Sunday, November 20, 2005
QUICK UPDATE TO LAST POST:
Whiteside also has the antidote to Sullivan’s Madonna bloviations.
posted by Sully 11/20/2005 06:28:00 PM
SOMETHING ELSE WORTH QUOTING:
OK, who else but John Whiteside, on Sullivan’s “end of gay culture” meme:Ten or fifteen years ago I used to see Sullivan bopping around Provincetown as one of the aging twinkie set, wearing trendy sunglasses and sneering at everyone. Now he’s a bear and so, obviously, the world has changed. I mean, nothing existed till Andrew discovered it, right?
No great revelation here, but: this article is yet another example of the dangers of being a pundit who isn’t aware of anything outside his own little rarified DC-Provincetown circuit, and who apparently finds research too taxing to bother with. If Andrew switches to soy milk, soy milk is a new trend. If Andrew changes shampoos, the shampoo world has undergone a revelation.
He’d better hope that his conclusion about the end of gay culture is wrong, though. Andrew’s meal ticket has been being a somewhat conservative gay man. If the gay part no longer matters, he’s just a fairly uninteresting but extremely verbose guy. Andrew needs the gay tag; fortunately for him, I don't think it’s going anywhere soon.
posted by Sully 11/20/2005 06:24:00 PM
THE TERRIBLE TRUTH ABOUT TORTURE:
Oh God, has it been 21 days this time? A whole November nearly gone with no new word from us?
Again, this has been because there has been so little for us to comment on. We wanted to say that we were first on that American Gulag story, but that passed quickly. Sullivan has otherwise been his usual self of late, like us a pale shadow of what he once was.
But what we do want to do is further illuminate his understanding of torture and its apologists, a discussion which has actually been pretty worthwhile reading on his site of late, thanks to the adroit linkage and quoted emails. When the future history of the nazification of the American right is written, his blog will be a pretty good resource.
What Sullivan still needs to get about torture here is that this does not take place because it will produce information, whatever its proponents and practitioners may honestly believe. For if it were about the greater end of suppressing terror, it would have been abandoned in a microsecond.
No, this is like all major Bush administration policies — it is done because it pleases the base. The Freepers, the core Powerline readership, the dittoheads ... they all sleep better knowing this is taking place. Whether it actually prevents terror is of no concern to them, for like all true modern conservatives who have drawn deep from the Straussian Kool-Aid pitcher the surface facts of the phenomenal world are but passing ephemera. The deeper, imperceptible principles of the noumenal are what really matter, and the principle here is that some raghead somewhere is suffering for what some other ragheads did, no matter whether he deserves it or not. And it makes them feel good.
Oh, and the base knows that this works because they know it would work on them ... i.e., they’d cough up the true secrets of the Arkansas Project and whatever else in a minute if they got waterboarded. Remember that; it might come in handy someday.
MORE CONSERVATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING OF SOVIET HISTORY:
We also rather like Jonah’s distinction between the Soviet Gulag and ours (and if Doughy Pantload were as familiar with the subject as we are, he’d not make such foolish contrasts because he’d know that the “Organs” put quite a few hardened, “socially friendly,” vora (thieves) into the camps along with the Article 58s in order to control and intimidate the latter. Solzhenitsyn devotes an entire chapter to this; other former zeks make note of this in their memoirs as well.
posted by Sully 11/20/2005 12:09:00 PM