February 28, 2007

A Marxist Courts “Public Opinion”

Perhaps, dear reader, you have heard of Tariq Ali. If not, allow us to ruin your blessed state of ignorance. Mr. Ali is a member of the “editorial collective” at New Left Review, a chi-chi neo-Marxist publication. In addition, Mr. Ali serves as one of Britain’s stalwart denunciators of capitalism, Zionism, and—more generally—Western civilization.

To this end, Mr. Ali wrote a book published shortly after 9/11 called The Clash of Fundamentalisms. Its cover infamously offered pictures of Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush dressed up as one another. To Mr. Ali, you see, like to Eric Foner, it’s really difficult to tell the two men apart. After all, they’re both miserable terrorists.

Frankly, dear reader, we can hardly stomach Mr. Ali’s witless rants. He presents ridiculously one-sided polemics—the sorts of intellectually dubious works that incessantly blame America, capitalism, and Israel for all the world’s sins. If Mr. Ali were a teen-aged boy, perhaps his puerile prattling could be countenanced.

But apparently his ravings delight the smart set—those hard-left folks in the West who for some reason pine for an Islamist victory over their home countries. Gee: That should really work out for them. We’ll see how the Caliphate will treat the Left’s hungering for gay marriage.

The latest sign of Mr. Ali’s senseless palaver comes from—mirabile dictu—The Guardian, Britain’s foremost newspaper of eternal capitulation. Just dig the title of this wretched exercise in left-wing polemic: “Official Politics in the West Ignores Public Opinion at Will.”

The piece, dear reader, amounts to a gripe about the vicissitudes of contemporary Italian politics—and, more generally, contemporary politics in the West. And, just in case you missed it, the title is patently ridiculous: “Official Politics in the West Ignores Public Opinion at Will.”

Ah, so do “official politics in the Middle East”—Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt &c.—demonstrate greater deference to public opinion? Why, then, does Mr. Ali champion their leaders’ views, though he castigates the likes of Prodi, Blair, et al.? Doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Actually, it’s very odd: Tariq Ali, a man who steadfastly opposes democratization in the Middle East, castigates the West for its failure to heed public opinion. And he feels all warm and tingly about the former Soviet Union, even though, last we checked, it didn’t show too much regard for the will of the people.

One wonders why people take a joker like Ali seriously.

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February 27, 2007

The “True” Cause of Terrorism

Well, it’s official: Dinesh D’Souza’s newish tome, The Enemy at Home will join the list of the large number of books that we have not read but consider utter piffle. Yep: Throw Mr. D’Souza’s latest magnum opus right next to Norman Mailer’s infantile Hitler novel and the complete works of Barbara Ehrenreich.

Perhaps you’re blissfully unaware of Mr. D’Souza’s new book. If so, aren’t you a lucky sod? In short, Mr. D’Souza’s work blames the decadence of the Western political and cultural Left for 9/11. In his view, the trash culture and trash values of liberals are entirely to blame for Osama bin Laden’s evil.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Oh, shut up. That’s just absurd. Patently absurd.

Now don’t get us wrong, dear reader. We disdain trash culture as much as the next Tipper Gore. And we certainly buy the notion that such pernicious pabulum makes us look bad in the eyes of fundamentalist Neanderthals.

But to blame the cultural Left for 9/11 is simply insane. Worse yet, it manages to exonerate al Qaeda and its ilk from any and all blame. It was, you see, Steven Spielberg who made us do it. Don’t get mad at us; take it out on Britney Spears.

What a bunch of garbage. If you ask us, anyone who can definitively fill in the blank in the following sentence is an idiot: “The sole cause of Islamist terrorism is ______.”

Yep: Blithely add any individual answer to that phrase and you’re officially a dolt. In fact, that’s what makes both Dinesh D’Souza and Michael “Imperial Hubris” Scheuer such unhinged morons.

Dinesh, of course, would say “The sole cause of Islamist terrorism is the Western cultural Left.” Michael Scheuer, on the other hand, would say “The sole cause of Islamist terrorism is the existence of Israel.”

Presto! They’re both complete boobs.

Do you really need to be a genius to recognize that a phenomenon as complex as Islamist terrorism will not have one cause alone? Perhaps such an obvious truism won’t sell copies in the local Barnes & Ignoble. And it probably won’t get you booked on the Sunday chat shows. But it has the obvious benefit of being true.

Which is more than what we can say for the recent prattling of Dinesh D’Souza or anything Michael Scheuer has ever said. Whilst D’Souza replays the culture wars, Scheuer demonstrates his anti-Semitic bona fides. How, exactly, did these two fellows manage to get book contracts?

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February 26, 2007

Your Crappy Little “Weblog” Takes 15 Million Years To Load

As regular readers of this humble “weblog” might well imagine, dear reader, lots of things annoy us. Blame it on our un-sunny disposition. It’s sad, but it’s true: You name it, it bugs us to no end.

Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must insist that certain things vex us far more than others. Take, for example, Billy Joel: If you’ve ever had “Only the Good Die Young” in your head against your will for hours upon hours, you know that this man’s music is the aural equivalent of slavery. Simply put, everyone should detest it.

Nor is Billy Joel alone in his ability to irk. Rather, more than a few other things trouble us about as much: The fanatical nutters who run the theocracy in Iran; the left-wing dolts in the West who believe that we have more to fear from evangelical Christians than the fanatical nutters who run the theocracy in Iran; George Clooney.

In today’s humble “post,” however, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to discuss an irritating phenomenon related to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web. We believe that we’ve mentioned it before, but we find it sufficiently enraging to bring it up anew.

We refer, dear reader, to “weblogs” that take three squillion years to load. For some reason, particular “webloggers” enjoy offering their readers “websites” that take so long to appear on your computer screen that you might as well paint the house whilst waiting for it to load.

How enraging is this? Look: If the Internet isn’t faster than a telegram brought to you by rickshaw, you might as well throw your darned computer out the window.

Now, admittedly, dear reader, the molasses-like slowness of some “weblogs” can be partly blamed on our lame staff computers. It turns out that the TRS-80, despite its other benefits, just doesn’t download terribly quickly. Naturally, it makes up for that with a wonderful version of “Pong,” but it still ain’t on the leading edge of technology. Even in the Ivory Coast.

And yet we don’t think our slow computers are fully to blame. Lots of e-auteurs seem to revel in all sorts of bells and whistles on their “weblogs”—the kind of pap that makes it take three thousand years for the measly content on their “website” to appear.

Sure, we have about as much patience as a fruit fly. But when you’re going to read on the Information Superhighway, it’s rather a drag to be stuck in the breakdown lane.

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February 23, 2007

The Creepy Lunatic Fringe

As a self-styled “progressive” publication, The Nation seemingly drips with virtue. Typical Nation columns contain all sorts of moral preening. Sometimes, in fact, it appears as if the Nationistas don’t so much argue as hector.

Naturally, much of this left-wing virtue-mongering pertains to the supposedly anti-racist bona fides of the “progressive” community. The political Right and center, think the Nationistas, are chock-a-block with closet racists; the far Left is entirely free from such dubious associations.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a hard time believing that the folks at The Nation actually take this nonsense at face value. After all, they blithely grant column space to Alexander Cockburn, a Stalinoid kook who edits the malignant “website” Counterpunch.

Perhaps you know of Counterpunch. It’s a bizarre fringe publication of the far, far Left, which harbors a creepy and dubious obsession with Israel and Zionism. Nary a day goes by without some myopic denunciation of the lone Jewish state. The loveable scamps at Counterpunch routinely deny that they are in any way anti-Semitic in between offering fevered rants opposed to all things Israeli, Zionist, and Jewish.

Ah, but recently Counterpunch has outdone itself. On its main “webpage,” the publication highlights the following message:

Exclusive to CounterPunch Newsletter Subscribers!


* Those Celebrating "Movers" and Art Student Spies
* Who were the Israelis living next to Mohammed Atta?
* What was in that Moving Van on the New Jersey shore?
* Was the Mossad Tracking the 9/11 Hijackers in the US?
* How did two hijackers end up on the Watch List weeks before 9/11?

At last, the answers. Read Christopher Ketcham's exclusive expose in CounterPunch special double-issue February newsletter. Plus, Cockburn and St. Clair on how this story was suppressed and ultimately found its home in CounterPunch.

Well, gee: That’s sure a peculiar example of the Left’s anti-racism. What sort of anti-Semitic lunatic would take seriously the notion that Israel was in on 9/11?

If the staff of The Nation were truly dedicated to anti-racism, they would fire Alexander Cockburn posthaste.

We won’t hold our collective breath.

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February 22, 2007

When Racism Matters

Good ole’ Peter Beinart. Whatever his charms, intellectual consistency is not among them. Beinart, the adolescent-looking editor-at-large of The New Republic, oft seems like a cornucopia of incongruity.

Naturally, Mr. Beinart’s magazine isn’t exactly a beacon of clarity these days. Whilst the folks at TNR bleat on about the “horrors” of a liberated Iraq, they clamor just as vociferously about the imperative of military intervention in Darfur.

Well, gee, guys: What happens if the reconstruction in the Sudan turns afoul? Why do we have the sneaking suspicion that the TNR crowd will lament its horrible decision and take its place among the isolationist cranks?

But Beinart, it seems, routinely offers the sort of ham-fisted, ideologically blinkered inconsistent fluff that should make the typical TNR columnist blush. In the February 19 & 26 edition of the magazine, Mr. Beinart offers “Biden Time,” a column half-heartedly dedicated to boosting the presidential aspirations of Senator Joe Biden.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” happen to think that Senator Biden isn’t that bad a fellow. Sure, we often disagree with him. And he is admittedly a bit of a garrulous blowhard. And maybe the hair isn’t so good. But Biden’s a serious figure and his presidential bid should be taken seriously.

Yet check out this bit of Mr. Beinart’s column on Senator Biden’s recent political gaffe:

I have my own reasons for hoping Biden stays in the race. Partly, it’s the broader principle: Stupid, insensitive remarks shouldn’t sink political candidates unless they bespeak some larger animus. George Allen’s “macaca” comment mattered because, as Ryan Lizza has documented (“Pinprick,” May 8, 2006), Allen had a long line of racist sympathies. So did Trent Lott, long before he endorsed Strom Thurmond for president. Biden, by contrast, has another dumb remark on his record (this one about Indian Americans), but his long career in Congress suggests no sympathy for racists.

Now, forgive us for reading between the lines here, but we think that Peter Beinart’s careful rumination can be boiled down to the following: Stupid, insensitive remarks should not sink Democratic candidates, but should sink Republican candidates. After all, as many in the Democratic Party would suggest, Republicans are, by their very nature, brimming with racial animus, whereas their liberal competitors are entirely untainted by prejudice. Q.E.D.

Frankly, dear reader, we wonder whether Mr. Beinart could type this palaver with a straight face. Are we to believe that Peter Beinart knew what the word “macaca” meant before George Allen uttered the infamous epithet? Are we to believe that he has offered anything other than the most transparent of hackneyed attempts to justify media double standards?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t think Joe Bidan should be out of contention—or out of a job, for that matter—for his dumb comment about Barack Obama being a “clean” black. But obviously The Washington Post went overboard in its desire to destroy George Allen.

Any reasonable person recognizes this. And so should Peter Beinart.

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February 21, 2007

A Real Pianoforte

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hate to admit it, but occasionally we catch a glimpse or two of a music video on the MTV. Yeah, we know: That’s awfully lowbrow of us. But, when flipping through the boob tube, every once in a while we stop to take a gander at the aural and visual detritus to be “enjoyed” at that pernicious television network.

Naturally, dear reader, a great many of the videos on display are simply appalling. We have previously noted, for instance, how quizzical we found it that the so-called Black Eyed Peas are popular—even with retarded teenagers. And now a woman named Fergie, the lead singer for the aforementioned Peas, has garnered even more attention for a solo album, which we find equally disturbing.

Yet we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have noted something else about contemporary music videos that rankles. Sure, not as much as the lascivious gyrating of a semi-clad Fergie, but rankle-worthy nonetheless.

At least two newish rock-n-roll videos feature a lead singer playing a piano out in the elements. In one of them, a fellow called David Powter tickles the ivories on an upright in an incongruous outdoor location. It snows, and yet he continues to play. In the other, a lead singer from the college-rock band Augustana plays a piano on the beach. After only a few bars of the song, this sap winds up hammering away at a waterlogged piano, as the waves roll in.

As far as we can tell, the setting of the pianos in the outdoors is the visual fireworks of these videos. No rump-shaking gals; no flashy displays of conspicuous consumption—outside pianos is all you get.

Perhaps it’s just us, but we find this incomparably lame. We mean, come on: What the heck is so grand (pardon the pun) about playing a piano out in the elements? Is this really going to compel dimwitted teenagers to head out to the music store and plunk down their hard-earned money? We certainly hope not.

It’s as if the directors of these videos thought: “Man, a guy playing the piano in weather that’ll ruin it. How edgy! How hip! Good thing that I haven’t completely run out of ideas!” To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Wow, that’s really pathetic.

Play a piano on the Eiffel Tower. Play it on the moon. You won’t impress us; you’ll just break the piano.

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February 20, 2007

The Fevered Imagination of the Leftist Idiot

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” simply love the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington’s group exercise in personal vanity. Whether it’s a “post” by Arab pollster-cum-nutter James Zogby or a piece by illiterate D-List celebrities, the Huff Po has got it all.

And, just in case the wondrous musings of, say, Alec Baldwin weren’t enough for you to savor, you can always delight in the comments of the Huff Po readership. Seldom have we witnessed a gaggle of unhinged lunatics with Internet connections.

Allow us to offer a bit of anecdotal evidence that may help to prove our point. Recently, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” happened upon a Huff Po “post” called “Think Again: Conservatives Blame America First, Again” by Eric Alterman. Mr. Alterman, for those of you blissfully unaware of him, is the incessantly enraged media critic for The Nation, who also punches the clock for the Huff Po once in a while.

In said piece, Mr. Alterman takes on a childishly easy target: Dinesh D’Souza’s latest screed, which ham-fistedly blames the American Left for 9/11. We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: Ho hum.

But check out this charming response to Mr. Alterman’s lucubration:

I suspect the neocons will use every fringe element at their disposal here and abroad to sow division and confusion to lend credence to their desired path and outcome.

The outcry will be loud, and they will point to the least eloquent of the critics as the standard bearer for what they are against, while ignoring the rest.

Anybody of reason that rises above the fray will be slandered mercilessly like Jimmy Carter.

Violence will follow if that doesn't work.

By: altohone on January 25, 2007 at 05:47pm

Oh, for crying out loud: This man—whoever he is—is a lunatic. Note the conspiracy-mongering: Those evil neocons (read: Jews) will stop at nothing to accomplish their unspeakable evil!

Ah, yes: Unspeakable evil—like bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East. Gee, what other maniacal schemes do they have up their Hebrew little sleeves?

We particularly enjoyed this dolt’s estimation of Jimmy Carter as “rising above the fray.” Come on: Does a book entitled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid really strike you as “above the fray”? Even when its author acknowledges that one of its passages “mistakenly” condones Palestinian terrorism?

No wonder the “nutroots” have about as much political clout as Lyndon LaRouche.

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February 16, 2007

Your Mascot Is Red in the Face

There is a chance, dear reader, that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will change the name of this humble “weblog.” In the future, we may call it “The Angry Redskins’ Fire Water Review,” or some such.

Admittedly, it’s not a particularly inspired title, and it may well prove offensive to some casino owners and assorted tribesman. But there’s a reason for this prospective new title—our irritation with Native-American hyper-concern over Native-American mascots.

As the vaguely ill-esteemed Chronicle of Higher Education reports, the University of North Dakota finds itself in a bit of a pickle. And not, we dare add, because it’s in North Dakota, even though that’s pretty deadly in our books.

Rather, the folks at good ole’ UND have discovered that lots of universities resolutely refuse to compete against them in athletic competitions. The reason? Well, they find the University of North Dakota mascot—the Fighting Sioux—deeply offensive.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Oh, puh-lease. We’re as sensitive to American Indians as the next non-scalped person, but this is positively ridiculous.

Note, first of all, the fact that UND’s mascot is not, say, the Raging Drunk Native Americans. Nor, say, the Lazy, Good-for-Nothing Indians. Nor, say, Phil Collins.

No, it’s just the Fighting Sioux. Kind of like Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, which is somehow far less offensive.

We mean, come on: What is so horrible about fighting? We haven’t checked the history books recently, but we’re willing to wager that the Sioux were pretty good in the fisticuffs department.

Not, we daresay, as talented as the evil White Man, but pretty strong nonetheless. And we think they should be proud.

Still, concerned about the delicate sensibilities of the campus Left as we are, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” figured we’d offer a few new mascot ideas for UND:

Official Crack Young Staff Proposals for New UND Mascots

1) The North Dakota Freezing Our Butts Off

2) The North Dakota Middle of Nowheres

3) The North Dakota GBTL-Friendly Dental Dams

4) The North Dakota Lesbian Phalluses

5) The North Dakota Fighting Cherokees

6) The North Dakota Strikingly Low SAT Scores

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February 15, 2007

Nobody Does It Better

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have a little saying: “When something happens three times, it isn’t a fluke.” Yeah, we know: It isn’t a particularly insightful or original saying, but it’s ours nonetheless. (And maybe it should be Paris Hilton’s too; didn’t her third sex video recently appear on the Internet?)

There is, we must add, a good reason for us to mention this. As dutiful fans of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been, as they say in Canada, “out and about” these past few days. And in our stead has been the firm yet supple presence of the glorious Maximum Leader.

Longtime aficionados of this humble “weblog” recognize that the good ole’ Large and In Charge Leader—a “weblogger” par excellence—is an Official Honorary Member of the crack young staff. And, unlike Tony Blair, we don’t hand out such awards for a little cash. Sorry, Taki: You have to earn ‘em.

And earn ‘em the Maximum Leader sure did. Whilst we were off contemplating our collective navel, the smashing proprietor of Naked Villainy was busy getting his e-groove on. We think you’ll admit his recent “posts” on this humble “weblog” packed a wallop.

This, moreover, leads us to our little saying—“When something happens three times, it isn’t a fluke.” Thrice now has the Maximum-Sized Leader guest “weblogged” here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly.” Thrice now have the same results occurred: Our “hits” counter rises like Paul Begala’s hairline and fan mail comes pouring in like Niagara Falls.

Although we certainly understand why this is so—the Maximum Leader writes some awfully dandy “posts”—we must admit that it leaves us a little malaised. (And mayonnaised, truth be told.) Here we are e-toiling and e-toiling away, with a batch of hate mail and a few curious missives from dubious Nigerian businessmen as our rewards.

And then the Maximum Leader waltzes in here, pens his typically smashing “posts,” and revives our flagging ship. It’s like the guy is some sort of high-paid e-consultant who for some reason never gets paid.

We, dear reader, don’t know about you, but we’re in awe. Suffice it to say, if you are not reading the Leader With the Mostest’s regular musings, you are a fool. You’re just like the people who laughed at Vincent van Gogh—before he cut off his ear.

So get with the program, people. Make Naked Villainy a regular part of your daily routine. Kind of like Metamucil, only not as chalky. You’ll thank yourself for it. We know that we do.

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February 14, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader of the weblog Naked Villainy here for a final posting during his winter stint as guest weblogger here at HMQ. Allow your Maximum Leader to be quite plain. It is a pleasure and an honor to be asked by the Crack Young Staff to fill in while they are out. Your Maximum Leader hopes that he has made the most of his week. He further hopes that you, the beleaguered reader, have enjoyed his work. In case you all were wondering, the Crack Young Staff returns tomorrow.

As many of you already know, today is that most artificial and saccharine of all "holidays" on the calendar. It is Valentine's Day.

Notice, if you will, that today is no longer Saint Valentine's Day. It is no longer the Feast of Saint Valentine, Martyr. It has just become Valentines Day. The day is no longer worthy of being written out in the possessive form in most print outlets. The day of religious devotion has become a day of chocolate, cards, flowers, and trite poems written about infantile emotional pleas that someone should "be my Valentine."

Of all of the suspect holidays foisted upon the American (and frankly the World's) consumers, Valentine's Day is the most suspect. Indeed, in the Mike World Order (that time when your Maximum Leader holds the world - or a significant portion thereof - in his autocratic thrall) Valentine's Day will revert back to a Holy Day of Obligation and the gifting of gifts for your lover will be right out.

Now you may think that this screed is just your Maximum Leader lashing out because he has no one with whom to share this Valentine's Day. Well, banish that silliness from your little mind right now. He has a loving wife and two daughters with whom he will share this Valentine's Day. Indeed, at his request, the lovely Mrs Villain has taken a dinner request already from your Maximum Leader. (Thanks to Mrs P.)

No, your Maximum Leader dislikes the rampant consumerism of Valentine's Day. It's all about the chocolates (Godiva, Lindt, Ghirardelli, zChocolat, or Durig). It's all about the flowers (preferably a gaudy display of overwrought roses delivered to the office in front of admiring co-workers - and dead four days later). It is all about the perfect card (drivel from Hallmark). The measure of love is money. How much is spent and how much is received.

Of course, the one redeeming quality you might attempt to claim on this day is that at least the money spent is being spent to give joy to others. This is a rather thin altruism. But it is better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Well... That is until 2007. Now Valentine's Day is all about self-love and self-indulgence. Retailers have finally realized that people can only really get excited about spending money when they know the person on the receiving end of the gift is none other than themselves.

Where once Valentine's Day was all about finding the right (or just trite) gift for "that special someone;" it is now slowly morphing into finding the right Dolce and Gabbana bag to match your Manolo shoes. Or trying finding the Rolex Chronometer that says "successful, but not too flashy."

Your Maximum Leader didn't think it was possible for him to be more disgusted by the faux holiday foisted upon us every February 14th. But, he should have known that market forces were at work.

Carry on.

Posted at 12:04 AM | TrackBack

February 13, 2007

Music Awards

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader once again enjoying another day of guest "weblogging" for the Crack Young Staff. One can only imagine what the Crack Young Staff is doing during their retreat. Your Maximum Leader likes to imagine that they are doing some sort of "fun" team building exercise in the woods somewhere. You know the type. Ropes courses. "Trust" falling. Primal scream therapy. You know that of which your Maximum Leader writes...

Of course, February is generally not the best time for woodland based team building activities. It tends to be cold in North America during this time of year (Former Vice-President Gore not withstanding). So unless the Crack Young Staff were availing themselves of the super discount woodlands team building package, it seems as though we can rule out teambuilding... At least the traditional type... The Crack Young Staff, for all your Maximum Leader knows (or is willing to share) could be off fishing in Costa Rica or preparing for Carnivale in Rio...

But your Maximum Leader digresses...

Your Maximum Leader sees on various news wires and internet services that one of the myriad Los Angeles based awards shows took place last night. This awards show was "The Grammys." Now before he discusses "The Grammys" your Maximum Leader would like to ask a mostly rhetorical question. Were these "THE Grammys" (with emphasis on the "The") or were they "The Latin Grammys" or even the "Daytime Grammys?" How many blasted "Grammys" are there? Are these "Grammys" related in any way to the "Country Music Awards" or the "BET Music Awards" or the "American Music Awards" or the "Bluegrass Music Awards" or even the "Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards?" Your Maximum Leader isn't sure if these are all separate organizations, or if there is some sort of nefarious (and perhaps incestuous) relationship between all of these groups. Regardless of the relationship (or lack thereof) between these groups, they all seem to be on television at some point...

Well... That last line was your Maximum Leader engaging in a little bit of hyperbole. We all know that the "Bluegrass Music Awards" aren't televised - but the results are broadcast (albeit briefly - between segments - on NPR). And the "Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards" are only on late at night, once a year, on cable access, in Queensland Australia.

Once again... Your Maximum Leader digresses...

So, anyway... "The (one true original prime-time) Grammys" were last night. According to the gleeful press, big winners at "The Grammys" were a purported musical trio performing under the name "Dixie Chicks." As best your Maximum Leader can tell, this trio might have originally been from "Dixie" and they may have been "Chicks" as well. He says they may have been from "Dixie" because the trio appears to spend lots of time in Los Angeles and Canada. Neither of which, to the best of your Maximum Leader's knowledge is traditionally associated with the south-eastern United States. And he says they may have been "Chicks" at some point, but from the stills your Maximum Leader has seen from the show last night, these "Dixie Chicks" might well have been feminist studies graduate students (and thus ugly - Q.E.D.).

This trio released last year an album entitled "Not ready to make nice." The title was inspired (as it were) from the fact that the "Dixie Chicks" were rather put upon by fellow Texan George W. Bush.

As best your Maximum Leader can make out from the various accounts of the story, President Bush took umbrage to some heartfelt and sincere statements of dissent spoken by the brave "Dixie Chicks" during a concert in London. President Bush then used his expansive interpretations of the powers of the Executive under Article II of the Constitution of the United States to force country music fans to stop buying the Dixie Chicks' albums. President Bush further enflamed the situation by directing the Federal Communications Commission threaten to both fine and revoke the broadcast licenses of any country music radio station that dared to defy his will and play music from the Dixie Chicks. Although he didn't read anything specific about it, your Maximum Leader has it on good authority that the National Security Agency, by way of an illegally granted FISA Court order, was authorized to monitor the phone lines, internet connections, and HiFi Stereo speaker cables of any American who owned (or checked out from a public library) any Dixie Chicks album. These actions made the Dixie Chicks a cause celebre among Hollywood-types (and one supposes music industry types, or whoever determines who the "winners" of these awards should be).

It was natural then that "The Grammys" should use the bully pulpit afforded them by the first Police performance in 20 years to speak against this horrible display of state-sponsored censorship.

At least, that is what your Maximum Leader can piece together from the various accounts he's read. He supposes he'll go back now to listening to old gramophone recordings he's transferred to his iPod.

Carry on.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 12, 2007

Catching a break

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader of the "weblog" Naked Villainy. This is day four of his weeklong stint as guest "weblogger." He is sure that all of you are already anxiously awaiting the return of the Crack Young Staff and their insightful and witty animadversions on culture, politics and academe.

Alas, you'll have to wait a few more days yet.

Your Maximum Leader was reading many newspapers, blogs and journals over the weekend. He was trolling the depths of that which is called "news" looking for something about which he could opine. Well, not just opine. But opine humorously. Allow him to state for the record, this has been a tough news weekend for him.

Sure you've got stories of astronauts who appear to have broken through the lunatic fringe and "gone postal." Well... Almost postal, no one died. The big catch phrase of that story appears to be that the female astronaut in question wore a diaper on her 900 mile trek from Houston to Orlando. She wore this diaper to avoid having to stop for potty breaks during the drive. Surely those of you with children will understand this. Small children and their potty breaks can make a 9 mile trip seem like a 900 mile trip. Sometimes one wonders if every family going on a driving vacation shouldn't avail themselves of some sort of absorbent undergarment. Regardless, the diaper is always mentioned in the reporting of this story.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader is somewhat impressed with the astronaut. She drove from Houston, TX to Orlando, FL. In a car - obviously. She did this to interdict a female co-worker who was flying from Houston to Orlando. Did you catch that part of the story? She outperformed, in her car, a regularly scheduled commercial flight on a major airline. That is a pretty fair accomplishment. An accomplishment worthy of praise, not derision.

Then again there was all that stuff about her having a wig, a mallet of some sort, a BB gun and mace/pepper spray. Her intentions were not good, but she certainly did show some moxie in trying to accomplish her "mission."

(Your Maximum Leader also doesn't find it all that unusual that an astronaut would think of wearing a diaper for a long task like that. They have to wear absorbent undergarments while they are strapped into their chairs awaiting blastoff. They can't very well call off the countdown for a potty break...)

Then there is the whole sordid Anna Nicole Smith affair. But your Maximum Leader can't (yet) put together a cogent thought on the whole mess. It is truly beyond imagination.

In the cacophony of other news you may have missed the stories about the Senate debate on Iraq. Or the lack of debate as it were. Your Maximum Leader has been following that story quite closely and finds it both sad and humorous that the Republican minority just can't seem to catch a break in the reporting of the story. Surely you've seen the headlines and bylines? They all read like this: Republicans thwart debate of Iraq in Senate. All the reporting is along the lines of how the Republicans don't want to debate Iraq and how all the Democrats want to do is have an open debate on Iraq.

Of course, the truth of the matter is somewhat different. Contrary to the normal custom of the Senate, the Democratic majority wants to force the minority to debate a single resolution - and deny the opportunity to amend the resolution. While this is perfectly normal - nay perfectly expected - in the House of Representatives; it is out of character for the "greatest debating chamber in the history of the world."

Democrats, when in the minority, did the same things the Republicans are doing now. Only in the past the Democrats haven't received all the bad press.

Now that is funny.

Carry on.

Posted at 12:04 AM | TrackBack

February 09, 2007

El Jeffe de Cuba

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader here for day three of his five days of "weblogging" at The Hatemonger's Quarterly. As many of your know, your Maximum Leader is an honorary member of the Crack Young Staff of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. He knows it is a great honor, and it is an honor for which he is deeply appreciative.

With honors and titles come responsibility. A responsibility to you, the beleagured reader of The Hatemonger's Quarterly, to present heterodox views with as much accuracy and insight as possible. Alas, your Maximum Leader appears to have failed at this. Indeed, your Maximum Leader is lucky that Patrick Fitzgerald is busy now with Tim Russert and Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If Fitzgerald were not occupied it is quite likely he'd be coming after your Maximum Leader with some sort of perjury trial. And that would put a damper on your Maximum Leader's otherwise cheery disposition.

Some of you may recall your Maximum Leader's last stint as "Guest Weblogger" here at HMQ. It was way back in August of 'aught six. Back then your Maxmium Leader gave you a preview of the prepared death statements that would attend the death of Fidel Castro. In that piece, your Maximum Leader gave you a preview of some of the comments that you would be reading when Fidel Castro passed from this life into the inferno that (presumably) awaits him.

Alas, your Maximum Leader jumped the gun on that one. Sort of like when CNN posted an obit for Dick Cheney in 2001. As it turns out they had also mocked up obituaries for Pope John Paul II, Gerald Ford, and - interestingly - Fidel Castro. It was a veritable "dead pool" over at CNN in 2001. One might say there is nothing like being prepared, but all that seemed a little excessive...

But your Maximum Leader digresses...

Well, ever since falling ill in July/August of 2006, Fidel Castro hasn't had the good manners to die. It is too bad really. One supposes that Mrs. P will have to re-open her "Ghoul Pool" and allow Fidel to be chosen. (By the way, your Maximum Leader is still betting on Robert Mugabe to be next to die in that little pool...) Your Maximum Leader apologizes to you all for getting your hopes up a wee bit too soon.

Of course, since Fidel hasn't died that gives the good people over at the AP reason to conduct "(wo-)man on the street" interviews to gauge the real feelings of the American people towards Fidel. For instance, Shawn Corey of North Carolina tells the AP: "I think we should end the trade embargo. It would open the eyes of all of the people of the country to see exactly what they've been missing. If we had free access back and forth, that could become another Virgin Island paradise." One wonders what type of "Virgin Island paradise" Corey had in mind. He seems like a real Cuba expert. Perhaps he went with Danny Glover and Harry Belefonte on one of their many trips to the carribbean socialist paradise that is Cuba. If only we all could go and have our eyes opened as to how great a nation Fidel will leave behind.

Then there is the remarkably astute observation by Mount Gilead (NC) high school secretary Patty Byrd who says: "I feel like if his brother (Raul) that's in charge right now takes over, I feel like he'll probably be the same." Your Maximum Leader wonders if Ms. Byrd intentionally tries to emulate the dialect of her students or if the AP "sexed up" her comments.

Comments of the Venezuelan Ambassador that Castro is improving not withstanding, your Maximum Leader hopes that he will not have to write yet another Fidel Castro story in a few more months...

Carry on.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 08, 2007

Premier League

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader here for the second day of his five day stint as guest "weblogger." As he has said many times before, if this isn't the greatest gig in all of Albert Gore’s interwebs, well he isn't sure what is. After all, this humble weblog has been blessed with that most highly prized of all recognition, the famed "Instalanche." HMQ has also been nominated a few times prestigious "weblog" awards. (Remember, Martin Scorsese and Richard Burton - among others - were always nominated but never won an Oscar...)

But your Maximum Leader digresses...

Your Maximum Leader is something of a sports "fan." Yes, he knows it might be hard to believe. But he does enjoy observing sports as much as the next guy. He is a big baseball fan. He is also quite taken with football and hockey. He likes watching pro basketball live, but can't claim to follow it very much.

Like all red-blooded Americans born and bred in this great republic, he doesn't care a wit about soccer. He's tried to watch it. But it is a bore. Yes, you read that correctly. A man who can (and sometimes does) spend hours of his life watching baseball (at the park and on the television) can't watch a soccer game. Not even one of those World Cup games that everyone says is so interesting. He's watched Cricket tests (on ESPN2 late at night) with more enthusiasm than soccer.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader would rather subject himself to a public reading of Maya Angelou poetry put on by second-rate feminist studies graduate students than watch a full-blown soccer match.

So, imagine your Maximum Leader's surprise when he read on the news wires that many "England Premier League" soccer teams are now owned by Americans. Well, three teams are owned by Americans at any rate. That seems like quite a large number.

Malcolm Glazer owns Manchester United. George Gillette and Tom Hicks own the Liverpool Reds. And Randy Lerner owns the Aston Villa. A person more knowledgeable about these things might be able to tell you more about why this might be a good investment, or how these teams will make money for their owners. Perhaps Misters Glazer, Gillette, Hicks, and Lerner are truly global sports fans and like soccer. Indeed, owning a Premier League franchise might just be another feather in the cap of a world-class sports team owner.

But your Maximum Leader sees something much more insidious in this move.

These American owners are actually involved in a great transatlantic conspiracy. A conspiracy of the highest order. What, you may ask, is the goal of this nefarious plan? It should be obvious to you. They hope to study soccer hooligans in Europe and find a way to transport them to our shores.

Yes, gentle reader. This elite gang of team-owning robber barons has plotted to undermine the foundations of our nation through the introduction of soccer hooligans to our shores. The plan calls for the hooligans to first disrupt basketball games, and then move on to football and baseball. Eventually, the hooligans will move from professional games to semi-professional games and then onto collegiate sports then high school, then little league. In the course of a few short years no public sporting event will be safe. A Democratically controlled Congress will investigate and eventually set about enacting a massive legislative package that will diminish our personal liberties and even outlaw apple pie.

Then, just when you thought the worst had been done, Misters Glazer, Gillette, Hicks and Lerner will start broadcasting soccer games in the US. In prime time. On the Networks and on Cable.

And there will be no escape.

Carry on.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 07, 2007

Decline of Western Civilization Pt MXXC

Greetings, loyal readers of The Hatemonger's Quarterly. It is your Maximum Leader from Naked Villainy. As always, your Maximum Leader is so pleased that the Crack Young Staff are willing to entrust their "weblog" to his pithy commentary. It is really too bad that your Maximum Leader can't figure out this "web cam" stuff or you would be able to see him firmly ensconced behind the "blogging" desk of the Crack Young Staff. Indeed, you would also see that the "Web's Most Dangerous Band" was warming up to keep the studio audience rolling during commercial breaks.

But your Maximum Leader digresses. There is serious work to be done!

You see, the "job" of a "weblogger" (if indeed "weblogging" can be said to be "work") is to hold a mirror up to society and cry out "Look! Look at how you've let yourself go. You used to be beautiful and all the world wanted you..." At least that is what some other person told your Maximum Leader in an electronic missive which also exhorted him to buy particular penny stocks and give his checking account information to Mrs. Kwame Buthelezi in Niger so that she could transfer $5,000,000 (US) to it...

As many readers of this space know, civilized people are daily assaulted with signs of the impending collapse and fall of Western Civilization. We are faced with yet another of those signs today. This time the portent of doom comes in the results of a survey conducted by Unilever Corporation.

Excursus: Who knew that Unilever was such a huge corporation and owned so many well-known brands? Well, frankly, your Maximum Leader knew. He noticed one day on the back of a jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise that Hellmann’s was a Unilever product. He then took it upon himself to investigate Unilever. After investigating, he decided to invest in Unilever NV. But that is another story...

It seems as though the people at Unilever conducted a survey (presumably to better market a plethora of products to consumers) and discovered that women prefer clothes to sex. Yes... You read that correctly. Women prefer clothes to sex. Indeed, according to survey results, women keep their favorite clothes longer than they keep their favorite men. (12.5 years for her favorite frock, 11.5 years for her favorite... Well... You can rhyme...) In other findings... 70% of respondents said that they believed that they could fall in love at first sight with an article of clothing; but only 54% said they could fall in love at first sight with a man.

So where does that leave men and Western Civilization in general? Not in a particularly good place. Women are obviously turned on more by a cashmere sweater than a hairy man... Humm... Perhaps that was not the best analogy... But it seems plain enough that women find it hard to like men who are fops. You know, foppish style seems to be all the rage for men now. Satin jogging suits. Silk ties worn askew. Gauzy mohair sweaters for men. No wonder a woman would pass on procreation in favor of cramming her closet.

We live in sad and scary times dear readers... Sad and scary times...

Carry on.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 06, 2007

Another Crack Young Staff Retreat

As regular reader(s) of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have served up one charming animadversion each weekday for many, many moons. In fact, it has been so long since we began this humble “weblog” that soon we may be compelled to change our name to “the crack middle-aged staff.”

Well, we suppose it hasn’t been that long. Even so, we have taken some smidgen of pleasure from the fact that our readers can pretty much set their e-watches by us. Without fail, Monday through Friday you’ll hear from the crack young staff. You may hate every word we write—a distinct possibility—but we write it so regularly that we feel as if we’re the e-equivalent of Metamucil.

Every once in a great while, of course, we go on a vacation of sorts. You know: Hunting with Dick Cheney; windsurfing with John F. Kerry; nose picking with Ana Marie Cox. That sort of thing.

And, quite frankly, we think we’re entitled to it. For close to three years, we have brought countless amounts of joy and anger to the visitors on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web. What have we asked for in return? Not too darned much.

It is with only mild nervousness, then, that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” announce that the entire staff—well over 250 people—is heading for a group retreat. You know: Clear the air; think fresh thoughts; eat lots of s’mores.

As a result of our upcoming time away from the Internet, we shall not be “posting” our typically hilarious and insightful commentary on all and sundry for a whole week: Wednesday, February 7 to Wednesday, February 14. We know, we know: That’s a long, long time to be without us.

Ah, but fear not. We are always thinking of you and your pleasure, dear reader. (In that respect, we’re quite different from your wife.)

We wouldn’t dream of leaving “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” blank for a whole week. (Well, okay, we dreamed of it, but it wasn’t a particularly satisfying dream. In fact, it left us feeling kind of cold.)

Rather, we have successfully exhorted a master “weblogger” to take our august place. Regular reader(s) of this humble “weblog” already know and esteem our temporary replacement—none other than our Official Guest “Weblogger,” the Maximum Leader.

To those of you who don’t read the Maximum Leader’s devilishly charming “website” Naked Villainy, we have only one thing to say: Shame on you. But you can make up for your lapse: For one full week the Maximum Leader will bestow his e-genius upon you on this humble “website.”

One should look forward to this with, as Charles Dickens once wrote, great expectations. We certainly know that we’re leaving you in, as the marketing department of Allstate Insurance once wrote, good hands.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 05, 2007

The Durham DA’s Dirty Little Secret

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t want to discuss today’s topic at all. In fact, we previously made something of a pact with ourselves not to divulge what we’re about to divulge. Frankly, dear reader, it just hurt too darn much.

But we simply have to break our silence—as difficult as it is for us to do so. Sure, it’s painful, but we think that the world needs to hear what we’re going to say. Or at least North America.

So, what is our big secret? Well, many of you have heard of Mike Nifong, the District Attorney for Durham County (NC), who became somewhat infamous for his mishandling of the Duke lacrosse non-rape case. If so, you’re going to want to sit down whilst you read the rest of today’s “post.”

Gosh, this is hard to admit. A real tough one. But here goes: You see, dear reader, Mike Nifong raped us.

It was at a party about a year or so back. Either one, two, three, or fourteen Mike Nifongs came up to us, assaulted us, and then brutally raped us. Yeah, that’s right: Every last member of the crack young staff. All 250 or so of us.

Well, okay: Maybe he didn’t exactly rape us. No, no—we take that back; we’re sure that he did. In fact, we’re certain that he had a moustache at the time. And, difficult as it may be to believe, he answered to the name “Adrian Zmed.”

We know what you’re going to say, dear reader: I don’t believe the crack young staff. Not one word. Of course you don’t: We’ll bet that you also don’t know what a social disaster looks like. Kim Curtis could sure teach you a thing or two about a thing or two.

And we can prove that Mike Nifong was our assailant. In fact, if you line up a number of Mike Nifongs in a row, tell us that each one is Mike Nifong, we’re willing to bet that we could pick Mike Nifong out of a crowd.

In addition, we have absolutely no DNA evidence to help our case. But, heck, who needs that stuff? Certainly not the great legal mind of Nancy Grace.

Naturally, dear reader, we’re soon going to bring Mike Nifong to court. Although many people consider our case flimsy and dubious, we have the hunch that it’ll wind up lasting over a year, and ensure that Mike Nifong’s good name is dragged in the mud.

Sure, it’s not so pleasant. But it seems as if Mr. Nifong doesn’t mind ruining other people’s lives.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 02, 2007

Let’s Just Vote Now

Perhaps we’re the only ones, dear reader, but we’re already—already!—deeply irritated by all the 2008 presidential campaign jibber-jabber. Here we are, months and months away from the election, and we’re already—already!—up to our armpits in incessant media speculation.

Obama, Hillary, McCain, Rudy—blah, blah, blah. The 24-hour cable news programs have become well nigh insufferable. How much traction can they get out of people who haven’t even announced their candidacy yet?

Perhaps what particularly rankles, dear reader, is the fact that the media’s honing in on a few “top tier” candidates is extremely unfair. We mean, come on: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are junior senators. Obama hasn’t even finished one term. Would it really kill them to do a story—one measly story—on, say, Sam Brownback?

Under the circumstances, shouldn’t the media at least pretend that, say, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden are serious contenders? They have, after all, a heck of a lot more experience than do the presumptive Democratic “frontrunners.” Sure, we think Senator Biden is a self-important menace as much as the next guy, but he certainly deserves a shot.

As much as the mainstream media supposedly love to shill for the downtrodden, they’re antics often wind up aiding those who are the most powerful. Take the example of the Democrats: Thanks in part to a lack of media interest and (therefore) fundraising capabilities, Mark Warner and Evan Bayh decided not to run.

Both are entirely electable centrist Democrats. And now both are out of the race, whilst the media coddles the untested paleo-liberal Barack Obama.

It should be no secret to readers of this humble “weblog” that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” quite fancy John McCain. But we certainly think that the other Republican candidates deserve a chance.

And we say this even if the horrendous Chuck Hagel runs. Although we far prefer Hegel to Hagel (and even Nietzsche to Hagel), that corn-fed moron should have a fair shake.

Ah, but no: The media need to find something to natter on about, and so now it’s 24-7 Hillary, Barak, John, and Rudy. It’s all enough to make you plump for Vilsack. Frankly, we support anyone with a name that silly.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

The “You-Tubing” of American Politics

As you might well imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not big supporters of Senator Biden (D-Delaware). In general, we find his views on foreign policy wrongheaded and we’re suspicious of his preternaturally robust self-importance.

We mean, come on: Biden seems so smitten with the sound of his own voice that Chuck Schumer comes across as downright laconic by comparison.

Accordingly, dear reader, you must take our collective word for it when we inform you that we are not the type to rush to the semi-beleaguered Senator’s aid. Yet we feel that we must.

As was noted on the Drudge Report, Senator Biden may have gotten himself in some hot water by suggesting that Barack Obama was, among other things, a “clean” African American. Senator Biden, by making that remark, apparently implied that most blacks are actually dirty. And thus Biden is a horrible racist. Q.E.D.

Well, we hate to spoil the fun, but we find this patently ridiculous. Sure, what Senator Biden said wasn’t wonderful; it was a regrettable turn of phrase. But we don’t think it exactly proves that Biden is an irredeemable racist. In fact, we think that drawing such a conclusion is tendentious at best, and deeply foolish to boot.

This is not, we must stress, a partisan issue. The Washington Post witch-hunt of former Senator George Allen (R-Virginia) was equally—nay, even more—obtuse. So Allen called an Indian fellow a “macacca.” We haven’t the foggiest idea what that means, and we have the sneaking suspicion that George Allen didn’t either.

In fact, we have the sneaking suspicion that the journalists who hyped so-called Macacca-Gate originally had no idea what it meant either. But, if they could use the story to tar and feather George Allen, so much the better.

Quite frankly, dear reader, this is all manifestly absurd. We’re sick of hearing about supposed gaffes that are blown way out of proportion. And we’re sick of the selective outrage shown by political partisans. Anyone who hounded George Allen from office ought to do the same in regard to Joseph Biden, if they’re going to be intellectually consistent. Ah, but these days, one decides to be outraged based on the D or R next to a person’s name.

What is this doing to American politics? If we keep on “You-Tubing” all of our politicians to death, we’re going to wind up with the most milquetoast candidates imaginable. And this will serve to impoverish our political discourse and our political future.

So, please: By all means, don’t vote for Joe Biden. But don’t vote against him because he called Barack Obama the first “clean” black. There are plenty of better reasons.

Posted at 12:01 AM | TrackBack