The Actual Words In The Actual Bill Don’t Matter
October 31, 2009, 1:55 pm
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It occurs to me that regardless of the details of whatever “healthcare” bill passes, the majority of lefties (none of whom will read it) will assume it incorporates universal health care.

They wanted universal health care, they elected Obama, Obama says the word “healthcare” a lot, a bill’s (probably?) gonna pass, so voila, automatically it must be universal health care. Whatever’s actually in it.

It also occurs to me that regardless of the details of the bill, it’s going to empower a zillion and one busybody bureaucrats into doing a bunch of stuff related to health care – because they’re the ones who will have to implement whatever the hell Congress is about to pass. Indeed many/most of these people will be the very same ones who long for universal health care and will assume the bill (whatever’s in it) is universal health care.

So, they’ll just go ahead and implement universal health care, at every possibility.

Regardless of what’s in the bill.

My point being that what’s actually in such an ideological bill doesn’t matter. It could be nothing but 8000 pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” for all you or I or anybody knows. Makes no difference. The actual words in the actual bill don’t matter.

Stuff White People Like
October 29, 2009, 10:19 am
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If you’re a “progressive”, chances are there are certain cities you find extremely desirable and which embody the best in how you think cities should be. You might even make or at least read and approve of Lists Of The Best Cities To Live In, lists that (coincidentally, of course) highly correlate with how “progressive” those cities are.

Chances also are that those cities are extremely white.

In my view this pattern also seems to scale up to the country level (think Sweden and the other standardly Good Socialist Scandinavian Countries – no “progressive” praises, say, some mid-African socialist country in quite the same way) and down to the neighborhood level (“progressives” may like San Francisco but are there lots of e.g. black people where in the particular parts of San Francisco where all the “progressives” actually want to live? do “progressives” want to live in the neighborhoods e.g. 1-2 miles south of China Basin/PacBell Park? Similarly for New York, which “progressives” also like: but are they talking about Harlem? would they even ever go to Harlem in a million years?).

Culturally as well: Do tons of black people watch PBS or listen to NPR? Do “progressives” watch Tyler Perry movies or George Lopez on TV? Are black people as a rule generally highly concerned with “walkable neighborhoods”, high-speed rail, bicycling, recycling? Do “progressives” tend to spend every weekend at family picnics with loud stereos in public parks? How many Hispanics are, like, totally into Radiohead and Coldplay?

I’m starting to wonder: doesn’t “progressive” basically just mean “white”?

HT Steve Sailer.

Waiting For The Crime
October 29, 2009, 9:56 am
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My take on the health care debate at this point is that it’s not a matter of if, but when, my pocket is picked and whatever little drabs of money I may have, and any future cash flows I may have coming to me, are taken away from me and my family by progressive do-gooders who will no doubt pat themselves on the back for how caring they are about me (well, not about me, but about other people who Count More than I do. Like them, and their friends).

I basically lie in wait for crimes to be committed against me by progressive do-gooders. The only question is which crimes and when they will occur. That the crimes are coming is a given.

E. Age 2
October 26, 2009, 4:18 am
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So my brother, his uncle, comes to visit. “I like him” says E. “He’s like you!”

“But he has a different shirt. How did that happen?” Then he laughs, because it’s funny. So do I.

Link Dump
October 26, 2009, 3:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Because nothing says “I’m out of fresh ideas” like a link-dump.

  • Megan McArdle found a good article detailing how forcing a real filibuster is more difficult than you think.
  • Bookworm on Afghanistan, Democrats, and war:

    I don’t think the Democrats are capable of conceiving an outcome to a war that is tantamount to “victory.” To them, all wars are failures because they are . . . wars. This means that there are no strategic goals that the Democrats can contemplate that will justify continuing to fight a war. They will therefore approach war in a half-hearted way, waiting, not to win, but to withdraw.

  • What Arnold Kling said in a speech. Good summary of everything that’s wrong with conventional wisdom on the financial crisis. My own views on the subject are highly unoriginal: just read anything by Arnold Kling and you know what I think.
  • Kling, again: “the media are now honoring Paulson, Bernanke, and Geithner for transferring hundreds of billions of dollars from ordinary Americans to some of the richest people on earth.” Not only the media. Most ‘progressives’ applauded this transfer as well.
  • In Mala Fide on sex.
  • curi disproves induction, definitively in my view.
  • Dafydd ab Hugh reminds us that some other guy besides Harvey Milk was also killed by that Twinkie dude. He wasn’t gay or anything though so his murder wasn’t as interesting or tragic, and he will never, ever be portrayed by Sean Penn.
  • Default User, a useful primer on Extraverts vs Introverts. With diagrams!
  • Whiskey thinks Barack Obama wants to be America’s Vizier.
  • Letter to FT by Per Kurowski on risk weightings and financial regulations.
  • Johan Norberg asks how could overly enthusiastic homebuyers in the United States sink the global economy. Not how you think.
  • Would you think it’s “interesting” to learn that Hezbollah is trying to raise awareness of Global Warming? Don’t tell Michael Totten.
  • Kling yet again: “I also think that maybe the Obama Administration does not really care about the contents of the reform legislation. It’s their Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that will allow them enough leeway to do whatever they want.”
  • Seth Roberts makes a point more universally applicable:

    …use of the term scientific is a sign that the writer or writers don’t know what they’re talking about. Calling this or that “scientific” amounts to calling something else “unscientific” — which isn’t an argument, it’s abuse. The term scientific is often just a way to sneer at other people.

Really Nothing
October 23, 2009, 5:44 am
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I was dismayed by the controversy/talking-points last week that had Obama’s spokesmen running around taking aim at Fox News and calling it “not really a news organization”. But not because I’m a huge fan of Fox News or anything. Rather, because I don’t want this silly romantic myth perpetuated that there’s such a thing as “real news”, some sort of objective Platonic ideal of news reporting that is supposedly trained into people in places called Journalism Schools. Journalism = people writing about stuff that happened. TV journalism = people talking about stuff that happened. And people have opinions and this affects their writing and talking. The only thing Fox News really does differently is to hide it less.

A while back, the blog Fire Megan McArdle started criticizing Megan McArdle on the basis that she’s “not really an econo-blogger”. I wasted more time than I care to admit trying to get them to see that this is a toothless criticism (because for one thing, there’s no such thing as an “econo-blogger”, it’s a made-up word). Equally dumb thing they’re doing here.

Speaking of criticisms, I had an SNL skit pointed out to me that involved parodying Obama on the basis that he hasn’t done anything. This is a pattern I identified two weeks into his Presidency. Do I get royalty rights? Of course, I guess it wouldn’t have been as funny then. Comedy is all about timing, or so I hear.

Very Smart Arguments
October 17, 2009, 1:31 pm
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Long, long ago, the left loved to decry our “unilateralism”. I was instructed by approximately 1.5 zillion Very Smart Lefties that our unilateralism was preventing “our allies” from helping us do things, such as fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(“Our allies”, according to this Very Smart Argument, denoted a handful of Western European countries (mostly France and Germany) who don’t like us and don’t want to help us do things. Those are “our allies”, according to Very Smart Lefties: countries who don’t like what we’re doing and don’t want to help us.)

Anyway, the argument continued, the fact that “our allies” weren’t helping us do things they didn’t want to be done was a problem that needed solving. The cause of this problem was that our government (having been led by President Bush) wasn’t left-wing enough. The solution was that our government needed to be more left-wing. In particular, it needed to have a guy with a (D) after his name in charge rather than an (R). And that man was John Kerry. If we just elected John Kerry, you see, then “our allies” would suddenly want to help us accomplish things that they didn’t want to accomplish. Purely because of the (D) after the guy’s name. This was actually 80% of John Kerry’s 2004 campaign pitch: that because of who he was, he would “get” “our allies” to help us to bring about all these things they didn’t want to occur (and which Kerry didn’t want to actually do anyway).

Well, inexplicably, that brilliant argument didn’t work out so well for Kerry, but four years later, we did elect a (D) and (I assume) this must mean that “our allies” now suddenly really want to help us do these things that they don’t want to happen. Okay, yeah, how’s that working out for us then?

Yeah, not so well:

France will not send any more troops to Afghanistan and wants instead to see an enlarged Afghan army, President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a newspaper interview released on Thursday.

The United States is considering sending up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and has urged its NATO allies to bolster their forces to tackle the Taliban.

Britain announced this week that it was ready to send 500 more troops but Sarkozy told Le Figaro daily that he was sticking to a long-standing pledge not to send more forces.

“Is it necessary to stay in Afghanistan? I say ‘yes’. And to stay to win. If we leave, Pakistan, a nuclear power, will be threatened. But France will not send one more soldier,” Sarkozy said.

How strange. Didn’t anyone tell Sarkozy that we have a President with a (D) after his name, and who is nice and multilateral, and so (therefore) France should suddenly want to send thousands and thousands of their young men to die in our wars that they didn’t want to see fought in the first place? That, after all, was the Very Smart Lefty Argument put forth by Very Smarty Lefties (like, even, professors and such!). So you know it was correct. Someone needs to tell Sarkozy.

“Tonight, On The Dukes”: Car Chases, Democracy, And War
October 14, 2009, 12:35 am
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Every once in a while someone on the trading floor notices that there’s a car chase! being shown live on CNN or some news network, and all the TVs get repointed to that station, as everyone watches and mock-applauds. Productivity/sales must go down a measurable amount during these periods. But the remarkable thing is that these car chases still occur, and not infrequently either. The Brits among us watch, amazed. “Car chases” as a phemonenon simply don’t exist there.

And everyone watching this on TV is thinking one thing: “What on earth is that driver thinking?” He’s driving a car, doing turns and U-turns, usually not even very fast, often through residential neighborhoods, as the police lackadaisically follow him and a fricking TV helicopter tracks him from above. What’s he trying to accomplish? Where does he think he’s going? It’s incomprehensible.

It’s incomprehensible, of course, because nobody believes that you can outrun police in a car chase and thereby Get Away, anymore. We all tend to assume (maybe not with 100% accuracy, but correctly often enough) that there’s simply no way driving a car Really Fast and trying to outrun the police is actually going to make you a free, un-caught outlaw. Especially with advances in communication, and helicopters, and the like, it’s no longer even clear what a car-chase person could hope to accomplish, other than to delay the inevitable by an hour or two. Cross the state line? Things have changed since The Dukes Of Hazzard.

We may have left the era in which there was any logical possibility of accomplishing something via the car chase. Yet people still do it, sometimes. It seems to be a sort of holdover behavior pattern from an earlier period in which such things made sense.

Like democracy.

Okay, maybe not so much democracy, but I do wonder if there aren’t other habits and behaviors we engage in long past their sell-by date, actions we take that may have made logical sense at one point, but (due to various changes/evolutions in society) no longer do. It’s not a stretch to consider the “protest” to be such an action, for example. Do “protests” still accomplish what they once may have accomplished? People still do them, and still for basically the same motivations, but is it clear they’re any less futile than trying to get away from the cops in a car?

Another example, perhaps slightly more controversial, is “warfare”. Do “wars” still accomplish what they once did, what everyone assumes they are meant to accomplish? Consider The Iraq War (tm/2003) and the Afghanistan thing. Both of those wars are wars that we won, by any historical measure. Yet they didn’t usher in Western-style nice governments into those nation-states. A lot of people are upset or at least confused by this.

Because just as there was a time when you could accomplish something via a car chase, I guess there was a time when ‘winning a war’ went hand in hand with ‘changing that country’s government to your liking in a lasting way’. But maybe – for various reasons (technology, cheap armaments, electronic communication?) that era, like the era of the Car Chase, is simply over. Kaput. Finished.

Maybe Iraq and Afghanistan are simply what winning a war looks like nowadays, and we should just get used to that. This may mean we decide to employ warfare less often. Or perhaps more often? Who knows. But I do think it’s worth considering.

Bond, The World’s First Progressive Superhero
October 12, 2009, 11:18 pm
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When it comes to James Bond movies, The Man With The Golden Gun is usually cited as one of the worst. And that it may be. But it’s also one of the most interesting, and for me it’s circled around into so-bad-it’s-good territory. I’m even digging the theme song:

Here’s the story, such as it is: A British/Western scientist has invented a “Solex”, a small cigarette-box-shaped device that makes widespread solar power economical. Then he defects, or disappears, or something – it’s unclear – but at the beginning of the film, Bond’s assignment seems to be find the scientist. And it’s important because of “the energy crisis”, you see (even Bond shows a rare wussy lefty type conviction about the importance of what he’s doing). The year is 1974, you see, and, as M recites, wholly accurately as we can now see with hindsight, “Coal and oil will soon be depleted. Uranium’s too dangerous. Geothermal and tidal control too expensive.” But the Solex? The Solex will solve everything. So that’s why the British Secret Service needs to…um…well what is it they’re trying to do, exactly? Seems like they’re trying to find and kidnap the missing scientist so as to commandeer back the Solex he’s invented. After all, he had no right to run away from the British, not tell them where he was, and take the thing he invented with him…right?

Well, the scientist evidently had other ideas – he (wrongly? badly? evilly?) hired himself out to someone other than the Queen, thus was working for Hai Fat, a Thai multimillionaire who has gone into partnership with the title character, the golden-gun man, Francisco Scaramanga. As far as I can tell, their evil plan is to, um, sell the Solex to someone. Yes, that’s their evil plan. We know this is an evil plan because this is a James Bond movie and they are the bad guys. Of course, don’t think too hard about it (because you might have a difficult time explaining why it would be so evil). The worst ramification we hear of is that the Saudis might pay to keep the Solex off the market. The Brits can’t let that happen! So after the usual hi-jinx, Bond stops him, steals the Solex, and sleeps with the nearest (non-dead) girl.

Anyway this is all backstory in the first half of the movie, because the main plot has Bond pulled off the assignment altogether. Why? Because (it seems) Scaramanga has sent a golden bullet to MI5 headquarters with ‘007’ printed on it. That’s all it takes to get the skittish M to pull Bond off assignment, apparently. (If only Goldfinger, Dr. No and Blofeld had known!) Bond is told to go on “vacation”, wink, with the hint that if he takes care of Scaramanga, he can get back to the oh so important imperialistic-energy assignment.

M is really hilarious in this movie, by the way, probably the best I’ve ever seen him/her. His every utterance to Bond delivered dripping with sarcasm veering on comtempt. At one point he says he “almost wished” Scaramanga had a contract on him. He inexplicably forces Bond to take Mary Goodnight – the most inept, idiotic Bond girl in the history of Bond girls – along for the finale. It just never lets up. At times you just want to scream out ‘if you despise Bond and his methods so much why do you keep sending him on these half-baked assignments?’ This exchange is classic yet bizarre:

Bond: Who would pay a million dollars to have me killed?

M: Jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors. The list is endless.

For a tantalizing second it’s as if you get a glimpse of what these stories might be about if they had any depth and the characters had any dimensionality to them.

Anyway, so Bond leaves M’s office to do some investigative work (i.e. step into the adjacent room and ask Moneypenny some questions about 002, the secret agent who was killed by Scaramanga five years earlier). She’s ‘better than a computer’ and of course remembers every detail, thus before you know it Bond apparently has all the info he needs to find one particular belly-dancing chick named Saida who’s apparently still dancing, five years later, in the same one particular Beirut nightclub. Of course Saida freely gives Bond (whom she calls “very handsome”, apropos of nothing) whatever info he needs and within a minute of meeting him appears ready to go to bed with him, but instead some baddies attack him for no apparent reason and he’s forced to swallow the flayed golden dum-dum bullet she keeps in her belly button for mother England. Once rescued from his stomach it supposedly gives Q and “Colthorpe” (some lab tech who actually has two scenes – what’s this? a real MI5 character who’s not M or Q??) all the info they need to deduce it was made by Lazar, a Portuguese black-market guns ‘n ammo maker living in Macau. Cue a few casino scenes and more subtle secret-agent work from Bond (he points a gun at Lazar’s crotch) and Lazar is ready to clue Bond into his next ammo delivery to Scaramanga. Of course it’s not Scaramanga who makes the pickup, it’s some foxy girl (played by Maud Adams), Scaramanga’s mistress. Bond bluffs his way into her hotel room and threatens her into cooperating.

These scenes exemplify all the classic Bond methods: fly around the world on a dime, make the most tenuous (but always, correct) connections following one lead to the next, be the opposite of subtle and sneaky, barge into girls’ rooms and demand information and/or to sleep with them… This is what Bond does in every Bond film, of course, but in this one it’s just so out in the open, and clunky. This is, after all, the film in which he’s making out with one girl, another girl knocks on the door, so he shoves girl 1 into the closet and proceeds to bed girl 2 for the next two hours while girl 1 waits/dozes off. And shows not a hint of shame about it afterwards: “All in the line of duty.”

Another classic Bond method, of course – in addition to getting all the girls he sleeps with killed, except for one – is getting caught. James Bond, if you think about it, is a pretty terrible and inept secret agent: he never really fools the bad guy for one second, and he almost always gets caught at some point. Heck, Goldfinger is considered by most (albeit not by me) the best Bond film of all and Bond spends a good chunk of the movie imprisoned by the bad guy, sitting around doing nothing. Here, the ol’ He Gets Caught But For Some Reason The Bad Guy Doesn’t Just Kill Him trick is used mostly to shove Bond into a kung fu’sploitation movie. (Another classic Bond schtick: shoving him into whatever other movie trend is all the rage at the moment; the previous movie Live And Let Die had already done blaxploitation…). There’s an amusing bit where Bond, in a foreshadowing of the Indiana Jones maneuver, kicks the honorable karate dude in the face as he’s bowing to start the match. At the end he’s rescued by two karate girls in schoolgirl outfits, in a scene that must have made a huge impression on eleven-year-old Quentin Tarantino.

The climax also has all the usual Bond stuff: the bad guy reveals his evil plans, says “you and I are not so different after all Mr. Bond”, and then Bond blows up the secret lair. This finale does come in the form of a duel, which would be promising and dramatic were not Christopher Lee just so dang wacky throughout the whole thing. The way he jumps out from behind the rock to welcome Bond like a long-lost gay lover. The way he makes such a big deal insisting that they “dine” together but the moment they sit down he’s ready to start the duel. (Bond, thankfully for my sanity, insists they at least finish their meal first.) It’s yet more glimpses of how strange and perhaps really deep and weird a movie like this could have been were it not a James Bond movie.

But perhaps the most interesting James Bond cliche this clunky movie delivers is its inherently lefty message. I think few realize just how many James Bond movies have at their heart fundamentally lefty, “progressive” premises, because most at least do a better job of hiding them beneath the glittery women and action-packed travelogues.

James Bond, in the books, is supposed to be a British spy, and his archenemy is Smersh – the Soviet agency whose name is an acronym for “death to spies”. The movies changed this to SPECTRE, some sort of unaligned, non-governmental-organization of terror, and invented Blofeld (a Belgian, like Dr. Evil?) to be his nemesis. So almost from their start, James Bond movies made a sort of “progressive” attempt to tone down the cold war and coach their audience into a ‘detente’ mode of thinking.

Also notice how virtually half of James Bond plots involve made-up, cartoony supervillains trying to get the major powers to fight wars against each other – and thus Bond, for all his licence-to-kill violence, is essentially cast in the ‘make love, not war’ role of inevitably trying to stop international misunderstandings and war. This is the plot of Thunderball (nuclear missiles are stolen and going to be launched against the east and west, each will think the other did it, and WW3 will start), which is the movie that invented SMERSH and Blofeld, and along with them most of what people know about James Bond. But it’s also the plot of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Never Say Never Again (which is basically just a remake of Thunderball), and Tomorrow Never Dies. For all that people speak of Bond as a sort of Cold War-era phenomenon, the strange fact is, he almost never fought or even lifted a finger against the Soviets (in the movies at least). A much more likely movie Bond plot has Bond cooperating with the Soviets trying to prevent some baddie from tricking the West into bombing them.

But Golden Gun takes this to a new level, and not just because it has that loudmouth Louisiana sherriff prattling on about “Democrats” and calling Thai people “pointy-heads”. In Golden Gun, Bond is essentially doing the work of Al Gore, fighting to solve the fricking energy crisis. And like Al Gore, Bond and the rest of MI5 go about this with a breathtaking arrogance – we must get the Solex for ourselves and for the world – that only the very self-righteous can afford, a “progressive” conviction that bends around and becomes its own variation of imperialism. Uniquely, it’s not at all clear to me that Bond or MI5 is even at all in the right on this mission. The British scientist who invented the Solex may own all the rights to it, for all I know. He may have sold those rights to Hai Fat, fair and square. Now Scaramanga has it and ‘threatens’ to sell it to someone else, fair and square. Of course, Scaramanga killed the scientist and Hai Fat to get in this position, but at best this just means that his claim to the thing is no better than that of Britain and MI5. If Britain needs this thing so much, why not just enter the bidding for it? Instead they send Bond to just kill Scaramanga and take the Solex. Ironically this means Scaramanga’s cliched “we’re the same, you and I” speech near the end is basically correct:

Scaramanga: You work for peanuts. A ”well done” from the Queen and a pittance of a pension. Apart from that, we are the same. To us, Mr Bond. We are the best.

Bond: There’s a useful four-letter word, and you’re full of it. When l kill it’s under specific orders of my government. And those l kill are themselves killers.

Scaramanga: Come, come, Mr Bond. You disappoint me. You get as much fulfilment out of killing as l do. Admit it.

Notice how weenie Bond sounds in his own defense. He only kills ‘under specific orders of his government’ huh? Yeah right. And what sort of defense is that anyway? Well it’s a perfectly fine defense if one’s assumption is that the government always has progressive goals – such as ending the energy crisis. Bond rises above traditional morality, and above Scaramanga, because his goals are progressive. And just as they often touch on movie fads of the day, virtually all Bond films are laden with the baggage of these sorts of traditionally progressive goals and concerns. It’s just that one usually doesn’t notice it so much when the movies themselves are actually a bit, well, better.

POST SCRIPT: I was thinking a bit more about why this weird Bond movie has such a special place in my heart, and I recalled one possible reason: for a long time, it was the Last Bond Film I Hadn’t Yet Seen. I must have gone through my Bond phase somewhere around age 11-13, and during a fairly long gap between Bond films, because for a long time I knew the chronological list of Bond films by heart – and I knew that Golden Gun was the only one I hadn’t seen. So the possibilities about this one holdout grew in my mind. In that way I guess it’s the Bond equivalent of Rush’s 1976 album Caress of Steel. Of course, now I’m older and wiser, I’ve seen all the Bond films and heard all the Rush albums, and I know that Golden Gun isn’t any better than Caress of Steel. But for a while, at least, there was hope….so that’s why Golden Gun is so evocative and nostalgic for me, I suppose, and why I keep coming back to it again and again.

Or maybe it’s just cuz it’s the one with Britt Ekland….

When Only The Racists Are Right
October 11, 2009, 1:27 pm
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The interesting thing about President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is that virtually everyone sees through it (yes that means you too, and you know it), and everyone understands exactly what it’s about, but no one can say why in mixed company. So there is a lot of vague, cautious chortling and ridicule about it but most people are too reticent to get at the root of why it’s such a silly choice.

Well, not Steve Sailer, of course:

The hilarious career of Barack Obama continues to demonstrate how much white people long to give money, fame, and power to a black guy who meets minimum standards of presentability, regardless of his lack of accomplishments.

Sailer of course hits the nail on the head. He is exactly right. I defy anyone to dispute any part of what Sailer says there.

But Steve Sailer is a “racist” so, um, you can ignore it. Or something.

It can’t be a good development that only the “racists” know and speak the truth about this.

Long ago, before Obama was even officially running for anything, I marveled at the reception he was given. It was as if white people all over the world were so amazed at the sight of a reasonably-presentable black man who could intelligibly put one word after another that they were just salivating to hand over their firstborns. It was such a joke, but the joke’s grown old by now.

But more to the point, at the root of this impulse is a health dose of, well, racism. Technically, it’s actually quite racist to be so impressed by a black man who hasn’t done jack squat simply because he wears a suit and doesn’t talk like a thug that you want to make him your President, let him rewire the economy, and give him a fricking Nobel Peace Prize. (In the latter case what do you expect, this is a prize given by a bunch of Swedes, after all….) So not only are the racists right, but the progressives are racist.

But you can’t say that. You simply can’t.

Two Cool Guys
October 4, 2009, 2:40 pm
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The Roman Polanski arrest is an interesting case study in how the culture of “coolness” works.

Roman Polanski drugged and anally raped a 13-year-old. Then he flouted justice and ran to Europe. There’s no ‘nice’ way to put any of that. But since he’s cool, since he makes movies, Hollywood’s knee-jerk reaction is to rush to his defense. Hollywood just can’t bear the thought that someone else who is “cool”, like them, could be forced to pay a price for a crime he committed (and no one denies he did it, although they do minimize it, e.g. Whoopi Goldberg’s inane comment that it wasn’t “rape-rape”). I mean, yes, drugging and anally raping girls is bad and all, but he makes cool movies. Shouldn’t that count for something?

The “cool” lobby actually thinks it should. In their view, there are two sets of rules, one for regular people, and one for the “cool” people.

I wonder if the David Letterman extortion attempt was a reaction to the “cool” twin-morality, an impotent attempt to strike a blow against the “cool” lobby. I gather the extortionist was living with one of the former Letterman employees alleged to have been one of his affairs (which is how he knew about them). This was probably humiliating and emasculating to the guy, some no-name TV producer. He turns on the TV every night and sees this smirking Letterman, while he knows the truth about him, which is that he regularly uses college-girl interns on the show to get his rocks off, essentially using his own show’s budget to pay for his little pathetic harem. But no one knows that, everyone applauds, night after night, good old David Letterman. Just because he’s “cool”, he’s a TV Personality, so he gets away with it. The shame and unfairness! So this evidently not-so-bright TV producer comes up with a plan, a plan that would get back at Letterman once and for all. Not a great plan, it turned out, as Letterman turned the tables and used the power of his “coolness” to call the extortionist’s bluff – this father and husband revealed that he’s been sleeping with all these silly college girls on national TV and everyone applauded. Wasn’t it cool how he did that?

These are two of our coolest guys.


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