Category Archives: Popular Culture

Jon Stewart’s Racism

Yes, call him out on it:

These liberal/progressives deserve to be called out–every single time–on their hypocrisy. Don’t hold back calling them the “r” word, because they surely would not, if the tables were turned.

Yes (though they’re neither liberal or “progressive” — their ideas are some of the oldest ones in the book). I long ago lost any compunction in calling them racist, because they have no problem whatsoever falsely accusing me of that. And in their case, calling them out on it has the additional virtue of actually being true.

Remember Memogate?

The makers of a new Dan Rather documentary apparently don’t:

Now, I say “probably,” because I can’t exclude the very remote possibility that in the early 1970s Bush’s commanding officer, for reasons lost to history, decided to type up these memos himself (even though his wife said he couldn’t type) rather than getting his secretary to do it.

I can’t prove that he never got his hands on a rather exotic typewriter instead of using the ones that were in his office, spent some time working on it with a soldering gun, and managed to coincidentally produce a document that looked exactly like what you would get if you opened up Microsoft Word 2003 and started typing.

I can’t rule out the possibility that he, for reasons known only to himself, wrote these documents using Army jargon in several places rather than the terms that would have been used in the Air National Guard.

I can’t rule out the possibility that these documents somehow escaped from his office, roamed around in the wild for several decades, and eventually ended up in the possession of a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard, who had an ax to grind against both the National Guard and one George W. Bush.

I also can’t rule out the possibility that somewhere in this vast universe of ours, there is a planet composed entirely of marshmallow, where the rivers run with honey.

This document ended up on the air because neither Rather nor his producer did their jobs right. They ignored glaring red flags about the source of the document, including the fact that he kept changing his story and finally settled on an implausible and uncheckable version about a mysterious woman who wanted the originals destroyed because … um, why? (Mary Mapes, the producer, speculated that she might have been worried about DNA evidence. Too bad she did not settle on the more likely scenario: that they were destroyed to conceal their creation on a laser printer.) Rather and his producer ignored experts who raised problems with the document.

They rushed the documents onto air, and then, when the story exploded in their face, they spent an unconscionably long time attacking the people who had pointed out the glaring issues with their source material. They clung to theories along the lines of Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian assiduously fiddling with the margin stops on his typewriter, such that they coincidentally lined up exactly with the defaults in as-yet-uninvented Microsoft Word. For two weeks, they dragged their network through a professional embarrassment of a scale that has rarely been reached again, because they didn’t do the most basic thing we’re paid for: properly vet their story before they started hurling serious, potentially election-altering accusations at a sitting president.

I find it amazing that there are still people who believe that document was genuine. This was my take, at the time, on the stupidity of Mary Mapes.

Mr. Sulu

set phasers to racist:

By referring to Clarence Thomas as “a clown in blackface,” George Takei has taken away nobody’s dignity but his own.

Why is it okay for a Japanese man to use such racist language against a black man? Because of their relative positions in the hierarchy of grievances. Sure, Thomas is black, and therefore he’s a designated victim. But he’s also a conservative, and he’s explicitly rejecting the narrative of victimhood that underpins the entire “social justice” movement. Therefore, the black dude is trumped by the gay Asian dude. Takei can spew as much racist garbage as he wants, and he’s protected because he not only embraces his own victimhood, but he treasures victimhood itself like the purest gold. Without it, he’s just another washed-up actor from a schlocky old show about spaceships.

Not that I doubt Takei means what he says. He really is a huge racist.


[Saturday morning update]

Posted without comment.


The Law-School Bubble

How it happened:

The small town lawyer used to loom large in the American psyche. When an American of a certain age pictured a lawyer he thought of Abraham Lincoln, Atticus Finch, Perry Mason, or Matlock.

These lawyers were regular guys who took the business that walked in the door. If you went to law school expecting to be Perry Mason or Matlock you were certainly disappointed by how boring your life was, but not by what you earned.

After L.A. Law and The Firm Americans stopped thinking of lawyers as solo practitioners and somehow decided that all lawyers were good looking, interesting, and super, extra rich. This drew a whole new wave of confused history majors from college to law school, and floated a thirty year boom in the number of law schools, the number of law students, tuition, and profits. This was awesome news for law schools, less so for everyone else.

It didn’t help that it was subsidized by the student-loan program.

First They Came For The Male Athletes

“…and I said nothing, because women deserve to play sports, too. Then they came for the frat boys, and I not only said nothing, I cheered it on, because frat boys are the scum of the earth. Then they came after men in general, and I said nothing, because they need to understand the fear women have of rape, and to fear engaging in sex.

Then, oh, wait. Holy s**t, they’re coming after me!”

Thoughts On “Punching Down”

Don’t let the wookie win:

There are no innocent depictions of Muhammad. The concept itself is out of bounds. That is fine for Muslims. But non-Muslims are under no obligation to acquiesce. McDonald is right that one ought not needlessly belittle or be wantonly cruel. But this notion of fair play, when coupled with knowledge of the consequences should one violate it, easily becomes a justification for an exaggerated cautiousness and wariness. It metamorphoses into a conviction that it is better to be safe than sorry, that even if offense isn’t intended one must refrain from saying something lest offense be taken, and those offended react badly.

That is, they may try to kill you because the very act of speaking on the subject is insulting. Not the content or substance of the speech, nor its tenor, but the existence of the words themselves. “[N]obody worries about upsetting a droid.” And quite rightly. But what about all the Wookiees out there?

The dread that “Here be Wookiees” underpins the Argument from Provocation. It is palpable in three of the most egregious responses to the attack on the Geller event, all of which essentially hold her responsible for the assassins’ failed gambit to kill her.

It’s long, but worth the read.