Category Archives: Pop-Culture

UPDATE II: Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism (‘PC Demands Deadly Seriousness’)

Celebrity, Communism, Political Correctness, Pop-Culture, Propaganda, The Zeitgeist

“Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism” is now on WND. An excerpt:

WARNING: If you suffer from spineless conformity; a deformation of the personality often euphemized as political correctness—quit reading this column, NOW!

If you don’t quite know whether you are thus afflicted, ask yourself this: “Do I police what people say for political propriety? To the extent that I seek it out, do I scrutinize great literature, music, art, television or comedy for signs of so-called sexism, racism, elitism, homophobia, antisemitism and meanness? Am I incapable of appreciating a superbly written script or book; a sublime painting or symphony; a smart stand-up routine, if only because the material and its creator violate the received laws of political correctness?

Still unsure if you belong to the tyrannical, joyless tradition of cultural Marxism, read on. In the event that you convulse with laughter, give yourself a clean bill of health. If you foam at the mouth, fit to be tied, go away. And stay away.

Women who should make themselves scarce but won’t are the prototypical, inquisitor-cum-anchors plaguing leftist “news” networks. Acting anchor-enforcer for Fourth of July was CNN’s unremarkable Fredricka Whitfield. Fredricka What’sHerName’s would have left behind a sustained program of non-achievement. No longer. Henceforth, her claim to fame is that she attempted to re-educate an iconic comedienne, Joan Rivers.

Since cultural Marxists police speech for propriety, if not consciously, then reflexively, they will take pains to stigmatize and isolate those who violate standards set by the PC set. The term re-education is associated with this totalitarianism. It has been used in the context of both brainwashing as well as “reformation” induced in labor camps.

Through a series of loaded, snide taunts, coupled with unhinged body language, the prissy preachy Fredricka set about reeducating her featured guest about the rules of conduct in the post-personality era. “You shall not be mean” (*except to all men and all conservatives and authentic contrarians) is the latest monomania to grip the politically correct.

Alas, as the object of her pelting, Fredricka the fundamentalist was foolish enough to target the wrong funny lady. Rivers is too old and too independent for “rehabilitation.” …

Read the complete column. “Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism” is now on WND.

Our German readers can now follow this column and other worthy writers in the JUNGE FREIHEIT, a weekly newspaper of excellence.

Editors wishing to feature the “Return to Reason” column in their publications, pixel or paper, please contact Bookings@ilanamercer.com. Or, ilana@ilanamercer.com

UPDATE I (7/13): Writes my mom:

“I so enjoyed your article defending that great American satirist: in bone and blood Joan Rivers is a satirist. In intelligence and wit and comedy she’s far above others, she is a great. Outrageous, I love her.

UPDATE II (7/14): Jack Kerwick has a lovely column on same topic. A quote: “For certain, much of life demands seriousness, but our culture’s prevailing zeitgeist—what we commonly refer to as ‘Political Correctness’ (PC)—demands not seriousness, but deadly seriousness. … Contrary to the conventional wisdom, racial, ethnic, and religious ‘stereotypes’ are most decidedly not fictions sprung from thin air. They reflect enduring patterns among a significant number of a group’s members—even if (as is almost always the case) it is only a significant minority. When these stereotypes reflect positively on a group, all is good. When they are negative, though, there is no end to the inter-group conflict that they can so easily fuel. …”


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Is Israel Weak For Negotiating To Free Prisoners Of War?

Family, Israel, Military, Pop-Culture, Terrorism, War

While the specter of the parents of returning POW Bowe Bergdahl babbling, sobbing and conveying encoded, incoherent messages to their son on national TV was inappropriate and undignified (although not atypical of the pornography of public grief in this country)—the fact that the soldier’s government has worked to get him released from Taliban captivity is entirely appropriate. It’s a good thing that, as Reuters reports, “Army Sergeant Bergdahl, held for nearly five years in Afghanistan, was freed in a deal with the Taliban brokered by the Qatari government. Five Taliban militants, described by Senator John McCain as the ‘hardest of the hard core,’ were released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and flown to Qatar.”

But not if you ask the usual suspects.

Nothing much has changed since, in 2004, the neoconservatives at National Review had “grumbled about Israel’s ‘lopsided prisoner exchanges’ over the years. One ‘sofa samurai,’ … noted the startling disparity of exchanging 5,500 Egyptian soldiers, following the Sinai campaign of 1956, ‘for the lives of the four Israeli soldiers captured in the fighting,’ and over 8,000 Egyptians, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in exchange for 240 Israeli soldiers.”

When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon released 430 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in exchange for three dead Israelis and one live one, people worried, and for good reason. Many of the prisoners were said to be very dangerous men. The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would probably have supported the Sharon swap. According to Dr. Ganor, Rabin said categorically that when military action to free hostages is not possible, ‘real negotiations should be held.’…

… President Bush sat bone idle, never lifting a bloodstained finger to haggle for his countrymen beheaded … Abandoning hostages as the Bush administration did as a matter of ‘principle’ is … not an option, at least not an ethical one. President Bush bears the mark of Cain for looking on as Americans continue to be butchered. …” (“AFTER THEIR HEADS ROLL, AMERICA’S DEAD REMAIN FACELESS”)

“Bergdahl was flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for medical treatment,” reports Reuters. “After receiving care he would be transferred to another facility in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. defense officials said, without giving a date for his return to the United States.”

MORE.


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UPDATED: A Shrub Between Two Ferns (Galifianakis: A Good Kind Of Goofy)

Barack Obama, Bush, Healthcare, Pop-Culture

The Shrub, aka George Bush, stool apart. Plant life, however, frames Barack Obama just as well. Zach Galifianakis is host of “Funny Or Die” and “Between Two Ferns.” Here Galifianakis lets Barack Obama drone on, “Between Two Ferns,” about “that thing that doesn’t work.”

Facebook Friends didn’t. They do not appreciate off-beat, “awkward humor.”


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Confused About The Subjective Theory Of Value Vs. Objective Standards (+ Some Laughs)

libertarianism, Music, Objectivism, Political Economy, Pop-Culture

At last. Someone with a funny bone (and a healthy IQ). “Best laughs of the month,” writes Jim Ostrowski about “Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad And The Beastly.” It was also nice to hear from Jim that “CPUKE” made him pack-up laughing—this long time activist, lawyer and author for liberty deserves a good laugh.

On the other hand, on EPJ, “Hollywood: The No-Good, The Bad And The Beastly” has stimulated an interesting, if distressing, thread. Increasingly, I get why my pal Vox Day quit (and he was way more sombre than I; my writing is consistently funny.)

No cause for laughter is this to-and-fro:

Anonymous March 7, 2014 at 12:51 PM:

Sometimes a person can be too critical when giving a negative opinion it comes off as just an irritating screed. A screed that longs for the past that’s not coming back – it’s over, gone, no more – so get over it. Today’s art may not be what it should be, but I bet if and once deflation kicks in art will return to what it ought to be.

The reason why kids now days don’t read certain books but the Hunger Games is because those books (ie. Chekhov) are boring and don’t really line up with today’s issues. Well, they are. And, the author of Hunger Games is a she.

Reply
ILANA MERCER March 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM
:

I should have guessed “Hungers Games” was “written” by a girl (although, don’t discriminate, carriers of the Y Chromosome can too be girls if they want to). Could Anon’s impoverished imagination (Chekhov is not for kids and was referenced as “heavy,” not necessarily enjoyable) be a consequence of utter lack of familiarity with the greatest, most exciting books ever? Classics for kids and young adults? Are you kidding me? “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” will never match gripping, culturally and historically richly textured, well-written stuff (so good for real boys) like: Ivanhoe, The Count of Monte Cristo, Treasure Island, Arabian Nights, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Last of the Mohicans, Les Misérables, Around the World in Eighty Days, Black Stallion, Wuthering Heights, Kiss Kiss, and even The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. Problem is Anon has been brought up to revel in ignorance. You are perfect just they way you are. Kids nowadays don’t read b/c they’ve been told, like Anon, that they don’t need to—nothing much to learn from the great masters.

Reply
Tony March 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM
:

What i liked as a child was considered mostly crap by the elderly. And what the youths of today like i consider to be mostly crap. 30 years from now the youths will wonder how anyone other than geriatrics could possibly like Beyonce, Pharrell Williams or Rihanna.
Tastes generally remain stagnant on what we’re used to. Because of this subjective opinion and feelings of nostalgia i don’t really think it is possible to judge which is “better”.

Having said that, i am getting borderline depressed about what goes for “great movies” or “good music” these days. I don’t bother watching the Academy Awards anymore, since it has turned into a liberal self-congratulatory smugfest (with matching “best movie” nominees) so thick it raises ocean levels a yard ever year.

Reply
ILANA MERCER March 7, 2014
:

Actually, Tony, the value each consumer places on consumer goods in the marketplace is subject. But the Subjective Theory of Value should not be confused with objective standards that determine the quality of cultural products. It’s pretty distressing to realize that libertarians confuse the two concepts and that cultural, intellectual and moral equivalence pervades our thinking as much as it does that of mainstream. To wit, applying objective, universal criteria (complexity, skill, mastery, intricacy, etc.), as the column states, it is objectively and immutably true that “B.B. King is no match for Johann Sebastian Bach.” I’m sure you can think of hundreds of similar examples: You might prefer to purchase one of Toni Morrison’s God-awful tomes, but the objective fact is that she’s no match for Shakespeare.


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Late Night Loser

Celebrity, Gender, Media, Pop-Culture

As you enjoy the musings of Kerry Crowel, do consider a one-time contribution or a regular monthly contribution to Barely A Blog, where we nurture like-minded young talent. (The PayPal buttons are to your right). Posting pieces by new writers means editorial WORK for yours truly. Show your love.

Late Night Loser
By Kerry Crowel

Sadly, late night talker Jimmy Fallon is the perfect specimen of modern Western man: emasculated, silly and willing to break into an embarrassing jig at a moment’s notice.

Since his Tonight-Show takeover, in Feb., this year, Fallon has stuck to the script with his ultra-safe and unfunny monologues; has danced his way through the history of Hip-Hop “music,” and, as if further proof of his buffoonery was needed, waged a lip-sync battle with actor Paul Rudd, covering Tina Turner, Queen and Foreigner.

Apparently this is high humor! Cutting-edge stuff.

But really, what would you expect from the guy who secured his spot as a Saturday Night Live cast member with an impersonation of his idol Adam Sandler? Yes, the same stupid Adam Sandler who at one time commanded $20 million a picture. The same Adam Sandler whose success is not a testimony to his talent, but rather an indictment of society.

Grimacing and making goofy sounds will get you far in show business.

Western culture was dealt a blow in the fifties when kids everywhere were exposed to that lunatic in war paint, Little Richard. How we went from the subtle charm of The Glenn Miller Orchestra to the tribal screams of “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom” is one for the ages.

Soon, the supposed enforcer of past oppressions, the most evil entity to walk the planet, the dreaded white man, most often of the W.A.S.P persuasion, had to atone. When livelihoods are at stake and, more importantly to some, the threat of being labeled an old-fashioned outcast—artistic principles tend to crumble. For proof, all one has to do is tune into a red-carpet event, where, for a living, grown men, giddy as schoolgirls, quiz J-Lo or some other Low, as to which designer she’s wearing .

Perhaps I should clarify my opening statement. Jimmy Fallon represents perfectly the prototypical man of the West whom media like to promote. Nonthreatening, neutered, eager to please all people, and obsequious—as if to acknowledge, if not by his words then by actions, his own deficient coolness quotient (which explains the all-black band, the Legendary Roots Crew).

Like his predecessor, and, hopefully, his replacement Jay Leno, the presence of an all-black band gives the show, in Jay’s own words, a “more urban feel,” never mind that a typical Tonight Show audience is whiter than a farmer’s market in Vermont.

As when a new James Bond movie is released, any talk of The Tonight Show will ultimately revert back to reminiscing about past glories. Over the last twenty years, baby boomers, the most self-important generation ever, have elevated Johnny Carson to near-deity status. Exhibiting no sign of real talent, Carson was nothing more than a failed magician, who morphed into a late-night court jester, often donning drag as Aunt Blabby, and on more than one occasion taking a pie in the face. So, when you think about it, Fallon fits the mold perfectly.

I’m sure he’ll make it in spite of himself; he knows all the right people, kisses all the right rings and says all the right things, which is nothing much at all.

That’s entertainment!

*****

Kerry Crowel is as of yet an unsigned screenwriter with an interest in political and social satire. And will probably get a guest spot on the Tonight Show.


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Jimmy Fallon’s Tomfoolery

America, Celebrity, Pop-Culture, The Zeitgeist

I don’t follow the late-night show intrigue that grips this deeply silly country of ours. I used to enjoy the ousted Jay Leno’s jokes. He seemed good at political satire. But the tomfoolery that has replaced the Leno schtick is something to behold. What does the popularity of this dancing, prancing, giggling metrosexul clown, Jimmy Fallon, say about the stuff that entertains America?

Other than Jerry Seinfeld’s brilliant riff on the child-obsessed grownups of his generation—what unfolded was the equivalent of a whiteface minstrel show, if there is such a thing.

“Jerry Seinfeld Analyzes Modern-Day Parenting,” 4:12 minutes into the exchange:

I am not, you know, a great believer in our style of parenting. … Anybody that has kids now, I just think we’re too into it.
When we were kids, our parents didn’t give a damn about us. They didn’t even know our names.
The bedtime routine for my kids is like this Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semi-circle of emotional support. And I’ve gotta read eight different moron books. You know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness!

Fallon giggles non-stop like a star-struck girl.


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