“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

the south will rise again

First off, someone needs to tell Michelle Malkin that she is not a blogger. Oh, sure she has her cute little on-line journal / list of links to wingnutdom / litany of freeper worship. But when ya got a regular weekly column syndicated by Creators Syndicate that newspapers pay for, and when your résumé includes lines like

  • appears in nearly 200 papers nationwide
  • was a New York Times bestseller
  • Fox News Channel contributor, and
  • quit job and moved to Washington, D.C.,
you’re most assuredly MSM. I personally hate that acronym, but Malkin tosses it around with abandon. She’s down with the freeper lingo, but there’s more to blogging than just being hysterical and unreliable.

For one thing, blogging is all about staying one step ahead. Malkin’s always a beat behind. You want to be creating—or at least discovering—memes, not repeating tired old ones recycled from 2002-vintage Andrew Sullivan. Malkin’s last laughable column, “Why I'm not a 'South Park Conservative,” pulls from a concept so old it’s already printed in a book, f’r chrissakes. Here’s a view inside a deranged mind, Malkin’s summary of Brian C. Anderson’s book:
Anderson argues that Comedy Central's cartoon series "South Park" embodies the "fiercely anti-liberal comedic spirit" of the "new media" from Kaus to Coulter. The cartoon, he writes, reflects a "post-liberal counterculture" that is "particularly appealing to the young, however much it might offend older conservatives."
That’s Mickey Kaus, from Slate, the prototypical self-loathing Democrat, right there on the page next to Ann Coulter, the devolved posthuman horrorshow, in a column by Michelle Malkin. Remember Mickey’s bedfellows the next time anyone asks you to take him seriously.

Let’s decrypt a couple of the phrases Malkin lovingly caresses. This South Park conservatism of which they speak is said to be “comedic.” Let’s leave aside for the moment the question of whether South Park is actually funny. When I clean out my spam e-mail account, in among the ads for “4 mortgage quotes at Christian Family Loans” and “5uperh0t v1c0d1n 5ex,” I frequently find this newsletter from this latter-day Rico Suave called “David DeAngelo” who claims that the secret to success with women is (1) being “Cocky and Funny” and (2) sending significant sums of money to “David DeAngelo”. Mr. DeAngelo’s “C&F” formula involves skillful communication techniques like
“teasing her about her shoes being ugly.”
That’s right; those are quotation marks. I put them around the block quote just to be doubly sure we understood each other. And that’s just the part DeAngelo gives you for free to get you hooked. If you send the dude money, he’ll
“take you ‘behind the scenes’ and teach you the psychology of humor,”
which means he’ll send you a bunch of “tried and true” C&F jokes of which an example follows-and-I-swear-this-is-an-exact-quote-and-I-kept-the-e-mail-if-you-don’t-believe-me:
"You might say 'Well, if worse comes to worse you can always donate them to the Salvation Army so a needy girl who doesn't care if her shoes are ugly can have them'."
I go into depth about this particular spam e-mail because I think David DeAngelo is an even better example of a South Park Conservative than Mickey Kaus, or Ann Coulter. Here’s the final cliching proof of my contention: DeAngelo states that if you don’t follow his C&F techniques, you will come across to a woman as an
Now, I don't know DeAngelo’s politics. He may be entirely apolitical, for all I know. But the thing is, so are SPCs, in the depraved depths of their corrupted and cold hearts. They’re certainly not 2005 Republicans. If anything, they're laughing libertarians. Not necessarily “libertarians with a sense of humor,” but—well, they think they’re funny. They have a lineage, too. Years ago, P.J. O’Rourke wrote a book called Republican Party Reptile which described basically the same phenomenon. O’Rourke included something that used to be necessary if you aspired to be called "comedic": comedy. He was actually funny. Before Reptiles, the laughing libertarians were more closely aligned with liberals than with conservatives. They used to be people like Abbey Hoffman, Hunter S. Thompson, Neil Cassady, Lenny Bruce—and an earlier incarnation of P.J. O’Rourke.

But they’ve devolved over the years. Whether you call them Yippies, Reptiles, or South Park Republicans, they want to make their friends laugh—and apparently their new friends just have a less sophisticated sense of humor. It’s a long, long road from How to Talk Dirty and Influence People to Dennis Miller Live. The road has recently led into Republicanism, but I doubt if it will end there. That road goes on forever, and the laugh track never ends. The South Park Yippie Republicans are loyal to no one but themselves and a good gag. They won’t hang with humorless S.O.B.s like James Dobson and John Bolton for long.