Tag Archives: idiocy

Creepy male “journalists”, word wank, and judging women by appearance while wearing a Rush tour t-shirt

Happy Christmas! Behold, misogyny combined with the worst writing this side of Twilight!

It all started when a certain sack of old balls named Owen Gleiberman (gee, I hope I’m spelling his name correctly, but if I’m not, there is absolutely no loss – the douche nozzle deserves anonymity) wrote an article opining that, as it had been 15 years between Bridget Jones movies, and as Renee Zellwegger looked different because of time and reality and stuff, was she the same person?
The mind reels.
Do you think Woody Harrelson, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and every other male actor who has ever existed MAGICALLY TURNED INTO WOOD SPRITES WHEN THEY GOT KINDA OLDER? How about when certain male actors deliberately went after a different physical image? Did De Niro convert to Islam after he gained weight for Raging Bull? Are Russel Crowe, Edward Norton, and Patrick Stewart a bunch of neo-nazis because they appeared onscreen with scary tattoos?
Then some masturbatory word-jizz came down the pipe when a failed writer (of the now-cancelled, Martin Scorsese sponsored TV show Vinyl) wrote some claptrap personal profile of the Australian actress, Margot Robbie. To wit:
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It goes on and on. This is sadly par for the course whenever some male writer needs to throw together some bullshit under a deadline when he a) has no idea who the person was, and b) had nothing to say on his own. And so, you have pasty white creepy middle aged, middle class Elmer Fudds writing weirdly proprietorial articles on women who are several LIGHT YEARS out of their league, who normally wouldn’t waste their piss on these writers if they were on fire. Whenever some asshole male writer starts focusing on the physical attributes of a woman, ALWAYS investigate what Rico Suave looks like himself. Then post those lovely, sexy shots of music critic lotharios somewhere public – if anyone deserves to be outed, if words have to be raised in defense when anyone is dismissed/judged solely by the incredibly arbitrary standards of personal attractiveness, hypocrite misogynist assholes are an excellent place to start.
A number of people (beyond lunatics such as myself) aren’t taking this shit as a given anymore – as I’ve said a million times before, we are living in a nouvelle vague of feminism, particularly in light of the atrocity which took place in the States a month ago. Clinton may have barely lost, and she may not have been as representative of Women (or those identifying as women) as others, but the feeling remains in the air, and this oppositional attitude will continue in the face of reaction.
Not only are female actors, writers, artists, and everyone else that contributes to the cultural conversation taking a stand against the kind of bigotry that can be found from sea to shining sea (from dog-mud Twitter eggs to Vanity Fair writers and their lax editors), these first responders are no longer doing so alone. That inane competition which seems to govern (and I do mean govern) the entertainment industry, and which fractures and divides those who should be allies, is being left to one side in the name of survival and solidarity. Most people don’t use my language, and would consider me a radical relic, but their actions are nevertheless the same. We use different words – that’s all.
Anyway, for a much funnier look at this stupidity, and the manner in which drooling male journo-bots with nothing to say and the retarded articles they produce (including the Robbie article, which describes Australia as “America fifty years ago”) see –  http://tinyurl.com/hjhjcwv
 
Do yourself a favor and watch something like Born In Flames or the new season of Crazy Ex Girlfriend (which has lasted a lot longer than fucking Vinyl or Roadies  or the other tributes to the male wannabe rockstar), or check out Take My Wife, an amazing new TV show which is about the trials and tribulations of a lesbian comedy duo who are also married (both on the show and in real life).  Or listen to Rhea Butcher’s very rad comedy album, imaginatively entitled Butcher. Or, I don’t know, find out where any given male writer for dinosaur publications like Variety or Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, and kick his balls in, while mocking his appearance. It may not change the world, but the visual image of dozens of fortysomething “journalists” rolling around on the ground and gripping their nuts makes me laugh and laugh.
 
 
Ho Ho Ho!

Rick Perlstein/Nixonland

New Left Review hated it. New York Times loved it, as did a number of “liberal” American publications. It was published in the waning days of the Bush Administration, and I think that that’s the crux of the variety of reactions. This book, ostensibly about the formerly most hated president in American history, is really about the anarchic sociopolitical backdrop that was the late fifties to the early seventies.

Comparisons between the decade of total upheaval and the curiously complacent years of Bush autocracy are inevitable when reading this volume. It’s also worth noting the similarities between Obama’s foreign policy bungling and the King of foreign policy blunders, Dick Nixon. America hasn’t changed indelibly with the fall of Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Bush II; patterns can be seen occurring time and time again, even with media revolutions and the overturning of the Baby Boomers.

Essentially Nixonland deals with what academics call post-material politics. Formerly, in the thirties and forties, the working class of America could be depended upon to be at least a little left (unless they were protected from above by the Mafia – see the Teamster union), as collective action generally improved their lot in life. On the other side of the class divide, middle and upper class youngsters were expected to go to university, meet their future spouse, pump out a few kids, rinse, repeat.

Something began to go haywire in the late fifties and early sixties. The kids became increasingly radicalized, partially by dint of their newfound freedom from their parents, partially from the protest culture that began with civil rights and continued with Vietnam, and partially from the great Acid Wave as championed by Dr. Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson.

Meanwhile, the working class became alarmed by the behaviour of the younger generation, a generation that was increasingly viewed as anti American. Cultural concepts such as patriotism (if not outright jingoism), religion, “family values” (i.e. a disguised nostalgia for the fifties) and a simmering level of racism and homophobia lurked just under the covers of Middle America. For both of these oppositional generations material gain was placed to the sidelines; divergent cultural mores was the dominant paradigm.

In stepped Nixon, capitalizing on the frustrations of the “Silent Majority” who were duly horrified by the riots in LA, Detroit, Chicago, Newark, New York, and any other city that had clashing ethnicities or an organized radical base. Perlstein makes an argument that could be easily applied to Bush; Nixon would say something pandering and self-pitying, the liberal media would jump on him and castigate his language, to which the “Silent Majority” would get defensive, with the thought that those darned intellectuals at the New York Times were picking on their representative. It’s a canny move, and it heightens the meaning of those Bushisms that were the laughing stock of liberal America, or the overall stupidity of Sarah Palin. These people may not be geniuses (their scholastic records alone speak volumes), but they are cunning, and they know how to manipulate the emotions of your average Angry White Male. They also know that conservatives vote in higher numbers than their liberal counterparts.

The rest of the book correctly analyzes something that Oliver Stone has built a career around: namely, that something went horrifically wrong in the sixties, beginning with the JFK assassination and the end of Camelot. Nixonland is a mosaic of every turn that reflected in Nixon’s successes and failures, and its width and breadth of historical investigation is astonishing.

Again the comparisons with the turn of the century and the Bush years are confounding. Had Bush and Cheney learned from Nixon and simply applied these lessons in a neo-conservative manner, effectively rendering the American Left as a bunch of Neville Chamberlains and hippies? Or were the voices of dissent drowned out by the crash of towers, arguably the best thing to happen to the Bush administration and the raison d’etre for virtually every policy since 9/11?

Nixonland, while not offering a totalistic approach to conservative populism, nevertheless creates a grand narrative of the fractured sociopolitical backdrop that is America. Don’t be intimidated by its size; as engrossing as it is, you’ll finish it in days and want more.