It's been my habit to use the posting privileges so generously extended me here (Hey! Something for which I can actually be grateful & express gratitude: Thanks, Thers!) for my more serious musings on sexual politics, the state of the nation, & what a collection of inane drones the right-wing & its blog-o-sphere is, but today I make an exception, as I've shot some images that (my opinion only) are worthy of even wider exposure than they'd receive at my one-weasel operation.
What the hell, it's the day after something & all are consuming anyway.
Or not. Look, I have no interest in Joe the Plumber personally and I have less than zero desire for information about his private life. I agree with Scott and My Baby Blue here. His marital status and divorce records really have no bearing on anything, for example, and whoever reported that stuff is kind of a dick.
But that said, there is I think a legitimate question about how accurate he is on the specific grounds upon which he decided to challenge Obama face-to-face. He depicted himself as an Everyman who would be hurt by Obama's tax proposals. He made a specific claim about his economic status and ambitions, relative to what a candidate for president was saying. To that extent he made his own personal economic position fair game -- he brought it up, and clearly intended to put Obama on the spot in that confrontation through this kind of personalization. "Here is me, you don't get me."
There is, after all, a legitimate political and policy issue here. Will Obama's tax proposals, if enacted, do harm to actual or potential small business owners?
In 2009 about 35 million tax returns will report some income from small
businesses, according to Roberton Williams, principal research
associate at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Of these only about
660,000 tax units — or 1.9 percent — would see an increase under
Senator Obama’s tax proposal.
I don't really think you need to go much past that, frankly. This is a person who wants to go on wingnut media as the champion of an entire class of people who will be disadvantaged by a policy proposal, but the inescaple point is that even taking him at his word he would represent 1.6% of a relatively small slice of the entire middle class of Americans. That he wants to babble about "socialism" when the real issue is merely jiggering with the tax code is gravy. Carazy gravy, but gravy.
The distinction here between "Joe" and the Frost family, by the way, is that "Joe" made representations about his hypothetical economic position, while the Frosts cited their actual position. In doubting Joe, you are doubting a hypothetical. In doubting the Frosts, you were accusing them of fraud. Not the same thing.
This has been making the rounds: the "Terms of Service" for "licensing" AP content (remember, they want you to buy a "license" if you quote more than four words). Entertainingly, the AP claims the right to "revoke" the license if you criticize the AP in any way after quoting them, which means if you think they botched a story, you're not allowed to prove it by using quotes from that story. This is what is known as "transparency."
As is usual in such cases, though, the devil is in the details, and while I know this is kind of boring legalese, it repays close attention to detail. And, you know, there are two sides to everything, so let's be fair. Here's the specific language from the AP Terms of Service that has caused such controversy.
You shall not use the Content in any manner or context that will be in
any way derogatory to the author, the publication from which the
Content came, or any person connected with the creation of the Content
or depicted in the Content. You agree not to use the Content in any
manner or context that will be in any way derogatory to or damaging to
the reputation of Publisher, its licensors, or any person connected
with the creation of the Content or referenced in the Content. You
shall not use the Licensed Content for any unlawful purpose, and You
shall comply with all laws and regulations. Without limiting the
foregoing, You represent and warrant that the Content will not be
utilized in association with gambling or the distribution, promotion or
sale of pornographic, racial or political Content, propaganda or
product. When not in use, Happy Fun Content should be returned to its special
container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the creators of Happy Fun Content, the Associated Press, of any
and all liability. Do not taunt Happy Fun Content. Ingredients of Happy Fun Content include an unknown glowing substance
which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.
It actually sounds sort of reasonable once you see it all spelled out in black and white like that.
Unfortunately, it appears The Editors remain wedded to a theoretical model that fails to serve the ends of a genuinely liberatory scholarship but rather produces one more tired iteration of essentialist, fundamentally patriarchal discursive modalities.
The Editors (and their soi-disant "radical" cohort) make quite a show of celebrating the inherently disruptive cultural productions of the Paleo-Left Blogosphere (PLB), particularly those regarding dissolute Irishmen and their impertinent Scandinavian interlocutors. However, these sorts of ostensibly emancipatory critical reconstructions in the final analysis remain quite literally toothless. As they must. A scholarly praxis capable of truly interrogating the vexed interrelationship between the dominant MSM narrative and the unruly linguistic subversions of the PLB would surely not rely upon a oversimplified binary construction of "give and take" as occurs in The Editors' strained cultural archeology. Rather, what is needed is an approach that is rhizomic, palimpsestic, that produces a critical problematic instead of yet another instantiation of an illusory teleology which, for all its triumphalism, ultimately denies agency and authentic subjectivity to those subaltern voices it allegedly intends to champion. It smacks of nothing so much as a muddled intentionalism.
What would The Editors make of the following specimen retrieved from the as yet underexplored trove of documents pertaining to Hesiod's old Counterspin site -- a resource of whose existence The Editors seem wholly unaware, despite their self-claimed "expertise" in this area? Yet here we see on display all the commitment to social justice, drunk driving, and wearing tight leather thongs that in truth characterized this moment in history. It is in this direction that future scholarly effort must be directed, not into the fallow fields of a sprezzatura entirely devoid of jouissance.
The Editors' revisionism is intriguing and no doubt well intentioned. However, it remains ideologically blinkered by its fashionable theoretical approach to the subject. A more deeply considered historical perspective is required, as further research into the primary source material continues to demonstrate. In this regard, I believe the following archival footage speaks for itself.
Andrew Sullivan continues a fascinating "debate" at his site by publishing an email in which we see the natural progression of a train of thought that begins with a woman's decision to end a pregnancy and ends with the Spanish Inquisition. I certainly had not in this instance expected the Spanish Inquisition. But I do feel somehow tortured. So, mission accomplished, Mr. Sullivan!
In happier news, TRex is coming to EschaCon. Chip in a few shekels if you can to defray his expenses, will ya? Therapods have to buy an extra seat when traveling by plane, you know, because their tails won't fit in the overhead compartments.