Category Archives: The Zeitgeist

The Genius of Joan

Human Accomplishment, Left-Liberalism, Political Correctness, Pop-Culture, The Zeitgeist

Granted, they aren’t all lousy comedians, but they have ultimately devolved into consummate, banal leftists. Roseanne Barr[f], Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler: why are these women and their fare being likened to the genius of Joan Rivers?

Via The New York Times:

On Nancy Reagan’s hairdo: “Bulletproof. If they ever combed it, they’d find Jimmy Hoffa.”

On Charlton Heston: “He told us, ‘I got Alzheimer’s.’ Surprise! He’s been wearing his wig sideways for 19 years.”

On Donatella Versace: “That skin! She looks like something you’d hang off your door in Africa.”

On Sandra Bullock’s Bottega Veneta gown at the Golden Globes: “It looked like Prince’s old prom dress.” (And Tina Fey’s Zac Posen: “A decorative toilet seat cover.”)

On Queen Elizabeth II: “Gowns by Helen Keller.” “Nice looking. Not at all like her stamp. Wears her watch over the glove, though — tacky.”

On herself, desperate for a man: “My parents had a sign, ‘Last girl before thruway.’ I’d get an obscene phone call. I’d say, ‘Hold on a minute, let me get a cigarette.’ ”
Continue reading the main story

Nothing was sacred.

On her husband’s suicide: “After Edgar killed himself, I went out to dinner with Melissa. I looked at the menu and said, ‘If Daddy were here to see these prices, he’d kill himself all over again.’ ”

“Joan Rivers: Antidote to PC Totalitarianism.”


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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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Will Microsoft’s New CEO Kill Surface?

Aesthetics, Business, Internet, Technology, The Zeitgeist

Forbes’s Gene Marks contends that Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s New CEO—whom Marks thinks is way cool because, wait for this, Nadella is a “decade younger than his predecessor and looks young for his age”—has effectively killed the Microsoft Surface.

Let me unpack Marks’ “logic”:

Even though The Surface is “a powerful little laptop, lightweight with a Windows 8 touchscreen and a long battery life”; and though this product is “both tablet and laptop and integrates tightly with other Microsoft applications”—Cool-Because-He’s-Young Nadella is to be hailed as brilliant too for sabotaging the future of a magnificent product. It is alleged that Nadella wishes to end Microsoft’s foray into hardware (Surface), and take the company back to the business of software.

“A Windows First policy,” argues Marks, “was the reason behind products like the Surface.”

If, as I understood this terribly hip article, The Surface is more than the software it runs—why reduce the best Tablet in the business to its bits? What about the “Big Idea”?

Not being a techie, I have no idea if Forbes’s Gene Marks is being plain silly, or if silly is the new norm in the media’s tech coverage. I suspect the two are not mutually exclusive. (“A silly society is a youth-obsessed society.” Youth-obsessed U.S is silly.)

In its hipness, the Forbes article reminds me of that grating, pretentious Cisco ad, in which a female with a deceptively soft voice waffles about the Internet of All Things (WTF?!).

But I guess I’m still from the Book Age. Behold a throwback: a wall-to-wall library, or half of it, as I could not get the entire thing in the frame. Sean made this solid maple thing to my mid-century American, Heywood-Wakefield design specs (more):

Bookcase I


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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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UPDATE II: Go Seahawks! (What Are We Doing? Winning!)

America, Drug War, History, Nationhood, Sport, The Zeitgeist

Go Seahawks! Go Richard Sherman; do whatever it is that a cornerback does. Remember: “Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws ‘ducks.’”

I probably botched that one up. What I know about American football is dangerous, other than that it originated in the game of rugby (Go Springboks).

I grew up mostly with basketball and real football—the kind Pelé played with no dog muzzle and some real hot footwork. Nevertheless, I am rooting for my home team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Why? It occurred to me that the football fetish in the US has arisen in the context of a country whose inhabitants share very little other than The Game. The host country’s history and founding documents have been turned into a liability by its educrats. The language has been dumbed down and demoted as the number of non-English-speakers clamoring for official recognition for their respective tongues rises. And the faith that once united those who fought to establish the republic has been banished from the public square and confined to the shopping mall, where adherents shop for God.

I love The Evergreen State. However, bar a few of them, I do not love its inhabitants. I share almost nothing with the pinko statists, except for the Seattle Seahawks, my adopted team.

So go Seahawks!

UPDATE I: (2/1): How could I have forgotten the other vital thing I share with residents of the Evergreen State? My bad. Drug legalization. Stop the drug war. “VICES ARE NOT CRIMES.”

UPDATE II: Anthem sung by a real singer, Renée Fleming, not by the likes of the wailing Beyonce and her booty. Gorgeous. Some real cuties on the respective teams.

We’re winning. Sharon Smith Fox is keeping score on Facebook. She writes, “Yes! and we just scored another touch town! Ilana. The score now is 29 to 0 (our favor) Go Hawks!!”


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The Making Of A Stupid Society

America, Family, Intelligence, The Zeitgeist

A youth-obsessed society is, invariably, a stupid society.

Via Jonah Goldberg: “‘In America,’ Oscar Wilde quipped, ‘the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.’”


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