Thursday Evening Open Thread: Ah, Nostalgia

Roy Edroso (Alicublog) takes note of our old friend Colonel Mustard, in “Culture Clubbed“:

William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection: I previously wrote about how BuzzFeed Politics has combined “the culture” and savvy crafting into a highly effective tool for undermining Republicans with subtle and not-so-subtle mockery. “Look at the goofy cat, look at the goofy celeb, look at the goofy Republican” is more dangerous to us than a 5000-word article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine..,
[….]
Jacobson and guys like him have been running their schtick for years without evincing any of the kind of skills that normally give writers pleasure — they don’t produce interesting wordplay, fresh insights, journalistic discoveries, or even good jokes. The only time you can feel something like excitement coming from their work is when they’re attacking someone and have hope of defeating them.

In short, they’re propagandists. They took up the tools of culture to further their cause, probably as a last resort — not everyone has what it takes to be a ward heeler — but while some people who do that sort of thing eventually learn some interest in, and even affection for, the act of creating, these guys seem impervious to it. Day after day they take political messages out of the appropriate briefing documents, move the parts around a little so it doesn’t look suspicious, and hit “post.” They don’t do inspiration. If you gave them a block of marble and a chisel and all the time in the world, they’d be looking around for a liberal to kill with the chisel.

Which inspires a those-were-the-days reverie from Demonic Conservative Ridicule Machine, TBogg:

Hard as it is to believe, there was a time when conservative bloggers (once they got past their ”invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity” pants-pissing) actually went through the motions of attempting to create the illusion that they were reasonable, intelligent adults who could be trusted with something sharper than a spoon. The Ole Perfesser had yet to become the quartermaster of the Galt’s Gulch Gun Club & Heh-Indeedery, Ed Morrissey (in his Cap’n Ed dork grandfather incarnation) didn’t spend his days snow-shoveling copious quantities of unrefined bullshit, and even Godlestein spent more time in front of the mirror pretending he was Alvin Goldman, and less time acting out his ‘Randy Weaver waiting for the jack-booted stormtroopers to break down his door and take his guns from his cold paste-encrusted hands’ fantasies.

Part of the reason for this wholesale descent into crazification is financial: they’re just throwing red meat to the rubes who will tithe a portion of their meager earnings to anyone who will validate their belief that the negro homosexuals are a’comin’ for their guns, their white wimmins, and their collectors edition Big Mouth Billy Bass. But once the White House was integrated back in ought 8, the red meat couldn’t get bloody enough for a good hategasm and conservative bloggers had to up the dosage to give their readers a satisfying bile high…

I believe the metaphilosophical theory here can be capsulized “As above, so below”. When even the Koch brothers’ money can’t buy political office above the state level (dangerous as that is), what can a humble semi-pro Reichblogger do beyond amp up the rhetoric into the ridiculous?

25 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    This is probably also why there are no good trolls anymore on blogs like this one.

    It just don’t pay.

    Maybe Cole could hire some trolls?

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    Part of the reason for this wholesale descent into crazification is financial: they’re just throwing red meat to the rubes who will tithe a portion of their meager earnings to anyone who will validate their belief that the negro homosexuals are a’comin’ for their guns, their white wimmins, and their collectors edition Big Mouth Billy Bass.

    I think Tbogg is spot on about this. There is gold in right wing outrage, much more than that from the left. For the simple reason the republicans have an outsized advantage with many more crazy motherfuckers.

    They actually have power over the GOP, it’s candidates and elected officials, and can put the fear of a primary challenge in them. No such hardwire to power exists from the relative handfuls of fanatics on the left.

    And lo and behold. If you want to break the concentration of a true believing wingnut, just wave a dollar bill in their faces, and you can lead them around like hungry crocodiles.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    When even the Koch brothers’ money can’t buy political office above the state level (dangerous as that is)

    I think you only need to look over at Pennsylvania or (my home state of) Texas to see the trouble that can cause. When Republicans took over the legislature in Texas, the gerrymandering that followed was fast and furious. Now its damn near impossible to win a Congressional race outside your predesignated “all the tan-skinned people go here” districts.

    After that, its just a matter of cornering the K-Street market in your neck of the woods and smearing the governor (like Ann Richardson, who was taking Hillary Clinton levels of misogynist Republican bullshit before it was cool) until you can get your resident shmuck son into the Governor’s mansion.

    The crazy doesn’t get strong because one side is losing. It gets strong when there’s no competition. Moderates happen in states like New Jersey and California, because politicians are forced to play to the middle to win office. What the Koch money bombs and gerrymandering and the like do is kill competition and let politicians act like assholes without consequences. That’s the “as above so below” bullshit we’re seeing. Republicans might be endangered at the national level, but they’re entirely too safe at the state level. They can go charging off to the right without a care in the world, knowing their are utterly secure in their incumbency.

  4. 4
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I believe the metaphilosophical theory here can be capsulized “As above, so below”.

    Once known as “the self-similarity of the wingnut function”, in the context of our esteemed host’s Schiavo moment.

    (Sadly, No! emeritus Gavin M. also posted on FDL about why he focused on bottom-rung wingnut sites: it’s because the institutional and self-censorship doesn’t kick in until higher up the ladder.)

  5. 5
    lamh35 says:

    Gotta love FLOTUS and Sesame Street! This is too cute. Show this one to ur kids

    Let’s Move With Big Bird at the White House

    Big Bird and Michelle Obama: Healthy Eating Can Be Easy

  6. 6
    Xenos says:

    @BGinCHI: Maybe we coud take turns volunteering to troll the site. I could track down Darrell or myiq2xu’ nonsense of the day and paste it up in case anyone misses them.

  7. 7
    Dee Loralei says:

    Anyone in Memphis who likes to play p0ker? A friend of mine is hosting a 0tourney for the Memphis and Shelby County Humane Society on Saturday. It’s $50 beforehand $60 day of. Registration thru tomorrow. All the proceeds go to the Humane Society. Will be free beer and bourbon and food. Plus some pretty great prizes. Like weekend for 2 at Harrah’s Tunica with golf pass and dinner at Binions’s. $125.00 Kroger gift certificate, and a bunch of other things. 3rd prize supposedly is a huge basket of different types of bourbons. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, my son and I are going. And it’s for a great cause!

  8. 8
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @General Stuck:

    There is gold in right wing outrage, much more than that from the left.

    The demand for Leftish poutrage is too fragmented. Everybody is a special snowflake and wants their daily dose of 2-minute hate customized to fit their dietary preferences, and that takes resources. Not so much on the Right, so collateralized hate-mongering is a much more scalable business model over on the other side of the fence.

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    This is only marginally related, but couldn’t this be an allegory for our current political situation?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad.....=obnetwork

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    That too

  11. 11
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @BGinCHI:

    You know what’s funny about that? Most of the wingnut blogs I check absolutely insist that any commenter who disagrees with the original is a “paid agent provocateur” or some such. Because anybody who says, “You know what? This craziness is crazy” simply must be part of Herr Comrade Chairman Obama’s/Reichsmarshall Soros’ master plan.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    I think the dynamic here is political, rather than financial, or even social. Winger blogs are an example of a political dynamic that leads to the singularity– they feel pressure from both above and below to become more extreme, and as they become more extreme they feel even more pressure to become even more extreme. I remember, e,g., when Instapundit was sort-of semi-respectable– but that blog disappeared behind the event horizon some time ago.

    Interestingly, left-wing blogs have a dynamic that works the other way. ‘Reality’ keeps intruding. But looking over the fence shows it didn’t have to be that way.

  13. 13
    Mo's Bike Shop says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Beat me to it.

    ‘Kokomo..o..’

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    @MattF:

    I think the dynamic here is political

    Well , sure. There is a prominent political element as well, being the political blogosphere. Ever how reasonable ,or unreasonable a blog on the right or left starts out, it is molded by the viewpoints of the people who traffic political blogs. And it should be obvious by now, that for the left and right, the bulk of those visitors to said blogs are motivated by anger that often morphs itself into a conduit for ever more extreme and reactionary pol positions.

    And most of these successful blogs arrive at a fail safe point to where the tail starts wagging the dog to keep the commentariot entertained and sated with posts that feed that anger. Especially if they are making some decent money from the traffic. I think it is also cultural in the sense that a lot of that anger, (really most of it, imo,) comes not from politics, but more social and psychological places from these people.

    And on the right, that usually means some virulent bigotry and racism and classism, and in general directed outward to manufactured enemies of all kinds.

    The good news from the left, that while a lot of anger into disappointment is of a personal and not political nature, there is righteous anger at the haters on the right. Though as we have seen, the left is not immune from its own low intensity bigotry and racism.

  15. 15
    Hill Dweller says:

    Ron Fournier is a f’n hack. He concedes Obama has done far more compromising, but still claims the President owns this mess.

  16. 16
    Redshirt says:

    We need a troll-off. Winners are shot. Losers are exiled.

  17. 17
    Rosie Outlook says:

    I second the troll off idea. Troll quality here is definitely lower than it could be.

    Idle question for gentlemen readers: if I put out a personal ad to the effect of “I’m old, fat, and grouchy [all true], but I’ve been told that I’m one hell of a good fvck [also true]”, what kind of response do you think I’d get? This came about when some people I know and I were pondering what an honest personal ad would look like. (if you go by the personal ads, it’s amazing how many people like walking in the rain. Why would I be interested in romance with someone who lacks the sense to come in out of the rain?)

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Redshirt: But would they be from the trolls, or from you gentlemen?

  20. 20
    Redshirt says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Are there trolls on dating sites? Or isn’t everyone actually looking for a relationship? Or even also too: Don’t trolls need love?

  21. 21
    Jay S says:

    @Rosie Outlook: If you are looking for a gentleman of the form of “a wolf with patience” I suspect this ad would generate a lot of the first with little of the second. If you want a hook up, this would probably be fine, but for something beyond that you need to up the sense of self respect (be honest, self deprecating but not humiliating) and downplay the instant gratification a bit.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    I’m no gentleman, and I haven’t put an ad on a dating website in 12 years (13 this year), but I would say that what you want to aim for is “honest yet intriguing.” If you’re looking for a relationship beyond just sex, your phrasing might be a little too blunt, but if that’s the kind of person you are, you don’t want to get too far away from it.

    Also IMO, what dating websites are really great for is getting you out of the house and getting used to making small talk with lots of new people. You almost certainly won’t meet your true love on your first meet-up (or your second, or your fifth), but you’ll get more comfortable with meeting people and feel less desperate to make every date work when you know you’ve already got another one lined up for the following weekend. (G was #14, FWIW.)

    Last bit of advice — find a safe public place to meet where people know you. I had a great coffeehouse that I went to all the time where I knew the waiters, so I could have asked one of them to walk me to my car if a date turned out to be too creepy. (Fortunately, none of them ever did.)

  23. 23
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Actually, I was just having Balloon Juice fun with my ad, but I think you have very good ideas on personal ads in general and will pass them on to a couple of people I know who do use them. Thanks!

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Petorado says:

    They don’t do inspiration. If you gave them a block of marble and a chisel and all the time in the world, they’d be looking around for a liberal to kill with the chisel.

    Hats off to Edroso. That statement is a thing of beauty. It’s right up there with Cleek’s description of conservatives in the Pantheon of great lines describing the right wing of American politics.

Comments are closed.