As the shutdown settles in, I’m wondering if we’ll ever see the other side. The government will roar back to life in time, but will we ever like one another again? When did the worst insult you could fling at someone morph from “go fuck yourself” to “go die in a fire”?
Yes, I’m bummed about this. I read the interview with Newt Gingrich in Salon and was so appalled, I wondered if it might have been a piece of performance art:
You called “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior,” “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” Do you think events since then have proven that correct?
I think that the — what I was citing was a very interesting book, which became a movie, which I think does give you some sense of the origins of some of, of his values. I mean, go back and read his Cairo speech, and look at reality, and ask yourself how could somebody have been that wrong. And I think it’s because he actually believed the mythology of the left.
And which values are those?
Well, that everybody’s ultimately nice, that everybody wants to have a democracy, that we can really all get along easily, that the U.S. has to be very cautious and restrained because, after all, all these nice people mean well.
And how is that related to “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior”?
Look, I would describe – well, go read the book! I was making a passing comment about a book which I found useful, and which described basically an academic belief system. Now since you know, you can decide if you agree with it or disagree with it, but that’s what it was based on.
And that view, do you think that view has been vindicated over the past year?
Well, OK, I’m trying to suggest to you, first of all, I have no idea. I don’t spend a lot of time psychoanalyzing the president. I’m not going to spend a lot of time with you to set up some kind of absurdity. The fact is, I was citing a particular book I thought was helpful. You might want to read that book and decide if it’s helpful.
God, what a human toadstool that man is. The book he’s referring to is, of course, that Dinesh D’Souza piece of crap. It was, indeed, made into a movie. I was following a Facebook thread about it before the election. One enthusiastic viewer’s rave was tempered by a dark cloud — how, he wondered, could we get younger people to see it? All the heads he’d seen in the theater were bald or gray.
Here’s a day-brightener: I was investigating my fitness app for new activities to track, after learning that my morning dog walk is a full mile. (No wonder Wendy is growing so fit and sassy.) What else can I obsessively measure, I wondered, scrolling through the full list. Cricket, fencing, handball, and what’s this? “Intimacy.” I wondered about calories burned, so I entered a 15-minute session: 126. Hmm. It doesn’t even ask who’s on top or specify what the activity is. I bet Callista Gingrich burns that many just prepping for intimacy with her husband, what with having to wrestle herself into that hazmat suit and all.
God, I’m scattered. Let’s go to the links:
Eminem may be a recovering drug addict and about as far from Ward Cleaver as you can get, father-wise, but his little girl was named homecoming queen last weekend at her (public, but yes, suburban) high school.
A sharply written blog post at Esquire.com compares the public discussion over revenge-porn legislation to concerns over head trauma in the NFL:
In other words, the thinking on both issues combines to a riff on the old canard: if you didn’t want to get your brain raped, you shouldn’t have gone out dressed in such a revealing football helmet. …Kids might understand how to better say no if we we weren’t whispering yes into their ears the whole time. As if it couldn’t get any more hypocritical than that, our appetite for pornographic images, and the choreographed pornography of bone-shivering on-field hits is as big as its ever been. We’ve set up the standards by which young men and women are expected to perform, and then when they come out the other end of the gauntlet wondering whether or not they may have made an unwise choice or two along the way, we tell them it’s their own fault for giving us what we asked them for.
Further down on the same page:
Finally, what is there to say about the Antonin Scalia interview in New York magazine? He believes in the Devil:
Can we talk about your drafting process—
[Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.
Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.
Memo to the justice: I was raised by Catholics who didn’t believe that nonsense. So speak for yourself. Also, he’s very selective in his news consumption:
What’s your media diet? Where do you get your news?
Well, we get newspapers in the morning.
“We” meaning the justices?
No! Maureen and I.
Oh, you and your wife …
I usually skim them. We just get The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. We used to get the Washington Post, but it just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore.
Sometimes NPR. But not usually.
Talk guys, usually.
Do you have a favorite?
You know who my favorite is? My good friend Bill Bennett. He’s off the air by the time I’m driving in, but I listen to him sometimes when I’m shaving. He has a wonderful talk show. It’s very thoughtful. He has good callers. I think they keep off stupid people.
That’s comforting. One of the most powerful men on the planet listens to Bill “Double Down” Bennett. I think I’m going to bed.