Culture

Let Us Now Praise Political Punks!

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Over at Breitbart, Lisa De Pasquale has written a column about "political punks" whom, she says, actually understand how pop culture is inherently anarchic, fun, and beyond the control of P.C. masters of the left and the right:

There is a group of conservatives and libertarians – I call them political punks – who actually have cultural credibility. They appreciate mainstream culture for the power of the parable in furthering a message of liberty. They also understand that unlike the perpetually outraged on both sides, Americans don't view everything through politics. They are anti-authoritarian. They are punk. They go against the liberal culture scene and the conservative political scene. These punks are our best hope for engaging new audiences on the importance of liberty.

De Pasquale singles out four very different people as her latter-day Ramones: Fox News' Greg Gutfeld, film legend Clint Eastwood, best-selling author Ann Coulter, and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes. She also tosses out a set of honorable mentions that includes me: "TV host Mike Rowe, musician Andrew WK, playwright David Mamet, actor James Woods, TV host Kennedy, Reason editor Nick Gillespie."

Below is her writeup of Greg Gutfeld, a serial interview guest at Reason who, just like Colt 45, works every time. Gutfeld is, in my opinion, really a pacesetter in hunting high- and low-brow for targets and delivering incredible rants filled with power, poetry, and juxtapositions that would make a surrealist's head explode. He is quite probably the only person in the world fully conversant with the discography of The Melvins and pro-torture musical stylings of Col. Allen West.

That Gutfeld has two shows on the top news network gives me hope in America's future. No, really. It means that maybe I'm not alone in embracing punks. Unlike those who didn't get the Super Bowl commercial, Gutfeld gets that mocking the Left is effective even when not vicious and obvious. One example is the fantastic show, "Portlandia." Gutfeld wrote:

"This show is not a celebration of capitalism – but an attack on the attack on capitalism. The message: if you're going to get rid of something, you better have something better to replace it with – or you're fucked."

So many ideas in Portlandia all return to one theme: the characters are lost without an idea of how to make money, or even be useful. They are mostly pleasant, nonviolent, slightly desperate in their barely concealed sense of victimhood and envy – but most of all, they are suckers to their own nonproductive whims.

And so what you have is a refreshing reversal – tax accountants, cops, cheerleaders are actually, for once, portrayed sympathetically, while hipster bike messengers aren't.

Gutfeld uses non-traditional ways to explain (Gutsplain?) liberty and free market principles that are palatable to a traditional audience, like Fox News viewers, as well as to those who are skeptical of conservatives and the political world in general.

Yeah, yeah, argue away with De Pasquale if you must. But I do think she's on to something. Certainly, she's right that the most outrageous thing a person can believe these days, whether on the right or the left, is that politics doesn't exhaust the limit of human possibilities. This is something we harp on quite a bit at Reason: the place where the most interesting things happen is far beyond politics. God, a world that is completely circumscribed by politics is more dreadful to contemplate than a truly drug-free America.

And she's right that pop culture isn't a tool or a club that you can use to beat people over the head. If only movies and TV shows and music taught the right lessons about history, economics, and gender! That's something that moron liberals and conservatives both believe in their pointed little heads. They deny the audience agency and freedom and they just don't understand that the best cultural expression is simply the artifact of our attempts to understand our place in the world at a given moment in time. It's often explicitly political but if you are constantly reducing complex art, music, film, etc., to simplistic morality tales that will program people to behave themselves and vote for your preferred candidates and causes, just take a rocket back to Russia already.

Related: When Joey Ramone died, Brian Doherty and I summarized the "P.C. Eulogizing of a Punk Rocker." A snippet:

Within hours of shuffling off his mortal coil, Joey Ramone, known for singing songs such as "Cretin Hop" and "Teenage Lobotomy," had been resurrected as Joe Hill.

Forget that the Ramones made their reputation with songs that sketched an irresistible world filled with dumb and often explicitly anti-social fun. (The uninitiated can get a good sense of this from the titles of some of the band's signature tunes, which include "Beat On the Brat," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "You're Gonna Kill That Girl," "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment," and "I Wanna Be Sedated.")

For some righteously left-wing critics, such anarchic, aimless pleasure must always, in the final analysis, give way to something deeper, something more serious.

Take it away, fellers:

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  1. Jeeze. Those guys are wearing, uh, JACKETS!

    1. Married, heterosexual female, and even I think Maria B. rocks…

      1. I just liked the idea of a Ramone fretting over his stock portfolio.

  2. Is anyone as surprised as I am to see Ann Coulter mixed in with these other people? I see little to nothing libertarian in her writing. I don’t even see much of this nebulous “respect for the anarchy of pop”. She strikes me as a populist much like O’Reily which has many of the same traits, but none of the “let the masses do what they want” vibe.

    1. Yeah I was kind of surprised to see Eastwood in there too. He might make libertarian noises in interviews or whatever, but his movies are pretty dull right-populist schmaltz. Nothing especially libertarian or even transgressive about them.

      1. even transgressive about them.

        Isn’t demanding that everything be “trangressive” just another way of complaining that art doesn’t have the right messages?

        1. Everything doesn’t have to be transgressive. That would be annoying. But being transgressive is a pretty essential part of punk. Eastwood clearly has “the right messages” for a sizable audience.

        2. I think it just means pushes into new territory on something.

        3. Partially. It would be nice if any of Eastwood’s movies challenged conventions either of thought or of cinematic technique. But he is solidly, boringly, status quo across the board.

          The only challenge with Eastwood’s movies is staying awake through the end.

          Plus I’m not demanding anything. But as Zeb said, transgression is a part of punk, even (maybe especially) if the end result sucks.

          1. , transgression is a part of punk, even (maybe especially) if the end result sucks.

            “I think I was too musical for them… you know what I mean?” –Chrissie Hynde to a perplexed Terry Gross in NPR interview, describing her time hanging out with the Sex Pistols.

          2. It would be nice if any of Eastwood’s movies challenged conventions either of thought or of cinematic technique.

            Umm, hello, Unforgiven?

            1. Hooker with a heart of gold… been done before!

              Don’t question The Hugh.

            2. And The Outlaw Josey Wales and High Plains Drifter and Million Dollar Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima and American Sniper.

              Eastwood is an icon for his masculine roles as Dirty Harry and The Man With No Name but he’s also pretty thoroughly deconstructed entire film genres.

              1. Eastwood is a skilled filmmaker and has made some very good films. That being said, I’ll be honest and admit that when each new movie of his comes out, I shrug and go “meh” because it doesn’t excite me. I don’t go see them in the theater. Because I just don’t care very much.

                That may be my personal preference, that may be because he’s getting old, or it may be because he’s really not that great of a filmmaker. It’s not impossible to me, or even particularly improbable, that someone would take Hugh’s position.

            3. I suppose Unforgiven does count as punk to the extent that it dares the viewer to make it all the way through without dying of boredom.

              1. Watching a boring movie is pretty transgressive actually. However so many art films do that so it isn’t transgressive but the movies that make money are supposed to be entertaining….

              2. There is no accounting for taste.

                *sigh*

      2. Maybe he was thinking about the pretense of knowledge when he said “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”

      3. Yeah I was kind of surprised to see Eastwood in there too. He might make libertarian noises in interviews or whatever, but his movies are pretty dull right-populist schmaltz.

        ??? There’s nothing transgressive about the American soldiers in Letters from Iwo Jima murdering Japanese prisoners? What about the soldiers in Flags of Our Fathers coming home and basically having their lives unravel, including a native American dying as a useless drunkard? (Personally, even though that actually happened in real life, I think it takes some stones to write a Native American character who’s a total drunk given the fact that you’ll probably be called a racist for it).

        I think Eastwood’s made many movies that are much more than right-populist schmaltz, including Unforgiven.

        Even a movie of his that I hated, Bridges of Madison County, is hardly ‘right-populist schmaltz’ given that you’re meant to sympathize with a cheating wife. Personally, I don’t recall Republicans being big fans of adultery, but maybe that’s just me.

        1. There’s nothing transgressive about the American soldiers in Letters from Iwo Jima murdering Japanese prisoners?

          Seriously, can anyone name me another World War 2 movie (not on the Eastern Front) that shows Allied war atrocities and actually shows them as a shitty thing? That scene in Saving Private Ryan where they shoot surrendering Germans doesn’t count.

          1. I have to say that Fury actually had a Nazi show an American mercy, where the rest of the film has the American tank crew be as crude and vicious as possible, especially in their attempt to toughen up the new guy.

        2. Ooh American soldiers acting like cowardly brutes. I’ve only seen that in every war movie ever made.

          Post-war trauma and depression may have been new and exciting when Hemingway wrote about Nick Adams in 1925.

          You need only look at the politicians that Republicans vote for to know how they feel about adultery.

          And Unforgiven was a plodding self-indulgent pile of crap.

          1. Tell us what you think of Dr. Zhivago.

            1. Tell us what you think of Dr. Zhivago.

              Paint by numbers bullshit. Fucked up Russians may have been new and interesting when Dostoevsky did it, but in 1965? Come on, how could anyone stay awake through that trite nonsense.

              /Hugh Reviews the Classics.

              1. And don’t even get me started on Citizen Kane. ‘Oh, I was innocent with my sled.’ Fuck your sled, Orson, Hugh’s got blow to do and he has no fucking time for your ‘symbolism’ or ‘foreshadowing,’ you ponderous fat man.

                1. Hugh = hipster elite

            2. Haven’t seen that one yet. It’s in my queue.

              1. You’re an anti-American, anti-masculine pussy. And you ain’t no Hugh Akston.

          2. Ooh American soldiers acting like cowardly brutes. I’ve only seen that in every war movie ever made.

            Every war movie about World War II? Really? Because every war movie I’ve seen about World War II portrays American soldiers as total heroes.

            You need only look at the politicians that Republicans vote for to know how they feel about adultery.

            Yes Hugh. Republican candidates cheating on their wives once in a while is tremendous evidence that Republicans love out-of-wedlock sex. Sort of like how Nancy Pelosi being rich proves Democrats secretly love the 1%.

            And Unforgiven was a plodding self-indulgent pile of crap.

            You’re dead to me.

            1. To be fair, Hugh’s being “punk”. He’s tweaking the nose of mainstream convention.

              “God save Clint Eastwood, and his fascist pimp… beast…wood…”

              1. To be fair, Hugh’s being “punk”. He’s tweaking the nose of mainstream convention.

                Copying the French Decadent poets, how pass

          3. Hugh, pray tell us exactly what is new and hasn’t been done. Please read through all of the ancient Greek plays first.

            The only thing new under the sun is what is new to you. It has all been done before.

        3. “including a native American dying as a useless drunkard?”

          But can’t that be chalked up to the ‘he was destroyed by the war’ trope?

          1. It was what happened. Was he supposed to change the story to make you feel better?

            1. John, Bo was responding to my post. He wasn’t saying he was offended.

            2. I think you misunderstand my point. We’re talking about whether that part of the film was ‘transgressive.’

        4. What about the soldiers in Flags of Our Fathers coming home and basically having their lives unravel, including a native American dying as a useless drunkard? (Personally, even though that actually happened in real life, I think it takes some stones to write a Native American character who’s a total drunk given the fact that you’ll probably be called a racist for it).

          Johnny Cash…The Ballad of Ira Hayes

      4. Eh, you could argue that a lot of Eastwood’s movies are about ‘the cost of violence’ so you can vaguely make some kind of NAP argument.

      5. I can only aspire to be as cool as you someday HA!

    2. Coulter does seem like just a right wing jackass sometimes.

      But other times I wonder how much of it performance art. Is she just the best IRL troll we have right now? Lots of the stuff she says seems just to get a rise out of all the right (horrible) people. So I can’t hate her completely.

      1. I think a lot of that is true. But I still think she is awful and unbearable.

        Doesn’t she hang out with Bill Maher?

        1. ewwww … I didn’t know that. That’s a pretty big extra strike against her if true.

      2. I’m still convinced that Ann Coulter is Andy Kaufman, who got a sex change after faking his death and went on to create the biggest troll character of his career.

        1. I thought she was Skeletor’s wife.

    3. Is anyone as surprised as I am to see Ann Coulter mixed in with these other people

      TBF: that is, I believe Pasquale’s list and she does write “conservative and libertarian.”

    4. Coulter isn’t a libertarian, a conservative, or a populist. She’s a provocateur of liberals.

      1. Excellent summary. I think.

  3. Mr. Burns: Ah, these minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves.

    Joey Ramone: I’d just like to say this gig sucks!

    Johnny Ramone: Hey, up yours, Springfield!

    Joey Ramone: One, two, three, four!

    (the band starts sings a punk rock rendition of “Happy Birthday”)

    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday, dear Burnsie
    Happy birthday to you!

    C.J. Ramone: Go to hell, you old bastard!

    (Burns looks shocked; the curtain closes)

    Marky Ramone: Hey, I think they liked us!

    Mr. Burns: Smithers, have the Rolling Stones killed.

    Smithers: But, sir, those aren’t…

    Mr. Burns: Do as I say!

    1. +1. It’s amazing to me that all the original Ramones are now dead. Cripes.

      1. You know what they say. Live fast, die middle-aged.

  4. http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../20456807/

    Here is punk atitude. I Wish I wasn’t married and could do this

    1. I think that’s a great idea. Where do I sign up John McCain?

      1. Right behind Cytotoxic

        1. You sure? He hates driving. Might be a tactical liability.

          1. And getting up early. No dawn raids for Mama Cytotoxic’s little boy.

        2. I looked at the Facebook group. They only want ex-military.

    2. That is cool.

      Is there a way to donate money to the Kurdish asskicking cause without breaking any laws?

  5. Certainly, she’s right that the most outrageous thing a person can believe these days, whether on the right or the left, is that politics doesn’t exhaust the limit of human possibilities.

    Those persons are vastly more numerous than some people might believe. Some people just need to get out more.

    1. To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, politics is a cookbook full of recipes that instruct you to always fry everything.

  6. Because Gutfeld sucking up to Bible-beating conservatives nightly is just so “punk”.

    Let me say who was punk – Christopher Hitchens. He was wrong on the Iraq War among other things but he stood defiant and pissed on both teams.

    1. Oh, looky who just couldn’t stay away when Gutfeld is mentioned.

      Greg must be saving a buttload of cash, living rent-free in that vast wasteland.

    2. Hitchens was a pretentious bozo who was only famous for being atheist. Hey, I’m atheist too, big fucking deal, atheism is just the anteroom to a valid metaphysics, I consider it elementary.

      Hitchens was just as horribly wrong in attempting to rationalize altruism and collectivism as every other leftwing loser. You leftoids pose as champions of secularism and reason, but all you did was steal the altruist morality from the mystics and pretend your emotions are scientific.

      1. Hitchens was a pretentious bozo who was only famous for being atheist. Hey, I’m atheist too, big fucking deal, atheism is just the anteroom to a valid metaphysics, I consider it elementary.

        Hitchens was just as horribly wrong in attempting to rationalize altruism and collectivism as every other leftwing loser. You leftoids pose as champions of secularism and reason, but all you did was steal the altruist morality from the mystics and pretend your emotions are scientific.

        Quoting and bolding. This is spot-fucking-on.

        Men like Hitchens and Dawkins would be vastly more effective at convincing marginal religious types if they weren’t such lazy, preening, dishonest intellectual cheats. Those two were never interested in furthering a rational position, they are cheerleaders to the kind of narcissistic ignorant fucknuggets who “like” color and phase-corrected Hubble pictures and shout “Yay, SCIENCE!!!” without actually being anymore scientifically literate than the creationists they despise.

      2. Nice AR punking of the Buttmister.

  7. Conservative Catholic: Sex is just like property, sexual immorality is like theft and fraud

    [Sexual immorality] “is not an individual affair, though, any more than standards regarding theft and fraud are. If property were simply an individual affair, then such standards would be an attempt to restrict acquisitive behavior to a narrow list of options that are supposed to suit everyone and invariably lead to the best results no matter what the circumstances. No one thinks that’s the way to understand rules relating to property though, so why should it be right for sex? Sex is intrinsically a social matter, even more so than property, since it bears more deeply and directly on our relation to others.”

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/…..ul-concept

    1. Shorter Kalb – “You don’t own yourself.”

      I guess it is not so hard to understand how they could have a commie pope.

  8. The central thesis that “pop culture is inherently anarchic, fun, and beyond the control of P.C. masters of the left and the right” is essentially correct, but the fact that De Pasquale, accompanied by enthusiastic hosannas from Gillespie, affiliates such understanding with “punk” shows out out of touch they are with the pop culture on which they deign to comment.

    Punk rock has as much currency within current popular culture as parlor songs by Stephen Foster whistled as one tips his bowler hat at a jaunty angle while riding his velocipede through the town commons.

    The real symbol of our current anarchic pop culture is the slightly chubby 14-year old gamer, whose entire diet consists of Doritos, Mountain Dew, and weed, as he uploads his latest MLG parody to Youtube.

    *cue scene of Gillespie muttering “what the fuck is an ‘MLG’?” as an arthritic hand moves the mouse over a browser’s address bar so that he can enter the URL for Yahoo! search could be entered. Then fade to black*

    Fin.

    1. Punk rock has as much currency within current popular culture as parlor songs by Stephen Foster whistled as one tips his bowler hat at a jaunty angle while riding his velocipede through the town commons.

      Punk rock as defined as the movement in the late 70s by legendary powerhouses such as the Sex Pistols, yes. But again, what defined “punk” was an alienated culture of sorts, which lashed out at mainstream culture. If you put yourself in the shoes of those of us who were “there”* during that time, the Sex Pistols were hardly mainstream, and quite shocking for their time.

      *by ‘there’, I make no claim on my being in any way an integral part of the ‘movement’ of that time. I’m sure had I even known about the Sex Pistols (living as I was in flyover country during that time) I’m sure I might have found them offensive. I was introduced to them in the early 80s and I thought there music was “pretty cool”.

      Either that or I misunderstood your comment. I blame the liquor.

    2. What the fuck is an MLG?

      I think, in more or less the way Paul states below, that “Punk” is still relevant as an idea and is properly applied to more than just punk rock.

    3. The real symbol of our current anarchic pop culture is the slightly chubby 14-year old gamer, whose entire diet consists of Doritos, Mountain Dew, and weed, as he uploads his latest MLG parody to Youtube.

      Further, HM, I disagree. This IS the mainstream. It’s as mainstream-ey as you can get. The predominant culture is LOLPics, tweets, facebook likes and shitty youtube comments. That’s it. It doesn’t get more mainstream than that.

      1. Actually, the anarchic pop culture is much better signified by those who mock and defy stifling PC culture and taboos (which is really just a morphed version of older taboos, since human cultures always have taboos, they just change over time), because they’re doing what humor and music does best: defy taboos. That’s one of the main purposes of humor, actually.

        So your Always Sunny or your South Park, for example. In terms of music, I’m hard pressed to come up with a modern current example, but then again, I’m not super on top of the current music industry.

        1. I do think there gets to be a point of taboo-breaking-saturation. Essentially an entire writing session for Family Guy these days is, “LOL OMG what if we said x? All those stuffed-shirts will be so offended! We’re SO clever!”

          It’s become passe.

          1. I blame my generation for starting that.

          2. It’s true that a lot of “taboo-breaking” media end-up pass? and pat themselves on the back for offending people that don’t watch them and not the people actually watching them.

          3. Family Guy is incredibly passe. But that’s because that’s its style. You can’t have a show with its kind of humor without burning out super fast. I liked the first few seasons of Family Guy and now I can’t stand it. Any of it, even the original stuff I liked.

            Don’t blame that on taboo-breaking. Blame it on Seth McFarlane and the method of taboo-breaking. South Park is vastly better at it (and even they are getting passe). Always Sunny too.

            1. Aqua Teens hasn’t become passe yet. So, you know, we’ll always have that. I kind of like The Eric Andre Show now, also.

              And I thought Black Jesus was really good.

              1. Aqua Teen is too fundamentally insane to become passe. Which is why I love it.

                Have you seen Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, JJ? If not, you should.

                  1. No, but that sounds fucking amazing.

                    I will immediately command the Asian Spousal Unit to make with the technology stuff and magic this show onto her computer.

                1. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is one of the greatest shows of all time.

                  Have you ever been to Scotland, Epi?

                  For the first time ever I saw the Scots in their natural habitat.

                  1. Dagless’ rant about Scotland has to be up there in the top 10 insulting rants about a place of all time. And then the way he just dismisses Sanchez’s aunt…

                    1. Funny. Generally dont like to visit family via Prestwick, prefer Turnhouse. For some great Scottish comedy check out:

                      still game youtube

      2. This IS the mainstream. It’s as mainstream-ey as you can get.

        You’re right. I wasn’t saying punk was mainstream. What is popular culture if not mainstream?

    4. *cue scene of Gillespie muttering “what the fuck is an ‘MLG’?” as an arthritic hand moves the mouse over a browser’s address bar so that he can enter the URL for Yahoo! search could be entered. Then fade to black*

      “Get off my LAWN!”

      /The Jacket

      1. Mebbe not a calliope as implied above, but it still has a punkish entertainment value …

        <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/FOhebHW2uTU” allowfullscreen</iframe

        1. Dammit..

          Nobody is gonna see this anyways …

          http://youtu.be/FOhebHW2uTU

          1. I have seen that before.

    5. I once had a punky ass punk tell me that his generation was so groundbreaking because they were making and distributing music that was not conventional and not marketed and distributed by record companies. It was spontaneous and individualized. He told me they were the bravest, coolest, smartestest generation ever. Ever!

      I explained to him that people had been doing exactly that forever and that record companies were a very new phenomena. I told him about my great-grandmother’s and later my grandfather’s blue grass bands. I told him about barn dances and hoe-downs. I explained that musical styles are always in flux, always evolving and for the same reasons every generation and that every one of those generations thought they were the shit.

      He never spoke to me again. Two more years I worked with the guy and he refused to acknowledge my presence.

  9. Yeah, yeah, argue away with De Pasquale if you must. But I do think she’s on to something.

    I think she is on to something. I disagree with her take on Coulter, who does seem to see everything through a political lens. However, she’s definitely un-PC.

    Speaking for myself, I feel increasingly (sharply increasing) alienated from the political culture, and since “punk” was originally defined as a general youth movement who felt alienated from society, I think the term fits. Even though I’m hardly part of any “youth movement”, I feel as if I’m reaching peak alienation as I pass quietly into those golden years.

    1. How can a 40 year-old movement be a “youth” movement?

      1. It’s not (necessarily). It’s whatever offends the mainstream or status quo… at the time. It is usually associated with youth, but not need be relegated exclusively to youth.

        Of have I misunderstood your question.

      2. That’s a silly question. How can Boy Scouts be a youth organization, it’s over 100 years old? New people join.

        1. “Organization” is not a movement.

          Anyway my real point is the punks are a movement of my parents and acting just like parents did at their age is far from being as rebellious as you can get.

          1. But we’re not acting like our parents. I mean, not MY parents, but “our” parents. “Our parents” are these half-shaved douches on the city council who keep talking about mass transit, riding more bikes to work and separating your garbage. That’s what “our” parents are talking about. “Our parents” spent days debating the name of Columbus Day and changed it to “indigenous peoples’ day”. That’s what “our parents” are consumed with.

          2. But punk doesn’t have to always be the same thing. People who are into the Sex Pistols today aren’t punk. They just like the classics.

            1. But punk doesn’t have to always be the same thing. People who are into the Sex Pistols today aren’t punk. They just like the classics.

              Exactly this. EXACTLY THIS.

              I remember back in the 90s some at-the-time hipster was saying to the camera that he’d always be cool because he’d ALWAYS be listening to R.E.M. Always.

              I remember screaming at the television “No, douchebag, that’s precisely WHY you won’t be cool when you’re old, you’ll be listening to fucking R.E.M.”

            2. Eh I think your definition renders punk rather vague and meaningless.

              1. Is Prussian Blue Punk?

                1. Prussian Blue is the new Black.

                  1. I see what you did there.

              2. I don’t think so. You don’t have to use that word if you don’t want to. But I think it describes a particular cultural orientation that can be more or less defined.

                1. But I think it describes a particular cultural orientation that can be more or less defined.

                  Yes but that means there are characteristics to punk rather than being “alienated yutes” or “transgressive”.

            3. Zeb you went from saying that “transgressive is a pretty essential part of punk” to saying that being transgressive is being punk which strikes me as dubious as it renders punk a meaningless term for any discontented or non-mainstream view. It’s like saying that everything mainstream is baroque. Are western ISIS supporters Punk?

        2. Zeb, this is a threadwinner. Well done.

      3. Read the post from this morning on how we’re all going to be young forever soon.

        https://reason.com/archives/201…..th-for-all

      4. How can Jerry Brown still be fucking governor of California?

        http://youtu.be/GoA_zY6tqQw

        1. A better question is how could he ever have been?

  10. Jon Stewart to leave Daily Show, millions of intellectually lazy liberals devastated

    Jon Stewart will step down as host of ‘The Daily Show,’ he announced during Tuesday night’s taping. Comedy Central confirmed the news in a tweet.

    Stewart has been at the helm of the beloved satirical news program for over 15 years. He will continue hosting the program until later this year.

    According to a tweet from CBS News, Stewart told fans he had felt “restless.”

    “For the better part of two decades, we have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central said. “His comedic brilliance is second to none.” Read their full statement here.

    Stewart joined ‘The Daily Show’ in 1999, replacing Craig Kilborn. Covering topics such as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, CIA spying, torture, media bias, and several presidential elections, he transformed the show into a powerful and respected voice in American media. He was even named one of America’s most trusted news sources in a 2009 poll.

    Give the man credit, he managed to last almost the entire Obama administration while still confirming every liberal bias.

    I guess he realized he couldn’t survive a Hillary 2016 run.

    1. A some point I guess even he finds a boot he can’t lick.

      1. Putting Stewart’s personal politics aside, he’s an amazing comedian and sharp wit.

        I was introduced to Stewart when he was a young, struggling comedian as host of “Short Attention Span Theater” when it was just “the comedy channel”. I remember thinking, “This dude’s going places”.

        Yes, it’s too bad his politics lean douchey.

        1. It is not his politics so much as he is a bully. He licks the boots of the powerful and picks on people who can’t fight back.

          1. I blame most of that on Daily Show producers– if you’re referring to those kind-of-awful interview videos where they edit them up and make the subjects say stuff they never actually said.

          2. The best part about John Stewart is that his sycophantic fan base which is always whining about how comedians need to ‘punch up’ never seem to criticize a multi-millionaire prime-time comedian for insulting random Republican hicks in rural Alabama.

            When Charlie Hebdo mocked Muslims they were cruelly punching down. When John Stewart spends 5 minutes criticizing Jethro from Mooresville, that Rethuglican teabagger got what was coming.

            1. If you were really an independent libertarian (guffaws) you would appreciate his criticism of conservatives.

              I love the takedown of “SMUG” progressives on South Park.

              1. I love the takedown of “SMUG” progressives on South Park.

                We love the takedown of the Plug every time he shows his stupid face on these boards!

            2. Irish, that’s like saying criticizing people from Portland a la Portlandia is equivalent to depicting the Pope having sex with a young altar boy.

              1. No, Bo, it’s not. Do you think that if someone mocked individual Muslims the leftists would think it was okay, or would they call it ‘Islamophobic’ or ‘punching down?’

                Also:

                equivalent to depicting the Pope having sex with a young altar boy.

                Well, the left made a shitload of jokes about Catholic pedophiles, so even this argument proves my point.

                1. Don’t you get it yet, Irish? Priests are wealthy white western men, who have all the privilege associated with those things, and therefore, the same standards do not apply. You can say anything at all about them, but not about any group which does not have privilege, because that is evil. It is NOT about equality of treatment – what is acceptable is determined by the amount of privilege someone has.

                  /SJW

          3. Stewart has given some lefty icons rougher treatment than anyone else whose interviewed them.

            1. Stewart has given some lefty icons rougher treatment than anyone else whose interviewed them

              Citations required.

              1. Iirc he gave Obama a tough interview a time or two (during the 2012 campaign I believe). And did you see his Sebelius interview?

                1. LOL I knew you were a leftoid troll.

                  Did you see what they did to Peter Schiff? *That* is the treatment that no member of the leftoid clergy ever got from The Daily Propaganda Show.

            2. BCE lies.

      2. He flat out admitted his first show after the 2014 debacle that his job was to make Democrats feel better and “talk them off the ledge” after a drubbing like they received.

        With Hillary 2016 representing almost everything he is supposed to despise (cronyism, mendacity, and incompetence) I think he’s realized the jig is well up and he can’t keep his fan base happy and remain funny.

        1. Obama respresentong all of that didnt seem to bother him much.

          1. I think it wore him down. He clearly bought into Obama as a transformative figure for America that would not only rectify racial issues but also shift American politics permanently to the left.

            That obviously failed and after 2014 it’s clear he’s quite possibly the worst thing to happen to the Democratic Party since the Civil War. And now all he and other liberal faithful have to look forward to is Hillary Clinton?

            1. So he will take the cowards way out and run away depriving us of his suffering. Fuck him. He should be forced to shill for Hillary.

              1. he will take the cowards way out

                as usual

            2. Yeah, I watched his Obama interviews before the 2008 election. And man did he softball the guy. Stewart was practically batting his eyes and daydreaming of the Obama Presidency. It should come as a surprise to no one that he suddenly ‘mellowed out’ in regards to mocking the Administration after 2008.

        2. Oh yeah. It could not possibly be that he is tired of doing the same gig for 15 years?

          Bring on the wingnut conspiracy theory! He is ducking out before he has to defend Hil-Dog!

          1. He obviously loves what he does or he wouldn’t have kept doing it for so long, especially after Bush left office and deprived him of all those easy jokes to make.

            No, the political climate is changing and Stewart realizes his mantle as Smartass of the Left is going to be seriously complicated by the absurdity of a Hillary Clinton coronation. He’s cashing out while times are good.

            1. I think he did before his sabbatical to film Rosewater. But ever since he came back from that, it’s been obvious he no longer wants to be at TDS and would be rather off making another film.

            2. He’s cashing out while times are good.

              No he’s not. He’s a few years late for that. Seriously, TDS con JS has not been funny since 2007.

          2. We should just say mean things about Bill Maher so you throw another hissy fit because some people don’t like your favourite Z-list comedian.

    2. Could it be that the retard market has peaked? Is Stewart just selling high?

      1. Maybe he can’t stand the thought of defending four (or eight) years of Hillary.

    3. John Oliver has been warming up in the bullpen.

      1. I hate to admit it, but this is absolutely correct.

      2. There will always be a retard market

      3. He has a contract with HBO, I’m sure. They’ll probably give it to either Assef Mandvi or Samantha Bee.

        1. All those contracts have out clauses. The newer TDS reporters are terrible by the way. It can’t be as much fun these days based on personnel alone.

          1. I like Assef Mandvi and John Hodgman.

            1. Those two are actually funny. The only time in the last several years TDS was funny was when John Oliver hosted it.

    4. “His comedic brilliance is second to none.”
      Gee, and here I thought it was second to Jerry Lewis.

    5. Maybe they can bring back Kilborn.

      1. I don’t remember much about Kilborn, but I do remember he was at least willing to do Clinton jokes.

        1. I loved Kilborn as TDS host. That guy wasnt cut to be a network talk show host, and it was surprise when his late night show failed. But, I truly loved his “5 questions” segment on TDS.

        1. I don’t think he’s the right fit, but he’s worth a shot. I’m not sure if Tosh.0 is as good as it used to be.

          What about Joel HcHale from The Soup? He’s funny.

    6. This is incorrect.

      Craig Kilborn was the host of “The Daily Show’, a highly entertaining and hilarious news satire show. It was Kilborn that made The Daily Show a must-watch.

      Jon Stewart hosts ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ the inferior replacement show Comedy Central created when Kilborn went off to fail on network television. This insufferable lickspittle transformed the biting satire we’d all come to know and love, the incisive potshots at all political stripes, into a mouthpiece for the left and a prime example of sycophantic media.

      Good riddance.

  11. Stewart will make a damn fine Secretary of State.

  12. Vox.com’s Max Fisher on February 7th:

    Let’s be clear: The Obama Crusades controversy is over whether it’s okay to hate Muslims

    Vox’s Max Fisher today: Barack Obama denying that the kosher deli shooting was targeted at Jews is a ‘microgaffe.’

    Prediction: By February of 2016, Max Fisher will be White House press secretary. It will fit the Obama White House’s MO given that they’ve done things like promote Barack Obama’s van driver to National Security Counsel spokesman.

    1. I would call it a macrogaffe, but ok.

      1. I thought it wasn’t a big deal until Josh Earnest doubled down during his press briefing and wouldn’t admit it had anything to do with anti-Semitism. He got shit on so badly by the press corps for that, that he proceeded to later on in the day that ‘of course we’ve always called it anti-Semitism and know it was targeting Jews.’

        The Obama White House desperately tried to pretend this had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, then when they realized it wasn’t flying with even their own base, they proclaimed that they had always been at war with Eastasia.

        1. Exactly. I can buy and excuse Obama for misspeaking on this issue as long as the White House issued a clarification later in the day.

          But there’s zero excuse for the entire White House apparatus taking a miscue and running with it to such absurd lengths. Where do these idiots come from?

          1. They come from the pool of people who would actually want to swim in the chum that is Washington politics. So what do you expect?

          2. The best line from Josh Earnest’s press briefing was the following:

            Reporter: They weren’t targeted by name, but they were targeted by religion, were they not?

            Josh Earnest: Well John, there were people other than just Jews in that deli.

            Sort of like how if I bombed a Mosque and accidentally killed their Hindu janitor, clearly this attack was not meant to target Muslims. I mean a Hindu died, for Christ’s sake!

            1. “I’m talking about murder…she’s talking about blintzes!”

        2. I think the question is, what were the murderous attackers thinking in picking the deli. Was it, ‘we hate Jews, lets go kill some’ or was it ‘we hate Israel, Israel is a Jewish state, let’s go kill some Jews.’ In the first instance it’s straight up run of the mill anti-Semitism, in the second the anti-Semitism would be in treating Jews as some kind of fungible units the harming of which is a blow against Israel.

          1. They’re both clearly anti-semitism you hair-splitting twat.

          2. A distinction without a difference.

    2. Obama didn’t go nearly far enough, IMO.

      Here is what I would have said-

      “The Crusades were bad too. Face it – the Koran and Bible are the same shit with a different title. Maybe Islam will grow out of its juvenile stage like Christians are doing”.

      But I would have never been elected.

      1. Fuck off sock puppet

      2. “The Crusades were bad too. Face it – the Koran and Bible are the same shit with a different title.

        Right, which is why we just had yet another violent act where the attackers praised The Prophet Joseph Smith while shouting Yaweh Akbar!

        1. Trey Parker and Matt Stone can’t even go out in public anymore after the Mormons put a prince on their heads for making ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical.

          1. put a prince on their heads

            Are John-isms contagious?

          2. You think I take it easy on Islam? It has even scummier advocates than Christianity does.

            1. I’m saying you’re a retard for acting as if there is a moral equivalency between Christianity, whose adherents have learned to take a fucking joke, and Islam, which has millions of adherents willing to kill people for insulting their prophet.

              1. On the bright side, if Islam ever does modernize, in 300 years or so they’ll have the privilege of watching as a dipshit American president in the year 2315 declares that Muslims can’t criticize the recent Scientology related suicide bombings because of the actions of their co-religionists 200 years earlier.

                It’s the circle of life.

              2. I don’t think you should be expecting any kind of rational argument about theology from a simpleton.

                Palin’s Buttplug is to atheists what Westboro Baptist Church is to mainstream Christianity, i.e. a very broken person exposing their insecurities by ranting like a drunk, insane child.

              3. I’ve long suspected that if Jack Chick was born in Afghanistan in 1965, he’d be a murderous fuckhuge warlord with like, ten hot babes and a kick-ass stash of opium.

              4. I didn’t say Christians and Muslims were morally equivalent. I did say they were both based on bullshit lies.

                And I said that Muslims were juveniles compared to Xtians.

              5. Christianity got a 700 year head start. Christians in 1300 would have been happy to kill you for insulting their beliefs too.

                1. Christianity got a 700 year head start.

                  And this is a moronic argument if you know anything about either religion’s early foundation period. Compare Christianity’s early spread for the first couple hundred years up until Constantine to Islam’s spread over its first couple hundred years. Yeah, no difference at all in those religions’ origins. One certainly didn’t expand by conquest while the other expanded by exploiting Roman transportation systems (and later Roman bureaucracy but again, first couple hundred years). Comparing them both at their hundred year anniversary would still be a net positive for Christianity.

                  1. By, what, 325 Christianity got some pull and the result was not pretty, no?

                    1. By, what, 325 Christianity got some pull and the result was not pretty, no?

                      Which is exactly the point, Bo. They advance and regress and advance based on future events that are often unimaginable. I rather would have lived in a Muslim part of the world in 1300 AD and I rather would have lived in a Christian part of the world pretty much from 1650 until the present.

                      Your argument was that they advance at similar trajectories and that Christianity had a ‘head start.’ This is a self-evidently ridiculous argument, so now you’re nitpicking John Titor’s argument to avoid admitting your initial claim was wrong.

                    2. You misunderstood my argument.

                      Let’s say you are talking about two men and how they ‘turned out.’ You don’t have to assume they will have ‘similar trajectories’ to think it’s silly to pick a certain point when one is 21 and the other 30 and say ‘you know, that 30 year old really turned out better, didn’t he?’

                    3. Except that their foundational experiences being completely different negates any nonsense about a ‘700 year head start’. They developed and emerged in completely different ways and there is no ‘maturing period’ for religion.

                    4. Take the two men in my example. Let’s say one of them had an older brother, the other a younger sister. And let’s say the one with the brother did not boss anyone around in his life until the older brother moved out, but the one with the sister bullied her early on his life.

                      Now we come 15 years later for both of them, but the one with the brother is 30 and the one with the sister is 23. How silly would it be to make the judgement that the 30 year old has ‘turned out’ better?

                    5. And this is what we call a garbage analogy. Religions are not individuals. You’re anthropomorphizing complex social phenomena, which is utterly simplistic.

                      Oh look, there’s forty year old Zoroastrianism, how’s he doing? Oh wait, he’s in a coma now, because three year old Islam shanked him in the head.

                2. Christianity got a 700 year head start. Christians in 1300 would have been happy to kill you for insulting their beliefs too.

                  I continuously see this argument and it’s always retarded.

                  It assumes that all religions are the same and progress towards the same point at similar speeds. Unfortunately, the histories of Islam and Christianity show this is total horseshit.

                  Christianity began as a minority religion and spread slowly through conversion. Islam, on the other hand, was also a minority religion, but rather than being an oppressed minority religion like Christianity, Islam advanced VERY rapidly through military conquest. As a result, although Muslims were a minority throughout their early history, they were a privileged ruling class rather than an oppressed underclass like the Christians.

                  Given that they started from such wildly different origins, why do you seriously believe that they’ll inevitably progress to a similar degree of civilization at a similar rate?

                  They might become a free, peaceful religion more quickly than Christianity did. They might remain a relatively backwards religion until a comet kills us all. It’s intellectually lazy to pretend Christianity just had a head start and that they’ll all reach the same point eventually.

                  1. Christianity began when one of the world’s greatest powers dominated the area. Islam did not originate in a similar context. Once Christianity got pull they dove in head first into killing disbeleivers.

                  2. What Irish said. Early Christianity until the 4th century is fundamentally different from early Islam because they exploited Roman institutions (like their public transportation, degrees of religious freedom, etc.) in order to spread their faith primarily through voluntary conversion. Early Islam, in turn, expanded primarily by aggressive military invasions of pagans, Christians and Jews, followed by the installation of religious institutions that actively punished non-Muslims and coerced them into conversion.

                    Christianity obviously has its own horrible atrocities associated with it. But to pretend that how long a religion is around for or that religions progress and change in the exact same way is just plain ignorant and really, really Abrahamocentric (no, it’s not a word, but fuck you I’m using it) in the context of other older and newer religions.

                    1. In shear amount of time spent forcefully converting others, you get 1300 years for Islam (700-2000) and for Christianity (400-1800, charitably) 1400.

                    2. heh, ‘sheer’ not ‘shear’ (but there might have been some ‘shearing’ going on!)

                    3. It’s almost like I wrote something about the religions’ foundations, not their overall history. And that was specifically to show that religions do not develop or change in the same way at all and arguing that diverse and different faiths with different histories, cultures and societies have a specific ‘maturing’ period is moronic.

                      Better watch out, in the next fifty years the Ba’hai are going to start forcably converting Iran.

                3. Why are we assuming Islam would follow the same trajectory as Christianity? They are entirely separate religions and have fundamentally different ideas, not to mention regional cultures.

                  Additionally, Christian Europe fundamentally changed for the better when it got an injection of new ideas during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Islam has yet to change to despite exposure to the same.

                  1. You don’t have to assume the same trajectories, rather recognizing the relative maturity of the two suggests judging their relative development at this point in time might be a bad idea.

                    “Christian Europe fundamentally changed for the better when it got an injection of new ideas during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.”

                    Movements which were motivated in no small part by the weariness of the incredibly bloody Christian infighting that preceded and surrounded them.

                    1. Except that’s not how religions work and the age of a religion is irrelevant. Religions do not ‘mature’ through age like wine. Hinduism, despite being an extremely old and diverse faith, was still practicing sati when Europeans showed up. Islam had a more diverse and open interpretation of scripture through ijtihad in the Tenth century than they did in the Seventeenth. Religions are not on some long term Marx-esque march of history and progress, they’re constantly influenced by the period, culture and overall needs of their followers.

                    2. “when Europeans showed up.”

                      You mean, to conquer them, right?

                      Look, I get they don’t follow the same trajectories, my point is that it’s silly to give out some collective judgement given the fact that we don’t know how either ‘turns out,’ and we especially don’t know this about the ‘younger’ one.

                    3. “when Europeans showed up.”

                      You mean, to conquer them, right?

                      Yes Bo, no white European ever went to India for trade and recorded their traditions and practices. And shouting ‘IMPERIALISM’ isn’t relevant to the actual argument as to religions ‘maturing’. Also considering that the Indians and the ancient religion they conquered weren’t peace loving either.

                      my point is that it’s silly to give out some collective judgement given the fact that we don’t know how either ‘turns out,’ and we especially don’t know this about the ‘younger’ one.

                      And that’s a moronic point because the age of the religion is irrelevant, what matters is the theological arguments put forward based on religious texts and how they are practiced in both a modern and historical context, not in some vague hypothetical where you can imagine Islam being perfect and freedom loving. It’s perfectly reasonable to criticize the theology of Islam for having authoritarian positions based on the societal structure discussed in the Koran and Hadith. That’s at least a theological argument, not a vague hypothesis about what you imagine Islam would be like in a couple hundred years.

              6. I’m sure homosexuals in Uganda and Russia love the sense of humor displayed by their Christian countrymen.

                1. I think Christians, as a whole, are right now much better on liberty than Muslims as a whole, right now. I just think that the religions have been around different times and that they exist in different contexts (Christianity today is dominated by more developed places, Islam happens to be big now in rural, undeveloped places) and that there seems nothing inherent in the two that explain the current status.

                  1. Winner: Irish and Titor. Excellent quality of argument; changed my thinking on the subject would read again. I’d just like to add that I think the pathologies associated with Islam stem from Arab culture.

      3. As opposed to Palin’s Buttplug, who will never grow out of his juvenile stage.

        1. As opposed to Palin’s Buttplug, who will never grow out of his juvenile larval stage.

          FIFY (ya know…)

      4. I don’t see anything wrong with what PB says here. There’s tons of stuff in the Christian Bible that was and could be used to motivate horrible things. If anything the Christians have had longer to mature and grow out of this kind of thing.

      5. “…the same shit with a different title.”

        Sure they are. That is exactly what they are.

        See, when you say absurd shit like this, obvious calculated lies, you win people over. It works every time.

  13. pop culture is inherently anarchic, fun, and beyond the control of P.C. masters of the left and the right

    This is true, and what is so appealing about it to so many. It’s also a way to connect with people through shared art/entertainment; “hey, you watch Always Sunny too?”, which means it generally needs to stay away from explicit politicizing anyway to appeal across the spectrum.

    I do think she’s overoptimistic in attributing positive attitudes towards liberty in pop culture, though. Usually the expression of liberty is a desire for liberty for the entertainer and possibly people they identify with, not everyone as a whole. That’s not always true, but it is often the case.

    But the main problem with her interpretation is that she goes from explicitly saying this is not a phenomenon of the left or the right, and then identifies as her examples several people who are pretty explicitly on “the right” (whatever that has come to mean). The point is, she just sort of damaged her theory by showing that she actually identifies with “the right”, instead of explicitly rejecting any of those asinine and statist spectrum positions. By doing so, she either 1) cannot get pop culture properly by her own definition, or 2) she really just means that “true” pop culture leans in her (rightward) direction.

    So I really don’t see much of value in her interpretation, to be honest.

    1. You would say that, you ass.

      1. You know, JJ, if I want your opinion I’ll roll over and ask your mom what it would be.

        1. Which reminds me, you still owe us some money you cheap-ass Jew fuckwit.

          1. Though she did say you were a caring lover, so you’ve got that going for you.

            1. Fine, JJ, just ruin my reputation, you fucking jerk!

              1. Oh, I know you want to portray the internet tuff gai to the unwashed here in the comments section, but really, the world should know the real you.

                Guys, Epi even took me to SeaWorld like he was my real father. And thanks to my hideous congenital scrotum deformity, we got a special pass to skip the lines. It was a magical day.

                1. JJ, I am your real father. That’s the only reason I took you. I can’t stand you otherwise.

                  And guess where you got that deformity from.

                  (unzips pants)

                  1. How many readers want us to keep going back and forth in this increasingly inane self-appreciative circle-jerk?

                    Vote with your comments!

    2. Sunny is different from South Park in that it’s virtually never political. In the episode “The Gang Runs For Office”, they deconstructed a number of political tropes – the candidate kissing babies, infighting among the candidates staff, bribery – but they never made fun of any particular political viewpoint.

      The only time they were open about critiquing a political group was in “Sweet Dee Gets Audited”. Charlie, Mac, and Dee formed the “Pickle Party”:

      – Charlie, you can’t just start your own party. You got to talk to people about-

      – Yes, you can.

      – You can?

      If you’re not as educated or as informed, what you do is you start your own party and you yell the loudest.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like a critique of the Tea Party.

      That aside, the dominant political message of Sunny is cynicism. In two different episodes, Dennis laments that “Who am I supposed to vote for? The Democrat who’s blasting me in the ass or the Republican who’s blasting me in the ass?” To which Mac adds, “Politics is all one big ass-blast”.

      In the commentary for “The Gang Recycles Their Trash”, Glenn Howerton, who plays Dennis, said “I still feel that way.”

      1. There was a gun control episode last season (“Gun Fever Too: Still Hot”), which I found did a very good job of taking down both sides, so that’s kind of to your point about the overriding message usually being cynicism/”people are idiots”.

      2. Always Sunny specifically goes out of its way to be either non-partisan, or it will purposefully have half the characters take one position and half the opposite, like in “Gun Fever Too”; and it even has each side switching to the other side during the course of the episode. I admire that a lot about them, because it shows that being funny to everyone is way more important to them than some retarded political axe to grind.

        But that’s why they are such a good example of the kind of thing De Pasquale thinks she’s talking about.

        1. And the gang policing themselves over politically incorrect language always cracks me up. They’re the worst people around, and yet they believe they’ve got the moral standing to correct others.

          Wait a second…does that happen in real life too?!?

  14. One of the most surreal experiences of my life was a time I was at the grocery story, and there’s some familiar music playing, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Then I realized to my growing horror that it was a Muzac version of “I Wanna Be Sedated”.

  15. So explain Green Day, which is pretty much bog standard leftism in bog standard pop punk form?

    1. Overrated has-beens much like John Stewart.

    2. I don’t think anyone is claiming that all examples of punk are non-leftist.

  16. Stewart on Brian Williams: Finally! Someone Held Accountable for Iraq Lies

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/ste…..iraq-lies/

    Excellent!

  17. “Whom…actually understand…”

    Jesus Christ Gillespie, don’t you have a PhD in English? Learn how to use the objective case properly. And if you use “thusly” one more time, please do the world a favor and stop writing. At least in English.

  18. Greg Gutfeld is adorable. There I said it

    1. Greg Gutfield is a cunt, you are cunt, and your whole family is a bunch of stupid cunts. There, I said it. Actually, I wrote it, (using punctuation, as I managed to graduate 3rd grade.)

      1. “Greg Gutfield is a cunt. (period not comma as I graduated from the 6th grade.)

  19. In these here United States, the true rebel is the guy in the white shirt and tie, short hair, horn rimmed glasses and with a pocket protector.

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