December 12, 2006

Sadly, Lame! or The Dearth of Republican Samba Bands

Well, our attack has born fruit. As we mentioned in a previous “post,” negative advertising works like a charm. Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” recently (and stupidly) took aim at a “weblog” entitled Sadly, No!, which is amongst our competition for the “Best Humor Blog” award in the “2006 Weblog Awards.”

In a few short days, the intellectual eminences at Sadly, No! have responded by…likening us to a dog listening to “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph. Um, yeah: We didn’t think it was exactly e-genius either. Come on, Seb: Where’s that French-Canadian fighting spirit?

If the Sadly, No! retort was more than a mite lame, their readers’ response was unintentionally hilarious. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” guffawed and guffawed at the illiterate ramblings of the Sadly, No! commenters, delighting in their pinheaded musings.

You know the sort of thing we mean, dear reader: “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” sucks. It’s conservative. It’s lame. Blah, blah, blah.

To which we respond: Good ones, guys. No wonder you waste your time penning feckless comments for the benefit of a guy named Seb. That’s a darn good use of your time.

One particular comment from the Sadly, No! peanut gallery particularly delighted us, and we think it deserves a bit of discussion. Written by one Douglas Watts, it is so knuckle-draggingly stupid that it makes the other comments seem like the work of Proust. In essence, Mr. Watts’ point—if one may bestow that lofty title on his vapidity—is the following: The only humor Republicans can muster is a collection of N****** jokes.

Yep: That’s gags with the N-word, a shameful epithet we don’t find suitable for printing, but Mr. Watts fully enjoys typing, it seems. As if this “argument” isn’t sufficiently pathetic, his peroration is even worse:

That’s why there is no Republican music. Or art. Or dance. Or humor. Or art. [What about Republican redundancy?—Ed.]

That’s why Republicans basically hate all artistic expression and want to ban it, defund it and shut it down.

Where are all the good Republican jazz bands? Rock bands? Rap bands? Samba bands? Reggae bands?

The only true Republican form of music since Hitler is Skinhead music. Ummm … and the chicks are all over that. It’s so danceable.

Oh, dear: Mr. Watts isn’t exactly a brain-trust, now is he? First, we should note that his obsession with politics is warping his aesthetics (if he actually has any aesthetic sense, which is highly doubtful). We were unaware that, say, jazz bands were compelled to inform their audiences of their American political party affiliations. What will European jazz artists do, since they can’t vote in America? Tell us, Mr. Watts: Was Homer a Democrat?

But we particularly savored the bit about the “only true Republican form of music since Hitler is Skinhead [sic] music.” Uh, was Hitler a Republican? Or are modern-day skinheads—most of whose views on Jews and Israel fit solidly with the contemporary American hard Left?

Unlike the dunderheaded Mr. Watts, we don’t group our artists by American political party affiliation. For obvious reasons unclear to the short-bus Mr. Watts, such a grouping makes no sense. Nor do we think that people of one particular political persuasion are funnier than those of others.

Still, for the benefit of the benighted oafs who read Sadly, No!, we suppose we ought to defend the myriad artists, writers, and musicians whom one might reasonably call conservative in some sense or other. To this end, we mention only literary figures, and we offer this woefully incomplete and haphazard list of “conservatives”:

James Joyce, Evelyn Waugh, G.K. Chesterton, Jonathan Swift, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Kingsley Amis, Tom Wolfe, Saul Bellow, W.B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling.

To Mr. Watts, we’d imagine, that’s merely a group of skinheads. Those more sensitive to literary matters might note that they make one fine collection of authors.

But you needn’t take our word for it. Here’s a delightful passage from the academic critic Eugene Goodheart, culled from his collection Culture and the Radical Conscience (Harvard, 1973):

Any honest view of the political character of works of literature will have to account for the fact that during the last two centuries there exists an inverse relation between the aesthetic quality of a work of literature and radical politics—especially in works of art in which the political content is explicit and central. I have in mind the political novels of Flaubert, Conrad, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky and the poetry of great modern poets like Yeats, Eliot, and Pound. There are to be sure exceptions: Rimbaud, Mayakovsky, and certain surrealists. But it is a remarkable fact that the literary imagination since the French revolution has been more often than not skeptical or conservative or outrightly reactionary in relation to radical or revolutionary claims—in politics, if not in art.

So, Mr. Watts: You can enjoy your Edward Bellamy. We far prefer Finnegans Wake. How do you like 'dem apples?

Posted at December 12, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack