March 31, 2006

Another Tepid Anniversary

Today, dear reader, is a big day: Our official second anniversary on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web. Two full years. Wow, that’s a long time—especially these days, when the average attention span is shorter than that of a gnat on speed. Frankly, dear reader, we never thought we’d last this long.

And it’s been quite a run: Think of all the hate mail. When we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” started up this humble “weblog,” only our relatives troubled themselves to read it. Now, two full years later, some of our relatives no longer read it.

No wonder David Bowie sings paeans to “Changes” in between his bouts of plastic surgery that aim to make it seem as if he hasn’t gone through any changes. When we first started this “weblog,” we’d wear the latest fashions of the day: Bell-bottom trousers, wide ties, acid-wash jeans. Then again, we’ve always enjoyed perusing decades-old copies of GQ.

So, on this ersatz historic day, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured that we should take stock—ruminate on the ups and downs of our hectic lives on the Internet. It’ll be kind of like a “Silver Spoons” reunion show, only not as funny or insightful.

In the past, we’ve sponsored plenty of contests: Two Official Horrible College-Student Poetry competitions, for example (the third of which is coming soon). To be honest, we’ve slowed down the number of such things in the recent months, ever since our sub-par judges failed to come up with a winner for our Official Worst Bumper Sticker contest.

(Oh, by the way: We’ve finally picked Greg Globus as the winner for the moronic sticker “Bush Is Poopy,” which we found even more pathetic than the others. Congrats on your victory, Mr. Globus, if you’re still alive.)

We’ve also run an Official Academic of the Month feature for a number of months, though that too has recently been dormant. Gee, maybe we shouldn’t laud our plucky perseverance; we’ve dropped our share of e-balls in the past. (And, no, we didn’t mean that as a gag.)

Well, what else has happened? All this time, we have had only one fill-in for us: The delightful Maximum Leader, who is an official honorary member of the crack young staff. We’ve been guest “webloggers” for only a couple of outfits: Once for sassy, sexy Sadie the Fist, and weekly for the great unwashed who read Wizbang.

And then there are all the fancy “links”: Andrew Sullivan, James Taranto, Steve at Vodkapundit, the folks at Hit & Run, Stefan Beck at The New Criterion, et al. Sure, there’s one prominent “linker” conspicuously absent from this list: Good old Glenn Reynolds, who appears to prefer gouging his fingernails with an ice pick more than reading our humble musings. But, hey, can you blame him?

Nor should we forget the fact that our hurried e-scribblings have led us to take in the weighty animadversions of numerous other “webloggers”: Although Sadie may be correct in assuming that “webloggers” like to write a heck of a lot more than they like to read, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider ourselves lucky to enjoy the “posts” of sundry e-eminences: The llamas, Mr. and Mrs. P, Phinny-Phin-Phin, an unclothed villain, a fledgling grad student, a lady with an odd crush on us, the One Who Eats Cake, Daniel Riehl-Holloway, the hardest working rabbi on the Internet, et al.

So what can you expect from the crack young staff in the months to come? Well, how about more vaguely unsatisfying humor? Or how about more senseless vituperations? Or how about more rhetorical questions? Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Finally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must thank our reader(s). Without your love and/or support, we never would have made it this far.

See, it’s all your fault.

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March 30, 2006

Hunting with Mr. Sulzberger

“Here’s one way to kill a cow: take it into the woods in hunting season, paint the word ‘deer’ on it and stand back.” Thus begins a March 29 staff editorial in The New York Times. The topic of said editorial? No, not the barbarity of hunting. Not even gun control.

Rather, the piece discusses the current immigration bills being bandied about in the House and Senate. Unbelievable, isn’t it? But believe it; the very next sentence of the article reads “Something like that is happening in the immigration debate in Washington.”

Huh? “Something like” painting the word “deer” on cows in occurring in the nation’s debate on illegal immigrants? What the heck could be like that?

Well, according to the convoluted logic of the Gray Lady, opponents of the Specter bill are unfairly tarring it as a proposal for amnesty. And this, think the minions at the Paper of Record, is eerily similar to misidentifying a cow with a can of paint and a brush.

Color us unimpressed. Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider ourselves fans of the Specter bill, and we don’t think it amounts to amnesty. Accordingly, we find ourselves in agreement with Gail Collins and her staff at the Times editorial page.

But could they concoct a more asinine way to get their point across? We collectively think not. If you can stomach it, read the moronic introduction again:

Here’s one way to kill a cow: take it into the woods in hunting season, paint the word “deer” on it and stand back.

Would that even work? Not, we think, with hunters who choose their targets based on more than the alphabet. Clearly, the folks at the Times aren’t exactly budding Ted Nugents.

We mean, come on: Think of all the clever ways you could murder a cow. Would the paint-the-word-“deer”-on-it idea ever creep into your head? Not in our collective noggin, dear reader.

In fact, we find the Times staff so inept at contemplating cow-icide, that we have decided to give them some humble suggestions on the topic. Thanks to us, never again will the Gray Lady embarrass itself in regard to cow murder.

After all, why should the blue-staters at the Times head out to some God-forsaken forest just to help a bovine creature kick the bucket? They can save a lot of time and hassle by slaying it in their more comfortable environs.

How about they force the cow to read Maureen Dowd columns? That ought to liquidate it awful quickly.

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March 29, 2006

Abolish Theater Studies

As any sentient being well knows, much ink has been spilled on the topic of the politicization of academia. Sundry culture warriors of the Right argue that numerous disciplines on a given college campus—e.g., women’s studies, black studies, media studies, critical legal theory—are merely noxious exercises in political grievance-mongering masquerading as earnest areas of serious inquiry.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” happen to believe that most of the conservative carping is dead-on: A great number of college courses in trendy areas of study offer students little more than one-sided political hectoring. Although some right-wing critiques of academia offer more heat than light, many of their points are salient.

And yet one of the most reprehensible pseudo-disciplines is always left off the conservatives’ list of questionable academic endeavors. Whilst pontificators pontificate about the horrors of gender studies, comparative literature, Stanley Fish, and the like, they leave off one of the prime offenders against good sense: Theater studies. Or, as our British friends call it, Theatre Studies.

Now, before you get all lathered up, dear reader, let us explain to you what we mean. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t anything against dramaturgy or the serious study of plays. Surely reading Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ionesco, Beckett, et al. is a noble endeavor, fully in-tune with the traditions of liberal arts as envisioned by Aristotle.

But acting lessons? Who in his right mind came up with the cockamamie idea that they would make up a suitable course of study for college students? Why in the good Lord’s name can one major in such fluff?

We mean, come on: Granted, devotion to, say, the acting technique of Stella Adler isn’t an example of academic political grandstanding. There’s nothing offensively political about training to be a thespian. Or, at least, our pals in Theater Studies haven’t figured out a way to coach actors by ridiculing Israel.

Yet the whole thing is so silly that it makes most women’s studies powwows seem brilliant by comparison. If you ask us, any class that compels its students to pretend that they’re Jell-O on the subway deserves to be thrown off campus this instant.

Let the reprobates at the Julliard School offer this kind of nonsense. But, for God’s sake, don’t let it play a role in liberal arts curricula.

If you ask us—and, technically speaking, you did not—blathering on about the evils of George W. Bush in a cultural anthropology class is a more serious intellectual endeavor than giving back-rubs and vocal warm-ups.

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March 28, 2006

How To Lose Like a Real Democrat

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” enjoyed the brouhaha caused by The New York Times Magazine’s March 12 profile of Governor Mark Warner (D-Virginia). The humdrum piece itself wasn’t controversial; rather, it was the portrait of Governor Warner on the cover that did the trick. As the Times acknowledged, they printed a distorted image of Warner, which made him look like a malignant goof.

(Would they ever offer the same treatment to Times heroes such as Edward Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez? We collectively think not.)

Reader Linda McCullough Moore aptly summed up the matter:

The cover photograph of Mark Warner positively leapt across the line dividing photography from cartoonish caricature. What’s that you say? Hillary paid for the photos? Your reporting may be impartial, but with photos like that, the words don’t stand a chance.

Well put, we think. And, to be downright honest, dear reader, we find the Times’ decision to print such a noxious photograph strange. Governor Warner—for those of you who don’t know him—is a Democratic moderate, the kind of fellow who, unlike, say, Howard Dean, actually has a shot to win a few red states and become president. Why must the eminences at the Gray Lady go after him like this?

This all seems particularly odd because we distinctly recall that the last presidential election witnessed Democrats voting for John Kerry in massive numbers—even though they esteemed him about as much as a scorching case of herpes. Plumping for Senator Kerry was more like casting aspersions on George W. Bush. It was voting for Goebbels instead of Hitler.

Yet when a moderate comes along—one who is actually palatable to the majority of Americans who find themselves in the middle—the mainstream press must attack, attack, attack. If one weren’t paying attention, one might think that the mainstream media are actually involved in some sort of conservative conspiracy. Boy, doesn’t that make us sound a bit too much like The Nation Eric Alterman?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have only one explanation for this state of affairs: The Democrats have morphed into congenital losers. Irate at the Iraq War, party-line Dems can’t figure out how to woo those who don’t read religiously.

It’s as if broad swaths of the party thinks this country is made up of tofu-gobbling Indigo Girls fans. Ask the typical Democratic Underground reader, and he might tell you that prime American values are lesbian poetry and Cherry Garcia.

How else do you explain the complexly named Wally Marzano-Lesnevich’s missive to the Paper of Record regarding Governor Warner? It reads as follows:

In your article, we learn that Warner is against gay marriage, for the death penalty and for parental notification in abortion. When are Democrats going to stop looking to Democrats who want to run in Republican clothing? President Bush won two national elections not by appealing to the other party, but by appealing to the base.

Brilliant, isn’t it? Good ole’ Wally actually thinks that pro-gay marriage, anti-death penalty, anti-parental notification Democrats will be the true winners on the national electoral stage. Perhaps good ole’ Wally has forgotten about this guy named Bill Clinton. He proved rather successful, didn’t he?

But, hey, let’s take this a step farther. Why should Democrats run “moderates” such as Maxine Waters when they could get some real liberals on the ticket? We think the following amalgamation of views will greatly aid the Democrats’ chances for victory in 2008:

1) Forced abortions every three years.
2) Abolish the prison system.
3) Make being a white man illegal.
4) Continue to support the loveable scamps in Hamas.
5) End the so-called “War on Terror” by stopping what really motivates terrorists: Economic inequality.
6) Make Noam Chomsky the prospective Secretary of Defense.
7) Compel all college students to be women’s studies majors and black studies minors.
8) Outlaw capitalism.

Perhaps dear old Wally thinks that’s a winning strategy. The only problem is: Where do you find a candidate with those views? How about you ask 90 percent of academics?

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March 27, 2006

Ah, To Think That Allen Tate Taught There

By now, dear reader, a number of “webloggers” on Al Gore’s Internet have offered their opinions on the essay we discuss below. But, hey, we figured, why shouldn’t we have our say? So here is our official two cents.

It started off so promisingly. Titled “To All the Girls I’ve Rejected,” the piece in the March 23 number of The New York Times looked like a real winner. Naturally, we figured that the article was some sort of tell-all from a modern-day Don Juan. We eagerly scanned the first lines.

But then, of course, we were horridly disappointed. What were we thinking? This is the Gray Lady, for crying out loud: Why would it publish the thoughts of a contemporary Casanova? It didn’t add up.

So, instead of a bit of salacious gossip, Times readers were offered a piece of particularly pernicious pabulum penned by the improbably named Jennifer Delahunty Britz. The author is the dean of admissions at Kenyon College, the erstwhile home of the Southern Agrarians and still the fountain of the prestigious Kenyon Review.

Ms. Britz’s article is nothing more than the inept hand-wringing of a ninny. What else would you expect? After all, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have always considered college admissions officers slightly below crack whores and pirates on the official evil scale. These are the folks who have specially-coded folders for Latinos, blacks, whites, &c. How do these professional discriminators sleep at night?

In her piece, Ms. Britz laments that female applicants to universities greatly outnumber male applicants, and thus more females will be rejected. On its own, this is entirely uninteresting: Everyone who’s even remotely followed the literature on higher education would already know this.

What’s interesting—unintentionally, of course—is Ms. Britz’s misandrist attitude about the whole matter. For instance, she opines:

…I’m sending out waitlist and rejection letters for nearly 3,000 students. Unfortunately, a majority of them will be female, young women just like my daughter.

“Unfortunately” they will be heavily female? She’d be happier if they were male? For some reason, it never seems to occur to this dolt that women routinely outperforming men in nearly all levels of American education may speak to some societal problems. Surely when men outperformed women, our feminist pals harped and harpied on the sexism in education. Now women do better, and nobody cares?

If you thought that was obtuse, take in this passage:

What are the consequences of young men discovering that even if they do less, they have more options? And what messages are we sending young women that they must, nearly 25 years after the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, be even more accomplished than men to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges?.

Uh, would someone please inform Ms. Blitz that her remarks largely pertain to affirmative action (a.k.a. preferential treatment)? Why doesn’t she take a step back and realize that she could just as easily write: “What are the consequences of young blacks discovering that even if they do less, they have more options?”

For some odd reason, we have the sneaking suspicion that Jennifer Delahunty Britz doesn’t much care. After all, she didn’t lament that it was “unfortunate” that the majority of those rejected from Kenyon College are white—even though officially declared “underrepresented minorities” can easily gain acceptances with inferior applications.

Perhaps Ms. Britz’s article just demonstrates something we’ve long known: Even those rejected from Kenyon College are smarter than its admissions officers.

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March 24, 2006

Glenn Reynolds 2, Crack Young Staff 0

As you may well recognize, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been “weblogging” for almost two full years. This wild ride on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web has brought all kinds of beauteous bounties: Piddling recognition, vituperative chastisement, and hate mail.

But there is one thing we haven’t received—and it’s one of the “webloggers’” prize possessions. No, dear reader, we don’t mean a gift certificate for Fruit-of-the-Loom (although the much-maligned mainstream media probably think this is the summum bonum of the pajama brigades). Rather, we mean an Instalaunch.

What, you may be asking yourself, is an Instalaunch? Well, a dashingly handsome law professor named Glenn Reynolds runs a “website” called Instapundit. It’s a bit more popular than “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—by a magnitude of around 7,895,342 (but who’s counting?).

In the world of the “weblogs,” getting a “link” from Mr. Reynold’s “website” is the closest you’ll come to pure heroin. E-heroin, we suppose, but a powerful drug all the same. Except instead of a dangerous and addictive chemical high, you receive all sorts of e-traffic. Pick your poison, we suppose.

Anyway, try as we might, we have yet to win Mr. Reynold’s favor. We’ve sent gaggles of respectful e-missives, inviting him to take a gander at the joy that is “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” We’ve offered him an array of obsequious e-compliments. We’ve even resorted to voodoo—although our voodoo doll wound up looking a heck of a lot more like Andrew Sullivan. (Honestly, crafting voodoo dolls has never really been our thing.)

Still, despite all our efforts, you can count all the times Glenn Reynolds has noticed us on no fingers. We’ve not even received a strongly worded reply from him, such as “Will you dolts stop sending e-mails to me?” or “I’d rather lick battery acid than read your arrant piffle” or “You’re about as humorous as Bob Saget outtakes.” Well, you get the idea.

Quite naturally, dear reader, this has led to a spot of soul-searching on the part of the crack young staff. Why, we wonder, has Mr. Reynold’s proved so elusive? Why has he avoided us like a scorching case of herpes?

After all, we’re young, we’re crack, and we’re a staff. Isn’t that good enough for him, darn it? We mean, come on: The guy’s at the University of Tennessee, for crying out loud. The only thing you need to get in there is a pen and a randy first cousin. What have successful “webloggers” got that we don’t—other than style, humor, and basic literacy?

To be completely honest, we can’t think of a thing. Perhaps it’s because we compose feculent throwaway “posts” like this one.

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March 23, 2006

Objectivists (a.k.a. Randanistas)

A few weeks ago, dear reader, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was compelled to take in an academic lecture on Ayn Rand. A lady “Chip” knows was sponsoring the talk, and thus he felt obliged to attend.

Ayn Rand, for those of you who do not know her, is the guru of objectivism, a species of ultra-radical libertarianism. As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, her pseudo-philosophy is pernicious. It seems to appeal to the type of people who would happily spend their careers evicting old people.

The objectivists cling to a particularly malignant form of Social Darwinism, according to which any kind of altruism is a cover for totalitarianism. To them, JFK’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” line is tantamount to evil. Objectivists like to picture themselves as embodiments of Nietzsche’s superman.

We mention all this, dear reader, because an objectivist happened to be in the audience for this humdrum academic lecture. And his activity at this talk struck “Chip” as perfect proof that objectivism is a bunch of hokum.

First, we should mention that the lecturer was not offering any kind of political riposte to Ayn Rand. Rather, he merely discussed her background and nattered on about her place in the libertarian movement. Not much fodder for an angry objectivist, “Chip” figured.

Ah, but “Chip” figured wrong. Immediately after the talk ended, this raging objectivist shot his hand up in the air and announced that he had a few questions. Before he even troubled to offer his opinions, you could already tell he was an unhinged whacko; he was talking to himself throughout the lecture and had a slight case of the shakes. He even interrupted a few times with some strange comments.

Anyway, his first question was the following: “Did you go to a public school?” Yep, that’s right; he asked a professor if he had ever attended a public school.

His reason? Well, because he went to a public school, and his violent reaction to it turned him on to the True Philosophy—the Philosophy of Ayn Rand. These and subsequent comments were so bizarre that the audience felt slightly less comfortable than Ariel Sharon at a Hamas barbeque.

And this gets us to our point. Objectivists claim to be rugged individualists appalled by any kind of altruism. Yet their social skills are so lacking that they essentially live off the altruism of others. This particular fellow—who seems par for the course among objectivists—wouldn’t last a day in a public school without massive amounts of sympathy from his classmates.

If these objectivist boobs love to tout their utter dedication to reason and rationality, why do they cling to this pathetic pseudo-philosophy with the faith of a fundamentalist? Perhaps if “Chip” weren’t sufficiently frightened by this objectivist, he would have asked.

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March 22, 2006

Defending the Indefensible—Sort Of

As you might well imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” receive all manner of e-correspondence. Nary a day goes by, it seems, in which we do not obtain our fair share of e-mails. And this is particularly the case since we began writing for “Wizbang,” and got on the bad side of a few Harry Connick Jr. devotees.

Accordingly, it will come as no surprise that one Hala Innab sent us an e-missive from far away Amman, Jordan. Previously, we excoriated Innab for his/her letter to The New York Times regarding the Danish cartoon fiasco. Ms. Innab ended the epistle with the following two paragraphs:

The function of newspapers is to inform, not to inflame. At a time when the relationship between Islamic and Western countries is strained, one would expect more from reputable newspapers.

How would Americans feel if The New York Times decided to print jokes about the Jewish Holocaust or African slavery, just to test our reaction?

In an admitted fit of pique, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” took up Innab’s query: “In short, we feel as if Americans would not act like a bunch of barbarians. So why, exactly, is the chuckleheaded Hala Innab defending these savages?”

Not, we hasten to admit, our calmest moment on the Internet, but we were sick and tired of the finger-pointing at the Western media, as if they, and not the organized rent-a-fascists, were chiefly to blame.

Well, Hala Innab graciously sent us a letter in response. In part, it reads as follows (all the errors are hers):

I recently came across your article mentioned above [?]. I wanted to correct a few things you mentioned in your article…

I did not defend “these savages” I was simply stating my opinion about the European newspapers. These are two different issues and opposing one does not mean I condone the other.

Another point I want to mention in response to “Now, never mind the fact that Arab dailies routinely offer anti-Semitic cartoons to their readers. We’re pretty sure that they’ve printed their share of distasteful references to the Holocaust, but perhaps Hala Innab doesn’t consider such newspapers ‘reputable.’ And we’re inclined to agree, insofar as such countries don’t tend to have papers free from government control.”

You are correct, Newspapers in the Middle East are not reputable, any “moron” can tell you that. And yes, they are government controlled, as is almost everything else in these countries. You are also correct in mentioning that they do publish negative portrayals of certain Jews. However, it is political, they do not make fun of all Jews, only political figures. They have never portrayed Jesus or Moses in a negative way. And, even if they have, we have both agreed that their integrity is in question. Furthermore, two wrongs do not make a right.

Finally, if you think that these Middle Eastern Newspapers are not highly regarded, then what would you call a newspaper (such as yours) which uses derogatory language in reference to people and basis their articles on assumptions not facts.

Hala Innab

Well, well, well: We think someone likes to have it both ways! In the original letter, Innab offered an implicit defense for the roving bands of Islamist thugs. After all, regardless of the carnage, hatred, and havoc spread by these goons, Innab is chiefly perturbed by the provocations in the Western press. Innab even goes so far as to put “these savages” in sneer quotes, as if such murderers were not beyond the pale.

And now, in her response to us, Hala Innab both defends the Arab press, and then backs away from that defense. Well, Hala, which is it? Why are you troubling yourself to defend the indefensible?

Notice, dear reader, how completely inane are Innab’s comments regarding Arab newspapers: To Innab, their criticism “is political” and “they do not make fun of all Jews, only political figures.”

This comes from a person living in Jordan?! Need we even inform Innab that the Arab press routinely offers cartoons that viciously lampoon Jews as hooked-nosed, evil barbarians? That they pass off anti-Semitic forgeries like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as true? That they label Zionism Nazism? That they engage in bizarre conspiracy theories like the notion that Jews make Passover matzos from the blood of gentiles? Perhaps Mr. or Ms. Innab will want to check out for some of the gruesome details.

In general, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must say that we find Hala Innab’s attempt to defend such noxiousness appalling. People have lost their lives over cartoons and Hala Innab wants to scold the Western press! We think Daniel Jonah Goldhagen said it best in the pages of The New Republic:

Imagine what European and American commentators would say if tens of thousands of Americans, Britons, Germans, or Israelis marched with calls for the murder of Palestinians, Lebanese, Iranians, or Muslims in response to a few anti-American, anti-European, or anti-Semitic cartoons appearing in one, or a few, Arab or Islamic newspapers. Yet Western politicians and commentators have mostly indulged this outpouring of violent hatred. Even when decrying it, they blame the cartoons’ publishers and express pious regret that the cartoons insulted the Prophet Mohammed and Muslims, as if there is any normal cause and effect (let alone a proportionate one) operating here.

Hala Innab, we think, is among those indulging “this outpouring of violent hatred” and expressing “pious regret.” And it is perverse.

Oh, and by the way, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is not a newspaper and it certainly ain’t reputable.

UPDATE: Our pal Muslihoon offers his sagacious views on Ms. Innab's missive here.

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March 21, 2006

Would Someone Please Tell Jimmy Carter To Shut the Hell Up?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” quite naturally detest Jimmy Carter, the worst president of the 20th century. On occasion, we feel mildly bad about despising him so much. After all, he has spent an awful lot of time helping Habitat for Humanity, which is surely a noble cause.

Yet just when we start to feel as if we’ve given President Carter a bad rap, he ostentatiously pushes himself back into the political spotlight by making some asinine speech or coming to some moronic conclusion. And then we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” begin to believe that we didn’t sufficiently loathe this peanut-farming dipstick.

In such moments, we oft turn to the wisdom of Joe Queenan, humorist, Democrat, and expert Carter-basher. In his magnum opus, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon (1998), Queenan offered a particularly delightful excoriation of this Idiot-in-Chief:

I knew that Jimmy Carter’s latest book Living Faith was going to be ghastly. This was a knockoff job in which Carter explained how God had helped him through the tough patches in his career. Needless to say, Carter was not especially lucid on the subject of why God allowed Ronald Reagan to kick his ass in 1980.

As I read this book, I realized that Jimmy Carter and I worshipped a very different God. Carter’s God watches over a man who writes poetry like this to his wife:

She’d smile, and birds would feel that they no longer
had to sing, or it may be I failed
to hear their song.

My God hates double-digit prime interest rates, and will move heaven and earth to make sure a ninny like Carter is quickly ejected from the White House.

Darn right, Mr. Queenan.

And yet, although long since summarily chucked from office, Carter can’t stop nattering on about the world’s problems. Suddenly, this one-term chucklehead is a fountain of political wisdom.

Yeah, right: Future presidents can’t make any foreign policy mistakes, because Jimmy Carter already made all of them. Somehow, this boob thinks that cuddling up with tin pot Stalins like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez is going to endear him to the American public. What a jackass.

Just in case you think we’re being too harsh on this nincompoop, take a gander at Carter’s essay “It’s not too late for lasting peace in the Middle East,” which appeared in Britain’s Guardian. In this piece, Mr. Carter makes all the tell-tale blunders one associates with a political lightweight: failure to grasp even the rudimentary background to his subject; mind-numbing naivete; feculent moral equivalence; &c.

As if to prove President Carter’s status as a Grade-A doofus, the folks at The Guardian have subtitled his piece “Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories and its right to exist must be recognized by all Arabs.” Gee, thanks for that pearl of wisdom, you pathetic dolt.

In the course of his lame-brained article, Carter chiefly blames the Israeli occupation for the continuing conflict. Oh, sure: That’s the real reason, you fool. If we recall our history correctly, the Arabs were a little peeved with Israel between 1947 and 1967, before Israel had any control of the occupied territories. We wonder why that would be. Perhaps our one-term dipshit can figure out that brainteaser.

Surely the most rebarbative part of the essay is the following sentence:

There is little doubt that accommodation with Palestinians can bring full Arab recognition of Israel and its right to live in peace.

Little doubt? Little doubt! Is this moron serious? Maybe Jimmy Carter should learn two words: Oslo and Taba. We think he’ll find that “accommodation with Palestinians” hasn’t gotten Israel very far.

After taking in this pernicious, cliché-ridden fluff, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are still sufficiently kind-hearted to offer the Prince of Stagflation a little advice: Shut the hell up; never say another word about politics again in your life; and start building some more houses.

Perhaps the American people can then begin the process of attempting to forget what a lousy president you were.

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March 20, 2006

Let’s Entrust Steve Lindsay With Our Nation’s Security

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have oft discussed the remarkably low quality of letters printed in The New York Times. In fact, this has been such a preoccupation for us that we hardly think it necessary to mention it again.

Still, dear reader, it is lots of fun. Especially when the epistlers seem so downright full of themselves.

Case in point is a missive from a fellow in response to a David Brooks column titled “Rumsfeld’s Blinkers.” Printed on March 17, 2006, the letter in question reads as follows:

To the Editor:

David Brooks says the turning point of the war was March 2003, when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy R. Franks neglected to heed the good advice of “armchair generals” and “pundits.”

Actually, the turning point was in the fall of 2002, when Congress allowed itself to be suckered by a bunch of “armchair generals” in the White House and, encouraged by pundits like Mr. Brooks, voted in favor of attacking a small country that did not pose a real threat to America.

The common excuse for this—that “everyone” thought that Iraq was a serious threat—is false: millions of Americans opposed invading Iraq, demonstrations were held, people marched, and 23 senators and 133 members of the House voted against the resolution.

Steve Lindsay
Tenants Harbor, Me.

As regular readers of the Gray Lady will undoubtedly attest, this is the brand of finger-wagging pseudo-one-upsmanship that regularly greets the publication of a David Brooks piece.

And how obnoxiously self-important it is! Excuse us if we are incorrect, but we have the sneaking suspicion that it’s a bit off base.

First, we doubt that those mentioning Iraq as a security threat mean positively “everyone”—including gaggles of anti-war hippies who were opposed to striking the Taliban too. Rather, they refer to assessments of those with access to intelligence information. And it appears that Steve Lindsay does not have much access to intelligence at all.

But perhaps we are being unfair. Let’s forget the fact that the presence of WMDs was only one justification for the liberation of Iraq. And let’s forget the fact that David Brooks’ article clearly referred to the military operations in Iraq, not pre-war wrangling over intelligence.

Maybe we ought to take Steve Lindsay seriously. Maybe we ought to hand over our nation’s security to him. After all, he and millions of his co-demonstrators were opposed to the removal of the loveable Saddam Hussein, presumably on the basis of intelligence reports that made their way to Tenants Harbor, Me.

So why don’t we fork over the duty to protect our nation to Steve Lindsay? We can all rest easy now.

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March 17, 2006

It’s Getting Close

Longtime devotees of this humble “website” undoubtedly recognize that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” dislike tooting our own horn. And this has nothing to do with the fact that we never took horn lessons, and thus our tooting is sub-par. Rather, we don’t enjoy engaging in any kind of self-puffery.

After all, why would you need to stoop to such a level if you already ran one of the most luminous beacons of greatness on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web? Why trouble yourselves with obnoxious self-congratulations when you provide the gifts of joy and insight to so many across the world? We can’t think of a reason either.

As a result, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” prefer to lay low. We routinely shrug off the heartwarming praise of our squillion e-fans. Sure, sure, we say: We’re glad you enjoy our musings, but we aren’t exactly budding Hemmingways.

In fact, maybe we’re more like Maya Angelou. Execpt we’ve never been strippers.

Anyway, we are dilating on our impressive humility for a good reason. Pretty darn soon, dear reader, this humble “weblog” will reach another milestone. On the last day of March, 2006, it will officially be two years old. That may not seem so impressive, but it’s a lot longer than Hootie & the Blowfish’s career appears to have lasted. And it’s far longer than the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thus the question naturally arises: What will the crack young staff do to celebrate this glorious e-anniversary? In dog years, this humble “website” would be ready for its bar mitzvah; doesn’t this warrant some kind of fete?

To be honest, dear reader, we’re not sure. For well nigh two years, we have been suitably fortunate to have all kinds of talented “web”-boosters. How could we do without the Vodkapundit, the Llamas, Dan the Carnivorous Conservative, the Peperium Clan, the Naked Villain, the Phinster, Sadie the Fist, the Wizbangers, et al.?

The answer, of course, is that we could not. Accordingly, we are contemplating some sort of 2nd Anniversary E-Soiree. Doilies, centerpieces, swing music, cigars—you know, we’d do it classy.

Perhaps we’ll get one of our most prominent “linkers” to present some kind of flattering harangue: Brit Hume (who once corrected our grammar in an e-mail); Andrew Sullivan; James Taranto; the guy whose “weblog” pertains to news about monkeys.

We wonder which of those guys will be available for the gig.

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March 16, 2006

In Defense of Music Snobbery

In today’s humble “post,” dear reader, we aim to get something off of our collective chest. This may not make us particularly popular. In fact, it’s liable to earn us a place in popular culture infamy—right next to Denny Terio, perhaps. Or maybe Jamie Farr.

We have the distinct feeling that today’s “post” will make us happy our “weblog” doesn’t allow “comments.” You may just hate us for this one. So be it.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are officially fed up with pop music devotees who rudely “correct” us when we discuss one of their favorite entertainers. Just the other day, for instance, someone asked one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—whether he liked a band called Oasis. “Chip” replied that he isn’t fond of pop music.

“Chip’s” interlocutor, mirabile dictu, was greatly offended. You’d have thought that “Chip” just shot his mother, for crying out loud. “Pop music? Pop music?” he cried. “Oasis isn’t pop music!”

As Annie Hall might say, well la-di-dah. Oasis, it seems, is a “rock band,” not a “pop band.” And claiming otherwise is more dangerous than saying “mankind” in a Womyn’s Studies seminar.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” reply: Oh, puh-lease. Why is it that these pop music aficionados label everything from J.S. Bach to John Cage “classical,” but become deeply offended if you mix up “trip-hop” and “drum & bass”? As far as they’re concerned, Louis Armstrong and Cecil Taylor deserve to be lumped together, whereas somehow Genesis and Billy Joel are extremely different.

If you ask us, the obsessive re-labeling of what can broadly be labeled pop music comes down to one thing: Pop music fans don’t like to admit they like pop music. Instead of listening to music of any real value, however, pop devotees take the easier route—inventing paltry new sub-genres in a vain attempt to pretend they’re classy.

Earth to pop music fans: You aren’t fooling anyone. Rock is pop music. Rap is pop music. Soft rock is pop music. Hard rock is pop music. We could go on, but we think you get our collective drift. And, as much as you may enjoy a little aesthetic slumming, they can’t hold a candle to Beethoven.

Now, many of our reader(s) may say that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are a passel of music snobs. After all, jazz was once regarded as pop music too.

To which we reply: Jazz records don’t sell in sufficient quantity to be labeled “pop music,” and that’s because their sophistication apparently isn’t for mass appeal. And, quite frankly, if you want to label us music snobs, so be it.

As far as we’re concerned, America is plagued not with too many music snobs, but too few. When classical composers must eke out livings in academia in order to survive and Kid Rock is a squillionaire, the world could use a few more people with taste.

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March 15, 2006


Certainly you have heard the news that Russell D. Feingold (D-Wisconsin) introduced a measure in the Senate to censure President Bush. More specifically, Senator Feingold aims to scold the President because his surveillance program countenanced eavesdropping on suspected terrorists in the US who contact suspected terrorists abroad.

He informed the public of his intention on the ABC News program “This Week,” which undoubtedly ensured that the two dozen Americans who weren’t in church or watching “Meet the Press” heard about it.

Thus has Russ Feingold demonstrated that he isn’t in touch with voters outside of Madison food cooperatives. We’re sure he’s big with the tofu and soymilk crowd, but we have the sneaking suspicion that he’s not popular with those few other Americans who aren’t vegans. In fact, Senator Feingold is sufficiently barmy to suppose that his measure will receive “bipartisan support.”

Naturally, Senator Feingold hasn’t an iota of Republican support for his silly measure. And for good reason: As the press reluctantly reported, even Jimmy Carter—the Ramsey Clark of American presidents—conducted searches without official court authority. Perhaps Feingold will get around to censuring President Carter for his surveillance programs—once he has censured him for composing execrable poetry, of course.

Senator Feingold hasn’t even garnered the support of his Democratic colleagues. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), the most prominent American elected representative from the powerful elfin lobby, responded to Feingold’s stunt as follows: “But even though I thought he was wrong, I would rather wait until the investigation is completed, which has now been started by the Intelligence Committee, before I go beyond that.”

Levin offered these remarks on CNN’s “Late Edition,” which means that exactly three people outside of Wolf Blitzer’s family caught them.

It’s not terribly often that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” agree with Carl Levin. Although we’d be among the first to admit that Mr. Levin is kind of cute and cuddly, we don’t tend to see eye to eye on much of anything. In fact, you’ll probably have to go back as far as the odious George Galloway’s testimony before a Senate subcommittee to find us proud of this rather Keebler senator.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have happened upon a way to celebrate this unexpected moment of concord: Censure Russ Feingold.

Doesn’t it sound like a delicious idea? We’ll get a motion passed through the Senate that formally castigates Senator Feingold for his noxious political grandstanding. It’ll excoriate him for his transparent and pathetic attempt to draw some attention to his soon-to-be-flailing presidential campaign. And it’ll reinforce the notion that sane Americans actually want to tap the ‘phones of those talking to Al Qaeda operatives.

We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: How are we ever going to get any backing for our proposal? Well, have no fear: We are happy to announce that our motion already has the same amount of Senatorial support as does Mr. Feingold’s.

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March 14, 2006

Bracketology with the Crack Young Staff

Well, dear reader, it’s just about NCAA tournament time for the pituitary cases who are undeservedly admitted into universities in order to play college basketball. March Madness, that is to say, will soon be upon us.

And, we imagine, the sobriquet “March Madness” has nothing to do with the fact that March is Women’s History Month. (Or is that Womyn’s Herstory Month?) In fact, now that we think about it, it’s kind of humorous that March is Women’s History Month, since it is also home to the ladies’ NCAA basketball tournament, and only rather mannish women give a darn about that.

As much as we hate to admit it, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are transfixed by the so-called Big Dance. We just can’t get enough of it. All day, we’ve been furiously filling in our respective brackets, aiming on taking first prize in sundry office pools.

There’s only one problem, dear reader: We simply can’t decide which teams to choose. If we recall from past tournaments, dolts who’ve never even laid eyes on a college basketball match outperform supposed experts. No matter how much thought you put into your bracket, you’ll always wind up screwing up royally. You’re better off having your pet monkey fill it in for you.

This has led us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to devise a new method of picking teams. Sure, it may not be any more accurate than a séance, but it has the added benefit of offering some sort of satisfaction.

We call our method “The Anti-Princeton Review Scheme,” and we think it’s just delightful.

When you are ready to fill out your bracket, dear reader, all you must do is choose the schools that are easier to get into. You know, the sorts of colleges that require nothing for entrance beyond a pen.

Now, this method of selection may not work, of course. But it sure is satisfying. Why would you pick snobby old Georgetown when you can root for Northern Iowa to trounce them? Why choose fancy-pants UCLA when you can cheer for Belmont—which we only recently discovered was a college?

There’s no darn reason at all. None whatsoever. So, if you aren’t going to win your office pool—and, let’s face it, you aren’t—you might as well have fun plumping for schools you actually could have attended.

The more miserable sounding the university, the more God-forsaken the location, the more vociferously you should tout them. Goodbye, Duke, North Carolina, and California (which is really UC Berkeley, but those elitist hippies are too cowardly to give their real name)! And hello Murray St., Monmouth, and Southern Alabama!

There is, of course, the possibility that two collegiate clunkers will play one another, and it will prove difficult to choose between them. They both have rolling admissions; they both are in the middle of nowhere; and they both are easier to get into than Paris Hilton. What do you do then?

That, dear reader, is when you call your pet monkey to the rescue.

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March 13, 2006

Alienating Our Base, or One Reason We Hate People

As you may well know, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are regular Sunday essayists for the big-boy “weblog” Wizbang. Accordingly, each week we prepare an extra-special piece for the Wizbangers, and hope that they’ll enjoy it.

Unlike our own humble “weblog,” Wizbang accepts e-strollers’ “comments.” And this has led us to surmise that we’re about as popular as genital warts. Really, really big, itchy genital warts.

You see, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have always had an aversion to “comments.” Long ago, the e-stud Stephen Baldwin informed us that “comments” are well nigh useless: They simply allow idiots to one-up you or present various snarky, sub-literate opinions.

Oh, how right Mr. Baldwin is! For we have found that our humble “posts” at Wizbang have gotten various losers’ knickers in quite a twist. As such, we have taken our fair share of e-hits. Sad to say, perhaps, but it’s true.

Why, you may be wondering, would anyone take offense at the luminous animadversions of the crack young staff? A good question, that.

Well, it appears only a few of our “posts” have elicited such contumely. Interestingly, no one was troubled by our humorous take on homosexual rights activists. Apparently, this brand of delicate subject matter doesn’t offend.

But it seems as if excoriating Harry Connick Jr. and VH-1 is downright un-American to some of the boobs who read Wizbang. Accordingly, a bunch of chuckleheads who assuredly inhabit their parents’ basements have taken aim at us. They’ve even managed to call us—horror of horrors!—pretentious.

Frankly, dear reader, this makes us a bit peeved. Suitably peeved, in fact, that we’ve decided to risk “alienating our base” by mentioning some unfortunate truisms.

Whereas we have cultivated a good-natured, perceptive e-audience, many popular conservative “weblogs” are home to knuckle-dragging dipsticks. These moronic “dittoheads” can’t stomach any kind of criticism—unless it’s directed at Islamofascism, Hillary Clinton, or the French. Bring up anything else for obloquy, and all heck breaks loose.

Sundry conservatives, it seems, unapologetically extol Western civilization as superior, and thus hope to export some of its aspects elsewhere in the world, in order to limit human suffering. Sounds good to us. But make fun of the detritus of popular culture and numerous conservatives get all bent out of shape.

Sure, they appear to think, you can make sweeping judgments about cultures, but don’t you dare rip on “The Facts of Life”! If you do, you run the risk of being labeled “pretentious elitists.”

Or so a clown named "Starboard Attitude" charged in a response to our humble “post” on the horrors of VH-1. ("Starboard Attitude?" That's an awfully pretentious sobriquet.) This fellow found our argument boring, but troubled himself to compose numerous “comments” about it nevertheless. (He must lead a very exciting existence.) In short, he calls us a passel of snobs.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: You are a dipshit.

Gee, do you think that this retort is sufficiently demotic for this chucklehead?

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March 10, 2006

Airplane Travel

Of all the topics that are ripe for our demolition, surely airplane travel is among the most bland. After all, what tepid comedian, clad in an ugly sweater and acid-wash jeans, hasn’t ripped on the airlines? If you ask us, airplane gags are up there with disquisitions on the traffic in Los Angeles and the differences between men and women on the list of all-time boring topics for comedians list.

Even so, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” simply can’t help ourselves. Although we’ve mentioned this topic before, we must do so again. One of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—has recently taken a few flights, and he is still red with anger as a result.

First, perhaps we should note that nothing is as stale and fetid as airplane air. We don’t really have a gag to accompany this observation, but it’s darn true. Why, the air’s cleaner at a Grateful Dead concert. (Okay, so there’s your lame gag. Happy?)

We must also mention that we are ineluctably assigned the worst seat on every airplane—jammed in between the toilet and the engine. Apparently, the geniuses at Jet Blue haven’t figured out how to seat someone in the engine, so we must take in its unpleasant roar from a bit of distance.

As if this weren’t sufficiently horrid, the chucklehead who sits in front of us always leans his seat back far enough for us to do dental work on him. He doesn’t ask at all, just blithely slides back—as though we wanted to get a close-up image of his dandruff for the next three hours.

And then there’s the bit about the bathrooms. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” appear to be the only ones on God’s green earth to avoid these déclassé outhouses like the plague. They’re dirty, scummy, and mephitic.

But you’d never guess this from the frenzied run to the toilet on the part of happy air travelers. The minute these boobs hop on board, they head right to the John. Geez, these people are stupid. No wonder Billy Joel sells so many albums.

Then there are the flight attendants. If you ask us, pretty much every one of these ladies looks like she used to be attractive 20 years ago, but is now a horrid wreck. It’s as if advertisements for the gig ran as follows:

Are you a peroxide blonde with ghastly roots? Do you apply makeup with a jackhammer? Did men call you pretty 33 years ago?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, come fly the friendly skies.

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March 09, 2006

Yanni Allegedly Not So New-Agey

Like all other sentient beings with ears, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” loathe so-called New Age music. Our antipathy for this pseudo-spiritual anti-music can best be relayed in joke form:

Question: What do you get when you play New Age music backwards?
Answer: New Age music.

Given our rightful distaste with this cultural detritus, you might figure that we’d be delighted by the following report from a highbrow rag called People Magazine:

Yanni Arrested in Alleged Domestic Dispute

New Age musician Yanni was taken into custody by authorities at his Florida home following an alleged domestic dispute Friday, the Associated Press reports.

Yanni, whose full name is John Yanni Christopher, was arrested at his home in Manalapan, Fla., after an altercation with his girlfriend, Silvia Barthes.

According to the police report, Yanni, 51, asked Barthes, 33, to leave his home Thursday night. When she tried to pack her clothes, a scuffle ensued.

The musician threw Barthes’s clothes on the ground and, according to the report, he grabbed her arms, shook her, and threw her on the bed and jumped on top of her. Yanni told officers that Barthes kicked him and injured his finger during the encounter.

To the untrained eye, this may seem like a delightful story: One of New Age’s foremost gurus is allegedly not so pacifistically, crystal-lovingly, inner-beauty-seekingly New Age after all.

Perhaps we’re a passel of pessimists, dear reader, but we just don’t see it that way. In fact, if you ask us, there are a number of upsetting things that this story highlights.

First, Yanni has a girlfriend. Take that in for a second, dear reader. This means that a woman actually wants to kiss and cuddle with a guy who makes John Tesh seem hip. To make matters worse, this lady is almost two decades Yanni’s junior.

Then there’s the matter of the actual charge. Sure, we’re happy to discover that Yanni has finally been charged with a crime. But an alleged domestic dispute? That’s all he gets after that noxious “Live at the Acropolis” album? If you ask us, that’s like charging Hitler with jaywalking.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to see him booked with a “crimes against humanity” rap. Couldn’t the feckless International Criminal Court drop its umpteenth Ariel Sharon prosecution and nail a real criminal like Yanni, for crying out loud?

In fact, we found only one thing to savor from this report. Ms. Barthes has allegedly—allegedly!—hurt Yanni’s finger. If that’ll keep him away from the keyboard for a while, we’ll send her a bouquet.

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March 08, 2006

Honor, French Style

The Saturday, March 4 number of The New York Times reported that none other than Norman Mailer “was given the medal of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction, in ceremonies yesterday at the French Cultural embassy on the Upper East Side.” So, as far as our frog friends are concerned, Mr. Mailer, everyone’s favorite half-pint radical, is as honorable as they come.

Why, you may be wondering, did France bestow this award on Mr. Mailer? Surely a man who hasn’t written a decent book since 1948 doesn’t deserve plaudits for his honor, does he?

Jean-David Levitte, France’s ambassador to these here United States, explains: “Norman Mailer is an American hero with a fierce love of freedom, and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles of his time—what we can un intellectuel engagé.”

Ah, we get it now: He deserves French accolades for his personal convictions and political acumen.

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to tell our froggy pals whom they can and cannot praise, but we think Mr. Mailer is actually lacking in the qualities Ambassador Levitte names. First, there is the matter of his “love of freedom.” As pleasant as that sounds, Mr. Mailer’s fierce anti-Americanism has led him to flirt with totalitarianism. Even a cursory examination of Mr. Mailer’s politics would lead one to conclude that he’s the very embodiment of radical chic. No incessant cheerleader for freedom, he.

And there is much more about Mr. Mailer’s past that should have troubled the French. Perhaps they didn’t realize that he once got drunk and stabbed his second wife Adele, nearly killing her? We thought France—or at least the non-Muslim sliver of it—was far more in-tune with feminism than the Neanderthals in the States; why would they praise a wife-stabbing, sex-obsessed freak like Mailer? Isn’t France the country of Simone de Beauvoir?

Nor should we forget Mr. Mailer’s attitudes toward blacks. In 1957, he penned an essay in Dissent magazine called “The White Negro.” One could hardly imagine a writing that offers a more paternalistic view of black people. As critic Roger Kimball writes, “Mailer’s stereotypical portrayal of blacks as beastlike sexual athletes is one of the many distasteful things about the essay.”

All in all, then, it appears as if the French love Norman Mailer because he has written sundry anti-American polemics that make the frogs feel better. Their Legion of Honor medal wasn’t so much awarded to Mr. Mailer as it was offered to allow the Gauls to thumb their nose at us.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” say we should strike back. Let’s retroactively offer the Congressional Medal of Freedom to Robespierre. Now there’s a frog an American can love.

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March 07, 2006

The Hairless Jihad

By now, dear reader, you have undoubtedly heard about Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who saw fit to drive a rented SUV into a crowded spot at his alma mater, hoping to run down as many infidels as he could find. Thankfully, this nutter didn’t hurt anyone seriously.

Although they had bigger fish to fry—like the umpteenth story on Pat Tillman that aimed at flinging mud at the United States Army—even the eminences at The New York Times saw fit to mention this horrid event.

Naturally, many people want to know what led Mr. Taheri-azar, this deranged whacko, to use a motor vehicle as a weapon. News reports have mentioned that this Iranian fellow informed the chief of university police at UNC, Derek Poarch, that he aimed to get back at the West for its treatment of Muslims. Apparently, the US has spent a great deal of time mowing down Mohammedans with Jeep Cherokees, and it was high time for Mr. Taheri-azar to respond in kind.

One wonders how UNC—a campus chock-a-block with anti-American professors chomping at the bit at the possibility of staging a “teach-in”—will treat this whole affair. Perhaps they’ll focus on the ways in which evil American imperialism compelled him to put his pedal to the metal. Or maybe they’ll see the whole things as a Zionist plot. Maybe a bed-ridden, comatose Ariel Sharon was pulling the strings?

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” suppose that conservatives will have a field day over this story. UNC, they’ll note, is not exactly a hostile environment for local jihadis: When the school isn’t whitewashing the history of Islam with its summer reading programs, its faculty is busy protesting the American war against the Taliban.

But we just don’t buy it. We mean, come on: He’s only one guy. Sure, he’s a complete loon. Yet this isn’t exactly stellar evidence of a university popping out majors in jihad with minors in chemical engineering. It’s only one case.

In fact, we’re pretty sure that jihadist longings had little to do with Mr. Taheri-azar’s evil rampage. If we’re correct, something else entirely is the cause.

So what is it? Well, examine a picture of this fellow. This is the face of a 22-year-old crazy person. Notice anything interesting?

Yep, that’s right. He’s balding. Really badly, in fact. And at 22, for crying out loud! This isn’t a fellow who’s going to get his paws on 72 virgins—here or in the afterlife! One gander at that chrome dome and the ladies will practically hand him their burqas.

Laugh at us all you want, dear reader, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar has what we call Mussolini Syndrome: Truculent anger at the world as the result of his unfortunate tonsorial fate.

Don’t think that’s possible? How else do you explain Bruce Willis?

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March 06, 2006

The Oscars

Devotees of this humble “weblog” surely want to know what we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” thought of last night’s Academy Awards. After all, the Oscars is a special event: John Stewart even took a break from his regular schedule of producing 30-minute humorous infomercials for the Democratic Party in order to be there.

We presume that the curious looking Kathy Griffin also attended, thanks to some dilapidated cable network. And we’ll bet that she did her darndest to make fun of all the big stars on the red carpet. If you ask us, when you look as pretty as Ms. Griffin—and after all that time under the knife—you need to have some real chutzpah to rip on others. That, incidentally, is what we love about her. And it’s the only thing.

Now, we hate to disappoint our rabid fans, but we must inform you that we simply couldn’t make it through the ceremony. In fact, the show became so dreary that we contemplated switching the channel to Joe Dirt. And that, friends, is saying something: Joe Dirt is so painfully awful that it almost makes you feel sorry for David Spade. Almost.

So what, you may be asking yourself, was so horrid about this year’s Academy Awards? Well, we suppose we should admit that we hadn’t been to the movies much this year. As a result, unless The 40-Year-Old Virgin was up for anything, you can bet that we hadn’t seen the films nominated.

What normal person who doesn’t moonlight as a movie critic would see these pictures? As far as we could intuit, the Best Picture Oscar was a contest between a hagiographical picture for the gay rights movement, a hagiographical take on left-wing anti-McCarthyism, and two films pertaining to terrorism that offer the same tired “cycle of violence” shibboleths.

And, we suppose we should add, Capote. But as Truman himself might have said, that’s not a movie; that’s typing.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t want to play the role of Neanderthalic right-wing culture warriors and rant about “liberal Hollywood elites.” Where would that leave Michael Medved?

Instead, we think that the film industry doesn’t take things sufficiently far. If you really want to preach to Americans about gay rights, why not nominate a movie replete with hardcore homosexual pornography? Why are they so squeamishly choosing a lame softcore flick like Brokeback Mountain?

Moreover, if Hollywood wants to get on its soapbox about the War on Terrorism, why doesn’t it nominate one of Osama bin Laden’s videos? They’re far more sophisticated than the palaver produced by Michael Moore.

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March 03, 2006

A Man of No Steel

“Hamas’s triumph in last week’s Palestinian elections is the best news from the Middle East for a long time.” Thus begins a jaw-droppingly stupid column. But where did it appear? Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram? The repellently-named anti-Israeli “website” “The Electronic Intifada”?

Nope. It was a featured piece in the British Left’s daily beacon of anti-Westernism, The Guardian. The Guardian, for those of you not keeping score, is neck-and-neck in its race with Britain’s Independent to see which outfit can capitulate to radical Islam first. Penned by a fellow named Jonathan Steele, the op-ed demonstrates a failure to make the most routine political and moral discriminations.

After all, who in his right mind considers the Palestinians cheerfully electing a terrorist group as their rightful leaders wondrous? Haven’t there been a few pieces of “better news” from the Middle East?

We mean, come on: The murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein was deposed. Syria has left Lebanon after years of illegal occupation (an occupation that, interestingly enough, our anti-Israeli friends have failed to acknowledge). Egypt has taken a few baby steps toward democratic governance, as has Saudi Arabia. Israel has departed from the Gaza Strip. Does a vile terrorist group’s victory really trump all of these things?

Not, we think, to a serious political commentator. Unless, of course, that political commentator is merely “serious” about Israel’s destruction. But at The Guardian, this kind of nonsense is par for the course.

The very title of Mr. Steele’s piece (as it appeared in the ex-pat version of The Guardian) says it all: “Trust the Palestinians’ Choice.” Ah, yes: They’ve never made any errors in judgment in the past.

And it makes us wonder: If Hamas’ victory is really Jonathan Steele’s Middle-Eastern wet dream, to what else in the political realm does he look forward? What would make Mr. Steele a happy radical dolt?

Well, we wonder no longer. The Official Wondering Department here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has spent well over an hour cogitating these very questions. And it has helpfully compiled a list of past, present, and future events for which Mr. Steele has or will cheerlead. It has even put this list in the form of sentences from Mr. Steele’s feculent oeuvre.

Trust Jonathan Steele’s Acumen: Past and Future Sentences from This Chucklehead’s Columns:

1. “The tsunami is the best thing to happen to the East for a long time.”

2. “We should all cheer the Muslim takeover of New Jersey.”

3. “What would Zimbabwe do without Robert Mugabe, that humanitarian genius?”

4. “Kristallnacht may seem bad on the face of it, but it will ultimately lead to racial comity.”

5. “I expect a lot more great things from Idi Amin.”

6. “The gorgeous photograph of Michael Dukakis in a tank will help catapult him into the White House.”

7. “I, Jonathan Steele, am not an idiot.”

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March 02, 2006

The Maine Event

Like darn near all God-fearing Americans, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t spend much time thinking about Maine, the state that appears to excel in lobster and Klan rallies. (Or maybe it’s just lobster—the Klan doesn’t take too kindly to red crustaceans.)

Although Maine is likely every bit as ethnically diverse as New Hampshire and as clement as Wisconsin, we just don’t find ourselves pondering it very often. Until, that is to say, now.

An article in the chattering class’ Paper of Record has left us deeply worried about this self-proclaimed “Vacationland.” It appears as if the state may degenerate into an uninhabitable tundra.

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with global warming, or global cooling, or even global staying-the-same-temperature. Rather, it is much more severe. Take a gander at some snippets from the piece in question:

Live Lingerie Show Stopped After a Model Is Threatened

Live lingerie models are no longer luring customers to downtown Augusta, Me.

The models, clad in thong underwear, feather boas or figure-hugging dresses, had appeared in the window of a lingerie store there, Spellbound, since September.

The display prompted debate between those in the city who thought it creatively drew attention to the store and others who saw it as risqué and indecent. A Christian group protested outside the store on Feb. 11, when it held a Valentine’s Day open house.

The owner of the shop, Felicia Stockford, said she stopped the display about a week ago after one of the models received a threatening phone call and the tires on her car were slashed….

Ms. Stockford said she planned to sell the store in Augusta, a city of 24,000 in central Maine, and hoped to open another in Portland, Me., or Salem, Mass., places she said were “more liberal.”

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: What will become of the thriving metropolis known as downtown Augusta? The beloved state capital will be a veritable desert if Ms. Stockford packs up and heads elsewhere. What will the hip resident(s) of Augusta do without such climate-appropriate gear as thongs? Perhaps they’ll have to travel all the way to Abercrombie & Fitch to get them! Heaven forbid!

Still, we must say that Ms. Stockford has potentially made an excellent choice for her backup city. If we recall our American history correctly, Salem, Mass. is a real liberal hotbed. We wonder how pleased Goodie Stockford is when she finds out the local penalty for indecent exposure isn’t as niggling as tire-slashing—it’s an old fashioned hanging.

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March 01, 2006

Another Idiot Reads the Gray Lady

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have oft remarked on the unfathomably low quality of letters featured in The New York Times. If you ask us, the missives in the Paper of Record are so awful that they make Maureen Dowd’s columns seem like unadulterated genius. And that, friends, is saying something.

Under these circumstances, we suppose that it isn’t terribly surprising that the February 22 number of the Times features the typical smattering of dunderheaded letters. Yet one of these struck us as so feeble, so obtuse that it warrants quoting in full.

The epistle reads as follows:

To the Editor:

That Israel has suspended tax money due the Palestinians leaves me incredulous. I was under the false impression that both the United States and Israel wanted democracy in the Middle East.

When a people make a choice at the ballot box, who has the right to challenge that vote if it is democratic? No one!

It reminds me of Henry Ford’s proclamation on giving customers a color choice for the Model T. Ford famously said, “You can buy it in any color, as long as it’s black.”

The Palestinians can choose any government they want, so long as Israel and America approve! So much for democracy! So much for hypocrisy!

Frank A. Walter
Chicago, Feb. 20, 2006

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t mean to be impolite, but Frank A. Walter is a moron. His short letter makes so many mistakes, we hardly know where to begin.

First, we suppose we should note that the United States and Israel have vehemently denied any rumors—such as those printed in the Times itself—that they are interested in toppling the new Palestinian government. So the idiotic Mr. Walter is dead wrong in suggesting that they are subverting democratic elections.

Rather, Mr. Walter appears to suggest that a given polity need not suffer any ramifications of its own actions, provided those actions were the result of a vote. Thus any Palestinian decision—provided it came about as the result of Palestinians heading to the polls—should never be criticized. In fact, other states have no right to take action against these decisions at all.

This, of course, is simply ludicrous. The Palestinians have a right to vote for a terrorist organization as their government. But other states have a right to react to that decision. There is no reason to think that the world should act otherwise.

After all, what if, say, the citizens of Poland voted to kill all of its Jewish inhabitants? Should no one bother to complain, since the decision was based on voting? This is madness.

(And let’s simply skip over the bit about no one having the right to challenge decisions if “a people make a choice at the ballot box.” Perhaps Mr. Walter has never heard of something called the judiciary. Undemocratic as it might seem to Mr. Walter’s small brain, judges actually overrule decisions determined as the result of popular votes.)

We suppose, then, that Mr. Walter, following his own dictates, has never criticized George W. Bush, because he is the democratically elected president of the United States. Oh, that’s right: Mr. Walter’s letter does criticize President Bush.

So much for democracy! So much for hypocrisy!

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