As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.- Dick Cavett

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ballad Pt2; Skank-Shanked!

"With all their beady little eyes

And flapping heads so full of lies

Blame Canada!"


-Sheila Broslovsky

“Since I’ve arrived in Canada, I’ve been denounced on the floor of Parliament — which, by the way, is on my bucket list — my posters have been banned, I’ve been accused of committing a crime in a speech that I have not yet given, I was banned by the student council, so welcome to Canada!”


-Ann Coulter

Can you spot the true statement in the above sentence? Ann Coulter's I mean, not Mrs. Broslovsky's, a woman who may be Coulter's only rival for both cartoonishness and agenda driven Canada bashing.

Give up?

"I've arrived in Canada." One true statement, told only as a springboard, to be used to leap into a pool of excrement, where you'd imagine she feels most at home. Her relevance in the U.S. at low ebb, Coulter launched a P.R. attack on unsuspecting Canada, using her well-worn catalog of easy stereotypes and ugly cliches to try to battle her way back into the limelight. An offensive offensive, if you will. She created a goldmine of out-of-context 'slights' to report to her dwindling fan base back home, painting herself as the brave stormer of a castle that had all but rolled out the red carpet for her arrival.

But who did Brave Sir Ann really slay in her quest for matterdom ?

By my count: One young girl, a college Provost who offered her counsel, her hosts and benefactors for the evening, and of course her two most elusive enemies: Honesty and Irony.

The young girl was cut down for the sins of being of middle eastern heritage, and making a very human, very affecting statement. It was essentially ' Because of statements you've made, I'm afraid to be in airports.' Ann's response? "Then ride a camel."

Sa-NAP! Who wouldn't want someone that witty lecturing their leaders of tomorrow, amiright?

Well, THAT got some attention, and Ann like any rock star or circus geek, knows when you've got their attention, it's time to kick it up a notch. That's when she fired back at the Provost of University of Ottawa, Francois Houle for accusing her of 'committing a crime in a speech she had not yet given'. Or, as she calls him "A-Houle." A-Houle, get it?

Whew. Whatever they're paying her, it's not enough!*

And what kind of reactionary-socialist-monster would make such a brazen accusation? No kind, really. What actually happened was, a career academic whose job it is to make sure such things run smoothly, sent Coulter an e-mail welcoming her (rather effusively) to his campus.

Here's the entire transcript:

He does caution her about the differences between Canadian and American laws. But that's just a courtesy, isn't it? When people from the States come to visit me, I caution them about several things. The speed limit signs are in kilometers not miles, don't get a speeding ticket. It was a nicety that he performed in the course of his job.

I suppose if you're the type of vicious unprincipled thug who's comfortable calling a young girl a camel jockey (essentially), you may be paranoid enough to misinterpret someone else's graciousness as threatening behavior. But to be sure, that's the way she spun it when she leaked it to the press.

With conservatives like Ann, the help you offer may not be as valuable as the help that can be attained from you. That's how you make headlines, if you're distasteful enough to be controversial, but not interesting enough to fill a hall.

Well that got asses in the seats, with asses left over. Really, from Ann's perspective there was nothing left to do. Certainly no reason to fulfill her contractual obligations. It's not her fault the University/campus security/demonstrators/Ottawa Police demanded the appearance be cancelled, is it?

Here's a link that shows how none of those things happened:

So she lied. So she mobilized the aging frat boys who frequent her website to perpetuate the lie. They LOVE Ann, and it's only not because she talks just like one of the guys from Omega House that used to spank you in your underpants....It's also that she looks like one of those guys but is, technically, a woman. Unless you're elected to Public Office, a conservative's gotta keep those feelings repressed!

But this isn't about that! It's about.....FREE SPEECH! Yeah That's it, FREE SPEECH! Ann LOVES the free speech! Oh, you didn't know that about her? Hell yeah. She's a fierce advocate of the right to free expression!

And to prove it, she took her show to Calgary, in the more conservative (at least by the socialist standards of Canada, wink-wink) praries,where they had to change venues form a 400 seat hall to a 1000 seat hall, where Good Sir Ann who was now describing herself as a "hate-crime victim" would preach the gospel of beautiful, glorious free speech!

Oh, by the way? "“While there will be a Q&A to ensure open, intellectual discussion between attendees of the event and Ann Coulter, the Question and Answer period will be moderated, and any sort of ranting, heckling, or otherwise disrupting of the event will result in removal by security and/or police...As well, individuals caught recording this event will be removed.”

You can almost taste the freedom! I want to know all about Ann the Victim's heroic tale of overcoming the adversity she single-handedly manufactured.

No officers, I DON'T have any questions!


* As mentioned in Part1, they were paying her 10,000 Cdn, down roughly 150% from her speaking fees from two short years ago. For those of you cynical enough to suspect that would motivate her to create some controversy for attention? Yeah, I hear you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ballad of A Thin Mantis

Well, you walk into the room
Like a camel and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin' around
You should be made To wear earphones.
Bob Dylan
The hate speech industry is at an all time boom. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is also swinging a dead cat. In order to get noticed in that vast sea of belligerent shrieking, you have to keep upping the ante. All the big players have their shtick. Rush wheezes bombastic pronouncements that nobody ever seems to call him on. The only job in the world less demanding than being Limbaugh's fact-checker would be fire-watcher in the Petrified Forest.
Then there's Glenn Beck, the current leading light of paranoid dementia, who relies heavily on visual aids. He employs puppets, Nazi symbology, rehearsed crying jags, and a blackboard to create a sort of Sesame Street on PCP. (Sponsored by the letters 'Au', the symbol for gold, which you should start hoarding in anticipation of the Apocalypse)A hyperbolic hellscape that makes Dante look like Kenneth the NBC Page.
So one might be inclined to feel sorry for Ann Coulter. That is one might, if she were not such a cynical, black-hearted, corruption. Ichor-hearted, slavering, and malignant on a cellular level. She used to be right up there, at the top of the heap, a best selling 'author' a darling of media circus side-shows, hissing and blowing out wads of poison like a puff adder. She was the angular, rail-thin (she's so bony you'd think that good intentions and facts were nutrients) darling of 80's frat-boys everywhere.
But lately she has fallen through the cracks (yeah, I went there) of fame's fickle stage. Book sales are down. Way down. As recently as 2008, she was getting 24,000$ for 40 minutes of sneering nationalistic race-baiting and Republican ass-kissing. (She once famously stated that Republicans are better lovers than Democrats, which I took to mean it's easier to find a drunken conservative in an airport hotel bar. If he can convince the Viagra to make the swim through his Chivas Regal thinned bloodstream long enough for him to bump his receding hairline against her Adam's apple for two minutes, all the better) In 2010, she's touring Canada, a country she's gleefully maligned in the past, for a comparatively paltry 10k Cdn.
How the righty has fallen.
But God bless the American Entrepreneurial Spirit, which states among other things, if anyone gives you a helping hand, screw them for all they're worth. And God bless Canada, likable, easy-going Canada, whose conservatives are mostly agreeable types imbued with the true spirit of the idea of conservatism. You know, just the sort of people American conservatives love to use up, and spit out.
So one might be inclined to feel sorry for Canada, again reduced to a stereotype, and used by a shrill, desperate has-been. That is one might, if they didn't know better. I do. Canada is a GREAT place to live, it's currently living up to an American Dream, that has long been co-opted by parasites like Coulter.
Tomorrow: 'The Anatomy of a P.R. Back-Stabbing', or 'The Skank-Shanking'

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Am The Outlaw Of SCIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Heavens Miss Sakomoto, you're BEAUTIFUL!

I'm taking the day off of frustrated bewilderment with conservativism today, to offer this startling confession:

Few things in this world, make me as happy as hearing Thomas Dolby's 'She Blinded Me With Science'.

This is an even more powerful admission, given that I'm something of a 'music snob', or 'hipster douchebag' if you prefer. In discussions about music, my choices (The Jayhawks, Gomez, Webb Wilder, John Prine, etc.) tend to draw a lot of blank stares. I'm cattily derisive about Top 40 music, and I believe everyone involved in the production of 'American Idol' should be tried at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

Indeed, in 1982 when the song first came out, I was already firmly entrenched in the travelling circus known as the Grateful Dead. I happily rode out the Reagan years surrounded by tie-dye and patchouli, rarely engaging with Yuppies, red leather, hair mousse, and history's worst rock and roll.

But MAN, I love 'She Blinded Me With Science'. The song and the accompanying video are brazenly weird,off-center, aggressively demented.

In other words, it speaks to me.

And it still does. If I happen to hear it on the radio, I'll stop whatever I'm doing to turn it up and dance along, yelling the word "SCIENCE!" along with Magnus Pike, the U.K. scientist on the recording and video...And yes that includes pointing my finger in the air, with a rather demented 'Eureka' look on my face.

Sometimes I don't even wait for the song to come on. Sometimes the room just seems too quiet, or noisy. Sometimes I just want to see what will happen. It's long been my dream to shout it into a P.A. somewhere, in public. A dream, sadly, deferred.

Until last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday my lovely, long-suffering L'Amour de ma Vie and I brushed off our liberal guilt and anti-corporate hostility, and made our monthly trip to Wal-Mart. It was there in that most-hated of retail stores, in the greeting card section, I saw it...The phone.

You know the one. They're in every big store you frequent, in every department. Grocery, sporting goods, electronics. They're attached to a wall or girder, and they've got programmable buttons to connect you with other departments, manager's office...

...And 'page'. The button you push to call someone to your section for clean-up, re-stocking, and of course (gulp) security. The MAGIC button. The one that they show you how to use, because it's NEVER marked.

Until last Tuesday. We were innocently perusing the birthday cards when I saw the phone, and the button with 'page' penciled in next to it.

My eyes got wide. I looked around. I whispered to my companion, who shrugged and gave me a look that said, "Go ahead, you know you want to. Get it over with." It also seemed to say, "Yes. Do it you mad, impetuous fool, I am aflame with desire to see this grand scheme of yours come to fruition. I hold you far above all other men, mere mortals that they are."

I'm not entirely sure about the last part, as I was moving quickly now, but it stands to reason she'd think that. Right?

So anyway, I pick up the receiver, held it against my ear, and pressed page. It made a couple of beeping noises, and then a little white-noise hiss. And I did it.


I quickly hung up the phone. I looked around to see if I'd been spotted. I put on a casual air, and picked up a talking card, pretending to chuckle at the wit of Larry The Cable Guy, ("Git 'r Done"?...How PRICELESS!) glancing furtively up and down the aisle. Everything seemed fine.

The rest of the shopping trip, I listened for the P.A. to call security on me, and strolled the aisles, whistling 'She Blinded Me With Science' and feeling very much like I'd gotten away with something. It's always a little kick, to have imagined doing something silly or fun, and being able to cross it off your list.

Or not.

Maybe it'll just escalate. I know the button now. On the Lucent brand phone, second row, 4th from the top.