Tag: Satire

The Best of Lee: Team America, World Police

Given recent events, I thought it would be nice to link up Lee’s post on Team America: World Police where he responds to the negative review from Roger Ebert:

Particularly important quote:

Is there any doubt that if this were a two-hour Bush bashing fest Ebert would have found it a brilliant piece of political satire? Ebert, who is usually pretty astute when it comes to these sort of things, is so blinded by his political opinions that he missed the entire point of the film. Team America represents America itself, Roger. This point is so blatantly obvious that only Ebert’s willful ignorance can explain his inability to see it.

During the end scene in North Korea, when Gary is doing the dick/pussy/asshole speech, he is obviously talking about America. The point of the speech, and of the film itself, is that America is a giant, blustery, idealistic 800lb gorilla. Often times we do things and we fuck them up horribly, but as it stands right now we’re the only country able to do them. In one priceless scene, Hans Blix confronts Kim Jong Il, ordering Kim (under authority of the United Nations) to give him unlimited access to his compound to check for WMD. “Or what?” Kim asks. Blix then replies sternly, “We’ll get really, really mad. And we’ll send you an angry letter!” The point here is one that I have made many, many times on this blog. You can only threaten action so many times before you get called on your bluff. The UN, without american power, is utterly impotent to deal with threats. And while America might not be the most diplomatic nation sometimes, we’re the only ones who can get the job done.

Think about “red lines” and other such empty threats Barack Obama has made.

He also gets into why so many celebrities, including Ebert, hated the film so intensely.

When I write a post I leave myself fully open to getting torn a new asshole. People can immediately leave comments telling me what I clueless douchebag I am, and occasionally they’re right. These celebrity morons, however, are never, ever challenged on their bullshit. Sean Penn goes to Iraq and returns to be treated like an expert on the subject. (You know, I went to the zoo once, but that doesn’t mean I can speak authoritatively on elephants or giraffes.)

The reason Ebert doesn’t like seeing pampered, self-righteous, egotistical celebrity morons being made fun of is that he himself is a pampered, self-righteous, egotistical celebrity moron. He only sees nihilism in this film is because he cannot imagine a world in which his opinion is not important, and by tearing down people who have the same opinions as him you are, by proxy, destroying the very reason he exists: to tell other people what he thinks. The difference, of course, is that in the area of film Ebert speaks with authority. In the area of social commentary he’s just as much a bloviating, self-righteous dick as I am. But when you’re used to people kissing your ass telling you how brilliant you are, being cut down to size can be a bitter pill to swallow.

Read the whole thing, as always.

Generation Eggshell

Last week, I mentioned the efforts of law students to delay exams because of the “trauma” of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury results. You can read a desperate effort to defend these efforts here. Now we have the latest:

Omar Mahmood is a student at the University of Michigan. He considers himself a political conservative and a Muslim. And until recently, he enjoyed writing for both of the campus’s newspapers: the institutional, liberal paper, The Michigan Daily, and the conservative alternative paper, The Michigan Review.

After penning a satirical op-ed for The Review that mocked political correctness and trigger warnings, The Daily ordered him to apologize to an anonymous staffer who was offended and felt “threatened” by him. He refused and was fired.

Last week, he became the victim of what The College Fix has described as a “hate crime.” The doorway of his apartment was vandalized in the middle of the night; the perpetrators pelted the door with eggs and scribbled notes like “shut the fuck up” and “everyone hates you you violent prick.” They left copies of the offending column and a print-out picture of Satan.

Boy, that column must have been just horrible. It must have been some Nazi screed or something. Um, here it is. Sample text:

The right thing… The right thing… I became so aware at that moment of the left hand that I had thrust out before falling, and suddenly my humanity was reduced to my handydnyss. The words rang in my eardrums, and my blood throbbed. This was the microaggression that broke the gender-neutral camel’s back. But unlike other microaggressions, this one triggered a shift in my worldview. All this while, I had been obsessed only with the color on this campus. All of a sudden, though, that became a side issue. All those race-based microaggressions now seemed trivial. I had, I realized, forgotten to think intersectionally.

The biggest obstacle to equality today is our barbaric attitude toward people of left-handydnyss. It’s a tragedy that I, a member of the left-handed community, had little to no idea of the atrocious persecution that we are dealt every day by institutions that are deeply embedded in society. So deeply embedded, and so ever-present, that we don’t even notice them.

When I was in college, a student responded to political correctness with a similar satirical op-ed about the oppression of Latvian Americans (sample: “if you look at a map of our campus through a hole poked in a box of Cap’n Crunch, it resembles a hammer and sickle, the symbol of our ultimate oppressor, the Soviet Union”). Some people didn’t like it. At least one person illustrated the politically correct’s inability to understand humor, penning a response that if he thought Latvian-American were being oppressed, he should come to the board about it. But no one tried to shut him up.

It’s only gotten worse for free speech on college campuses. You basically can’t say anything without someone not only getting offended but being empowered to make you shut up. Greenfield:

Frankly, those who fail to understand why the anonymous staffer felt threatened haven’t been paying attention. I completely understand, and fully support, the anon staffer. Mahmood’s satire forced the staffer to do something no young person should ever be required to do, every be required to suffer: think. This is, after all, the age of feelings, and it is clearly sufficient that deeply held beliefs not be challenged, as it gives rise to mental damage that no one should ever have to endure.

But that the Daily, in the face of such offensive conduct, fired Mahmood for his lefty-ism is a cloud that will hover over it for a very long time. By the way, the Daily isn’t a person, and can’t speak or make a decision. The decision must have come from the Most special snowflake editor, or the board of delicate teacups, to fire Mahmood rather than smack the anon staffer for being a disgrace to a student newspaper.

Greenfield also has a video of the four girls preparing to deface Mahmood’s door. But don’t expect anyone to respond to their vandalism and threats the same way they responded to Mahmood’s hurty hurty words. Because the one thing we’re learning is that you can never go too far when it comes to keeping people from being offended.

The Triumph of Obamacare

I think it’s time for us on the blog to finally admit that Obamacare has been a roaring success, far in excess of what even the most optimistic supporters projected. I mean, just check out the numbers:

  • At least six million people have signed up for insurance on the exchanges, close to the seven million Obama hoped for. Now granted, only two million of those were previously uninsured; the rest were people who were already insured but had their plans — some of which they really liked and were much cheaper — cancelled because they weren’t compliant. And, granted, nine million previously insured people have bought policies by ignoring the marketplaces and dealing with insurance companies directly (which was a fairly typical number prior to Obamacare). But two million people! All we need is 24 more Obamacares and there will be no uninsured!
  • Actually, Obamacare is even better than that. About 4.5 million people have been swept into Medicaid. Now granted, Medicaid is not a very good insurance system. Many of the best doctors refuse to see Medicaid patients and Medicaid-intensive hospitals are some of the worst in the country. But still, that means only nine more Obamacares and we’ve got this uninsured problem licked!
  • Something less than a million people are uninsured right now because their insurance was cancelled by Obamacare regs. Meh. Serves them right for having jobs.
  • The CBO projected in February that 13 million more people would have insurance thanks to Obamacare. And here we are, two months later, and it’s looking we may actually have a whole third of that! A third! And almost all of that is by expanding the glorious Medicaid system!
  • We’ve gotten all this for the bargain basement price of, depending on who you believe, somewhere between $1 trillion and all the money in the world plus all the money on other planets that will be discovered by the James Webb Telescope. Now, granted, for that price, we could probably have bought high-deductible plans for all of the newly insured and given them a $5000 HSA to cover the deductible. That wouldn’t have disrupted anyone else’ insurance either. But then what would the poor bureaucrats do?
  • I think we all know the conclusion to draw from this: we need to now move to single payer. The success of Obamacare tells us that we need single payer. And the failure of Obamacare tells us that we need single payer. The canceling of perfectly legitimate insurance plans tells us we need single payer. The massive premium increases tells us we need single payer. Actually, when Venus is in the house of the ram, it tells us that we need single payer. When the sun rises in the east, we need single payer.

    We just need single payer dammit ‘cuz REASONS!

    Why Would I Do That?

    You know, the Onion has a point. They have a satirical article about Obama not wanting to run for President again:

    Arguing he’d have to be certifiably insane or some kind of sadistic freak to extend his presidency, Obama asked why anyone with half a brain would willingly open himself up to constant vilification by media strategists, or place himself in a situation that involves so much work for such little reward. He also asked the audience how “messed up and sick” he’d have to be to devote nearly a decade of his life to an unending cycle of political gamesmanship that stifles progress at every turn.

    The Onion is coming at this from a very liberal viewpoint of asking why the country is so sick we can’t get on board the Obama Awesomeness Agenda. In fact, a lot of the “the system is broken” criticism from the Left has that taste to it: that the system must be broken because we can’t create universal healthcare or double education spending (again). It would never occur to them that the opposition to many of Obama’s policies is the system working.

    But the article does circle the question we always ask: who the hell would want to run for President? Who would want to have their past dug through, their every statement and gesture analyzed? Who would want to be the subject of a thousand ridiculous rumors and “facts”? Who would want to have reasonable positions portrayed as — take your pick — socialism, fascism, racism, elitisms, Christianism? Who would want to spend all their time raising money, scratching backs and telling the American people everything they want to hear but nothing that they need to hear?

    The answer, of course is: politicians. I was at an event where someone asked P.J. O’Rourke this question and he responded that politicians enjoy the game. They love cold-calling people for donations. They love scoring cheap points on the Sunday morning shows and unfairly mocking their opponents’ positions. It’s a game, if you have the right semi-sociopathic mentality.

    That’s why the few politicians who don’t seem to enjoy that game, who do seem interested in ideas and debate strike such a chord among the general public. Reagan was this way, to some extent, although he also played the game about as well as it has ever been played. Ron Paul is this way. John Huntsman maybe. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. A few others. But they seem to be getting rarer and rarer.

    Libertarian Straw

    Good satire should not be discounted only because you are sympathetic with it’s target, even if the satire is built on straw:

    Clever, and whoda thought those wacky libs could come up with something clever?

    First off, don’t be hatin’ on The Nuge. I’m all  in favor of a good laugh at the expense of my side, but when you make fun of someone who is a crack shot, both with a gun and a bow, and could kill you in a hundred different ways (although he is such a good environmentalist, that if he did kill you, he would eat you afterwards) you are just asking for trouble.

    And someone should point out the obvious to these folks, that is the difference between libertarians (minimal government intrusion) and anarchists (what government, we do what we want).

    The perfunctory shot at Beck? who cares, he brings it on himself. Oh, and that nice interracial couple in the video? They are so progressive, I just want to give them both a hug.

    No doubt some out there will fall for the pitch, more government, and the sooner the better, and if the left finds a need to keep lecturing me with videos, I prefer scenes with nice sandy beaches and armed pirates, to that of Obama wagging his finger at me again telling me to pay more of my fair share. That part is not at all funny.

    Oh, almost forgot, found this in the WSJ this morning:

    Somalia would welcome a U.S. special-forces attack on al Qaeda-affiliated militants on Somali soil, similar to the strike that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, said Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday.

    “I would prefer training so we can do it ourselves,” Mr. Mohamed said in an interview. “But in the absence of that, if there is a target or a threat to dismantle, I would welcome it.” U.S. officials declined to comment.

    Hot dog, now if Somalia ever moves and borders Afghanistan, would got it made.