jeudi, octobre 28, 2004

Overminds and harnesses

Orcinus mentions projection here, about the republicans being shocked, shocked!, by that crazy democratic political violence. He mentions projection, and of course he's right.
There's something entomologic to the fun you can have looking at the right wing usual eliminationist rethoric occasionally flicker and spark the odd "ooh these democratic thugs!".

Y'know. The half second when the freeper despairs of his political vitcimhood. The unsung burns and blisters of the torch and pîtchfork crowd.

Individually it is projection, i suppose. Yet that explanation is misleading, as we are talking about codified, organized, harnessed projection -and orcinus describes well the various encouragments joe freeper receives from his overminds. That's establishing a power relationship with the liberal ennemy, and has very little to do with the benign mental incontinence of projection.

As a purely technical side effect, accusing the other of what you're doing works usually very well. The only answer is "no it's you who are doing this", and that furiously looks like an opinion vs opinion quarrel, way better than waiting tobe caught red handed. Noticed that decent people usually prefer to avoid the "no it's you!" argumentation?

lundi, octobre 25, 2004

USA! All The Way!

Matt Yglesias reads the latimes so i don't have to, and quotes Jon Chait saying

Bush and his supporters act as if anti-Americanism is simply the necessary and worthwhile price we pay for our principled advocacy of freedom everywhere. The truth is that anti-Americanism has prevented us from consistently advocating democracy throughout the world.

... before commenting on the rethoric/facts gap of the u.s. foreign policies.

What interests me in chait's piece is what a great slogan it is - i mean it in the best possible way. Something like "Democracy won't be built on anti americanism." It rolls up in a few words a few things that strike me as very healthy, in today's context :

- understanding anti americanism and its causes would be A Good Thing Indeed, not a sign of weakness
- a proud and patriotic flag waving american should be interested into the way the world sees the u.s., as this will in turn affect the outcome of its policies
- the way to close the gap between idealistic objectives and reality may consists into something else than using the big stick.

Of course there are gaping holes in all this, and geopolitics and that annoying reality. Nothing very new neither.

Still i think it may be worth spreading it, a few words summing up a certain idealism about the u.s. role in the world that had been hijacked by the neocons.

(And no, i don't feel the need to restrain the neocon label to such brand of such straussian obedience, rather than this other. Sloppy me.)

samedi, octobre 23, 2004

Still lazy

Wine critic of the day :

Chateau Peynaud Bagnac : nothing outstanding, but the real, balanced, nothing-is-missing stuff. Suspecting little color enhancing, nothing unforgivable. Buy.

Link of the day :

They just struck gold.

For now focused on the irak rethoric, but a site dedicated to the masturbatory nature of the raving rightwingers' rethoric is spot on. Wish they do some more.


C'est comme ça.

jeudi, octobre 21, 2004


There's that real cool thing about not being a native english speaker, that it's ok if you suck at it. This way, you can link to real writers without suffering of the comparison.

A propos, william gibson has a blog, and sez :

[about reagan] His presidency was the fresh kitty litter I spread for utterly crucial traction on the icey driveway of uncharted futurity. His smile was the nightmare in my back pocket.

and too :

Could it be that the obscenely comforting narrowing of imaginative bandwith (the real payoff in becoming a Bushite believer) was actually changing the world, or threatening to, via its chilling effect on consensus-reality?

... And other miscellaneous interestingnesses (foreign speaker free pass! woohooo!). I humbly think i share a stone in the shoe with mr gibson.

It takes some political wonkery to hear them, but there are some tearing and screeching in the conservative ranks about this election, and about bush. According to most of the commenters, the bush years are to blame for this unrest : the small governement people are not happy, the alliance building people are not happy, the small footprint people are unhappy etc.

As polls show, this doesn't matter. It may be because of rove's dark powers, but too because these various stripes of conservatism share enough to make it happen nevertheless. I think that gravitation center is a solid belief in magic.

That brings us back, to reagan. Lots of the magical thinking in us seems to be linked to his presidency (or? calling all old farts out there). "If you do the right moves, and utter the right ceremonials (being optimistic and not helping ths poor), then your life will be ok" is the lesson he seems to have deeply carved into u.s. minds. The real explanation, (weirdo keynesianism, attracting foreign capital, and gorbatchev's choices) is unimportant, as what people really understood was simply that "magic works". Or, as the expression goes, that the "sunny optimism" of the president really mattered.

The Great Ancestor reagan is still a reference point for both candidate, and more largely for the u.s. political life, but the republicans, more than the dems, have mastered the use of the need for magic in the electorate -once sunny optimism, it os now steady leadership. Happily, as the perfomances of the u.s. army show, adaptability to your ennemy hasn't stopped to be valued. Simply the "steady leadership" totem will bring all kinds of good things, without the need to elaborate causes and consequences, magically, just like reagan's optimism.

Thing is, the playfield is not level : as far as magic goes, we're in conservative territory. The recent suskind article about bush's god-assisted decision making, or the reality creating epire bulkders, or the future state free utopia or god knows what other conservative fantasy.

The common denominator is that your attitude, your will, your "sunny optimism", your "steadyness", or faith are what matters, and that the money, people, geopolitic, economic, cultural etc factors take the backseat to these ones.

As i'm about to write that they really believe that steady leadership will stop bullets, i realize i'd better simply send you all to Fafblog, the one-stop for all your anti terrorism magical laser beam robots related activities.


Half related, and in a hurry, as i just decided i'd be too lazy for another post, there's the "greater generation" complex. The grave ponderings about, y'know, are we that good at nation building? Fully godlike or only half-the-stuff?

Ther's a part of simple naivety in it (building the japanese/german nation, rright) but let's put that aside.

The real problem there is that the greater generation did all these things worrying about gathering machines, logistics, capital, people, industrial production to solve problems, or to make the other bastard die for his country. That's all as reality based as you can get. And now we have the pie-in-the-sky all-stars referring obssessively to them (irak=germany, i'm telling you!) to promote their lunacies.

Tempora, mores, you get the picture.

mardi, octobre 19, 2004

Sometimes it smells like fish

Seems like election rigging stories are all over the place, a nice one here at skippy. Are there significantly more over all the place than before? Did something really change in the way people think the elections after 2000?

Electoral systems' function is not only to accuracy in counting the vote. It is to provide certain, obvious, un-doubtable results.

The second part, at the very least, took a hit the last time. Could it be that something like a free-for-all, cheat-because-surely-the-other-bastards-will attitude is spreading?

Crying wolf, hopefully, as i don't have really comparisons with the elections before.

Special relationship not dead

Pandagon, again, bis, ponders guardian's sniffing to much special relationship powder, and the predictable reaction.

The backfire nevertheless highlight the interesting predictability of a certain kind of u.s. electorate to bad, bad furriners trying to Force Them Do Things.

Bad? Furriner? For bush? This is a mission for... French For Bush!

Cut, paste and spam the republican leaning area of your choice.

Cher cowboys américains,

Nous, les mangeurs de fromage (qui détestons les u.s.a et la liberté), tenons a exprimer la confiance que nous avons dans les électeurs americains et dans la société diebold.

Quatre ans de plus avec votre grand leader!

Bien a vous,

Les Méchants Français.

Don't thank me. Pleasure.

lundi, octobre 18, 2004

God made me do it

Matthew Yglesias in a comment of the much linked nytimes article about bush's faith based decision process, sez :

Bush has a badly out-of-whack, reality-averse decision-making process, on its main thesis -- that all of this is intimately related to his religiosity -- it seems terribly weak. As David Adesnik writes, "if Bush's certainty comes from his faith in God, where do the certainty of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the inner circle come from?" Indeed.

As in many bush related matters, the answer to the question is "you're not being pessimistic enough".

So, matthew, i think you may not be pessimistic enough about it all.

First about bush's decision making. He may rave on and on and on about how faith changed his life, but i have never seen any sign indicating that god is something other for him than that ceremonial item, a word to put in the sentences he makes about about his faith.

So it's not like he really believes god speaks to him, imho. It's just that his whole faith resides in him saying god makes him do things and changes him and speaks to him. There are everywhere these interviews of poor republican schmucks that are about to vote against their interests, because their faith tells them to : this is the kind of "faith" we're talking about.

Bush says god, what he means is "i don't know what makes me do what i do". He's not trying to share his visions from above with his environment. He's calling god on the opinions and decisions he makes from interacting with his environment.

Then there is the inner circle, hopefully providing a balance to the speaking-in-tongue boy, as they may not share his direct connection to Up Above. But these guys are nuts. They're nuts as in "we create our reality", and it should be no big deal, as the system should normally provide means to neuter their influence, and even put it to good use.

What happened is boy king went all revolutionnary on the bureaucratic checks and balances, systematically rewarding/promoting the nutcases, ignoring/repelling the reasonable people. They don't have to believe bush god-mania to be a very nutty group overall.

dimanche, octobre 17, 2004

For what other reason?

What's not to like at C'est chez nous, who's always eager to bug the people that bug me, right now waving this Guardian survey under the nose of that specific branch of u.s. francophobia specialized in the "why do they hate us" anthem.

It's always nice to rub their noses in it, but sadly, i feel it's like pissing in a violin, as we say. That's why :

According to the war nuts, france opposed the irak was out of an array of lunacies. U.s. hating, nostalgia for the "grandeur" (they love this word) of france, envy for the u.s. etcetc. Of course, simply imagining that a country would endanger its diplomatic/economic relations with a partner as big as the u.s. out of pique is ludicrous, and yet they painted themselves in that corner.

The killing question is "but for what reason, other than lunacy, would the french oppose the war?". You simply don't want to see that kind of question answered while you're whipping your domestic audience to war. That may lead to things like "hey, after all, why not wait for the inspectors to do their jobs?". So, it's not like the war nuts have a choice : there must be a french lunacy to insert here, "explaining" its opposition to this war in a way suitable to the pursuit of the propaganda, instead of the obvious, simple, reason.

It's notable that, as the u.s. policies divorce from, you know, the real world, they rely more and more on these representations of the world-as-lunacy.

The last example was spain. So little time after feeling the instant unanimity and gathering of forces that follows a catastrophe like the 9/11, a big part of the u.s. opinion found no objection in seeing the spaniards cowered by the bombings into choosing another governemnnt. The "what other reason" test would yield here too uncomfortable answers about aznar (ptooey) and the arm-twisting (97% against) of spain into irak.

So now, of course the spaniards are so incredible cowards as to change government to please the terrorists. These foreigners are like that anyways, and good lord, for what other reason?

vendredi, octobre 15, 2004

Mary et le teflon

Phersu, phersu au milles noms et aux commentaires sans mise en page, phersu de retour de son beau voyage et qui finalement reblogue, voila, celui la même, phersu donc, à l'air de pêter la forme et commente ainsi, entre deux choses trop calées pour moi, à propos de mary, la fille lesbienne de cheney, reprenez votre souffle :

Mais les Républicains qui s'offusquent trahissent ainsi à nouveau leur homophobie. Mary est hors du placard. Tout le monde le sait ! C'est ok de le mentionner, même si c'est réducteur et pas indispensable au débat public

Et il a bien raison.

D'autant plus que le cas de la fifille avait déja été mis sur le tapis dans un des débats cheney/edwards. Fair game, donc, mary cheney faisait déja partie du paysage de la campagne.

Aussi, dans le contexte américain, l'esquive de bush, refusant de dire que non, l'homosexualité n'est pas un choix, est un appel du pied aux homophobes militants du gop. Pour eux, si les homos choisissent, ils sont pervers, malades rééducables, tout le bordel. D'une façon générale, vous pouvez d'ailleurs parier que, dès que la droite u.s. vous dit que telle ou telle minorité se réduit à des individus, chacun d'eux ayant "le choix", vous pouvez parier qu'elle prépare un mauvais coup contre celle ci.

Dans ce contexte, la petite inélégance de kerry... Pas de quoi fouetter un chat, et beaucoup moin grave que l'hypocrisie de bush.

Cette affaire souligne plutôt, amha, les bizarreries des media américains : les democrates ne peuvent absolument rien se permettre (excuses de kerry, on croit rêver) , les republicains presque tout. J'essaye encore, à vrai dire, de cerner le phénomène, qui à eu l'air de passer la surmultipliée depuis clinton et, grosso modo, l'ascension de rush limbaugh. Une periode de terrorisme intellectuel a suivi, qui continue encore, sur le thème du biais gauchiste (oui je sais, ça surprend) des media u.s.

Cette situation avantage énormément les républicains. Chacune de leurs accusations "accroche", alors qu'ils sont eux mêmes en téflon inoxydable galvanisé. Inversement, les dems se battent avec un bras dans le dos, chaque faux pas amplifié et utilisé par le mighty wurlitzer des republicains.

In other news, outfoxed est en distribution libre en torrent, m'a t on dit, et je me réserve le droit d'éditer ce post a volonté, parceque là, j'ai faim.

jeudi, octobre 14, 2004

Experience you'd rather not have

Linking again to Pandagon, where they go like this :

anything which doesn't prove a conservative victory is the product of the "MSM". It's reminiscent of the worst of CIA/NSA/alien government conspiracy theorists, with the added benefit that it's not only happening in front of your face, but they're paranoid delusions from the people who have the power.

That "msm attitude" doesn't looks new to me, as the far right here in france - a movement very different from the u.s. right wing nuts - just uses that for decades now. Jesse taylor sees it from the conspiracy theory point of view, with a political instrumentalization twist.

I'm afraid this is too optimistic, and that the us nutjobs and our french fachos are becoming bedfellows in paranoia. The big news not being that paranoia indeed exists in their little reptiloid heads, but that it becomes instrumental in their political discourse.

I still hope this is a fever pitch but, precisely, paranoia-as-politics once in the game just doesn't go away. It easy, it mobilizes people and it's unfalsifiable. Yum.

From my unfortunately informed point of view, it goes like this :

The media is swallowing each of dear leader's eructations? It's because the Voice of the Real People has been heard at last, through the lies of the msm.

Lots of media are very militantly rightists? They are only a feeble balance to the msm.

Things are going bad? It's the msm lies, stupid.

You can't really answer this, it's not really an argumentation, rather an act of faith, a logical free pass. Add to that it draws strength from the conspiration theories traditions and reflexes.

Maybe it's same old, same old, but maybe there is a drifting here and that "msm", after "silent majority", after "liberal bias" is one step into a very nasty direction, the bunkerisation of the u.s. right.

... Which bring us into Orcinus territory.

mardi, octobre 12, 2004

Flip floping.

Pandagon fearlessly critisize their future Ministry of Truth, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and incidently reminds me that dumbing down may be after all, a viable option.

I remember having written at the same Pandagon, when i was young and optimistic, a few days ago, something to the effect "it would be dangerous to let the identity of a_conservative_hack_99 influence the way you recieve what he says." Broken clock right twice a day. Open minds of the left. Virtue. A false argument will anyway be teared apart by our razor sharp leftist minds, and Good and Order will be Restored, and there will be much rejoicing. All that.

The general tone of the discussion was such, and i agreed, mostly. Maybe not anymore.

It's that, having witnessed the clockwork propaganda machine that slowly dragged the u.s. to war, i find myself unable to think of media and opinion but in basical, mechanistic terms. Gummint wanted war, applied enough propaganda, got less pertinent of wars. That goering quote again.

It certainly means some kind of failure from the left bullshit detecting super powers. Granted, it doesn't justify yet the change of attitude i'm describing : the virtuous principle i once agreed with may be right and occasionally proven wrong. A big occasion maybe, but yet.

But discussing on the topic of propaganda, i saw that people are never concerned by it : "not for me". But propaganda at work doesn't tranforms you into a warmonger, it bring you a warmongering that may be acceptable from your standarts, no claws or horns spouting. You remain the same, simply, with your usual info feed simply carrying that same little bent.

Now, as a reasonable sentient being, you should be able to deal with that. Provided enough time you should be able to spot, analyze, cross check, filter, look around and finally make your mind. And you just can't. My theory is that it's on that individual impossibility that the depressing cause of propaganda produce its mass effect.

So provided unlimited time, you could be virtuous and perfectly open minded. Without it, we are leaving the firm grounds of Truth and Virtue, and you may as well include the source into your appreciation. I think the rush to war mechanics may have shown that you should. I think the sinclair case show that dark vador and the emperor know that propaganda works.

Hey! There's a microeconomic air to that best-option-under-time-constraint presentation that fits well the zeitgeist, i think, and being my easily satisfied self, i'm leaving it at that, dear reader.

It takes a special kind of dork.

I takes some qualities, with such a fierce competition around the blogosphere, to post something so outstandingly disgusting.

Weekly Standart's Schwartz does just that. Easy.

You're used to hackery. You have that useful shell, painfully grown after months, years now, of seeing web based warmongering, that shields you from most of the screeching and grunting. After you got used to the fact that many consider ann coulter a normal person, you can just sit back and relax. Bring them on.

That's when Schwartz goes asymetric on you and unloads his little droppings into your litterary salon. Low blow, i say.

You can mentally send to hell some wild eyed hack fapfaping about war, guns, military or islamofascists. What do you do when someone you deeply despise whispers at your ear his personnal, appalling litterary tastes? You suffer, that's what.

Of course, the author himself blunts that : in the guise of literature critic, it's more of yet another "wanna circle jerk, buddies?" exercises so common among right wing nuts. You know. She's a *COMMIE BITCH COMMIE BITCH COMMIE BITCH*. And a *FEMINIST*. So she's a bad writer. I for one didn't want to know that schwarz feels insecure about his (how do they say?) "manhood", but the main point is here : shields are back. Known territory. Relief.

Yet, that travel to the center of an imbecile's mind is painful : all the bigotry, but twisted into litterary critic.

But beware, lefty people. All righties are not as extraordinarily mediocre as mr schwarz, though the frequency is comforting, i admit. Noticed the "conservative art" (or something) banners at some of the nutcases blogs? Please, someone make an e-museum for them.

dimanche, octobre 10, 2004

et de deux

fiat post.

Bonjour les gens. Is this thing on?