson has obviously done hours and hours of painstaking, laborious work to craft his argument in “Even an Android Can Cry.” Imagine the innumerable days he spent flipping through comic books! We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” certainly don’t envy him.

In addition, we should note that Mr. Nelson’s article has settled a score of sorts. For we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have had a long-running bet with Gordon, the maestro also known as the Cranky Neocon. For some time, we have argued that the version of masculinity depicted by Marvel Comics during the 1960s did not offer a fuller response to the problem of growing up than the traditional approach of the superhero genre. Gordo, on the other hand, argued the exact opposite. It seems as if “Even an Android Can Cry” has proved us wrong. There’s egg all over us, isn’t there?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” also want to suggest that Tim Nelson does not work out. Sure, we have no idea that this is true; we’re going on a hunch here. Yet something tells us that Mr. Nelson is no muscle-bound paragon of fitness.

Let us drop our petty braying at Mr. Nelson’s expense, and offer you a few small tastes of the luminous brilliance that is his article. For example, dear reader, feast your eyes on this nugget of wisdom: “Marvel Comics’ output represented a re-evaluation of gender role models in the wake of the Cold War, through a satirical approach that foregrounded the artificiality of the existing genre.”

Finally, someone tells the truth about the pioneering role of Marvel Comics during the Cold War. And savor, dear reader, the use of “foregrounded” as a verb.

And don’t forget this pearl, which discusses the appearance of a comic book character: “The Vision looked like a muscleman, but was really an intellectual. This incongruity was signaled by the contrast between his red face and his green body, the choice of colouring heightening the contradictions.”

That sounds dead-on to us: Pretty much every intellectual we’ve met has a red face and a green body. Well, at least they have a green body.

Last but not least, check out this learned musing: “The Visions’ golden belt was not unlike a corset, only just holding together the contradictions between character and appearance, audience and protagonist, authenticity and artifice. The Vision turned out to be something of a sad clown.”

In this respect, of course, the Vision is very much unlike Tim Nelson. For Mr. Nelson, naturally, isn’t a sad clown. He’s just a clown.
 
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
 

The Name Game


As regular readers of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will do almost anything to ensure that we receive more e-traffic. Short of improving the quality of our material, of course.

And, to be sure, we have come up with some cockamamie ideas to increase our hits in the past; perhaps our witless listing of pornographic words intended to lull unsuspecting lascivious Googlers took the cake.

Still, we, unlike Paris Hilton, aren’t licked yet. For some reason, we’re a veritable cornucopia of half-baked schemes designed to attract “web-browsers.”

In fact, the Official Half-Baked Schemes Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” recently pinpointed a brilliant idea. And we figured that today’s the day to give it a whirl.

As savvy explorers of Al Gore’s World-Wide Web no doubt recognize, pretty much everyone in the industrialized world engages in something we’d like to call, for lack of a better word, auto-Googling.

What, you may be asking yourselves, is auto-Googling? Well, it’s kind of like auto-eroticism, except far less randy. Basically, dear reader, auto-Googling is the art of looking up one’s own name on Google, and meandering through the “websites” that mention you.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have come to realize that every non-autistic member of the First World engages in this practice: Many of our “weblog’s” hits come from people who are clearly engaged in auto-Googling. Either that, or they all have stalkers. Which, if you take a quick look at them, isn’t bloody likely.

A few short days after we have penned a post ripping into some unknown yokel, this person heads to our “website” after an auto-Googling session. That’s how such infamous no-names as Tracey Blevins and Bridget Newman’s vagina have happened upon “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”

So how, you may be asking yourself, is this humble “weblog” going to use auto-Googling to its own advantage? We, dear reader, are darn glad you asked.

We figured we’d offer a post filled with random people’s names, which offer scandalous tidbits about them. Once they catch their names on Google, they’ll head over to our humble musings faster than you can say Alta Vista. Frankly, we think the idea is nothing short of brilliant. (Then again, we thought the LA Clippers were a good idea.)

Without much in the way of further ado, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as peevish panjandrums to present:

The First Official Auto-Googling Lodestone:

Man, we couldn’t believe that Ryan Baker is such a pompous jerk. But we were particularly distressed to find out that he slept with Michael York of Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey. Who knew they were gay? Perhaps the pinky rings gave it away.

Tracey Higgins is a real slut. Derek Smith told us that he saw her last night with Rick Carpenter. Hopefully her doctor, Earl Kipling, will remove that wart on her bottom.

God bless Hector Torres! We thought that we’d never praise a man who exposes himself to helpless old ladies. But, as far as we’re concerned, Judy Mazilli of Ogden, Massachusetts had it coming.

Jim Stonefeld sure has terrible taste. And he’s practically the poster boy for halitosis too. We caught him leaving a record store the other week flanked by two midgets, and clutching three Kenny G albums.


Well, dear reader, that ought to do it. We’ll just sit back and watch the hits roll in.
 
Monday, March 14, 2005
 

Progressively Alone


In some of our more recent posts, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have harped and harpied on the witless advertisements that grace the upper portion of our humble “weblog.” Our caviling, in fact, has compelled numerous readers to send us an e-missive in defense of some of the fine products hawked on our glorious “website.”

To be honest, dear reader, they have a point. Not every advertisement is for anal itching cream or crème de menthe. A few appear to offer potentially useful products or services.

Don’t believe us? Then just check out this “website”: Concerned Singles.

For those of you who are unaware of this fine company, allow us to inform you that Concerned Singles is one of many dating “websites” targeting political progressives. It’s kind of like an International A.N.S.W.E.R. rally for lovers. It’s the perfect service for someone who’s a Pisces, loves wheat-grass, and digs Pol Pot.

And who doesn’t want a chick who showers.

Those who travel to the Concerned Singles “website” are first struck by the company’s ingenious tag line: “You’re Unique…We’re Unique.” From our perfunctory perusal of the “website,” it seems to us as if almost everyone who is advertising for a mate via Concerned Singles is “unique” in approximately the same way as everyone else. Everyone loves Che, organic foods, and yoga.

As such, the hook “You’re Unique…We’re Unique” has precisely the same meaning as does “diversity” on a college campus: Everyone is different because everyone agrees about everything.

Before one enters the personal advertisements section of the “website,” one first discovers Concerned Singles’ attempt at self-definition: “Concerned Singles is a well-known, highly respected, and scrupulously ethical progressive dating service.” This led us to believe that Concerned Singles was not for us: After all, we run an unscrupulously ethical “weblog.” How will we fit in? Perhaps we’re too unique?

In addition to informing their readers about themselves, the folks at Concerned Singles tell their visitors what they are like. “You believe that it is important that your life partner shares your commitment to peace, human rights, the health of our planet, and other humanistic values.”

Wow: These guys are way off. We’re actually hell-bent on war. But we are, we hasten to add, unique.

We particularly enjoyed the way Concerned Singles chucks “other humanistic values” at the end of its description, as if its staff can’t be bothered to list any more left-wing pieties. In addition, the phrase “humanistic values” is odd here: Is Concerned Singles advertising itself as a dating service for future Petrarchs and Boccaccios?

And what, you may be asking, about the personal ads themselves? Well, as far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can tell, pretty much every ad comes from a college professor. It’s as if this is the University of Wisconsin’s private faculty dating club.

One ad struck as special. It comes from a grrl seeking an emasculated guy, and reads as follows:

A news writer and director of a nonprofit news agency, I am a voracious reader, an avid listener to progressive radio, and devoted to left-leaning politics, offbeat and classical culture, and family/friend activities. I’d like to see the movie Bad Education or a good opera. Rumba dancers are welcome. Knowledge of Malawi a plus.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking: Finally a woman who doesn’t discriminate against rumba dancers! How very unique.
 
Friday, March 11, 2005
 

Tina Fey


The Official Backlog Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has recently been checking the luminous archives of our humble “weblog.” As you can imagine, dear reader, meandering through the archives is a veritable laugh-riot.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider a stroll through our archives the comedic version of Los Angeles after the announcement of the Rodney King verdict. Only far less racially divisive, of course.

Yet something else struck the Official Backlog Department (or OBD, as they are seldom called—for fear of being mixed up with late dyslexic rap sensation Old Birty Dastard). It has been some time since we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have offered a vituperative excoriation of a deserving target.

In fact, as far as our Official Backlog Department was concerned, we haven’t harped on an individual’s utter wretchedness since we (figuratively) took apart Billy Packer. Accordingly, someone needs a good drubbing.

Some of our readers may be surprised by the target of today’s round of obloquy: “Saturday Night Live”’s bespectacled star, Tina Fey.

To a certain extent, we can understand this shock: In the annals of horrid people—Hitler, Stalin, Phil Collins—Tina Fey doesn’t even deserve a mention. In addition, Ms. Fey is, on occasion, funny.

Yet we believe that Ms. Fey can be deeply irksome. And this isn’t some partisan political quibble, either. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are fully prepared to conclude that Al Franken is humorous, and Rush Limbaugh isn’t.

So what, you may (or may not) be asking yourself, makes Tina Fey obnoxious? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel as if it can be summed up in two words: Smug self-satisfaction.

In the course of her appearances on the “Weekend Update” portion of “Saturday Night Live,” Ms. Fey must always offer a bevy of tepid anti-conservative jokes that seem more intent on demonstrating Ms. Fey’s intellectual and moral superiority than on compelling a few yuks from the audience.

It’s as if Ms. Fey, desperate to inform the audience that she doesn’t just wear clunky glasses for aesthetic reasons, can’t live a week without waxing sanctimonious on the stupidity of dumb old George W. Bush.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: We get it, Tina. George Bush is a moron, and you are brilliant. You hate Republicans because you’re so darned smart. You’re the unfunny male version of John Stewart.

Accordingly, you hope to display your superior understanding of world affairs through some coruscating social commentary. And vagina jokes.

Frankly, we preferred the glittering political lucubrations of Victoria Jackson. Now there’s a smart chick.
 
Thursday, March 10, 2005
 

Hate Mail Bag


As you might imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” get bunches and bunches of e-mails. In fact, one of the interns here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—spends the better part of the day answering various e-queries.

Most of these e-missives are fairly predictable. Nary a moment goes by, it seems, in which one of our rabid fans fails to tell us of his undying love for our humble “weblog.” Many devotees have informed us that our quasi-humorous animadversions have compelled them to change religions—or at least to change hair conditioners.

Although one might expect such e-epistles to be exciting, they can actually prove rather tedious. Sure, we love every one of our readers in a slightly off-putting way. And yet, how many e-mails a day could you read from women who inform you that they wish they had you as a daughter? Four?

Luckily, however, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” receive all kinds of e-missives. In addition to copious amounts of fan mail, we also happen upon a number of inquires from Nigerian businessmen we’ve never met. And, naturally, we receive the requisite number of sordid pornographic advertisements.

Yet nothing, dear reader, makes us happier than taking in the occasional example of hate mail. Our “weblog,” after all, is named “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”: You’d figure that a couple of readers would get peeved by our delicate lucubrations.

It appears that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have irked someone. A few days ago, we received a rather curt e-missive from one Andy Paleologopoulos. It concerns our kvetching about the sub-par advertisements that grace our humble “weblog,” and it reads as follows:

You might be able to offset the obtrusiveness of the web ads by eliminating the phrase “we, the crack young staff of “[sic] The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” every other sentence.

That was the whole message. No salutation. No warm wishes. That’s it.

Naturally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were perturbed. Much like Mr. Paleologopoulos’ mother, we aim to please, and thus we were distraught to discover that one of our precious readers was unsatisfied.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” offered the following reply:

Mr. Paleologopoulos,

Thank you kindly for your constructive criticism. We are sorry that you have been slowed down by our constant references to ourselves. At least, however, our name is not “Paleologopoulos,” which would be a real bitch to repeat.

Cordially,
The Crack Young Staff of THMQ


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope that this does the trick. But we’re not certain it will: We hear that the Greeks are touchy (both literally and figuratively).

UPDATE: Haven’t gotten your fill of the crack young staff for the day? Neither have we. Never fear, dear reader: Just head over to “A Fistful of Fortnights,” where we offer up our first attempt at guest “weblogging.”
 
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
 

Bolton Gets Personal


As everyone who keeps up with the news will know, President Bush has selected Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations. This has inevitably raised cries of protest from prominent Democrats, many of whom see Mr. Bolton as insufficiently awed by Kofi Annan and Co.

America, argue our Democratic friends, needs a Neville Chamberlain, not a John Bolton. Can’t we all just get along—and demonize Zionism in the process?

A piece in the March 8 number of The Washington Post sums up the fracas quite well. Penned by Glenn Kessler and the uproariously named Colum Lynch, this article offers the typical lefty slant on Mr. Bolton’s selection.

Among the numerous criticisms aimed at Mr. Bolton is the following:

On the eve of six-nation talks over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions two years ago, Bolton traveled to Seoul and denounced North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in highly personal terms. He labeled Kim a “tyrannical dictator” who made North Korea “a hellish nightmare”—which prompted the North Korean government to call him “human scum and bloodsucker.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were captivated by Messrs. Kessler and Lynch’s characterization of John Bolton’s criticisms as “highly personal.” What in the Lord’s name could that mean?

As far as we’re concerned, calling Kim Jong Il a “tyrannical dictator” is only “highly personal” in the sense that it’s an accurate reflection of Kim Jong Il’s career. In fact, calling him a “tyrannical dictator” is much like calling George W. Bush a “forceful president.” It’s a fairly accurate job description, if you ask us.

(At least the enlightened government of North Korea chose not to respond to Mr. Bolton’s “highly personal” criticism in kind: Nothing says “impersonal” quite like “human scum and bloodsucker.”)

Frankly, if Mr. Bolton desired to offer “highly personal” criticism of North Korea, wouldn’t he be better off calling Kim Jong Il a “laughably short, sartorially ridiculous Elvis impersonator manqué”? We think that would rile up the North Korean government far more effectively.

What kind of description of Kim Jong Il would soothe the Democrats? How about: “He’s a pleasant—if mildly pugnacious—chap who has turned North Korea into a dynamite hell-hole.” Or: “He’s one of the twenty-first century’s greatest statesmen; it’s too bad he has a penchant for such ridiculous spectacles.” Or: “Kim Jong Il is the Napoleon of two-bit Eastern autocrats.” Or: “At least he’s not as fat as Michael Moore.”

And this has all led us to wonder: What would Messrs. Kessler and Lynch consider “highly impersonal” criticism of Kim Jong Il?

Moreover, if our fancy-pants Washington Post correspondents deny that North Korea under Mr. Jong Il is in fact “a hellish nightmare,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” personally invite them to enjoy a one-way trip to Pyongyang.

We’ll see if they can muster any “highly impersonal” criticism of Mr. Jong Il whilst they are there.
 
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
 

Needed: New Conspiracy Theories


As pretty much every sentient citizen of these here United States of America knows, the presidential election has come and gone, and it will be some time before another approaches. Accordingly, the losers of the last election—that is to say, our Democratic friends—have much time to reflect on their failed attempt to capture the White House.

The election of Howard Dean to the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, naturally, demonstrates that our Democratic friends are interested in revitalizing their party. Or, failing that, blaming everything from toxic waste to lint on the Republicans.

After all, as Dr. Dean would tell you, the Democrats are the party of tolerance—and they detest the inbred, slack-jawed bigots who disagree with them.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that the mainstream of the Democratic Party is already well on its way to reshaping its image. Yet what are our friends on the lunatic fringe to do with themselves? They’ve got another three years until we are in an election cycle again, and their “Bush Lied, People Died” chants are growing a little stale.

That’s where we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” come in. We don’t want our pals on the radical Left—the kinds of folks who think Dick Gephardt is a Jewish conspiracy—to be mired in repeating the same old canards. After all, who doesn’t know that the liberation of Iraq was a disgraceful attempt to enrich the fat-cats at Halliburton? That kind of complaint is so last year.

Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to invent our own newfangled left-wing conspiracy theories. Our friends at International A.N.S.W.E.R. and their epigones can add these to their list of paranoid delusions, and thus clog C-Span 2 with even more arrant piffle.

Perhaps we can come up with a sufficient number of loony conspiracy theories to make a set of “loony conspiracy theory” trading cards. That way, likeminded hemp-clad Bush-bashers can collect the whole set.

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

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Newfangled Conspiracy Theories for Our Friends on the Radical Left

1. Maureen Dowd is actually a conservative shill. The reason her columns are so atrocious is that she is a closet Rick Santorum supporter. Think about it: Who has converted more readers to conservatism—William Saffire or Maureen Dowd?

2. The United States government has supported torture well before 9/11. After all, John Tesh concerts have been a mainstay on Public Television for years.

3. The Israeli Mossad (as opposed to the Pakistani Mossad, we suppose) has planted a chip in the heads of 3 out of 4 Lebanese citizens. Accordingly, their desire to kick the Syrians out of their country is merely a Zionist plot.

4. Not only was the Iraq War all about oil, the tsunami was all about oil too.

5. Thanks to the Republicans, by the year 2047, there’ll be no Sweden.

6. Michael Scheuer, the previously anonymous author of Imperial Hubris, isn’t an idiot. In fact, he’s a perfect example of the CIA’s “best and brightest.”

7. The mainstream media are unfairly tarnishing innocent Michael Jackson, in a heinous plot to spread AIDS around the world.

8. The State Department is currently establishing vegan internment camps.
 
Monday, March 07, 2005
 

It’s High Time for This Barbie


The female members of the crack young staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—fondly recall afternoons devoted to playing with Barbie dolls. These hours, as our feminist friends would say, allowed the female crack young staffers an opportunity to revel in the misogynistic, patriarchal society in which we live, and indoctrinated them into a world of cruel anti-female stereotypes.

Naturally, they enjoyed every minute of them.

And yet, dear reader, our female staffers have recently had reason to feel as if their hours spent with Barbie were missing something. Not that they didn’t possess many of the accoutrements necessary to delight in the wonders of Barbie: They had Malibu Barbie, Surfer Ken, Breast-Implants Barbie, Unhinged Nation-Magazine-Reading Barbie, &c.

What, then, was the problem? We, dear reader, are overjoyed that you asked.

It’s actually quite simple: Even with all their various Barbie toys, they did not possess one crucial accessory: Medical Marijuana Barbie.

What—or who—in the Lord’s name is Medical Marijuana Barbie? Again, dear reader, we are delighted that you asked. In fact, your questions make it far easier for us to segue into new paragraphs.

Well, Medical Marijuana Barbie, according to the curious “website” Everything2.com, “is the alter ego of Dr. Tracy Blevins, one of the most colorful characters in the movement against the prohibition of cannabis for medical use.”

Aha! So Barbie has acquired an advanced degree, eh? Who said that girls found math hard?

But wait, dear reader; there’s more interesting information about this bloodshot Barbie:

She is attention-grabbingly pretty, although—in keeping with her character—she looks a bit like she could be made out of plastic, with her improbably bright pink hair and clothing. Hailing from Houston, Texas, she received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Texas.

I met Medical Marijuana Barbie briefly at the annual Festival of Ganja in Brockwell Park (in South London). She introduced herself both by her real name and as her alter ego; we chatted a little, and she told me a bit about her work as an academic and activist, and informed me that it’s pointless and harmful to hold ganja smoke for as long as most people do, since the THC is absorbed before all the other crap has a chance to settle. A little while after we talked, I listened to her deliver an entertaining speech about medical marijuana and what she’d been doing to promote it, to a stoned but interested audience.


We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: It’s really awful that the Festival of Ganja audience wasn’t paying full attention to Dr. Medical Marijuana Barbie. Although we’ve never attended a Festival of Ganja, we can only presume that the people who show up are normally more alert. Perhaps they just don’t respect women. The incorrigible sexists.

All of this must have left you wondering what the Good Doctor Medical Marijuana Barbie does in order to draw attention to her cause. Wonder no more:

So far the stunt that has brought Medical Marijuana Barbie the most attention was the time she climbed up on top of a bus stop in London’s Oxford Street and stripped down to her tiara, revealing a hand-painted cannabis leaf where modesty would have demanded a fig leaf, and the words Medical Marijuana inscribed across her buttocks.

This left us wondering: Does Dr. Medical Marijuana Barbie consider this part of her work as an activist or as an academic? Or perhaps both? (Given the vicissitudes of contemporary academe, maybe there’s no difference between the two.)

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” also contemplated other stunts this Cheech of Barbies could pull off.

Perhaps she and Same-Sex Unions Ken could ride horses throughout Central Park and hand out copies of Peter Tosh’s album “Legalize It.” Or maybe she and Condoms-for-High-School-Students Ken could ride through Detroit in a giant Bong-mobile.

Or perhaps she’ll just get the munchies and gain a bunch of weight.
 
Friday, March 04, 2005
 

The Easy Way To Date: Dignity Not Required


Late last week, dear reader, one of the interns here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the area’s local freebee weekly, in search of new material for the genius that is the crack young staff. As you can imagine, this feculent opinion rag has all the qualities you’d expect from a throwaway publication: Stalinist politics, copious ‘phone sex advertisements, &c.

In fact, “Chip” was ready to toss this cut-rate tabloid into the old circular file when he came upon one interesting section: The personal advertisements. Naturally, “Chip” found this “interesting” for professional reasons only: Even though he’s only twenty, he’s already married to a narcoleptic insomniac.

Anyway, “Chip” came across a couple of curious personal ads, and we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we’d share them with you, our quasi-loyal readership.

The first advert (as our British friends might call it) reads as follows:

STRAIGHT GUY?
Are you a straight WM? Masculine, in shape, D/D-free, and discreet? I’m a clean-cut WM, 32, athletic, safe. Real low key, blue-collar type guy only.


Let’s see if we can get this straight (feeble pun intended). This youngish white guy, who is so discreet he’s advertising in a local paper, seeks a heterosexual white male with whom he can have sexual encounters.

Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to whip out our pocket dictionaries, but we can’t quite concur with the definition of the word “straight” that our athletic, safe friend is using. After all, this whole scenario collectively strikes us as about as straight as Richard Simmons.

If you thought the first ad was bizarre, the second is even stranger:

ROMEO’S ASSISTANT
Discreet, straight SWM, 6’1”, 180lbs, ISO couple that wants to give juliet [sic] some “extra attention” while romeo [sic] watches! Nice guy, fun for all!


We know what you are thinking, dear reader: This fellow is not only a paragon of discretion, he’s a rather learned character as well. Whereas other young gents would simply ask you if they could have their way with your girlfriend, this chap dolls it up with some highfalutin Shakespeare references. Perhaps this is Harold Bloom’s personal ad?

This brings us to our third advertisement. It reads as follows:

GENTLE & NICE
MWM, easygoing, likes sensual massage and safe sex, ISO mature, 50+, liberal discreet woman, available during weekdays.


Hmmm. This married gentleman wants to set up an affair with a mature, discreet woman. Nice to see that he’s easygoing; if not, he might be rather hard on himself for engaging in adultery.

What really troubled us, though, was the injunction that the lady in question be “liberal.” Sure, she has to be discreet: Discretion, it seems, is the sine qua non of the personal page. But what’s wrong with a “50+, arch-conservative discreet woman, available during weekdays”? And what about libertarian chicks?
 
Thursday, March 03, 2005
 

A Nation of Fools


If you’re anything like us, dear reader, you get all of your news from The Nation, one of America’s foremost left-of-reality newsweeklies. After all, a quick perusal of The Nation would keep you up-to-date on all the latest events, without any of that nefarious corporate spin.

As such, readers of The Nation for decades have kept abreast of all kinds of important political information: Alger Hiss was framed; Lynne Stewart is innocent; American universities are run by the Right; &c.

In fact, dear reader, just the other day, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the voluminous backlog at The Nation’s glorious “website.” In doing so, he came across a piece by one of his favorite columnists, Patricia J. Williams.

Ms. Williams, for those who are not familiar with her oeuvre, is an African-American law professor at some obscure Ivy League school called Columbia. Although this surely makes Ms. Williams one of the most occupationally fortuitous members of society, it has not stopped her from using her post at The Nation to rant and rave about the horrors of America.

Perhaps Ms. Williams believes that, in other countries, it would prove far easier to Mau-Mau fancy-pants universities to tenure untalented hacks.

Anyway, “Chip” came across the December 13, 2004 installment of her regular column, which she has appropriately titled “diary of a mad law professor.” (It seems as if Ms. Williams, much like bell hooks, is allergic to capitalization.)

This article, entitled “From Birmingham to Baghdad,” starts as follows:

I, Condoleezza Rice, was leaning over the kitchen sink, hacking up a half-dozen or so rotisserie chickens and slinging the parts into a serving dish in time for the first of the party gusts. I filled the bowls with popcorn and peanuts, brewed a pot of French roast and pulled a lost toddler out of the laundry room. I sidled up to Arnold Schwarzenegger and gave him a big old smooch. And when the Devil walked in the door, he took one look at me and said, “You win.”

Yes, it was Halloween night and I, Patricia J. Williams, had gotten myself up in the guise of the soon-to-be Secretary of State of the United States of America. I had it down, from the proper little suit to the neatly tucked bob of a hairdo. And it was funny for a while—vampires deflected, ghouls leapt back. After a time, I took the mask off, but people still called me Condoleezza for the rest of the evening. And that felt strange and sad somehow.


The rest of the article offers Ms. Williams’ largely unsubstantiated take on Secretary Rice’s personal life, and tells us that “Nobody ‘hates’ Condoleezza Rice.” Oddly, at the end of said piece, Ms. Williams informs us that “She [Secretary Rice] is a tightly fitted mask of compulsive politeness pulled over both great grief and corrosive, unhealed cruelties.”

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Well, at least you don’t hate her. We—like Ms. Williams—tend to admire folks who are distinguished by their “corrosive, unhealed cruelties.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” did not mention this article in order to quibble with Ms. Williams’ take on Secretary Rice, however. Far from it.

Instead, we want to note a strange coincidence: Last Halloween, the members of the crack young staff dressed up as writers and editors for The Nation. Accordingly, just as Ms. Williams was donning her Condoleezza Rice uniform, “Chip” was putting on her Patricia J. Williams costume.

As you can imagine, dear reader, dressing up like Patricia J. Williams was funny for a while—white people engaged in preemptive cringing, college administrators genuflected. After a time, “Chip” took the mask off, but people still called her Patricia for the rest of the evening. And that felt, as you could imagine, strange and somehow sad.

After all, it is difficult to masquerade as a columnist preternaturally incapable of sustaining an argument. It’s tough to moonlight as a law professor who makes Maureen Dowd seem like a paragon of wit and sanity.

Other members of the crack staff, however, did not have things any better. Just ask “Chip,” who was dressed up like Alexander Cockburn all night. Not only did he have a rib-tickling last name, he was compelled to shout ridiculous conspiracy theories: As far as Mr. Cockburn was concerned, the punchbowl had been spiked by Zionist agents.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose we ought to be grateful that Susan Estrich doesn’t write for The Nation. After all, Halloween ain’t so pleasant when you have to stare at a woman who’d make Medusa seem fetching.
 
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
 

Stodgy Old Oxbridge


We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” simply love academic conferences. Not only do they allow us the opportunity to keep up with the latest intellectual fashions—which, as you may imagine, are deeply important to our culture’s survival—they also present us with an opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep.

As far as we’re concerned, nothing is as fortuitous as listening to a grandiloquent chucklehead drone on about “gender(ed) readings of Bryan Adams.” Except for dislocating one’s shoulder, of course.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” like to keep abreast of the latest conferences. Naturally, then, we routinely check out the “website” of lofty Cambridge University.

It turns out that this beacon of academic respectability will be home to the “Third International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities,” which shall take place in August of this year.

And what kinds of scintillating intellectual fare will be on display at said conference? Why, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are darned glad you asked.

One Ioannis Vamvakitis, a PhD candidate in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex, will deliver the all-important paper “Psycho-geography and Schizophrenia: Queers ‘Out for a Walk.’”

Sounds fetching, doesn’t it? If the title hasn’t drawn you in, check out Mr. Vamvakitis’ pithy summary: “I will present my homoerotic subjects’ psychogeographical maps to scrutinize whether their desire is being structurally marginalized/suppressed or produces schizogeographies—do they reconstruct structural space through everyday 'schizo-desiring' e/motions?”

A darn fine question, that.

But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are saying to yourselves: What the heck does all that mean?

Never fear, dear reader, never fear. For Mr. Vamvakitis has offered his potential audience member(s) a fuller description of his paper, the beginning of which is as follows:

I strongly believe that an emancipatory homoerotic desire could only exist as a schizophrenic desire which according to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s "schizoanalysis" is simultaneously “architectural” (Grosz, E, 2001) and anti-structural—it is counter-structural, and thus, revolutionary, productive and proud (Deleuze, Guattari, 1982). Therefore, in my DPhil project, I am scrutinizing whether the homosexual could be what Deleuze and Guattari have defined as an “Anti-Oedipus” who through his/her “schizophrenic” wanderings "confronts" capitalism’s social fascism "that causes us to love [social] power [and] desire the…[structures] that dominate and exploit us" (Foucault, M, 1982, xii). What I would like to find out is whether the homosexuals could present a schizo-desiring e/motion that strives against capitalism’s strategic homophobic places—institutional discourses—of power and truth, and in conflict with its "Psychoanalysts and Semiologists" who interpret desire in relation to structure and “lack” (Foucault, 1982, xii). Moreover, and in relation to R. D. Laing’s “anti-psychiatric” existential ontology, I will attempt to clarify whether the schizo-desiring and anti-structural homoerotic e/motion – in the case that it does exist—constitutes the homosexual subjects anti-social leading them to marginality, “despair” (Laing, R. D., 1960), and eventually, to disciplinary institutionalisation, or whether it constitutes them counter-social leading them to radical and liberating modes of social embodiment—to counter-structural, heterotopian identity and space-time constructions.

Ah: That ought to clear things up. And we’re delighted to find that it is highly unlikely that Mr. Vamvakitis will prove prolix.

Just in case you’re still not convinced that Mr. Vamvakitis’ discussion will be a turning point in this history of British higher education, we blithely present yet more evidence: Mr. Vamvakitis’ brief description of his MA thesis:

[It] was titled ‘“Big Brother”: The Reality Show as a Globalized Post-documentary Form’ – Through M. Foucault and H. Lefebvre I attempted to scrutinize the type of western disciplinary spaces that “Big Brother” forges and reproduces, in order to westernize its global inmates and audiences—and received one of the highest marks in the class.

Naturally, this leads us to wonder: What received the lowest marks in the class?
 
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
 

Israel Needs the Women’s Studies Touch


Die-hard fans of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” will undoubtedly recall that we have recently featured a new series entitled “The Inequities of Academe.” Accordingly, we have devoted a few humble posts to discussing the problems associated with life as a professor.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” considered this series a potential antidote to all the recent complaining and finger-pointing directed at such professorial beacons of reasonableness as Ward Churchill.

(Those in-touch with the goings-on of academia certainly know Prof. Churchill; he’s an Ethnic Studies teacher at the University of Colorado, and a member in good standing of the Fraud Indian tribe.)

Although we don’t want to toot our own collective horn, we figured that focusing on some of the rough spots related to academic life could soothe the souls of many a beleaguered professor. (If they have souls, of course.)

Invariably, however, whenever we do something nice for academics, they wind up disappointing us. They’re kind of like an alcoholic uncle: Sure, you still love him, but you just hate yourself for it.

And what, you may ask, has recently upset the crack young staff? What academic shenanigans and tomfoolery have collectively gotten our collective knickers in a collective twist? We—as always, it seems—are darned glad you asked.

A correspondent from our Chapel Hill (NC) office has recently sent us a flyer for an upcoming lecture at the venerable University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You know: The school at which John Edwards will soon be teaching. It’s kind of like a College of Political Broken Dreams.

The following provides the contents of said flyer, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:

The Curriculum in Women’s Studies is pleased to sponsor a talk by:

Rela Mazali on

“Militarization, Gender and Anti-militarist Activism in Israel”

A writer in both English and Hebrew, Rela Mazali is one of the founders of New Profile, a feminist movement working to de-militarize Israeli society.


“A feminist movement working to de-militarize Israeli society,” eh? Gee, that sounds like a really fantastic project. In fact, we can’t think of any reason why Israeli society would be militaristic in the first place.

Oh, wait. No, never mind: We still can’t think of a reason.

One must especially laud Ms. Mazali’s aim to terminate Isreal’s pesky desire to protect itself when one realizes how un-militarized—nay, pacifistic—Israel’s neighbors are. After all, these peace-loving Muslim countries haven’t stirred up any difficulties for the Jewish state. Just ask Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, &c.

She was initiator and Assistant director of the widely aired documentary “Testimonies” (1993), on Israeli soldiers’ involvement in the first Intifada and has published numerous books and articles addressing challenges faced by women and girls in this war-torn region.

Indeed, the disgraceful militarism of Israeli society has certainly harmed Israeli women and girls. As such, they are far worse off than their Arab sisters, whose tranquil societies have allowed them to prosper.

Who wouldn’t want to be blessed with all the manifold rights offered to women in, say, Syria? As any card-carrying academic knows, Syria is the epicenter of a glorious feminist movement. Pretty soon, its women won’t have to travel around entirely covered by burlap sacks.

Mazali, who has just completed a chapter for a U.N. University book on gender and small arms, is currently writing a Hebrew collection of story-essays and a new book in English.

Why not a book on gender and big arms? After all, big arms prove far more effective at chucking grenades.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t realize that there was a United Nations University. That’s pretty impressive. Perhaps their course listings look much like the following:

UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY

Spring 2005 Course Listings:

-Corruption as a Means to Personal Advancement 101 with Prof. Kofi Annan
-Oil for Food Scam 220 with Prof. Benon Sevan
-Genocide? What Genocide? 310 with Prof. Boutros Boutros-Ghali


Anyway, dear reader, as you can surely tell, Ms. Mazali’s talk will demonstrate how disassociated from reality is the strange creature known as the Women’s Studies professor.

To twist Gloria Steinem’s famous quote, Israel needs Women’s Studies practitioners like a fish needs a bicycle.
 

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