slammerkinbabe: (distraught)
I used to read Townhall.com a lot, for the lulz. Then I stopped entirely for a long time. Now I pop in once every few months -- usually when something has happened in the news that runs counter to staunch conservative views of reality, and I want to see how they'll spin it. In this case, it was the business with the Christian militia terrorist group up there in Michigan; a bunch of people plotting to kill police officers with IEDs in the name of Christianity was something that I wanted to see the Townhall folks, who have long raved that Islam is the one and only Religion of Terrorism, explain away.

As far as I can see they've elected to ignore it, which I suppose is about the best they can do with it. What I found, though, was an odd -- for Townhall -- article by a guy named Michael Gerson, of whom I'd never heard, but then, as I said, I've not been on this site for a long time. The title of the article is "Where Slavery Is Not a Metaphor," which caught my eye and induced me to click on it. Generally you can tell where any given Townhall article is going from its title; you know that David Limbaugh's "Sick Thinking from 'Mainstream' Leftists" will tell you about why the healthcare bill is going to turn our beautiful mother country into a syphilitic whore, that Brent Bozell's "Rape Games?" is going to explain about how college girls lie about being date-raped, that Janice Shaw Crouse's "Pornography is Addictive, Pervasive and Harmful" is going to explain about how pornography is addictive, persuasive, and harmful, etc. All perfectly standard, and certainly nothing I need or want to read. But I wasn't parsing "Where Slavery Is Not a Metaphor." The title suggested that he believes "slavery" is commonly used as a metaphor in America (it is), but... in what Townhall-approved context is it *not* a metaphor, then? The only examples I could think of of Townhall-style conservatives using the term "slavery" are metaphorical, because Townhall-style conservatives are concerned with the welfare of the white rich privileged reigning class in America, and those people are not slaves. So I didn't know where this article was going, and that made me click.

As it turned out, this was actually an article about real slavery, in the Sudan. It's an affecting profile, as any such profile would be, of a young boy who had been abducted and enslaved at age five. The article is first primarily concerned with the boy himself, who reminds the author of his own sons and with whom he genuinely seems to sympathize. Then it moves on to lauding the work of an organization called Christian Solidarity International, which on his report is doing good work to help people in Majok's (that's the formerly enslaved boy's) situation.* The final half of the article is dedicated to exploring the dire humanitarian crisis in the Sudan, as well as detailing some of the current barriers to providing effective help that will need to be overcome. The final paragraph reads:

Meeting a Sudanese goatherd released from slavery, it would be difficult to experience greater cultural distance without leaving the planet. But my main impression of Majok was his profound resemblance to my sons of similar age. It is a hopeful thing about humanity. In a timid smile, in a turn of the head, we see similarity, we see family. We should also see responsibility.


Minus a line here and there, this is the only article I have ever seen on Townhall that I have agreed with 100%. It's dumb of me but it actually made me feel quite hopeful reading it, because just about all the conservatives on that site proclaim that Christianity is central to their lives**, and yet I have never, ever seen a post like this on their site. This is actually Christian -- the concern for "the least of these", the sense that those who have a lot should help those who have nothing. I feel like sending Townhall a WWJD? bracelet with a little note saying "Hey, I saw Michael Gerson's column this week. You got one right!" Charity should NOT be a liberal idea. Not if people believe the words of the faith they proclaim to believe.

So the article was good. Then -- I'm a pusher, Cady! I'm a pusher -- I thought I would see what the comments said. I was curious because on blogs and sites like this commenters often swallow the author's views and echo them in the comments like docile sheep; after all, they know the views have been preapproved as correct, or they wouldn't be on Townhall. You trust the basic things in life, you know; these people trust Townhall never to lead them astray, my grandmother trusts Fox News never to lie or distort the truth, I was devastated when I realized that I couldn't trust Google to be the only completely moral, non-self-serving or privacy-threatening site on the Internet, etc. So I would expect the readers of this column to trust, and yet the column was so far off from the norm on Townhall that I couldn't help wondering what people would say.

Well, here is what people said. There were seventeen comments when I first saw this post, and I am going to paraphrase each one of them for you. I will paraphrase as honestly as I can, but you can go to the site directly if you want to verify what I'm saying/check for bias (I'll try to avoid it, but I'm human.)

cut for racism and privileged bullshit so virulent that I really do need to provide a cautionary note and cut for anyone who is particularly sensitive about those things )

I...

I thought I wanted to know what hardcore conservatives would have to say about an impassioned plea for charitable work aimed at freeing enslaved children and helping to stabilize a country decimated by war and poverty. It turns out that I didn't want to know.

I do not want to believe that human beings are capable of reactions like those I see in the comments. I am being forced to believe it (none of them, not even #7,**** smell of troll to me, and I have a good nose for trolling.) I do not like it.

I feel sick.

_____________________________________


*The article is not about how Christian organizations are the only ones who can do good charity work. This is just the organization he works with. They're sort of a sideline in the piece, actually.
**Except Dennis Prager, who waxes rhapsodic about "Judeo-Christian tradition" and looks sidewise now and then to make sure that's still acceptable.
***On Townhall she has to censor this to "rat's rear end," but things are more informal on my journal.
****#7 had a bit in the middle that I left out about her own family's "disporia" from some unspecified place, which I left out of my paraphrase because I didn't understand it, but the tone of it was such that it shot down my hope that the post was satire.
slammerkinbabe: (julie wtf)

Ann Coulter says Bill Clinton is gay because he has a lot of sex with women.

Here are the excerpts that are relevant, because the transcript I linked to includes a whole lot of Ann's interviewer going "Bu... wha... I... huh?" and a lot of Ann trying to change the subject, possibly because she realizes that what she said made less than no sense, possibly because whatever is wrong with her brain is progressive and has given her the attention span of a tsetse fly:*


COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.
DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?
COULTER: Yeah. I mean, not sort of just completely anonymous — I don’t know if you read the Starr report, the rest of us were glued to it, I have many passages memorized. No, there was more plot and dialogue in a porno movie...
DEUTSCH: OK. No, no. Here’s a — here’s... a former president of the United States, and just saying, `You know what? I think he has latent homosexual tendencies.’
COULTER: No. I think anyone with that level of promiscuity where, you know, you — I mean, he didn’t know Monica’s name until their sixth sexual encounter. There is something that is — that is of the bathhouse about that.
DEUTSCH: But what is the homosexual — that’s — you could say somebody who maybe doesn’t celebrate women the way he should or just is that he’s a hound dog?
COULTER: It’s reminiscent of a bathhouse. It’s just this obsession with your own — with your own essence.
DEUTSCH: But why is that homosexual? You could say narcissistic.
COULTER: Right.
DEUTSCH: You could say nymphomaniac.
COULTER: Well, there is something narcissistic about homosexuality. Right? Because you’re in love with someone who looks like you. I’m not breaking new territory here, why are you looking at me like that?


Amazing.

*I'm not sure whether a tsetse fly's attention span would be any shorter than a regular house fly's, but it's more fun to say for sure.
slammerkinbabe: (julie wtf)
Dude. People... I... what the fuck?

λ's CELL PHONE: ::ring ring!::
λ: Hello?
LADY: This is Susan from next door. Your dog is in my yard again.
λ: ...I don't have a dog. I think you have the wrong number.
LADY: Well, maybe it's your cat, but it's in my yard.
λ No, I live in an apartment building. You have the wrong number.
LADY: Well, maybe it's downstairs. I'm on the third floor.
λ: What?
LADY: Just get your damn cat out of my yard!
λ: ::is staring at both Basil and Ariadne, curled up quite comfortably together on the end of the bed:: My cat is not in your yard. Look, where do you live?
LADY: I live at fucking [address redacted, though I don't really know why I'm extending her this consideration], and I want you to get your fucking DOG -
λ: ::click::

Lady. Is it a dog or a cat? Is it in the yard or downstairs? And we Googled your address, and you're either in Ohio or friggin' Australia. So again, I ask you: what the fuck?
slammerkinbabe: (Default)
A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear Everyone Who Ever Walks Into My Office:

Hello, and welcome to the President's Office at our university. I hope you enjoy your time in our office; the view is fantastic, and that antique clock in the corner may be of dubious origin, but it is very old, yes. Whatever business you may have in our office, I sincerely hope to resolve it quickly and efficiently, thus making your day a little easier and brighter. As the president's friendly receptionist, I am here to serve you.

There is one small note, however. Many of you - perhaps as much as 70% of you - come into this office to drop off letters for various people. Now, it is completely understandable to me that you would ask where you can do this. And, although the phrase "You can put it in that box on the desk" does not seem terribly confusing to me - there is, after all, a box on the desk, and it is the only box on the desk, and there is a large sign on the box on the desk that reads INCOMING MAIL - I bear you no ill will when you do not understand what I am telling you at first. I cannot necessarily explain this, but I cannot necessarily explain many of the things that happen in my own head, so I will not presume to judge you for the momentary lapses your own brains may suffer.

However, the following is an example of the sort of conversation I do *not* wish to have with you.

DELIVERYPERSON: Hi, am I supposed to be here?
KYLIE: I... well, are you dropping those letters off?
DELIVERYPERSON: Yes. Do they go here?
DELIVERYPERSON: ::makes no move to show me the envelope::
KYLIE: I'm not sure, can you show me who they're addressed to?
ENVELOPES: ::are addressed to our office::
KYLIE: Oh, yes, that's fine. You can leave them here.
DELIVERYPERSON: Where?
KYLIE: In ::points:: that box on the desk.
DELIVERYPERSON: ::turns around::
KYLIE: In ::still pointing:: that box on my desk.
DELIVERYPERSON: ::looks up at ceiling::
KYLIE: In that box on my desk right there.
DELIVERYPERSON: ::looks at the ground::
KYLIE: Sir? Over here, on my desk.
DELIVERYPERSON: ::starts to walk out of the room::
KYLIE: Sir. In the box. On my desk. The box on my desk. Right there. The box.
DELIVERYPERSON: The box?
KYLIE: Yes! The box!
DELIVERYPERSON: ::looks at the ground again::
KYLIE: ::gets up, walks around desk, places hand in the box:: This box. Right here.
DELIVERYPERSON: ::bursts out laughing:: Oh! The box! On your desk!
KYLIE: Yes! The box on my desk!
DELIVERYPERSON: I was walking out of the office!
KYLIE: Yeah, you were!
DELIVERYPERSON: There's a box on your desk!
KYLIE: Yes! There is!
DELIVERYPERSON: ::exits, still laughing::

Just for future reference, when I say "You can put that in the box on my desk", it means that you can put that in the box on my desk. I am sure this will clear up any misunderstandings that might arise in the future and that we can have many long and happy years of incident-free letter droppage.

Sincerely,
The Humble Receptionist in the President's Office

...because seriously, WTF?!?!?!?!?

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