The Internet

April 15, 2007

The Internet: a never-ending nightmare where the same tortured poem of talking points is read endlessly by a mob of brain-dead zombies, each reciting their favorite line before going in search of fresh flesh to rend, and ultimately signifying nothing, without even any sound or fury.

-Andrew Leonard

Or not. Some days I’m not sure.


Diatribes

April 10, 2007

The “Today” show’s Al Roker said Tuesday on his show’s official blog that it was time for Imus to go. “I, for one, am really tired of the diatribes, the ‘humor’ at others’ expense, the cruelty that passes for ‘funny,’” Roker said.


Starvation

April 9, 2007

People are spiritually starved, and feel, just below the surface, that their culture is strangling them.

-Tom the Butcher (via Gene Weingarten)


Globalization

April 4, 2007

Globalizing the economy may well be necessarya continuous metaphor even – for the globalization of our personal psychology through psychotechnologies. The most interesting question here is: how does the individual relate to such a situation?”

-Derrick de Kerckhove


Telegraph Road

April 4, 2007

…the development of the telegraph and the telephone, which shrunk space and time, blew apart the gentle pace of colonial times.

-Derrick de Kerckhove


A Noxious Fusion

March 26, 2007

…of every awful, content-less faux-centrist narrative, applied here in a lengthy, fawning Washington Post “will he run?” article on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

“He’d be a candidate almost in the progressive tradition,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York political consultant. “He could make the argument: ‘A pox on both their houses.’ He’s a celebrity by definition because he’s a billionaire.”

But why should he be president? Because it’s remotely possible?

He’s a party-switching, uncharismatic billionaire. His running for president sure sounds exciting to Washington media – who adore nothing more than slagging off Democrats, but are finding it increasingly difficult to apologize for incompetent and corrupt Republicans – but that’s about it. The truth of the matter is that most Americans do prefer one party over the other – there’s no great silent consensus out there for people like Michael Bloomberg.

Ech…there’s more, now not just in quotations:

…if he ran as a Democrat, he might sacrifice his reputation as an independent-minded businessman who is above politics.

Save us from politicians who are “above” politics, and from those writers who would imagine such a thing possible.

The above passage follows an observation on the impossibility of Bloomberg’s  securing the GOP nomination. So I ask again – just where is this great silent majority that exists in neither party but would be able to elect a man like Michael Bloomberg president?

Bloomberg himself is quoted towards the end, and supplies the answer:

“How can a 5-foot-7, divorced billionaire Jew running as an independent from New York possibly have a chance?” he has asked.

He can’t. And that’s fine. Politics is the business of disagreeing about what to do. If Bloomberg can’t find constructive ways to disagree, then there’s really no reason for him to think twice about running for president.


Some Comfort

March 25, 2007

Amanda Marcotte:

If anything comforts me in the face of the increasingly agitated fundamentalism in America, it’s that they have no clue how to compete with the pleasures of living available to most of us, pleasures that help assist us in telling them all to fuck off.

Quite.  This is an interesting thing about the culture wars in the United States – conservatives, those same people who are always going on about “free markets” and extending market metaphors and, indeed, markets into places they simply don’t belong (e.g., basic health care) simply cannot cope with the idea of a free market for culture. Which is mostly what we have, now, and is pretty much why they’re losing the culture wars, generation after generation: there’s a market for culture, and “conservative” culture is mostly crap. At some level, they’re aware of this, and so rather than trying to produce culture that is appealing to others (which is difficult for a variety of reasons), they just agitate against…pretty much all popular cultural products. Or sometimes, unpopular or marginal cultural products (e.g., “Piss Christ”) as an avenue for seeking to undermine the idea of culture.

It’s annoying, of course, but as Marcotte notes – in this arena, anyways, they really don’t know how to compete. So that’s nice for us heathens.


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