Donate to Reason! Because it's Sunday Morning, and Nobody Defends Culture From Culture-War Quite Like Us!


Before we get to the sales pitch here on Day Five of Reason's annual webathon—in which we ask our readers to contribute dollars or Bitcoins to the 501(c)3 nonprofit that makes all our libertarian journalism and commentary possible—a little palate cleanser: 

That clip was embedded in an obituary here six weeks back, titled "How Lou Reed Inspired Anti-Communist Revolutionaries and the Rest of Us." It was the latest installment in the ongoing Reason genre of coverage of defending popular or "low" culture against political attacks from the left and right, and celebrating how the stuff can liberate the world in ways wholly unintended its creators.

Here's a great Reason.tv compendium of ridiculous congressional attacks on culture, as put together by Anthony Fisher:

Here's another classic, "Bollywood vs. Bin Laden: Why radical Islam fears pop culture," as anchored by Shikha Dalmia:

Partisan/ideological bores tend to treat music, film, art, and other expressions of culture either instrumentally—judging a work by how well it satisfies a particular political mission—or reactionarily, by trying to play defense against a perceived assault on decent human values. Nick Gillespie correctly identified the mistaken frameworks, while championing individual autonomy, all the way back in February 1996:

The audience has a mind of its own. Individuals sitting in a theater, or watching television, or listening to a CD don't always see and hear things the way they're "supposed" to. […]

That would be news to most participants in the public debate over depictions of sex and violence in movies, TV, and music. Liberals and conservatives are as tight as Beavis and Butt-head in agreeing that consumers of popular culture–the very people who make it popular–are little more than tools of the trade. Joe Sixpack and Sally Baglunch–you and I–aren't characters in this script. Just like TV sets or radios, we are dumb receivers that simply transmit whatever is broadcast to us. We do not look at movie screens; we are movie screens, and Hollywood merely projects morality–good, bad, or indifferent–onto us.

True story: In France, this commercial would be censored. |||

"We have reached the point where our popular culture threatens to undermine our character as a nation," Bob Dole thundered last summer in denouncing "nightmares of depravity" and calling for movies that promote "family values." "Bob Dole is a dope," responded actor-director Rob Reiner, a self-described liberal activist. Fair enough, but it apparently takes one to know one: "Hollywood should not be making exploitive violent and exploitive sex films. I think we have a responsibility [to viewers] not to poison their souls," continued Reiner, who rose to prominence playing the role of Meathead on All in the Family. […]

Of course, it is hardly surprising that denizens of Washington and Tinseltown frame the debate so that all interpretive power resides with would-be government regulators and entertainment industry types. Clearly, it makes sense for them to conceptualize popular culture as a top-down affair, one best dealt with by broadcasters and bureaucrats. This consensus, however, has implications far beyond the well-worn notion that entertainment should be properly didactic.

Because it assumes that the viewer, the listener, or the audience member is a passive receiver of popular culture, this consensus must inevitably result in calls for regulation by the government (such as the V-chip, which is part of both the House and Senate telecommunications bills) or paternalism by producers ("More and more we're tending toward all-audience films …that have civic values in them," Motion Picture Association of America head Jack Valenti told the Los Angeles Times). The viewer simply can't be trusted to handle difficult, sensitive, ironic material–or to bring his own interpretation to bear on what he sees.

The Plastic People of the Universe play at Vaclav Havel's wake. ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

As we never tire in pointing out, audiences can frequently surprise you with how they use pop culture to leverage their own freedom. Whether it's dirty Czech rock musicians using the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa to take a decisive stand against totalitarians, anti-Taliban Afghan men going nuts over Leo DiCaprio, or rap/metal enthusiasts fueling the Arab Spring, American culture bemoaned by political critics at home can have galvanizing effects abroad.

Once you grant consumers the decency of their own free will in interpreting cultural works, a whole host of interesting philosophical and political implications tumble forth. I know not a small number of people whose introduction to libertarianism came through this cultural-interpretive portal. It's one that Reason works tirelessly at keeping open.

Won't you please donate to Reason today? We're just over $115,000 of the way to our $150,000 goal, with donations from more than 375 readers. Help get us over the top, and thumb our noses at the cultural pessimists always conspiring to keep us less free. Donate to Reason right the hell now!

NEXT: Ukrainian Protesters Topple Statue of Lenin in Kiev

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Donate? Is there some sort of fundraising drive going on or something?

  2. FUCK CNN! Goddamn shitbags have moderators actively censoring comments that are not in line with their agenda.

    The topic was automation of trains, planes and automobiles

    One of the comments was this:


    Technology – like everything else – takes a backseat to the almighty dollar. As long as our society is based upon – and purely rewarded on an antiquated (and failed) profit and wealth system, things like this simply won’t happen. Remember, our system inherently rewards corruption, immorality, and greed – we simply cannot afford morality and ethics. Profit is the only motive and reward. The benefit to people comes second – if it’s even a consideration at all. We will have clean, renewable energy when big oil can find a way to charge us for a “gallon of sunlight”.

    1. Here was my reply:

      That comment is so full of fallacies, I don’t know where to begin.

      The system DOES NOT reward corruption, immorality and greed. It rewards good ideas as determined by the people who vote on them with their wallets.

      Companies who kill their customers do NOT make a profit.

      Companies who cheat their customers do not make a profit.

      Profit is the motivation to make better products than your competitors. Profit DRIVES technology.

      There is NOTHING more moral than the voluntary exchange of goods and services between two individuals. All such transactions are voluntary, value is traded for value and each participant receives the item they value most.

      There’s NOTHING “failed” about profit motive. It is the mechanism upon which all wealth is created. EVERYTHING you own and EVERYTHING anyone else owns was created by someone seeking to make a profit. Without that motivation, you would own, quite literally, NOTHING.

      Your last sentence is correct, however. When people actually value a gallon of sunlight, there will be businessmen there to provide it to them…at a profit. Thank god.

      There was NOTHING offensive and it was as on-topic as the original commenter’s post, yet mine gets deleted and his was allowed to remain.

      They aren’t even attempting to cover their bias anymore. FUCK THEM!

      1. I would imagine the people who get assigned the job of moderating comments are young interns or graduates who no doubt swing even further to the left. I also doubt they worry about getting reprimanded for deleting libertarianish comments.

        1. I think they pay DISQUS to moderate. I think CNN sends them a list of what they allow and/or don’t and leave the actual judgment calls to DISQUS.

          I think I’ll complain. I’m sure it won’t do any good, but I’ll feel better.

          1. I can’t imagine why they’d outsource it to Disqus a software company. But either way, why not complain.

      2. I simply do not post anywhere where comments need to be approved.

        1. If the purpose of posting is just to express your opinion, I’d agree.

          If you are trying to persuade, however, you gotta go where folks disagree with you.

          My little part of perpetuating the “libertarian moment”. That and the great big donation I just sent to Reason!

          1. I’m fine with the disagreement part, but when I can only disagree to the extent my ideological opponents allow then the game is rigged from the start. I’m not going to be moderated into silence or strawmanhood to sustain someone’s echo chamber.

            I understand why people have a different opinion, though. Humiliating the various progressive team players in person is more my speed.

            1. Doing it in person is so much more satisfying, because they can’t just moderate you away. There’s nothing like destroying some asshole’s arguments in person. It’s much more effective than presenting a better argument online.

          2. If you are trying to persuade then I suggest you give up.

            I prefer to laugh and point fingers at their stupidity.

            It’s fun making them mad when they start name calling and foaming at the mouth.

            1. As a wise man once noted, you seldom convince the person you are arguing with that they are wrong. You convince bystanders, listening to your argument, who are on the fence.

              Deriding your opponent is fun, and it makes you feel better, but you’re more likely to bring the fence sitters home with a calm, well reasoned argument.

              Oh, fuck, I’m starting to sound like Ken. Quick….

              Cunt, cunt, cunt cunt, cunt.

              Phew! That was close.

      3. It looks like your comment is back. I upvoted it. I encourage fellow reasonoids to do the same.

        1. I reposted it without the first line, which was the only thing in the entire post that could even remotely be construed as confrontational.

          We’ll see if it stays up this time.

          I saw the upvote. Thanks. Thought it might have been one of you guys.

    2. I find the video amusing. They’re trying so hard to portray the job as difficult.

      It’s a throttle and brake system. No turning and the only thing you’re looking out for is light signals.

      If this is too much for humans to handle I would have to say we’re fucked.

  3. Derp hits a new record high

    Bonus for lawyer snark: “If we’re going to punish this poor kid for pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, let’s ticket his parents for parking their unicorn in a fire zone.”

    1. Nice.

    2. the district prohibits the possession of “weapons,” defined as including any “knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

      So pens and pencils are prohibited at this school?

      1. Probably should prohibit fists, maybe even humans completely if that is the bar.

  4. Taboola ads still there, no BTC for you.

  5. Mischievous seal occupies couple’s dinghy, refuses to leave for 4 days

    A newly-wed couple were stranded on a remote island three miles from the mainland when a giant bull seal climbed into their inflatable dinghy and refused to budge for four days.
    Eddie Stebbings, 35, and his bride Bee Bueche, 36, spent their first three months of married life together with a colony of Atlantic grey seals on Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast.
    But their wildlife adventure took an unexpected turn when a giant seal took up residence in the dinghy they used to reach the mainland.
    Eddie and Bee were married in August and returned to the windswept island where they are wildlife wardens just in time for the seal pupping season.
    Eddie said: “One morning in October the seal flopped itself into the boat.
    “It refused to budge for four days and was at one point joined by another seal.
    “He was about four times my weight, eight foot long and clearly not worried about people coming close to him.”
    The couple chose to spend their honeymoon on one of Britain’s most remote islands, which they shared with over 400 adult seals.

    Well, the couple is the 1% on that island.

  6. As goes San Francisco, so goes the world:
    “By a unanimous vote, the Commission on the Environment has approved a resolution urging the city to work toward a potential ban on releasing butterflies at weddings and other celebrations.
    “Many San Franciscans believe that butterflies are animals to be respected … and should not be used as decorations for entertainment,” the resolution reads in part.”
    What do we want? BUG RIGHTS!
    When do we
    Ah, the hell with it…

    1. You are a goddamned specieist.

    2. I’m opposed to using butterflies, because they don’t kill the birds quite as effectively as rice does.

    3. Unlike those caterpillars, which are ruining our urban gardens and must be eradicated.

    4. Bug rights are derpier than the imaginary bow and arrow. That was a quick jump to new levels of Derp.

  7. Is there a quick and easy way to search for someone’s comments? For example, hypothetically, I remember an argument from a couple of days before between Alex123 and Bob456, and wanted to go back and see how it ended.

    1. On google, “site:reason.com DerpHandle” is about the best I’ve come up with. I never finished my reason scraper/archiver.

      1. I remember trying and I think reason configured their robots.txt or something to prevent indexing of comments. The only way to search comments now is to have another site link to them.

        It definitely was not like this a while back. I think it changed after registration, and probably due to that incident involving some commenters insulting a lawyer in an article, leading to a lawsuit and subpoena or attempted subpoena for user info if I recall.

        1. Here’s reason’s entire robots.txt:

          User Agent: *
          Disallow: /blog/2010/09/23/rand-paul-in-gq-a-nuanced-port
          Disallow: /blog/2010/09/24/american-and-canadian-muslims
          Disallow: /archives/2010/09/24/friday-funnies
          Disallow: /blog/2011/01/19/wood-burns-better
          Disallow: /blog/2011/01/23/another-isolated-incident
          Disallow: /blog/2011/07/26/i-can-never-have-faith-in-just
          Disallow: /blog/2011/09/19/reasontv-wayne-allyn-root-expl
          Disallow: /admin/

          Sitemap: https://reason.com/sitemap/news.xml

          User Agent: 008
          Crawl-delay: 5

          1. I guess what I tried looking for must have been in one of those then.

            Now I’m curious why those specifically

            1. I’m guessing that they reflect poorly on the Reason Foundation.

        2. It looks like you could index the comments on any page by simply appending “#comment” to the end of the page link and piping that through your indexing engine.

  8. A video from a year ago of someone walking through Seminole Mall. I really enjoy stuff like this; Dead Malls, and whatnot. Since my wife’s grandfather lives nearby, this is where we would go when we went to visit him.

    So, I thought I might do a similar video with the Raleigh Springs Mall in Memphis, TN, where I grew up.


    1. I’m surprised they don’t re-purpose that to office space or something.

      He’s right, it’s depressing.

      1. It made me think of the abandoned mall in John Dies at the End.

        1. Enjoyed that book. Anyone read the sequel?

          1. Yes, and it was very good as well. Different feel than the first book.

    2. Opening of that first one with sound just at a mumble level, almost feels like an updated Bioshock.

      I always liked the idea of paintball in an old mall.

      1. The best use of an abandoned mall was in The Blues Brothers.

  9. DC Millennials: Hardworking and homeless

    She wore purple jeans and argyle socks with plastic slip-on sandals. She covered her hair with a black shower cap. At 23, her soft brown eyes are heavy and tired. She’s married with four kids, ages 6, 4, 2 and 3 weeks. Bringing a new baby back home to a shelter “is disappointing,” she said.

    “I try as much to keep a smile on my face instead of just crying about everything,” Pannell said scooting toward me. “I try to find a way out.”
    Pannell moved into the shelter after she lost her job. Her student loans from a medical training program piled up, and she found herself pregnant with her fourth child. She lost her apartment and lived with family until she and her husband decided a dilapidated shelter, 20 blocks east of the Capitol, was their best chance at getting a fresh start.

    Her mom and grandma say they “didn’t raise [her] up” to sleep in a shelter.

    “This is not some place where I have to live for the rest of my life,” she often reminds them. “It is just to get myself straight and never have to come back again.”

    D.C. General is brimming with the stories of forgotten millennials like Pannell. Of the 288 rooms at the shelter, more than 215 are filled with residents between the ages of 18 and 30.

    Let’s see if we can spot where this woman made some poor decisions and is now living with the consequences.

    1. Look if the rethuglicans are going to force people to pay for their own contraception we can only expect more stories like this. There are just too many buses out there to stop.

    2. She wore purple jeans and argyle socks with plastic slip-on sandals. She covered her hair with a black shower cap. At 23, her soft brown eyes are heavy and tired. She’s married with four kids, ages 6, 4, 2 and 3 weeks. Bringing a new baby back home to a shelter “is disappointing,” she said.

      Come on. You can’t expect a woman to NOT have three children before she’s 22.

      It’s not like there are ways to prevent pregnancy or anything.

    3. she found herself pregnant with her fourth child

      Immaculate conception claims another victim. Derp!

    4. She’s married with four kids, ages 6, 4, 2 and 3 weeks.

      World’s shortest gestation period. An average of 1.25 weeks between births? She’s a machine.

    5. …”she found herself pregnant”…
      Yep, just looked down there one day and said ‘My goodness! Look at that!’

      1. “No wonder I keep throwing up!”

      2. “How does this keep happening?”

  10. Donate to reason, get on their mailing list, and get goodies like their Bastiat prize nominees:


    Private-sector job growth has far outperformed the public sector, where employment has actually shrunk. If we can continue the former while stopping the bleeding in the latter, metro Atlanta may have more to brag about in the years to come.

    Let it bleed.

    1. Another:


      What Will Gun Control Do for Inner City Violence?

      If only there was 40 years of record to look at…

      In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn., many Americans have found themselves wondering what could be done to prevent such tragedies in the future. Stricter gun control legislation, better mental health services, and less emphasis on violence in movies and video games have been proffered as solutions. What much of the debate misses, however, is that high-profile massacres like the one at Sandy Hook are a drop in the bucket of this country’s true gun violence epidemic: the one in our inner cities.

      Not a terrible column but really misses the boat on gun control and falls victim to the animist view of guns (Thank you Epi for pointing this out).

      1. And the doozy.


        Chock full of cargo cult economic policy and government involvement as solution (to mitigate other and previous government involvement).

        Donate now!

        1. The Economist article wasn’t *that* bad. It talked about all the problems entrepreneurs face in Europe, labor laws, etc. It did talk about government involvement to create entrepreneurs in a neutral manner instead of rightfully mocking it.

          1. The correlation/causation fallacy in the beginning was the first thing that stuck in my craw. So what if the largest companies are longer existing than elsewhere? There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. If they’re proving goods and services that their customers want and doing a better job of it than their competitors, party on.

            I can totally see Eurocrats sooner working towards a policy banning companies over 50 years than eliminating the choking stranglehold of government when they (and the Bastiat nominee Tamzin Booth) focus on things like that.

            1. Yeah, but considering some of the crap The Economist publishes these days, this was positively enlightened.

              1. Well, yes. But not Bastiat Prize material.

                The decline of the Economist is sad. I miss the snarky picture captions they used to do. It was the alt-text of the print world.

  11. Mandela was a great guy and all, but American flags should not be flown at half staff for him. That honor is supposed to be reserved for Americans only.

    Of course, Obama has no more respect for that tradition than he does for any other American tradition.

    1. It appears flags were ordered at half mast by LBJ when Churchill passed away.


      1. And it shouldn’t have been done for Churchill either.

        1. It also appears Bush W. did it for Pope John Paul and Bill Clinton for Rabin.

          But I see your point about reserving it for Americans, if only because then who gets to choose what foreigner warrants it (Obama did not order them lowered for Thatcher for example).

          1. Exactly. It’s not supposed to be a political football.

    1. Ukrainian Teathuglicans? Is nowhere safe from the grasping tentacles of the Kochtopus?

    2. Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.

      If only it were his actual head that was crushed with a sledgehammer.

    3. I can’t believe that thug still had statues standing.
      Is there one for Hitler? He wasn’t as blood-thirsty.

      1. There’s still a Lenin statue in Seattle, but that’s more of his constituency.

    4. Shoulda just shipped it over here. There’s plenty of progs who’d be proud to erect it in their yard.

    5. Literally millions of Ukranians were killed under the Soviet System Lenin set up. Frankly I am only surprised this did not happen sooner.

      1. That was my thought. How in the hell was a Lenin Statue still standing in Kiev?

        Also, there is currently a Lenin Statue for sale in the Fremont District of Seattle.

        I feel like we should get a pool together to buy it, so that we can smash a Lenin Statue on American soil, like God intended.

        1. That would be, as they say, awesome.

        2. Shoulda read down farther. I’m in for 50 bucks. I can take it out of what I was going to donate to Reason.

        3. I think dressing it up in funny costumes and generally using it to make a mockery of communism would be better in the long-haul.

    6. We need to erect an Obama statue just so we can tear it down


      1. Well, we could say we did built that.

  12. In N Out burger moves into Austin, Texas Burger Wars escalate

    The Austin area is home to some of the best local and national burger chains on the planet. We have everything that everyone else has, and which won’t be discussed here ? McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, etc. etc. They’re not part of the burger wars and don’t rate an honorable mention here. They exist.

    But we also have Mighty Fine, which always lives up to their name. We have P. Terry’s. They’re both local. We have Braum’s with their combination ice creamery-grocery store-burger joint thing. Well, we don’t have them in Austin, but we have them in Texas. We need them in Austin. We have recent entrant Fire Oak Grill. We have Moonie’s Burger House. We have Hat Creeks, though I have to confess that I haven’t visited one of them yet. That situation will be rectified soon. We have Whataburgers everywhere, and Sonics, which are ubiquitous across Texas and stretch out to fortunate states beyond, but they’re not quite national. We have Five Guys with their beautifully messy burgers and their peanut-oil fries. We have the gourment-treated Smash Burger. And now we have In-N-Out. Let burger lovers rejoice!

    I can’t speak for the Texas chains, but Five Guys is tremendously overpriced and overrated.

    1. 5 guys sucks. It’s for places that don’t have In n Out.

      1. And don’t get me started on The Counter. The most painful shit of my life was caused by that hellhole.

        1. See my post below about Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. You might want to check it out while you’re in Hawaii. Ask them for rare, they’ll do it.

          1. I’ll add it to the list. The only other place that is on the list right now is Morimoto’s new restaurant:

            1. Add my links below (for Nico’s and Sushi Izakaya Gaku) to your list. You won’t regret it. You have to try that furikake ahi.

    2. What you need is Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. You can get your burger in 5oz, 7oz, or 9oz patty size. Or doubles if you want. The Waikiki one is great after a whole day at the beach.

      1. When I was in Hawaii pretty much all the food I ate was spectacular.

        Looking back, I’m not sure if the food was actually any good or if all food just tastes better when you’re eating it in Hawaii.

        1. The food is generally pretty good in Hawaii, but if you know where to go, it’s spectacular. The furikake ahi at Nico’s is fantastic, and Sushi Izakaya Gaku is great.

          It always helps to have a foodie friend who is from Oahu.

          1. Have you tried Roy’s? I think they have a couple on Oahu…

      2. How’s the mainland Teddy’s in Woodinville?

        1. Never been, but I imagine it’s pretty much the same. Now I’m hungry. Time to make huge BLTs.

    3. The best burger in SoCal:

      And it’s in the back of a liquor store. I am dreaming about their parmesan truffle fries right now…

      1. There’s a little burger stand way, way out on Jalama Beach, near Point Conception. I can not figure out why their burgers are so good. They use frozen patties, for Zod’s sake, but for reasons that may have something to do with their shredded lettuce, their burgers are just delicious.

        1. What’s their dressing? Thousand Islands variation?

          1. I have no idea. Yummy, though!

            There’s also a restaurant in the Kern Valley airport that has a fantastic burger. Don’t miss the weather rock at the end of the weird parking lot!

  13. So, looking back at last night’s comments, I see I missed an appearance by a bonafide Stalin apologist, other than Shriek and Tony. Seriously, how do people like that still exist?

    1. You can’t help people who don’t want to be helped.

    2. That guy also did understand WW2 or warfare in general nearly as well as he thought he did. Knew just enough to be obnoxious.

      1. not

        did not understand.

  14. There is NOTHING more moral than the voluntary exchange of goods and services between two individuals. All such transactions are voluntary, value is traded for value and each participant receives the item they value most.


  15. Her student loans from a medical training program piled up, and she found herself pregnant

    I think she deserves a refund.

    1. She must have dropped out before the part where they teach the human reproductive system.

  16. -Sarah Palin: ‘Angry atheists’ are trying to ‘abort Christ from Christmas’

    -She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles

    Palin said Jefferson would likely agree that secularists had set their sights on destroying the religious themes in Christmas celebrations.

    “He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” she said. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”

    “Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn ? a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” she said. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”


    1. This kind of thing embodies why, despite agreeing with her on many things and finding the level of hate she generates on the left to be sad, I do not care for Palin. Her oversimplifications (‘the Founders’ would have thought religion critical), her ‘cute’ phrases selected to pander to her present audience (abort Christ from Christmas) and her obfuscation (as far as I can recall, lawsuits about nativity scenes are about when they are set up on public property, not someone’s front yard).

      There may be a point about the harmlessness of a plastic nativity scene temporarily on a public forum to be made, but the way she makes it here is disappointing to say the least.

      1. Her oversimplifications (‘the Founders’ would have thought religion critical)

        I would have thought that a law student would recall that this was a big theme for a lot of the founders.

        her ‘cute’ phrases selected to pander to her present audience

        She’s a politician, Bo, they all do that.

        You’re pulling a Gillespie and using her continued existence as a reason to be offended, sorry, disappointed. It’s all faintly silly.

        1. -this was a big theme for a lot of the founders.

          For some it was. For others it was not. And for many others it was complicated. Hence my charge about oversimplifying about ‘the Founders.’

          Let us take the very man she invoked:

          “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
          —Thomas Jefferson, in an 1823 letter to John Adams

          -She’s a politician, Bo, they all do that.

          And they hold themselves out for criticism when they do. Do you similarly denounce people here for posting about ludicrous statements from, for example, Al Gore or Jimmy Carter?

          1. On the politician scale (or even just the Sarah Palin scale) of ludicrous statements this doesn’t even register.

            1. Well now you are moving your goalposts, no? Do you object on the grounds that the statute of limitations for ridicule of Palin’s public pronouncements has passed or the statement is not ludicrous?

              Because I think invoking Jefferson, of all the Founders, for her War on Christmas narrative is particularly silly indeed. And then of course her statement about lawsuits over nativity scenes in people’s front yards appears to be totally incorrect (a lie?). But please, let us know what the right level of ludicrousness is for political speech to be commented on here.

              1. Dude and I could pick various Jefferson quotes that support her statement, particularly from his letters to Adams, but this whole conversation is gotten stupid.

                I’m disappointed in you, Bo. You are generally the best troll here and you are letting me down, though I doubt it will be for the last time.

                1. Again, you can not see any irony in choosing Jefferson, the maker of the Jefferson Bible and the Founder most attacked as a heathen, of all the consistently pious Founders out there, for her War on Christmas narrative (a narrative that in itself is largely silly)?

                  And nice of you to dodge on the flat out false statement of hers about private yards.

                  1. -the Founder most attacked as a heathen

                    With Paine and perhaps Franklin excepted, of course.

                  2. Did TJ consider himself a Christian, or no?

                    1. I bet you are aware of Jefferson’s religious positions and comments. I ask you, do you think Sarah Palin would agree with the statement I quoted? If made by another contemporary politician, do you think she would actually consider it as part of a war on Christmas? Do you think she would bring it up at Liberty?

                  3. FFS I’m done. Why do I even do this to myself. Is it the masochism seemingly inherent in all libertarians? I just don’t know..

                    1. Including yourself as a libertarian might be the biggest stretch you have made so far.

                      Look, libertarians denounce statism wherever it occurs, among social conservatives as well as progressives and feminists. That makes it hard on some fellow travelers who like some conservative rhetoric on ‘liberty’ and sympathize with socially conservative lifestyle choices, but that is what a consistent application of the philosophy demands. I am sorry if I upset you and others by making posts that remind of that.

                    2. What the fuck are you going on about now? Fuck it, don’t even tell me.

                    3. -What the fuck are you going on about now?

                      I am reminding you that libertarianism does not have a ‘do not criticize social conservatives or conservatives’ exceptions clause.

                      Progressives may well be the greater threat to liberty nationwide, but all violators of the NAP deserve criticism, even ones that pontificate for convenience’s sake about liberty and limited government, deserve to be called out.

                    4. How do you live with all of that concern stuffed inside you?

                      SoCons are progressives. I fucking hate their bullshit. You must have me confused with someone else, Bo.

                    5. Perhaps I have you confused with someone who seems to apply a double standard to negative posting about social conservatives as he does progressives and feminist (though he claims they are all the same to him)?

                    6. From the LP Party Platform:

                      ‘In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or attack any religion.’

                    7. If the government isn’t opposing religion, then it is giving unConstitutionally active support to religion.

                    8. I think a pretty good argument can be made that government sponsored nativity scenes and religious symbols/invocations are government aid to religion. What would you call them?

                    9. Is it really government funded if i pay a fee to use part of a park for my diorama?

                    10. Those cases are certainly closer, but some of the ‘war on Christmas’ cases are ones where the local or state government actually sponsors the cr?che.

                    11. FFS I’m done.


                      It brought my blood pressure WAY down.

      2. This kind of thing embodies why, despite agreeing with him/her on many a very few things and finding the level of hate he/she generates on the left to be sad understandable, I do not care for Palin’s Buttplug. His/Her oversimplifications (‘the Founders’ would have thought religion universal health care critical), his/her ‘cute’ phrases selected to pander to her present audience irritate people he/she is trolling (abort Christ from Christmas *pick an issue at random*) and his/her obfuscation (as far as I can recall, lawsuits about nativity scenes are about when they are set up on public property, not someone’s front yard *pick another issue at random*).

        1. I have criticized Palin’s B*ttplug quite a bit for what you are getting at, but I agree with your analogy that Palin is engaging in the equivalent of trolling.

          1. You can’t write “butt”?

            Or is your “u” key missing?

            1. I choose not to swear. This may come as a shock to you, but I was raised, and am still a member of, a very theologically conservative church.

              1. First of all “butt” isn’t a swear word. Neither is “buttplug”.


                No wonder you’re so tediously verbose. You’re trying to capture what a singular “Fuck you” would encapsulate in words simply not up to the task.

                1. I will grant you the first one, but I see the second one as one.

              2. Are…are you one of the last Shakers?

                1. No, not that conservative.

              3. “You” choose?

                I take it you’re not a Calvinist.

                1. Ha, good one. No, not from a Reform tradition.

    2. Is there some kind of point here beyond someone you don’t like saying something?

      1. Well, we do pretty much the exact same thing with Marcotte.

        1. Shh, it is quite different there, they like Palin and not Marcotte!

          1. they like Palin


            1. And yet of all the ex-politicians that get ridiculed here this appears to be the only one you object to.


              1. When she hasn’t said anything to really deserve it. There’s an internet full of bullshit from Sarah Palin worth mocking and you pick this? John’s not here today so far, so you don’t even have that going. I’m just talking to you ‘cuz everyone else is watching football, I guess.

                1. Bo’s just upset because he can no longer sit back and allow SoCon infiltration, SoCon indoctrination, SoCon subversion and the international SoCon conspiracy to sap and impurify his precious bodily fluids.

                  1. There are an awful lot of people here who will brook no mention of social conservatives in a negative light!

                    1. Yeah, but I’m not one of them. I don’t like progressives of any flavor.

                    2. I see, you solve the problem by labeling them all (Sarah, too?) as progressives. Nice.

                    3. You know when Palin lost my support? When she blamed greedy lenders for the financial meltdown.

                      Now, let’s talk about — the next question is to talk about the subprime lending meltdown.

                      Who do you think was at fault? I start with you, Governor Palin. Was it the greedy lenders? Was it the risky home-buyers who shouldn’t have been buying a home in the first place? And what should you be doing about it?

                      PALIN: Darn right it was the predator lenders, who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house. There was deception there, and there was greed and there is corruption on Wall Street. And we need to stop that.

                      Again, John McCain and I, that commitment that we have made, and we’re going to follow through on that, getting rid of that corruption.

                      I found that sort of populist thinking…unattractive.

                    4. On another note, I definitely think that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” comment was in reference to Palin’s “lipstick” comment concerning Hockey Moms versus pit bulls.

                    5. She also was behind windfall taxes of Alaska oil companies as governor.

                      She says a lot I like and agree with, and some I do not. And progressives hating her for hunting or visiting a slaughterhouse is pathetic. But for the reasons I mentioned I am no fan.

                    6. Dude, SoCons ARE progressives, just a different flavor.

                    7. Both are statists, but I think it is silly to conflate them otherwise. Socons tend to want to preserve traditional values and ways, progressives, at least today, are either are open to changing those or outright hostile to them.

                    8. SoCons think they want to preserve traditional valued, but their preferred method–government legislatin–is antithetical to their stated goals.

                      Expecting the FedGov to preserve traditional values is like expecting Elmer Fudd to catch you a rabbit.

      2. I don’t know why Bo’s getting shit on for this. Most people here are atheists, and you can hardly say that this is off topic when people post very similar off-topic posts about Yglesias and Marcotte.

        1. Come on, Irish; it’s Bo. Duh!

          Now, pile on!

        2. It’s not that, it’s that it was a piss-poor target. As I pointed out, there’s an internet full of dumb Palin shit. It’s like prosecuting a serial killer for a moving violation rather than the murder.

          Maybe I just expect too much from our trolls.

          when people post very similar off-topic posts about Yglesias and Marcotte.

          And I hate when they do it. M and Y don’t even deserve the attention it takes to mock them.

          1. -And I hate when they do it. M and Y don’t even deserve the attention it takes to mock them.

            Have you ever called anyone out here for doing so?

            1. Only mildly, but it’s a slow day and you sometimes annoy the shit out of me.

              Plus it looks like the Iggles just wrapped it up against the Lions. Smashing the rock right between Suh and Fairley for the whole second half. :p

              1. -Plus it looks like the Iggles just wrapped it up against the Lions.

                You say that as if it were a bad thing. How else are the Packers going to win the division?

                1. It’s a wonderful thing. I’m a Philly sports fan in addition to my other flaws. 🙂

          2. And I hate when they do it. M and Y don’t even deserve the attention it takes to mock them.

            You shut your whore mouth. Mocking Amanda Marcotte is an important tradition.

  17. I’d like to thank the ASSHOLE commenters who, up to now, have missed the VITAL point of this article:


    Thanks for your gratitude, losers!

    1. Yeah, if it hadn’t been for Lou Reed, the music on this commercial might have been pretty lame.

  18. Lou Reed is dead?

    Holy shit, how come I never heard?

    1. A truly underreported story. That and the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

      1. You know, I heard somewhere–this is going to sound crazy–that LBJ was behind the Kennedy assassination.

        Everyone knows it was the Cuban Mafia Aliens.

        1. My dad purported that Kennedy killed himself.

          Not on purpose, mind you, but that Oswald was a contract killer whose target was Jackie. He just wasn’t the crack shot he claimed to be.

          1. See, that would…explain just about everything. The coverup…everything.

  19. Joe diMaggio killed Kennedy because he was banging Marilyn Monroe.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.