"You're a funny man, Sully ...

that's why I'm going to kill you last."


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


We’re not sure if Sullivan’s citing Reynolds on why he (like Sullivan) doesn’t have comments on his blog is meant approvingly or not. Given that he shares that lack with Reynolds (and us, although we don’t have comments for different reasons, mainly that Sullivan doesn’t), we suspect the former.

For another side to Reynolds’ attitude toward comments, see Digby.

UPDATE: And Gilliard.

posted by Sully 1/25/2006 10:36:00 PM

I’m going to McDonalds tonight just to piss them off.
What a resolute gesture! We’re sure he just ruined Michael Jacobson’s day.

Well, what else would you expect from a guy who admits that his boldest political statement at Harvard was stalking out of a cafeteria because someone sat down next to him wearing a beret with a red star on it?

posted by Sully 1/25/2006 10:28:00 PM


Sullivan’s “by any means necessary” emailer makes far better than we could a point we’ve been meaning to make for the last couple of weeks, as the administration has run out of excuses for why it had to completely ignore the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (among other laws it just doesn’t like).

To wit, as we said some time back regarding this same subject, the Base judges Bush and his cronies not by whether they do anything successful but by their zeal. How far would he go for us, is what they want to know about any politician.

Now what we want to add is that we can see backwards into recent American cultural history and pinpoint where this came from: ‘80s action movies. Anyone who thinks Hollywood goes overboard to push the liberal agenda doesn’t remember the Rambo era. And if you doubt its lingering political effect, check in to the California governor’s mansion.

A Reagan-era reaction to the perceived Vietnam syndrome, they had many common plot elements:

  • Likable, good-guy, often working-class heroes, some of whom were identified as Vietnam vets themselves and often played cops or special-forces types, or former cops or special forces. Oh yeah, one hip sidekick who was usually black and played by Lou Gossett Jr.
  • Conflict in the screenplay was generated at least in part by superiors who sacrificed the leads’ companions to greater interests, or insisted on following procedure or regulations even at the expense of the mission success. The hero or heroes then break the rules despite warnings of the consequences ...
  • ... and then everything works out in the end. Nobody goes to prison, the good guys are rescued, the bad guys killed in horrible and spectacular fashion and the clueless superiors humiliated over their pointy-headedness or cynicism.
One can see so many iterations of these paradigms in the cable-TV schedules of the era: Rambo, where the title character declines to kill Charles Napier, the boss who'd set him up to fail; Iron Eagle, where a young boy whose father, an Air Force pilot who has been taken hostage by some mid-Eastern country, conspires with Lou Gossett to steal a couple of F-16s and break him out ... and succeeds; The Last Boy Scout, whose title says it all about Bruce Willis’s character (and where Damon Wayans played the sidekick, Gossett having gotten too old.).

We also remember Cobra, an otherwise forgettable Stallone vehicle which had the famous tag line, “Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.” No one seemed to really mind the fascistic overtones of this at the time, but is it so far from that to Sullivan’s emailer’s "by any means necessary.”

We bet you’d find a lot of the chickenbloggers could have a knockdown-dragout trivia contest over these movies. This whole narrative seems to be what the administration and the Right are trying desperately to fit the Iraq War into. They’re the good guys, not just willing but determined to go to every extreme to accomplish their mission. Anyone who raises objections like morality, international law etc. ... they just don’t get it, do they? But they would if they had watched Red Dawn a couple of dozen times.

It’s also worth noting that right-wing torture apologists who claim 24 as their own, as some sort of continuation of this genre, misunderstand it: Jack Bauer’s willingness to go over the line in the series has had profound and negative personal and professional consequences, and torture has not always yielded usable information (and Jack has sometimes counseled against its use).

There is a whole doctoral dissertation to be written here, if it hasn’t been already.

posted by Sully 1/25/2006 09:38:00 PM


Well, gee, TBogg, had that link to oh ... only more than two years ago. (And he was funnier, too).
Deck out your little eternal virgin in one of these numbers and you can guarantee her a lifetime of social awkwardness, Saturday nights with a Josh Groban CD and and a Diana Galbaldon novel, and a roomful of cats named after all the children she never had....
Money well spent, Time.

posted by Sully 1/25/2006 09:19:00 PM

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"The Princess of Provincetown"

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