Links 4 U
- Daniel Kalder: Bolshoi Acid Attack — The Scandal Spreads
- Huffington Post: Google Street View Snaps Photos Of Man Getting Handjob
- Jim Goad: The Selfishness of Virtue
Bringing Home the Freshest Kill
Links 4 U
I’ve been taking some light criticism from friends, loved ones and Twitter because I’m voting for Gary Johnson, the libertarian candidate in this year’s presidential election.
But here’s a chart that arrived in my inbox today from the Libertarian Party that’s worth a glance. Now, take it for what it’s worth — a campaign graphic meant to condense complex ideas into easily consumed news bits. But by all means…do check it out, even if you think Johnson is a fringe candidate or a joke. Weigh Johnson’s various stances against that of your own candidate.
It’s a worthwhile thought experiment, if nothing else.
Pip ho, good friends! It’s Election Year, which means we get to hear from idiots all across the pop culture spectrum.
First up, it’s esteemed political analyst/hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Apparently Russell never got the memo that Joe Biden is one of the architects of the Drug War. In a post defending Biden for another of the Delaware dipshit’s screw-ups, Simmons wrote:
The greatest cause of the destruction of the fabric of the black community in the past forty years is drug legislation that targets and imprisons those who live in under-served communities. The consequences of these draconian laws are that it takes diseased people, locks them up for long periods of time, educates them in violent criminal behavior and dumps them back into the community. The money for this operation is obviously funded by the “good old boys” who run Wall Street.
So, when Joe Biden’s comment yesterday made Republicans jump out of their seats, I wondered why they were so upset. Black people certainly were not. If Republicans really want to know how to help black people, then end the war on drugs, because that really is a war against our own people. Changing those policies will start to free “the chains.” Instead, these and other biased policies supported by the Republican Party disempower blacks and all other minorities in various ways. Without healthcare, quality education, equal rights for women and gays and a just tax code (that raises my taxes!), under-served communities will be hit the hardest by the election of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. We must do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Oops! Looks like Russell never bothered to research Biden’s past, which Radley Balko describes in detail here. Via Balko (emphases mine):
Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about). Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs. Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences). Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004′s horrendous RAVE Act.
Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.
Is that right? Paul Ryan has all that rage? Granted I’m no Ryan fan, but I have a hard time finding much difference between the Wisconsin congressman and Joe Biden. I doubt Morello is aware of any substantive differences either. But that shouldn’t stop him from penning another dopey, self-righteous editorial in a magazine whose ad revenue is generated by the same multinational corporations that Morello allegedly “rages against.”
More on Morello here by Lasse at Street Carnage.
Interesting read by someone called Steve Almond at the Baffler. Interesting in that it’s about lefty comedy darlings Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and it’s not fawning with enthusiasm, as we typically see in stories about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage.
And Almond rightly gives praise to South Park for going places Stewart and Colbert refuse to go (emphasis mine):
South Park indulges in a good deal of bathroom humor—perhaps inevitably, given that its protagonists are ten-year-olds. But the show is far more radical than its polished stablemates for the simple reason that it is willing to confront its viewers. [Trey] Parker and [Matt] Stone savage both the defensive bigotry of conservatives and the self-righteous entitlement of the left. They accomplish this not by riffing on the corruption of our media and political cultures, but by creating original dramas that expose the lazy assumptions and shallow gratifications of the viewing audience.
The article also poses an interesting theory about the genesis of right-wing talk radio and makes some other astute observations here:
…it might be instructive to contemplate the rise of right-wing radio, an industry borne of commuter rage, which now dominates not just the Republican Party, but our national discourse. Stewart would have us believe that selfish jerks never get hired as analysts. But as his sidekick Colbert clearly demonstrates, that’s exactly who gets hired at the networks—folks who can excite our primal states of negative feeling: wrath, envy, fear. In Stewart’s daffy formulation, pundits and politicians are the ones who prey on an otherwise noble citizenry. But it’s us citizens who watch those pundits and elect those politicians. We’ve chosen to degrade our discourse. Stewart and Colbert make their nut by catering to those citizens who choose to laugh at the results rather than work to change them.
For bonus points, please check out Rachel Maddow‘s clueless, hyper-partisan comment in the piece as well. (How can a Rhodes Scholar be so dumb?)