Category Archives: nitwittery

Processed thought-like substance

You’re no doubt familiar with the wonders of those little plastic cheese slices.

Nowadays, people tend to just buy actual cheese.  In my childhood, my parents bought those plastic-wrapped singles.  If we were really splurging maybe there would be Velveeta – same company, differently-wrapped slightly-different-flavored product.  But it was what I thought of as “cheese” because if there was cheese in my sandwhich at lunch, this crayon-orange stuff was it.

Years later, having assumed control over my own cheese procurement and consumption, I noticed of course that this was “processed cheese food.”  It was not cheese as commonly understood by humans, but was close enough in taste and texture to be permitted a label that called it a food resembling cheese.

In a similar fashion, many of us grow up being taught something that’s called thinking, but isn’t.  And for a child, well, that’s good enough.  Who wants to blow nine bucks for a pound of the really good stuff when you can drop $1.79 on sixteen slices of “cheese food” and the kid’s none the wiser?  Likewise, children need to be able to get up to speed quickly on all sorts of topics as they begin their school years, and it’s a lot faster to give them the basics without bogging their brains down in the process of acquiring and testing information.  They’re beginners, so we streamline it for them.

The problem is that too many of them stroll about all day long getting by on that old, streamlined process.  They test what they know by seeing if it satisfies an emotional need or confirms what they already concluded.  Instead of going out and learning, they accept what they’re told from certain pre-approved sources.  When difficulties arrive, they frequently assume that it’s someone else’s doing, and blame the person who points out the problem as if that person caused it, rather than just noticed it.

It’s a poor way to live, of course.  If I screw up and give up a bad goal in one of my games, it is superficially correct, for example, to blame the shooter – if he didn’t shoot, or if he had missed the net, I wouldn’t have looked like a terrible goalie!  But you’ll notice that this approach doesn’t make me a better goalie.  And the ones who pay the price are my put-upon teammates, forever working half the game to scrape out a goal, only to see it given back in fifteen seconds.

The irony is – and for all their love of irony, the standard-issue unthinking hipster misses this constantly – is that they notice this instantly in everyone else.  To take the example I started with, if they went into a bistro and were served a sandwich with locally-sourced field greens on artisan bread, topped with a gooey slice of Kraft, they would flip their organic gourds over it.  And imagine what they would do to their fellow who sheepishly admitted that he actually preferred the chemical approximation to actual cheddar!

They wouldn’t be caught dead doing that in every unimportant pursuit of life, but the important stuff, requiring actual thinking instead of processed, thought-like substance?  Hm.  There’s a quandry.  Just where quality would last forever, they get a false sense of economy.  Case in point, uncovered by the good Professor, after the jump…

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Will you still govern me tomorrow?

Via Twitter, the Masters sent word to the Minions of a new Obama campaign ad.  It’s…. well, it’s really creepy.  Even here in the Supersonic Rocket Ship, we’re unsettled – and remember, we let unbalanced people use toxic substances to test practical jokes on each other.

There are so many objections to this, it’s hard to know exactly where to begin.  I will start with what a lot of others are noticing: it’s a conceit used first by Vladimir Putin, the “freely elected” “President” of Russia.  It’s not the only resemblance that Obama hopes for, no doubt – he’s done end-arounds of Congress and statutory requirements via executive order and agency regulation, part and parcel of the idea that he should just be in charge all the time.

From there, the observations come very easily.  It’s very conceited to think that someone who wants you to be president just “wants you,” full stop.  Likening that vote to giving up one’s v-card?  “Off” barely begins to cover the distastefulness of this concept.   The “Hey Girl” Paul Ryan meme that ran the rounds a couple of months ago was a mockery of the idea of the hunky guy sending ladies’ hearts a-flutter; if you recall, it was pictures of Ryan at his dreamiest captioned with “flirting” such as “Let me show you my budget projections” or “You want to get some tort reform some time?”  IOW, politics and infatuation don’t mix.

I don’t think I’m stretching to suggest that Obama likely thinks of himself as for-reals irresistible ladykiller.  He thinks of himself as a for-reals Zen Hoops Batman Prophet Jedi King, so why not Casanova too?  So, Hey girl, vote for me, because it will thrill your finer features – we’re all about your lady bits in the Democratic Party.  Ugh.

It’s rather a pity that a lovely and talented young lady like Lena Durham wouldn’t run from this advert like she would from a stalker in a windowless van. What was she thinking?  It’s not insulting to women to be told that it’s not enough to support President Tiger Beat with her vote, but that she has to swoon over him and flatter his virility as well? Who the hell does this doofus think he is?

Next step: the inevitable backlash over the squickiness, followed by the equally-inevitable calling of “Dog Whistle!” when people point out how awful this is.  You’re just afraid of da black man sexin’ up white women, raaaaaacist!!!one!  Sure, sure… keep politically-advertising that chicken.

The final observation is one that the Obama campaign probably doesn’t want to think about, but it’s actually the first thing I think of.  To wit: America already gave up their v-card to this cad in 2008, and wound up just like so many other poor girls who listened to rutting fools and gave it up, only to wake up in the morning to an empty bed and a guy who was just too busy to call all of a sudden.  Now he’s crawling back to us:  Oh baby, I was crazy to give you up, I’ve learned, I’ve changed, let me make it up to you.

Well, he only wants one thing out of us, and I pray America has learned some self-respect and kicks this bum to the curb.  He’s mooched off the rest of us for long enough.

Belonging

A lot of pixels have been spilled on the Democrat Party’s “We All Belong to the Government” nonsense, most of it in uproarious scorn, and for good reason.  It’s simple syllogism: if we belong to the government, and the government belongs to the DNC, then we belong to the DNC.  QED.

For far too long, statist bastards have inverted the whole idea of “public servant,” from “one who serves the public at their will” to “one who serves by telling the public what they will do, if they know what’s good for them.”  They have also gone from “paid by the citizens, and thus their employee” to “the public is my bank, from whom I withdraw whatever I please, and they have no say in the matter.”

Well, some of us agree rather with Rush:  Our minds are not for rent, to any god or government.  Besides, these jokers, as is their hallmark, get it exactly 100% wrong.  We do not belong to a government; the government belongs to US.  We pay their salary.  No, strike that – they don’t do a job that profits all of us, the way an employee does.  It’s more that they do chores delegated to them while we, the adults, do the responsible things that earn our livings and keep a home for all of us.  In short, our taxes are more of an allowance.  Now the spoiled brats have grown sullen and rebellious:  bored with how good they actually have it, they steal out of our pocketbooks, claim the whole damn world revolves around them, they know better about everything (because they FEEL so much), and stamp their feet and holler at even the suggestion of a limitation to their whims.  The whole DNC convention is the political equivalent of “BUT EVERYONE ELSE HAS NEW STUFF! YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING! I HATE YOU!”

How well does that play?  As well as any other public tantrum by any other brat.  They had to move the whole spectacle from a 73,000 seat venue to a 22,000 seat venue, and even that’s still only half-full.  I can hardly blame any rank-and-filers for their lack of enthusiasm about it.  If I were still a Democrat I’d be slinking off in shame too.  In ’68, the rallying cry was “The whole world’s watching!” – typically narcissist and self-absorbed, but that’s youth for you.  Now, having grown much older but none the wiser, they can’t even draw the kind of crowds that typically turn out three dozen times a year for the truly terrible basketball team that normally plays there.  (Click here, scroll down to “Bobcats,” and laugh and laugh.)

Oh, and apparently I’m blogging again.

UPDATE: case in point shared on Twitter by DrewM (one of Ace’s cobloggers):

DMM Orders RT: @dylanbyers: Dear Republicans The stadium-change cycle has passed. It didn’t make the front page. It’s over. Focus on tonight

— DrewM (@DrewMTips) September 6, 2012

Nice, right?  The media refuses to notice something, and then uses that to try to tell us that we didn’t notice it either.  So add “LALALALALA I’m not listening” fingers-in-their-ears avoidance to the long and thorough list of childishness on display.

Also – if that stadium isn’t full again tonight, do we get to focus on it all over again?

Falling off the edge of the world

Sometimes, I think the olden mapmakers were on to something we’ve lost.  Sure, the continents were comically misshapen, and they often favored beauty over legibility, but there was a certain style to the operation that’s sorely lacking now.  And of course they were just as interested in precision and accuracy as we are today; they just lacked the tools.  Where they excelled and we falter is that they didn’t sit around waiting for the tools before they drew the best maps they could.  They also didn’t stop there and consider the latest thing they’d done to be finished forever.  They kept at it.  (And they weren’t afraid to just up and stick all sorts of mythological beasts in the margins.  A little imagination counts for much in the world.)

We ought to bring their approach to the misshapen mental landscapes of the far-left.

Morgan’s been trying to map these burbling swamps for a long while now, and his latest expidition makes for a good read.  A sample:

I think the thought process in place is as follows, and this is my observation: If you have some (free speech), that has to mean they are missing some. After all, that is how they look at money, is it not? It’s okay for you to have, oh, one or two hundred dollars in your bank account…maybe four digits in the balance instead of three, if you’re about to sit down and pay your bills. But if you are “two-comma” wealthy, that’s bad, because that has to mean someone else is missing something.

He then adds that he remembers when “nuance” was the buzzword of the day for the left: a vague, gassy way of praising themselves.  This word is no longer in vogue, you’ll notice – it was a pretense all along.  And true to Morgan’s observation, the left had all of the nuance and the right had none, those simpletons.

It’s hard to know which is worse: the progs’ pride in their “nuanced thinking” or the complete absence of any evidence of it in their actions.  Or – no – maybe that’s a little over-simple.  There is one way in which they show an amazing plasiticity, which no doubt fools them into thinking that they’re nuanced.  They are masters of winnowing out some measly sliver of a difference between what they are vociferously condemning and what they are in fact advocating or doing at the moment.  Then they project searchlight levels of wishful thinking at that sliver in the hope of casting enough of a shadow for them to hide in.

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Doubling down on petty tyranny

update, 6/3 – they start early, don’t they? (thx to Stoaty via Twitter)

(Plenty of play on the blogosphere and Twitter on this subject: the Swillers, Morgan Freeberg, and IMAO for starters.  Good.  I hope Bloomberg is driven from the field in shame.  It’s high time we let these bossy busybodies know who’s boss in the citizen-politician relationship.)

The more I hear about this seemingly-inconsequential Beverage Mandate, the more it irritates me.  I’ve seen a clip of a flack on TV (I think it was an “obesity expert” or some such from a university) say that obesity began to spike in the early 80’s with the introduction of the two-liter soda bottle.

Horseradish.  I can remember Hoffman’s Beverages on Long Island offering racks of twelve single-quart (glass) bottles.  After we emptied it, we brought the rack back and got twelve new ones, with the old bottles sent to the company for cleaning and refilling… or we could just take the nickel deposits and be done.  Soda has always been around.  Sugary drinks have always been around.  Gigantic calorie-stuffed, creme-filled snack food has always been around.

What we have now that we didn’t then is the Atari 2600 and its successors.  We have an Internet that is so easily reachable that even when kids are turned out of doors, they spend their time huddled over miniature screens instead of running and laughing.  Are we going to ban video game consoles and smartphones next?

We also have such an over-layered, smothering approach to exercise that it’s no wonder that ever-more people are inflating at a rapid rate.  Unstructured play?  What’s that?  Sure, it keeps you healthy, you have fun, you learn to mediate your own disputes, you have opportunity to develop good sportsmanship, coordination, skill, and friendships – but what if you get hurt??!?!eleventy!!?

To top all that, we lack essential counter-influences to these tugs on our daily habits.  We fetishize self-esteem to such an extent that any experience that affronts or worries is considered a borderline assault.  Well, playing a game of pickup basketball offers ample chance to be affronted or worried.  Am I good enough?  Will I be teased for running slow or looking awkward?  Will nobody want me on their team because I’m terrible?

We also lack parental authority.  Not coincidentally, this is directly tied to the ever-intrusive State: they have whittled and undermined the traditional societal units of influence in order to gin up a desire for those necessary functions to be filled by elected officials.  “Government must step in” is the mantra of the newly-infantilized adult, raised for 30-50 solid years in a world in which parents’ and church’s accustomed say in kids’ lives were systematically ridiculed, marginalized, and ultimately ignored.  Pick a topic.  Education?  Teachers know so much more!  A kid ought to feel good about the educational process and be an equal partner in it.  Morality?  Passé!  It’s all situational ethics now, with no timeless absolutes by which to judge the momentary situation.  Relationships?  We’ll teach sex ed.  All that situational ethics and self-esteem we taught earlier will ensure that kids will have no basis for decision other than their in-the-moment, hormone-addled emotions, and no way to be told that the decision may have lasting consequences without being horribly offended.  If it doesn’t work, it’s not their fault – society has failed them.  But government will never fail them!  They pinky-swear!

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Eat, drink, and be wary

The latest in Mother Henmanship from Mike Bloomberg in New York City: banning any sugary bevarage of more than 16 ounces.

This pferdkaese reminds me a lot about the whinnying over tobacco use.  Seriously, if soda or cigs are that bad for you?  Ban them outright.  Otherwise it really isn’t anything to do with “safety” or “public health” or any such fig leaf; it’s about control.  And that all of this is coming from the man who shoved through a revocation of the term limits on his office so he could rule a third time.

Sure, he says it was only because of an “extraordinary one-time thing.”  But it wasn’t.  There’s always some financial crisis looming.  This isn’t the first time even in my lifetime that the national or world economy has tanked.  You know what was an extraordinary one-time thing?  Foreign agents driving airliners into skyscrapers, that’s what – and Rudy Guiliani didn’t serve a third damned term.  He talked about it but it wasn’t a good idea even then; he gave way to this tinpot potentate – one who now hypocritically says that he supports changing it back so no mere human peasant can have the opportunity.  None are as enlightened as he, and thus shan’t be trusted with such awesome power!  And I’m not fond of hearing, “Oh, but it was legally done!”  Are you fighting Big Beverage “legally,” Mayor Ninnyhammer, or are you just ruling by fiat without any input from the City Council?  The answer is B, isn’t it?

Again – it’s about control.  The mandatory posting of nutritional information and calorie contents was supposed to be enough.  Apparently not, so now it’s going to be blunt force.  I’m fond of joking that parody is a dying art because it’s so hard to stay ahead of the idiot curve, but this is nearly beyond a joke, now.  On Futurama, Leela once said something like: “This is Fry’s decision to make… and he made it wrong, so now we’re going to butt in and do it for him.”  Oh, Mayor?  THIS WAS NOT MEANT AS ADVICE.  Stop it.

Sometimes, debate and argument don’t really work, because a person isn’t really being reasonable at all.  That’s when you resort to ridicule.  If you make the dumb idea seem dumb even to the person promoting it, you might stay their meddling, restless hand when ironclad logic fails.  The Twitter hashtag #BloombergMovieTitles sprang up and a good many people spent hours savaging Bloomberg’s pompous overreach.  You can click the tag to see the top lines… some of my contributions are below.  (Hard to come up with ones others didn’t, so I hope I didn’t rip anyone off.  I mean, The Good The Bad and The “X” is just a slam-dunk.)

  • Heavy-Handed Luke
  • Lord of the Servings
  • Smokey and the Big Gulp
  • Ten Things I Hate About Yoo-Hoo
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Eat, Drink, or Smoke, but Weren’t Allowed To
  • Bloomberg Almighty
  • Birth of a Ration
  • The Incredible Rightness of Being Mayor
  • The Sensible Breakfast Club
  • Silence of the Gourmands
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Salty
  • Transfatting
  • Steamed Green Tomatoes
  • Logan’s Beer Run
  • The Towering Cappucino
  • Blazing Griddles

Comments for Unpersoned

This is particularly annoying.  Seems like there’s no way to leave a comment or start a discussion for this post about getting the Moses Treatment* on Twitter.

* “Let his name be neither spoken, nor written, nor remembered.”  (GONG)  “Let it be erased from every monument, decree, and obelisk.” (GONG, etc.)

Now, worse has happend to people out on Twitter… some have taken to turning the spam-reporting feature into a coordinated attack on folks they dislike, with the automatic systems freezing the account, sometimes repeatedly, for hours or days.  So in my case, it’s more like simply being kicked out of a nightclub than forced to flee across the desert.  But somehow this one post is doing almost the same thing.  Nothing I’ve tried is working to get the reply button working, either.  Comments are open but nobody can get in.  This irks me.

So, please reply to this thread instead – if WordPress will let you! – and thanks for your patience.

For the children?

I was thinking about something that I heard on the radio (heheheh) while driving to work yesterday – a news item about lawmakers from New Jersey wanting to change the regulations regarding tanning beds.  They want to raise the minimum age from 14 to 18.

It didn’t seem like much of anything to write a post about, until I saw this online today, via Ace:

Federal agencies should step in if industries that promote high-calorie foods to children do not implement common nutrition standards within two years, the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) said Tuesday.

Now, “exercise more and eat healthier” hardly requires 478 pages to say; no doubt the rest of the IOM’s report has to do with exactly what these agencies ought to be doing to whomever gives a kid a slice of cake.  And for once, I’m not going to track down that report and go over the highlights, like I did with the Act in Multiple Acts from last week.  Frankly, there’s no need.  If you’ve stuffed 478 pages full of “guidelines” and “interventions”, then doing even 5% of it will be a huge intrusion on the everyday lives of ordinary citizens.

But even that isn’t actually the point here.  Ace makes that point much better than I can, anyway, and I see the Masters are on board with a fine take as well.  The long and short of it is that the proposal here and in re: tanning beds in Jersey are both categorically dumb, in the same category.  To wit, they aren’t going to do a blessed thing to fix the problem that was allegedly the whole reason for getting together and blathering on for 478 pages.

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They are still going

Up to 162 comments now.

The last thirty or so are becoming quite instructive.  It’s a curious sleight-of-mind we’re being offered:  The Science is Settled when evidence to the contrary is suggested or referred to, or when a conclusion is disputed.  But point out that the data and conclusions have both changed greatly over time – from Global Cooling to Global Warming to Climate Change – and then, suddenly, Science is a Process and of course testing hypotheses and revising results is the order of the day.  The High Holy Model works, unless it doesn’t, and then it’s clear that something even worse must be happening.  And above all, THIS is the key thing, and can’t you agree that THIS is in fact happening?  But it might not be happening, or might not be the key, or might actually be unavoidably happening… may not have a blessed thing to do with us either way… and these are questions that are not to be considered.  Such doubts are just obscurantist dodges.

This in a nutshell is what I was talking about last post… the endless circle of madness that seeks to include others in its constricting ring.  The denial of my conclusion that Zachriel made in the comments sounds hollow indeed when he immediately proves the point back at Morgan’s.  It’s not a scientific point at all.

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And they think we’re the simple-minded jingoists

Stoaty found this.  It is spectacularly awful.  Click through to witness it, before it gets memory-holed.

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