I love my iThings, but the iMessage bug is making me grumpier than a bulldog with one ball.
I use iMessage to chat with my lovely friend Sandra during the day.
At the moment our conversations seem to consist of three or four messages in a row from me (as I realise that none of the messages I sent in the last hour have been delivered, turn iMessage off, reset my network settings, turn iMessage on, and resend the messages that don’t, upon reflection, sound dumb, stoned or needy); followed about ten minutes later by seventeen from Sandra (as she realises that none of her messages have been delivered, stares at her phone in puzzlement for a good six, seven minutes, turns iMessage off, resets her fucking network settings, turns iMessage on, and then resends every single message because self-editing is not amongst Sandra’s skills); followed by one message from me responding to whatever actual content there was in Sandra’s messages; followed by about two dozen from Sandra explaining how she’s changed her mind about three quarters of the stuff she said in her first lot of messages; followed by a few minutes of normal chatting, an hour’s gap, and repeat.
Also, young people.
Young men should stop wearing their jeans so tight it distorts their buttocks and makes them pointy and lumpy at the top and all flat at the bottom so it looks like they go down to their knees, because no girl really wants to fuck a boy who looks like he has a pointy, tumorous, shelf-bum. And they should either shave or grown a beard, none of this manky tufts in odd places and lines shaved into the side and a mustache that looks like they knitted it out of their nose hair and cat dander. I’m in Hong Kong this month, and I swear, dears, if I find myself stuck on the footpath behind one more kiddie who’s walking, wearing headphones, head down and typing on a Samsung, I’m going to push the little shit under a bus.
Also, too, Republicans. Dickheads.
[James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) – La Vielle aux loques]
I don’t know if don’t know if any of you noticed – what with all the important discussion you had last week about how Tod Akin and Niall Ferguson have teeny, tiny balls and no dicks – but Maureen Dowd really, really hates Paul Ryan, with a ferocity which suggests either that he dumped her three hours before the prom or, more likely perhaps, didn’t call after that blowjob under the bleachers at Homecoming.
Now, we all know that in a few months Maureen will go back to stealing people’s lunch money and mocking Democrats for being nancy lah lahs and pooves, but when the queen bitch of the school gets her claws out at someone other than you it’s worth savouring.
He’s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in. He has a winning air of sad cheerfulness. He’s affable, clean cut and really cut, with the Irish altar-boy widow’s peak and droopy, winsome blue eyes and unashamed sentimentality.
Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?
He’s Scrooge disguised as a Pickwick, an ideologue disguised as a wonk. Not since Ronald Reagan tried to cut the budget by categorizing ketchup and relish as vegetables has the G.O.P. managed to find such an attractive vessel to mask harsh policies with a smiling face.
The Young Gun and former prom king is a fan of deer hunting, catfish noodling, heavy metal and Beethoven. He’s a great dad who says the cheese, bratwurst and beer of Wisconsin flow in his veins. He’s so easy to like — except that his politics are just a teensy bit heartless.
Rush Limbaugh hails Ryan as “the last Boy Scout,” noting that the tall, slender 42-year-old is a true believer: “We now have somebody on the ticket who’s us.”
Maureen then proceeds to describe Ryan as “like a friendly guidance counselor who wants to teach us how to live, get us in shape, PowerPoint away the social safety net to make the less advantaged more self-reliant, as he makes the rich richer”. She smears his particular brand of prudish, hypocritical pseudo-Randianiam all over him and it’s good, although her heart doesn’t really seem to be in it until she lets fly in her last few paragraphs:
Although the Catholic Ryan told Fox News’s Brit Hume in an interview that aired Tuesday night that he “completely disagreed” with Rand’s “atheistic philosophy,” he said his interest in economics was “triggered” by her.
His long infatuation with her makes him seem even younger than he looks with his cowlick because Randism is a state of arrested adolescence, making its disciples feel like heroic teenagers atop a lofty mountain peak.
The secretive, ambiguous Romney was desperate for ideological clarity, so he outsourced his political identity to Ryan, a numbers guy whose numbers don’t add up.
This just proves that Romney will never get over his anxiety about not being conservative enough. As president, he’d still feel the need to prove himself with right-wing Supreme Court picks.
Ryan should stop being so lovable. People who intend to hurt other people should wipe the smile off their faces.
Now, aside from the florid prose (something about which I am hardly permitted to complain) and the ridiculous suggestion that Romney would have the slightest hesitation before appointing someone to the right of Antonin Scalia’s older, crankier brother Fredo to the Supreme Court, I thought that was a pretty good effort. Well worth reading, especially as the page ends with those most wonderful words “Thomas L. Friedman is off today.”
However, one week later it becomes clear that Maureen was just warming up.
Tom Morello, the Grammy-winning, Harvard-educated guitarist for the metal rap band Rage Against the Machine, punctured Paul Ryan’s pretensions to cool in a Rolling Stone essay rejecting R&R (Romney ’n’ Ryan) as R&R (rock ’n’ roll).
“He is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,” Morello writes, adding: “I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically, the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
In my experience, when a presidential candidate needs some outside force to animate him — Michael Dukakis needed Kitty, Bob Dole needed C-Span, Willard needs Paul — it spells doom.
The fresh Gen X vice-presidential contender — like Sarah Palin, he favors the exclamation “awesome” — has had mixed reviews in his debutante cotillion.
Now that is quality bitchiness. Notice how she pivots off the Morello quote, with a perfect non sequitur (Romney as automaton) with double loser (Romney is Dole and, gasp, Dukakis – she’ll be calling him History’s Greatest Monster before the month is out), and then straight into a fine “My, isn’t he young?” with added Palin, and then sticks the dismount with that wonderfully nasty “debutante cotillion”.
I may have watched too much gymnastics during the Olympics, by the way. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve not posted for a while. I read the Corner or David Brooks’ column or Nooners’ latest drivel about how things were much better back when Ronald Reagan was getting shot and, while I want to make fun of it, I really just find it all too depressing for words.
Thank heavens for Texts from Dog, which restores my faith in humanity each and every day.
Thanks to Larkspur for sending me there in the first place.
Occasionally I do like to slip on my anti-bacterial floaties and my best Vera Wang one piece, and wade into the piss-scented and vaguely warm kiddie pool that is the Corner.
Currently, Michael Walsh is standing in the shallow end, screaming his lungs out like a toddler who dropped his lollipop in the water and had it land on a turd floater, and doing a fine variation on that old favourite, “Wimmins is not birthin’ enough and we’re all going to die”.
On the one hand — as NRO’s resident demography bore has been tirelessly pointing out — the Western world is facing an unparalleled demographic crisis brought on by a feminist-inspired modern twist on Lysistrata (showering sex but withholding children), while at the same time, the West’s vaunted “safety net” is collapsing because the system has been turned upside-down and a bevy of great-grandparents now coos over a single child.
Surely, this is the ultimate expression of the suicide cult that is the modern Left, a subset of libertine takers that so loathes itself that it will dragoon the makers into underwriting the chalices of tasty hemlock it’s so eager for everybody to quaff in order to put itself out of its misery. If, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, it feels good, do it! Alas, it does hurt somebody — it hurts society, by robbing it of its future and burdening those lucky kids who make it through the contraceptive/abortifacient gantlet with an unpayable debt to the very people who tried to get rid of them.
Self-centered Baby Boomer liberalism emerged from the “sexual revolution” of the sixties, and for the past half century Boomers have been trying to escape the consequences of no consequences, which now threaten the underpinnings of the Left’s beloved, bankrupting welfare state. And yet, at the same time, women of child-bearing age demand that somebody — insurance companies, Washington, the pope in Rome — pay for universal contraceptive and abortion services in the name of “women’s health.”
If this is not the definition of a suicide cult — one driven by the leftist insistence that sexual license be, well, licensed by the state, non-judgmentally and consequence-free — it’s hard to know what is. The Shakers had nothing on these people; at least they made furniture. But it’s what comes from treating pregnancy as a preventable disease, and viewing people as carbon-based pollutants instead of beings created in the image and likeness of God.
You left-wing sluts out there are trying to kill us all, with your desperate need to control your own birth cycles, with your libidinous concupiscence and your filthy backroom orgies (often, I am told, involving the wanton use of abortifacients and condoms), and your pathetic reliance upon government handouts because you have failed to produce enough children to look after you when you are old and have been brought low by syphilis and the other deservéd wages of your sin.
The trick will be restoring what, in the days of family-owned farms and small businesses, was once true: that babies are an asset rather than a burden. Imagine a society in which parents get to keep more of the human capital they form by investing in their children. Imagine a society in which the family is no longer just a consumer unit, but a productive enterprise. The society that figures out how to restore the economic foundation of the family will own the future.
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” That was the witticism that passed for cleverness back in the day. Who needs men in the Brave New World? We’re about to find out.
Of course. All you lefty women need to do is stop it with your baby hatred and remember that kids are exploitable labor. If nothing else, you could get good prices on the organ market. Do you know what a baby kidney goes for today in Marrakesh? Imagine how many hip replacements that could pay for. Worst comes to worst, we can always eat the little fuckers. Read the rest of this entry »
My apologies for having been away for so long, dears. I’ve found the thought of writing about politics a little too draining for the last few weeks, but I suspect I’ve got my anger back now.
I’ve also been stone drunk for the last two days celebrating the fact that one of my voodoo dolls finally seems to have worked. I’ve been sticking pins in that fucking thing for months and had all but given up hope. Megan McArdle had better watch her back.
Now, I’m choosing to blame the fact that I’ve consumed Rush Limbaugh’s body weight in vodka in the last week, but I have a disturbing feeling that Erick Assupwardsson has written a column [WARNING: Redstate link] that is not a complete steaming pile of raven poo. I didn’t guffaw or want to claw out my eyes at all when I read it, and I even found myself nodding in agreement several times.
It must be the drink. The alternative is that Ragnarök is upon us, and I’m not nearly drunk enough to cope with that. Read the rest of this entry »
I tried to write a proper analysis of Peggy Noonan’s latest emission. I labored through her evocation of a red and white and purple-prosed America that I suspect only ever existed in Peggy’s wildest gin-dreams:
…The things that divide us are not new, yet there’s a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age. That it was allowed to thin and crack, that the modern era wore it out.
What was the glue? A love of country based on a shared knowledge of how and why it began; a broad feeling among our citizens that there was something providential in our beginnings; a gratitude that left us with a sense that we should comport ourselves in a way unlike the other nations of the world, that more was expected of us, and not unjustly—”To whom much is given much is expected”; a general understanding that we were something new in history, a nation founded on ideals and aspirations—liberty, equality—and not mere grunting tribal wants. We were from Europe but would not be European: No formal class structure here, no limits, from the time you touched ground all roads would lead forward. You would be treated not as your father was but as you deserved.
I chuckled at the bit where she called Obama a negative, self-obsessed, divisive hater of the rich:
Where is the president in all this? He doesn’t seem to be as worried about his country’s continuance as his own. He’s out campaigning and talking of our problems, but he seems oddly oblivious to or detached from America’s deeper fears. And so he feels free to exploit divisions. It’s all the rich versus the rest, and there are a lot more of the latter.
then was entirely discombobulated when Peggy
became seemed briefly coherent*:
Specifically it is the story of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage insurers, and how their politically connected CEOs, especially Fannie’s Franklin Raines and James Johnson, took actions that tanked the American economy and walked away rich. It began in the early 1990s, in the Clinton administration, and continued under the Bush administration, with the help of an entrenched Congress that wanted only two things: to receive campaign contributions and to be re-elected.
The story is a scandal, and the book should be the bible of Occupy Wall Street. But they seem as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem.
but then realized it was all an excuse to insert her tongue slowly into Paul Ryan, and then gently pull it out and wiggle it around a bit, tickling the little hairs with the tip the way he likes:
Which gets us to Rep. Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan receives much praise, but I don’t think his role in the current moment has been fully recognized. He is doing something unique in national politics. He thinks. He studies. He reads. Then he comes forward to speak, calmly and at some length, about what he believes to be true. He defines a problem and offers solutions, often providing the intellectual and philosophical rationale behind them. Conservatives naturally like him—they agree with him—but liberals and journalists inclined to disagree with him take him seriously and treat him with respect.
My brain didn’t really start to hurt until the end, where I discovered that Paul Ryan thinks the rich and politicians are evil too:
“Why have we extended an endless supply of taxpayer credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, instead of demanding that their government guarantee be wound down and their taxpayer subsidies ended?” Why are tax dollars being wasted on bankrupt, politically connected solar energy firms like Solyndra? “Why is Washington wasting your money on entrenched agribusiness?”
Rather than raise taxes on individuals, we should “lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive.” The “true sources of inequity in this country,” he continued, are “corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.” The real class warfare that threatens us is “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.”
although apparently it’s not negative, divisive or rich-hatey when he says it.
I tried to read the whole thing again, and pick it apart in detail for your delectation. And frankly, I just gave up. I’m neither sober enough, nor drunk enough, to care.
So, in lieu of that, I bring you my new favorite biscuits (cookies, for those of you not of Blighty born):
Who doesn’t like a nice fruity cock or two with their morning tea?
* ETA: Yes, I know that Peggy is only coherent here for a particular value of coherent, namely “not very”. As commenter geg6 noted at Balloon Juice: “To blame everything on Freddie and Fannie, as she does in the paragraph you highlight, is not coherent. It is the babbling of every Teabagging, conspiracy nut, Grover Norquist knob gobbling asshole on the right.” At least Peggy got all the words in the right order. That must count for something.
We are the 99%.
Well, you are anyway, for the most part. I, on the other hand, am stonkers with cash, positively rolling in it.
My father was the second son of the Baron Capel of Tewkesbury, although there were always rumors that there was something a little, shall we say, Edwardian about his genetics, particularly given that the old Baron had, ten years before my father’s birth, had both testicles shot off by Ayub Khan in the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Let’s just say that Daddy could do an impression of George V that would fool the king’s mother. He served in the Navy during the Great War, doing very secret and nefarious things. He was a great man, and I loved him very much.
Anyway, Great Grandfather had made money in Jamaican tobacco, which his son then invested in ironworks, making even more money. My father invested his share in ammunition factories a few years before the war kicked off. When daddy died, he left everything to me (well, that which wasn’t swallowed up in death duties), and I immediately began to carefully invest it in Dior, cocaine and Krug, along with the odd share of Ford or Apple over the years.
Daddy, my mother and I lived in a big house, packed with more servants than anyone knew what to do with, usually retired sailors. It was like Downton Abbey except with worse dentistry and more rum, sodomy and tattoos.
Now, Daddy was a powerful and ruthless business man. His first lesson to me was that, in business and in love, both your enemies and friends were fair game, and if you could steal someone’s business or their wife or their damn chair from under them it was your honor-bound duty to do so.
However, he also said that you should always be kind and generous to your servants, not least because, as he put it, you never knew when one of the bastards was going to dunk his syphilitic tackle in your breakfast martini. I suspect that Daddy’s reasons were slightly deeper than just the fear of someone’s dick in his drink. Daddy’s servants were always the happiest and fattest and best dressed in the neighborhood, and so our silver was always the shiniest, our sheets were so well starched you could do yourself an injury on them, and there were never any nasty surprises in the soup. He applied the same rule to the workers in his factories, and there were never strikes because everyone had more than enough to feed and clothe their family and at least one day off a month.
My father also told me that it was your duty to pay the full amount of tax on every dollar that you earned, because otherwise how was the government going to buy all those things it desperately needed, like bullets and iron and tobacco?
Daddy was not a good man. He may have been ruthless. He may, in fact, have been a nasty son-of-a-bitch who’d sell his mother’s ashes to a soap factory or push a business rival under a tram (only once though, and it really might have been an accident).
However, he always said that if the revolution came, he knew that he wouldn’t be one of the ones putting on a blindfold and lining up against a wall. He, unlike our captains of industry of today, knew who buttered his bread and washed his car and shaved his face every morning with four inches of sharpened steel and made his bullets and built the roads that his delivery trucks drove on.
He, unlike much of the 1% today, wasn’t a fucking idiot.
Image: A Hunt Servant – Ben Marshall (1767-1835)
David Dunlap has a lovely and very sad article over at the New York Times about the imminent destruction of I. M. Pei’s Terminal 6 at Kennedy International. Dunlap’s last few paragraphs perfectly sum up the stupidity of what is happening.
I flew National a bit during the 70s, while Keith and I were busy destabilizing pro-Batista groups in Florida. I was, even then, a seasoned traveler, but stepping inside that building was a joy, a moment that felt like movie-stardom, like the eye of the camera had followed me in through the doors and into a filmic new age, a shiny world peopled with pert stewardesses and loose boys in tight pants off to catch their big break and movie starlets and dapper-suited businessmen and, of course, the obligatory nuns. There were always nuns. They were usually lugging a guitar, although I did once see one with a tuba on a little trolley.
Everyone would check in early and then lounge around looking gorgeous, watching the earth and its luggage go by. And let me tell you, Pei’s Sundrome was where it was at. I once snuck a sneaky joint in a utilities closet with Truman Capote and Liberace – they dated for a while in the late 60s, and so the only thing thicker in there than the smoke was the cloud of bitchiness that oozed out of both of them. Another time, I wandered into the men’s bathroom by mistake and found out far more about Gore Vidal’s taste in rough trade than any woman needs to know. I swapped lipstick colors with Jackie Collins and had carnal knowledge of a young David Cassidy behind a plant holder. I watched Russian spies pass information to Arab sheiks, and once saw Walter Cronkite passed out in a pool of vomit on the stairs, with a party hat on his head and a funny whistle stuck in his mouth, so that every time he breathed he made a sad, warbling farting noise. The staff had discreetly covered him with a blanket and arranged a few “Do not disturb” signs around him. So considerate.
And yet, with all this, I never missed a flight, except the one time that Truman held an impromptu party airside in Departures that lasted for a week. I had been on my way to Florida to meet with Castro, and ended up being twelve hours late because I couldn’t pull myself away from Lady Bird Johnson’s stash of quite extraordinary coke. People were buying airplane tickets just to go to the damn party. I am told that someone managed to smuggle a small donkey through luggage inspection and Phyllis Schlafly spent several hours riding around on it, shouting “I am the Queen of the May” and flashing her boobs at everyone.
Castro – without the fake beard and therefore almost unrecognizable (he had been flitting in and out of Miami for years pimping his cigar export business) – wasn’t amused when I eventually showed up at Miami International, but I offered him some of Bird’s coke and he perked right up. Bird laughed herself silly when I told her later.
In his article, Dunlap quotes from a letter from Pei’s partner Henry N. Cobb to the CEO of JetBlue, and the response that Cobb received:
In January, Mr. Cobb made what he called a “last-minute plea for reversal of this death sentence” to David Barger, the president and chief executive of JetBlue. “Conserved and reanimated, the Terminal 6 pavilion would further strengthen the distinctive identity of JetBlue as a sponsor of design excellence and an effective advocate for a sustainable future,” Mr. Cobb wrote. “I. M. Pei joins me in thanking you for your consideration of this request.” (That’s as close as Mr. Pei would ever get to joining anything resembling a fray.)
Mr. Barger said in reply, “While I share your passion for classic terminal designs, I have concluded the time has passed for the pavilion building to serve any functional purpose.” Mr. Barger went on to express his gratitude to Pei Cobb Freed “for your influence on JetBlue’s first decade” and concluded:
I personally commit to advocate for a permanent display of the pavilion photographs and other architectural artifacts so future generations can continue to appreciate the beauty of Terminal 6 and the uniqueness it once brought to J.F.K.
Because a photo display and a chunk of ceiling stuck on the wall somewhere over a travelator between the toilets and the fucking Pandora store is clearly an adequate substitute for being able to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of Terminal 6 by actually visiting it. All those memories torn down, leaving us only memories.
What an arsehole you are, Mr Barger.
Whether Pei’s building makes your loins warm or not (and it makes mine feel positively frisky), destroying something so well made, so representative of a time in our history, should be unacceptable.
That JetBlue and its engineers and managers were unable (or unwilling) to come up with a way to retain this building, and construct the facilities they need around it and through it, betrays a shortsightedness that would make me nervous were I a JetBlue shareholder.
I hope (in vain, I suspect) that Mr Barger might wake up one morning and find Shame perched on the end of his bed, staring at him with fear and loathing in its eyes – a little like waking up next to Michele Bachmann – and he will feel the shame of knowing that he is, and was, a grey numbers man, a nothingness who always took the safe route and failed regardless, a little man who never had the balls to make a visionary decision.
Images: George Cserna / Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library Columbia University, and Pei Cobb Freed and Partners
One of my favorite bloggers, Lance Mannion, has up a lovely post about Andrew Sullivan.
I haven’t had a credit card for years, because I actually live like a fiscal conservative.
We’re sure you do, Andrew. But you know what else you live like?
A man with a six-figure income and no children.
Getting a little tired of being told by the well-to-do strolling down Park Avenue that the rest of us hoi polloi need to share in some more sacrifice and tighten our belts another notch.
Sullivan also thinks we need to raise the age of retirement. Again not advice we want to hear from someone who can go on vacation for weeks at a time seemingly whenever he wants and who has a job he can do and do well until he’s 90, if his health allows.
One of the things that drives us nuts about Sullivan is that it’s all so personal with him. I don’t mean he thinks it’s all about him. I mean that sometimes—a lot of times—he doesn’t seem able to imagine that not everybody in the United States is a gay ex-pat Brit living in Washington, D.C. whose big disappointment in life recently was being turned down for a mortgage on a second home.
Yeah. Sullivan didn’t get to buy a summer house in Provincetown. The heart heart bleeds.
Because Lance is a much nicer person than I am, his post doesn’t end there and it has some interesting ideas about why many of us keep reading Sullivan (despite Sullivan’s frequent wrongheadedness, weird man-crushes on people who would set him on fire if they could (Paul Ryan, anyone?), inexplicable belief that Margaret Thatcher was anything but a vile and termagant harridan who should have been murdered in a ditch with “Section 28” engraved on her forehead with a stanley knife, and the fact that when he goes on holiday he apparently turns his entire blog over to the tender mercies of a room full of particularly flatulent monkeys).
ETA: For the avoidance of doubt, I’m reposting my comment from the Balloon Juice thread:
I like Sullivan. I read his blog every day, and a lot of the time I find it fascinating and entertaining and thought provoking. On the issues he believes in, he is an effective and committed advocate.
Plus he sent a couple of thousand readers my way one day, for which I will always be grateful.
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to point out that, with disappointing regularity, he comes across as an entitled dick.
I apologize that I’ve been quiet recently. There hasn’t been much posting because every time I sit at my computer and start to write, I have an overwhelming urge to repeatedly slam my face into my keyboard, and frankly ten pages of:
does not make compelling reading (even if it is more coherent, incisive and factually-based than anything Megan McArdle has managed to write in the last ten years).
I’m going to try and get my mojo back with a post about things that have enabled me to survive a month in which it seemed like everyone in the world had turned into a raging dickhead except you and me (and honestly I was a little bit dubious about you and me).
First – geekery! A new Doctor Who trailer with lots of recycled stuff, but a few intriguing new glimpses of pyramiddy goodness.
I think I might be a little old for Matt Smith, but it would be nice to add a fourth Doctor’s notch to my bedpost. Anyway, you never know, he might be interested in a woman who’s almost as old as his character. Read the rest of this entry »