Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sure Michael Moore is an annoying blowhard

But who cares. His documentary films have a lot of great material and present a left perspective that's censored from the mainstream media. That's what matters.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Finished Grant Application

with at least 20 minutes to spare. Another application due in 12 days.

Grant Application Due Today

Can't blog much. Have to finish off grant application.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Sparkman Murder: Riehl World Smearing

With the rise of DailyKos and contemporary progressivism, being tough-minded has become just as big among the left as the rest of American society. We might prefer Clint Eastwood or The Wire, but we like violent authority just as much as our friends on the right.

Of course, if anybody still had inclinations toward soft utopianism, they would be disabused by familiarity with the right-wing smear machine. Much as the left unselfconsciously embraces authoritarian violence, the right has shown itself to be fundamentally Godless. Nothing is sacred for the right-wing smear machine. Kids, war heroes, troops in Iraq, marriage, religious figures, mom--it's all been subject to vicious smears. If Michelle Malkin thought smearing apple pie would advance the conservative cause, she'd do it in a heartbeat. Rosy red carcinogens anyone? The "Obama Joker" poster was a big moment of conservative triumph because the right had finally broken the "racism taboo" and brought a racist image of Obama before the public. One of the right-wing commenters on this blog was so happy about this that he or she wanted "Obama/Joker" made into a postage stamp.

And now it's starting with Bill Sparkman, the part-time census worker who was murdered in Clay County, KY this week. Dan Riehl of the Riehl World View blog is floating the idea that Sparkman was a child sex predator and that he was somehow murdered in revenge for something linked to pedophilia. Riehl's evidence for that nasty little affront to the dead man's memory--exactly none. But who on the right really cares? Given that Sparkman's murder might become a cause celebre on the left, the right had to take him down one way or another. So Riehl puts out the idea that Sparkman could have been a "child sex predator" as a way to suggest that the lynching of Sparkman might somehow have been a "justified homicide."

I have to admit to being initially shocked by the nasty of Riehl's little smear campaign. Maybe I'm not as tough-minded as I think I am. In the final analysis, Riehl's trying to finish off the murder of Bill Sparkman by lynching his public reputation just as much as Sparkman's murderers lynched his living body.

Shouldn't be any surprise there. Lynching is as a conservative tradition as mom, apple pie, and church on Sunday.

Update: I see that responses to the Dan Riehl smear have appeared on Daily Kos. Good for them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Iran, Sex, and the Weenie Conservative

Talking Points Media has a story on Republican Senators Kit Bond of Missouri and Jon Kyle of Arizona calling for "regime change" in Iran.

Of course, they don't actually want anything of the sort.

What the American right wants with Iran is a new round of tense brinksmanship. They want fierce denunciations of Iranian president Ahmadinejad, 24/7 chest-beating about the "Persian threat," and opportunities to snear at Iranian wimpiness. The right also wants an opportunity to talk about smart bombs, drones, and battlefield technology, use "bunker-busting" field nukes on Iranian facilities, and speculate about the inevitable Israeli attack.

For the weenies on the American right, all of this is about sex and the sexual satisfaction they derive from the denunciations, chest-beating, and weapons talk. In other words, talking about Iran has the same value for the guys on the right as porn or pro-wrestling (are they really that different?). Feminist legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon defines pornography as the "eroticizing of domination" and that's precisly what the right does with Iran. It eroticizes the specter of its own domination over the Iranians. If we ever did bomb the Iranians, millions of guys on the right would sigh happily and light up a cigarette in triumph.

But what would the right do after we bombed the Iranians. Kim Jong-Il is sick and I'm not sure Hugo Chavez would provide the same satisfaction.