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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Who is Christian Lander? He is the the reason for the rant, the hero of American d-baggery in 2008, a beacon to those feeling lost in a sea of Obamamania.

Most commentators in the press incorrectly tag Lander (or as I affectionately call him, Chandler) as a satirist. Satire (as opposed to, say, polemic) seeks to correct people’s vices and follies by getting them to laugh at themselves. You might think that Lander’s send-up of “white people” practices like worrying whether or not a couple is compatible based on shared literary tastes, or gathering socially to play “kids games” is proof that he is writing satires of people who have more money than sense. Making fun of rich people who are socially awkward has a long and venerable tradition reaching back to ancient times. From Mennipius to Juvenal, to Dryden and Swift, to The Onion, making fun of people who confuse their wealth with their personal worth has an honored place in our culture. If he were a satirist it would make him a traditional moral conservative, someone who believes that foudational values like modesty, charity, honesty, justice, temperance, patience, courage and fortitude are being corrupted by selfishness, laziness, smug complacency, and a falsely inflated sense of self-worth (also known as pride).

But is Lander a moral conservative? No. He is a movement conservative. What’s the difference?

Where true social conservatives decry deteriorating morals, movement conservatives in the past half century have reconceptualized values (making them “values”) in an attempt to fuse free-market ideology with more traditional d-bag philosophy. Then they give it ideological cover by claiming their greed, fear, and pride is really thrift, prudence, and pluck. By making greed a virtue and power an end in itself they reject traditional conservatism for a revolutionary critique of traditional morals. Being modest, kind, honest, just and temperate becomes a sign of weakness. Being skeptical is spun as indecision and lack of spine. They gave up dispassionate critical thinking for revolutionary zeal. When moral conservatives became movement conservatives they morphed into the very thing they used to hate.

Lander himself is a paradigm of this kind of d-baggery. Leaving the sangfroid of his native Canada for greener ideological pastures in the United States, Lander found himself in a graduate program in English at Indiana University. There he realized his intellectual gifts were modest at best, and being a movement conservative he considered this someone else’s fault. (Conservatives are big on self-reliance — in others.) Having more sense than some other disaffected d-bags (VA Tech, etc.) he decided not to invest in AKs and Glocks, but rather to invest in a menial, low-paying job in Southern California, one that gave him enough free time to pursue his interests: fantasy football, getting turned down by girls, eating Taco Bell, blogging, and being a complete douche. The anti-intellectualism of his writing is covered with the emotional scars of being too dumb to compete with smart people.

It was easy for Lander to find a voice for his d-baggery: It was developed for him by his spiritual forebears from Irving Kristol to David Brooks. And it didn’t hurt that his sullen, resentful temperament and self-loathing alienation resonate with d-bags all over the English speaking world, who think they are twice as smart as they are and three times smarter than everyone else. Being vicious, voyeuristic and smugly superior to the culture that produced you is de rigueur for d-bags, so Lander only had to speak from the heart to express the Britney/Paris, reality TV, fake-tits-and-porn, post-racial, globalized worldview and its critique of “inauthentic” (i.e. European high) culture.

But the key to his success with Stuff White People Like is the fact that Chandler does not identify as “white” — though his skin tone appears to say otherwise. Being a fan of power for its own sake and worshipping in the Cult of Masculinity (that is, loving anything corporate no matter how bad it is, thinking war is fun, and idolizing sports figures as heroes though they may be the biggest sociopaths on earth) is a trait common to all d-bags from all races and nations. But it’s the hypocrisy of pride endemic to people who believe they come from an ancient and venerable people but who have in fact been colonized and treated as outsiders for so long that they are self-loathing that separates the movement conservative from your average knuckle-dragging jerk. Who are these people? In the United States, these are off-white d-bags: Asians (Chinese especially, but also Filipinos, Koreans), Jews, Indians (from India — not “Native Americans”) — basically anyone who comes from a place where England planted a colony.

Racist discourse (like fascist discourse) relies on myths of purity, authenticity, and priority. “White” Americans are not just rich and foolish, their culture isn’t as old or pure as the cultures of off-white d-bags.  “White” Americans don’t know if they come from a colonizing people (didn’t the Germans rape the Congo?) and therefore they repudiate their past, which makes them posterior and inauthentic. And worst of all in the eyes of a d-bag, they still have the power — the skin privileges — their colonizing forebears worked so hard to bequeath them, but they just don’t seem to appreciate it. And this, in a d-bag’s eyes, is the greatest sin imaginable, because a d-bag wants that power so badly they can taste it, but they still don’t feel like they have it. And so a d-bag like Chandler will do everything in his power to belittle those more powerful than himself, but not from a noble impulse to correct human vices. Chandler is really just a hater.

Why is Chandler’s racism particularly dangerous in 2008? As Charles Blow points out, racism is very much alive in the minds of voters this year. Stuff White People Like tells us if you are non-white you have the right to be as racist, intolerant, and supremacist as any conservative WASP redneck shooting up churches in Tennessee. It’s time to call a shvartser a shvartser. Chandler is telling you it’s OK to hate your enemies based on the color of their skin — especially if they’re “white”.

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If you are ever invited to a d-bag’s house, you will probably hear the television in the background playing Fox News or maybe CNN. This is because d-bags live on a twenty-four hour news cycle. News, weather, sports, and commentary are the lifeblood that rushes through a d-bag’s veins. When in the car, the d-bag always has on the radio tuned to Fox if possible or any other A.M. equivalent. D-bags like to be up on current events. When a d-bag gets to work, he gets a cup of coffee, fires up his computer, and opens his web browser. He navigates to Fox News or CNN, or, also likely, to WordPress.com to see what other d-bags are ranting about today. If it’s a slow day for news he might check out some tags — sex, sexo, tits, porn, teen, Britney, Jospeh Fritzl, or “whitey“.

Top stories for d-bags include girls hit by lightning who win the lottery the next day, kid-friendly sex shops in New York City, and female interns planted by Democrats in the White House to seduce Bush into a Lewinsky-esque affair. For a d-bag truth is not nearly as important as plausibility, and for a d-bag plausibility comes not from common sense but from rumor. One curious effect of this phenomenon is the “echo effect” created by many d-bag news outlets. Facilitated by the twenty-four hour news cycle, d-bags will repeat a rumor or an implausible and blatant falsehood over and over again until it becomes true. This was the case for the war in Iraq (WMDs), John Kerry’s service in Vietnam, and most recently Scott McClellan’s early onset of senility.

The best way to influence the thinking of a d-bag is to set up a blog, use an avatar that looks like either a Baptist minister or a Muppet, and email your paranoid delusions every day to Matt Drudge, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Christian Broadcast Network. Pretty soon you will have convinced all other American d-bags that environmentalists hate freedom, political correctness only happens on the Left, and that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ.

This set-up is beneficial for d-bags in two complimentary ways. First, it allows d-bags to avoid critical thinking, which is not only complicated and frustrating, it may also reveal to a d-bag the contradictions in his belief system leading to “cognitive dissonance”. Second, it allows a d-bag to think that he is, in fact, a critical thinker, when he has merely substituted denial for skepticism.

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We here at SWDBL want to acknowledge and reward exemplary d-bags for their contributions to the art and science of d-baggery. The key doctrine of d-baggery, “I deserve it,” must be constantly re-interpreted by d-bags great and small in order to set precedents for other d-bags to follow. Today the editors at SWDBL would like to acknowledge a bold intervention in d-bag philosophy by William Kristol in The White People Times today. Mister Kristol’s treatise demonstrates in every respect what d-bag writing should be. It is intentionally bland to promote its disingenuousness; it is awkward, stilted and wooden in its prose; and its hypocrisy shows an admirable d-bag contempt for the intelligence of his readers.

“I deserve it” is a principled statement of privilege. It means, “I shouldn’t have to work for it,” “You owe it to me,” and “How dare you question my authority.” Though a legitimate authority (one that has earned authority by demonstrating justice, temperance, stableness, perseverance, courage, and fortitude — but more importantly, one that recognizes the reciprocity inherent in authority) may speak of duty or obligation, a d-bag (often through ignorance, pride, and natural viciousness) asserts obligation in order to get one over on people who he wishes to swindle rather than serve or advise. The target of Mr. Kristol’s swindle are the supposedly liberal readers of the New York Times who are too credulous to think a man with a ghoulish smile like Kristol’s would be allowed to lie in the newspaper of national record.

The topic of Mr. Kristol’s intervention is Barack Obama’s commencement address at Wesleyan University. Kristol accuses Obama of hypocrisy saying “Obama failed to challenge — even gently — what he must have assumed would be the prejudices of much of his audience and indulged in a soft patriotism of low expectations.” That is, when Mr. Obama spoke of “public service” he completely neglected to mention serving in the military (which in May 2008 means fighting a neocon war in Iraq) because the rich, pampered white kids in Connecticut are too liberal and effete to perform the manly duty of remaking the world for democracy.

Mr. Kristol, the son of nationally prominent conservative intellectual Irving Kristol, graduated in 1970 from The Collegiate School, an elite preparatory school for boys located in Manhattan, but rather than volunteering for service in Vietnam he chose to go to Harvard College where in 1973 he received his bachelor of arts. Rather than serve his country by volunteering for military service in Vietnam (the conflict lasted another two years after his graduation) He went on to do doctoral  work in politics at Harvard where he received a Ph.D. in government in 1979. At that point, being too old (in his opinion) to do the menial labor of dying for the flag, Mr. Kristol advocated war for other people’s children from the elite, pampered safety of his Ivy League job at U. Penn.

Mr. Kristol has been a consistent hypocrite and advocate of a strong military and aggressive foreign policy ever since, founding with Robert Kagan the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which brought us the current fiasco in Iraq. His smug disdain for the welfare of others and devaluation of intellectual endeavor by perverting the quest for knowledge into a self-serving lie has earned him our d-bag of the day award!

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This one actually takes a minute of brain power, ’cause it’s a little counter-intuitive. Why would a d-bag like — even love — Iran? There are so many things to dislike about the place. It’s full of Muslims. It is a spoke on the Axis of Evil. It embarrassed the Carter administration and helped get Reagan elected president. Ok, that’s not so bad. In fact, this line of thinking is why d-bags, in their secret heart of hearts love Iran. Without Iran there would be no excuse for a d-bag to interrupt polite dinner conversation so he can scream, red-faced, about liberal appeasers, Hitler, and the essentially Satanic nature of government services like socialized medicine, effective disaster relief, and paved roads. Iran is hard proof that Evil (notice the capital “e”) exists and that it will use our weakness and lack of respect for authority to contaminate us and taint our purity. It is the Beast of Revelations that calls us forth to battle gloriously for the one, true God.

I bet you’re like, Chunque, that rhetoric is soooooo first Bush II term. No one says that kind of thing in public anymore. Maybe not. But just because saber rattling has gone out of style doesn’t mean Iran as a justification for d-bag politics has gone away! Check out these articles from Fox News, Reuters, and even the New York Times. That’s the “mainstream” media (the same d-bags who sold us Saddam’s WMDs). This article by d-bag philosopher Peter Wehner in the latest issue of Commentarymagazine.com tells us as clearly as possible that “if Iran succeeds in its efforts to gain nuclear weapons, it could bring forth ruin on an unimaginable scale.” Mr. Wehner, in a heartfelt attempt to resist exaggeration and false analogy tell us “The Hitler analogy is overused these days. But from time to time it can be instructive.” Indeed. It is also instructive when talking about Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il, and even Barack Obama (playing the role of Neville Chamberlain). You say, even Pat Buchanan says the Hitler gambit is played out and misleading. Maybe so, but that didn’t stop the POTUS from using it last month to slam the opposition.

Part of what makes a d-bag is their sense of self-worth and importance, which is completely out of proportion to reality. This is why d-bags are so fond of eschatology, or the science of apocalypse, a. k. a. the End Times or Last Days. (Seriously, check that link out!) If you live at the End of History you must be living in the most exciting — and important — time there can be! You might even be the one who rises from obscurity to save the unbelieving world from total annihilation — or better yet, perhaps you will lead the saints to the New Jerusalem! And the road to Jerusalem leads right through downtown Tehran. That many d-bags urge action against Iran because of Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic beliefs is almost too ironic. You can’t make this stuff up! For Wehner to say “Ahmadinejad’s policies are driven by his religious worldview” with a straight face is more laughs than an episode of “My Name Is Earl”! Fortunately for the evangelical sort of d-bag (Jewish, Christian and Muslim) history isn’t ending any time soon, but there will still be lots of Anti-Christs around to provide a justification for d-baggery. As the A-number-1 d-bag of the twentieth century said in his seminal primer of contemporary d-baggery:

“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” — A. Hitler.

P.S. For fun substitute “Muslim” for “Jew” in the passage above and see how familiar it feels!

 

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To be successful a d-bag needs to demonstrate power without having to continually prove it. Sometimes this means establishing a reputation for violence and unpredictability and occasionally finding some pussy-ass sucker at an appropriate moment to show your pals you’re not losing it.

Whadda you lookin\' at? This is the type of d-bag played by Joe Pesci in most of Martin Scorsese’s movies. D-bags want to recognize this type as the paradigm of d-baggery, because this person is legitimately scary (and unquestionably a d-bag). If, however, we analyze the population of d-bags, a different picture emerges from the data. The evidence suggests that many d-bags are not completely liberated from their fear of reprisal, though this is in the mind of a d-bag a sign that one is a pussy. What’s the point of being a d-bag if have to care what other people think? But unfortunately for d-bags society at large still seeks to marginalize or neutralize these individuals, either through social ostracization, imprisonment or death. It is evident then that the “Tommy Devito” d-bag is a myth rather than commonly occuring type.

Why does the space between the myth of violence and the reality of fear of reprisal not cause cognitive dissonance that might adversely affect a d-bag’s self-image? In the first place, the Tommy Devito myth allows a d-bag to imagine (pretend?) that if they were in a similar situation they too could command the ruthless violence and cool disdain for others characteristic of a “gangsta” even though this is far from the truth. In the second place, this myth is a piece of cultural work that allows d-bags to shape perceptions of themselves without having to offer proof. All the proof they need is in the movies and on TV. Wear the right clothes (bling), use the right terminology, smoke the right cigars, and you have acquired sufficient proof of belonging to the club of d-bags whose violence hangs like acrid smoke over the rest of human society.

D-bags are so often used to getting what they want without having to prove they are violent (because it has been proven in a thousand cultural productions) that they sometimes forget themselves and make a revealing blunder, which can lead to ostracization. For example, Mike Huckabee’s recent joke about Barak Obama being assassinated. Ditto Hillary Clinton. Sadly, the lesson a d-bag might take away from these blunders — don’t make threats or promises you can’t keep — runs counter to the very core philosophy of d-baggery. If “I deserve it”, I shouldn’t have to work for it. And backing up thinly veiled threats of violence with real strength requires work.

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(CNN) – During a speech before the National Rifle Association convention Friday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee — who has endorsed presumptive GOP nominee John McCain — joked that an unexpected offstage noise was Democrat Barack Obama looking to avoid a gunman.

“That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he’s getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

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It’s a presidential election year, and to d-bags that means party time!!! Our featured d-bag for today is Mike Norman, a sixty-three-year-old d-bag from Marietta, Georgia — a little town just outside of Atlanta.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, “The T-shirts are being peddled by … Norman at his Mulligan’s Bar and Grill in Cobb County. They show a picture of Curious Georgie peeling a banana, with the words ‘Obama ’08’ underneath.”

Whereas some, notably white people, are offended by by this and are protesting, Mike’s defenders make clear that he is only a d-bag, which is not only not a crime — it’s a positive asset! Notice in the following excerpt from the AJC article how d-baggery is portrayed and valorized. Here are some clues:

  • Being a d-bag is an honest response to Obama, as opposed to racially sensitive whites who are false and dishonest.
  • D-bags are “real” because they engage in dangerous and callousing activities — like smoking — that test their stamina and masculinity.
  • D-bags are sweet parents who take care of their families by teaching them core values — like degrading others as a means of improving one’s own self-image.
  • D-bags have been granted the right to inflame hatred and pick fights, either by Nature or God.
  • D-bags love tools — maybe because they resemble them.

“But his [i.e. Norman’s] defenders are just as resolute [as his detractors]. Mulligan’s is a refuge, they say, in an otherwise hypersensitive world. Smoking isn’t only allowed at the bar, it’s expected.

“‘This place is a diamond in the rough,’ said Gene McKinley, a Woodstock engineer among the patrons Tuesday. ‘People here are genuine and honest. It’s the one place I can go without having to worry if I’m offending someone.'”

“He said he noted physical similarities between the Democratic front runner and the cartoon monkey while watching a Curious George movie with his grandchildren.

“The Tennessee native said he’s providing a public service of sorts, reminding people they have a right to offend.”

“‘This is my marketing tool,’ he said.”

Congratulations Mike, you are our d-bag of the day!

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