November 30, 2005
The November Academic of the Month
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know what you are thinking, dear reader: The month of November has almost come and gone, and we have yet to elect an Official Academic of the Month. Yet fear not such a horrid oversight. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as peaches to use today’s humble “post” to put yet another glorious example of the professoriate up to the usual slings and arrows of outrageous calumny.
That is to say (albeit in a less highfalutin manner), we have picked our November Academic of the Month. Frankly, dear reader, it took a bit of time to do so. For the past few months, we have lauded our share of professorial dimwits and moronic pedants. Yet we still haven’t taken on someone really spine-tinglingly offensive—someone who’s more pernicious than the typical “Gendering the Other”-type boobs we usually excoriate.
Until now. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” blithely champion one Mona Baker as our Official November Academic of the Month.
And who, you are undoubtedly asking yourself, is Mona Baker? Well, she’s the Director of the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at a university in England called Umist. (As in, “You-Missed” hiring a reasonable professor when you picked this chucklehead.)
Okay, so Ms. Baker is an academic in jolly old England. What—besides the bad dental work—is so bad about that? Well, unfortunately Ms. Baker is a rather reprehensible figure.
Allow us to explain. A few years ago, a gaggle of dimwitted British professors gathered steam for an official boycott of Israeli academics. As David Tell discussed a while back in The Weekly Standard,
Sometime around late April , a petition began circulating in British universities calling for a full-scale academic boycott of Israel—specifically, for a European Union moratorium on funding of Israeli scholarship until the Sharon government proves willing to abandon the use of force in response to Palestinian terrorist attacks.
In essence, then, the ignoramuses who signed such a petition were untroubled by the anti-Israeli violence of those peaceable Palestinians, but Israel’s attempts at self-defense are simply beyond the pale. As such, these doyens (and doyennes) of academic freedom saw fit to support an official boycott of one country’s academics—even though that country is in a region chock-a-block with prime offenders against human rights.
Ms. Baker, our Official Academic of the Month, took this whole blatantly anti-Semitic hullabaloo one step further. The Egyptian Ms. Baker signed the petition and then decided to take her own personal steps to ensure that the academic world was Judenrein. She forcibly removed two Israeli academics from editorial and advisory boards of two journals she edits.
On her “website,” the repugnant Ms. Baker informs us: “There followed a barrage of hate mail (now a common tactic of the Zionist lobby)—some of it explicitly condoned by supposedly reputable institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania.” To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” add: Way to go, University of Pennsylvania! Who would have thought you had it in you?
In the pages of Britain’s left-wing Guardian, columnist Rod Liddle wrote:
Professor Mona Baker “unappointed” two Israeli academics from the journal for which she worked. She hopes that, nonetheless, she can still be friends with them. I hope they punch her in the nose. Her husband, Ken, whined that they had received 15,000 emails in 24 hours, many “abusive and obscene.” Just 15,000, huh? Better keep them coming.
That, we feel, is exactly right. Mona Baker is a racist and so disgusting that she is actually a disgrace to academia. And that, in the world of such tomfoolery as Judith Butler’s obnoxiously opaque prose and Cornel West’s obnoxiously ugly hair, is saying something.
Do you, dear reader, have an idea for a future Academic of the Month? If so, please send us an e-line by pressing the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. There are so many academics to detest, and so little time.
November 29, 2005
Aiding an Oppressor?
A few “posts” ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” informed you that we were officially sick and tired of carping and caterwauling about the many things we detest. In fact, upon careless reflection, we decided that we pine to use our considerable e-powers for good.
To this end, we asked our sizeable readership how we could be of some service. Like your mother, we aim to please.
Naturally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” received an outpouring of e-missives from concerned fans figuratively dying to get our advice. Car mortgages; shotgun weddings; grout work—no cause was too dire to stop our colossal readership from seeking our counsel.
Accordingly, our Official Advice Team (a.k.a. the Official Department of Customer Cervix) has recently gone into overdrive, if we may hit you with a bit of an automotive metaphor. We’ve offered more help than Courtney Love’s shrink—and we’d like to think that our advice has been markedly superior.
Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t expect to receive an intriguing query from one of the Internet’s true e-eminences, the proprietor of the delicious “weblog” The Misspent Life. Mr. Misspent, who is working away in graduate school to become Dr. Misspent, sent us the following jaw-dropping note:
To: “Chip” and the Rest of the Crack Young Staff
I need your help. While “toiling” away in graduate school, it has come to my attention that my life-world is a very oppressive one; that my normative constructions of gender and race and progress are both structurally determined and structurally constitutive and that it all benefits me.
I had never thought about how my very existence was perpetuating oppression and how the words that I used purposely killed children, women, lesbians, and poor people. What should I do? Should I reject my life-world and strive to become a poor ten-year-old female lesbian (in a wheelchair, just to be safe)? Or should I embrace my role of oppressor and use the system as an excuse to be a jerk, since that is the “real me” inside?
I am really in a bind here. I was going to ask some of the women on campus what to do since they must have wisdom beyond my phallonormative capacities (except for the transgendered ones) but I can't tell which ones are female. Of course I could always ask an undergraduate one. They are very wise, empowered, and brave. Plus, I could probably get laid in the process if I bring them beer and a Chingy CD. Oh, and I'd ask the Larouchies but I forgot my nose-plug at home.
An interesting letter, is it not? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been racking our brains for the better part of a fortnight, attempting to solve the Misspent One’s vexing problem.
Although Mr. Misspent only refers to it obliquely, we take it that he is both a male and white. Which, as anyone with a college degree can tell you, are two cardinal sins in the open-minded world of American academia. Further, it appears as if our lily-white pal doesn’t have any other face cards in the oppression deck—no transgenderism, no homosexuality, no nothing.
At first thought, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” firmly believed that the Misspent One’s best shot to gain some campus respect was becoming “a poor ten-year-old female lesbian (in a wheelchair, just to be safe).” After all, if the Misspent One could honestly pull this off, all his problems would be solved, and he could undoubtedly land a job in some mindless Department of Noxious Political Grievance-Mongering.
Still, we aren’t entirely sure that the Misspent One could actually do this. For starters, it’s really bad karma to use a wheelchair when you don’t need one. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t leave too many taboos unsullied, but the handicapped are certainly one of them. Nothing says “You’re Asking for it, Dipstick” quite like messing with the disabled.
Also, we couldn’t quite figure the value of transforming into a ten-year-old female lesbian. We mean, come on: How would such a young thing wind up in graduate school in the first place? Is he supposed to become some amalgam of K.D. Lang and Doogie Howser? We just don’t think it’ll work.
Unfortunately, this left us with only one reasonable option. Although we certainly dislike the fact that the Misspent One’s “very existence was perpetuating oppression,” and that “the words that [he] used purposely killed children, women, lesbians, and poor people,” such is undoubtedly the case.
As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” officially advise our pal Misspent to change his language. Although he certainly can’t alter his oppressive existence, he could employ a few different turns of phrase. Perhaps this would halt some of his congenital offensiveness.
Allow us to offer an example. We officially recommend that our pal cease using phrases such as “Boy, I’d like purposely to kill children, women, lesbians, and poor people.” It’s a rather polarizing sentiment, to say the least. Instead, how about “Hey, I know I’m a white guy and all, but I’m pretending to believe in your pandering, simplistic, and childlike worldview regarding women and minorities in an attempt to get in some chicks’ pants”?
If that doesn’t work, we collectively don’t know what will.
November 27, 2005
The “Glories” of Graffiti, or Artaud and Arrest
Well, The New York Times is at it again. It seems as if the solidly upper-middle class Arts section editors simply can’t get their fill of encouraging antisocial behavior among the disadvantaged. As they toil away in their bourgeois offices, they pine to foment troubles for underprivileged youth.
The latest case in point: “Be Sure to Read the Handwriting on the Wall: Graffiti Artists Move Off the Street and to the Front of a Classroom,” an article in the November 24th number of the Gray Lady, penned by one Randy Kennedy. It’s not the first paean to illegal graffiti artists in the Paper of Record, but it’s deeply offensive nonetheless.
In the piece, the enraptured Mr. Kennedy describes the latest “educational effort” of Urban Academy, a “specialized high school” in Manhattan. Thanks to the selfless largess of art dealer Hugo Martinez, the Urban Academy has seen fit to bring graffiti specialists into its classrooms, allowing the students to get some primo lessons in defacing property. To this end, the kiddies were treated to the aesthetic musings of one Tracy 168, whose own career at this selfsame high school is described as “a brief pit stop on the road to full-time delinquency.”
So, thought Mr. Martinez, what would be better for the “sometimes troubled students” at Urban Academy than some tips on defacing public property? Clearly, Mr. Martinez believes that the answer to this query is: Tips on defacing public property and fatuous cliché-ridden art school justifications of such activity as glorious artistic expression.
In fact, Mr. Martinez’s take on this nonsense is perfectly predictable. The goal, this chi-chi dimwit opines, is to “challenge even further the seemingly sacred character ascribed to art and to education.”
Oh, well, we get it now: It’s another tired retread of the “What Is Art” question. That would be really interesting, if artists hadn’t begun asking that since Marcel Duchamp did so in 1911. When is this query going to become tiresome? We get it, we get it: Anything can be art. But that doesn’t mean anything is good art.
Mr. Martinez continues: “[M]uch of the great art of the 20th century has flirted with illegality, with attacking authority.” Now, let’s assume that Mr. Martinez’s rather sweeping claim holds true. Can’t it also be said that much of the lousy art of the 20th century has flirted with illegality, with attacking authority?
And this leads us to a more substantive point. Isn’t it a bit foolish to champion assaults on authority figures among “sometimes troubled students”? Aren’t such pupils more than likely to have exacerbated their difficulties by means of their own less-than-reverential response to authority? Why don’t we force Mr. Martinez to teach a class full of these delightful “troubled students”? Perhaps he’ll enjoy being pistol-whipped whilst he tries to call the roll. After all, isn’t that the kind of behavior befitting great artists?
Naturally, dear reader, the Times offers a glowing review of such “daring” educational activities. As Herb Mack, Urban Academy’s moronic principal, bellowed regarding the program: “It’s enriching for the kids to be able to see legitimate artists at work and to critique it.”
Ah, yes: Inspiring artists such as CoCo 144, another member of this wondrous class project. Perhaps Mr. Mack has seen CoCo’s oeuvre on buildings around the neighborhood. Perhaps CoCo could do Mr. Mack a favor and spray-paint his house for him. This would allow Mr. Mack to “critique” this “legitimate artist’s” work everyday. And this would also allow Mr. Mack to boast that he has used his post to encourage dastardly behavior both at home and at school.
Way to keep the disadvantaged down, Messrs. Martinez and Mack! Perhaps these students will soon repay you with their lifelong membership in the underclass.
November 24, 2005
Happy Turkey Day, Folks
Well, dear reader, today’s Thanksgiving, an important holiday in the American calendar. If we remember our left-wing history correctly, Thanksgiving celebrates the feast shortly before the hegemonic, oppressive, fundamentalist fascists obliterated the kindly, benevolent, but benighted savages who used to run wild in North America. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t think of a better holiday than that—and, yes, we’re including Purim.
Anyway, on this day to share with your family—or at least a drunk aunt—we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to give some thanks of our own. Frankly, dear reader, there is much for which to be thankful. For instance, Billy Joel’s career is in a bit of a nosedive. (And yet some people continue to believe that there’s no higher power!)
Also, we are sincerely thankful that tomorrow—the busiest shopping day in these here United States—is an Official Staff Holiday. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will be out and about (as our Canuck friends say—oddly), searching for the perfect gift for our alcoholic aunts.
Accordingly, dear reader, you’ll have to wait till Monday to delight in our hilarious animadversions again. We know, we know: That’s an awful long time without us. But somehow you’ll deal.
To make matters a little bit better, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are announcing that we shall soon announce some exciting things that are going to happen around here. Which, we suppose, makes today’s announcement a meta-announcement. Indeed, in a short while, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will have some interesting news, which will help solidify our place in the Internet firmament.
In addition, we aim finally to get that e-monkey of a contest off our backs. A while ago, dear reader, we asked for submissions to our Official World’s Worst Bumper Sticker Contest. After an e-deluge of entries deluged us, we summarily lost them. Well, one of the junior editors here—let’s just call him “Chip”—recently happened upon this stack of submissions, and soon we shall announce the winner. Sure, this scintillating proclamation will be months old. For all we know, the winner of the contest may well be deceased. Still, we aim to laud the victor, whether he is still of this world or not.
We would be remiss if today’s “post” didn’t also offer a word of congratulations. Everyone’s favorite Llamabutchers have celebrated another “weblog” anniversary. We think we speak for darn near everyone when we say that their “website” is a great delight—more fun than riding Dominique de Villepin like a horse.
So, on that vaguely disturbing note, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to wish all our reader(s) a very happy Thanksgiving. And we mean all our reader(s) throughout the world; we’re not such heartless jingoists that we wouldn’t wish our Syrian fan(s) a merry Turkey Day too. Enjoy some stuffing—before we invade your country.
November 23, 2005
A Love Connection
A few days ago, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” announced that we hoped to use our humble “weblog” for the purposes of bettering the world. This, we figured, would prove an intriguing counterpoise to the incessant badness that is our more typical routine. You know: We like to keep them guessing.
Little did we realize, when we first announced our intention to help our fellow man and woman, we would receive such an outpouring of opportunities to ameliorate. It appears as if our humble readership is, as the young people say, very high maintenance. Who would have known that fans of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” would be so darned needy? Not, we hasten to inform you, us.
To make matters even more interesting, we received a particularly fetching e-missive from a veritable star in the Internet firmament—the kind of man who slaves away at a “weblog” read by far more than the three people per week we have ensnared. We refer to none other than Dr. Rusty Shackleford, proprietor of the wonderful “weblog” The Jawa Report. (Which we old-timers still call My Pet Jawa.)
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” upon reading the Good Doctor’s e-epistle, were instantly nervous. How could we aid such an e-eminence? His query, moreover, wasn’t exactly our forte. We have reproduced this e-mail below, and have decided to add our own humble words of advice.
Dear Crack Young Staff,
Can you get me a date with Jennifer Anniston? I hear she's available again.
Dr. Rusty Shackleford
We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: That’s a darn good question. Accordingly, we took a look through the old Rolodex, to see if we could happen upon Ms. Anniston’s telephone number.
Alas, although we found Mickey Rourke’s digits—and Eric Roberts’ digit from The Pope of Greenwich Village—we had no luck with Ms. Anniston’s number. Apparently, in a fit of pique, one of the interns threw it into the trash. What can we say? He’s into Jodie Foster now. (We wonder how that’ll work out.)
All the same, we still hoped that we could be of some service. After all, our cursory perusal of learned journals found at the supermarket suggests that Ms. Anniston is currently desperate for some affection from the opposite sex. And, if the tabloids are right, she’s had some kind of tryst with Vince Vaughan, which means she doesn’t mind dating a bald guy.
Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would be remiss if we didn’t try to warn Dr. Shackleford away from dating this feminine temptress. For, after spending a few short months with Ms. Anniston, the Good Doctor will ineluctably wind up with Jon Voight’s daughter instead. Who would have guessed that? And who the heck wants Jon Voight for a father-in-law? We hear that guy’s got a few screws loose.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” officially desire to dissuade Dr. Shackleford from getting entwined with Ms. Anniston. She’s just too flighty and capricious for a grown man to date.
How about Courtney Love instead? We hear she’s free.
November 22, 2005
Some Quick Fits
If you’re anything like us, dear reader, you go through your day gritting your teeth at all the disgraceful indignities and moronic irritations that you must endure. Nary an hour goes by, it seems, in which you aren’t bothered by some galactically irksome phenomenon or other. This, we feel, is what Tony Orlando once referred to as “The Good Life.” Or was that Plato?
Anyway, as a result of all the nugatory vexations that we face, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided to spend today’s humble “post” proffering potted complaints about a whole host of annoyances. That way, as the saying goes, we can kill a number of birds with one rock. In addition, like a candidate for breast reduction surgery, we can get a little off of our chest.
Without too much in the way of further ado, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” proudly take you through our humble tour of irksomeness. We call it:
Quick Fits from the Crack Young Staff
1. People Who Fling Rubber Bands: Is there anything more distressing than someone who cocks a rubber band in your face? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that this is a prime example of Busch League sadism. Frankly, most folks consider rubber bands the most dangerous weapons in the world. If you try to rob a bank with a gun, the teller may not believe that the thing is loaded. But if you put a rubber band in his face, he’ll give you the money faster than you can say “Wayne Newton went bankrupt.”
2. Schadenfreude and the French: Boy, the French really don’t make it easy on us, do they? Surely schadenfreude, which, for those of you unschooled in the ways of the Kraut, means “the enjoyment of an other’s troubles,” is one of the most disgraceful of emotions. What’s more, the recent upheavals and hooliganism in the suburbs of Paris are deeply serious troubles. And yet, and yet, and yet. Who can’t enjoy a situation in which the snooty, We-Know-Everything-about-World-Affairs-You-Stupid-Yanks French are up to their (hirsute) armpits in a Muslim riot? Clearly, in putting such a calamity in the hands of Chirac and Villepin, the Good Lord is testing our resolve.
3. Paper Cuts: We know that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” spend far too much time on rather demotic subject matter: Phil Collins; Richard Rorty; Gillette razors; &c. As such, once in a while, we like to change things up a bit. It’s our way of keeping you guessing. And what better highbrow subject is there than paper cuts? We couldn’t think of anything either. These things are surely the most unbearable of life’s cruelties. Short of getting your elbows shot off by a submachine gun, nothing hurts worse than the garden-variety paper cut. Still, nothing quite makes you look like an ultra-pansy like kvetching about a paper cut. At least when someone saws off your kneecaps you can get a good cry in without seeming like a wussy to your pals.
4. Terrell Owens: Admittedly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t discuss sporting events with great regularity. Frankly, we enjoy taking in a good game as much as the next truculent homicidal subversive, and we seldom find much to gripe about in professional sports—save the Los Angeles Clippers, of course. Yet Terrell Owens, the whilom receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles and full-time ostentatious jerk, is an exception to the rule. Has anyone else noticed that this guy has thus far done the most impressive Juwanna Mann impression you’re likely to see in this lifetime? And now this self-important twit has the (ir)Rev. Jesse Jackson on his side? Gee, and just when we were starting to like him, too.
November 21, 2005
The Papir of Recard
If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are known for anything—and, last we checked, we aren’t—perhaps it’s our occasional grammatical and orthographical lapses. Sure, we have a staff of over 250 editors and interns, but even we can’t catch everything.
As a result, sometimes we offer “posts” with unfortunate mistakes. In fact, the mistakes are particularly unfortunate, since oftentimes we ridicule others for their sub-par grammar. Such, we suppose, are the wages of hypocrisy.
Thankfully, we have the help of a few outside grammarians. Renegade grammarians, you might call them. Our old pal aelfheld, for example, enjoys lending a hand when we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” offer one of our typical solecisms. And, we might add, our good buddy does this for free. (Yet they say that people don’t care about others anymore.)
All the same, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to think that we’ve never made a whopper of an error—the kind of screw-up that should ruin careers, if not lives. Naturally, we’ve spelled “weblog” “welbog” before. But who hasn’t? Still—knock on wood—we don’t recall a misstep so bad that we contemplated taking up careers as yak farmers.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” wonder if our stately friends at the stately New York Times can say the same thing. Although the Paper of Record must possess an editorial team that dwarfs the crack young staff—aelfheld or not—it appears to have offered a prime example of the disastrously horrid grammatical blunder. To make matters worse, it’s on the front page.
In the Saturday, November 19 edition of the Gray Lady (or, as our British friends would call it, the Grey Ledy), one Eric Schmitt presented a column entitled “Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout.” It contains the following mind-blowing sentence (all of the errors are the Times’, not ours):
They House came to a standstill shouted Ms. Schmidt down, causing the House to come to a abrupt standstill, and moments later, Representative Harold Ford, Democrat of Tennessee, charged across the chamber’s center aisle to the Republican side screaming that the attack had been unwarranted.
We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: Wow, that’s bad. If it were the product of a college freshman—and it very much seems like it is—it would demonstrate said student’s lack of editorial acumen. All the Solecisms and Blunders That Are Fit to Print, eh?
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” found the next sentence of the piece interesting too:
“You guys are pathetic.” yelled Representative Martin Meehan, Democrat of Massachusetts.
Whom is he calling pathetic? The Republicans or the inept staff at the Times? After all, the Gray Lady’s minions made an error in that sentence too.
It’s a sad day when the Paper of Record doesn’t live up to the storied editorial acumen of the crack young staff. Perhaps Maureen Dowd will defect to our outfit—if she’ll fit in it.
November 18, 2005
Over the course of this humble “weblog’s” humble existence, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have admittedly taken many a potshot at American academics. Although we have found many other suitable targets of obloquy—Tony Danza, for example—Roger Kimball’s tenured radicals have come in for more than their share of unfair hectoring.
In today’s humble “post,” then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to make it up to our ivory tower pals by excoriating a target loathed even by professors. And no, we don’t mean Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. Rather, we are talking about those who are surely the most vexatious of humanoid creatures, college administrators.
As irksome as hypocritical pseudo-radical professors may be (and believe us, they’re pretty bad), college administrators are far, far worse. They’re the Hitler to the academic’s Mussolini. They’re the Phil Collins to the academic’s Pointer Sisters. They’re the XFL to the academic’s WNBA. They’re the…well, you get the picture.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” despise college administrators with such gusto that we’d never name our sons Dean. (Our daughters? Well, maybe.) If you ask us, the only good Dean in this world was Dean Martin. And that’s just because he was a mildly entertaining lush.
So what, you may be asking yourself, makes the average college administrator so repellent? Well, let us pass over administrators with such roles as “Affirmative Action Officer”—the closest the multiculti Left comes to the Gestapo. Such social gerrymandering experts are surely supremely troublesome, but we don’t feel like spending today’s humble “post” on such noxious twits.
Instead, we’ll focus on the garden-variety college administrator. What makes this chucklehead so unbearable?
Well, for starters, college administrators are the prime spouters of obnoxious politically correct buzzwords such as “dialogue” and “diversity.” Naturally, they employ these terms in a strictly Orwellian fashion. To misquote a Nazi bigwig, every time you hear the word “dialogue” on a college campus, you ought to reach for your gun.
If this weren’t suitably offensive, there’s the whole matter of these smarmy administrator’s entire livelihoods. They must placate various Left-of-Stalin faculty members, whilst raking in bucks for their sickeningly wealthy universities. That is to say, they must pretend to placate the anti-capitalist crowd, whilst serving their corporate bitches. They can natter on about “diversity” all they want, but all they really care about is the bottom line.
Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to run afoul of our sundry free-market-loving readers, but, in a contest between anti-capitalist faculty and horrifyingly hypocritical administrators, we’ll sit in solidarity with the womyn’s studies whiners any day of the week.
Strangely, though, for all the tenured radicals’ bleating about the impending revolution, they never seem to get on the bad side of their college’s administrations. Funny, that.
November 17, 2005
Help Us To Help You Help Yourself With Us
If there is anything that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” particularly savor, it’s aiding our fellow man. Or, we should add for our feminist friends, fellow wimmin. And grrrls. Sure, there are many other pleasures in life: Cock fighting; Mormonism; cracking wise; Donna Shalala. But nothing touches our collective heart quite like doing a solid for a humanoid in distress.
In fact, upon ruminating on this very topic, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” realized that our humble “weblog” is a bit of a sham. Not, we dare say, in the obvious sense that darn near nobody reads it. Rather, we mean that it doesn’t exactly do a great deal of worldly good. Or otherworldly good, as far as we can intuit (though admittedly this isn’t our forte).
Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader: We have done our almost-best to make countless people smile through their day, content in the knowledge that this humble “website” has yet again excoriated a no-talent boob like Phil Collins.
For lesser men (and womyn), this may be enough to sleep soundly at night. But not for us: We have insomnia.
As such, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have decided to dedicate at least a few of our daily “posts” to helping others. Like Florence Nightengale and Forrest Whittaker, we pine to give comfort to the rest of humanity. We’re pretty much a staff full of Bonos—except we’re not superannuated, louche, self-impressed charlatans who desperately require a shower and some deodorant
So our hearts are in the right place. Only one question remains, dear reader: How exactly could we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” actually help anyone? For a group known for its Tom Hanks demolitions, succoring isn’t exactly our strong suit.
And then it collectively struck us like the miserable ending of Back to the Future II. Why not ask our reader(s) how we can be of service? Instead of wasting everyone’s time lending unwanted hands, why not ensure that the future objects of our aid get the aid they deserve? It made a heck of a lot of sense to us. At least at the time.
Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly exhort you to send us an e-missive by clicking on the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screens. Tell us how we can help you—even if “how we can help you” is ceasing to write our interminable, foolish “weblog.”
Naturally, there are a few things that we, like Meatloaf, won’t do (even for love). First, like Meatloaf, we won’t do “that.” Second, we won’t “whack” your mother-in-law, no matter how much you despise her. After all, what kind of spirit of brotherly and sisterly love would that demonstrate?
Also, we won’t cease writing our interminable, foolish “weblog.” Hey: You can’t win ‘em all. So write in today: Let us help you help yourself with us.
November 16, 2005
A Moment of Pure Atheism
Like all good theists, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” sometimes find ourselves mired in doubt about God. Sure, our staff is chock-a-block with honest-to-goodness Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, but every once in a while we experience pangs of uncertainty about a higher being.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must say that we haven’t let such rare doubts get too far. None of us has done anything crazy like quit his job or become a Unitarian. Still, the one or two mild agnostics on staff like to smirk about our occasional restlessness regarding such questions.
And, whilst we’re being deadly honest, we may as well admit that many phenomena associated with modern life are sufficiently unpleasant that they would make the most orthodox of the orthodox worry a bit. The list of unspeakable things on God’s earth is long: Famine; pestilence; Paris Hilton; racism; Geraldo Rivera; &c.
Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must admit that, for darn near everything horrid you can name, you can find some sort of silver lining. For example, the staff computers here at Hatemonger’s Quarterly Headquarters do not recognize Geraldo in their spell-checkers. This, we feel, is a sign that Mr. Rivera has not become such an important cultural beacon to warrant the spell-checker treatment. (If only we could say the same about Oprah.)
All in all, then, the world is also replete with little pleasures and little treasures—the kinds of things that make us glad to be card-carrying deists. Who could meet Barbara Boxer and conclude that there’s no God—and that this God doesn’t have an arch sense of humor? Not us.
So far, so good. Yet, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must confess that some phenomena are so atrociously irksome, so galactically wretched, that they should make the Pope troubled. They probably don’t, but they should.
Okay, you say, give us an example. Well, dear reader, we’re glad you’ve asked for one. Frankly, we have a perfect one right beside us, and we’d love to share.
A perusal of The New York Times Arts & Entertainment section recently gave us a shock—a shock that was reasonably followed by pangs of doubt about Him. What kind of a God could allow something so abysmal? What kind of a God could warrant such large-scale suffering?
We refer, of course, to the news that Broadway will soon be home to a musical version of “Tarzan.” What’s worse—if there is anything worse—is the fact that the music and lyrics have been written by one Phil Collins.
Yes, you read that correctly: “Tarzan” the musical, with music and lyrics by Phil Collins. Hasn’t the world experienced enough suffering? Has the Good Lord not troubled us enough with feculent tunes such as “Sssudio” and “Another Day in Paradise”?
Evidently, the answer is no. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” like to think of Phil Collins as a kind of walking Book of Job. As some noxious A&R rock crooner warbled, he incessantly “takes it, to the limit, one more time.” Each song he sings, each video he makes is a new test of our faith.
And let’s not even talk about Genesis.
November 15, 2005
The Art of the Undergraduate Essay
Well, dear reader, it’s getting to be that time of year: For those of you in college, you know that the end of semester crunch is drawing apace. Soon sophomore dipsomaniacs will be compelled to take a break from their hectic fornication schedules, and spend two or three minutes at the library, plagiarizing a paper.
Students sufficiently dedicated to the life of the mind may even decide to craft an essay themselves. And this brings us lovingly to the subject of today’s humble “post”—the typical undergraduate paper.
Some of you are likely unacquainted with the moronic hijinks associated with the typical collegian. After destroying numerous sorely-needed brain cells through all means of chemically-induced euphoria, the average college student is capable of writing an essay roughly as competently as a garden-variety chipmunk. Which is to say, very badly indeed.
But let us not offer a beleaguered list of the horrors associated with the college essay: The ridiculous solecisms; the curiously inappropriate use of the semi-colon; the dunderheaded use of disreputable “websites” as evidence; &c. Instead, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim on offering you a more vivid picture of these products of the nearly functionally illiterate.
That is to say, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have crafted our own humble example of this wretched genre—our own feculent undergraduate essay. Naturally, this paper was composed very late the night before it was due—there’s no reason to spend much time on papers when there’s beer to be drunk. And, of course, the margins on the page are fatter than Delta Burke.
It goes without saying that all of the misspellings, grammatical missteps, and general idiocies are fully intended. So, without further ado, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are mildly anorexic to present:
Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceaser” by A. Typical Freshman
Being the fact that he isn’t still alive today or in modern time, the plays of W. Shakespeare are some of the most imperfect creations which America has ever seen. Ever since Kenneth Branaw played Hamlet in the movie Hamlet, people from all across America have known this. I
Being so, it isn’t terribly difficult to understand the fierce popularity of one particular play of William Shakespere that of, the great Greek, Julius Ceasr.
However, many do not know this play. However, if you don’t, this essay will offer a short discussion of it. Moreover, the problems of the Characters will be thoroughly announced.
Some people have a flare for the dramatic. Although we don’t know for sure, we can be sure that W. Shakespeare is one of those people. Like other people, he wrote many plays; “Julius Cesar”, “Midnight Summer’s Sex Comedy”, “Waiting of Godot”.
However, that said, many Americans consider Will Shakespeare the best. There was literally not one person like him; not better.
For this, three reasons exist, being the fact that there are not 4. One; total immersion; Two; staging; Three; good language; Four; imperminence. For this reason, as this paper has shown, Julius Ceaser will always be remembered.
It kind of makes you wonder why we’re sending so many tykes to school in the first place. Doesn’t the world need ditch-diggers too?
November 14, 2005
A Little Help from the Audience
As you may very well imagine, a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears goes into the production of this miserable little “weblog.” We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” take our jobs very seriously, and this often entails a little elbow grease on our part.
To this end, dear reader, a small part of the crack young staff spends its time eagerly hunting through various other “websites,” in search of interesting material for our sagacious lucubrations. Just the other day, in fact, this small part of the crack young staff found itself taking in James Taranto’s heralded Best of the Web column, found on The Wall Street Journal’s “website.”
We simply can’t get enough of this column. Ageless ad hominem attacks at John Kerry, copious use of the word “kerfuffle”—what’s not to love?
Anyway, upon inspecting one particular installment of the Best of the Web, something collectively struck our fearless e-searchers. Mr. Taranto offers a kind of Internet tip-line. If you have an interesting story, a humorous note, or an important fact under your belt, you are encouraged to send it in to Mr. Taranto, who will presumably make great use of it.
Frankly, dear reader, this left us aghast. The Wall Street Journal is cheating! Rather than wasting precious time hunting for clever tidbits for readers, the folks at the Best of the Web are letting their readers do the work for them.
Oh, for crying out loud! Does this mean that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been troubling ourselves with oodles of extra work for no reason? Does this mean that our days of drudging up uninspired, hackneyed ideas will soon be a distant memory? Does this mean that we can lay off large parts of the staff?
Well, we’re not sure. In the past, we have been sufficiently fortunate to receive a number of tips from savvy readers. “Links” to humorous articles, academic conferences, and dimwitted professors have abounded. Naturally, we fully appreciate such efforts.
But we’ve yet to pander to our readership shamelessly, asking that it do our work for us, whilst we play a few holes of golf. If personal-responsibility-loving conservatives like Mr. Taranto can do it, why can’t we?
Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want you to know that we are in desperate straits. As you can tell from today’s humble “post,” we’re running out of ideas faster than you can say “‘Twin Peaks’ season three.”
And that’s where you come in. We humbly exhort you to send us anything you think that we may be able to use for our usual shlocky comedy. We’ll mine your genius, figuratively sucking you in and spitting you out. Like Phyllis Diller, we may even take credit for your inspired hijinks ourselves.
So, you may be wondering, what do you get out of the arrangement? Well, we suppose there’s always the satisfaction that you’ve helped the crack young staff. That ought to be worth something—albeit not a tax break. And, to make matters better, if you beg us, we’ll promise not to mention your name on our “weblog.”
If you ask us, this is what business types call a win-win situation. So, dear reader, send in those humorous “links” and suggestions today. We’ll be busy drinking mint juleps.
November 11, 2005
All Politics Is Yokel
As is generally well known among the three or four percent of Americans who vote, most states in these here United States recently had local elections. These horrid events are surprisingly akin to elections for student politics at the local community college—except even fewer people care.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would love to say that, as a group of farsighted intellectuals, we have nothing to do with such low-end political matters. After all, the fellow running for your local dogcatcher position isn’t terribly likely to have deeply-held beliefs regarding American foreign policy. He isn’t likely to expatiate on the cardinal import of the Anglo-American alliance. We would love to announce, then, such quotidian politicking is assuredly beneath us.
But, alas, we’d be lying. Recently, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—received a telephone call from a family friend. Said friend exhorted “Chip” to do her a solid, and lend a hand with a political campaign. Said friend’s old pal was running for Local Flak, or some such, and required a selfless chucklehead to clutch a sign at the polls, whilst sporting a T-shirt on which was emblazoned the candidate’s name.
In a moment of great weakness, “Chip” agreed. Boy, he’ll never forgive himself for that.
A few days later, “Chip” received another telephone call (at home, of course, since the staff can’t take personal calls at Hatemonger’s Headquarters), this time from the campaign manager of the hopeful Local Flak. After pouring on the whole “We Thank You So Much for Your Selflessness” routine, he informed “Chip” that he was to hold a sign in two shifts: 7:00am to 9:00am, and 5:00pm-7:00pm.
Well, gee, thought “Chip,” this is going to be lots and lots of fun. At least “Chip” won’t have to wake up early. And this isn’t going to ruin the day.
To make matters worse, of course, to this day “Chip” knows absolutely nothing about this candidate’s policies. He could be a Stalinist, for all “Chip” knows. He could favor the forcing of widowers to smack grapefruits over their heads. We doubt it, but it is within the realm of possibility, if your realm of possibility is rather wide.
But then “Chip” figured: It’s only local politics, so what’s the harm done? A couple of grapefruits? Even if this fellow is a Stalinist, he can’t kill that many people in such a small county. If there’s going to be a gulag, it might as well be confined to district eight.
Just to be on the safe side, “Chip” took a gander at one of this guy’s campaign brochures, in order to ensure that he would not waste his day plumping for the world’s next two-bit Benito Mussolini.
This, we must say, was the real shock. Thanks to this politician’s nebulous, bromidic sloganeering, it was downright impossible to determine his views on anything. Apparently, he’s for fiscal responsibility. Well, isn’t that just peachy; “Chip” and the crack young staff are fans of that too.
In addition, it turns out that our candidate likes America. Boy: It’s as if this guy is a perfect match for “Chip’s” politics. “Chip” likes America too! What a coincidence.
As of this writing, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t a clue whether “Chip’s” man has won the coveted position of Local Flak. Perhaps “Chip’s” miserable tenure at the polls earned his man victory in a squeaker.
But we collectively doubt it. And, quite frankly, we’re not sure it matters: Either way, the A-Train is still running.
November 10, 2005
A Wrong Note To human
A Wrong NoteTo human beings sufficiently fortunate to possess ears, surely one of the most irksome forms of music is college a cappella. You know the kind of aural detritus we mean: Pansy-boy 19-year-old crooners coyly singing “Tainted Love” and Codplay tunes for a gaggle of strangely enraptured female undergrads. Somehow, the specimens of effeteness that churn out this garbage manage to score chicks in the process. So much for the world being fair.
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” earnestly believe that one of the truly magnificent things about graduating from college is the fact that you will never be bombarded by a college a cappella group in the real world. Unless, of course, you purchase a Billy Joel album. But then, hey, that’s your own darn fault.
Of course, all sentient beings loathe collegiate a cappella. But what happens if a group dedicated to this palaver picks the wrong kind of tune to belt at a concert? What if it eschews Spin Doctors retreads in favor of more gangsta’ creations?
Luckily, dear reader, we shall never have to wonder about this vexing question anymore. Two curious letters to the editor in Duke University’s student-run Chronicle completely answer this brainteaser.
According to said letters, a team of largely lily-white undergrad a cappella vocalists called the Pitchforks performed at Duke University under the auspices of a concert aimed at raising funds for a sexual assault hotline and an anti-domestic violence organization.
If you’re anything like the wizards who run the Pitchforks, you are probably thinking to yourself: Why not sing a number that glories in violence and degradation, and throws in some nasty racial epithets to boot? Why stick with that ho-hum “Music Man” fare when you can up the ante with something a bit more “street”? Word to your mother.
As a result of such careful cogitation, the brilliant Pitchforks took to the stage at this Women’s Center event and sang a tune called “Let’s Go” by some charming entertainers named Li’l Jon and the Eastside Boys.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” although being rather young and rather crack, had never heard of Li’L Jon and the Eastside Boys. For those of you equally fortunate, let us hit you with some of the lyrics of “Let’s Go,” which the clever Pitchforks saw fit to croon at a domestic violence concert:
I mop up the flo’ wit ‘em / And I kick in the door and let the .44 get ‘em.
Pretty nice, are they not? We exhort those of you greatly enamored of torrents of profanity to enjoy the full lyrics, which feature copious use of an epithet about which Randall Kennedy wrote a book, but which you ought not say.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t big fans of politically-correct collegiate decorum, and we don’t often find ourselves agreeing with flaks who work for such ridiculous enterprises as university Women’s Centers. But, quite frankly, Chris Massenburg of Duke’s Sexual Assault Support Services had a dandy point in her/his letter: Why the heck is a group of silver-spoon chuckleheads singing such violent trash at an anti-domestic violence event, for crying out loud? Haven’t they ever heard of “Sweet Adeline”?
Still, we must admit that the thought of North Face clad guys named Nigel singing about the glories of murder in roguish street patois is a source of endless unintentional comedy. Perhaps next time they’ll stick with “Lida Rose.”
There aren’t any swears in that number, are there?
November 09, 2005
“Out of the Mainstream” Devotees
“Out of the Mainstream”Devotees of so-called critical theory believe that language is an imperfect means of communication, since the words used to describe objects and concepts are ultimately arbitrary. As a result, fans of deconstruction claim that they can take any sentence—no matter how simple—and come up with numerous meanings for it. Through this means, of course, Jacques Derrida’s minions have had a figurative field day arguing that works of literature say something very different from what they obviously say.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are willing to admit that language isn’t a perfect means of communication. All the same, on such matters we tend to agree with George Orwell, who would have seen the postmodernists’ championing of cloudy writing a dramatic illustration of their cloudy, totalitarian thinking.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” bring up this erudite topic for a very specific reason. And no, our specific reason isn’t “showing off a sixth-grader’s understanding of postmodernism.” (Although it is impressive, is it not?) Rather, the recent Supreme Court nominations have highlighted what we believe to be a prime species of linguistic legerdemain that only a card-carrying postmodernist could love.
As the title to this humble “post” suggests, dear reader, we refer to the oft-stated Democratic Party phrase “out of the mainstream.” It appears as if Democratic senators discussing nominations to the high court are more concerned with a justice being “out of the mainstream” than being an axe murderer.
But what is particularly peculiar about this “out of the mainstream” business is that Democrats invoking the phrase do not seem to mean what they are saying at all. Perhaps they are taking a page out of the playbook of poststructuralist gurus, but we doubt it. Rather, we feel as if they are engaged in something far simpler to understand: Duplicity.
For, naturally, these Democrats can’t actually say what they mean: They don’t want a Supreme Court justice who is conservative, or, perhaps most especially, pro-life. The latter, of course, would smack of a litmus test, which appears to be as taboo in American politics as dating a 12-year-old.
As such, every elected official in Washington, when waxing judicial, is compelled to lie like a banshee. Whilst Republicans must claim that they are motivated to support a given potential justice due to his impeccable qualifications alone, Democrats are busy fretting about those supposedly “outside of the mainstream.”
But what the heck can this really mean? If it truly refers to those who are pro-life, then the Democrats ought to realize that their own minority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, being pro-life, is “out of the mainstream.” Further, Dick Durbin of Illinois ought to realize, as a whilom pro-lifer, that he used to be “out of the mainstream.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader: We happen to think that opposing conservative judges (or liberal judges, for that matter) is perfectly reasonable. But let’s not lie about it. Let’s not pretend that Judge Alito supports a bloody takeover of the United States by the board members of Viacom. That, we think, would actually be “out of the mainstream.”
Until a potential member of the Supreme Court claims that laws should be decided by three donkeys and a cat, we don’t want to hear the phrase “out of the mainstream” again.
November 08, 2005
Bon Mots, Brilliant Observations, and
Bon Mots, Brilliant Observations, and Truncated Jeremiads from the Crack Young StaffIf you expect anything from this humble “weblog”—and, let’s face it, you probably don’t—you expect sundry sagacious sayings and sentiments. (Well, you also may expect alliteration.) Five times weekly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” brighten up your days with a bevy of insightful animadversions.
In fact, we’d like to think of ourselves as philosophers-cum-psychiatrists. Well, except for that fact that, unlike philosophers, we have jobs, and, unlike psychiatrists, we can’t get our hands on any psychotropic drugs. Man: Every time you take a step forward, you take a step back.
In the past few weeks, however, this humble “weblog” has expended an awful lot of energy on rather lowly subject matter—television programs, television commercials, television, &c. This may lead our reader(s) to the mistaken impression that we spend our time mindlessly glued to the boob tube, taking in re-runs of “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
This, we hasten to note, is not true. Or, at least it’s not true of most of us: Ted has a bit of a Vinny Barbarino fascination. To each his own, as we never say.
Frankly, dear reader, this lowbrow foolishness has got to stop. If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” spend even more time on such trash, we’re likely to be summarily chucked off of The New Criterion’s list of “links.” Such an honest-to-goodness high culture journal can’t earnestly recommend pontifications regarding this sordid, louche subject-matter.
As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have endeavored to use today’s humble “post” as a bit of a mild corrective to our recent slumming. Although we haven’t composed a longwinded essay on, say, dreams in Proust or, say, Socratic irony, we do aim to raise the level of our “weblog”—for at least one day, that is.
To wit, we have devoted today’s post to a portmanteau assortment of bon mots, brilliant observations, and truncated jeremiads. Or, failing that, we’ve cobbled together a few random thoughts that we are offering in lieu of an actual idea. (It sure does ruin the magic when you pull back the curtain, doesn’t it?)
Without much in the way of further adieu, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” sheepishly present the following desultory ramblings, which we hope will lighten up your drab, miserable lives.
“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Official Desultory Ramblings, Offered in a Vain Attempt To Stop Discussing Television Commercials and Kindred Exempla of Trash Culture
1. Just when you think nothing can get more irritating than Aaron Neville’s feculent soft-rock dud “Everybody Plays the Fool,” you visit your local supermarket and hear the Muzak version. Ah, now that’s worse.
2. Leninists without driver’s licenses should be known as “useless idiots.” At least your average capitalist scum can give you a ride to the coffee shop.
3. Dick Clark proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Oscar Wilde’s dictum, “Youth is wasted on the young,” is a boldfaced lie.
4. The last few days or so have certainly demonstrated that the French have a superior understanding of Islamic civilization. If only we had listened to them, the Muslim world would not be so antagonistic to America.
Well, those are about all the mercilessly clever observations we can muster for today. Nota bene: Not one of these savory morsels of cogitation pertains to television. Or “rap” music. Like Clement Greenberg, we’re highbrows.
November 07, 2005
Beer, Straight Up Perhaps, dear
Beer, Straight UpPerhaps, dear reader, you have watched an hour of television in the past year. If so, you have ineluctably seen two things: 1) around three thousand obnoxious Geico commercials; 2) the new advertising campaign for Milwaukee’s Best Light beer.
You know the ads we mean: At some sort of male gathering, one of the fellows in attendance acts in an “unmanly” fashion—dressing like his girlfriend, taking grease off a pizza slice with a napkin, speaking baby-talk to a puppy, &c.
For such an outlandish offense against those with testosterone, this “unmanly” character is crushed by a gigantic can of Milwaukee’s Best Light. Whilst his friends look on with a striking paucity of concern, a voiceover informs us that guys just don’t do those sorts of things, and then assures us that Milwaukee’s Best Light is for real men. Not, we infer, wusses.
As far as we can intuit (which, to be honest, isn’t terribly far), the entire marketing department at Milwaukee’s Best appears to have cobbled together an ad campaign that roughly boils down to the following message: “Don’t be a fag.” Or, to put it in advertising format: “Don’t be a fag—drink Milwaukee’s Best Light.”
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” tend toward the traditionalist side, and, as a result, nowhere near 47 percent of us are what Gore Vidal calls “homosexualists.” In fact, informal polling around the office water cooler suggests that only Ted is into guys. And as far as the women are concerned, we’re not sure how many of them are lesbians. Frankly, since they are all graduate students, and therefore ugly, the subject’s never come up.
But we digress. Our point is that even we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this marketing strategy more than a tad obtuse. You don’t have to be a limp-wristed Peter Allen devotee to determine that there’s something not quite right about this attempt at selling beer.
Surely it is particularly peculiar—if not downright ironical—that the pusher of this “Don’t be a fag” advertising blitzkrieg is Milwaukee’s Best Light. We mean, come on: What kind of manly man drinks light beer? That’s about as masculine as an enema, for crying out loud. Or Tom Cruise.
Nor, we should add, does Milwaukee’s Best Light appear to qualify as a particularly “gay” product, either. Wouldn’t they prefer cosmopolitans? Or at least Zima?
In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the only people who buy Milwaukee’s Best Light are those with a bit too much cash to buy malt liquor, but who want to watch their waistline.
Frankly, in comparison with dabbing your pizza with a napkin, delighting in a can of Milwaukee’s Best Light is way gay.
November 04, 2005
History with a Colon, Part
History with a Colon, Part the SecondIn yesterday’s humble “post,” dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had some fun offering the titles of some upcoming papers at the all-important annual meeting of the American Historical Association. Naturally, without these weighty academic lucubrations, Western culture will pretty much tank, and we’ll all have to pledge allegiance to our new Islamist overlords.
Given the obvious import of these papers to the course of history, then, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we would also devote today’s humble “post” to revealing a few of these ultra-important gifts to humanity. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our federal matching funds at work.
At the crucial “Food and Reform in the Progressive Era” session, one Jill M. Nussel of the University of Toledo is presenting the meaty paper “From Stew Pot to Melting Pot: Progressive Era Reform through Cookery, 1890-1913.” We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Why stop in 1913? Perhaps we’ll have to wait till next year for the sequel.
Devotees of the great evil known as “conservatism” can relish the “Foremothers of Ann Coulter: Right-Wing Women and the Conservative Intellectual Movement in the United States, 1930-80” session. If you ask us, it’s very interesting that the academics in charge of such a panel have chosen this title. Normally, academic types are obsessed with discussing the plurality of things, wary of “essentializing”—hence you get “feminisms” for “feminism,” &c. But somehow these careful professors have no difficulty assuming all conservative females are merely the “Foremothers of Ann Coulter.” Would they argue that all feminists are the “Foremothers of Judith Butler”? Somehow we think not.
Okay, you say, so there’s some interesting stuff at the conference. But do any papers focus on gender and nationalism? Is anyone writing work on such an unfashionable topic these days? Well, dear reader, say hello to the “Gender, National Identities, and World History” panel, which features presentations titled “Gender and Nation in Recent Latin American History,” “The Gendered Nation in Recent European Historiography,” “Gender, Decolonization, and Revolutionary Nationalism in Southeast Asian History,” and “Gender and Nation in World Historiography.”
Wow—so this is the “herd of independent minds” about which art critic Harold Rosenberg spoke. Why doesn’t someone just buck up and write an article called “Gender and the Nation in the Solar System”? After all, aren’t men from Mars and women from Venus, or something?
But let’s not forget such essential papers as Carolyn Thomas de la Pena’s “Mechanized Southern Comfort: Tasting Technology at Krispy Kreme.” She got a job at UC Davis with such pabulum? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding us! The hour(s) of research at the local doughnut hole that such a project must have entailed!
November 03, 2005
History with a Colon Well,
History with a ColonWell, dear reader, it’s getting to be that time of year again: Soon the college-goer’s fall semester will be over, and students will take a break from their inebriated fornicating at school, and enjoy some inebriated fornication at home, in the form of winter break. College professors, graduate students, and other ne’er-do-wells don’t get off so easy, however. (Come to think, they almost never get off as easily as undergrads.)
That’s because winter break is also home to most disciplines’ annual professional meeting, a festival of boredom at which the indigent beg for jobs and everyone who’s anyone prattles on endlessly about race, class, and gender in tofu-production.
Naturally, given our lofty position as journalists, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will stay home from these lodestones of professorial horror. And yet this won’t stop our ill-informed commenting on them. After all, that’s what academics hate about journalists: They always discuss what they don’t fully understand.
Recently, we received a charming package from a charming devotee of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” who declined to be named, but whom we shall call Deborah DeLaney. This woman, who is not named Deborah DeLaney, sent us a copy of the American Historical Association’s official program for its upcoming meeting in January.
After a few hours of perusing this document, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” had the distinct sensation of vertigo. Every darn paper appeared to be called “Gender, Gender, Gender: Genderizing Gender in the Gender of Gender.” Or “Race, Racism, and Racists: Toward a Genderizing of Race in Western New York, 1804-1805.”
We know, we know: One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But these aren’t books; they’re academic talks. (Actually, we’re surprised you didn’t realize that.)
As such, dear reader, we have decided to devote a few humble “posts” to poking fun at the asinine titles we espied in our recently-received program. From what we can determine, academic papers—unlike the late, great Ronald Reagan—require a colon.
All right, you say: Enough with the “weblogging” throat-clearing; let’s get on with the titles. Okay, okay, okay—we’ll start. Stop being so darned pushy.
First, though, we should state that many of the conference papers are entirely inoffensive; they’re just your typical scholarly retreads of minutiae that matter to absolutely no one. May their presenters do well with them. Others, however, are distinctly more dubious.
For example, some are so nugatory as to make the other trifling papers seem positively groundbreaking. Savor Guillaume P. de Syon’s magisterial “How French Is She? Female Pilots and Flight Clothing in Interwar France.” Boy, that’s a must-see. Apparently, its question mark takes the place of the more typical colon. And then there’s Vanessa Taylor’s all-important “‘Smelling of the ale-vat’: Philanthropic London Brewers and the Mid-Victorian Drinking Fountain Movement.” Sponsored by Budweiser, we presume.
Other papers strike us as a bit more bizarre. How about the tellingly-named Anne Hardgrove’s tellingly-named “The Global Erotic: Post-Colonial Translations of the Kama Sutra”? How much do you want to bet that, despite her intellectual lasciviousness, you wouldn’t sleep with Anne Hardgrove?
But things get no better with the tellingly-named Jefferey Cox and his tellingly-named “Missionary Positions: Itinerant Women, Medical Professionals, and the Regulation of Sexuality in Colonial India.” How cheeky. But we still don’t want to hear it.
Or delight in Michele Morales’ “A Queer Explanation for Alcoholism: The Correlation of Homosexuality and Alcoholism in Psychoanalytic and Sexological Discourse, 1880-1935.” We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Why does she stop in 1935? Bring that one up to the present. When you happen upon a finding this crucial to the course of Western culture, you ought to give it the full-scale treatment.
To Be Continued
November 02, 2005
Jim Cramer We, the crack
Jim CramerWe, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” generally don’t like to admit that we watch an occasional spot of television. Frankly, we find that such a confession doesn’t go over well with our hoity-toity pals, who appear to spend their copious free time writing their memoirs with expensive fountain pens and pondering the intricacies of the Norwegian language.
Every once in a great while, however, we happen upon a television program so feculent that we feel the strong urge to excoriate it on our humble “weblog.” To be sure, darn near everything on the boob tube is moronic; accordingly, it remains a bit unfair to pinpoint one particular show or other—say, “Oprah”—and mercilessly rip it to shreds.
All the same, some shows are so horrid that they deserve special (mis)treatment. And such is surely the case with “Mad Money,” a cable television program starring an obstreperous dwarf called Jim Cramer. It is the highest rated show on CNBC, which is probably the strongest evidence of a network’s doom that can be dredged up.
Perhaps you know the program of which we speak. Mr. Cramer, a former Wall Street baron, has spent a few years screaming and screeching in front of the camera, offering stock tips with a passionate intensity that makes him seem like King George III. Previously, the diminutive Cramer shared airtime with a withered fellow named Kudlow, who appears to have all of Chevy Chase’s good looks but none of his humor.
Apparently, Mr. Cramer has moved on to (arguably) bigger and (arguably) better things. He now hosts his own program, in which he seldom appears on the screen in a position other than that of a hunched-over idiot. To the perturbing delight of a small studio audience, he bellows about mutual funds in a horrific tone. In fact, his vocalisms are so loud and abrasive that you’d think he’s Susan Estrich’s love child. If tuning in to this train wreck is the price one must pay in order to be wealthy, we’ll take penury any day of the week.
Now, we know what some our friends on the political Right are going to say: Mr. Cramer is a tried-and-true conservative, and not only in the “I’m So Far to the Right Economically That I Evict Old People for a Living” kind of way. No, Mr. Cramer even appears to favor an aggressive American foreign policy, among other good things.
Point taken. But, come on, ladies and gents: Let’s not be blinded by ideology. We don’t care if Mr. Cramer agrees with us about everything from baseball to interior decorating. He’s atrociously aggravating. He’s more obnoxious than Richard Simmons’ outfits.
And if you don’t believe us, dear reader, take in a few moments of the show (if you can stomach that much). Running around the set like a bear on fire, constantly gesticulating wildly, shouting into the camera, Mr. Cramer is the irritant’s irritant.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t been this repelled by television since they cancelled “Small Wonder.” Man, that robot Vickie chick was scary.
November 01, 2005
Where Have All the “Welboggers”
Where Have All the “Welboggers” Gone?Astute readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” undoubtedly recognize that this humble “weblog”—humble as it is—has been offering sub-par yuks for well over a year. Although we’re not exactly like the Energizer Bunny yet (or even the Easter Bunny), we’ve established a pretty impressive regular schedule of “weblogging.”
Sure as the sun will be in the sky everywhere but Buffalo, NY, you can bet that we shall offer a mildly entertaining “post” five-times weekly. We wouldn’t set our clocks by us, but we’re as regular as connoisseurs of Metamucil.
Oft pondering this mildly unimpressive Internet accomplishment, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have then turned to think about our fellow “webloggers” in the “weblogging” community. Naturally, we savor our quotidian reading of sundry “weblogs,” and we fervently hope that they keep producing like Jude Law.
But then it struck us like a girl’s fist: The “weblog” “links” on our “webpage” are a veritable Boulevard of Broken “Blogs.” Though many of these “weblogs” still produce riveting and/or hilarious material on a regular basis, some of them are older than Barbara Bush looks.
There’s nothing like clicking on one of our “weblog” “links” and finding out what life was like back in 1903, when said “weblogger” composed his last “post.” Live “weblogging” of the Civil War sure is interesting.
Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t intend to criticize some of our fellow “webloggers,” and call them lazy. After all, some of these people probably have what is usually referred to as “a life.” Though we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have only recently heard of such a thing, we imagine that it can really get in the way of one’s “weblogging.”
In the past few weeks or so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been particularly distraught over a few “weblogging” exits. First, Gordon, the world’s most popular Cranky Neocon, has closed up shop for a while, and joined Preston et al. at Six Meat Buffet.
Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader: We love Six Meat Buffet, and heartily recommend it to all of our reader(s). Now, of course, it is all the better. But we used to enjoy strolling around the avenues of both Six Meat and Cranky. For the near future, at least, those days are over.
As if this weren’t bad enough, Sadie the Fist recently announced that she is taking a bit of a “weblogging” break. An entirely reasonable thing to do, we think. And Sadie’s luminous “weblog,” the Fortnight Chock-a-Block with Fists, still offers some wonderful quotidian commentary. But, much like spoiled children (or, as the British would say, spoilt Children), we want our Sadie back.
In fact, we wonder if that would be a nice slogan: We Want Our Sadie Back. Perhaps we can get those same fellows who sang the Chile’s Baby-Back Ribs number to croon it.