July 31, 2007

An Officer Who’s Not a Gentleman

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long supported police officers against their myriad detractors. If you ask us, police work is a tough job, and it’s far easier to criticize policemen’s efforts than to keep the streets safe yourself. Accordingly, in many instances we’ve figuratively (and literally) bent over backward to defend the cops.

Ah, but a run-in with a particular member of the force last week has well-nigh compelled us to think twice about our incessant cheerleading for the police. Though we have yet to join arms with the All-Cops-Are-Thugs crowd, we must admit that we’re having our second thoughts.

Allow us to set the scene. It was around 11:30pm on a Friday night and one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was standing in front of an apartment building waiting for a gal to give him a ride. This gal had just spent an evening with “Chip,” and made a brief pit-stop at her apartment before the two would head off to her car. As such, she left “Chip” standing in front of her complex watching her purse whilst she, presumably, used the facilities.

Under these circumstances, a lone figure approached “Chip” on the road. Clad in a baseball jersey, this fellow walked up to “Chip” and menacingly brayed, “Can I help you?”

To which “Chip,” unaware of who this fellow was, replied, “No.”

And then “Chip’s” interlocutor asked with an intense look, “Why are you here?” “Chip” responded, “To wait for my friend.”

The fellow continued. “Who’s your friend?” “Chip” replied, “A friend from college.” “A friend from college?” asked the interlocutor.

At this point, “Chip” was a bit taken aback. Who was this guy who kept asking these questions? Why was he asking these questions? Why would he think it would be safe for “Chip” to offer him some specifics?

Soon after his last query, however, the man unbuttoned his baseball jersey a tad and flashed a police officer’s badge underneath. As he did so, he stared at “Chip” with haughty resolve.

In response, “Chip,” no longer worried about this guy’s intentions, informed him exactly why he was waiting in front of the apartment complex and for whom he was waiting. Without so much as a smile, the cop said, “Just curious.” And then he himself disappeared into the apartment complex. Once the gal for whom he was waiting returned, “Chip” learned that this police officer owned the apartments.

Clearly, this isn’t exactly an example of Darrel Gates-like brutality. But it’s irksome nonetheless. How poorly trained was this pathetic officer?

Why didn’t he merely come up to “Chip” and ask: “Excuse me, sir, I’m the owner of this apartment complex. Can I help you with anything?” Had he done so, “Chip” would have understood the cop’s intentions and answered him fully.

Instead, the dimwitted police officer was needlessly confrontational, itching to show off his badge to a civilian. Having found out—surprise, surprise—that his non-inebriated preppy interlocutor was not, in fact, a thief or a pimp, he didn’t even apologize for the confusion, but stomped off before “Chip” could get a word in edgewise.

Well, color us Rodney King. Can’t we all just get along?

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July 30, 2007

Total Breakdown

As happens with some regularity, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” took a gander at a collection of our most recent “posts” and recognized that something was missing. Largely thanks to our continued nattering about political matters, we haven’t offered up a good thrashing in some time.

You know: A primo excoriation. A cornucopia of contumely. A Buster Douglas, if you will.

It is with great aplomb (and a few plums), then, that we get down to brass tacks and deliver up a sound drubbing. Let the games begin. And we think you’ll agree that this hectoring is well deserved.

Now, as citizens of these here United States of America, we know full well how little people agree these days. Partisanship is all the rage. Which, according to professional loony-tune Ralph Nader, is odd, since apparently there’s no difference between any politicians except for Mr. Nader himself. Funny, that.

Even though we cannot, pace Rodney King, all get along, we can certainly see eye-to-eye about one thing. From Alabama to Arkansas, from Oklahoma to Ohio, and from one state you wouldn’t dare live in to another state you wouldn’t dare live in, this phenomenon irks us all.

We refer, dear reader, to people who drive in a highway’s breakdown lane during traffic jams. Sure, it’s a niggling distress, but it bothers all the same. Kind of like that silly North Korean dictator.

After all, such roadside theatrics are a giant snub to law-abiding drivers everywhere. The breakdown-lane speeder might as well say to us: “Hey, losers, you can sit in traffic all day with your pathetic lives, but I’ve got to be places.”

To alter Jerry Seinfeld ever so slightly, who are these people who drive in the breakdown lane? What are they—secretary of state? How much of a jackass do you have to be to believe that your business is far more important than that of everyone else waiting in traffic?

If you ask us, only medical emergencies and sincere car failures warrant a trip to the breakdown lane. Other than that, folks should have the opportunity to shoot at people who take this sordid root.

Maybe it’s a bit extreme, but just sit in stop-and-go traffic for a few hours and we think you’ll see it our way.

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July 27, 2007

Introducing the Feminist-Approved Bad Date Buy-Back Plan

If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” know anything about feminists, it’s that they’re almost preternaturally fair. Not for them the naked power play. (Or the naked anything else, for that matter.) Nope: Our feminist pals care only about making the world a more equitable place.

For this reason, dear reader, our feminist buddies would never, say, feminize education in the United States to such an extreme extent that girls routinely outperform boys at nearly every mark of intellectual achievement. And, having done so, they certainly wouldn’t continue with their anti-male education reforms—until, it seems, American boys become nothing but knuckle-dragging illiterates.

But surely the greatest example of female concern for fair play relates to the so-called gender pay gap. You know all about that: According to our feminist friends, American women earn less than two cents for every male dollar. Or some such.

It’s kind of a fiscal version of the feminist rape myth: Eight out of every seven girls have been the victim of a sexual assault. And nine out of every seven perpetrators have been Duke lacrosse players.

In deference to feminist concern over the gender pay gap, we have devised our own little system to redress the disgraceful economic inequity of the sexes. After all, every female construction worker can easily outperform her male colleagues: Why shouldn’t she get equal pay?

Okay, so former NOW board member Warren Farrell has demonstrated that women receive lower salaries because they work fewer hours, take more vacations, and, overall, tend to be less valuable employees. That shouldn’t stop them from taking home half of the bacon, now should it?

But enough about that. Allow us to explain the basics of our system. We call it the Bad Date Buy-Back Plan, and we’re sure you’ll agree it’s a beacon of fiscal fairness. Pretty soon, Ms. magazine will offer its official endorsement, we’ll bet.

So, how does it work? Well, as we said before, feminists care about nothing so much as economic gender equality. And, since they’re clamoring to earn as much as the stronger sex, we figure that they’ll soon aim to address the disparities in social spending between men and women.

That is to say, regardless of our country’s famously successful feminist movement (you go, girl), men routinely pay for dates with women. (Huh: For some reason Andrea Dworkin never addressed that issue. Go figure.) If we are going to make America into a beacon of gender Communism, we can’t very well let that go unresolved.

And here’s where our Bad Date Buy-Back Plan kicks in. Males should keep tabs of all the extra money they spend on their lady friends. Anytime their relationships end, they simply supply their former gal pal with a bill to be paid in full.

Yep: With our plan, women finally will be able to feel the exciting rush of economic self-sufficiency. No longer will they be forced to lean on the financial arms of their significant others. In short, no more free drinks, no more free dinners. Free at last!

Why do we have the sneaking suspicion that our feminist buddies won’t hurry to address this issue? Perhaps they’ll rush to this matter right after they take issue with the sexist term “garbage man.” We mean, come on: Can’t women remove garbage for a living too?

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July 26, 2007

We No Longer Have the Power

(Note: We have the sneaking suspicion that this “post” will be amongst the very least read animadversions in our humble “weblog’s” history. And, given our storied number of outright bombs, that’s saying something.)

Politics, politics, politics. Can’t we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discuss anything else? In recent months, we’ve offered a heavier dollop of political commentary than in days past—and it’s high time we broke up this veritable e-monopoly a little bit.

As such, dear reader, in today’s humble “post,” we shall refrain from excoriating Dennis Kucinich for being a dangerous utopian and from chastising Stephen Colbert for turning his television program into a 30-minute humor therapy session for distraught Democrats. Instead of such typical topics, today we’ll tackle something less ideological, albeit equally nugatory.

If you are sufficiently old, dear reader, you’ll recall the quick rise and demise of New Coke. Originally deemed the future of soft drinks, this horrid beverage wound up one of the greatest disasters in the history of beverages. And, yes, that counts Tahitian Treat. Or that clear Pepsi—remember that junk? Even a trendy Van Halen-inflected advertising campaign couldn’t rescue that liquid clunker.

We mention New Coke (the very antithesis to Britain’s New Labour) because a recent trip to the greengrocer has well nigh given us visions of a New Coke-esque catastrophe. It’s not pretty, but it’s true.

Allow us to set the scene. Like all sentient beings, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” love Power Bars, the surprisingly filling snack with dubious health benefits. More specifically, we esteem the chocolate flavored Power Bars, far preferring them to, say, peanut butter, malt nut, or purple crayon.

Ah, yes: The chocolate Power Bar is as close to ambrosia as you’ll get when consuming 170mgs of potassium. They are, in a word, good.

Imagine our collective surprise in the grocery store, therefore, when we noticed that the idiots in charge of chocolate Power Bars (Nestle, as it turns out) have tinkered with their heavenly formula. To be more specific, the chocolate flavored Power Bars boast a new “C2 Max higher-octane carb blend” that offers “more sustained energy to muscles.”

Uh, what the heck is that? A “higher-octane carb blend”? Do the folks at Nestle think that we’re a Honda Civic, for crying out loud?

So what’s the benefit of this newfangled “higher-octane carb blend”? Well, as far as we can intuit, it makes the chocolate Power Bars taste distinctly of monkey feces. And we say this with some knowledge: Since the age of 17, we’ve eaten our fair share of monkey feces. We’re not proud about it, but it’s allowed us to make this apt comparison, so we suppose it’s not all bad.

If you ask us, this horrible “high-octane” garbage is a complete disaster. You know, like an Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical, or a Roxette album.

Perhaps we can lead some sort of revolt against the “higher-octane carb blend.” A little Danish cartoon-esque riot would really send the folks at Nestle into a tizzy. If the people at Nestle prove as pusillanimous as the liberal elites are in the face of Muslim extremism, we’ll be rid of this odious new Power Bar quicker than you can say “bicep curl.”

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July 25, 2007

Lindsey Lohan-Bush?

Normally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” pride ourselves on our imperviousness to conspiracy theories. In fact, we consider it amongst our most attractive attributes, right next to washboard abdominal muscles and an uncanny ability to croon “Danke Schoen” at karaoke events.

To be downright honest, we’ve long thought that conspiracy theories are the purview of hard-left and hard-right wack-jobs. You know the sort of folk we mean: Lyndon Larouche; the readership of Counterpunch; Oliver Stone. Accordingly, we’ve prided ourselves as not being amongst their sordid, sordid ranks.

And yet, and yet, and yet. Current controversies in the land of so-called “popular culture” compel us to alter our anti-conspiracy-theory line just a smidge. Although we’re not delighted to admit it, recent events have caused us to cast incredulity to the side and come up with our own dubious conspiracy theory. Allow us to elaborate.

Perhaps you have heard, dear reader, about the antics of a certain infamous jet-setting gaggle of rich party gals: Nichole Richie; Paris Hilton; Lindsey Lohan; Rip Torn; et al. If you haven’t heard about them, there’s a good chance that you’re illiterate and don’t own a television. For the American media can’t stop blathering on about their antics.

Most recently, of course, vaguely fetching train-wreck Lindsey Lohan has been arrested for driving under the influence, cocaine possession, and shooting Gary Coleman, amongst other dire offenses. And this news, naturally, comes just days after Ms. Lohan sprung herself from a rehabilitation center. (Or, as the Brits call it, a rehabilitation centre.)

According to some folks, this may merely be more proof of an obscene recklessness in the thriving B-movie actress/heiress community. Clearly, they think, these benighted ladies are completely out of control.

Not us. We’ve witnessed too many Lohan-Richie-Hilton shenanigans to chalk them up to adolescent (and post-adolescent) high jinks. Nope: We smell a rat. And we’re not talking about Paris Hilton.

Okay, here’s our conspiracy theory: Lindsey Lohan, Nicole Richie, and Paris Hilton are all Bush administration shills, duty-bound to aid our Commander-in-Chief by resorting to illegal antics every time the President finds himself in a pinch. Not to put too fine a point on it, we think that these gals are agents for the maniacal neoconservatives running Washington.

Think about it. Every time you read more dirt on Attorney General Gonzales, Paris Hilton does something inane and winds up in the clink. The upside of it all? The AG no longer makes front-page headlines. Rather, Ms. Hilton pouts her way onto newspapers and televisions everywhere. Political crisis averted.

Coincidence? We collectively think not. Like socialized medicine, it just makes too much sense.

We do wonder, however, if this means that Lohan, Hilton, and Richie are Jewish. After all, if you ask our friends on the political Left, Jews are behind all conspiracies: 9/11; World War II; Howard the Duck; &c.

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July 24, 2007

Hugo Chavez, Peerless Democrat

Ah, you simply must savor the irony. Irony this delicious, this delightful doesn’t rear its ugly little head that often. Thus, when it appears, we are duty bound to take it in with rapturous excitement.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” refer to a recent televised statement by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As even the most politically obtuse amongst us well know, Mr. Chavez is a steadfast hero to the self-proclaimed “progressive” community. They wish that President Bush could be the ardent democrat that Hugo Chavez is.

In fact, the man embodies everything that the (purportedly populist) far Left esteem: Seizure of private property; hypocritical demagoguery; &c. Since Saint Hugo disesteems the Bush administration as much as the next white-flag-waving American hippie (though his ire doesn’t stop him from selling lots of oil to the US), our leftist pals are willing to give him a pass on his dubious behavior.

As such, when it was reported that President Chavez aimed to shut down an independent television station in Venezuela critical of his government, the Euro-American Left was in full Apologia Mode. Although this sounded dubious, the pundits crowed, it was actually necessary, since this network previously encouraged an anti-Chavez revolt.

Of course, if President Bush attempted to shut down the left-wing propaganda network “Democracy Now!” we wouldn’t hear similar examples of progressive apologetics. Instead, we’d enjoy taking in the same epithets already dribbling from the tongues of our lefty pals—“fascist,” “totalitarian,” “evil,” “undemocratic,” &c.

After all, we don’t remember our left-wing buddies rushing to the defense of the Bush administration when it gave the green light to bomb Al Jazeera—even though this rancid Islamist network used its broadcasts to help flash messages to Al Qaeda. Saint Hugo’s strong-arming, however, was entirely justifiable to our democracy-embracing leftists.

Well, that’s a sentiment that’s getting harder and harder to justify. A few days ago, we read the following short report in The Chicago Tribune:

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that foreigners who publicly criticize him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country.

Chavez ordered officials to monitor statements made by international figures during their visits to Venezuela and deport any outspoken critics.

"How long are we going to allow a person -- from any country in the world -- to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it?" Chavez asked during his weekly television and radio program.

The Venezuelan leader's statements came after Manuel Espino, the president of Mexico's conservative ruling party, criticized Chavez in Caracas.

Oh, let the liberal hand-wringing begin! Ah, the irony: Our left-wing buddies claim to love democracy, yet go gaga for an authoritarian thug. We can’t wait to see how the John Pilger, Noam Chomsky crowd exonerates Saint Hugo for this blatant totalitarianism.

Just imagine if President Bush had uttered such a repugnant sentiment about visitors to the US. How the left-wing pundits would (rightly) excoriate him for such a horrid statement! How they would have charged (rightly) that it was utterly incompatible with an open society!

Well, lefties, what do you have to say about your beloved Hugo’s latest machinations? Do you really believe in freedom of speech, or are you mindless shills for left-wing totalitarianism? The silence at The Nation and the op-ed page at The Guardian thus far doesn’t speak well of you.

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July 23, 2007

God, We’re Good

As even casual book-readers know by now, atheism has recently caught on fire. (Pun on hellfire and damnation largely not intended.) Books denying His existence are selling like hotcakes. Perhaps the damned are more voracious readers?

Hence the visitor to his neighborhood bookstore sees umpteen copies of the following tomes: God Is Not As Great As Christopher Hitchens by Christopher Hitchens; The God Delusion: How the “Selfish Gene” Makes Perfect Sense But Yahweh Is an Obvious Fraud by Richard Dawkins; and The Denial of God and the Curse of “Family Feud” by Richard Dawson.

As far as we can intuit, if you’re willing to risk eternity in hell, you can make a really quick buck these days by ripping on organized religion. And this, according to some, is worth it—even if you’re compelled to stand next to Satan whilst listening to Billy Joel records forever. A high price indeed.

Naturally, these anti-God volumes serve as a corollary to the numerous titles in defense of particular faiths. You know, like Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, and How to Build a Bomb by K. S. Mohammed. We’d wager that there’s still a heck of a market for such pious monographs.

Even so, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have recognized that a gap remains in the field of religious titles. Sure, there are oodles of anti-theist books and sundry theist books. But what about agnostics?

If you ask us, a rip-roaring polemic urging agnosticism on the part of its readership could even outsell that drink-sodden ex-Trotskyite popinjay Christopher Hitchens. All one must compose is a biting, mordant tome demonstrating why agnosticism is the only sensible route.

But there’s a bit of a problem with this. After all, as the sales figures show, only scabrous screeds on religion sell lots of copies. No one wants to read a careful, dry academic study that fails to simplify religion to the point of absurdity. And one might think that agnosticism, by its very nature, rebels from the spirit of polemic.

Ah, yet that’s where we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” come in. Below we’ve offered a variety of potential titles to agnostic jeremiads (if you will). These titles should stir up the blood and get an author’s creative juices flowing.

An Official List of Rip-Roaring Titles for Agnostic Polemics:

1) God May or May Not Be Great: It’s Difficult to Tell

2) We Cannot Determine for Certain Whether God Exists, Though, Sadly, We Know That Richard Dawkins Is Real

3) If God Exists, He Drinks a Lot Less Than Christopher Hitchens

4) If God Exists, Why Does Phil Collins?

5) Agnosticism: The Only Sort-of True Sort-of Non-Faith

6) Just in Case: Agnosticism, or Atheism for Wusses

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July 20, 2007

“You Have Issues”

Recently, dear reader, we had opportunity to recall the late Philip Rieff. Mr. Rieff, a brilliant sociologist and public intellectual who taught at the University of Pennsylvania, seems to have made only two mistakes in his life: Writing ponderously and (briefly) marrying Susan Sontag.

Other than that, however, in our book Mr. Rieff could do no wrong. His sartorial tastes—which were just this side of Tom Wolfe—were pretty impressive as well. More importantly, Mr. Rieff penned brilliant tracts bemoaning the eclipse of traditional morality at the hands of Freudian psychobabble.

In his landmark work The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966), Mr. Rieff documented, among other things, the baleful effects that the replacement of a religious understanding with Freudianism would visit us all. The book rightly launched Mr. Rieff into the public intellectual stratosphere.

We had reason to reflect anew on Mr. Rieff’s oeuvre as the result of a less-than-delightful cause. Perambulating down a busy street the other day, one of the senior editors of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—bumped into a gaggle of children around (he would guess) 12 years of age.

This is not, admittedly, the sort of thing that usually brings to mind Philip Rieff. But wait; there’s a reason behind our connection after all.

Amongst this gaggle of kiddies—supervised by what looked like a few harried camp counselors—were two children engaged in some verbal fireworks. For some reason, a boy and a girl were (figuratively) at one another’s throats, ready to pull out all the oratorical stops in their polemical arsenal.

Whilst “Chip” passed this unsavory scene, he heard the boy screech a line he’d never heard uttered by so young a creature. Aiming for a rhetorical knockout punch, the lad said to the lass: “You have issues.”

“You have issues”? Yes, “You have issues.”

Not “Your mother wears combat boots.” Or “You’re fat.” Or even “You’re a slut.” But “You have issues.” Where the heck did this kid learn his taunts?

The Triumph of the Therapeutic, indeed! Somehow, it seems, useless psychobabble has even corrupted the youngest amongst us.

For what is more pseudo-Freudian than the phrase “You have issues”? That such armchair psychologizing has infected the world of playground epithets speaks to the power Sigmund Freud wields over us all.

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July 19, 2007

That’s Incredible

As devotees of this humble “website” well recognize, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” fancy ourselves as humorists. We may be preternaturally inept humorists or even humorists manqué, but we’re humorists nonetheless.

Yes, seldom does a day go by on our collective calendar during which we do not attempt to make you smile. Unless, of course, you count Saturday, our one day off for the week. Which, if you think really hard about it, comes around quite often.

Anyway, we mention our aim to please for one particular reason. It has compelled many of our readers to ask us what humor “websites” we particularly esteem. As heavy-hitting professionals in the world of World-Wide Web yuks, we certainly have our own opinions on what’s side-splittingly funny.

In today’s humble “post,” dear reader, we aim to answer this fine question.

It would be great if we had a simple retort. But, to be honest, there are lots of funny “weblogs” out there on Al Gore’s Internet, and we’ve lost to pretty much all of them in back-to-back installments of the annual Weblog Awards.

Still, we must say that you can never go wrong with a fellow who calls his “weblog” (in its most recent iteration) The American Fez. Naturally, we have lots of e-favorites amongst the humor “weblogs,” but we simply must highlight Boston’s Stephen Baldwin as a particular delight.

In fact, we have long believed that Mr. Baldwin consistently composes crafty and cleverly cerebral “posts” that deserve a wide readership. If you don’t like his “weblog,” congratulations: You’re dumb. And you have bad taste to boot.

But we would be remiss if we failed to mention another primo source of comedy—albeit in this case comedy of an unintentional variety. We refer, dear reader, to the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM), a kooky collection of Mao Zedong enthusiasts who yearn for a Communist utopia…and write knee-slapping film reviews.

Boy, that’s a hard sentence to take in, isn’t it? Yet it’s true: MIM excels in crafting unintentionally hilarious movie reviews, one of which we highlighted here. The reviews are so uproariously lame that you’d swear to Stalin that they’re a joke. Yet our pals pining for another Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution are as po-faced as can be.

You needn’t take our word for it, dear reader. Just take a gander at a few passages from MIM’s side-splitting take on the Disney animated feature The Incredibles, which they have ominously labeled “post-modernism turned to fascism”:

We're supposed to be impressed with all the effort that went into the animations for "Incredibles" and give it a pass for its more intellectual side. Nonetheless, "Incredibles" relies on violence and bourgeois notions of heroes to sell, so we looked all the way into this movie. For this reviewer, it took a while, but eventually we all should conclude that this movie is mostly backwards and in fact leans solidly fascist.

Just as the heroic entrepreneur of Libertarian and Republican fame finds him or herself strangled by government regulations in Amerika, this story is about the restraints of the mediocre on the meritorious superheroes known as "Incredibles." What makes this a fascist movie is precisely the alleged exposure of bureaucracy in an insurance company, which by itself would be progressive or socialist. Combined with the notion of super-heroes being better than bureaucracy, the effect is fascist, because we do not really see an economic solution for the insurance company problem. Instead, the movie bemoans the competition that led to the creation of the insurance company while supporting competition of superheroes. It does not fit together coherently, but we've learned historically that fascism does not have to be coherent for the masses to take it up….

The directors of this film were probably just angry with previous MIM reviews trashing all the super-heroes as fronts for the police. So in "Incredibles" we learn that super-hero work is not politically neutral, just as MIM said all along, but "Incredibles" agrees only to ridicule the premise in typical Republican Party rhetoric.

Really takes your breath away, doesn’t it? We particularly savored the bit about the directors of The Incredibles being irate about “previous MIM reviews trashing all the super-heroes as fronts for the police.”

Yeah, we bet that was really on Disney’s mind.

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July 18, 2007

Joseph and Ringo

As we are so often wont, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” recently perused a copy of The New Statesman. On this side of the pond, of course, no one much talks about TNS—if, in fact, they’ve ever heard of it. Yet, for some reason, we’ve taken a shine to hating it, and thus it figures into our regular reading schedule.

For those not in the know about TNS, allow us to inform you that it’s pretty much a glossy British version of The Nation, only with a better—though still not great—grasp of argument. Oh, and it doesn’t feature the writing of Eric Alterman, which is a mammoth plus in our collective books.

Anyway, one regular feature of TNS is its so-called “From Our Archive” section, which offers a blast from the past penned by some famous contributor or other. In the July 2 number of the rag, this section features an article originally from the November 8, 1963 issue called “Beatles and Before.”

It’s (obviously) a music column, and its claim to fame is that Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote it under the pseudonym Francis Newton. Although Mr. Hobsbawm is more of a jazz enthusiast, the article allows its author to demonstrate his erstwhile take on a pop group.

The following sentences were culled from this review:

They [the Beatles] are probably just about to begin their slow descent: the moment when someone thinks of making a film with a pop idol normally marks the peak of his curve. In 29 years’ time nothing of them will survive.

Ah, Eric Hobsbawm—prophet of the ages! Boy, he sure turned out to be right on the money. Maybe he thought Herman’s Hermits were likely to be more long-lived.

But this is just par for the course for Mr. Hobsbawm. After all, he was a longtime member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, outlasting the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, &c.

And, as befits a British intellectual, he has no regrets for his lifelong cheerleading for totalitarian mass murder. In fact, in his autobiography Interesting Times, Mr. Hobsbawm reserves his scorn for sundry anti-Communists and the administration of George W. Bush. Apparently, good ole’ Joseph Stalin isn’t as offensive as, say, Henry “Scoop” Jackson. What a buffoon!

It’s nice to see, perhaps, that Mr. Hobsbawm’s talent for political prognostication equals his record on pop music prognostication.

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July 17, 2007

The Twilight of Democracy

Always remember where you were when you read this “post,” dear reader. (That probably isn’t too much of a task: You’re likely at your computer. Man, are we clairvoyant or what?) We say this because, from this moment forward, your life will invariably change—for the worse.

And it’s not just your life—life on earth will forever alter. Sad as it is, it’s true, and we must face it head-on. Make no bones about it: We are plunging toward the abyss. We are witnessing the very twilight of democracy.

Soon life on good ole’ Mother Earth will degenerate into a totalitarian nightmare. Soon we shall all slave away as serfs for some evil corporation or other. You know, like Enron and Halliburton. Perhaps we’ll all be forced to go hunting with Dick Cheney. Soon the Orwellian nightmare called the free market will rape us all.

These sentiments may seem histrionic to you, but we’re sticking by our ominous predictions. And for a darn good reason, dear reader. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Rupert Murdoch’s dreaded News Corp. is in the final stages of procuring Dow Jones & Co., the owners of the WSJ and Barrons.

Aha: Now who’s calling us histrionic? We thought so. How do you like ‘dem apples?

Yep: The world may not last a mere three months with the evil Rupert Murdoch as owner of one of America’s most prestigious newspapers. Why, when he bought The Times of London, all heck broke loose.

As you undoubtedly recognize, since the fateful day Herr Murdoch got his deadly hands on The Times, the United Kingdom has plunged into poverty and despair. Previously Britain boasted an economy almost on par with Japan’s. Nowadays, its power is roughly equivalent to Niger’s. Without all the amenities.

A sad fate, indeed. But what do you expect? Herr Murdoch, after all, is the easily the most maniacal man on the planet. Well, except for Scott Baio. And unlike Charles, Rupert really is in charge. (Wow: Does a lame reference to a lame sitcom get any lamer than that? We collectively doubt it.)

Right now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are busy building a bomb shelter. You know, for the impending nuclear war.

What else do you expect to happen: Rupert Murdoch will soon own Barrons! Nuclear winter approaches apace!

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July 16, 2007

The American Way of War

Now, before we begin to blather on about the topic du jour, allow us to admit up front that no member of the crack young staff has served in the American military. This has nothing to do, we need hardly add, with its strenuous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, since we have a collective penchant for not asking.

Naturally, in some circles discussion of any military topic on the part of those without military experience is cause for deep suspicion. As we discussed in our latest Sunday essay for Wizbang, our left-wing friends greatly esteem labeling non-veteran supporters of certain conflicts “chickenhawks.”

This unsavory epithet, as we mentioned, curiously doesn’t stick to those who support “good” conflicts: Afghanistan (unless you write for Counterpunch); Darfur; World War II. But this doesn’t stop our left-wing pals from hurling it at all non-military Iraq War supporters. Go figure.

It is with great aplomb, then, that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” officially deem ourselves “chickenhawks.” Sure, it’s a ridiculous charge—one exuding a mephitic air of machismo supposedly despised by our liberal pals. Even so, perhaps we can turn the “chickenhawk” charge into something positive.

You know, dear reader: Like homosexuals have championed “queer” and Stalinoid academics have championed “tenured radical.” Perhaps we’ll even fashion a hip glossy magazine called Chickenhawk, which features interviews with Bill Kristol along with advertisements for ironic T-shirts. If these dolts can do it, why can’t we?

Okay, okay, okay—we’re chickenhawks. In fact, not only are we chickenhawks, we’re chickenhawks of the worst variety: We blithely start conflicts and then ineluctably hide behind furniture whilst others get hurt. Although we talk a good game, we excel in nothing more than cowering. And we’re pretty decent cringers too.

With that in mind, allow us to approach our topic for today: The American Way of War. Though we are by no means military historians, we have the sneaking suspicion that vast improvements in military technology combined with 24-hour news coverage have ushered in a new American spirit in martial matters.

Simply put, contemporary Americans appear to want a few things out of their wars:

1) No casualties
2) No setbacks of any kind
3) No use of any troops
4) No mistakes
5) No waiting

May we humbly suggest that these desiderata—desirable as they undoubtedly are—render warfare impossible? Although we’ve certainly seen our fair share of problems in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems obvious to us that contemporary critics of the Bush administration would have urged us to pull out of virtually any previous war, given their ridiculously unrealistic expectations.

After all, World War II was rather bloody, and the Allies most assuredly made tactical blunders. And the bombing of Dresden? How inhumane! Perhaps we ought to have let the Nazis take over Europe.

But, hey, you needn’t listen to us. We’ll just be cowering behind a couch.

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July 13, 2007

Sick Mind

Call it a moment of weakness. One of our junior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—found himself waiting for some mediocre Japanese take-out the other day.

But, no, that wasn’t the moment of weakness. Rather, good ole’ “Chip” had neglected to bring with him any reading material. Since this particular Japanese establishment was a mite on the slow side, “Chip” usually made his way through numerous pages of a good book before his order appeared.

On this occasion, however, “Chip” was without a trusty read. Here, dear reader, is where the moment of weakness occurred. “Chip,” lacking literary sustenance, turned his attention to the freebee bins at the entrance to this particular eatery.

You know the sort of drivel one typically finds in such nooks: The Carrboro Communist Monthly; Revolutionary Workers’ World; &c. Basically, these free rags merely offer their readership the chance to take in some left-wing agitprop and a few advertisements for the local strip clubs.

“Chip,” however, picked up another magazine entirely: The Onion. Although he seldom reads it, “Chip” finds The Onion generally quite funny.

Unbeknownst to “Chip,” however, The Onion features a non-humor section that offers its readership the chance to take in some left-wing agitprop and a few advertisements for the local strip clubs. You know, for a change of pace.

And in this dubious section of the paper “Chip” found it: The dumbest review imaginable of Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko. Penned by a fellow called Scott Tobias, it was so obtuse that “Chip” yearned to chuck it at anyone within throwing distance. (Which, given “Chip’s” former life as a high school shot put star, is pretty far indeed.)

Now, before some of our reader(s) roll their eyes at our mention of Michael Moore, allow us to inform you that we are not dead-set (if that is the mot juste) against national healthcare. Call us a passel of mephitic hippies (if you will), but we’re somewhat drawn to the idea—albeit, like most, it leaves us with some trepidation.

In regard to Mr. Moore, moreover, we must say we don’t watch his films. Not, we must add, out of any scorn for listening to the “other side.” As regular reader(s) of our humble musings well know, we check out our fair share of arguments from ideological opponents.

Rather, we don’t find propaganda-filled documentaries interesting. We esteem films that make you think—not agitprop-laden simplifications crafted for simpletons. In addition, from what we’ve read about his previous efforts, we have little reason to believe Mr. Moore doesn’t regularly bend the truth, to put it mildly.

But back to the subject of the Neanderthal review. Although “Chip” subsequently happened upon a longer—and less ridiculous—version of this review on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, below he has reproduced the shorter version that appeared before his eyes on the printed page:

There's no good argument to be made for the current system of privatized health care in the United States, so the latest documentary by professional rabble-rouser Michael Moore stands to be the closest he'll ever come to broad consensus. Though Moore remains a polarizing figure—as much to leftists ambivalent about his tactics as rightists who object to him for more obvious reasons—he has a gift (yes, it's a gift) for reducing complex issues to bite-sized ideological nuggets. And the ones Sicko offers are, by and large, pretty tasty.

As you might imagine, dear reader, it’s the first sentence of this review that especially appalls. “There’s no good argument to be made for the current system of privatized health care in the United States”? None at all?

Now, as we mentioned above, we’re not knee-jerk defenders of privatized health care. But only a dolt would argue that no good arguments in its favor exist. And thus, as it seems, Scott Tobias is a dolt.

For how do the following arguments strike you? The US’s privatized health care has led it to be the number one source of medical breakthroughs. It routinely offers the newest and best experimental treatments, as it offers the best incentive to researchers to find cures.

Socialized medicine can often lead to horrible service, ridiculous and often dangerously long waits for treatment, and politicized corruption. As a result of such depredations, Canadians routinely head to America to receive better medical care; you don’t see Americans heading north, now do you?

Now, we don’t think our arguments necessarily gainsay national healthcare as a bad idea. But they obviously pose serious concerns. Not, however, to Scott Tobias, who praises Michael Moore for “reducing complex issues into bite-sized ideological nuggets.”

If Mr. Tobias thinks no good arguments in favor of privatized medicine exist, how can he perceive that medical care in the US is a “complex issue”?

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July 12, 2007

Rudy McCain

Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have yet to offer our proverbial two cents on the upcoming presidential election and tell the world for whom we aim to plump, we suppose our coming clean won’t be too much of a shock. Devoted reader(s) of this humble “weblog” undoubtedly will be surprised to learn that we do not, in fact, aim to support either Mike Gravel (D-Crazy Tundra) or Ron Paul (R-Libertarian Nut-Job).

Ah, who would have guessed it? As it turns out, we’re pretty much John McCain fans. (Except for the few creeping royalists among us. And, truth be told, they seem more interested in haberdashery than politics.)

Yes, we know, we know, we know: Senator McCain’s campaign is supposedly in Full Implosion Mode. He’s supposedly sinking faster than Rosie O’Donnell in a vat of quicksand. What’s more, lots of conservatives distrust him, given his maverick stances on the environment, taxes, immigration, &c.

Still, we think he’s peachy keen. Though we don’t agree with him on everything, we find his consistently hawkish stance on Islamofascism music to our ears. He’s also a man of principle, who’s willing to take the heat for standing up for unpopular causes. (Ever heard of the Iraq War?)

Now, we must stress that we have positive impressions of a few other presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, Joe Biden knows quite a lot about foreign policy. It’s too bad he’s a veritable gaffe machine. In the absence of a strong moderate Democratic contender—Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, or Evan Bayh, for example—we think Biden is as good as it gets on the Democrat side.

Amongst the Republicans, we must admit that we’ve taken a shine to Mayor Rudy. He’s good and moderate on many social issues—as are most of us crack young staffers. (Except for the aforementioned royalists.) And he has a good sense of what the West faces in the War on Terrorism.

All the same, we have to say that Mayor Giuliani makes us a bit nervous. Sure, he can run the sordid world of Big Apple politics, but is he ready for the nitty-gritty of the national scene? His unfortunate trumpeting of Bernard Kerik may just suggest he’s not.

But some good folks find themselves in Rudy’s camp. The intelligent and thoughtful moderate Fred Siegel has composed a paean for Giuliani; obviously, he’s a believer.

In addition, we learn from Joshua Micah Marshall’s “weblog” that Norman Podhoretz has signed on as a key foreign policy advisor for the Rudy camp. To Mr. Marshall, this is a portent of doom: How dare Rudy saddle up with a major voice in American conservatism?

To the normally grounded Mr. Marshall, Mr. Podhoretz is a “crackpot.” (Mr. Podhoretz thinks we may just have to attack Iran; how ghastly! The real solution is to sit by and watch the Jewish genocide, of course.)

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Yeah, whatever. We’d be more likely to take Josh Micah Marshall seriously if he recognized that “thusly” is a non-word. (“Thus” is a perfectly good adverb, dummy.)

So, Mr. Marshall, we say shut your trap, you crackpot. To us, Mr. Podhoretz’s presence on Rudy’s team makes the former mayor of New York only that much more intriguing. We still greatly esteem Senator McCain, but if things go badly for him, perhaps we’ll plump for Rudy faster than you can say “thusly.”

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July 11, 2007

Impeach This

Like clockwork, dear reader, we make our quotidian perambulations round the left-wing “weblogosphere.” To be honest, it’s one of our very favorite times of the day: The Huffy Po; the Daily Kos; Atrios. It’s a veritable sick bag of lefty opinion; what’s not to love?

Given our predilection for poking our noses in the world of so-called “moonbattery,” it should come as no surprise that we’ve taken in our fair share of blathering on about impeaching President Bush. In fact, if we recall correctly, Cindy Sheehan has recently made headlines by asserting she’ll run against Nancy Pelosi if the Speaker refuses to instigate impeachment proceedings.

(Didn’t Ms. Sheehan histrionically announce her official retirement from matters political? Gee, her moral authority may be absolute, but her knowledge of when to exit the stage seems to leave a lot to be desired.)

Naturally, like all sensible people, we think the bleating about impeachment is completely foolish. There exist, we must say, plenty of reasons why lots of Americans would despise George W. Bush’s policies. Although he ran as a moderate in 2000, he has become a firebrand, making a number of extremely controversial decisions. Perhaps this was inevitable after 9/11, but it’s true all the same.

Still, our impeachment-crazy lefty friends appear not to understand the definition of the word “impeachment.” They appear to think it means “forcing a president from office because you strongly disagree with his performance.” This is about as foolish as it gets; anyone who fails to see how this moronic view of impeachment could wind up biting lefties on the behind is officially lacking in the intelligence department.

Sure, sure, sure: Our lefty pals will say that George W. Bush deserves to be successfully impeached because he supposedly “lied the country into war.” But this, of course, is a highly dubious and partisan proposition. They would also add that he has destroyed civil liberties in this country, or some such. Yet this is equally tendentious muckraking.

Obviously, it all boils down to this: Our left-wing friends want to oust George W. Bush through impeachment proceedings because they strongly disagree with him. And this is, not to put too fine a point on it, stupid.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” strongly disagreed with the policies of Jimmy Carter. We think he was a disastrously bad president. His foreign policy was horrid and he bestowed upon us the evils of “stagflation.” But we wouldn’t support impeaching him on the basis of our political disagreements.

It’s funny how people who claim to care so much about the Bush administration’s supposed assault on the proper functioning of our representative democracy seem to care so little about ensuring the proper functioning of our representative democracy.

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July 10, 2007

The Cult of the Professional

We’ve taken a gander at a couple of reviews of The Cult of the Amateur, a new screed by a fellow called Andrew Keen. According to these assessments, Mr. Keen is scared to death of Al Gore’s Internet—and remains particularly exercised about the power of sundry “webloggers” and YouTube. Such democratizing, he thinks, is ruining everything.

Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” certainly understand Mr. Keen’s concerns about the world of “webloggery,” if you will. After all, we well know that many “webloggers” are nothing but partisan hacks, and their writing appears about as trustworthy as a liquored-up Kennedy. (Gee: Did that prove our partisanship?)

Any medium that serves as a launching pad for someone as mind-bogglingly obtuse and offensive as Wonkette deserves its share of scorn.

Still, we find much of this alarmism over the “weblogging” community rather humorous. Lots of it, we think, stems from the fact that traditional journalists don’t like to be criticized, and the “webloggers”—left, right, and center—pour on all sorts of opprobrium on the mainstream media.

To our buddies at, say, The New York Times, the professional journalist’s job is to criticize others—not to be criticized. Hence they routinely lash out at the “pajama brigades.”

But there remain other reasons why alarmism over the Internet seems to us misplaced. Sure, we’ll agree that lots of “weblogging” pundits are unintelligent ideologues. Even some of the very biggest offer little but inept hackery.

And the comments on most “weblogs”? Puh-lease: They seem to us nothing more than the illiterate dribblings of poorly educated buffoons. And that, we think, is being generous.

Before you ridicule the amateur e-pundits, however, just check out the top sellers amongst the “professional” hacks. Ann Coulter; Michael Moore; Michael Savage; Maureen Dowd—the more dimwitted and nakedly partisan the pundit, the more popular he or she is.

In fact, it seems as if our very partisan present chiefly rewards the most extreme and unreflective amongst us. And this has essentially nothing to do with the Internet; people simply hunger for Neanderthal simplicity. It’s sad but it’s true.

Accordingly, folks seldom get into fistfights over the thoughtful work of Michael Walzer or Roger Scruton. Nope: It’s dimwitted shills such as Eric Alterman and Dinesh D’Souza who enrage.

Let’s not blame the “webloggers” for what is chiefly a problem of taste. (Or, to be more specific, a lack of taste.)

Most people like to be fed the news in black and white—there’s no room for shades of gray. When crappy tabloids and celebrity gossip rags routinely outsell serious news sources, you can be pretty sure that the “webloggers” aren’t at fault.

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July 09, 2007

Carbon Offput

We know precisely how to ensure that you’ll lose our support for any given cause. It’s simple, actually. All you need to do is sponsor a massive multi-city rock-‘n-roll concert on its behalf. And, presto: You can now color us dubious.

Such was the case, dear reader, with Live Earth, Al Gore’s supposedly eco-friendly worldwide pop music extravaganza, which featured many of the bands old Tipper would have criticized for using foul language. Live Earth allowed its viewers—in person or on television—to take in two extremely irksome phenomena: Crappy rock music and sanctimonious sermonettes about the horrors of global warming.

Now, before we continue with this delightful animadversion, allow us to inform you that we consider ourselves environmentalists. We aren’t scientists, but we’d wager that there’s at least a bit of truth to the global warming hysteria.

In fact, in order to do our part for the environment, we happily recycle. Oh, and we also don’t own a ridiculously large heated pool in Tennessee that wastes energy like Courtney Love wastes methadone. That ought to help Mother Earth a bit.

As such, dear reader, you can rest assured that we aren’t a passel of curmudgeonly global warming nay-sayers. Actually, we firmly believe that Al Gore deserves kudos for advocating for self-reliance in the realm of American energy consumption. You needn’t be a diehard tree-hugger to recognize the downsides of living at the beck and call of those OPECers.

But, come on: A lame bunch of rock concerts interspersed with pedantic messages about global warming? It strikes us as a 21st-century version of Reefer Madness. It’s a pathetic infomercial starring Madonna and Crowded House.

For some time, dear reader, we’ve taken hits for our uncompromising views on rock-‘n-roll music. If you ask us—and, technically speaking, you did not—rock-‘n-roll is pretty much witless anti-music. It might be enjoyable for a bit of slumming, but Bach it assuredly ain’t.

Most importantly, we think it crucial that rock music be vapid and fun. It’s not serious stuff—and that’s why rock music critics tend to come across like ridiculous windbags.

Hence the inherent irritation in a bunch of drugged-out rock stars preaching about the coming apocalypse. We mean, come on: Just sing your repetitious calls to the dance floor and leave the environmental crises to folks with a little more gravitas.

You know, like Tim Conway.

UPDATE: Check out Mr. Baldwin's uproarious musings on global warming here. We couldn't agree more.

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July 06, 2007

Cruisin’ for the Common Man

By now, everyone has heard of the withering epithet “limousine liberal.” You know the type: The Ben & Jerry’s sort of “progressive” who earns a mid-range six-figure salary but still considers himself a hippie at heart and proves it by voting for Kucinich. He’s a kind of feel-good capitalist—who won’t admit he’s a capitalist at all.

As annoying as the “limousine liberal” is, however, we’re pretty sure that he pales in comparison to the “cruise Communist.” And what, you may be asking yourself, is a cruise Communist?

We’re glad that you asked. Whilst checking out the inspiringly common un-wisdom from the “website” of The Nation, we happened upon an advertisement for an official Nation cruise (July 28 to August 4—there’s still time to sign up). It offers a whole week on the poop deck with such rabidly left-wing personalities as Ralph Nader, Victor Navasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Robert Scheer.

Ah, a seven-day cruise—what could be more “progressive” than that? You can play shuffleboard in your Sperry topsiders with Patricia “Diary of a Mad Law Professor Who Can’t Argue Her Way out of a Wet Paper Bag” Williams. Presumably the cruise liner will feature John Edwards’ barber on board, so the ultra-rich Nation-readers can get a quick $1,235 haircut in between bleating on about the horrors of the free market.

Are we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” the only ones who find this sort of fancy-pants lefty fete a mite ridiculous? It’s kind of like a National Review-sponsored orgy. (Okay: A National Review-sponsored orgy might be equally hypocritical, but it’s also a lot creepier. Already we can’t get visions of Jonah Goldberg out of our heads.)

At the current moment, the Nation cruise does not feature its itinerary, as it has not yet been set in stone. (Maybe Hugo Chavez will turn up this year. Yet maybe he’s too busy shutting down all opposition voices to his tyranny to make an appearance.) But this led us to think of a few choice events the cruise must offer its high-paying participants:

Friday, 1:00pm: “Keith Olbermann on Economic Inequality” Champagne Will Be Served; Bring Your Squash Racquet

Friday, 2:00pm: “The Evils of America/Karaoke Contest with Tariq Ali”
Until You’ve Heard Tariq’s Version of “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun,” You Haven’t Lived

Friday, 4:00pm: “Ralph Nader on the Twilight of America”
On the Tanning Deck; Don’t Forget to Bring Your Sun Lotion

Friday, 5:00pm: “Katrina vanden Heuvel Discusses How Not to Be a Complete Left-Wing Hypocrite”

Ah, the Nation’s cruise—Marx on your starboard and Engels on your port. A truly revolutionary event.

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July 05, 2007

A Prius and Some Vicodin

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” seldom discuss the embarrassing moments of politicians’ progeny. Frankly, we don’t think that children’s faux pas necessarily speak badly of their parents. Call us dimwitted, but we think it’s true.

We mean, come on: President Bush’s daughters—or one of them, at any rate—are pretty much party girls. The only thing they love more than Miller Lite is fake IDs. Who cares? John Kerry’s daughter likes to flash her chest at the Cannes film festival crowd. So what?

Unsurprisingly, then, we are loath to discuss Al Gore III’s recent dust up with the authorities. Gore, the 24-year-old son of the morally censorious former vice president, was caught doing 100 miles an hour in a Toyota Prius. What’s more, police found marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, and Adderall in his car.

To make matters even worse, young Mr. Gore doesn’t even possess prescriptions for any of the aforementioned drugs. Oh, dear. Not good at all.

Now, before you get worked up into a self-righteous lather, we mustn’t assume that the young Mr. Gore’s transgressions reflect poorly on Al and Tipper. So their kid made a bad mistake or nine. All kids—except for the young Ted Kennedy—make mistakes. Let’s not tire out our fingers wagging them in the direction of the former vice president.

Further, you have to admit—however begrudgingly—that Al Gore III was certainly thinking of his famous parents. After all, he got arrested on July 4th—a great day on the American calendar to bury embarrassing stories. You’re welcome, dad.

And let’s not forget the good news here: It is now officially documented that a Toyota Prius can go 100 miles per hour. Not too shabby for a green-conscious vehicle, now is it?

The only reason we mentioned this brouhaha at all, dear reader, is due to the fact that it seems to speak to the curious sort of morality encouraged by our friends on the political Left. We have long since recognized that our liberal pals scoff at all kinds of moral strictures—and have placed concern for the environment in their stead.

For this reason, as we’ve previously observed, one can have a child out of wedlock in this country without anyone batting an eyelash; but throw away an aluminum can and all heck breaks loose. Although we care about environmental matters too, we wouldn’t pretend think they’re a replacement for all other moral concerns.

Perhaps the young Mr. Gore’s drug-induced joy ride helps us recognize that owning a hybrid car isn’t the summum bonum his father believes it is.

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July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” resolutely refuse to work on holidays. And we mean pretty much any holidays: Arbor Day; Flag Day; Ramadan; Barry Manilow Appreciation Day; Awareness Week Awareness Day—you name it, we take it off.

Accordingly, we shall not be blessing you with our typically uproarious musings today, as this very day marks the birth of our glorious nation. (Or, as our lefty pals would have it, the birth of the most odious country ever to inflict the horrors of neoliberal economics and imperialistic fascism upon the globe.)

So we say Happy Fourth of July to all of our reader(s)! Without getting all Toby Keith on you, may we give thanks to all Americans who have put themselves in harms way for our nation?

Enjoy the holiday. And God bless America.

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July 03, 2007

The Fail-Safe Left-Wing Reaction Form

As you may well know, dear reader, lots of things happen in this world of ours. Muslim riots; Muslim honor killings; Muslim terrorist acts—as we said, lots of stuff occurs, for which, we hardly need add, each of the earth’s cultures is equally responsible.

Sure, our Islamist friends may want to bomb us all back to their private Stone Age, but we produced Cher. Even Steven, we think.

What’s far more important, anyway, is one’s reaction to events. Sure, sure: Unexpected occurrences take place all the time—but how does one take in these quotidian twists and turns?

From our careful inspection of sundry left-wing magazines and “websites,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have deduced that our radical pals have a strikingly consistent stance on almost any happenstance. All, it seems, fits into their preconceived ideological framework. And this framework is so confining (much like Al Gore’s famed “lock-box”) that one can easily anticipate lefty responses to virtually anything.

For this reason, dear reader, we have thought of a brand new product. Yep: We’re always thinking of handy-dandy items—it’s one of the things you like best about us, if we must say so ourselves.

This time, however, we’ve come up with a real doozy: The Fail-Safe Left-Wing Reaction Form. It allows the fervent leftist the opportunity to offer his “thoughts” on any occurrence with even less contemplation than he usually musters.

Hard to imagine, you say? Well, it’s completely true. Our Fail-Safe Left-Wing Reaction Form incites less earnest reflection than an issue of The Nation. It’s even more knee-jerk than a copy of Mother Jones. Maureen Dowd makes you think far more deeply than our Fail-Safe Left-Wing Reaction Form.

To prove our point, we’ve affixed our Form below:

The Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Fail-Safe Left-Wing Reaction Form:

It is no accident that ___________ just happened. Naturally, like everything else, ________ is completely the fault of George W. Bush, the United States of America, and Israel.

We mean, come on: It’s so obvious. The CIA and the Mossad clearly had it in for _______. ________ could have been avoided, but those small-minded neocons simply had to cause trouble.

Hopefully, by impeaching President Bush, destroying Israel, and supporting the peaceable folks in Hamas, ________ will never happen again.

Now, all our angry lefty friend must do is fill in the blanks with the happenstance in question. And presto! A completely thought-free left-wing reaction!

Here’s a sample:

It is no accident that an attack on the folk singer Jewel just happened. Naturally, like everything else, an attack on the folk singer Jewel is completely the fault of George W. Bush, the United States of America, and Israel.

We mean, come on: It’s so obvious. The CIA and the Mossad clearly had it in for the folk singer Jewel. An attack on the folk singer Jewel could have been avoided, but those small-minded neocons simply had to cause trouble.

Hopefully, by impeaching President Bush, destroying Israel, and supporting the peaceable folks in Hamas, an attack on the folk singer Jewel will never happen again.

It’s perfect! Just think of how much time our invention will save! Our lefty buddies will be happy: Even less time cogitating and more moments of bliss at the local Volvo dealership.

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July 02, 2007

Blame the Kiwis

Turn to any left-leaning “website”—whether it be a fancy mainstream media outlet or a caustic “weblog”—and you’re likely to come upon some opinion piece or other blaming the United States for all sorts of evils. You name it, it’s our fault: Global warming; Hamas’ coup in Gaza; Osama bin Laden; Vladimir Putin’s truculence. Everything, it seems, is laid at the doorstep of the good ole’ US of A. Well, everything except Loverboy.

In fact, we have the sneaking suspicion that many lefty editorialists write their myriad screeds through the use of what can only be called Liberal Mad-Libs. And what, you may ask, are Liberal Mad-Libs? Well, they’re just like regular Mad-Libs, except they contain discussion of current events, and those filling them out are only allowed to use a few words: “Zionism”; “imperialism”; “Halliburton”; “Bush”; “poodle”; &c.

Quite frankly, dear reader, we find this whole “Blame America” infatuation extremely tiresome. Not, we hasten to add, because the United States is ineluctably a shining beacon of altruism.

Rather, we’re sick of the whole darned-if-you-do-darned-if-you-don’t character to this thoughtless “Blame the US” palaver. If we trade with Cuba, we’re shifty capitalists aiming at economic subjugation. If we don’t trade with Cuba, we’re shifty capitalists aiming at economic subjugation.

Anti-Americanism, in fact, has become the false panacea for what ails the world. It won’t really cure anybody, of course, but it does allow for fleeting moments of righteousness.

And we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are officially sick of it. It’s high time to treat the rest of the world as new visitors to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting: The first step is to admit that you have a problem (rather than foisting all the blame on the United States).

Naturally, in this Age of Victimology, taking responsibility for one’s actions is about as hip as a Roxette concert. (Wow: Dig that lame reference.) Accordingly, we don’t exactly have high hopes that, say, the Saudis will admit their government is run by evil kleptomaniacs who use Islamist ideology as a tool to break the backs of their people. Nor are we holding our breath for the Palestinian realization that their intransigence and death-cult fanaticism lie at the root of their problems.

Okay, world: You’re going to have to blame someone else. We get it. You’re just not strong enough to accept any responsibility.

Still, for one day—one measly day—could you stop using America as your whipping boy? And could you lay off Israel too? It’s the fricken’ size of New Hampshire, for crying out loud—is it really sane to blame all Muslim pathologies on its mere existence?

Don’t worry: Even though you won’t have recourse to castigating the Big and Little Satan for 24 hours, you’ll still be able to deflect any criticism and avoid all introspection. That’s because we ask you to blame New Zealand instead. Just for a day. Whatever they’ve done or haven’t done in the past, we’re pretty sure it’s worth a day’s worth of opprobrium.

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