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Politics as addiction… South Dakota passed a law requiring a three day waiting period for abortions.  Rather than comment on the relevance of such a law, I would like to point out that this type of stunt legislation is similar in effect to an endorphin release–it temporarily relieves the pervasive anxiety state of a dysfunctional and stress-inducing society.  The more stressful modern life becomes, the more people are addicted to these partisan endorphin releases.

 

But the real thing to be wary of here is that it causes the disaffected to maintain a weak partisan identity and prevents them from committing to real change (assuming positive change is possible in an overscaled society). In this case it is a tactic used by the Republican Party to ensure its own survival, which is to say the survival of the managerial class' backup team.

 

I think this is the key to understanding modern politics–it really is specifically designed to trigger a compensating pleasure state, and you are left dependent on partisan rhetoric and partisan policy gimmicks to feel that next surge of endorphins. Politics as addiction!

 

More at My Posting CareerWednesday, March 23, 2011 - 8:46 PM  

 

David Brooks and Unconservatism… David Brooks is an idiot--a Thomas Friedman who plays less golf with technology moguls and skims his first draft before submitting it. The only thing of note Brooks has ever written was an early parody of Buckley (another superficially conservative pundit who became worse and worse as he grew older). But the grimmest thing you can say about the state of conservatism is this:
 

Ottawa Citizen commentator David Warren has identified Brooks as the sort of conservative pundit that liberals like, someone who is "sophisticated" and "engages with" the liberal agenda, in contrast to a "real conservative" like Charles Krauthammer.

 

Remember, the crucial difference between these two "conservatives" is that Brooks advocates for gay marriage, while Krauthammer is agnostic.

 

More at My Posting CareerMonday, March 14, 2011 - 6:13 AM  

 

Stop me before I pundit again!… [T]he opening of the Daily Howler piece plays up one of my favorite pundit tics, and I sometimes actually see it happening as I read their editorials. Some disembodied factoid or Harper's stat drifts into their field of view, and automatically--almost as a function of their autonomic systems--the pundits immediately begin thinking in opinion column blurbs, taking this unconnected information (which has no logical place in their cloudy worldviews) and immediately babbling about it, like a cocktail guest who simply must say something even on subjects unfamiliar to him. This is I suppose what makes them become columnists, as no normal human being functions this way.

 

There is no internal censor that says to Brooks, "If I write about this absurd comparison between completely dissimilar things, I will sound ridiculous." Instead, that inner voice says, "Hmm, fascinating. Just the other day I--" Incontinent of thought, he quickly begins pissing it everywhere.

 

More at My Posting CareerSunday, March 13, 2011 - 5:13 PM  

 

12,000 deadbeats protest in Madison… People sentimentalize teachers because they are exposed to them as adult parent substitutes?most of my teachers were mediocre, a few decent, the balance completely worthless.  More at My Posting CareerSunday, February 27, 2011 - 7:38 AM  

 

Do not hide your Kaus under a bushel! Sarah Palin!… Where is Mickeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Kaus?  His last Kausfiles entry is dated February 2.  Read My Posting Career.  (Bonus SEO: Sarah Palin!) Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 1:25 PM  

 

Escape from Poz Island… A news item on a planned development for senior gays (you're paying for their AIDS medicine, bigots) turns into speculation about a dystopian future where Snake Plissken must rescue the president from a dangerous citadel of queers.  Read My Posting CareerFriday, February 11, 2011 - 4:15 PM  

 

True Grit… In the Coen brothers' two attempts at the quasi-western they remind us that an outsider will always try to translate what he sees into more familiar cultural lingo. Elements which are alien become ambiguous or meaningless, the narrative adopts the outsider's perspective. Fittingly, both No Country For Old Men and True Grit are themselves translations of literary works, as if the Coens hope to cope with their limitations by doubling their remove from the material.  More at My Posting Career.
 Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 4:00 PM  

 

A review of Windows Phone 7… The pluses and minuses of Microsoft's cell phone do-over, at My Posting CareerSaturday, January 29, 2011 - 3:59 PM  

 

Anatomy of a troll… When yet another teenage suicide led to a hysterical (and, as it turns out, premature) limpout over bullying, I decided it was time to troll, and troll hard. More at My Posting CareerWednesday, January 19, 2011 - 5:00 PM  

 

An error in multiculturalism… A common mistake liberals make is they look at the one or two Ethiopians (or Chinese, or Mexicans) who were in their Montessori school and their only thought about this is, "More, please!" What, after all, could give a liberal greater frisson?

 

But this orgasmic feeling is never calmed by experience and wisdom. Thus they assume that where one or two exceptional minorities (surrounded by white faces) were obedient and hard working, that taking their number times ten will magnify the ecstacy. It does not occur to them that ethnic minorities behave differently as their numbers increase--even if by some miracle you could ensure that they all shared the same qualities and upbringing (which of course you can't).

 

More at My Posting CareerFriday, January 14, 2011 - 1:47 PM  

 

SARPALIN KILLED GIFFORDS!… Words cannot really do justice to the deranged frenzy that has gripped America since the Arizona shooting.  It looks as though Congresswoman Giffords will survive in some capacity (no one really knows if she will be able to resume duties in Congress, or if a replacement will have to be appointed).  It also looks as though our discourse is now permanently insane, perhaps nuttier than Jared Loughner.  More at My Posting CareerThursday, January 13, 2011 - 8:06 PM  

 

It's off to the shire, young faggot!… On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the uselessness of liberal hobbit Matthew Yglesias, where 1 is a warning label on the airbag and 10 is a Klingon to Esperanto translator. Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 4:02 PM  

 

Fear and loathing in Arizona… The Daily Howler takes Paul Krugman (mildly) to task for overreaching.  But the criticism doesn't go nearly far enough.  Krugman types a narrative that is as tied up in unreasoning rage and paranoia as are the deluded thoughts of Jared Loughner.  As with Tyler Clementi, the media has its frame, which on inspection bears little resemblance to reality.  More at My Posting CareerTuesday, January 11, 2011 - 2:25 PM  

 

Jonah Goldberg's delusions about gay marriage… Of all the pseudo-conservatives who fill National Review with bad thinking and bad writing, Jonah Goldberg has always struck me as in a class by himself, in part because he's such an obvious lightweight.  He's like David Brooks on a mescaline trip that ends in auto-lobotomy, and in fact he leaps for Brooks' coattails in his inane article defending gay marriage:

 

David Brooks saw such ironic progressive victories coming. In his book Bobos in Paradise, he wrote that everything “transgressive” gets “digested by the mainstream bourgeois order, and all the cultural weapons that once were used to undermine middle-class morality . . . are drained of their subversive content.”

 

The whole article is sublimely stupid, but unsurprisingly so given the source.  More at My Posting CareerThursday, January 6, 2011 - 11:01 AM  

 

The Zybourne Clock… Every now and then nerds attempt to be creative, and the result is either creepy, disgusting, pathetic, or unintentionally funny.  The Zybourne Clock fits in the last category.  Read about it at My Posting CareerMonday, January 3, 2011 - 6:03 PM  

 

Affordable Care Act: transferring more money to minorities, seniors… It's 2011, so you know what that means--thanks to Barack Obama's health care "reform", you'll be spending more money on health care.  Who benefits?  The usual recipients of welfare:  minorities and seniors.  Read more at My Posting CareerSunday, January 2, 2011 - 9:22 AM  

 

Gizmodo nerd meltdown… Gizmodo, which is the nerd offshoot of Gawker and basically serves as a clearinghouse for computer-related press releases and lavish, slurping blowjobs of Apple, has run an unintentionally hilarious nerd meltdown by one of its staff members, Joel Johnson.

 

Read more at My Posting CareerSaturday, November 13, 2010 - 1:31 PM  

 

Joke… Why haven't I heard this joke already?  Black Barry uses a BlackBerry. Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 10:50 AM  

 

Managerialism… Following Burnham, to speak today of "capitalism" or "socialism" is to speak in the retro terms of economic systems our grandfathers once debated. We live instead in a world of managerialism, shaped by a professional class of organizers.

 

A profession uniquely trained in the art of "management" is the result of modern society's mammoth scale. There is no way around the fact that traditional institutions and customs are dependent on the historic smallness of human society. Once a civilization develops large cities its center of gravity shifts; it must cope with its own scale, its inherent unmanageability.

 

More at My Posting CareerWednesday, November 10, 2010 - 1:55 PM  

 

The Age of Obama: straining at racists… A few thoughts on the racial inquisition that has become an increasingly prominent fixture of Obama's administration, at My Posting CareerMonday, November 8, 2010 - 8:32 PM  

 

Boardwalk Empire: beneath the glam, empty melodrama… My mid-season review of Boardwalk Empire--the television series that brings out the rich flavor of graham crackers and powdered milk--is up at My Posting CareerMonday, November 1, 2010 - 10:57 PM  

 

There he goes again… When Obama makes his "cling" gaffes, is he betraying a basically unintelligent outlook?  Mickey Kaus thinks so.  Or, to put it another way, is our Obama learning?  Discussed at My Posting CareerMonday, October 18, 2010 - 4:34 PM  

 

Some thoughts on the etiology of homosexuality… In scale situations (I use "scale" as a shorthand for high density, high complexity societies with heightened competition among members), it is very easy to see how dominance contests could increase incidents of extreme sexual passivity and thereby warp sexual orientation. It is also easy to see how biological factors, such as conditions in the womb, could feed into this process.

More at My Posting CareerSaturday, August 28, 2010 - 6:03 PM  

 

Gay, Jewish, and Anti-Conservative… What is the Republican Party today?  Let's not kid ourselves.  It is anything but conservative.  The only question is, when will conservatives finally come to realize this?  My thoughts at My Posting CareerThursday, August 26, 2010 - 6:32 PM  

 

Armond White takes the knives to Roger Ebert… We have a go at chinless wonder Roger Ebert at My Posting Career.  Sample:  "it is easier to remember Ebert's dumb statements about movies, since he has never really made a smart one." Monday, August 23, 2010 - 9:48 PM  

 

Salon claims nerds are somehow "it"… Hipster aspires to be an awkward faggot, is more than halfway there.  Beating down the nerd's defenses against reality is a thankless task. Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 12:03 PM  

 

What does "racism" mean?… I always love this kind of "big think" question, even though it seldom results in worthwhile output.  But who knows?  Read my thoughts on this question at My Posting CareerThursday, August 12, 2010 - 12:23 AM  

 

Glengarry Glen Racist… Bonus thread on MPC:  BushrodButtram's Glengarry Glen Racist.

 

FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER! That's my name! You drove a Hyundai to be here tonight, and I ghost-rode a Hyundai lowrider with 22 inch chrome spinnaz and an 800 lb woofer that I bought from Eastern Motors. That's my name!

 

Forty is for closers! Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 1:56 PM  

 

A few thoughts on handling accusations of racism… Whites are generally hopeless when accused of racism, or when reacting to someone else being accused.  I posted a few thoughts on the subject at My Posting Career. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 1:43 PM  

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