FEEDING THE SQUIRREL GANG
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Peanut Gallery:
LOL, after I found out the squirrel story wasn’t going to be another Jimmy Carter/rabbit thing.
— Roger Ross
I’m typically not one to harp on relatively minor politically incorrect transgressions. As a yuppie intruder in a working-class San Francisco neighborhood dominated by Mexican, Vietnamese, Filipino, and, most recognizably, smelly bums of all stripes, I’ve become well aware of my own ignorance, my impulses to distrust what I find unfamiliar, and, from time to time, my willingness to take some guiltless pleasure in the delicious ironies of clumsy ethnic stereotypes. That being said, I think “Peanut Gallery” tests the boundaries of taste, respect, and subtlety. More importantly, it isn’t funny. The heart of your squirrel narrative is lively because the animals in question take on some amusing human qualities. Unfortunately, your reliance on lame race jokes that wouldn’t make the final cut of a Jackie Chan flick kills whatever buzz it can muster.
Jamaican immigrants wear silly floppy hats and panhandle change. Actually, aside from the dreadlocked stoners in the metro trying to capitalize on your average white dude’s tame Rasta stereotypes for a quick buck, they probably don’t. And I’m sure you, being a music guy, are well aware that frat boys and brain-dead hippies buy most of the Bob Marley albums these days, and that real believers, for better or for worse, turn to the ferocious polemics of amped-up dancehall thugs like Elephant Man and Beenie Man for their fix. As for your wizened Asian sage with a rake, I’m wondering, against my better judgment, if you, like — ahem — some of my former associates, spent too many early college mornings, presumably not blazed out of your mind, watching Drunken Wu-Tang on a 13-inch television in the dankest corner of some Cinema Studies sociopath’s bombed-out dorm room. Our Asian brothers don’t talk like that and they, obviously, don’t think like that. Hmm, this f–ing idiot needs to get a life and stop trying to placate a deranged rodent. That’s more like it. Likewise, if my new Salvadorian bar buddies down the street at Jack’s can serve as any indicator, your spirited Latino neighbors might very well refer to you in much more colorful language than “loco gringo.” See, that’s too dull for even the most demented Taco Bell commercial.
Ethnic humor only begins to work when the stereotype is true and the joke is not cruel. Furthermore, it’s only a little funny when the stereotype, in addition to being true to some extent, stretches an audience’s means of comprehension away from the mundane notions perpetuated by mainstream movies, music, and media. Finally, it’s only hysterical when the stereotype is rooted in the sort of knowledge that can only be honed through the experience of co-existing in some fashion with people very much unlike yourself. Or at any rate, it might approach the hilarity of watching a grown man mince about to avoid violence at the paws of killer squirrels.
Anyway, I’ve really got to get back to work. You’re a good writer and probably a good chap so I won’t jump to any conclusions just yet.
— Andrew Simmons
San Francisco, California
I am shocked that Mr. Macomber chose European style appeasement of these cretins who in most likelihood are illegal immigrants. To cave to such posturing in our own country will only embolden other squirrels to seek a free peanut through intimidation. Next time take the fight to the squirrels by hissing back not only at them, but at the regimes that harbor them.
— Jason Stonefeld
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Debate Fatigue:
Wonder who’ll watch the two remaining debates, given the length and dullness of the first one? Will more people watch, wanting to see if the president wins or if his political tombstone is delivered?
Regardless, the mainstream media will continue its hype that these encounters are the definitive, decisive encounters of the race. The MSM longs to fulfill, needs to fulfill, the myth that the Massachusetts senator is last-minute, in-a-rush closer who triumphs. Regardless, the MSM will find some way to declare him winner or call the debates a draw.
I’m with you, guessing — hoping and praying, really — that the majority of those who cast votes will know the right way to vote. Otherwise and figuratively, it’ll be some tough sledding in July, continuously perhaps, for the next four years. Will we have to take a global test daily regarding protecting ourselves? After all, Mr. Consistently Inconsistent of Massachusetts once said, “I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”
Certainly, we’d have to endure — and pray to survive — the windsock policies and dangerous flights of fancy of this man who also once said, “I think there has been an exaggeration of the terrorist threat.”
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
Tyrrell’s assertion in “Debate Fatigue” that “I suspect they will encourage a segment of the electorate to vote Democratic, the segment that considers itself very intellectual without actually being intellectual” reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s description of the godless who suppress the universal, natural revelation of God as those who “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22 ).
Or, to borrow a thought from the great English theologian John Owen who said, “Nothing so blinds us to our depravity as our depravity,” we might say, “Nothing so blinds us to our lack of intellectualism as our intellectualism.”
— John R. Spain
RIGHT OR WRONG
Re: David Hogberg’s Party Animal:
Hewitt gored your ox, did he, Mr. Hogberg?
All kidding aside, I can’t argue with your mentions of the steel tariffs and what certainly appears to have been excessive federal spending during the first two years of his presidency, (although you could make a case for expanding the tent by at least some of those expenditures), but your contention that it’s Bush’s fault that his 2001 tax cuts weren’t front loaded is off base. Those delays were in most part due to a vicious, monolithic opposition by the Democrats, coupled with the need to cater to a few wrong-headed but powerful Republican Senators and congressmen who weren’t overwhelmed with those cuts in the first place. I think Bush did what he had to do to get them enacted at all. The fact that he’s signed a tax cut bill for every one of his four years secured my support for his fiscal policies, steel tariff or no, front loading or no. As you’ve mentioned in other articles, the deficit will take care of itself, through growth, just as it did in the ’90s, proving those above-mentioned Republicans wrong again. But we still need to make room for them, don’t we?
— Tim Jones
I agree with Hogberg’s premise with the exception of the closing sentence. Given that Bush is battling not only the left, but the “anybody but Bush” faction, a media that is aiding and abetting those groups, what appears to be an inexhaustible amount of money, an evenly divided Senate, I am amazed he has been able to navigate as well and accomplish as much as he has. Given all these factors I’m not sure he would be in any stronger position for reelection had he followed a more strictly conservative approach.
— Tim Reed
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
I am not a Party Animal, as described by David Hogberg. Wishy-washy Republican describes me better. Come to think of it, that is an apt description of my Senator, Arlen Specter, but for different reasons.
I’m wishy-washy because I was happy to register Democrat, to vote for Bob Casey, Jr. in the gubernatorial primary against Ed Rendell.
I’m wishy-washy because I’ll vote for a Democrat, like my representative Mike Doyle, if he or she is pro-life.
And I’ll vote against Arlen Specter, because he forgot about the 11th commandment vis-à-vis Jeff Sessions and Robert Bork.
Now contemplate Arlen Specter, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee. Does your blood run cold?
My dilemma: cast a “protest” vote for Jim Clymer, Constitution party, or avoid “wasting” my vote by giving it to Joe Hoeff…whoever, Democrat. Since the primary objective of the mission is Specter’s defeat, and the Democrat (oh yeah, Hoeffel) is the only one who has a prayer of beating him, I am seriously considering the Democrat.
Specter, Hoeffel, Kang or Kodos — who will do the least harm?
This elephant has a good memory. Jeff Sessions and Robert Bork will not soon be forgotten.
— Dan Martin
I also disagree with the President’s triangulation, but there is no viable alternative, and I think we can see it as a success by considering what it is that Kerry keeps talking about.
— G.B. Hall
Re: Bryan van Bergan’s letter (under “Bad Hair Day”) in Reader Mail’s Tabin or Not Tabin:
As I read Bryan van Bergan’s screed, I found myself choking. I simply was unable to swallow his claim to be a former Republican. It may be true if he was kidnapped by NOW, ritualistically castrated, lobotomized and brain-washed into some sort of 21st century Manchurian candidate. Otherwise, I feel he is another bottom feeder from Democratic Underground with the principals and morals of a tomcat.
His claim that writers and editors that offer opinion articles are “mental midgets” because they do not balance their pieces and pay homage to a “God filled universe” is an exercise on self delusion. A true “mental midget” is one who believes the AP does not favor one side or offer opinions in it’s reports and Dan Rather was not trying to influence the election with his 60 Minutes II hit piece.
My final piece of advice is one given to me long ago, “if you think you’re going to say something stupid keep your mouth shut, lest you open it and remove all doubt!”
— Scotty Uhrich
Memo to Mr. Bryan van Bergen: Starting your screed with the words “As a former Republican…” suggests that you were only a RINO to begin with, and went to New Jersey to be converted to who knows what. Having discredited yourself with your first sentence (a masterpiece of ignorance in sentence structure and grammar), you showed that the rest of your blather was not worth reading. Get a life sir, although I know it must be hard to do in the salt marshes and pine barrens. I think however, that you might feel right at home in the cranberry bogs.
— C.D. Lueders
Boca Raton, Florida
Perhaps Mr. van Bergen would be more content with the Republican Party, the party he left, if it and the Spectator would balance their take on the news as do the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and the Alphabet Networks on TV. After all, these fine institutions have never done anything to detract from their reputations as non-partisan news-gatherers. I mean, for crying out loud, if you can’t believe CBS, who can you believe?
— Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
May I reply to the recent letter from “former Republican” Bryan van Bergen of Noo Joisey? Thank yew. This letter was such a curious collection of fever-dream mad ramblings about Hitler and Hannibal Lector, I hardly know where to begin. I will leave the psychoanalysis to others, and focus on one statement, that perhaps people would listen more if bloggers were more like “…real journalists…” with “…real facts…”
Oh, you mean like See-BS with their “real” fake documents? Almighty God, forbid it!
The Spanish-American War (1898) was created, from whole cloth, almost single-handedly by William Randolph Hurst — and he bragged about it! In the following one hundred years — id est, the entire Twentieth Century — “real journalists” have given away our national secrets (and gotten our agents killed in the process), have mercilessly destroyed the lives and reputations of good and decent citizens, have turned a blind eye to the criminal acts of the anointed elite of the ruling class, lost one war by swaying public opinion against it while lending credence to the lies of traitors (and they’re trying it again!), and time and time again have come down on the wrong side of important issues. At the end of WWII, it was “real journalists” who said that democracy was impossible in Japan — a country that had never known self-rule and who believed that their Emperor was literally a god!
The bloggers, on the other hand, are ridiculed as being ordinary, garden-variety slobs, sitting around their houses, in their underwear, drinking beer (I am!), who are (GASP!) NOT EVEN TRAINED JOURNALISTS! But who, nevertheless — in less than two hours, using nothing more than an American made computer, driven by American software, and expending no more resources than American ingenuity and good ol’ Yankee know-how — were able to spot fake documents that had fooled the mighty and highly-respected big-shot Major News Media, with their budget in the mega-bucks range, and literally an army of “experts” at their beck-and-call.
All things considered, I’ll take the bloggers every time. Hands down. Slam-dunk. No contest. And all “real” journalists can, to borrow a splendid expression from our mates Down Under, GET STUFFED!
— William M. Zwiker
I was certainly happy to read that Mr. van Bergen is no longer a Republican. Anyone who demonstrates such utter lack of comprehension can go to the Democrats (or the dogs) with my blessings.
First of all, Bryan, if you don’t like the way the writers express themselves on The American Spectator just eliminate some of the congestion on the Internet and don’t read it! It is, after all, an OPINION publication and unlike The New York Times doesn’t pretend to be anything else.
And in the second and third places, I see that you are totally out of
logical arguments because you;
1) stooped to use profanity, which is the last bastion of the illiterate, in an ad hominem attack on the writer, and 2) you brought up Hitler! Everyone knows that when Hitler is mentioned in
an argument the game is over.
Go read the scholarly writings on MoveOn.org and the like — or perhaps you’d be more interested in Mein Kampf? You can find some interesting quotes from it at www.jews-for-allah.com.
— Bob Johnson
Re: Mr. R. Clark’s letter (under “Ever Polite”) in Reader Mail’s Bouncing Back:
While I appreciated all of Mr. Clark’s kind letter, I thought he was really “spot on” in his observations concerning the negative results when Canadian teenagers were polled re their attitudes toward the U.S. He first mentions their left wing school teachers and then goes on to cite the broadcasts from CBS, ABC, and NBC broadcast across the border and states that the teens would not feel as they do if “‘the LEFT’ did not hate the U.S. so much and teach Americans to hate their own country so much.” I wholeheartedly agree. Schools in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere do not have to teach hatred of America and Americans. We are busy exporting hatred of America on a daily basis in every form of media available. How can a supposedly well educated populace not understand the great harm being done?
My favorite story re Canadians took place when I lived in Arlington, VA. Our pastor went daily to the local McDonald’s, nursed a cup of coffee, and chatted with the regulars. One day a couple from Quebec settled near him and began to discuss their travel plans. At some point they thought he was eavesdropping on them, so they switched to speaking French. As he left, he stopped at their table and offered best wishes, etc., speaking fluently in French.
God bless all North Americans.
— Jenny Woodward
Mr. Clark writes a fine and much appreciated letter stressing his (and other Canadians) solidarity with the U. S. of A. May I, for one, thank him for his sentiments. I am old enough to remember WWII and the ultra fine reputation that Canadian troops enjoyed and how proud some Americans were to join the Canadian armed forces at a time when we were not yet in the war.
I am well aware that all Canadians are NOT left wing, Frenchified, peacenik, socialists. Therefore, I have a proposal. Lets us do as sports teams do and work a trade. We will give Canada the liberal Northeast except for New Hampshire and also throw in Oregon and Washington, at least that part west of the Rockies and they will become an integral part of Canada. Canada will cede to America the English speaking, self-reliant, sane and sensible western part of the country to have and hold in perpetuity. We can then cede California and parts of Arizona and New Mexico and most of Texas to Mexico. There will then be a 6 months period for left-wing Frenchified Americans to relocate to Canadian territory, other left wing proponents can relocate to Mexican territory, and all those that are of our mindset and beliefs can relocate to the new American territory. After 6 months, the citizenship rosters will be adjusted, the borders (both North and South) actually defended and we will cease carping at each other and agitating for changes and adjustments.
Hey, it may not be a perfect solution, but it is worth a try. The Canadian power structure and elites will love our Northeastern liberals, who identify with them anyway. Canada can then leave the British sphere of influence and join with France where they really want to be anyway. Mexico will love incorporating all the Hollywood, extreme rich, left wing crazies so they can tax them and I don’t see it as any loss to us and we solve a burgeoning illegal alien problem in the Southwest that Dubya refuses to deal with realistically. I see it as a win, win, win.
— Ken Shreve
Re: Reader Mail’s Tabin or Not Tabin:
After reading the article and the emailed responses, I envision Mr. Tabin responding in a Foghorn leghorn voice telling Henry Chickenhawk, “It’s a joke, son, a joke. Doncha understand satire?” Ooops, maybe it wasn’t satire after all…
— Gene Smith
Contoocook, New Hampshire
As always, your reader Mrs. John B. Jackson III (Janet) made my day. She has common sense displayed with uncommon intelligence.
Not being very sophisticated I had to look up metrosexual and found:
“An urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.” For more click here.
Mrs. John B. Jackson III (Janet) has, in one word, encapsulated the
entire Kerry-Edwards campaign.
— Nelson Ward
Ribera, New Mexico
What’s with this “Metrosexual” stuff? When I was growing up, the word was “Sissy”.
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