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Thursday, June 30, 2005
 

A Dubious Alliance


A few staffers here at the venerable “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” headquarters have recently decided to involve themselves in some interesting extracurricular activities. Although, naturally, it is simply scintillating to work for one of the Internet’s most prestigious daily “weblogs,” we would collectively be lying if we didn’t inform you that the atmosphere at “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” central has become a little stifling.

After all, pretty much everyone you meet in the office is named “Chip.” Accordingly, for a few of our humble staffers—let’s just call them “Chip”—it is simply imperative that they find some sort of group to join.

The only question that remains, of course, is: What club best suits “Chip’s” needs? A Young Foxhunter’s group? Nah, too predictable. And technically illegal in the UK. Pewter figure-making lessons? Nah, too macho. Hermaprhoditic lawn bowling? Nah, too complicated.

And then, dear reader, one of our humble correspondents sent us word of the perfect cabal to join. Its snazzy, Francophilic name is Alliance Marxist-Leninist, and it struck us as a refreshingly down-to-earth political cluster.

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have helpfully copied part of the Alliance Marxist-Leninist’s promotional flyer below, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:

Allliance Marxist-Leninist

Alliance is a communist party organizing in the USA and Canada. It was formed in 1989 to promote principled, non-sectarian unity of Marxist-Leninists (as well as those new to communist politics).

So, the group was formed in 1989. Gee, what took place in the course of that year that may have made the fledgling Alliance cabal somewhat less cheery about the bright future for Communism? We collectively can’t think of a thing. And how, we wonder, can this passel of proto-Stalinists pride itself on “non-sectarian unity,” when it has left out the movement’s Trotskyist wing? That doesn’t sound so “unifying” to us.

This means unity should be based on basic agreement and honest debate about the lessons of the past.

Well, we know that we’re new members and all, but can we humbly suggest some “honest” points “about the lessons of the past”? We don’t mean to be spoilers, but, if we recall correctly, Marxism-Leninism doesn’t exactly have much of a storied past. Unless, of course, you consider the murder of millions and millions of people a storied past. And we’re not inclined to.

Alliance holds that only the Soviet Union, led by Lenin and Stalin, and Albania, led by Enver Hoxha, were moving toward socialism.

Gee, only them? Sweden is going to be so upset. But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are delighted that the Alliance left off the post-Stalin Soviet leaders from its list of tried-and-true socialists; they were an inveterate pack of humanitarians, if you ask us.

So, dear reader, if you pine to move society closer to the Soviet Union before the watered-down Khrushchev days, we hope you’ll join us at the next rousing Alliance Marxist-Leninist meeting. If not, we’ll be plotting your death.
 
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
 

America’s Middlebrow


To be perfectly frank, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t kept up with The New Yorker of late. As much as we glory in its Cooler-than-Thou-in-a-Yuppie-Sort-of-Way shtick, we find the periodical about as sexy as David Denby. Accordingly, we haven’t read it much since Tina Brown attempted to liven it up by “dumbing it down.”

Recently, however, a junior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—happened upon the June 6 number of the magazine. Giving the issue a quick perusal, “Chip” was aghast by what he found.

Young and nubile as we are, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” fondly recall the days when various New York intellectuals trashed sellouts who would deign to make a buck and publish an article in the “middlebrow” New Yorker. Serious critics didn’t stoop so low.

The New Yorker of today, however, makes its whilom Edmund Wilson days seem like the old Partisan Review. Pretty soon the magazine will be Newsweek with an inferior art department.

Don’t believe us, dear reader? Then simply take in the first sentence from one Sasha Frere-Jones’ installment of the “Critic’s Notebook”:

If there is one m.c. who deserves to benefit from the focus on Houston hip-hop, it is Devin the Dude, who makes a rare appearance at Rothko on June 1.

Sounds like serious stuff, eh? And that’s a pretty big “if”: We’re not entirely convinced that anyone “deserves to benefit from the focus on Houston hip-hop.” Actually, we were unaware of the recent “focus on Houston hip-hop.” As far as we’re concerned, the only people who should benefit from this would be earplug manufacturers.

Ms. Frere-Jones, clearly a very discriminating critic, blathers on about “Devin the Dude’s” “several brilliant solo records.” We’re certain that “brilliant” is the mot juste.

If this doesn’t entice you to take note of “Devin the Dude’s” Houston-based “rapping” brilliance, perhaps another snippet from Ms. Frere-Jones will: “His drawl is as smoky as Snoop Dogg’s, and his comic skills are more expansive than Eminem’s.”

Wow: Comic skills that are “more expansive” than those of Eminem! That is aiming awfully high, isn’t it? We’ve always admired Eminem’s humor; as far as we’re concerned, it is so, in a word, expansive.

The deeply serious Ms. Frere-Jones ends the review thus: “…it would seem that Devin is late to pick up his check. Let’s hope this year—he has an album tentatively slated for summer—is the year he does.”

Thanks, Ms. Frere-Jones. Let’s hope that this year, you don’t get to pick up a check, because The New Yorker decides to become a quality publication again, and fires you.
 
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
 

Getting Even With Gore Vidal


Recently, dear reader, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing a handful of book reviews penned by Gore Vidal. Mr. Vidal, the leftist novelist, essayist, playwright, self-professed “homosexualist,” and full-time Jew-hater has often irked us.

For one, he’s about as close to the Gods of Hypocrisy you can get whilst still remaining a mere mortal. Apparently, he writes his political polemics about the evils of capitalism from his palatial Italian villa. And he bleats on about the oppressed a few sentences after he brags about his blue-blood connections to the Kennedys, et al. As if this weren’t horrid enough, he’s sufficiently anti-Israel to make Al Jazeera seem philo-Semitic.

But perhaps what most rankles about Mr. Vidal are his longwinded book reviews for the New York Review of Books. In the course of these umpteen-word pontifications, the reader begins to realize that Mr. Vidal has not actually read the book under review. Or, if he has, he isn’t terribly interested in commenting on it.

Rather, Mr. Vidal offers pages and pages of darkened wood pulp devoted to his own enlightened views on the topic of the book he never bothered to read. Frankly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this deeply insulting. Ever since “Chip” recently wended his way through a few Vidal reviews, we have pondered a way of getting back at him.

And we think we came up with a brilliant idea. We are using today’s humble post as a book review for one of his tomes, which we have not read. In fact, we’re not even terribly sure that we got the title correct.

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

A Review of Imperial America by Gore Vidal by the Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” none of whom have read the book in question

Gore Vidal has quickly become the darling of the anti-Semitic, homosexual Left. And no wonder: He’s a very entertaining half-pint popinjay.

Unfortunately, in his book
Imperial America, Mr. Vidal has proved less subtle in his argumentation than Norman Mailer and Tariq Ali. In comparison with these anti-American polemicists, Mr. Vidal seems incapable of nuance. Perhaps Molly Ivins can show him how to craft a good argument. Or Michael Moore: We hear he’s very subtle.

In addition, the production values of the book in question are simply atrocious. The little volume appears to be printed on recycled toilet paper. We mean, come on: It’s as if the publisher is announcing that the work in question has the shelf-life of a boy band.

And so, dear reader, we shall conclude by informing you that Gore Vidal’s latest book is in fact the intellectual equivalent of the Backstreet Boys. And, boy, what Gore Vidal would do if he could get his hands on them.
 
Monday, June 27, 2005
 

Tom Cruise


Alright, alright, alright. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” pride ourselves on offering an interesting assortment of subjects for our humble excoriations. We like to think of ourselves as bullies who are ahead of our time; we have very little interest in hectoring an obvious target of obloquy.

Accordingly, dear reader, the topic for today’s humble demolition—Tom Cruise—is a bit pathetic. As any literate stroller of Al Gore’s World-Wide Web must know by now, Mr. Cruise has recently earned a lofty place on the venerable Hated Scale. After all, anyone so noxious that he makes us feel pity for Brooke Shields must be simply execrable.

Before you start chastising us for our lack of e-originality, dear reader, let us solemnly inform you that we have detested Tom Cruise far before it was fashionable to disesteem him. Indeed, years before Mr. Cruise jumped on his first couch, we collectively despised the fellow.

In fact, we have loathed him for so long that it is difficult to recall when our blistering enmity began. Surely we hated him when the Top Gun remake in cars called Days of Thunder appeared on the silver screen. And surely we hated him when rumors first circulated that he was a closet homosexual.

Indeed, we collectively despised him when we first caught a glimpse of him in Risky Business, dancing to a feculent rock-n-roll tune, and demonstrating to the world that he is hung like a light-switch.

Ah, yes: As our ancestors used to say, we have abhorred Tom Cruise for many moons.

And yet, dear reader, Mr. Cruise’s latest antics bother us even more than his usual diminutive-unibrow-homosexual shenanigans. When you make Matt Lauer seem classy, you’re officially irksome.

First, dear reader, let us not forget Mr. Cruise’s caterwauling against the evils of psychiatry. To be honest, we’ve long had the impression that certain behavioral drugs have been passed out to kiddies a little too liberally.

And yet, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” sincerely doubt that Mr. Cruise, despite his abominably low IQ, has read all of the relevant “studies,” and hence knows for a fact that psychology is nothing but quackery.

We mean, come on: Is this dimwitted thespian actually attempting to persuade us that Sigmund Freud had it all wrong, and L. Ron Hubbard has it all right? At least L. Ron Hubbard is still writing books, although he’s been dead for decades. We hope to be equally resourceful in our post-mortem years.

As if Mr. Cruise’s “I’m a Smug Scientologist Nutter” routine weren’t irritating enough, there’s the matter of his adolescent glorying in the talentless Katie Holmes. If Tom Cruise is so dead-set on the genius of the deceased L. Ron Hubbard, we think he ought not to date a gal like Katie Holmes.

After all, Katie Holmes is so, in a word, living. Why doesn’t he try John Holmes? Now that ought to get him jumping up and down on a few more couches.
 
Friday, June 24, 2005
 

British Dolts of the World, Unite!


As has been much reported in the news, the endless pool of virility known as the French people have recently voted against the European Union’s anti-insomnia constitution. Many of those who voted “non” were chiefly concerned about the likelihood that further European integration would jeopardize their three-hour work week.

As some journalists put it, numerous Frenchmen are deeply concerned about the spread of “Anglo-Saxon capitalism.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider the phrase “Anglo-Saxon capitalism” only slightly less ridiculous than “feminist algebra.” It conjures up visions of bevies of barbarian Boudicas, bedecked in blue body paint, and clutching copies of The Financial Times.

In addition, an article from the venerable London Times has given us reason to believe that our French friends are all hot and bothered over nothing.

In the June 19 number of the Times, one Richard Brooks offers the midterm results of a vaguely ridiculous poll hosted by the BBC Radio 4 program “In Our Time.” The poll’s question is simple: Who is the world’s greatest philosopher? Mr. Brooks reports that, with only a few weeks to go, the answer is Karl Marx.

Indeed, our orthodontically-challenged friends across the pond appear to believe that the progenitor of Communism is the embodiment of the philosopher’s philosopher. Accordingly, behind him rank such intellectual also-rans as Ludwig Wittgenstein, David Hume, and some fellow named Plato.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t mean to cast aspersions on the British BBC-listening public, but we find the midterm results of this poll simply uproarious. After all, whether you esteem Wittgenstein or not, at least his philosophy isn’t responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings!

If the BBC asked the British public who the greatest politician was, would they name Stalin? He, of course, was a follower of the “world’s greatest philosopher.”

If the British public has the poor sense to finger Karl Marx as the greatest, why isn’t Nietzsche fairing better? He was the in-house philosopher for the Nazi party, for crying out loud! Isn’t that worth something?

Perhaps our favorite part of the Times story is Mr. Brook’s delicious understatement: “Many critics disagree, arguing that communism has largely been discredited.”

Yeah, largely. Perhaps that sentence should read “Everyone outside of university English departments disagrees, arguing that only radical nutters are fond of Communism.”

We hate to ruin old Firesign Theater jokes, but we certainly love Marx—Groucho Marx, that is.
 
Thursday, June 23, 2005
 

“It’s Simile Time,” with Dick Durbin, Charlie Rangel, and the Folks at Amnesty International


As Americans who keep up with the political fussin’ and a feudin’ in Washington know, numerous figures associated with the Left have made heads turn with their less-than-appropriate comparisons. New York’s Charles Rangel, for instance, in a typical example of his mellifluous obtuseness, likened the Iraq War to the Holocaust. Senator Richard Durbin has also ruffled some feathers by claiming that the Guantamo Bay detention facility is akin to Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag.

And let’s not forget our friends at Amnesty International, who characterized the self-same detention facility a gulag. William Schulz, the USA’s executive director of Amnesty International, called a long list of American officials—including President Bush—“high-level architects of torture.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that all these overwrought comparisons make clear that our friends on the political Left are having some difficulty making quotidian analogies.

Accordingly, in a typical demonstration of support and solitude, we invited Messrs. Durbin, Rangel, and Schulz to play a new game we’ve helpfully devised. We call it “It’s Simile Time,” and we are delighted to inform you that Howard Dean, the illustrious chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, will serve as its host.

Chairperson Dean, you’ll recall, is famous for declaring both that the notion of an “Axis of Evil” demonstrates conservatives’ dunderheaded simplicity and that all Republicans are evil. As such, we figured that Chairperson Dean would be the perfect host for the inaugural edition of “It’s Simile Time.”

Without much in the way of further ado, then, we’ll let Chairperson Dean take it away.

IT’S SIMILE TIME with your host, Howard Dean

Dean: Hey there, folks. And welcome to “It’s Simile Time,” the game show that allows leftists the opportunity to demonstrate their superior mental skills. I’d love it if our studio audience could extend a warm “Yaaaaaarrrrhhh” to our contestants: Dick Durbin, Charlie Rangel, and Billy Schulz.

[Audience applause]

Dean: Okay, we’re ready to play our game. Let’s start with “Tricky” Dicky Durbin. Senator Durbin, for fifty points, can you please tell me something that’s akin to Chicago.

Durbin: Hmmm, Howard, that’s a tricky one. Something that’s like Chicago? Well, gee, you’d figure I’d be an expert on that. Gosh, um, I suppose I’m going to go with Haiti. Yeah, that’s right: Haiti. The weather’s the same, the political climate’s the same, and the murder rate is similar.

Rangel: Geez, Dick. Why you got to be crackin’ on Haiti? Just because it’s black? That’s the kind of simile I find offensive. No, it’s deeply racist. Can’t you just make a quick comparison to the Holocaust and leave it at that?

Dean: Hold on there, Congressman. We’ll get to you in a minute. I’m sorry, Senator Durbin, but the correct DNC answer to “what’s akin to Chicago” is: The gulag.

Schulz: Oh, man, that one was so easy. I could have told you that.

Dean: Alright, Mr. Schulz. You have an opportunity to show the leftists and moral cretins who make up our studio audience just how smart you are. Here’s your question: Name something similar to Stalin’s gulag.

Schulz: Oh, wow, that’s tricky. I see how you turned the tables on me. Something akin to Stalin’s gulag, eh? Well, I’d have to answer Condi Rice.

Rangel: Condi Rice? Are you out of your mind? The gulag isn’t even a person! At least you’re not picking on black folk.

Dean: Congressman Rangel, now it’s your turn. For fifty points, please answer the following question: Name something that’s like Buffalo, New York.

Rangel: The Holocaust.

Dean: Is that your final answer?

Rangel: Yes, Howard, that’s my final answer. Who do you think you are? Regis?

Dean: Congratulations, Congressman Rangel. According to our DNC rulebook, you’re correct. And this means you’ve won tonight’s installment of “It’s Simile Time.” Al Franken, will you tell the Congressman what he’s won?

Franken: Certainly, Howard. You’ve won a lifetime supply of “Feeling Morally Superior to Others Even Though You’ve Ably Demonstrated What an Ignoramus You Are.” And a bottle of hair tonic.

Rangel: Oh, wow! Hair tonic!
 
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
 

Masturbation—Intellectual and Otherwise


As everyone on God’s green earth undoubtedly realizes, this past year hasn’t exactly been an annus mirabilis for academia. Whether it’s a pseudo-Indian professor likening the victims of 9/11 to a Nazi war criminal or an unrepentant terrorist slated to teach a course on “activism,” these have been dark days for our pals in American higher education.

Just when we thought colleges couldn’t get any sillier, we received notice about a particularly rebarbative event that took place on the confines of the Duke University campus. One of our shadowy contacts from this Harvard of the South has kindly sent us a “link” to the following advertisement, which pertains to a splendid activity we just missed:

Exploring Your Pleasure!

Graduate and Professional Women’s Network (GPWN). Do you know how to pleasure your body? Join GPWN as Laura Poole, Duke alumna and local area speaker, leads us in an open discussion about women’s sexuality, masturbation, and ways to explore your pleasure. Laura will bring sample products to facilitate our discussion. Dinner will be provided. Sorry guys, but this one is for ladies only.

Please RSVP to gpwn@duke.edu to ensure sufficient food is ordered. Women-identified individuals only!


A rather odd advertisement, is it not?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long realized that graduate students are connoisseurs of “intellectual masturbation,” but we didn’t know that they had so much trouble with the other kind. That, we hasten to add, is what an English professor would call irony.

All the same, we are delighted that the Powers That Be at the Graduate and Professional Women’s Network saw this delightful get-together as fully worthy of student funds. We collectively can’t wait until the Graduate and Professional Men’s Network offers its own “Circle Jerk Seminar.” (Get it? Seminar?)

We wondered, however, what products the talented Laura Poole brought along with her. A weed-whacker? A lawn mower? Copies of Judith Butler’s latest works?

It’s particularly delicious that this event was open to “women-identified individuals only.” Sure, the male members of the crack young staff pined to “identify” as women for one short evening.

More to the point, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think it proves difficult to consider any graduate student females as “women-identified.” If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of them on the street, “women” wouldn’t be your first descriptive term of choice, now would it?
 
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
 

DWG: Driving While Gay


Many of our friends on the political Left constantly blather on about the superiority of European mores. If only, they incessantly opine, Americans were wont to look upon the world with the same enlightened tolerance of our European brethren, the United States would be a far more wonderful country.

Americans distraught by the sexual activities of President Clinton, think these lefties, ought to take a gander at the extra-marital affairs of Francois Mitterrand. Oddly, however, our friends on the political Left don’t seem to believe that Silvio Berlusconi is such a wonderful role model for American statesmen. After all, we already have our share of ultra-wealthy sleazeballs with ties to organized crime.

Regardless, dear reader, we had reason to think about the purported greatness of the European outlook upon taking a gander at two eye-catching stories we spied in the weekly version of England’s Daily Telegraph. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think they speak wonders about the supremacy of the European worldview.

The first short piece reads as follows:

Arrest for gay horse jibe “absurd”

Police officers who arrested a student for calling a police horse “gay” have been accused of “absurd heavy-handedness” by a campaigner for homosexual rights. Peter Tatchell of the pressure group Outrage! said that the arrest of Sam Brown, a student at Oxford University, “brought the police service into disrepute.”

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the police officers in question could easily snag jobs in America as women’s studies professors, if they run into any trouble on the force.

But this is neither here nor there. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” simply wanted to note that one Sam Brown, an Oxford lad, called a police horse “gay.”

How’s that for moral superiority—or maturity? Unless this steed had a feathered mane and Versace stirrups, this is one imbecilic young Englishman. Perhaps he’ll be arrested in the future for chastising a bi-sexual squirrel.

If this story is not odd enough, we offer the second one, which is as follows:

Driving ban for gay man in Sicily

A Sicilian court condemned road authorities last week for suspending the driving licence of a man after finding out he was gay. The court said being gay was merely “a personal disturbance” which had no bearing on the person’s ability to drive. The 23-year-old man, who was stopped in Catania, is demanding 337,000 Pounds damages.

Even more peculiar, isn’t it? Whilst we benighted folks in the United States are tearing our collective hair out about racial profiling, the Italians are worried about “sexual profiling.”

And it’s nice to see that the Sicilians merely label homosexuality “a personal disturbance”: It’s not anything that would hamper your ability to operate a washing machine or a telephone.

Gee, they really is more sophisticated over thar’ in Europe, ain’t they?
 
Monday, June 20, 2005
 

The Progressives Go Bust


As has been oft noted in the American media, the Democratic Party has done its best to appeal to new voters of late by calling Republicans “evil,” and likening Gitmo to Nazi concentration camps. Although it’s still unclear whether such tactics will grab many swing voters in these here United States, it strikes us as a peachy strategy. As far as we can intuit, nothing “riles up the base” quite like calling the country a haven for evil Nazis.

In fact, the local Howard Dean/Richard Durbin spin machine has been so appealing that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have recently pined to display our own radical bona fides. After all, nothing demonstrates your independent cast of mind quite like advertising the fact that you have the exact same political beliefs as all your friends.

Still, dear reader, we were caught in something of a quandary. How could we best champion our own commitment to radical politics? Perhaps an Eric Alterman T-shirt? Well, maybe, but we have the suspicion that an Eric Alterman T-shirt would be mighty ugly. Or how about a “Honk If You Love Robert Fisk” bumper sticker? Nah, that’s too tacky.

The Official Conspicuous Consumption Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” was stumped for a good while, until it came across an advertisement for the perfect products.

A group named the Progressive Arts Collective calls itself “an organization of artists and cultural workers who work toward the promotion of justice, a healthy environment, multiracial equality and cross cultural understanding.” Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

And what, you may be asking yourself, does this Progressive Arts Collective sell? Well, very prominently displayed on its “website” are sculpted busts of various “progressive” superstars.

What do we mean by “progressive” superstars? You know, dear reader, the usual suspects: Gandhi, Che, Malcolm X, Amiri Baraka.

Perhaps a few of you consider this array of heroes a bit quizzical. After all, whereas Gandhi offered independence to his homeland through non-violent resistance, Che helped Fidel Castro establish a police state in Cuba, and had a hand in the deaths of thousands. Not exactly similar figures, are they?

And then there’s Amiri Baraka. If you think hard enough, dear reader, you just might remember him. A while back, the Good Mr. Baraka spent some time in the lofty role as Jew-Hater Laureate. Among Mr. Baraka’s poetry are ditties blaming the Israeli government for 9/11.

Gee, nothing quite promotes “cross-cultural understanding” like an Amiri Baraka bust.

But the Progressive Arts Collective’s wares get even more bizarre. Its “website” also features a Cleopatra (VII) wall hanging.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had no idea that Cleopatra was a progressive. We suppose the label fits: She was a tyrant who poisoned her husband.

Perhaps our eco-conscious brothers at the Progressive Arts Collective champion Cleopatra because she attempted to use Mark Antony as a means to win a civil war in Rome and save her teetering kingdom. Or maybe our cross-cultural connoisseurs believe that Cleopatra, a Ptolemaic Greek, was black.

Anyway, if you ask us, we think the Progressive Arts Collective doesn’t have a suitably diverse array of objects. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would love to get our hands on the following:

1. A commemorative Robert Mugabe ethnic cleansing statue

2. A watercolor of Fidel Castro imprisoning homosexuals

3. A calligraphy version of Noam Chmosky’s love letters to Pol Pot

4. A talking Kofi Annan doll: Just pull the string, and it says such humdingers as “Genocide? What Genocide?”
 
Friday, June 17, 2005
 

Another Thorny Question


We don’t like to admit it, dear reader, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been taking in a fair amount of television of late. Between the Michael Jackson verdict and the blithering incompetence of Aruba’s detectives, there is much that has kept us virtually glued like rubes to the boob tube.

All of this mindless gawking—which, we hasten to add, was primarily undertaken for research purposes—has compelled us to think long and hard about the merits of American television. Indeed, as far as we’re concerned, nothing makes you think quite like forty mind-numbing hours in front of the old idiot box.

But just what, you may be asking yourself, has the crack young staff pondered so intently? A darn good question, that.

Our ruminations, dear reader, have focused on one particularly nettlesome query: MTV, E! Entertainment Television, or VH-1—which makes a more effective recruitment tool for al Qaeda? A really vexing brainteaser, is it not?

Perhaps, dear reader, you are fortunate enough to be blissfully unaware of these three pernicious television networks. In fact, if you ask us, copious amounts of their programming almost suffices to make any law-abiding member of society question the glories of Western civilization.

This does not mean, of course, that we think VH-1 is responsible for al Qaeda. We’re not about to join the Harold Pinter/Susan Sontag/Tariq Ali/Noam Chomsky crowd and opine that the United States “deserves” its terrorist attacks. Nor, dear reader, do we believe that horrific American television demonstrates the inferiority of Western culture.

We mean, come on: Have you ever seen the TV in Afghanistan? All of the game shows are so dull. Who the heck wants to win a used burqua, anyway? And don’t even get us started about China’s programming: Pretty much all of the actors look exactly alike, if you ask us.

Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly submit that MTV, E! Entertainment Television, and VH-1 are not simply intellectually void and aesthetically nugatory. They are galactically wretched.

Take, for example, VH-1, a network we have excoriated in the past. In the last few years, this old fart’s MTV has become even more irksome. Its entire arsenal of programs, when not dedicated to male stripping, pertains to D-List pseudo-celebrities enjoying a few good chuckles at the expense of pathetic C-Listers. Could this get any more awful?

Or how about MTV? This is the network that brought us Pauly Shore. Enough said.

And then there’s the quizzically named E! Entertainment Television. If you ask us, its producers have earned a special place in hell for their trumpeting of such inscrutably untalented gossip-mongers as Ted Casablanca and that creepy guy from the Village Voice.

Any network whose nightly IQ increases thanks to Howard Stern is textbook atrocious in our collective book.
 
Thursday, June 16, 2005
 

Desultory Musings Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct Unrelated to Michael Jackson


If you’re anything like us—and, quite frankly, dear reader, that isn’t bloody likely—you are utterly fed up with the “weblogosophere’s” obsession with Michael Jackson. For those of you a few steps behind the media circus, let us inform you that a recent court case proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that pop star Michael Jackson is categorically not a homosexual pedophile.

Well, we’re glad that thorny question is solved. We were starting to get the unfortunate impression that Michael Jackson is a little creepy. But, heck, he’s just been acquitted, so he’s obviously a regular guy like you or us. Perhaps we’ll celebrate by getting our 14,532nd nose job and sitting in an oxygen tank.

Anyway, as content as we are to know that Justice, like the Burger King customer, has been served, we’re positively irked by the incessant pontificating about the Jackson trial. One simply can’t turn on the television without hearing Dan Abrams blathering on about it all.

Do we really need to hear what Jermaine Jackson’s view of the whole matter is? As far as we’re concerned, that’s about as interesting as hearing G. Gordon Liddy’s take on Deep Throat. (It turns out that Mr. Liddy isn’t a big fan; who would have thunk it? As to the movie Deep Throat, Mr. Liddy thinks it's just grand.)

As a result of all our displeasure with Michael Jackson saturation, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to dedicate today’s humble post to a subject other than Jacksoniana. So far so good.

In fact, we’re so serious about our aversion to things Jacksonian that we have determined that we shall not even mention Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” or Tito Jackson’s “career.”

So what, you may or (more likely) may not be asking yourself, is the crack young staff going to discuss? We’re glad we made you ask.

All this chatter about Michael Jackson has made us nostalgic about the halcyon days of sexual misconduct. You know what we mean, dear reader: The earlier, more innocent, carefree days of sexual impropriety.

As such, we have resolved to discuss Marv Albert.

Now that is a guy who made appalling sexual deviancy classy. And Mr. Albert appears to enjoy the company of those who are at least past their latency stage, which is more than you can say for the whilom King of Pop.

Nor is Mr. Albert a narcissistic oddball who requires the latest hair weave in order to make television appearances. In fact, as far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, Marv Albert is a paragon of propriety. Except for the fact that he enjoys biting chicks.

But, heck, we all have our shortcomings.
 
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
 

The Art of the “Link”


Those regular readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” sufficiently fortunate to possess the ability to read may know that this humble “weblog” has been around for over one full year. Such literati may think that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t learned much over this span of time.

But they’d think wrong. For we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” like Madonna, have been around the block, and we’ve ascertained a thing or two. As Joseph Stalin used to say, “Learning is half the battle.”

We mention this, dear reader, because we have decided to use today’s humble post as an opportunity to teach the masses a few tricks of the “weblogging” trade. After all, well-nigh half our readership is functionally literate. A few even have the requisite skills to write in sentence fragments.

So, we collectively asked ourselves, why not show them a few of the Internet ropes? As the dim bulbs at CNN keep informing us, pretty much anyone can have their own “weblog.” Why shouldn’t we help our readers make the best little “weblogs” that no money can buy?

Without too much in the way of further ado, then, we can get on to our lesson for the day: The all-important part of “weblogging” we e-connoisseurs call “linking.”

Let us remind you, dear pupil, of precisely what a “link” is. It’s one of those thingies on a “website” that you can click on with your thingy, and will take you to a different “website.”

Well, now that we’ve cleared that up with our typical articulateness, we can move on to dilate on “linking” skills. For there is, in fact, a right way and a wrong way to “link” to fellow “webloggers.” And, if you “link” improperly, you are likely to make yourself look awfully foolish.

For starters, young Internet tyro, you must do your best to craft “links” that will maximize the number of people who will click on them. That way, you can offer your fellow “webloggers” the misimpression that your humble “website” is more popular than genital warts.

Nothing stings more than offering an overwrought “link”—of the “You simply have to visit this ‘website’” variety—and finding out that exactly two people have clicked on it. That’s the kind of thing that has ruined e-careers.

So, how do you make the most of your “links”? We’re glad we made you ask. First, make sure that your “links” are suitably enthralling. They must get your readers’ e-juices flowing. For instance:

Holy Horse-feathers! We can’t believe that this guy isn’t wearing any pants!

Or

Boy, this is one naked pizza party that she’ll never forget!

Or

Wow! A naked midget!

Or

You’ve got to see this: Denny Terio, the whilom host of “Dance Feaver,” gets caught overexposed with a Doberman.

That ought to get the readers a-clickin’.

And so, dear reader, this concludes our little Internet learning session. Tune in next week, when we discuss the Art of Italics, and other swarthy Mediterranean types.
 
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
 

The True Mark of a Cult


We have oft heard that the difference between a tried-and-true religion and an odious cult is around 50 years. That is to say, an upstart creed less than a half-decade old is immediately deemed a cult, whereas a resilient religion has stood the test of time.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respectfully believe that this is a bunch of malarkey. As far as we’re concerned, the Moonies could be around for thousands of years, and could continue to run the Washington Times, and we’ll still call them a cult.

And, to be honest, we aren’t entirely sure where to place Mormonism, even though it’s been around for some time. This has nothing to do with any anti-Mormon sentiment; we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have nothing but respect for card-carrying Mormons.

We simply doubt that anything good has ever happened in upstate New York. As far as we can discern, upstate New York was a bigger Dutch mistake than Apartheid. And that, friends, is saying something.

So, you may or may not be saying to yourself, if chronological concerns are not key to the crack young staff’s conception of the cult-religion divide, what is? What separates an admirable faith from a zany cabal?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are collectively glad that you asked. No, really: We’re very appreciative. You are always helping us out like that.

If you ask us—and even if you don’t ask us—we think that the difference between a cult and a religion is simple. Religions do not have jackets that attempt to advertise for their faiths; cults do.

For example, members of the oddly named Jews for Jesus group enjoy sporting varsity-esque coats with their faith’s name emblazoned on the back. This, we feel, is a level of schlocky advertising to which more dignified faiths would never stoop.

After all, dear reader, have you ever seen a fellow clad in a Members Only jacket with “Christianity” scrawled across the back? Or do Zoroastrians wear Zoroastrian jumpers? We think the answer is a definitive No.

And so, prospective founders of future world religions, let this be a lesson to you: You needn’t wait 50 years for your faith to make its way into the Promise Land of American Respectability. But you better not make any orders to textile manufacturers any time soon.

And this goes for you too, Bill O’Reilly. If you want to be remembered as the patron saint of No-Spinism, you are going to have to dump those wretched “O’Reilly Factor” jackets.
 
Monday, June 13, 2005
 

Affirming the I


A few days ago, dear reader, a diligent correspondent from our Chapel Hill (NC) office sent us the April/Summer 2005 number of Lambda, which calls itself “UNC-Chapel Hill’s LBGTIQ-Affirming Magazine Since 1976.” Upon taking a gander at this journal, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—found this self-description a bit puzzling.

In fact, “Chip” was a bit mystified by all the letters that this college rag aimed on "affirming." We mean, come on: LGBTIQ? Sure, we can figure out what most of the letters stand for; but what the heck was “I” doing there? Inverts? Illegitimate children? Insane?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” firmly believe that, if you’re going to "affirm" a ridiculously long assortment of letters, you might as well go all out and "affirm" the whole darn alphabet. Wouldn’t they "affirm" kids named Ricky and Michelle? We certainly hope so.

As far as we’re concerned, until Lambda becomes “UNC-Chapel-Hill’s ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ-Affirming Magazine Since 1976,” it’s a sexist, homophobic receptacle of garbage. As our old hero Stokley Carmichael would say, Lambda is not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

But we collectively digress. On page 14 of said publication, we came upon one of the most delightfully wretched examples of student poetry that we have found in some time. As regular readers of this humble “weblog” undoubtedly recognize, our position as one of the key “websites” partly devoted to abysmal collegiate balladry makes this a rather impressive claim.

The poem in question was penned by one Tommy Rimbach. Lambda's helpful contributors page informs us that “Tommy Rimbach was born in the ghettos of northern California but raised in cul-de-sac subdivisions in suburbs up and down the East Coast. He is a queer activist, enjoys Asian-American literary and race theory, and studies public policy and international studies at the University.”

Well, well, well: Mr. Rimbach is a graduate of the tough streets of northern California. This is surely one undergraduate we don’t hope to meet in a dark alley. Which is too bad, because we’re also huge fans of “Asian-American literary and race theory.” We just can’t get enough of the stuff.

Speaking of stuff we can’t get enough of, let us turn to Mr. Rimbach’s masterful poem. It’s called “Boom,” and it goes a little something like this:

Boom by Tommy Rimbach, Inveterate Lover of Asian-American Literary and Race Theory

Vibrations of our railway sex fill up
echoes of lung sighs convulse against your
metal surfride on the 5 train plunges toward my
(made/unmade) soul dodges a hand held smoked in your
stomach of hardened metropolitan tracks that can not escape my
reddened lips against the tanned tread scrapes of your
stubble of numbered one-two-nine red lines stare through my
atlantic avenue window smears from six or seven inches above your
balcony across the apartment rent-controlled screams heard along my
(drawn/redrawn) dreams destroy my thrashing your shooting my soaring your
speeding parallel to the jersey turnpike rolling off my tongue (fits yours) to my

room

i guess we are headed to our

doom.


Pretty great, is it not? Clearly, Mr. Rimbach is a follower of the It’s-Poetry-If-You-Write-Oddly-and-Hit-the-Return-Key-a-Lot school. As far as we can tell, this is a far more important School of Poetry among college kids than, say, Southern Agrarianism.

Seldom, however, do undergraduate bards express the torture of the “cul-de-sac subdivisions in suburbs up and down the East Coast” as acerbically and poignantly as Mr. Rimbach. Perhaps he can now move on to write some verses about his dormitory; we’re sure that it would prove a perfect target of his angst.
 
Friday, June 10, 2005
 

What Will Howard Dean Say Next? A Clairvoyant Speaks Out


Literate members of the American public undoubtedly recognize that Democratic Chairperson Howard Dean has landed himself in hot water of late. As numerous media outlets have discussed, Chairperson Dean seems congenitally incapable of controlling his mouth. In short, he’s a veritable one-man Hate Speech Machine.

For instance, Chairperson Dean recently declared that the Republican Party was essentially made up of those horrid people called white Christians. Apparently, Chairperson Dean forgot to mention the manifold Jewish interlopers who hoodwinked the Republicans into invading Iraq for the sake of Jew-run corporations.

We assume that Chairperson Dean will soon make up for that lapse.

It appears as if Chairperson Dean does not find the Republican Party suitably “diverse.” Perhaps it could prove its appeal to larger swaths of Americans if it could draw in the upper-middle class white, suburban Yalies who make up Chairperson Dean’s entire voting base.

Anyway, this has all made us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder: What will this loopy white Christian say next? Will Maxine Waters soon distance herself from Chairperson Dean’s pronouncements?

Good questions, those. And we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have recently hired an honest-to-goodness clairvoyant to answer these and kindred spine-tingling queries. In fact, yesterday afternoon, various members of the crack young staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—peppered this clairvoyant with inquiries about Chairperson Dean’s future pronouncements.

We should inform you, dear reader, that this clairvoyant is no medium medium. He’s a veteran of numerous telephone psychic hotlines, and has spent (literally) minutes informing people of their inscrutably ruinic futures.

As such, we’re certain that you’ll enjoy taking in our soothsayer’s take on Chairperson Dean’s future sayings. If our rent-a-prophet proves prophetic, Chairperson Dean, like Lucy, is going to have a lotta’ splainin’ to do:

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Rent-a-Prophet Projections of Unfortunate Statements Soon To Be Stated by Stately Howard Dean:

1. “Orlando, Florida is hotter than a Puerto Rican Ferrari.”

2. “The only thing I hate more than closemindedness is people who disagree with my opinions.”

3. “Perhaps Hitler was guilty of monstrous crimes. But we shouldn’t prejudge him.”

4. “I am sick and tired of hearing right-wing politicians carp on the moral failings of others. That’s just another reason why I’m certain Tom DeLay deserves to go straight to hell.”

5. “The few Republicans who do an honest day’s work are prostitutes.”

6. “My speechwriter is Heinrich Himmler.”
 
Thursday, June 09, 2005
 

Introducing “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Academic of the Month


If you’re anything like us, dear reader, you simply can’t stomach all the guff today’s tenured college professor must endure. Not only is he (or, more likely nowadays, she) compelled to teach well-nigh three times per week, he is often forced to take in ego-withering assaults from the likes of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and kindred right-wing outlets.

That’s why we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to inaugurate what we hope will be a new series of posts on our humble “weblog.” We call it our “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Academic of the Month Program, and we aim to use it to highlight the masterful work of many a hard-working academic.

For future months, dear reader, we’ll exhort you to send us the curricula vitae of prospective Academics of the Month, so that we can make some sort of contest out of the whole deal.

Yet today, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemoonger’s Quarterly,” have come up with our own winner, who will certainly glory in her status as the First-Ever “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Academic of the Month (June 2005). We think you’ll agree that our selection is eminently worthy of the award we have bestowed upon her.

Indeed, the victor (or, as she’d undoubtedly prefer, victress) of the June 2005 crown is one Sherryl Kleinman, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ms. Kleinman’s “webpage” perfectly encapsulates her complete lack of narcissism. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have always said: “Only an idiot quotes himself.” To this end, Ms. Kleinman’s “webpage” begins with an epigraph from Ms. Kleinman, pertaining to Ms. Kleinman’s lifelong passion for sociology. No self-love here, naturally!

Among the tidbits mentioned on Ms. Kleinman’s “website” is the following:

A few of my colleagues and I are putting together a new undergraduate minor—Social and Economic Justice—that will be housed in the Department of Sociology.

Gee: A minor in Social and Economic Justice, eh? Just because Ms. Kleinman appears to have no background in economics doesn’t mean that she can’t pontificate on the topic, does it? Certainly not!

And just in case you are distraught at the possibility that Ms. Kleinman may use her lectern as a bully pulpit to wax hegemonic, she offers this gem of a sentence:

My central concern as a sociologist is to understand, and then change, patterns of inequality.

Ah, yes. The Good Doctor (or, as she’d undoubtedly prefer, Doctress) pines not simply to study “inequality,” but also to eradicate it. In other words, Ms. Kleinman aims to use her classroom as a left-wing indoctrination camp.

May we humbly suggest that she start by opposing preferential treatment in academia for so-called “underrepresented” minorities and women? That sure seems to be an example of what she’s talking about, but we have the sneaking suspicion that her all-encompassing dedication to the elimination of “inequality” doesn’t go that far.

How about Ms. Kleinman kindly give up large portions of her salary, and distribute them to her ineluctably indigent graduate students? We won’t hold our collective breath.

Our favorite line from Ms. Kleinman’s self-hagiography is this:

In the last several years my work has become increasingly critical and feminist.

To which, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Don’t you mean “critical or feminist”? We don’t perceive that academic feminists tend to be particularly critical of academic feminism. The “patriarchy,” male “oppression”—these are the fusty orthodoxies of the Women’s Studies set.

For all of the above reasons, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” blithely bestow Sherryl Kleinman with the prestigious title of Academic of the Month. We hope the award doesn’t go to her head. But we have the impression that it may.

If you, dear reader, have any particularly worthy academicians in mind for future Academics of the Month, send us their resumés by clicking on the Contact Us link at the top right-hand corner on your computer screen. It’s an opportunity to show your appreciation for your favorite tenured radicals.
 
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
 

Detroit Days, LA Nights


A couple of days ago, dear reader, we used this space to dilate on a curious advertisement for “bodyrubs” by a devilishly debonair fellow named Tony. Upon looking back at the newspaper from which this print exhortation was culled, we recognized a second advertisement that we found peculiar.

It reads:

LA Nights

Escorts for all occasions.
All races, Ages 18-45.
Selectively hiring.
Call Amy:
919-225-8762


To be honest, dear reader, there are a number of reasons that made this advert strange—besides its author’s oddly selective use of capitalization. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” found this ad suitably bizarre that we have determined to write the woman in charge of the operation.

Our letter will go a little something like this:

To: Amy
From: The Crack Young Staff of THMQ
Re: “LA Nights”

Dear Amy:

We discovered an advertisement for your delightful service in a local throwaway publication, and it bothered us to such an extent that we have collectively got up the gumption to pen this missive. Frankly, we find numerous things about this advert puzzling, to say the least.

First, why is your business called “LA Nights” when it isn’t even remotely close to Los Angeles? Are you advertising the fact that a night with one of your escorts is likely to include horrible traffic and smog? Or perhaps the Los Angeles branch of your establishment is called “Cleveland Nights”?

In addition, we doubted that your service actually provides “escorts for all occasions.” Can’t you think of
any occasion for which an escort would be at least mildly inappropriate? If you earnestly cannot, we can provide some: Your wedding; a trip to your grandmother’s; a nine-mile jog.

But both of these things are mere quibbles in comparison with our chief point. You claim that you have escorts of “All races, Ages 18-45.” Never mind the fact that we think race is an outdated 19th-century concept in which most scientists no longer believe.

We simply doubt the notion that you have such a wide array of “talent” at your disposal. For instance, do you have a 42-year-old Flemish man for a date next Tuesday? Or a 36-year-old Belgian princess for tea on Wednesday? Or how about a 18-year-old Papua New Guinean for a nine-mile jog?

And don’t insult us by sending along an ersatz escort: If there’s one thing we collectively hate, it’s a gal who’s pretending to be New Guinean.

Cordially,
The Crack Young Staff of THMQ
 
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
 

Our Friend, Senator Kennedy


Unsurprisingly, dear reader, the mailbox here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” headquarters is routinely chock-a-block with all kinds of delightful missives. Given the unparalleled popularity of this humble “weblog,” it is only natural that we receive well-nigh thousands of epistles a day from adoring fans.

Every once in a while, however, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” happen upon a particularly special letter. And such was certainly the case a few days ago, when we received a communication from one Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

The Official Authentication Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—which is made up of the very same people who verified those 60 Minutes documents—assured us that the John Hancock at the end of the missive belongs to Senator Kennedy himself. Or, at least, a Microsoft Word document.

Anyway, dear reader, perhaps you are somewhat amazed that we have received a letter from such an impressive political eminence. Well, you ought not to be. As far as the Democrats know, we have been major campaign contributors since Maxine Waters was a youthful race-baiter.

We hate to be ostentatious, but we figured we’d offer you a snippet of the correspondence, so that you can see how much better we are than you. The missive begins as follows:

Dear Friend

It is now clear that George Bush, the Republican Senate, and the entire Republican Party are in the clutches of the most reckless parts of the extreme right wing.

Again and again, they’ve shown that they’ll do anything to pander to the most irresponsible actions and the most destructive parts of the agenda of their hard-core zealots.


Pretty impressive, is it not? You’ll note that Senator Kennedy has called us his collective “Friend.” Obviously, we’re pretty tight. Perhaps that’s a result of all those early morning martinis we’ve shared?

Anyway, our old chum Senator Kennedy continues his letter to us with a picture of “George Bush’s wish list.” Our Official Authentication Department assured us that this “wish list” is authentic, because it bears the heading “From the Desk of George Bush,” and is written in cursive. Doesn’t everyone have stationary that reads “From the Desk of” and then offers their name? We know we do.

This document contains three George Bush “wish list” items:

Destroy Social Security—Privatize the most successful social program in the nation’s history, slash benefits, pull the safety net out from under seniors, and add trillions of dollars to the national debt.

Give Lifetime Appointments to Judges Who Are Beyond the Pale—Re-nominate the seven absolute worst federal court nominees from the first term, and demand that Republican Senate lap dogs approve them, even if they have to destroy the Senate rules to do it.

Pillage the Environment—Support allies in Congress that have done an end run on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, who are busy rewriting other basic environmental rules to please their corporate polluter supporters.


We know what you are thinking, dear reader: President Bush has a heck of a lot on his plate! Can’t he add a nap to his “wish list”? We hope that the President pleases his all-important “corporate polluter supporters.” They pretty much handed him the last election.

Frankly, dear reader, we are a bit miffed to discover that President Bush’s “wish list” looks a heck of a lot like our “wish list.” Perhaps one of his toadies got his dirty right-wing hands on our “From the Desk of the Crack Young Staff” stationary.

Except for one difference: We aim to give lifetime appointments to judges who are beyond the pail.
 
Monday, June 06, 2005
 

The Dungeon Master’s Massage


It’s been a tough fortnight or so here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”: We’ve been compelled to work particularly hard of late in order to ensure our own shockingly derivative brand of vaguely unsatisfying humor every weekday. As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” could really use a massage.

Accordingly, one of the interns here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” trolled around the Internet, in search of body rubs. Unfortunately, dear reader, he searched in vain. Apparently, it's kind of tough to find this type of service on Al Gore's World-Wide Web.

A few days ago, however, a correspondent from our Raleigh (NC) office sent us an advertisement in a local paper, which appears to offer exactly the kind of service we have been seeking. The advertisement in question reads:

Bodyrubs by Tony
Discreet, muscular, attractive male offering M4M bodyrubs and role play/fetish in Ral-Dur-CH area. Airport/RTP location. In/Out calls. Major CC’s Accepted. 919-342-6497. trianglemassages@aol.com


We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Tony sounds like an experienced masseur. And yet, we must admit that we were left a bit perplexed by Tony’s advertisement.

As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided that we would send the intrepid Tony an e-mail. It goes a little something like this:

To: Tony, the “Bodyrubber”
From: The Crack Young Staff of THMQ
Re: Group Discount, &c.

Dear Tony,

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” spied your fetching advertisement in the latest issue of some rancid freebee publication. Anyway, given the difficulty of work these last few weeks, we figured that we are in desperate need of massage therapy.

This has led us to write this e-missive to you, in order to ask a few questions about your service.

First, however, we want to inform you that we are delighted that you are “discreet, muscular,” and “attractive.” How wonderful for you.

Perhaps we aren’t that bright, but we couldn’t figure out what “M4M bodyrubs” mean. Mouth for Mouth? Month for Month? Math for Moles? Frankly, we find this all terribly confusing.

Yet we are far more perplexed by your touting of “role play/fetish.” How often does one of your clients enjoy a rousing game of Dungeons & Dragons after a massage? As far as we’re concerned, it shouldn’t be very often. And, if you are such a master at role playing, we have a hard time believing that you are “muscular” and “attractive.” After all, a prerequisite to taking part in such activities is being “wimpy” and “poorly groomed.”

In addition, if you are so darned “discreet,” why have you informed us that your name is Tony? Wouldn’t you do better to come up with an obvious pseudonym—like Carl?

Oh, and one more thing: We are one large staff. And, no, we didn’t mean that as any kind of sexual innuendo; there are actually a good number of us. Under such circumstances, is there some sort of a “discreet group discount”? Perhaps you could rub one of us down whilst partaking in Dungeons & Dragons with the others?

All the Best,
The Crack Young Staff of THMQ
 
Friday, June 03, 2005
 

Hugh Grant


A few weeks ago, dear reader, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—decided to inaugurate a new Mandatory Employee Film Night. Apparently, “Chip” supposed that the crack young staff wasn’t spending enough of its copious free time together, delighting in its collective wit, wisdom, and whimsy.

In order to remedy this grave oversight, dear reader, “Chip” established Thursday evenings as our Mandatory Employee Film Night. Unfortunately, however, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have the distinct impression that our Mandatory Employee Film Night will last about as long as Yuri Andropov.

And, quite frankly, it’s all “Chip’s” fault. For “Chip” had the inscrutably bad instincts to choose Love, Actually as the first in this Crack Young Staff Film Series.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Love, Actually? What kind of slack-jawed, inbred chucklehead picks that wretched cinematic disaster? Apparently, the answer to that question is “Chip.”

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not in any way involved in the film industry. Except for Ted: He spent three weeks as a gaffer, before he learned what a gaffer was.

All the same, dear reader, we think we can assert without fear of reprisals that Love, Actually was one of the most unbearably dismal examples of the chick-flick romantic comedy genre. And that, one scarcely need mention, is among the most dismal of all filmic genres.

What, you may be asking yourself, makes Love, Actually, in the precious words of Mark Steyn, “Crap, Actually”? For starters, the producers of this pernicious film had the uproariously ill-judged idea that Hugh Grant would make a smashing Prime Minister of Britain.

Hugh Grant as Prime Minister? Oh, come on: Charles Kennedy would make a better Prime Minister, for crying out loud. And Mr. Kennedy, apparently, can’t stop drinking and sweating long enough to make a decent speech. The guy’s like Dean Martin and Richard Nixon all wrapped into a porky Conan O’Brien costume.

And this, dear reader, brings us ever so gently to the topic of today’s post: Hugh Grant. Mr. Grant, for those of you blessed enough to be unfamiliar with his oeuvre, is the United Kingdom’s answer to Kevin Costner. He’s a slightly less talented version of Adrian Zmed.

In short, he’s a floppy-haired twit who makes Ally Sheedy seem like Sir Laurence Olivier.

What precisely makes Mr. Grant rankle? Other than the fact that he shacked up with Elizabeth Hurley? It’s hard to pin down, actually.

For starters, though, we’d say that his sub-par acting should bother darn near anyone. Mr. Grant seems incapable of forcing more than two distinct emotions on his ineluctably nonplussed grill: “Slightly nervous English twit,” and “very nervous English twit.” This, naturally, makes a one-trick pony appear as if he can do at least two tricks.

Accordingly, this déclassé Limey Richard Gere stutters and twitches throughout a cavalcade of deleterious flicks. How many bad movies has this feculent dipstick made with women of the Sandra Bullock/Andie MacDowell ilk? Are they going for some kind of record?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would blithely announce that Hugh Grant is the most noxious actor in all of Hollywood if it weren’t for the two most offensive words in the English language.

We refer, of course, to Ben Affleck.

Well, and Tim Robbins. And Susan Sarandon. And Samuel L. Jackson. And Richard Dreyfus. And Tom Cruise.

Wow: Hollywood is sure chalk-a-block with twits isn’t it?
 
Thursday, June 02, 2005
 

Dreams Are Made of This


If you’re anything like us, dear reader, you are a subscriber to the scintillating periodical The Black Collegian, another fine rag from the folks at IMDiversity, Inc. Actually, even if you’re nothing like us, you probably peruse this self-professed “Career & Self-Development Magazine for African-American Students” with great regularity.

Perhaps, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quartelry,” do not need to inform you about an advertisement that we spied on the penultimate page of The Black Collegian’s April 2005 number. But, heck, just humor us.

The advert in question is the work of the Amerada Hess Corporation, whose motto, at least for the purposes of this magazine spot, is “Our Diversity is Our Future.” This ad proudly declares that Hess is an “equal opportunity employer,” though, in the American corporate argot, this means that Hess is “not an equal opportunity employer.” After all, as our business friends appear not to understand, you can’t favor equal opportunity and discriminate on the basis of race.

In order to demonstrate Hess’ deep regard for its “Diversity” (and, hence, its “Future”), the advertisement features a smiling black woman, who stands before a Hess office building, and who is, presumably, a deeply satisfied employee.

Above this contented black woman is the touching slogan: “Dream your biggest dreams.” The ad, as you might imagine, is pretty much politically correct corporate boilerplate. A Cheshire cat of a black woman; an uninspired commitment to “Diversity”; a supremely dull slogan—all the telltale signs of big-business pseudo-multiculturalism are present.

And yet, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were particularly intrigued by the text featured at the bottom of the advertisement. Below we offer a portion of this text, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:

People define our success. At Amerada Hess, our diversity of talent and perspective lead to visionary approaches to global challenges, and enable us to forge ahead of competitors when it comes to innovation.

The Grapenuts-like blandness of these sentences masks their overall message: Our friends at Hess are informing us that they have a great regard for “diversity of talent and perspective.” Note, dear reader, that they say “diversity” of “perspective”—not perspectives.

Rather curious, isn’t it? Have you ever heard anyone pontificate about a given institution’s “diversity of perspective”? What the heck does this mean? As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can tell, they appear to be saying: “We, the Diverse Folks at Hess, love it when all of our many-hued employees mouth the exact same pieties.” Pretty “diverse,” is it not?

A world leader in oil and gas products, Amerada Hess fosters a work environment in which new ideas are encouraged and people are empowered to take initiative. We look for and reward both talent and drive. So dream your biggest dreams.

Gee, Hess: Thanks for allowing us to “dream our biggest dreams.” That’s darn nice of you. May we humbly suggest that working for a “world leader in oil and gas products” is not one of our biggest dreams—nay, not even one of our smallest dreams?

If, as the folks at Hess maintain, “People define [their] success,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wish to inform them that they are failing.
 
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
 

The Crack Young Staff: Prophets of the Ages


As everyone living in so-called Western so-called civilization knows, dear reader, members of the so-called Western so-called media are always nattering on about the likelihood that Al Gore’s World-Wide Web will utterly revolutionize the way people take in the news. As far as we can tell, pretty much every pundit is blithely prognosticating about the cataclysmic changes that will drastically alter the future of the news media.

In fact, dear reader, critic Terry Teachout’s column in the most recent number of Commentary discusses this very issue at great length. Some day soon, Mr. Teachout opines, newspapers will no longer be with us; the Internet will destroy them all. Just as the purple decade served as the anni mirabiles of the Weathermen, these are the years of the “weblogger.”

Perhaps, dear reader, this is all true. But, quite frankly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t stomach all this portentous prophesying. To make matters more aggravating, no one in the media offers a different take on the future of the news.

That is to say, until now. Fed up with all this bathetic forecasting, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to offer our soothsaying counterpoise, if you will.

In fact, today’s humble post, which we have humbly entitled “The Crack Young Staff: Prophets of the Ages,” is devoted to presenting our own humble prognostications. And, unlike those sissy pseudo-clairvoyants, we aim to make deliciously bold predictions. None of this “The Internet Is Going to Change Everything” garbage for us.

Without too much in the way of further ado, then, we are pleased as pliable priests to present:

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Cockamamie Predictions:

1. The Internet will in no way affect the future of American news media. In fact, for the rest of eternity, Americans will consume their news in precisely the same manner they did in 1957. Accordingly, the Saturday Evening Post will become very big again.

2. All movies that feature assorted bloopers whilst showing their credits will continue to suck. No such film will ever match the cinematic brilliance of Cannonball Run II.

3. Michael Moore will continue to struggle with a weight problem.

4. In a few decades, Dick Clark will actually begin to look older than he did in 1953.

5. Gray Honda Civics will become so popular that dealers will be compelled merely to ration them out to the populace.

6. Oliver Stone will be arrested.

7. The crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” will churn out more uninspired posts like this one.
 

Heterodox views for the beleaguered hatemonger.

*CONTACT US*

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