Well, it’s been a hell of a week, and I feel like I missed most of it.
Regular readers of this column know I missed a regularly scheduled appearance in this space earlier in the week. And on top of that, Melissa Mackenzie had to fly solo on The Spectacle — though she did a hell of a job, and I’m now concerned I’ve been Wally Pipped in the process.
So what accounts for all this shirking? Well, Wednesday night I finally sent the first draft of a new book I’m working on to the publisher. We haven’t settled on a title yet, but it’s about Barack Obama and the “fundamental transformation” of America that he promised — and the fact that while at the time we all thought that was some empty campaign promise, if anything Obama undersold what he was going to do and is still doing to the country.
It hasn’t been a fun book to write. Quite the contrary — in fact, it’s been soul-crushing in some respects because once you start pulling at the threads, you realize that most of what is out of control in the country now was either cooked up or entrenched during those eight years Obama was in the White House. And those things have all metastasized in the last couple of years in the Obama Redux administration of Dirty Joe Biden.
Who obviously isn’t in charge of his own presidency, and Obama by all appearances seems to be — at least when he wants to. All of Biden’s handlers were Obama B-team flunkies, so it’s pretty safe to expect that Kalorama, and not Delaware, is the real presidential power base even now.
Anyway, this column is going to catch up on a few items I missed when I was racing to the first-draft finish line…
I’ve not had the distinct pleasure to have read the previous writings of someone called Ernest Owens, who is the author of a book called The Case for Cancel Culture: How This Democratic Tool Works to Liberate Us All, but I think I can survive my dearth of that experience. Last week, Rolling Stone decided to publish an excerpt from Owens’ book, and RealClearPolitics, in its usual politically ecumenical spirit, aggregated a link to it.
I read it so you don’t have to. And … wow.
Here’s a taste…
Before we were calling it cancel culture, society got caught up in the term political correctness. What started as an inside joke of a phrase in the late 1980s became all the rage within the media in the 1990s as political pundits and public figures began to bash the term in pop culture. The same thing is happening now with cancel culture: Powerful people are trying to suggest that they are being suppressed by the new ways that everyday people are reacting to their behavior.
Just like how political correctness was initially an inside joke that ran rampant, so has cancel culture taken off as a phrase. Once those in power got a hand of the term cancel culture, they attempted to redefine it as a pejorative phrase, stripping away its craftiness and mischaracterizing its intention. It’s like any cool phrase that gets taken too seriously and blown out of proportion by a cranky, uptight parent who isn’t hip to modernity—cancel culture was reframed and weaponized by those in power who were afraid of what it could truly represent.
Some suggest a rebranding. “In terms of cancel culture, I think it’s misnamed,” said famed host and actor LeVar Burton during an April 2021 interview 6 on The View. “That’s a misnomer. I think we have a consequence culture, and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody in the society, whereas they haven’t been ever in this country.” Burton was right in his assessment of what society is currently doing in this wave of cancel culture and how it’s showing “good signs that are happening in the culture right now.” He further argued, “I think it has everything to do with a new awareness on people who were simply unaware of the real nature of life in this country for people who have been othered since this nation began.”
The rest of the piece, and I assume the book, reads similarly.
Everybody here knows this, but Owens apparently doesn’t, so I’ll say it — powerful people aren’t the ones getting canceled. Ernest Owens seems to be one of those dull lefties who thinks Donald Trump is everybody he doesn’t like in politics or culture.
And Trump hasn’t been canceled. Getting knocked off Twitter and Facebook is a mere inconvenience for him. He started up his own social app, for crying out loud.
No, cancel culture’s victims aren’t the Trumps of the world. Think Colleen Oefelein, who was fired from her job as a literary agent because she had a Gab and Parler account. Or Brendan Eich, who was forced out as the CEO of Mozilla, which he co-founded, because he’d written a $1,000 check to support a ballot proposition in California, which passed but was later thrown out in court, which would have reserved marriage for the union between a man and a woman. Or Gordon Klein, the UCLA business school professor who refused to grade black students more leniently after George Floyd’s death and was suspended for his trouble.
Ernest Owens has no idea what he’s talking about, and yet St. Martin’s Press gave him a book deal to write about how ruining people’s lives for saying things Owens doesn’t like is a good idea.
The profound stupidity of this, and the bad faith in pretending you’re just trying to enforce good manners, can’t even be properly accounted for. It’s majestic in its intellectual inferiority.
I probably shouldn’t even give this guy publicity. I’ll bet he won’t give me any when my book comes out. On the other hand, I’m perfectly happy to discuss his ideas just as it’s clear he isn’t interested in discussing mine.
Know why? I’ll tell you.
Mine are better. And that’s what underlies Ernest Owens and his gleeful call for enforced shutuppery.
Speaking of The Spectacle, I was wrong a couple of months back when the case of Kerry Lemieux, the Canadian teacher who decided that not only was he trans but that his true inner identity could only be fulfilled with a pair of fake Z-cup boobs glued to his chest, came to light.
I thought Lemieux was actually a based guy willing to go to the wall to troll the Powers That Be for their embrace of the transgender lunacy, but I’m not so sure that’s true. It looked like this dude was on the up and up — or, well, as up and up as you can be with a pair of Size Z hooters hanging down.
He carried this gag on for a LONG time. A lot longer than a troll would. And finally, the school district he worked for found some testicular fortitude to match Kerry Lemieux’s … and now his teaching career is apparently ti… er, belly up.
FINALLY! Kerry Lemieux, a biological male that has been allowed to teach dressed up as a cartoon character woman with a blonde wig, red lipstick, glasses, and size Z cup prosthetic breasts has finally been placed on leave.
Two weeks ago, the New York Post uncovered that Lemieux dressed like a regular man after he left work. How did they make this discovery? What super sleuth did they employ to get to the bottom of this truth, …. They followed him home.
The Post wrote, “After shopping at a department store and pet supplies shop dressed as a woman, Lemieux headed home to get changed and emerged dressed as a man 30 minutes later. Lemieux then spent the afternoon in public wearing men’s sweatpants, trainers, a gray T-shirt and a navy puffer vest without breasts, makeup, glasses or wig.”
A neighbor went onto explain that the huge prosthetic breasts appeared suddenly last May, when he was seen walking deliberately up and down a busy road. The neighbor added that “He wears prosthetic breasts extremely infrequently. He puts the breasts on to teach, occasionally when he goes for a walk, or when the cops visit.”
So the elements of a massive troll are still there, but from May to March carrying this thing on is just too long for a good trolling. He’s just nuts — but, of course, so are the woke cowards who run Oakville Trafalgar High School in Ontario, Canada, for letting him turn that school into a circus for the better part of a year.
This doesn’t even need much of an introduction. It stands on its own. Here is Josh Hawley eviscerating Merrick Garland over the Mark Houck case.
Yes, yes. “This is a lot of talk but where’s the action?”
And you’re right, of course, but this is what Josh Hawley is able to do in his position as a senator. Give us a majority of Josh Hawleys, and you’ll get the action you want.
This story should be enough to kill this company, a legacy brand that clearly has nothing further to offer the market:
Social media users slammed candy company Hershey’s after it debuted a pro-transgender ad for its chocolate bars in honor of International Women’s Day.
Disturbed Twitter users hammered the new ad for presenting a transgender woman as Hershey’s representation of the pro-female celebration.
The ad debuted Wednesday as part of Hershey’s Canada’s “Her for She” campaign in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8. The short spot featured trans woman Fae Johnstone – who it noted is a “2SLGBTQUIA+ Advocate” – promoting Hershey’s new female-themed wrapper.
.@Hersheys is putting the face of a trans-"woman" on chocolate bar wrappers with "HerShe" highlighted in honor of international women's day.
Hershey's is erasing women. pic.twitter.com/JzRkAtwTdO
— Leftism (@LeftismForU) March 1, 2023
Not acceptable. And no, it doesn’t matter that they pulled this stunt in Canada rather than here. It shouldn’t have been done at all.
It’s been around for a little while, but the other night I took in one of the better horror films I’ve seen in a while. Smile, starring Sosie Bacon and written and directed by Parker Finn, is better than the usual blood-and-gore shockfest you usually get in that genre.
It’s one of the few movies Hollywood has put out that has actually turned a sizable profit. On a $17 million budget, Smile did better than $200 million at the box office. That’s pretty impressive, and it’s a testament to the storytelling and craft of the movie.
It’s a good story for a horror movie, and it doesn’t depend on the usual cheap thrills. The premise is a reasonably sophisticated one — Bacon plays Rose Cotter, a therapist who works in emergency care at a mental hospital, and the film begins with a crisis interview she has with a college grad student who comes in with a terrible story. A few days before, Cotter’s patient witnessed her professor brutally killing himself, beating himself to death with a hammer, and ever since that trauma, she’d been seeing things. The professor was smiling as he did the deed, and that smile was an unnatural, frighteningly out-of-place expression.
The patient tells Cotter she’d been seeing that smile all over the place ever since, and it had been getting scarier and scarier, until finally whatever entity was driving her hallucinations began telling her she was about to die.
Finally, her demeanor gets so frantic that Cotter gets nervous and rushes to the emergency phone in the interview room, turning her back to the patient — but when she turns back around, she sees her patient wearing that same sickening smile, and holding a shard of broken pottery from a flower pot she’d knocked over. The patient then proceeds to slash her own throat open as Cotter watches.
Obviously, she’s traumatized. But then she starts experiencing all the things her patient described. And the story takes off from there.
I’m not a big horror movie fan. I hate horror movies that depend on gross-outs and sudden shocks. This isn’t that, which is why it did so well. There aren’t enough well-told stories on film, and Finn deserves his due for supplying us with one.
I streamed Smile on Amazon Prime, but I think Paramount Plus has it as well.