December 2009


Hola muchachos! Angry New Mexican here again with some original work for a change. So it turns out that for conservatives, hatred of the New York Times is an article of faith, much like Bill Clinton’s assassination of Vince Foster or the fact that President Obama is actually a Muslim and for that matter wasn’t born in America. Hmm. Perhaps I should have added those to the Conservative’s Declaration of Faith. But I digress.

Evidently The Grey Lady is viewed as the personification of all that is wrong with the “liberal media.” Now, if they wielded that label on MSNBC, I would find it hard to complain, but this is the same party who’s current 10 Commandments are so exclusive that Ronald Regan qualifies as a RINO (and if the WSJ says so, can a Republican really argue). To expect Republicans to have any connection with reality is like expecting Paris Hilton to develop a set of morals. I mean, it’s technically possible, but it’s about as likely as winning the Triple Crown with a lame horse. Regardless, the relative decline of print media, especially the New York Times, had Angry Overeducated Catholic salivating at the thought of a conservative media ascendancy. I had to respond. You see, the truth does that sort of thing.

Anyway, as bad as things are for the Grey Lady, the NYT is still doing pretty damned well compared to the vast majority of major papers. It’s still America’s #3 newspaper, after all. WSJ and every hotel’s favorite USA Today (#2 and #1, respectively) are also holding up pretty well.

WaPo is fucked as a national paper, which is why they’ve closed all their domestic news offices outside of the Washington metro area. They’re not even trying for “national paper” status any more. The Chicago Tribune and LA Times fighting valiantly on their way down, but they’re doomed unless they can (a) off the NYT or WSJ or (b) take the WaPo route and surrender. They’ll either refocus themselves as local papers (WaPo’s plan), or die.

This of course has nothing whatsoever to do with “media bias.” Just because the conservative media fantasy-cum-conspiracy-theory happens to offer an explanation for an event doesn’t mean that it’s the correct explanation (witness the circulation slide of the Moonie-owned uber-conservative Washington Times).

The bitter truth is that that through the power of the internet, the paradox of choice is wielding it’s winnowing fan. The papers with a truly local (or truly niche) audience will survive. But they’ll be small because a niche, by definition, doesn’t have many people willing to pay for it. The big guys will survive too, because when people have too many options they pick what is popular. If for no other reason, they allow you to have a discussion with other people who have seen the same material. This is also why Twilight movies are guaranteed to be made in Hollywood. No matter how badly they suck, they will pack theaters because they are popular. And tons of people see popular movies, even very, very bad ones. This is what will save the WSJ and NYT. They’re the most popular. People will read them because plenty of other people do. Everyone else gets fucked. (See also the article, “A world of hits” in this week’s Economist).

I’m sure it warms Angry Overeducated Catholic’s heart to realize that the future of print national/international level news in America is WSJ vs. NYT (let’s be honest, if it weren’t for hotels, nobody would read USA Today). The polarization brought by Conservative Savior Rupert Murdoch via Fox News to television will now make it’s inexorable way to print news. Rupert versus the world. I’m sure he’s always looked at it this way. But it wasn’t until recently that a sane man would actually think he might be right.

I sure wish the Bancrofts’ had a pair of balls somewhere in the entire family and stood up to Murdoch. I’d rather see the future of news fought between then Bancrofts and the Sulzbergers than see the world’s second most offensive Australian (after Mel Gibson, the raging alcoholic anti-Semite, naturally). But sadly, the fallen state of the world is such that douchebags do sometimes get ahead.

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John Brown

John Brown: Angry Man of the Week

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!”
-John Brown’s Last Speech, November 2nd, 1859

As men go, John Brown was sure Angry. And the source of his anger was a righteous one. The utter barbarism that the “civilization” of what would become the treasonous Confederacy was based on: Slavery. After the murder of Reverend Elijah Parish Lovejoy by a pro-slavery mob in Illinois in 1837, John Brown had found his cause and the meaning that would define his life. He is reported to have vowed publicly,
“Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery!” There are few purposes more noble for an Angry Man.

Yes, he committed treason in his raid on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry. But a little thing like “treason” didn’t stop certain losers and douchebags from idolizing the Confederacy. And even if you have the stars and bars in your bedroom, you still have to admit John Brown was twice the man Jefferson Davis ever was. As this week commemorates the 150th anniversary of Brown’s raid, we have chosen to dub him Angry Man of the Week.

My good friend, and fellow hater of Confederate swine, Angry Overeducated Catholic, had a good comment to add to my rant. I reproduce it here in full:

John Brown was a wackjob murderous fundie, but he did have a point. And he did manage to inspire additions to a kick-ass song that provided a marching cadance as the farms and cities of millions of traitorous losers were deservedly burned to ashes. Hip, Hip, Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

(Best verse, though, has nothing to do with either John Brown:

They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree!
As they march along! )

Glory Hally Hallelujah!

Let me be honest for a moment, hombres. There are few people in the world I have less respect for than those folks who want to advocate for “medical marajuana.” Let’s be honest. 99% of these folks just are too damned lazy to smoke a blunt illegally like everyone else who has that disgusting habit. The only 1% have legitimate medical issues and have been misled by a bunch of filthy hippies and their crypto-stoner allies in the fringes of the medical community that burning a doobie is the only way they can deal with their medical problems. This is, of course, total bullshit.

My favorite commentator on all weed-related issues is none other than General Barry McCaffrey, former “Drug Czar” in the Clinton administration. Here’s my favorite highlight from an old 1996 PBS interview

MARGARET WARNER: What are you saying to doctors who say in their medical judgment they have certain patients that other therapies cannot work for and that their own medical judgment, their own ethics tell them I should recommend they find marijuana and use it to help them with this?

GENERAL BARRY McCAFFREY: I would urge them to listen to the judgment of the American Medical Association and to listen to the viewpoint of the National Institute of Health and the FDA and don’t use the Schedule one drugs. They’re dangerous, and they’re alleged by medical authorities to not have a benefit. So that’s really what we’re saying.

But let’s say for a moment, contrary to all evidence, that taking a monster hit off your roomate’s bong has some real medical benefit besides getting you shit-faced and giving you a supreme case of the munchies. Rather than fill your lungs with nasty particulate matter and spread the foul stench of that f’ing reefer across the apartment complex, we can use the power of Science(TM) to make the alleged medical benefit of wacky tobacky available to you in suppository form! Because if you seriously need it for medical reasons, you should have no problem shoving that hippy lettuce straight up your ass.

This is of course, not an original idea as I’m stealing it from General McCaffrey (search the link for “suppository” to find the relevant quotes). But the old coot certainly has a point. To all the stoners out there who claim a bit of Mary Jane is the only thing to kill the pain I say: Fine. But I’ll only believe you’re not just a lazy, filthy joint-smoking douchebag if you’re willing to take it in the end. Then you can have as many suppository parties as you want.