n New Year’s Eve morning, I’m planning to pick the most ridiculous story of 2008, selecting from among seven stories I earmarked during the year. Your voice will be heard; review these synopses and let me know your pick.
The rules for the competition are simple: An entry must be presented by a serious writer in all seriousness, and it must go far, far beyond the sublime and settle heavily into the imbecilic.
January 8: Women are never front-runners by Gloria Steinem
Every year is a great year for Steinem’s vintage whine, and this is one of her best vintages yet, written screeded after Obama won in Iowa:
Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.
On and on she went, insulting every woman who’s done well for herself and refused to consider herself a victim. Then she insulted herself: Less than a day later, Hillary won the New Hampshire primary, proving Steinem’s entire piece … well, ridiculous. Read my post here.
February 4: Obama vs. the Phobocracy by Michael Chabon
Chabon earned a Most Ridiculous nomination for writing in WaPo some nine months before the election that if you don’t agree the debate over who should be president is over — heck, even if you ask a single question about Barack Obama — you are against truth and mankind’s better nature, a gross purveyor of fear, and a dasher of hope.
Chabon dismisses every anti-Obama, pro-someone else position as a shutting out of hope, and therefore dismissable. It turned out the American voters tended to agree with him, refusing to look for the real Obama, but his article is still ridiculous because of his position that America is a “phobocracy.” He tells us that America’s sorry state isn’t “the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan.”
No! It’s soylent green people! Specifically, us:
The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy.
Yes indeedy. To paraphrase some other great champion of massive government, there is no reason to fear an Obama presidency except fear itself: Read my post on Chabon’s ridiculous post here.
February 9: When – not if – martial law is declared by Libby Spencer
Spencer must be chewing on her nails since she’s only got a couple weeks left for her prediction to become true. (No she’s not; leftists never look back). Here’s whay she wrote in Newshoggers in February:
I’ve taken a lot of criticism over the last year about my speculation that our government is preparing to declare martial law. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll get the last laugh …
What’s she so freaked out over? InfraGard.
“InfraGard?” you say? That’s a federal program that links business leaders in a town to an FBI agent in that town — a federal program that was created under the Clinton administration, a tid-bit that Libby seems to have missed. After 9/11, the FBI expanded InfraGard’s charter from cyber- and business-related crime to broader assistance against homegrown terror. And that flipped out Spencer.
Libby, of course, does not trust business, as evidenced by her conclusion to the constant left-wing question: Why isn’t everyone else as freaked out about this as I am?
Don’t count on seeing this reported in the mainstream media. I expect the major media conglomerates are also members.
Would that be the Jew-owned national media, Libby? The Bush-Rove-Israel axis of evil?
Drawing on ACLU sources – sure to be reliable, no? – Spencer reaches this conclusion:
This is how 9/11 changed everything. Our government created a “Surveillance-Industrial Complex.” Private contractors now have a license to kill Americans at will.
Oh. That’s how 9/11 changed everything! Ridiculous. Read my post on Spencer’s post here.
June 10: Is Obama an enlightened being? by Mark Morford
The cosmically blue eyes in Morford’s headshot for his Notes & Errata column in the S.F. Wrongicle are soft-focused to goofy spirituality perfection, just right for this ridiculously goofy contribution to this year’s Most Ridiculous competition.
It seems Morford has come across people – spiritual people,even! – who aren’t Ogaga over Obama. How curious. Fortunately, Morford has the answer:
I, of course, have an answer. Sort of. Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former ’60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain’t gonna like this one little bit.
Ready? It goes likes this:Barack Obama isn’t really one of us.
Yeah, I know: Nothing ridiculous here. But wait, as they say on TV, there’s more:
Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
Conservative that I am, I’m not all that sure I want to evolve. Call me ridiculous, but I’ll call Morford ridiculous … maybe even the most ridiculous. Read my post on Morford’s column here.
October 3: The Battle Plan II: Sarah “Evita” Palin, The Muse Of The Coming Police State by Naomi Wolf.
Naomi Wolf has a leg up in this year’s competition since she won last year’s Most Ridiculous award with her column, Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps. Like Libby Spencer above, Wolf is intent on America becoming a rightwing police state:
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.
An affable, weak figurehead? You mean like Obama? No, she meant like Bush, and now Palin:
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites (”the heart of America is on display”) and realized Bush’s speechwriters were writing her — not McCain’s — speeches.
Yeah, Naomi, sure – but we all know VPs have no real power, so why all the paranoia? Well, never underestimate the depth of paranoia suffered by leftists:
What’s the plan? It is this. McCain doesn’t matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years.
I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future — for a decade perhaps — a puppet “president” for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.
Well all I can say is thank God Obama – who sicked DAs on anyone foolish enough to criticize him – won and we avoided all that. Ridiculous! Read my post on Wolf’s post here.
December 15: Why Rove Attacks Eric Holder: To Provide Cover for Bush’s Pardons by Paul Abrams
Abrams, writing at HuffPo, tees off on a comment Cici Connolly, WaPo national politics writer, made in response to Chris Matthews’ “tell me something I don’t know” question on the largely unwatched Chris Matthews Show when she said,
“Word on the street is that Karl Rove is going to be helping lead the fight against Eric Holder when his nomination for Attorney General heads up to the Senate.”
Holder, of course, is responsible for giving the legal head-nod leading to Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich. And Rove, of course, is responsible for all the evils in the world, according to current leftist ideology, so:
All Rove wants to do, and will succeed at doing, is to elevate public attention to his confirmation hearings where pliant Republicans will ask the same questions about Marc Rich over-and-over-and-over to shine the spotlight on Clinton’s egregious pardon.
Abrams doesn’t realize that Rove isn’t needed for this exercise. The GOP can ask these questions all by themselves. While Rove paranoia is ridiculous, it’s so commonplace that a raving exhibit of it hardly qualifies a column for Most Ridiculous stats – but this sure does:
In addition the Republicans will try to pin Holder down on whether he will prosecute the major rogue actors in the Bush/Cheney regime, but he cannot take that bait.
“Major rogue actors in the Bush/Cheney regime?” Where do I start? Regime? Rogue? Sorry, it was a twice-elected administration, not some tin pan regime, and as far as I know there are no outstanding criminal charges against any administration members, now that Libby has been nailed for the high crime of forgetfulness.
I don’t get it, but then I’m too sane to come up with Abrams’ ultimate scenario:
Of course, Bush will pardon them anyhow. Or, as I originally predicted, on January 19th, Bush will pardon Cheney and resign, and let Cheney pardon the rest of them, including Bush himself.
I’m not sure what the pardon will be for. Flying the planes into the WTC? Sneaking into the Library of Congress and shredding the Constitution? Acting on UN and Congressional resolutions against Iraq? Going seven years without another attack on US soil? Ridiculous!
Read my post on Abrams’ post here.
December 29: She’s a Kennedy, But She’s a Lot Like Us by Anne Glusker
Because I think it’s great for mom and kid alike for mom to stay home with the kids, I admire Glusker for championing these moms and urging employers to see the beauty in their unconventional resumes. But Caroline Kennedy as just another stay at home mom looking to get back into the workplace?
Yes, Kennedy, who is worth $100 million, is in Glusker’s eyes just another mom who decided to stay home with the kids, and now wants to go back to work! Really:
Amid all the recent buzz about Caroline Kennedy’s bid for a U.S. Senate seat, there has been a great deal of talk about her connections, her power, her wealth. But the way I see it, if you strip away the glamour, the name and the money, then Caroline is . . . me. And many of my friends. Maybe even you. If, that is, you happen to be a midlife woman raising kids and returning — or thinking of returning, or hoping one day to return — to the full-time workforce.
Yes, I’ve heard the buzz about connections, but I call it dynasty-making. Glusker sees it differently; to her it’s just the potential vs. performance split:
It works this way, according to Kathie Lingle of the Alliance for Work-Life Progress: “The guys in charge say, ‘Oh, John can do it, we know he can.’ They’re assessing his potential.” Whereas, when looking at a female job candidate, they’re likely to say: ” ‘Oh, Sue can’t do it; she’s never done it before.’ ” They’re basing their evaluation on her past performance.
Yep, that’s what’s holding Kennedy back from open-armed acceptance of Her Senatorship: the potential vs. performance split, entirely a guy/gal prejudice thing. Of course the flaw in all of Glusker’s supposition is that Kennedy’s asking for a free ride to the U.S. Senate, where she’ll have committee assignments that matter to the nation and the world, and will be expected to represent her state during one of the most troubling times in U.S. history. Glusker attempts to deal with this little matter:
Even though the job Kennedy is trying to nab is a far cry from the account executive or publicist positions that my friends might go after, the phenomenon at work is the same. The reaction seems to be: If she hasn’t followed a straight-and-narrow, logical path, we simply can’t imagine her in the role under discussion.
What’s ridiculous is that Glusker ridicules us for not accepting Kennedy as just another housewife wanting to return to work. Read my post on Glusker’s column here.
Let me know your thoughts. I’ll be posting the winner tomorrow.