Sunday, January 16, 2011

Speaking of Mama Grizzlies, I was once again puzzled by the goings on in the US. After a person who might be called a loony-bird by less politically correct, cruder folk went on a shooting spree in Tucson, the early consensus among media types and some on the far left seemed to be that Sarah Palin was somehow to blame. Apparently, her map with crosshairs targeting certain seats for takeover by Republicans caused a guy who, among other things, was upset about the improper usage of English grammar* to go on a shooting spree.

This all began a debate on the recent (?) lack of civility in US politics which---if you are so foolish as to read comments on newspaper articles/editorials---seemed to mostly be partisans blaming each other for being at least partially responsible for the shootings. Obviously, it was a political shooting, I learned, as a politician was shot.

Sarah Palin doesn't seem to be the type one would want to answer the phone at 3AM to deal with a national crisis, and many have insinuated---or outright said---that she is an idiot. Whether she is or isn't, she is much smarter than many of her opponents and the attention-seeking, tattletale media: "Mommy, mommy, Sarah stuck out her tongue!" One of the few who seem to get Palin and her affect on supporters is Frank Rich of the NYT.

In an angry time when America’s experts and elites all seem to have failed, her amateurism and liabilities are badges of honor. She has turned fallibility into a formula for success. Frank Rich, NYT

He was talking about Republican opposition to her, but it applies across the board. (His article of today concerning the shooting and aftermath is good too).

During this controversy over violence-inciting military/firearms language being over-used, ABC news reported on a Weather Bomb which was about to "explode" over the eastern USA. Back in the day, we referred to these things as winter storms, which became weather events, which became "White Armageddon 1998," or the "OMG! We're All Gonna Die Fog Event of 1999." Stay tuned for continued coverage which consists of cute reporters standing outside in the snow and commenting on how cold it is with scenes of people who can't drive in snow crashing or getting stuck. Stock scenes will do fine.

Why do I feel better informed by The Onion

Snowy Conditions Proving Hazardous For Nation's Idiots

and Jon Stewart

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Veiled Criticism
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

and why do I wish we had Japanese versions?

End of editorial. Sorry, I mean rant. Editorials are the ones in newspapers.

*Anyone who has ever worked as a proofreader knows that if being obsessed with proper grammar is a sign of insanity, the world is doomed. Just for fun, see if you can let an error get through and then sit back and wait for the letters and e-mails. It's even more fun if you have an international readership from the US, England, Australian, New Zealand** and so on. (Must use "so on" and not "etc." etc is for use only in parentheses, but that's another fun topic which may depend on your style guide.)

**Speaking of poor English, Google spell check does not recognize "Zealand" of New Zealand as a properly spelled word.

EDITED: 5:52pm and again at 6:44 and 7:39.


  1. Jeffrey2:27 AM

    Sarah Palin is a media whore. She no more wants to be president than she wanted to be governor. She might indeed run in 2012, but that would do so just to get her face in the press even more than it is now, if that's possible.

    If he isn't to already, John McCain will burn in hell for foisting her on the nation. Just as Colin Powell bears almost all the blame for not preventing the Iraq invasion, McCain (with the help of FOX "News") must shoulder the blame for helping to further coarsen what passes as public political discourse in the U.S. by making Palin legitimate in the eyes of too many of the great unwashed.

    While Palin is not responsible for the killing in Arizona, the shooter was politically motivated and left evidence documenting this, though none of it can be construed to link his "motivation" to the hate speech typical of Limbaugh, O'Reily or Beck or Palin's idiotic map and her slogan, "Don't retreat, reload!"

    There were, however, other Republican congressional candidates in the last election (including the one who ran against Giffords) who could have been considered liable had their opponents been shot because of what they said or did during the campaign.

    In particular, there was a failed Republican candidate in Florida who held a campaign event at which one could shoot at targets with pictures of the Democratic candidate affixed to them. Kind of hard to misinterpret or exaggerate in inappropriateness of that one.

  2. Anonymous5:38 PM

    Does anybody read your blog? You just seem like a ranting idiot. Maybe I'm wrong. But I definitely know that you're a pompous jackass. How does it feel to be a complete loser?

    P.S. Anybody who reads Shisaku and actually recommends it is a complete idiot. You have to have down syndrome to take that shit seriously.

  3. Jeffery: yes, I understand that, and agree that debate seems to have coarsened in the US, although I wonder if a lot of it is not due to it being easier for more people to contribute outside of politicians themselves. In a year, will the rhetoric have toned down at all?

  4. Dear Anon: Thank you for your comment. Now I know how to write posts without seeming like a ranting idiot thanks to you.

    Regards, pompous jackass and complete loser with downs syndrome.

    PS. Did you make the other anonymous comment of the 19th stating that 千と千尋の神隠し is not Sen to Chiharu ni Kami Kakuchi, but Chiharu ni Kakuchi. If so, thank you for the lesson. But I must ask, what happened to 神 in 神隠し?千と千尋の神隠し:


  5. Jeffrey9:08 AM

    I agree - the Internet and the dominance of a 24-hour news cycle, a beast that must be fed, certainly widens and intensifies the situation.
    But I don't think it is at all partisan to insist that this climate really didn't exist prior to the second Clinton administration and the rise of Fox News. Millions of us hate Reagan viscerally, but were never in a position to do more than complain amongst ourselves. Today, if Ailes and Murdoch don't happen to like an unpleasant truth or inconsistency being pointed out, the network will spin like mad or simply ignore whatever it finds inconvenient.

    The thing about it is that I don't think any of them really care about politics except for how it can be manipulated to support a beggar thy neighbor form of capitalism.

    Surely you remember how revolutionary CNN seemed as it came of age during the first Gulf war? It was full of good, straight reporting. Then the conservative stars seemed to align with the rise of Gingrich, the pointless Clinton impeachment, Fox News and a sharp turn to the right by both the NYT and Washington Post, who both had it in for Clinton as well. Things in the American news media and politics have never been the same since.

    The news media is now a guard dog with neither bark not bite - it no longer will call a spade a spade because it is now either in decline (print news) and worries about losing what few advertisers and subscribers it retains or has mutated into just another profit center for broadcast networks.

  6. Anonymous9:49 AM

    Its Down syndrome (sometimes referred to as trisomy 21). Not downs syndrome. Fucking genius. No wonder you're a loser. I'm glad you think you're superior than the Japanese(you're not). You're just a loser who couldn't deal with the harsh realities of the Western world, and consequently has to belittle the Japanese because of your inferiority complex.

    Go ahead and act like the silly little prick that you are.

  7. Jeffery: Yes, I think it did begin around 93-94. As far as the old media (especially TV), I think it has become more entertainment than anything else. Fortunately, I only see occasional snippets of FOX TV.

  8. Jeffrey: To expand a bit, I do believe things started to get much rougher during the Clinton administration. With the rise of talk radio and FOX some of the extremes got much worse, as they seem to have on some parts of the web.

    I am not living there now which means I am lacking a certain "feel" for what is really going on, so I mean it when I say there are things I don't get now. Bewildering in many ways---I can read/watch/listen to most of the news that I could were I there, but it is entirely different than living and experiencing it firsthand.

    It seems to me that if people on any side begin accusing the others of being somehow responsible for the shootings (I know that you aren't doing that) that there will be no chance of reducing the coarseness of political debate. From reading online comments from both sides on the Internet, especially some news articles, I got the impression that what is being touted as a chance to lessen the acrimony, was having the opposite effect.

    Not that I think that it will have much long term effect anyway. It will be nice if I am wrong.