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Choosing Media Sources


I keep seeing people on the Kool-aid blogs get their knickers twisted because a negative story about Obama comes from an allegedly “right-wing” source.  If someone here refers to such a story (even if it was done to support a minor point or something trivial like the weather) the PUMAS-obsessed blogstalkers freak-out and say something like “ZOMG!  How can they believe anything those lying wingnut fucksticks say?  They’re either braindead morons or a Republican ratfuckers!”

According to the Kool-aid  chugging haters anything that comes from someone they consider right-wing is an automatic lie and renders any post that refers to an alleged right-wing source (other than to denounce it) null and void ab initio.  This saves them the time of doing any real analysis or providing contrary evidence.  Of course they consider a right-wing source to pretty much be anyone who doesn’t have chapped lips and a close-up view of the Presidential sphincter.

First  of all I would like to point out that contrary to popular belief there is no “liberal media.”  If you want proof all you have to do is look at the conduct of the “liberal” New York Times in the run-up to the Iraq invasion and relating to the outing of Valerie Plame.  With one or two exceptions the only real liberals in the media these days are some underpaid and underappreciated bloggers, and they’re pretty limited in their information gathering abilities because they blew their research budgets on stuff like food and shelter.

There is a “pro-Obama” media that is supposedly liberal except they don’t like any actual liberal programs, policies or politicians.  (They sure do like Obama though.)  This group is exemplified by the morons at MSNBC.  They not only refused to give any real scrutiny to Obama, his friends and associates or any of the shenanigans that occurred during last year’s primary campaign, but they actively supported Obama and helped tear down his opponents.

As Hillary supporters learned early last year, for news and information about Obama that is objective or even negative, the only option is often media that leans to the right.  FOX News’ coverage of the Democratic primary wasn’t so much supportive of Hillary as it was equally critical of both candidates, which of course the haters call “biased.”

I also want to point out that all right-wing media is not created equal.  There are otherwise respectable news organizations that have a conservative ideology, and then there are bloviating gasbags like Rush Limbaugh that have as much to do with news reporting as I have with sobriety.  But even sources like the National Enquirer can be accurate – just ask John Edwards.

As I mentioned earlier there really are a few genuine liberals in the media.  Bob Somerbyis one, but the most prominent is probably Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman (who is quoted here at The Confluence with approval on a frequent basis.)  So how do you think the sippy-kup kidz of the Kool-aid kingdom responded to this?:

090328_newsweek_coverA stark image of Paul Krugman, the bearded New York Times op-ed columnist and Princeton economist, appears on the cover of next week’s Newsweek, with the headline “OBAMA IS WRONG: The Loyal Opposition of Paul Krugman.”

Krugman, who won the Nobel Prize in economics last fall, has been arguing that Obama is doing too little to respond to threats to the nation’s banking and economic system, and he has contended that the $787 billion stimulus bill should have been bigger.

Krugman personifies a conundrum for Obama: He has to cope with complaints from the political left, as well as the more predictable opposition of the right.


They must have been happy to see the Shrill One getting attention, right?  I’ll give you a hint – here’s a quote from regular at an unnamed Obot blog:

Krugman will simply weaken the actual left by giving cover for the Blue Dogs. it doesn’t matter if Krugman is attacking from the left or from the right, he gives credence to the idea that “even the left thinks Obama is wrong.”

Krugman seems more and more like an ideologue who has no clue about how politics works and doesn’t care.

See kids?  This is your brain on Kool-aid.  Just say No!


Here’s the link to Newsweek

Read any good books lately?: Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies

I bought this book based on a review by Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air a couple of weeks ago. For what it’s worth, Maureen was wrong about her review in many respects but she’s right about its readability. I can’t put it down.

Happens Every Day is a memoir by Isabel Gillies of the time she spent in Oberlin, Ohio with her husband, a newly appointed professor of English. It details the breakup of her marriage that occurs when her husband, called Josiah in the book but in real life DeSales Harrison, leaves her for a colleague.

Gillies is intimate and unsparing in her story telling. Ironically, she is especially hard on herself. One gets the impression that Gillies feels life very intensely. She is passionate, stormy, open, friendly, unabashedly liberal, self-deprecating and keeps none of these feelings to herself. Maybe it has to do with the fact that she is a professional actress who has had a recurring role on one of Law and Order’s shows, as well as movies. And maybe those are the qualities that drew Josiah to her in the first place.

They had a tempestuous, passionate love affair and then marriage that produced two boys, who are toddlers when the story begins. When it comes to marrying Josiah, she should have known better, and she confesses as much in the book: Josiah left his first wife when she was pregnant to pursue an affair with another woman (not Gillies). A year after the birth of their first son, Isabel notices that Josiah starts wandering the house with a book in his hands and rarely looks up after that.

But the thing I find fascinating about this book is Gillies sharp critique of Oberlin and its insular academic community. It begins to feel like some kind of George Sands, Franz Liszt travelling commune after awhile. Everyone is smart. Everyone is seeking some kind of self-actualization. Everyone is incredibly immature in the way they trample on the feelings of those not in the group. There’s a subtle mockery of Gillies by the academic friends and colleagues of her husband. She doesn’t quite measure up. She gets excluded. Her family pedigree may say DAR but it doesn’t come on a parchment from Princeton. Therefore, she is expendable. At the end, she constructs a perfect metaphor for the faculty looking down on her that forces her to reclaim her dignity.

Now, Gillies doesn’t quite come out and say all of this but that is the beauty of this book. There is a point in the story where you get the impression that she’s thinking. “Am I crazy to be thinking the whole town is turning against me here?” Um, no, Isabel, you weren’t crazy. Sure, there is a certain amount of group personality going on where everyone else identifies with a sort of trial by fire in graduate school that the rest of us can only observe. But the way Gillies relates the story, one can only conclude that she was deemed an inconvenient woman by her husband’s inner circle and was subsequently dumped by all of them.

At points during the story, I want to shake this girl and slap her for some of the dumbass ways she handled things. She was entirely too willing to take the blame for Josiah’s early reticence, followed by his open contempt. I suspect that the truth is that Josiah, the poetry expert, knows infatuation very well but hasn’t got a clue what real love is about.

It’s amusing that this book will get widely read while few people are going to read the dry, intellectual tomes on 20th century poetry and 17th century literature that are the obsession of the nattily attired English Department at Oberlin. The profs seriously underestimated Gillies. She saw through it all and has written a book that anyone can understand.  Yeah, Gillies probably could have used an editor but the truth is that Gillies is a natural, gifted writer.  That’s what makes the story so compelling.  It’s not just the breakup of a marriage.  It’s Gillies’ keen perception of what is really going on.  She doesn’t miss a thing.

In the end, everyone gets what they wanted. Josiah gets his Audrey Hepburn, Oberlin gets rid of the tempest in their teapot and Isabel moves on- very well.

Success is the best revenge.

Saturday: Beautiful Things

Early Spring in Neshanic, NJ by local artist Joe Kazimierczyk

Early Spring in Neshanic, NJ by local artist Joe Kazimierczyk

Yesterday on my way to the fitness center, I passed under the branches of some large cherry trees at my worksite and noticed that they are starting to get buds on them. The transition from winter to spring has been slower than normal in NJ this year, making me momentarily question the conventional wisdom about global warming. We should have forsythia unfurling right about now. I expect it will happen within the next week. Some people like the seasons; I prefer climate. But I’m stuck in NJ so I’ll take what I can get.

This morning, I thought I’d step out of the Banzai Pipeline of political, economic and international turmoil that is bearing down on us and enjoy the beauty of the season. It’s a cloudy day in NJ, a perfect day to clean out the clutter and nestle on the sofa with a cup of hot lemon maté and a stack of seed catalogues and shelter magazines.  Two of my new favorite blogs, Design*Sponge and Remodelista are perfect for days like this.  This week’s Design*Sponge featured the house and kitchen of my dreams as well as recipes for a perfect spring brunch.

In the meantime, I’ve been spending 4 days a week at the fitness center, running, spinning and lifiting weights until my whole body feels like it’s coming apart at the seams.  It’s part of a fitness initiative and I’m on a team with 3 other people.  I can’t let the team down.  There are about 800 of us at 3 sites participating in this competition with some nice prizes in store for individual and team winners.  But, man, am I beat by the end of the day.  It’s about all I can do to eat my skimpy dinner and watch a little Star Trek before I crash.  Still, it will be worth it if I can see my cheekbones again by June when the competition ends.

So, for today, I’m going to catch up on the domestic scene, look for more budding plants and smell the earth.

Here’s a poem from ee cummings, one of the BFF’s favorite poets:

a)s w(e loo)k
S         a
rIvInG .gRrEaPsPhOs)

Welcome Spring!

A Song About My Peeps

Today’s lunatic fringe is tomorrow’s mainstream.

This is an open thread.