Wednesday, 17 February 2010

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The sort of cultural criticism you notch all the way to the top. (Can you guess where this was originally posted?) We here at Lawyers, Guns and Money are solidly in the Roman Polanski belongs in prison camp, but we are also rank pedants, and the following sentence is something up with which we shall not put:When Franz Kafka wrote “The Metamorphosis” he may have had someone like Roman Polanski in mind.Because Jeffrey Jena is a very serious thinker who "has been seen on Murder, She Wrote, Hunter, appeared in shows with Jenny McCarthy and Weird Al Yankovic and in several films including Raising the Dead with Allison Eastwood," we must consider the implications of this literary reference very seriously, as there is no chance he inserted it solely to make people think he reads important books. Jena's complaint is that, much like Gregor Samsa in Kafka's novel, Roman Polanski rapes children—only Samsa did nothing of the sort. Let us try again: Jena's complaint is that, much like Gregor Samsa in Kafka's novel, Roman Polanski awoke one morning to find himself transformed into einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer, a monstrous vermin—only that would absolve Polanski of moral responsibility for his crimes, as he had no hand in his transformation and, more importantly, no one expects monstrous vermin to abide by human law. Jena's complaint must be that, like Gregor Samsa, Roman Polanski is not being treated by the Swiss courts in the manner their American counterparts treated John Wayne Gacy, who murdered thirty-three people—only that makes no sense at all. We are officially stumped. We have no clue what Jena hoped to accomplish by dropping that reference. Unless: [Pierce] Brosnan went on to say that in order to work with Mr. Polanski, “You have to know your onions.” I am not really sure what that means but it tells us two things about Mr. Brosnan, he’s not great with metaphors and he may be a little dense. Brosnan is the poster boy for the term “limousine liberal.” He claims to have become an American citizen during what he terms “the atrocity of the Bush years” to help his family “endure the hypocrisy and stupidity of the man’s power.” His power is stupid? His power is filled with hypocrisy? How do you figure that?Of course! Jena was priming the Pump of Irony. Had he not dropped in a completely random, utterly irrelevant reference in that first sentence, readers may have breezed over his criticism of Brosnan without realizing how ironic it is when someone with Jena's linguistic facility criticizes someone else for mouthing an infelicitous metaphor. We're not sure whether we should thank him or file this away with all the other examples of cultural conservatives whose knowledge of the culture they aim to conserve is as wide and deep as a playa lake.
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We is a serious news organization what demands you retract tweets now. The following sentence actually appears in a post on the site of a darling of conservative media:We have identified yet another tweet we would like [Roger Ebert] to retract[.] The "yet another" is delicious, as it indicates that Andrew Breitbart has initiated a campaign to compel people to retract their tweets. The vicious slur of a tweet in question reads: Breitbart's bright bulbs know that's a lie:We have established that we differ on the last sentence, but his claim he did not know that “teabaggers” is a pornographic term until the MSM (mainstream media) told him is provably false. We know it’s false because in 1998, Prof. Ebert reviewed a film containing this scene[.]How can you not respect a corporate non-entity who insists on granting Ebert a doctorate for the sole purpose using "Prof." as a diminutive? More to the point: how can you not pity the poor Breitbart intern who, I hope, is pretending to misunderstand Ebert's patently sarcastic remark in order to score points with his boss? Because that's what this all adds up to: some minion being forced to impersonate a tweet-retracting mountain camel in order to impress Andrew Breitbart. Because this is what impresses Andrew Breitbart: the retraction of tweets in which people call tea-baggers by the doubly ignorant name they chose for themselves.* The demand to stop calling tea-baggers the name they gave themselves is, remarkably, not the dumbest part of this tweet-retraction crusade: that would be the faux-outrage Pam Meister musters upon learning that Ebert's tweets don't rise to the level of "informed commentary." She suggests, with a straight face, that the lack of sustained commentary by Ebert is a grave failure of character, not a feature inherent in the Twitter's 140 character limit; and she does this, of course, without acknowledging the vast archive of his writing freely available online. Granted, Meister might not be any better acquainted with Google than her fellow tea-baggers, but the point remains: she thinks Ebert should write tweets with more characters than Twitter allows, and until he does, she will be very, very cross with him. Which is terrible, terrible news, as the odds of someone as soft as Ebert weathering this tweet-retraction campaign are slim indeed. *They can pull down their site in an effort to deny it, but Google remembers that they were the ones who started using "tea-bag" as a verb, so they need to live with the consequences of their laziness and sexual stolidity. Liberals didn't claim the Founding Fathers threw tea-bags into Boston Harbor, nor were they the ones who insisted on compounding the error of that anachronism by naming their movement without performing a precautionary Googling. For a movement so concerned with personal responsibility, you'd think someone in it might take some.

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