The President Is Trolling Me

I’ve been good. I haven’t done a “stupid and lazy” post for months.

Then the President had to go and say this:

A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe

Awwwwwww.

That’s just not fair! While there seems to be a mad hunt on for the real killerswhoever told Obama that drilling was safe, how detached from reality do you have to be to believe that sinking a metal pole into the ground, a mile under water, in order to rupture it and suck out the liquid could possibly be even remotely safe? It’s a marvel of engineering that we don’t get spills all the time!

This is dumber than the insurance thing. How am I not supposed to respond to that?

OK, some people think he’s just lying, for political cover.
But how on earth can he think that makes him look good? Someone told me something completely impossible and I believed it, therefore I’m not responsible.

Well, maybe he doesn’t, maybe it’s even more cynical: If I say this, they’ll believe that I’m not responsible.

This is rule by experts, people.
Learn to love it.
(Click on the OISAL keyword to see other posts in this series.)

Black Holes? Yeah: Racist

Buncha twits tweeted about this NAACP vs. Hallmark story, which really must be watched to be believed. It’s a must-see.

A cynical person might wonder if the NAACP had been holding on to this, uh, race card racist card for three years just waiting for a time when they needed to bolster the credibility of charges of racism.
“Blackness is being made fun of…again!”

Honestly, where have these people been? It’s being made fun of again since…when, exactly? “Amos and Andy”? Ted Danson’s blackface costume?
And the perpetrator of this heinous crime? That edgy, boundary-pushing comedic daredevil known as Hallmark. That’s right, Hallmark made a card that talks about “black whores”. It’s just like them.
Do these people realize how stupid they look? Indeed, are?

More than anything, they remind me of the stories my dad would tell about when he was a kid and he heard about some new dirty rock and roll song. He’d of course immediately go get the single and play it (over and over again) trying to hear the dirty words.
He was always disappointed. But then, he was honest about what he heard.
These guys? They’re nothing more than the modern incarnation of the FBI playing the Kingsman’s rendition of “Louie, Louie” over and over again, trying to hear the dirty words.

Conversations From The Living Room, Part 29: Stacy And Clinton’s Revenge

“Dr. Girlfriend can really wear a deep V.”

“Quoth The Flower. For context, she watches a lot of "What Not To Wear” and has lately been on a “Venture Bros” kick. Dr. Girlfriend typically wears a pink minidress and pillbox hat (imagine a “Sexy Jackie Kennedy” Halloween outfit, or just look here, though she doesn’t know who Jackie O is) but since she married arch-villain The Monarch, she thought she should wear a new outfit as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.
She then went back to counting all the gay characters in the show. My pride in her was only reflected in my shame over my parenting skills in letting her watch the wildly inappropriate show.

A Rare Week

Didn’t hit the movies this weekend, first time this year, I think. Certainly since I got the new job. Last week hit How To Train Your Dragon and Breathless (the 50th anniversary). Week before the Shrek 4.

Not a great sign this early in the “summer” movie season to be wanting for films to see, but the ones we’ve seen have all been various degrees of entertaining. Nothing really spectacular though.

Why I Dropped A Whole Bunch Of Semi-Celebrity Tweeters

Twitter is an interesting thing on a lot of levels. Way more interesting than it should be, really. After all, it’s just a massive stream of unrefined short communications that you tap into selectively—and then, very often, just whittle down again.

It’s so amorphous as to be only as useful as you make it, and not really designed for the OCD-types like myself. My inclination is to want to read everything someone I’m following writes, but that’s only realistic for a smallish number of people. My time being so scarce lately, when I get to Twitter, I focus on the Althouse-lists like Darcy’s coffee-hellos or Ruth Anne’s FTA list.
Even then, I have to stop myself from paging back, back, back.

I used to follow a bunch of celebrities. Not exactly A-Listers. Mostly comedians, vets and wannabes, and some musicians. But I had—and have—a rule: Mock Palin and you’re off the list.
It’s not that I’m a Palin fan, though I think she’s very clearly an admirable woman. (Also, while I’m damning with faint praise, I think it’s pretty clear at this point that of the four of them, she’d have been the most consistently sensible President.) But the smear campaign run against her was the most appalling thing I’ve seen since Junior High. And that’s about the level of it: The cool kids, who are cool solely by virtue of agreeing that they’re cool and having the megaphone, decided to hate the pretty newcomer who wasn’t one of them.
The levels of the smears were the same level, too. First they went after her for the way she dressed, then they went after her for changing the way she dressed. They fabricated lies to smear her with than echoed them back-and-forth to each other as if they were fact. Their fury, increasingly impotent though it is, continues to rail at this woman who dares to survive and flourish even though she’s hopelessly, terminally uncool.
Nobody should understand this better than a comedian. Comedians are almost universally losers. Ostracized growing up. (Maybe not Dane Cook.) Still on the outside of society in a lot of ways.
And, frankly, when I see them piling on, I find it pathetic. It’s such a cheap shot.
I forget what it was that Palin had done—maybe the “death panel” comment—but I ended up dumping most of the celebs I followed when they started mouthing off about her. I don’t even remember who they are any more, for the most part.
James Urbaniak (who plays Dr. Venture on the inestimable Venture Bros. cartoon) was particularly vile, and not the only one. I almost felt bad for dropping Michelle Collins because she actually pleaded “Please don’t drop me” right after her joke. Dana Gould—Jeez, I’ve always loved Gould’s dark schtick, which is almost entirely centered on being a doomed loser, and he, this guy who looks like he’s never been so much as camping, decided to take a shot at Palin’s grasp of reality.
Who else? Oh, the lovely and talented musician Marian Call. She actually didn’t make a comment directly because she’s smart enough to avoid those subjects, and said as much. And then…the temptation must have been too much, since she coyly linked to a really gross insult.
Does unfollowing mean I won’t be supporting these people in the future? Yeah, actually, it probably does, at least for a little while.
I’m not much for fairness, but the whole assault on the Governor was so unfair as to get my hackles up. And I think this was obvious and blatant, and anyone being honest should be able to see that.
And, come to think of it, I never see comments like that from the few A-Listers I follow. (Kelsey Grammer, Kirstie Alley, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, etc.) I think that confirms my thesis about what’s behind the attacks.

Ends, Means and the Arbitrary Execution of Power

My sister used to like to, as a sort of coup-fourré of any argument, snap “So, you’re saying the end justifies the means.”

It stumped me for a while, because everyone knows the ends don’t justify the means. But then I realized she had reframed the argument in the wrong way, and began to retort, “The means don’t require justification!” What I had realized was that she didn’t like the ends, and was attacking the means rather than just coming right out and saying she didn’t like the ends. (Sometimes she also didn’t like the means, because she really didn’t much like it when I did anything.)
I thought of this while I was driving and, as many of us do, wondering about whether I might be pulled over. I wasn’t doing anything wrong I don’t think. I wasn’t speeding, hadn’t done any reckless lane changes. I was driving the Bumblebee, which may not be compliant with all the laws. (I recently had to outfit it with a new catalytic converter to pass a smog test.)
And it reminded me of something Althouse said a while ago that appalled me: She said that universally applying the law would be horrible. I think she even used traffic laws as an example.
I, on the other hand, tend to view universal application to be a necessary requirement for justice and reasonable governance. Speed limit laws? If they were universally applied, they’d quickly be (mostly) repealed. And so it is with, I think, most of the laws—particularly “regulations”, which are of course just laws that have been passed in violation of the way the Constitution allows—would go away were they all enforced.
What this means is that the government gets to pick-and-choose who to prosecute, allowing for the arbitrary exercise of power. This is often done for political reasons, but it’s also just done because it can be.
This is particularly relevant in light of the recent James O’Keefe case, where he was prosecuted for doing what has been standard practice in journalism for as long as I can remember. Burying the lede about Senator Landrieu’s lying, the old media completely unselfconsciously is labeling O’Keefe a “criminal” and an “activist” for doing what they’ve been doing since I was born.
It’s such a dog-bites-man story these days that it’s barely worth noticing, much like the old media itself. “It’s only okay when we do it,” they’re telling us.
But this itself made me reflect on the phrase “the end justifies the means”, and how the thinking of that is meant to be the very epitome of evil.
But when you think about it, the intended end is the only thing that can rationalize any means. I mean, think about it: You suffer many injustices in your day-to-day life, don’t you? (I know I do. Well, maybe not many, but enough.) But you don’t (e.g.) fly a plane into the nearest Federal building because they ripped you off on your taxes.
OK, some people do, but we call them crazy, even if we agree they were poorly treated.
People always end up talking about Nazis when this ends/means thing comes up. But the Nazis had no trouble with the means—the means were, in fact, the point. The end was what was hazy. “We’ll kill all the Jews and life will be great!” Hitler sure didn’t believe that. He thought actually achieving that end would be awful and require him to make up a new target.
Stalin and Mao killed tens of millions. In their cases, the means actually were the ends. Yeah, I know all the blather about justice and immanetizing the eschaton and what-not, but the point of communism (and socialism and environmentalism and fascism) is raw, naked power which is what any dictator ends up with. Power and the ability to continue to exercise it.
(Sort of tangentially related, Matt & Ezra’s Excellent Adventure continues unspoiled. One of them is bound to win the Walter Duranty Award for Oustandingly Naive Journalism.)
Nothing really revelational here, I just always find it interesting when I end up analyzing something I’ve assumed for years and found it not to be all that true.