Monday, December 31, 2007


It's interesting to hear John Edwards rail against "corporations". It really riles the Middlebrows to hear their masters disparaged thus. But I've long wondered why the "corporation" is thought to be such a salutary part of democracy. It seems to me that democracy only works if freedom is proportionally yoked to responsibility, and what is the the LLC but a device for diluting responsibility unto oblivion? Its reason for being is precisely the limitation of liability for the people it benefits. In today's practice this means the virual elimination of accountability, a virual diplomatic immunity from prosecution, and even, more and more, from litigation.

So, what is the corporation but a sort of Golem in the legal world, a living thing made up of dead abstractions? Just like any of us, it has an agenda (even a "mission"), rights, property, privacy, and, far more than most of us, a say in the government which in theory regulates it; but the corporation has no conscience, and seeks always to limit its accountability. Freed from accountability, the Golem has absolute power. Benevolence does not ensue.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Misanthropic Miscellany

Look closely here; it's a tattoo. One of many, and not the most egregrious, to be found here. You've been warned.

In an unrelated matter, Spencer Ackerman, late of Josh Marshall's burgeoning media empire, does a pretty good trashing, in his private blog, of the upcoming book by Jonah Goldberg (who makes the Two Minutes Hate look... not thorough enough). But he includes this thought-provoking assertion: "To damn American conservatism with faint praise, it ain't Nazism. Only an idiot would say it is." Well, no I suppose it's not Nazism, just as a fetus is not a baby, or perhaps, a mole is not a melanoma. But give it time. It is precisely the same sort of Kleptocracy, and its life force is cruelty, so watch out world. But I guess the rest of the Murdoch-Free world knows this.

Last night I watched Now on PBS. It had a scenic but mildly annoying segment on a proposed wilderness area in Idaho. The subtext seemed to be how laudable it was that the environmentalists and the Dittoheads were working on a compromise that would allow some development and ATV use in the wilderness area. I'm fairly sure those compromising from the left will very soon find themselves "date-raped," a la Grover Norquist. But in any case, the folks who spoke on the segment for ATV access were Exhibit A for the Darwin Award coming America's way: fat, stupid, lazy, complacent, and above all, entitled. Big asteroid, now please.

Finally, Bill Kristol is coming to the New York Times. Yeah sure -- I mean, why not hire a smug rich asshole who's consistently and destructively wrong about nearly everything and a lying sack of shit in the bargain to classy up your editorial pages. Plus of course there's the way he's publicly trashed the people who are about to start paying, and much, much more important, validating him. As the Bushies increasingly impose their bizarro undimensionality on the time/space continuum it becomes harder and harder to even remember what irony was. Things meld into their antonyms. Their naked hostility, in the way these things will, brings about mirroring, so paranoia among their foes becomes simple due diligence. Inside this event horizon it becomes possible, or perhaps even necessary to see the brilliance of Ann Coulter, vis a vis the Grey Lady.

Where's that fucking asteroid?

Old Year Resolutions

I've been somewhat preoccupied lately and so not posting much, but I think I have resolved to blog every day in the next year, if possible, just to see if it drives me a little crazy the way it used too when I wrote my dreams down in a diary every morning for about six months. (This is not a thing I recommend -- seriously.)

But for better or for worse, on a personal note: after a long illness my mother slipped recently, preferring at last the devil she didn’t know to the medical devils she did.

Not surprisingly, I seized upon the occasion as a chance to listen to myself speak to a captive audience, swooping down on the eulogy spot like the cat on a cockroach. I failed to consider in advance how likely I would be, when at the podium, to turn into a sobbing mess. (True – I should have remembered this from my days in academia.) At the chapel I sat in the front row, waiting for my turn to speak, my composure crumbling like a sandcastle. But at the last minute fate flew to my rescue. Friends of my sister had sent a small bouquet of flowers which ended up by the head of the open casket. By and by, I focused blearily on the lettering along its pendant silver ribbon. Clearly, the authors had intended something more maternal, but had anchored the wrong end of the ribbon to the vase, so, like a cartoon caption, it clearly attributed to Mom the expression, “WOW.”

When the time came to speak, I began by pointing this out to the assembly: “I hope this accurately depicts her sentiments in the matter,” and things proceeded relatively smoothly from there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kampus Konservatives R Kool.

Increasingly, it seems that the Republican party has devolved into a catch-basin for the nation’s sociopaths, either that or a sort of life-coach, cult-marketing group for the sociopathic style. One strong mark of this is the way its core white males, near frenzied with ressentiment, allow their despotic sense of entitlement to go supernova; not satisfied with the relatively fine hand history has dealt them, and constitutionally incapable of owning their self-authored discontents, they want, as the philosopher Mick Jagger put it, “everything in the world you can possibly imagine,” including, or even especially, a claim of victimhood. For example: Francisco Nava, who until recently was on track to granduate from Princeton in '09. He's apparently a right-wing anti-sex activist. His recent whack-job jeremiad against Princeton's free condom program didn't really get him the attention he wanted, but he he claimed it had gotten him assaulted by black-masked liberals. Bret Hume went on Pox News to decry the injustice of this attack, not bothering to note the news that Nava had confessed to faking the whole thing.
Nava is at the undergraddy twit end of the campus crybaby spectrum. Coming soon, the faculty version.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Values Party

A Republican in government is like a pedophile in kindergarten. The Wisdom of the Free Market tells him, "Go wild!"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Oval Office Circle Jerk

Mission Accomplished

What sanctimonious wet-dream ecstasies must have been
that September, when they realized the freak which had
stunned the country would let them get away with everything,
like date-rapes perpetrated in a frat-house crapulous blackout.
The pusillanimous press would instantly, retroactively forget,
(not only no longer knowing, now knowing nobody knows)
forget Florida, forget the Pet Goat Moment, the impostor’s
obvious mediocrity. How certain we can be of Oval Office
circle-jerks, the innermost ring trading verbal high fives,
the ugly struggle of their dime-store minds and shop-clerk
courage to find expressions commensurate with their
imagined gravitas. Imagine the manslaughtering laughter
at their manifold slanders of much better men than them.
With what pluperfect power-drunk smugness did they find
signs of destiny made manifest in highly intelligent design,
find the time ripe to completely sweep away feeble decency
and obsolete law, to bugle in triumph of Mighty Righteousness.