The always sane and balanced Michelle Malkin launches an internetty jihad against Eric Muller of Is That Legal?, because of this post at ITL?, one that got picked up by the NewWonkette. Muller was duped by a rather poorly Photoshopped picture with Malkin's head on someone else's bikini-clad body. He published it for reasons he explains in the post. When his error was pointed out, he apologized, thusly:
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: It appears that I was mistaken when I linked to the
picture on flickr below, which I believed to be a picture of Michelle
Malkin. I regret my error, and I apologize to Michelle Malkin for it.
She has asked that I leave the post up -- indeed, she has reprinted it
-- and so I will do as she wishes.
Malkin of course had a right to be mad. But what she doesn't have a right to is the debased notion of "civility" as it is propagandized by racist maniacs like herself, hysterics who habitually take enormous liberties with the truth. Oh, hell, I suppose she has a right to it, but it's awful stupid.
Her thesis, as most notably advanced in a remarkably sloppily-edited book (most thoroughly examined by David Neiwert beginning here; my own small contribution to the discussion is referenced here), is that everyone on the Left is a hate-filled maniac and she and the Right in general represent serious, civilized geniuses. This, after she writes a shoddy book defending the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII. Right.
No better illustration of the fallacies inherent in the Wingnut Civility thesis, however, could be offered than by comparing Muller & Malkin's posts about the Photoshopped picture. Muller finds out his error and apologizes, thus showing a respect for accuracy as well as, uh, civility. Muller's only mistake was falling for a faked picture -- his original post was fair comment by any rational standard.
In response, Malkin tells her readers to contact his dean and publishes his contact information. Which means trying to get him fired, really.
Who's going overboard, now?
I'd be pretty surprised if Malkin's publication of Muller's Dean's email address will have any repercussions beyond the utter bewilderment of an unfortunate secretary. The fact that Muller is indeed a very articulate critic of Malkin's lamentable book on internment is pretty well known, and anyway, it's not all that easy to fire a professor or even get one in trouble, really.
But it's funny, isn't it, just what the world as projected by Malkin and her ideological cohorts seems to look like? Waterboarding and stereotyping and internment, those are Noble Pursuits; calling someone who, say, attempts to justify the practice of torture a "nut," gadzooks!, that is just going too far. Fetch me his scalp, my flying internet monkeys!
"Civility" in Malkinese signifies a silly attempt at justifying everything from the vindictive to the monstrous. And not a damn thing else.
Last Friday I day tripped down to Irving Plaza to see Redd Kross. Goddamn it was a great show. Just a lot of fun. One new song that sounded really good, a lot of cool old stuff, a really comfortable kind of a vibe -- not that they seemed to have rehearsed all that much, as there were plenty of fuckups. But whatever. The old energy was there, the old attitude, the old ironic chaotic joy in the endlessly absurd, thoroughly ludicrous, but very, very tasty, eternal carnival that is American pop culture. It was neat to see the old Neurotica lineup. I'd never seen Roy McDonald before, and while maybe there are better drummers, he was a grinning sticks-chucking goofball, and thusly rocked.
The first Redd Kross show I ever saw was in, shit, 1989, I think, at the old Ritz. I went with Deeptoej. It was fucking amazing; they led with "Jesus Christ Superstar," and dear lord did it rock. They had all the rock star moves down pat, a collection of catchy original songs and some inspired covers, and, something that should never be overlooked, a knowing, coherent aesthetic. In other words, they made deliberate choices as to what they were doing onstage, and knew what sort of effect thay wanted to produce.
I don't mean that they were calculating; not quite. Rather, they were a band that knew what had come before and so knew what they were doing that was new.
And what was this? I think in retrospect the reason I love Redd Kross is that their whole schtick is that rock music is fun. This sounds pretty trite when you just lay it out there, but there really is a lot to it. How many bands are there in existence that can pull off "fun"as an organizing concept? Most rock bands (even probably almost all my favorites) don't take the fun that is rock music as their main subject, and if they do, it mostly sounds pretty retarded, because it's artificial. Redd Kross, though, was always about the artificial. And recognizing the artificial is one way to keep a step ahead of the game. "No metal sluts or punk rock ruts for me," you know.
Part of the band's problem, indeed, was always that they were never really able to sell out effectively, because that would have meant being "taken seriously," and that was never the point. Rock music is weird. You're always supposed to pretend that it isn't really kinda stupid. You're always supposed to pretend that it's "about" something, even when it clearly isn't, and is just about faking emotions.
Annnnyway. Deeptoej first heard of Redd Kross, I forget how now, but I remember what he said that made me want to buy some of their stuff: "they rock hard, and they're even more into stupid TV than we are!"
The concept of a band that was pretty much all about pleasure, without being naive or poisonously cynical, appealed to me greatly. Not that I would have put it to myself like this back then, oh, 20 odd years ago. Mostly what happened was we put on Teen Babes from Monsanto and just rocked the fuck out.
Maple Syrup Boy is whining about his hit count again, so I went over there and found this cheerful rumination on the released bits of the NIE from deranged lunatic Michelle Malkin:
the big thing that strikes me about the key judgements is that they
reflect a dhimmi, historically ignorant view of jihad more suited for
the moonbat Left than our premier intelligence agencies. Check out this
Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the
jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption,
injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger
humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad;" (3)
the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political
reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US
sentiment among most Muslims--all of which jihadists exploit.
Not a word about the 1,400-year-plus history of Islamic hostility to
the West or Islamic imperialism from time immemorial or the
Koran-inspired war on infidels--long, long before there was a United
States and "pervasive anti-US sentiment."
This has been going around, but nobody has as yet discerned the Truth.
BUSH: Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that's the power of an enemy
that is willing to kill innocent people. But there's also an
unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. Admittedly, it
seems like a decade ago. I like to tell people when the final history
is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there's a strong will for democracy. (emphasis added)
I've had something to say for a while now that I've had a lot of trouble trying to express; I've started this post maybe a dozen times, then deleted it, pissed off because it wasn't right. But then I saw this, and now I think I've got it:
The two sides of Bush as commander in chief
can be hard to reconcile. His public persona gives little sense that he
dwells on the costs of war. He does not seem to agonize as Johnson did,
or even as his father, George H.W. Bush, did before the Persian Gulf
War. While he pays tribute to those who have fallen, the president
strives to show resolve and avoid displays that might be seen as weak
or doubting. His refusal to attend military funerals, while taking long
Texas vacations and extended bicycle rides, strikes some critics as
the private Bush comes across differently in the accounts of aides,
friends, relatives and military family members who have met with him,
including some who do not support him, such as Halley. The first
question Bush usually asks national security briefers in the Oval
Office each morning is about overnight casualties, aides say, and those
who show up for the next round of meetings often find him still stewing
about bad news from Iraq.
This is all really fucked up. Imagine, the Washington Post has to assign a reporter to ask the burning question, "does the President of the United States feel bad because his decisions have killed people? Does he, in fact, give a shit?" Talk about having a fucking PR problem. "Mr. President, are you a goddamn human being?"
The answer the article seems to suggest is yeah, he's a human being, but not very much of one. Not because he lacks sympathy; the quotes from the relatives of the dead soldiers mostly seem to suggest that he does indeed get pretty sad when he hears their stories. I guess that's true.
But whatever. Who really gives a shit how he feels? What matters is what he does. And what he really puts a priority on is controlling the narrative. All these dead relatives, all these coffins coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and hell, all these dead Iraqis, pose a problem for our Man Hero Commander in Chief:
If he does not show that publicly, it's in keeping with a White House
practice of not drawing attention to the mounting costs of the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed more than 3,000 U.S. troops and
tens of thousands of civilians. Advisers worry that sending the wrong
signal would further sap public will and embolden the enemy and Bush's
critics. Aides say that Bush does not attend military funerals because
the presidential entourage would disrupt solemn events and that the
media have been banned from photographing coffins arriving at Dover Air
Force Base out of respect. But they also know it would draw unwelcome
attention to the price of the president's policies.
If someone is selling you something and won't tell you honestly what it costs, you're being sold a bunch of shit. Ahem.
Now, that bit up there about "advisers worrying" is a bit weaselly, but it sounds like that sentence is a paraphrase of actual off-the-record Bushites. (Who are all anonymous "because Bush does not want them to discuss his feelings." Talk about your masculinity fetishes. For fuck's sake.) God knows it all rings true. The enemy and "critics" cannot be "emboldened"! Gah. Do not ask what the point of all the corpses might possibly be! That would be bad! (It's not really clear how much more bold the enemy could possibly get, by the way. Muslim extremists do not seem especially cowed at the moment, frankly.)
We just cannot have any untidy dead people, understand? You know, the kind of corpses that don't fit into any of the prepackaged stories. Now, those dead people from 9/11, that's a different story! Literally:
Bush is less reticent about public displays of grief for victims of
Sept. 11. During the recent events marking the fifth anniversary of the
attacks, he teared up several times and at one point had to concentrate
just to finish a speech.
No shit. Bush getting all worked up over 9/11. Who could have guessed.
What really pisses me off royally about the way 9/11 has come to be discussed is that the meaning of the day has been so deliberately and remorselessly politicized -- or, in other words, the story of what 9/11 means has been crammed into a pat narrative about how we need to confront Islamofascism by launching ambitious, glorious, if deeply squalid wars.
What this political pressure did was it prevented us from really grieving for 9/11. Genuine grief is a powerful thing. When you are caught up in the emotions caused by the death of someone close to you, it can -- and should -- be incredibly intense, more potent than any drug. When the death is senseless and violent, it can be pretty damn traumatic. How do you get out of it? Well, you have to figure out a way to tell yourself some sort of a story, some way of reconstituting some narrative of life that works for you and lets you move on, or at least take a step.
The message from the White House is, be satisfied with this half-assed, self-serving story, you ignorant goobers. Sure, some people buy the official story, for good reasons and bad. But that story is so goddamn leaky... you can't sail very far on a boat with a paper bottom.
The nation was never really allowed to grieve for 9/11, and that is a goddamn disgrace and a source of lingering anguish.
We used to do this schtick at Metacomments, so this is a bit of a throwback. But anyway this bit of comments dialogue is worth preserving as maybe the greatest response to a troll of all time. A tad obscure, but what the hey.
does atrios ever link to music by non-white artists? ever?
09.22.06 - 12:47 am | #
Dave Marsh is in the house!
steve simels |
09.22.06 - 12:50 am | #
It was almost a year ago that Judith Miller made a deal and was let out of jail. I was reminded of this as I was wandering through ESPN.com, of all places (I was looking for any scrap of evidence that the 'Canes might have just lately been informed of this extraordinary reality known as the "second half").
There I saw that the two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who broke the story that Barry Bonds told a grand jury that he thought he wasn't taking steriods, but frankincense and myrrh, or kibbles n' bits, or some such farcical bullshit, are going to jail for refusing to reveal the identity of the person who leaked them this testimony:
Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada wrote a series of articles and a
book based partly on the leaked transcripts of the testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi, and others before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory
Co-Operative, a Burlingame-based nutritional supplement company exposed
as a steroid ring two years ago.
Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to send
the reporters to prison for the full term of the grand jury
investigating the leak, or until they agree to testify.
court is hopeful that perhaps they'll reconsider their position when
faced with the reality of incarceration," White said Thursday.
and Fainaru-Wada have said repeatedly they would go to jail rather than
comply with the grand jury's subpoena and reveal their source or
"I'm supposed to keep my promises when people help me
and take me at their word," Williams said in court. "I do despair for
our country if we go very far down this road, because no one will talk
If it were not for Judy Miller (pictured here), I'd be a lot more symapthetic to Williams's argument. But in the wake of that fiasco, I really have to ask if it's really good for the country to elevate the protection of confidential sources to the level of a Sacred Principle.
You know, publicly disclosing grand jury testimony, or other classified information, is not necessarily an unqualified good, and all leakers are not Daniel Ellsberg. If you're going to do such a thing, you should really be prepared to show that there is some prevailing public interest in what you're doing. Does the grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds, as ludicrous as it was, qualify? Hmmmm.
How all this should shake out, I don't know. But it is clear that one of the lasting disasters of the entire Plame affair will be to journalism as usual. As it should be.