April 28, 2006

The Self-Assured Plagiarist

Many have undoubtedly heard about Kaavya Viswanathan, a 19-year-old sophomore at some school named Harvard and the unheralded author of a book unappetizingly titled How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life. As has been reported ad nauseam in the press, Ms. Viswanathan was caught plagiarizing passages of two books by one Megan McCafferty.

As you can undoubtedly tell from the title of Ms. Viswanathan’s tome, we are in the realm of young adult fiction—a feculent genre, to be sure. Frankly, if you ask us, the whole brouhaha over this plagiarism case is a bit dull: Who the heck cares if one author of young adult detritus steals from another author of young adult detritus?

It’s kind of like ripping off a Billy Joel song. Did it really do anyone any good?

Even so, a report in the April 27 number of the Gray Lady concerning this matter piqued our interest. Penned by one Dinitia Smith, the piece had a few remarkable passages. For instance, take a gander at this choice selection:

In a profile published in The New York Times earlier this month, Ms. Viswanathan’s agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, said the plot and writing of “Opal” had been “1,000 percent” Ms. Viswanathan’s.

But in the interview [with her publisher on April 26], Ms. Viswanathan acknowledged that she had help conceiving the book from Alloy Entertainment, a “book packager.”

Curious, is it not? And we don’t mean the bit about the math: By our count, even if the book were entirely the creation of its author, her agent would be off by about 900 percent.

Rather, we were struck by Ms. Walsh’s seeming lack of knowledge about her client’s work. We wouldn’t blame her for skipping How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life, but she ought to know a thing or two about its production.

But here’s the good part of the story:

Some of the plagiarism may have happened because she has a photographic memory, Ms. Viswanathan said. “I remember by reading,” she said. “I never take notes.”

Oh, for crying out loud! This chick’s just been caught plagiarizing, and she still can’t stop patting herself on the back for her self-professed acumen! How quintessentially Harvard is this?

Come on, Ms. Viswanathan! Clearly you don’t have a photographic memory. If you did, you would recognize that some of your sentences came from Ms. McCafferty’s novels. So can the “I’m a plagiarist because I’m a genius” routine.

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April 27, 2006

Do You Have Any Wretched Verse in You?

As the entire universe undoubtedly knows, May 4 is the final day that you can send entries into our enthralling Third Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition (the details of which you can read here). Unsurprisingly, we’ve received oodles upon oodles of submissions, and some of them are very bad indeed.

Even so, we believe that some of our readers—both the supremely dedicated and the casual e-strollers—have yet to tap their inner college sophomore and send us a really wretched example of self-important balladry. And that would be a shame: We hope to get all manner of submissions before we crown our winner.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d rekindle your enthusiasm for the contest by offering a particularly piquant example of atrocious poesy. Having read this noxious attempt at versification, you will hunger to produce your own sub-par doggerel.

The only question, then, was the following: To where do we turn when we hunger for really awful pseudo-poetic drivel? Well, how about an old standby: Cherie Moraga? Yeah, we thought that was a good idea too.

To be sure, Ms. Moraga is not herself a college student. In fact, her poetry is so pathetic one may reasonably wonder if she completed the fourth grade. Or toilet training.

Still, Ms. Moraga has combined her unrelenting literary non-talent and radical Chicana politics to barge her way into fancy sinecures at American universities. If you ask us, that’s putting non-talent to work.

Given her inept poetry and ethnic grievance-mongering, it is unsurprising that Ms. Moraga has long been a source of inspiration for horrid collegiate poetry everywhere. But you needn’t take our word for it. Why, just sample a few choice lines from Ms. Moraga’s poem entitled “Loving on the Run”:

A few choice lines from “Loving on the Run” by Cherie Moraga

for women who travel in packs of one


I found you on a street corner
hangin out with a bunch of boys
lean brown boys
you too lean
into them
talkin your girl-head off
with your glasses
like some wizard
“I know what that feels like.”

I found you there
you guys hangin out
like family to each other
talkin about women
you sayin
how they make your hips roll
without thinking
those pale green eyes
hips of yours
deep and oiled
like a woman

As veritable connoisseurs of horrid balladry, we must say that this is wonderfully putrid stuff. The pathetically-trying-to-be-clever dedication to “women who travel in packs of one” is a perfect way of informing the reader that the poem to follow will suck big time. And then there are the tin-eared lines like “talking your girl-head off” and “hips of yours/deep and oiled/like a woman.” Simply magnificent.

Think you can live up to this level of horror? Want to give it a go? Well, come on, kids: Don’t be shy. Do your best peace studies junior imitation and send us a poem today. All you must do is compose your miserable poem and click the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. Fame and infamy await.

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April 26, 2006

Nancy Grace

As everyone on God’s green earth knows, a bunch of lacrosse players at Duke University hired two strippers to dance for an off-campus party in early April, and one of the two ladies claims she was brutally raped at the event. Accordingly, the mass media reasonably stopped offering coverage on nugatory matters such as illegal immigration in order to focus on this far less prurient story. It seems as if Americans are only interested in a story if it offers sufficiently salacious details.

We mention this oft-mentioned fiasco because it has introduced us to one Nancy Grace, a television pundit of whom we were previously unaware. And, oh, how great life was before we encountered this harpie! This woman is so odious that we are compelled to suggest she’s the weaker sex’s answer to Geraldo. Yeah, she’s that bad.

So who, you may be wondering, is this Nancy Grace? Well, she hosts a legal show on CNN—the kind of program that focuses on sufficiently gratuitous court cases. You know: It’s news for people who don’t get more intellectual than Cosmopolitan.

In this day and age, there are many of these programs—“The Abrams Report,” Court TV, Rita Cosby’s program, &c. But, as teeth-grindingly awful as all their histrionic hosts are, Nancy Grace is certainly the worst. This bug-eyed, self-important, malignant moron is the Mao of television hosts.

Oh, come on, you say; she can’t be that bad. Ah, but she is; she is. Merely take in a few minutes of her caterwauling over the Duke case, and we’re sure you’ll pine to hit her over the head with a block of wood.

There are many reasons why this is so. First, as befits someone with a legal background, Nancy Grace has avoided any concern for weighing evidence, and has decided that the accused are guilty regardless. DNA, impressive alibis—what’s all this to a trained legal mind such as Nancy Grace’s? Answer: Nothing at all.

Now, let us say for the record that we aren’t sure about the case ourselves. It is entirely possible, we think, that these lacrosse goons did something unspeakable at their party. At the very least, these fellows are no choir boys, and it seems highly likely that they shouted repellent racial epithets at the African-American strippers.

Yet we must admit, at this early stage, it looks less and less likely that a rape occurred. The lack of DNA evidence after a purportedly brutal rape, combined with some real problems with the alleged victim’s story leaves much room for skepticism.

But the odious Nancy Grace will have none of it. When one of her guests offers the merest doubt about the stripper’s case, she flies into a rage. If it were up to her, she’d dispense with the trial and hang all white male Duke students. Just to show them who’s boss. It appears as if Nancy Grace doesn’t think America requires a judicial system, since it already possesses the omniscient Nancy Grace.

May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” simply say that we hope no rape occurred and this is proven in a court of law. That will mean a few good things: First, there was no rape, which is always nice. And, second, Nancy Grace will be exposed for the obnoxious, dimwitted crank she is.

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April 25, 2006

A Conspiracy Revealed

The diligent reader of this humble “weblog” may realize that many of us are essentially conservative in their political persuasion. In fact, informal polling around the office water cooler suggests that nearly 47 percent of the crack young staff considers itself neoconservative.

Accordingly, we feel as if we are in a good position to let a particular cat out of a particular bag. Ever since the dawn of time, it seems, various nutters have believed that the world is controlled by a small number of evildoers: Members of the Council on Foreign Relations; Jews; Jim Carey; et al. Yet the publication of the feculent paper “The Israel Lobby” by two prominent academics-cum-anti-Semites has pushed the conspiracy theorists even further into the limelight.

And we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think it’s high time that those in the know, as they say, finally admitted the truth. We may not make too many friends in conservative circles with this acknowledgement, but we think people ought to know what’s really going on.

So, dear reader, if you must know, here it is. The world is entirely run by Irving Kristol. Mr. Kristol, father of the neoconservative movement, intellectual journalist, and think-tanker, has been fully in charge of the universe for 23 years. Before him, Norman Podhoretz was running things for a while.

Many people, then, mistakenly believe that Jews control the universe. Not true: Mr. Kristol does it all by himself; since he’s actually Jewish himself, we suppose this means that Jew controls the universe.

Everything in your life—taxes, kitchen appliances, children, mortgages, stuffed animals—are under the spell of Mr. Kristol. The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 because Mr. Kristol figured it’d be a good idea. All is in his power.

Admittedly, this may seem farfetched to some. But, if you think really hard about it, Mr. Kristol’s firm grasp on the universe helps us understand a few things.

Before you realized Mr. Kristol’s powers, how could you account for the successful careers of Britney Spears, Scott Baio, Kevin Costner, and Pauly Shore? There’s no way, is there? But now, it’s all clear: Mr. Kristol has a very dark sense of humor.

So, the next time your anti-Semitic co-worker or esteemed Harvard dean natters on about Jews controlling the world, tell him to drop the “s.” A Jew—not Jews—controls the world, and you ought to stop blaming the rest of them for one man’s sins.

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April 24, 2006

Correction Times

Fans of The New York Times have noted that its correction pages routinely take ownership of all kinds of mistakes in the paper’s reporting, no matter how nugatory. If a reporter, say, misspelled the name of some poor sap from Dubuque, the second page of the Times’ A Section will see fit to mention it.

Critics note, however, that the Gray Lady has a tendency to correct minor errors whilst ignoring larger matters. For instance, the Times staff has yet to report on whether its discussion of the NSA wiretapping program amounted to a breaking of the Espionage Act. Whereas the Paper of Record went on record as demanding punishment for the Valerie Plame leak, it didn’t take such a stance regarding its NSA counterpart. Curious, is it not?

If the Gray Lady won’t mention a matter such as this, one might justifiably wonder what sorts of things it does discuss in its correction sections. The Sunday, April 23 number of the Times offers proof that its staff does not routinely let large gaffes go unnoticed.

Don’t believe us? Well, just take in the following correction regarding an article on a new book of humorous quotations from Hillary Clinton:

The article also noted that on the cover of the quotation book—“‘I’ve Always Been a Yankees Fan’: Hillary Clinton in Her Own Words”—Mrs. Clinton is shown wearing a Cubs cap. But because of an editing error, this explanation was omitted: “As early as 1994, Mrs. Clinton was on record explaining that growing up in the Midwest, she had both her hometown favorite, the Cubs, who are in the National League, and also an American League favorite, the Yankees.

A heck of a correction, eh? Who says that the Times focuses on trifling errors at the expense of weightier issues? Not us, not us.

Frankly, we think it’s delightful that the supposed “omission” of an entire exculpatory sentence is chocked up to an “editing error.” What kind of “editing error” was this? Cutting that sentence because it’s stupid and unnecessary to the story as a whole? Or failing to write the sentence until some Hillary Clinton lackeys called in and complained?

Personally, we’re happy to have the opportunity to find out so much about Senator Clinton’s sports enthusiasms. Yet, undoubtedly due to more “editing errors,” we’re still left in the dark about a few other important matters: What does Senator Clinton think about the San Diego Padres? How much does she like inter-league play? Does she believe that “the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” is a stupid name?

We won’t sleep at night until the Times offers another correction and fills us in.

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April 21, 2006

Enchanting, Bewitching Pornography?

(Note: The following “post” contains some naughty—and intriguingly spelled—words. If either uncivil curse words or alarmingly poor spelling trouble you, we suggest you skip today’s humble musing.)

Like darn near all those with e-mail accounts, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” routinely receive pornographic “spam” messages. And we detest them—they’re even worse than those goofy e-missives from purported Nigerian bankers and supposedly helpless Middle Eastern imams.

Normally, we delete these pieces of e-detritus immediately. Yet a recent perusal of our “bulk” e-mailbox led us to some interesting discoveries. Not, we suppose, earth-shattering, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

We noted that numerous pornographic e-mail exhortations contain strange language in their titles, undoubtedly in order to elude “spam filters” and other hi-tech gizmos designed to remove these Internet eyesores from our e-mail accounts. To be honest, we found the titles of the messages sufficiently peculiar to cause us to wonder whether they’re really doing the trick.

For instance, someone named Stella sent us (and three squillion other people, no doubt) an e-epistle with the following heading: “radiant Youngesst gay in hard fuucking.” Odd, is it not? Never mind the fact that dear old Stella has more spelling troubles than Dan Quayle. And let us forget the peculiar capitalization—that’s not even correct in German.

Instead, allow us to focus on the word “radiant.” “Radiant”? Why did she trouble herself to write “radiant”? We suppose it’s a potentially effete word, but isn’t it a bit highfalutin under the circumstances? And wouldn’t “enchanting” be gayer?

Or how about another porn “spam” from one Lucille Sadler? Its title asks: “Do you like exquisite Gaay doing interesting blowjobb?” Uh: “Exquisite”? Is Lucy attempting some sort of Oscar Wilde imitation? And who, for crying out loud, likes a “blowjobb” labeled “interesting”? That ain’t a compliment in our books.

But they get even worse. Brad Hackett sends us the following: “esthetic Young Hussies so refined and young.” What in the good Lord’s name is this? Suddenly, e-mail pornographers have a great regard for esthetics. Further, we hardly find it surprising that the “Young Hussies” are “young.”

In fact, if you’re going to offer such inscrutable pap, you might as well go all out, as does a message from one Harvey Kennedy. (Gosh: A Kennedy! How far has a once-mighty family fallen!) It reads: “Young Lady so dishy and better-looking.”

Never mind how cute she is; we like our chicks as “dishy” as they can get.

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April 20, 2006

Things That Aren’t That Bad—Another Installment in an Admittedly Erratic Series Dedicated to Life’s Little Pleasures

The careful reader of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” may realize that our “posts” are often rather gloomy. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” whine, bitch, and carry on about some noxious irritant or other, and then we call it a day.

To be sure, there’s much about the contemporary world to get one’s dander up. To take a recent example, members of the mainstream media pronounced themselves astounded that recent pro-illegal immigrant rallies in Los Angeles were so filled with people. They find this astounding? Who the heck didn’t know that there are lots of illegal immigrants in California?

But enough of our caterwauling. In today’s humble “post,” we aim to put on a bit of a happy face. We hope to remind our reader(s) of one of the delightful pleasures that makes the modern world such a pleasure. It’s one of those things that compels you momentarily to forget that your drab, wretched life is dedicated to paying taxes and awaiting death.

Well, now that we’ve cheered you up a bit, we can get on with the “post.” Perhaps, dear reader, you are familiar with a television program on the Comedy Central network called “Distraction.”

In reality, this program—like so much else on the boob tube—is mercilessly inane. A creepy looking British comedian with an odd taste in fashion plays the part of host on the program, which is a game show for the type of people who consider “Press Your Luck” a tad too cerebral.

Honestly, the contestants on “Distraction” are asked questions so ridiculously stupid that Jessica Simpson could probably answer them. To make matters worse, contestants are forced to endure various indignities throughout the course of the game—snakes in their trousers, nudists rubbing up against them, and so forth—in order to make things harder for them. This, the show’s producers must think, makes the program really magical; in reality, it makes it even dumber.

So why, you may reasonably ask yourself, do we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” enjoy “Distraction”? Why would we vouch for the quality of this idiotic program?

The answer, dear reader, is actually quite simple: Pretty women getting smacked in the face with pies.

You see, in one oft-repeated installment of the game, the contestants get nailed with all manner of messy things—cream pies, honey, mustard, rice—upon ringing their buzzers. And when a cute chick gets slammed in the face with such stuff, it’s a real delight. As they might say in a commercial for horrid beer, life just doesn’t get any better than this.

Mind you, dear reader, this only soothes the soul when a really hot chick gets nailed; no one cares about lame guys or some chubby lady.

Why, you ask? Well, that depends upon which members of the crack young staff you ask. As far as the guys on staff are concerned, nothing beats the humiliation of an uppity gal who would never date you. For the gals, watching someone prettier than you make an ass of herself on television is among the most satisfying pleasures in the world.

As a result, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” strongly suggest that the producers of the feculent program “Distraction” drop the whole game show business, and concentrate on a half-hour of slamming hot broads in the face with all kinds of grotesqueries. We could watch that stuff all day.

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April 19, 2006

The Tyranny of the Southpaws

Every once in a blue moon, dear reader, a story crosses our collective desk that seems destined to change the face of America as we know it. We can’t think of any examples, but be a pal and take our words for it.

Recently, just such an article came to our attention a few days ago. Culled from The Weekly Telegraph, the expatriate version of London’s esteemed Torygraph, the short piece is likely to alter your vision of the world for decades to come.

For your benefit, dear reader, we have reproduced the story in its entirety:

Left-handed men are paid more

Left-handed men earn around five per cent more than their right-handed colleagues, but for left-handed women the opposite is true, according to a study published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Dr Kevin Denny, an economics lecturer at University College Dublin, said it was hard to explain the difference found by his team.

Hard to find the difference? Hard to find the difference! Oh, come on, man: Clearly, we are talking about a malignant hegemony of the southpaw. How else could you explain this outcome?

After all, our feminist pals have brilliantly argued that any disparity—real or imagined—between men and women is the result of the evil patriarchy. Clearly, then, the differences in wages earned by right-handed and left-handed men can only be the result of some sort of discrimination.

Now, we admit that the bit about female southpaws earning less is a tad trickier. But, ever attentive to the doyennes of feminist theory, we think we’ve come up with a persuasive rationale to explain this.

Left-handed gals are merely “internalizing the oppressor.” Admittedly, that’s not a particularly good rationale—it actually doesn’t make sense—but how much feminist theory makes sense?

Approximately 47 percent of the crack young staff is right-handed, and this portion is currently clamoring for all manner of remedies for this odious discrimination: Right-Handed Cultural Centers on college campuses; mandatory anti-southpaw diversity workshops at businesses; “Take Your Right-Handed Son To Work Day”; the foundation of the National Organization for Righties; &c.

With perseverance, we may finally end this tyranny of the southpaw. Until then, perhaps you may want your son or daughter to enroll in Right-Handed Studies classes at the local university.

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April 18, 2006

Fashionably Unfashionable

The other day, dear reader, one of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the April 16 number of The New York Times Magazine. Yes, we know: “Chip” is a glutton for punishment.

Among the pieces “Chip” read was “The Anti-Orientalist,” a fawning profile of Spanish expatriate novelist Juan Goytisolo, which was penned by one Fernanda Eberstadt. Already as early as the second paragraph, “Chip” became skeptical about Ms. Eberstadt’s opinions.

For, in said paragraph, she offers the following sentiments:

Considered by many to be Spain’s greatest living writer, Goytisolo is in some ways an anachronistic figure in today’s cultural landscape. His ideas can seem deeply unfashionable. For him, writing is a political act, and it is the West, not the Islamic world, that is waging a crusade.

Dear, oh, dear: According to the powers that be at the Times Magazine, then, the notion that the West is on a crusade is “deeply unfashionable”? Oh, come on.

As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can determine, that’s about as chichi a view as you can sport. Offering such a sentiment, in fact, is so “deeply unfashionable” that you’d have a hard time getting it across without everyone in the smart set vociferously agreeing with you.

Gee, we suppose it must be difficult to present such a view. You’d only have access to a couple of “deeply unfashionable” avenues to publicize your opinion: The New York Times, The Nation, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, Salmagundi, Dissent, New Left Review, The London Review of Books, The Progressive, Tikkun, The American Prospect, Z Magazine, any academic publisher, most trade publishers, The New York Times Magazine, The New Statesman &c.

How tough! Clearly, you must pay a price for being such an intellectual trailblazer.

Even the title of the profile demonstrates how utterly faddish is Mr. Goytisolo: “The Anti-Orientalist.” These days, if you pine to advertise your un-modishness, you should loudly proclaim yourself an Orientalist. That ought to win few friends in academe.

To be sure, Ms. Eberstadt notes that Goytisolo has a few comparatively unfashionable opinions: He isn’t a big fan of Fidel Castro, for instance, and he thinks various Arab regimes are corrupt. To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Yawn! Basically, this merely means that Mr. Goytisolo isn’t Tariq Ali.

As far as we’re concerned, no one should be calling anyone with such views “deeply unfashionable.” To us, “deeply unfashionable” means believing that keeping Twinkies in your pants for three hours a day will bring world peace and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

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April 17, 2006

Introducing the Third Annual “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition!

Well, dear reader, one of the most exciting times in the year has finally arrived. No, not income tax day, although, if you use H&R Block, you’re liable to save some money the old fashioned way—tax evasion.

Rather, today marks the official announcement of our most popular and long lived e-contest: The Third Annual “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition. (The announcement of previous years’ winners can be found here and here.) This competition allows you, dear reader, to take on the role of a moronic college sophomore (if you will pardon the redundancy) and send in an example of the most naïve, inept balladry you can imagine.

Once again, our Official Contest Judge is a poet of the ages: Anonymous. Throughout a preternaturally long career, Anonymous has crafted some of the most beloved poems known to the world. And he will be carefully examining our entries, hunting for all the telltale signs of pathetic collegiate doggerel: Ghastly clichés; predictably utopian politics; clunky non-rhythms; misspellings; irksome tones of all-knowingness. Points will be deducted for the proper use of meter, alliteration, and other signs of poetic competence.

The closer your poem is to the mindless pap to be found in an undergraduate literary magazine, the more likely you are to take home the prize. And what, you may be asking yourself, is the prize? Why, it’s fantastic: The glorious publication of your magnum opus on our humble “website,” with plentiful accolades from the crack young staff.

In order to demonstrate the sort of poem we might receive as an entry, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—decided to pen his own piece of error-ridden, execrable juvenilia. He calls it “Peace Is Not War.”

Peace Is Not War by “Chip”

In these days of modern times
Where wars are waged for the rich
And Amerika goes on a violent crusade for “freedom”

It is easy to forget:
Peace is not war.
War is not peace.
They are actually quite dissimilar.

So tell that to Rumsfield,
Tell that to W,
Tell that to Zionists and rapists,
Inform Halliburton to.

Peace is not war.
War is not peace.
They are very different.

Pretty good, is it not? Well, to be honest, it ain’t that great, but it serves as an example of the kind of dross we hope to receive.

Entries must be received by 5:00 EDT on May 3rd, 2006. To enter, simply click the “Contact Us” “link” at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. We, unlike Poetry magazine, relish receiving your contemptible poesy. So write up a wondrous example of horrid verse, and send it in to us soon.

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April 14, 2006

The Third Annual Week of Loathing (Day the Fifth): Donny Deutsch

Sadly, today brings the last installment of our Third Annual Week of Loathing. Dear, oh, dear, how the time flies: We can almost remember what it was like on Monday. It feels as if it were such a short time ago.

Since it’s the final day of our much-heralded series, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d take aim at a really impressive target. You know, something lofty: The depredations associated with globalization; genocide; Jimmy Carter. But, try as we might, we couldn’t come up with anything really special.

Whilst enjoying a break from our intense cogitation, a few members of the crack young staff—let’s just call them “Chip”—took in a little television. Right before their little eyes, dear reader, a perfect object of scorn appeared—a fellow who never garnered much of their attention in the past. But this character was so noxious, so irksome that he well nigh cried out for a good drubbing.

Who is this irritant? Well, for those of you who mysteriously skipped the title of this “post,” we’ll repeat ourselves: Donny Deutsch. He’s the smug host of an apparently unwatched program on CNBC (sorry for the redundancy). It’s uproariously ill suited title is “The Big Idea.” And though we previously never gave a second thought to him or his show, we can now attest to the fact that he’s an ostentatious boob.

For those of you blissfully unaware of Mr. Deutsch, allow us to fill in a few details. A Wharton graduate, the middle-aged Deutsch has led an extremely successful career in the world of advertising. He has done so, it appears, in part by being even smarmier and brasher than other advertising executives. And that, friends, is saying something.

Naturally, the extremely successful, self-important ad-man is a humanoid that any reasonable person avoids at all cost. As such, you will not be surprised to learn that Mr. Deutsch is a good friend of Donald Trump. Think of them as America’s answer to Hitler and Goebbels.

As if the mere existence of Mr. Deutsch weren’t sufficiently bothersome, this fellow had to make things worse by magically acquiring his own current affairs television program. And, boy, it’s a train wreck—even by the miserably low standards of MSNBC.

Why does it deserve such low marks? Well, dear reader, we’re glad we made you ask. First, the very countenance of Mr. Deutsch should trouble the ordinary viewer. We’re not doctors, but we think Deutsch has the telltale look of a man who’s spent all kinds of time at the plastic surgeon’s office. Hair, face, body—all of Mr. Deutsch appears to have been worked on in order to make him look more natural with his trophy wife. And, of course, he likes to dress in a faux-hip style that ill suits a man of his age.

But let’s not trouble ourselves about his appearance. It’s Mr. Deutsch’s demeanor and opinions that so enrage.

Even the casual viewer of his program can attest to the fact that his grasp of contemporary politics is a shade less impressive than that of the average street lamp. Simply put, this guy’s an ignoramus.

Yet Mr. Deutsch, despite his obvious lapse in knowledge, acts as if he’s a certifiable genius. Donny Deutsch clearly believes that his success in advertising has made him the world’s leading expert on…everything.

Need advice on the morality of abortion? Ask the advertising guru! Require some help understanding Plato’s view of the soul? Donny Deutsch is your man!

As a result of his bizarre intellectual confidence, Mr. Deutsch comes across as a humungous jerk on his show: He routinely browbeats guests, brashly flaunts his ridiculous opinions, &c.

In fact, this panjandrum is so awful that we have the sneaking suspicion that the folks at CNBC gave his program a joke name: “The Big Idea.” This guy’s got no ideas. Or, at least, no ideas past how to market widgets.

Calling his show “The Big Idea” is like labeling its viewers “The Big Audience.” Yeah, big as in “about three people.”

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April 13, 2006

The Third Annual Week of Loathing (Day the Fourth): Children

For the penultimate day of our Third Annual Week of Loathing, we decided to come up with a topic that would make us a big e-hit. You know, something that would turn legions of soccer moms into undying (and dying) devotees of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.”

The only snag, of course, is that we could not instantaneously happen upon a fitting target for contumely. Naturally, we needed a topic that would rile any sentient citizen up. Hitler, Mao, Billy Joel—we needed a heavy-hitter of evil.

And then it (figuratively) hit us—a prime suspect for demolition. No, dear reader, not Ritz crackers, although we’ve always found them disgusting. Rather, we have an even better idea: Children.

We mean, come on: Who in his (or her) right (or left) mind doesn’t detest (or hate) children? We can’t think of anyone.

Admittedly, the little tykes are often cute, which gives them one step up on, say, Roseanne. Also, some of them are particularly good dressers: How many adults do you know that can pull off multicolored overalls? Other than Richard Simmons? Not many, we’d say.

Despite these undeniable good points, children are otherwise contemptible. Anyone who believes that they’re beacons of truth hasn’t spent a minute with them. Moreover, the truth isn’t always a good thing: Do you really need to know that a five-year-old thinks you’re ugly? To be honest, dear reader, we think not.

In fact, children never tell the truth about things of which we ought to be aware: Whether they stole a cookie from the cookie jar; if liberating Iraq would prove to be a bad strategic decision; &c. Rather, their honesty tends to stay in the “your teeth are really yellow” realm.

And then there’s the horrible noise. Do we really need to inform you that children can magically ruin almost any occasion in an instant? They can even destroy events meant specifically for them: One small public defecation can soil a whole day at Disney World, so to say. Their lung power, moreover, is matched only by their inability to discern the appropriate time for tantrums.

So, come on, people: Admitting that kids are a royal pain in the can doesn’t amount to being a part of Alan Keyes’ Radical Homosexual Agenda. Unless you’re Ryan Seacrest, of course. Fess up: Children are a nuisance, and, if you have one, you ought never go to a restaurant with him until he’s 19.

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April 12, 2006

The Third Annual Week of Loathing (Day the Third): Women Who Wear Skimpy Clothes and Don’t Like People Staring at Them

Okay, dear reader: Two days down, and three to go. It’s been a marvelous Third Annual Week of Loathing so far, if we must say so ourselves. There is no reason, moreover, to think that it’ll get any less wondrous.

Our previous targets of contumely—Sarah Vowell, the United Nations—are perhaps rather obvious targets. What non-lesbian omnivore, after all, doesn’t hate Sarah Vowell? And what non-corrupt administrator doesn’t detest the UN? As far as we can tell, only Benon Sevan, Jane Fonda, and Kofi Annan still esteem the UN. Oh, along with Arab totalitarians and the Democratic Party.

Regardless, in today’s humble installment of the Third Annual Week of Loathing, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided to excoriate a less quotidian subject. In the first installment of the Week of Loathing, we ridiculed so-called posterior penmanship—the practice of wearing pants and shorts with words written on their hind ends.

In keeping with this theme, our official long-winded title for today’s object of scorn is: “Women Who Wear Skimpy Clothes and Don’t Like People Staring at Them.” This is not, we must add, a choice only supported by the gentlemen on staff (who make up roughly 47 percent of our team). Rather, this irks the ladies as well.

We got the idea for this particular target from a Bikram yoga session one of our senior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—attended. As we noted long ago, a few of the males on staff (cajoled by the female staffers) took up Bikram hot yoga in a fruitless attempt to meet women. So far, they’ve only met gay guys—lots of gay guys.

Anyway, at one particular installment of Bikram hot yoga, a young woman was in attendance whom “Chip” had never seen before. And believe us, “Chip” would have noticed her—lying on her yoga mat in the first row of the class, this gal wore only a string bikini.

A string bikini?! Yep, that’s right: A string bikini.

Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader: Bikram yoga is performed in a room that is a sweltering 110 degrees, or thereabouts. You best not show up to class clad in a fur coat.

But, for crying out loud, have a little bit of class—a jog bra, some spandex shorts, a T-shirt, &c. There’s no darn reason to wear your skimpy beach attire there.

We mean, come on: Among the moves one must perform is a standing spread-eagle split, for which one must bend completely over and grab beneath your feet. In a string bikini, one doing this maneuver looks less like a Bikram yoga student and more like an extra in a rap video.

To make matters worse, this gal intermittently eyed the rest of the yogis in class, making sure that no one was looking at her! How inane! You’re in a string bikini; you’re bending over like a thin white guy on his first day in prison; and you’re wearing a string bikini. Who the heck wouldn’t stare at you?

As far as “Chip” could determine from the rest of the yoga patrons—male and female alike—the answer to that is no one at all.

So, come on, girls. No one is saying that you “deserve” any particular kind of response as a result of your sartorial choices. It’s your body, and you can do what you want. But stop feigning surprise when other humans notice your Daisy Dukes.

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April 11, 2006

The Third Annual Week of Loathing (Day the Second): The UN

Very recently, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discovered that all is not going swimmingly at the august institution known as the United Nations. It appears as if the UN is having its fair share of difficulties. And it seems as if matters are only getting worse.

Frankly, dear reader, this greatly surprised us. Like many of our liberal pals, we previously had unshakeable faith in the UN. If you asked us, Kofi Annan is a one-man peacekeeping machine, heroically saving the world from doom and incidentally pocketing a fortune in the process.

We were, in fact, fully prepared to hand over the United States’ national sovereignty on matters of war and peace to this wonderful international institution, provided that the dedicated geniuses at the UN would handle everything. Utopia, we thought, isn’t Greek for “no place”; rather, it’s Turkish for “the UN saves the day again.” (Admittedly, however, we never excelled at Turkish in school.)

But maybe we were wrong. In the pages of the April number of Commentary, Claudia Rosett offers an interesting piece entitled “How Corrupt Is the United Nations?” Her answer? Perhaps you may be surprised to learn that she finds it very corrupt indeed.

In the course of her article, Ms. Rosett highlights a few of the better known difficulties to plague the good ole’ UN: “the disappearance of UN funds earmarked for tsunami relief in Indonesia”; “the exposure of a transnational network of pedophiliac rape by UN peacekeepers in Africa”; the failure “to run an honest or effective sanctions program in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq”; &c.

It sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Whilst UN bigwigs attempt to gather a sufficiently large sum of money with which to bribe Ms. Rosett into silence about their malefactions, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d give some thought to fixing up the UN.

But we are not the only ones intent on making the UN a bit more effective. Apparently, the UN bigwigs, realizing that pedophiliac rape rings don’t play well in most of the world, have tried to demonstrate their concerns about problems at the UN.

In this regard, Ms. Rosett writes:

In the effort to address the UN’s manifold problems, there have been audits, investigations, committees, reports, congressional hearings, action plans, and even a handful of arrests by U.S. federal prosecutors. There have even been calls for Secretary-General Kofi Annan to step down before his second term expires at the end of this year. Solutions have been sought by way of better monitoring, whistleblower protection, the accretion of new oversight bodies, and another round of conditions attached to the payment of U.S. dues. On top of the broad reforms of the early 1990’s, the sweeping reforms of 1997, the further reforms of 2002, and the world summit for reform in 2005, still more plans for reforms are in the works. To its external auditors, internal auditors, joint inspections unit, eminent-persons panels, executive boards, and many special consultants, the UN has recently added an Office of Ethics—now expected to introduce in May what will presumably become an annual event: “UN Ethics Day.”

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: The United Nations sure sounds healthy. Personally, we can’t wait to get our hands on “UN Ethics Day” T-shirts. They’ll probably sell a bundle of those in Rwanda.

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April 10, 2006

The Third Annual Week of Loathing (Day The First): Sarah Vowell

It’s hard to believe, dear reader, but it’s true. Having spent over two full years on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must now offer our Third Annual Week of Loathing.

As longtime devotees of this humble “weblog” will inform you, the Week of Loathing has been the source of all manner of knee-slapping “posts.” In our first installment, for example, we ridiculed Gillette, the razor manufacturers who can’t stop condescending to their customers with inane sloganeering.

And it’s no wonder that the Week of Loathing has traditionally been an annual highpoint for us. After all, it was established in order for us to demonstrate our bona fides. Having first joined the community of “webloggers,” we wanted to justify our rather truculent title, and show the world that we fully deserve the “Hatemonger” sobriquet.

As such, it is with great anticipation and a few other Dickens novels that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” inaugurate the Third Annual Week of Loathing (April 10-April 14)—a carnival of contumely that will take aim at all and sundry. Or perhaps just sundry. We haven’t figured that out yet.

Right now, dear reader, all the fixings for our special week are here: Third Annual Week of Loathing Balloons; a Third Annual Week of Loathing Goodyear Blimp; oregano. Indeed, we are really excited for the week to come.

Of course, we require an object of scorn for today’s humble “post”—an irritant positively itching for a drubbing. And we think we’ve come up with a darned good one.

In the original installment of the Week of Loathing, we took aim at Charlie Rose, the self-indulgent pinhead who hosts a talk show on PBS. Keeping with this public media theme, we are delighted to inform you that the inaugural target of the Third Annual Week of Loathing is none other than Sarah Vowell.

So, who is Sarah Vowell? Essentially, she’s the manly version of Garrison Keillor. Author, journalist, and humorist, Ms. Vowell is a contributor to “This American Life” on public radio.

Admittedly, dear reader, we don’t know that much about her. And for good reason: She’s so infuriatingly irksome that we immediately turn off our radio or television the moment we note her presence.

Why? Well, Ms. Vowell possesses a voice so aggravating that you’d simply pine to hear Rita Cosby sing Wagner’s Ring Cycle by comparison. As far as we can determine, this nitwit doesn’t even speak with her mouth; everything she says comes directly out of her nose. She sounds like a mix between a Minnesotan, Urkel, and a bottle of nasal spray.

As if this weren’t sufficiently bothersome, Ms. Vowell styles herself a humorist. Naturally, she’s a “humorist” in the NPR mode—reflexively left-wing and nerdy. Although apparently she’s a scream to the tofu and soymilk crowd, we think she’s about as clever as a severely retarded field mouse.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long believed that there are three great injustices in the world: Third World poverty; AIDS; and American taxpayers being forced to flip the bill for Sarah Vowell.

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April 07, 2006

Oops, Another Pseudo-Artist Did It Again

As you undoubtedly know by now, dear reader, some nobody artist named Daniel Edwards has created a stir with one of his latest sculptures. No, Mr. Edwards hasn’t offered the typical example of quasi-avant-garde politically correct art: say, a likeness of Jesus dressed up as Mussolini.

Rather, he has found a seemingly new way to trouble our aesthetic senses. Perhaps the title of said sculpture encapsulates it all: “Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston.”

Who, you may reasonably be asking yourself, is Sean Preston? Well, he’s the lucky child of pop-star Britney Spears and professional hanger-on Kevin Federline. The horrifically ugly sculpture, which is on display at Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, depicts Ms. Spear’s bear-skin-rug birthing of her son.

Asked why he chose the scantily-clad pop star Ms. Spears as his symbol of the pro-life cause, Mr. Daniels said “She was the best choice. I couldn’t come up with anybody that matched her.”

Uh, yeah. So Britney Spears is this chucklehead’s ideal symbol of the pro-life movement? That’s rather strange, since, last we checked, Kevin Federline’s very existence is the pro-choice crowd’s strongest argument.

Yet Mr. Daniel’s wretched sculpture isn’t all bad. It allows us the opportunity to vouch for our lack of politicized double standards. Like many a Hilton Kramer clone, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long tired of politically motivated conceptual art.

We simply can’t stand this stuff: If we wanted simplistic, dunderheaded political rants, we wouldn’t head to an art gallery. We’d just read some Maureen Dowd columns.

This isn’t to say that all art that touches on political issues is odious. Far from it. But, for crying out loud, don’t water down your art with pathetically naïve messages. We get it: It’s tough to be an illegal immigrant in this country. Does telling us so with a lousy picture make great art? We collectively think not.

Normally, of course, it’s the radical lefties who trumpet their black-and-white politics through conceptual art. It appears as if that’s one way the herd of independent minds keeps informed.

But now, Mr. Daniels has joined the fray with his obvious—and successful—attempt to gain notoriety for sub-par art purportedly in support of the pro-life movement. Well, gee whiz: Perhaps we ought to inform this clever artiste that pro-lifers don’t really need this kind of support.

How may “700 Club” viewers earnestly desire a slutty, no-talent former piece of jailbait to personify their cause? How many Bob Jones University graduates hope that a warbly-voiced whore in a jog bra and mini skirt becomes the symbol of their movement?

A few thousand at best, we’d wager. Maybe a few more.

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April 06, 2006

Showing Us the Love

As we have oft remarked, this humble “weblog” is seemingly a lodestone for Internet hate mail. To be sure, manifold kindly readers offer all kinds of kindly e-letters to us, so our mailbox is not chock-a-block with excoriations. All the same, something about our humble animadversions inspires an awful lot of ire.

We suppose this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. After all, our humble “weblog” is entitled “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” What did we expect—buckets of lusty love letters?

A “comment” on the luminous Dan Riehl’s “weblog” is a perfect case-in-point. Mr. Riehl, whose delightful musings have long been a hot ticket on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, recently mentioned our two-year anniversary. It was a pleasant “post,” designed to send his sundry e-readers to our less perambulated redoubt.

Yet it inspired a fit of pique from one of these readers. In response to Mr. Riehl’s humorous reference to our “ignominious prose,” a “commenter” curiously named Phoenix offered the following “thoughts” (all of the errors are his/hers):

"...ignominious prose..." ? It's not even that. It's little phrases interrupted by "The Crack Young Staff..." It's as if no one is willing to take credit for their drivel so they have to stick 'the crack young staff' into every sentence so no one person takes the heat for being a cretin.

You linked there once before, or I got there somehow, and was trashed by that idiocy. yuk.

Whyn't they change it to 'cracked young staff'? That sounds like a Chinese take-out dish. "I'll have an odure of cracked-yon-staff an sum chikin waings, Thankye."

Holy vituperations, Batman! We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have never elicited such an enraged review. And, Phoenix’s manifest difficulties with the English language notwithstanding, we’re darned proud of this kind of obloquy.

We mean, let’s hear it for this guy (we’re assuming that a lady wouldn’t waste her time ridiculing us). Of course, his “comment” is replete with obvious nonsense. Does “cracked young staff” truly sound like a “Chinese take-out dish”? Only, we think, to a complete imbecile. And how, exactly, does one become “trashed” by “idiocy”? For some reason, we have the sneaking suspicion that this dolt knows from experience.

But, come on: This is precisely the kind of angry venting in which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” should take great pride. Clearly, we’ve been a great influence on lil’ Phoenix’s mindset.

Now, if we could only influence his writing—then he’d be mad and literate.

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April 05, 2006

Take That, Markos

Devoted fanatics of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” undoubtedly recognize that we enjoy pointing out the low quality of letters that appear in The New York Times. In fact, we’ve expended a great amount of effort pillorying numerous epistlers, demonstrating their patent lunacy.

Accordingly, dear reader, our humble musings may lead you to believe that the average Gray Lady reader is only slightly more mentally capable than the average platypus. Or perhaps the average anteater. Whichever one’s stupider.

A few missives to April 2nd number of The New York Times Magazine, however, have led us to believe that matters are more complex than that. In fact, we firmly believe that these two letters are dynamite, and they have double-handedly renewed our faith in the Paper of Record’s readership. Or, we suppose, in the Magazine of Record’s readership.

We think them so stellar that we shall reproduce them in full. The first comes from John C. Phillips, a resident of the curiously named Elfin Forest, California:

No doubt the March 19 interview of the founder of the Daily Kos was conducted over the telephone, because surely Deborah Solomon and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga would have been too embarrassed to look each other in the eye during their disingenuous exchange lamenting the lack of a partisan Democratic media outlet.

After naming Michael Moore, The Village Voice, The Nation, The American Prospect and The Washington Monthly as potentially available but ineffective channels, they both seem stumped to think of other outlets. Several glaringly obvious omissions immediately jumped to my mind, including The New York Times.

The Democratic Party’s problem is not a lack of partisan media but rather the lack of a cohesive and compelling message.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Brilliant, brilliant! Simply smashing! Huzzah! Huzzah! And we are inclined to agree.

And a pithier missive, which also pertains to the short interview with Zuniga, also delights. Penned by Carole S. Appel of Dover, New Hampshire, it reads as follows:

Markos of the Daily Kos says that when bloggers make an argument, they can add a link to support their premises, but “you cannot link with books.” Books have included links for hundreds of years: they are called footnotes. While it’s faster to find the referenced sources if it’s online, and I love that, it’s not the only way. Scholars consulting books in libraries are checking links all the time.

Oh, that’s a dandy. A real dandy. If we may offer our humble opinion, dear reader, we think it makes Mr. Zuniga into an even more moronic dolt than Mr. Phillip’s shot.

The former missive makes it seem as if the auteur of the Daily Kos hasn’t read The New York Times. The latter makes it seem as if he hasn’t read any books. And to think the Daily Kos is the most prominent liberal “weblog” on Al Gore’s Internet. Why again did J.S. Mill call Conservatives the “stupid party”?

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April 04, 2006

Très Ambivalent

Numerous “webloggers” are having a veritable field day with the latest unrest pervading France. And no wonder: Silver-spooned college students have taken to the rues to protest the government’s new measures to drop the country’s unemployment rate from its current 133 percent level. Ah, the audacity! The fascists!

Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find ourselves a bit torn by the whole situation. We fully understand why our “weblogging” colleagues would treasure these riots; after all, the youngsters’ animus seems so histrionic and dumb. We mean, come on: France already has a 2-hour workweek; what else do these stuck-up brats want?

The kids in France are posturing as revolutionaries, but, in reality, they hope to put a stop to any kind of change. And this is ridiculous: France can’t survive on a fromage-based economy forever. Pretty soon the nation will have to diversify—like selling bomb belts for many of its Muslim inhabitants.

Regardless of how delicious the youngsters’ protests are, we must admit that we feel a bit torn over the whole thing. That is to say, we simply can’t take the French government’s side on the matter.

And for good reason: The mastermind—if that is the mot juste—of the new policy is none other than French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the country’s erstwhile Foreign Minister.

As you ought to recall, Villepin is the self-touted anti-imperialist who curiously has great esteem for Napoleon. This goon made life tough for the US in the run-up to the liberation of Iraq, and thus we greatly enjoy bratty kids making life tough for him.

So we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” say: Keep it going, you youthful pseudo-Bolsheviks! Why fight against Villepin’s insidious labor law alone when there should be so much else in contemporary France to trouble you?

Take to the streets, kiddies! France doesn’t guarantee the Frog equivalent of the six-figure salary to all its inhabitants. What’s up with that? The government doesn’t offer free berets on every street corner. Why not?

To make matters worse, France considers itself a civilized country, and yet it has granted a film career to Gerard Depardieu. Even odious America wouldn’t stoop that low! (Although, let’s be honest: Pauly Shore is close.)

If you ask us, the protesters are a bunch of pussies if they don’t get the government to agree to the following concessions:

1) France must be renamed Guevara Land. That is, of course, until it immigrant population renames it Arafatia.

2) France must implement a –3-hour workweek. That way, everyone gets even more free time.

3) Free clove cigarettes.

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April 03, 2006

“The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Second Anniversary Soiree

Boy, oh, boy, dear reader, it’s been quite a weekend. Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have all made it to work in one piece (more or less), we have the distinct impression that today won’t be particularly productive. If, in regard to productivity, we’re usually a Poland, today we’ll be more Papua New Gineau.

And can you blame us? After all, we are still recovering from Friday night’s gala—the Second Annual “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Soiree. Some of the greatest “webloggers” on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web were in attendance, and countless others vainly attempted to get past the clipboard Nazis and enjoy the festivities.

Like darn near every other hyped-up event, our fete denied entrance to Wonkette, the self-impressed, nose-picking ninny whose recent “novel” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Try though she might, this gossip-mongering dipstick couldn’t get anywhere near the party: We’d sooner invite Idi Amin; and he’s dead.

So, you may reasonably wonder, who did attend? Well, it was a cast of characters, to be sure. To satiate your curiosity, dear reader, we suppose we ought to mention a few of the more notable guests.

About a half-hour early, a dapper and shaven Mr. Misspent stumbled into the hall. Although this may seem odd under other circumstances, one must realize that the Misspent One is a graduate student, and therefore in search of free food. He gobbled up plates full of tasty tidbits, and was peculiarly attached to a particular cottage cheese dish. To each his own, we suppose.

We must mention that Gordon, everyone’s favorite Cranky Neocon, was also in attendance. Devotees of “weblogs” have sorely missed Gordo’s quotidian musings on all and sundry: Thankfully, his perch atop the Six Meat Buffet allows us to get some of our fill. And got our fill we did, thanks to Gordo’s fancy-pants three piece number.

Nor should we forget the appearance of the magnanimous Maximum Leader, who was joined once again by Dead Sexy Sadie. In honor of the festivities, the Maximum Leader wore his black bejeweled, floppy hat, which was a big hit with all the minions. And may we say that Sadie looks even better in formal wear than her cartoon countenance would suggest? As a 1973 Chevy Nova might say, Va-va-va-voom!

The llamas were there, of course, dressed to the nines or nine-thirties. It is odd to see wooly creatures clad in silk formal wear. But, darn, they looked good.

Gosh, and there’s so many more to mention: John from Wuzzadem, who looks alarmingly like Mr. Stick Figure, e-stud Stephen Baldwin, who came across less like Stephen and more Stephenesque; Mr. and Mrs. P, who are as proper and delightful as they come; Lynn Sislo in an fetching outfit that seemed like an homage to Schoenberg; good old aelfheld, who, as usual, looked immaculate; Phin, clad in a delightfully shiny gold suit; et al.

As you can well imagine, dear reader, it was quite an event. Perhaps the only glitch in the evening was the choice of the guest speaker: Who would have thought that Cindy Sheehan would prove so unpopular? Go figure.

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