ANTHILLS DOWN: Total silence, followed by faux!


Part 4—Extremely bad feminist speaks:
Last Sunday, in The Sunday Review, the New York Times subjected its readers to a vast mountain of bullshit.

It's just about the highest platform the famous newspaper possesses. And good lord, the bullshit was vast!

Inside The Review, on the op-ed page,
readers were subjected to a Maureen Dowd column, in which, according to Dowd, Daddy Stood Up to the Klan. The alleged event allegedly happened in 1947, before Dowd was born.

As a general matter, the column was Dowd's way of showing us how much she despises Donald J. Trump, the disordered fellow she rather plainly endorsed all through last year's campaign.

Elsewhere in the section, we were exposed to some of the silly piffle typical of The Review. As the nation reeled from Charlottesville, Loudon Wainwright offered a list of his ten favorite swimming holes, world-wide. And not only that! In an "opinion" piece headlined "9 Eclipses, 4 Continents," globe-trotting Dava Sobel told us why she never misses an eclipse, no matter where it takes place.

In fairness, it wasn't the fault of Wainwright or Sobel that their pieces may have seemed a bit foppish on this particular Sunday. Sobel has written a string of well-regarded books, the most recent of which was plugged in her essay's identity line. In his essay on swimming holes, Wainwright cited a song he wrote, "Swimming Song," which appeared in 1976 on one of the greatest albums we know about, Kate & Anna McGarrigle.

(The late Kate McGarrigle was Wainwright's wife at the time. On the album, the McGarrigles answered a long-standing question: if we could hear the choir of angels, what might they sound like?)

In fairness, let's not stop there. The Sunday Review never fails to offers its readers the dumbest thinking available, generally tricked up to resemble high erudition. Last Sunday, readers got to read a piece by Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review. Perhaps as a tribute to sacred Thoreau, she started out like this:
PAUL (8/20/17): Recently, I gave up my electric toothbrush. There was nothing wrong with it. It was, in fact, an upscale model, and when I used it, I felt certain my teeth were not only getting cleaner and whiter but also perhaps even better aligned. And yet, my old manual toothbrush, poking out of a mug on the vanity, beckoned. One night, as I wearily approached the sink, I realized the last thing I wanted to experience was the frantic whir of yet another spinning gizmo. I plucked out the old-timey toothbrush instead, and never looked back.

I deliberately downgraded.
"Dumbnify, dumbnify," Thoreau once wrote. Or at least, he wrote something like that.

The Sunday Review rarely fails to put well-disguised examples of dumbness on vivid comic display. That said, on this particular Sunday, the genuine insult to readers' intelligence came when the Times pretended to assess Donald J. Trump's reactions to Charlottesville.

The Sunday Review offered a package of essays addressing this topic. Inevitably, one was by a requisite figure—the repentant former white nationalist, the one who has seen the light.

No formulaic rumination is easier to read and digest. But the main reaction to Donald J. Trump appeared in the form of a pair of essays which ate the bulk of The Sunday Review's first page.

One of these essays was written by the utterly silly Julius Krein. The youngster launched a pro-Trump journal in February, but now confesses that he was wrong, oh so completely wrong.

The matching piece was by Roxane Gay. If we had to pick one word, we'd call it a disgrace. A con.

Krein is an utterly silly, unknown child; Gay is a major writer. Her current book, Hunger, recently spent five weeks on the Times' best-seller list. The identity line of last Sunday's essay said this:

"Roxane Gay, an associate professor at Purdue University, is the author, most recently, of 'Hunger,' and a contributing opinion writer."

More specifically, Gay is a regular "contributing opinion writer" for the New York Times. She has held that position for several years. Therein, we'd have to say, lies part of this morning's tale.

Krein confessed that he'd been wrong, oh so wrong, in his recent support for Trump. In her shorter, matching piece, Gay had a different confession to make.

Silly ridiculous Krein confessed; the better-known Gay did too. What follows should make liberals angry—furious, disgusted, resentful:
GAY (8/20/17): Throughout the 2016 election, I did not do as much as I could have done to support Mrs. Clinton’s presidential bid. I contributed money to the campaign, but I didn’t volunteer or try to get out the vote.

Of all the men and women running for president, I found her to be the most qualified, comprehensive in her understanding of domestic and foreign policy, progressive and charismatic. I wanted to write about her and engage rigorously with her ideas far more than I did. But I didn’t. In part, I did not have the energy to deal with the inevitable backlash, from corners right and left. In part, I was trying to understand the popularity of Bernie Sanders because so many people I respect supported him and his ideas. And of course, there was that overconfidence, which, in hindsight, I am ashamed of. Nothing should be taken for granted in a democracy.

I don’t think that I, as an individual, could have swayed the election in a meaningful way but I know I could have done so much more and I did not. I hold myself accountable for that. I am increasingly concerned with accountability because our country is being led by a man who believes he is accountable only to himself and enriching his coffers rather than the more than 300 million people he was so narrowly elected to lead and serve.

It pains me to think about what could have been. It is even more difficult to face the way things are.
In the dictionary, next to "faux," those bogus remarks should appear.

Poor Gay! She "wanted" to write about Candidate Clinton, she says. In truth, we're not sure the words "wanted to" mean what she thinks they mean.

She wanted to write about Candidate Clinton. But as it turned out, she didn't!

It isn't that she was taken ill. It isn't that she submitted work which editors rejected.

Speaking a bit more precisely, Gay could have written about Candidate Clinton, presumably from a high platform. Here's why she says she didn't:

"In part, I did not have the energy to deal with the inevitable backlash, from corners right and left."

An ironist might say that Gay is blaming "both sides," not unlike Donald J. Trump! But in part, Gay chose to let Clinton twist in the wind because she didn't want to deal with the pain—didn't want to get negative feedback from folk on the right and the left.

Here's the second part of the reason why Gay didn't speak—and no, this doesn't exactly make sense:

"In part, I was trying to understand the popularity of Bernie Sanders because so many people I respect supported him and his ideas."

She didn't write about Candidate Clinton—during the general election, let's say—because she was trying to understand the popularity of Bernie Sanders?

You're right! On its face, that doesn't make sense. But those are two of the reasons why Gay, who wanted to speak up for Clinton, chose to sit it out. Here's an unflattering paraphrase of what she has actually said:

As Michael Jordan might have put it, Sanders voters buy best-selling books too!

Sanders supporters buy books too! In fairness, that thought may never have entered Gay's head. That said, it's fairly obvious that she chose to keep her thoughts to herself because she didn't want the pain of being criticized by Sanders supporters, among others. We'll suggest other groups below.

Unfortunately, major liberals have been making that type of choice for the past twenty-five years, ever since the barrage of weird attacks on Clinton and Clinton began. Our cowardly lions have constantly clammed, rather than challenge The Power. And sure enough! After twenty-five years of this self-serving conduct, the cowardice of our big liberal stars has finally sent Trump to the White House.

It's hard to find sufficient words of contempt for that passage by Gay. Or for the reactions of the inevitable liberal readers who flocked to comments to praise Professor Gay for her courage and her goodness in making this bogus confession.

Question: Has there ever been a music man whose trombones we didn't buy? To whose manifest bullshit we liberals wouldn't submit? Just read the reactions to Gay's confession and marvel at the way we liberals constantly claim that The Others are hopelessly dumb!

Why did Professor Gay choose silence, even when she "wanted" to speak up for Candidate Clinton? We've suggested one unflattering possibility. Now, we'll suggest two more:

Gay is a black associate professor at a major university. During the past campaign, her fellow assistant and associate professors spent a fair amount of time telling black voters to stay away from Candidate Clinton because on one occasion, twenty years before, she used a term which was in wide use at the time. ("Super-predator," a version of "sociopath.").

Admiring Clinton as she claims she did, Professor Gay could have shown a bit of courage and challenged this unwise stance. But she might have gotten some negative feedback, so she maintained her silence.

As a result, Sheriff Joe, a more recent super-predator, just received some very good news. Ain't liberal silence grand?

There was another specific arena within which the lofty Gay might have spoken. That other arena involves the New York Times.

As Campaign 2016 unfolded, the New York Times re-engaged in the 25-year war it had waged against both Clintons and Gore. Largely because of intellectual leaders like Gay, most people in the liberal rank-and-file remain unaware, to this day, that any such war has occurred.

As Campaign 2016 unfolded, the Times did some truly incredible work with which they extended this war. We'll mention just one example:

In April 2015, the Times published an astounding, 4400-word report on the scary uranium deal through which Secretary Clinton sold out the national interest. They published their absurd report in concert with a ludicrous book by a right-wing hack who was bankrolled by Steve Bannon!

Gay could have spoken up about that ludicrous, sprawling report, which Donald J. Trump still mentions. Later, she could have spoken up about the Times' over-the-top coverage of the email matter.

She could have spoken about that dying fellow's last few nouns. She could have spoken up about a wide range of ridiculous things the ridiculous New York Times did.

Why didn't Gay speak up? Dearest darlings, use your heads! The utterly useless Roxane Gay is "a contributing opinion writer"at the New York Times! And as we've told you for how many years, people who hold such posts, or dream of holding such posts, do not talk back to the Washington Post or to the New York Times.

Dearest darlings, use your heads! Such things simply aren't done!

They don't talk back to the New York Times, from whom they derive their careers. Indeed, that can be seen as the basic story of the past twenty-five years—as the basic story of the way Donald J. Trump reached the White House.

Poor Gay! She "wanted" to speak up for Candidate Clinton, who she thought was a fabulous candidate. But she decided to bail.

She didn't want to offend Sanders supporters. She didn't want to get name-called, as she would have been, by our team's assistant professors.

She didn't want to jeopardize her sinecure at the New York Times. And last Sunday, we in the liberal rank and file rushed to praise her for her goodness and courage! Is anyone dumber than our tribe is? Does anyone purchase more cons?

We offer one last observation:

The New York Times insulted its readers when it published that silly twaddle by the ludicrous silly-boy Krein. That said, Gay's companion essay was just as silly and just as faux. Just as scripted, predictable, dumb.

Each of those pieces was silly and faux. But then, little that isn't silly and faux makes it into print at The Sunday Review. (Daddy stood up to the Klan!)

Gay's confession reeked of faux. That said, we liberals love her a lot, and don't those royalties spend!


  1. I don't know if ad hominem helps or hurts but it certainly is the order of the day here. And it is with more sadness than rancor I say to you now, Bob Somerby is ... an idiot. (And I'll whip yer ass)

    1. In the end, it was satisfying to really get under this asshole's skin.

    2. But you really should pick on someone your own size.

  2. To repeat the obvious, Somerby could have written those columns in support of Clinton too. He didn't. He didn't because he favored Sanders more than Clinton and because, as he himself stated, Clinton was a flawed candidate.

    Somerby doesn't understand what it was like for academics who supported Clinton. The 2016 election year followed Clinton's bid for the nomination in 2008. That was an extremely rancorous campaign for women who supported Clinton, partly because of the abandonment of her aspirations by the DNC and establishment Democrats, but also because of the in-fighting between liberals over Clinton's persistence. If you were a professor, you were not able to speak your mind in your department for fear of being accused of racism, and you got used to keeping silent while your colleagues cheered Obama's every success. It was heart-breaking. Then in 2016, the same thing happened as many academics broke for Sanders and imposed the same bullying tactics on their colleagues. This time you weren't progressive enough if you supported Clinton and once again it was hard to speak up without being shouted down. I was there and I know what that felt like.

    Everyone spoke out for Clinton except academics in 2016. I believe Gay felt that there were sufficient voices supporting Clinton that hers was not needed, but I fully understand why she would not want to become a lightning rod among her colleagues by opposing Sanders.

    Now Somerby demonstrates his own hypocrisy by pretending he spoke up when others did not. He did not one bit of heavy lifting on Clinton's behalf. He may have supported Gore, but he was MIA for Clinton while repeatedly stating his preference for Sanders. He picked the wrong side and now he believes he has the right to pick on Gay. No. That is just wrong.

    All liberals own Clinton's defeat, but realize that it took Comey and Russian interference to keep her out of the presidency. The Sanders bros didn't want a female president so they dug up a tired Socialist do-nothing to wave his arms and give them cover, but Trump stole the election with Russian collusion. Clinton was the rightful winner. That is the way history will describe this shameful event. Somerby won't admit that any more than Trump will -- he keeps pretending the Clinton campaign lost the election. That too is just plain wrong.

    1. I agree that Clinton was a flawed candidate. Incredibly so. I'm surprise Bill didn't help her on that more. She was just a legacy. Without him, she would've never been in that position. She didn't have the goods. We all have to bear the brunt of her ambition and lack of skill.

    2. Anonymous @ 12:38 PM: flawed troll, incredibly so.

      Better trolling please

    3. Academics are especially susceptible to peer pressure from colleagues because their tenure and promotion decisions depend on a department vote. Criteria for promotion are highly subjective which permits someone with a grudge against you to do real damage to your career during meetings which you cannot attend and thus have no way to know what was said or defend yourself. So academics must stay on the good side of their colleagues because their continued employment and financial well-being depend on it.

      In other kinds of jobs, you only have to curry favor with your boss and criteria are spelled out in ways that limit bias.

      Yes, you can appeal tenure and promotion decisions, but the process takes about a year and there is a great deal at stake. Most academics don't want to risk it. So they keep their mouths shut and go along to get along. It is one of the most unpleasant aspects of being an academic.

    4. LOL, do you even read this blog, bro? Somerby defended Hillary endlessly. And not only in this particular campaign, but throughout the run of this blog.

    5. I quoted excerpts ad nauseam the last time someone claimed this. He stated at least twice that he preferred Sanders and he referred to Clinton as flawed on several occasions. He said she was better than Trump, but that is faint praise.

      He did show how the press was attacking Clinton. That isn't the same as supporting her personally and it is a far cry from enthusiasm.

      Like Kevin Drum and several other so-called liberals, he said repeatedly that he wished she didn't respond to criticism in such a lawyerly way and he blamed her for some of her mistreatment.

      Somerby has endlessly attacked the media for its vendettas against the Clintons, then Gore, and Kerry. He never defended Clinton against the attacks by Obama's supporters and press and he never pointed out how the press aided Obama.

      Attacking the press is not the same as defending Hillary. Neither is pointing out that there are Clinton rules, nor that there has been unfairness toward them. Supporting a candidate means talking her programs and expressing enthusiasm about her qualifications. He only did that for Sanders.

      You can do the search yourself this time. You will find that the only time Somerby stated support for Clinton was in contrast to Trump -- even a monkey would do that, so he gets no points for it.

    6. Flawed electorate, not flawed candidate.

    7. No, she was flawed. If you want the top prize, you have to earn it. You have to stir people's souls. She did. not. have. the. goods. it's. so. obvious. I know she is smart as hell and she almost got it anyway but she wasn't a candidate for the top spot and never would have been there if her spouse was not who he was. It's over now. We have Trump for another 7 and a half probably. We have to rebuild and get it together. Mostly liberalism is dead.

    8. Yes...@2:22...liberalism is dead. Turn in your Social Security and Medicare, or get grandma off of them, rescind votes for women, (that's already happening for blacks)...punish gays, throw the book at drug offenders, let corporations lay waste to your back yard, why not? "Community" is just a meaningless "liberal" term, after all.

    9. @2:22...riiiight. The way GwBush "earned" it? Or Trump, the worst popular defeat of a candidate to win the electoral college?

    10. Yes. Like gwb. You have to have star power. Bill had it. gwb had it. Obama had it. Jeb bush didn't have it. Hillary didn't have it. Trump .. well, you know the drill. Stop being so dumb. That is what this blog is all about. Man.

    11. anon 1:51, I agree about the ad nauseum, except that the ad nauseum is your constant absurd carping that TDH somehow threw his support to Sanders and failed to defend Clinton (and even absurder suggestion that TDH thereby somehow influenced the outcome of the election). The examples you cited failed to come close to proving your point. Going back to the 2008 Democratic campaign, I recall him vigorously defending Clinton from the charge that she somehow on 60 Minutes shafted Obama on the issue of whether he was a Muslim. Nothing you ad nauseumly posted showed in any way that TDH expressed enthusiasm for Sanders' programs in some unequal way to Clinton's. You are delusional.

    12. I never said he failed to "defend" Clinton. I said he failed to enthusiastically support her candidacy. Nate Silver says the Sanders and Stein voters affected the outcome. He has the numbers. I quoted Somerby saying he preferred Sanders. Go find it. You are the one being repetitively delusional here.

    13. @2:22 Hillary had charisma, star power, and stirred some of our souls. Watch the DNC again. Watch the devastated faces of the Clinton campaign workers as the election returns came in. Hillary is great and many of us feel that way about her.

      Maybe you had to be female, or a real human being, to see past the disinformation.

    14. No, she doesn't have charisma. Why lie to yourself about it? If you think she has star power, you don't know what it is. She would get only extremely small groups of people to come to her rally's. That was due to her lack of charisma. It's interesting people's delusions. The proof is in the pudding, she's a two time loser. She didn't grab the ring and she was defeated by a reality show clown of the highest order. You're lying to yourself. I know you liked her and she moved you. I voted for her too. But don't be stupid. She was a legacy and she dropped the ball. Charismatic. I have to laugh. You want me to rewatch the night she was defeated to learn how charismatic and soul stirring she is? Man. Some people. Some people really lie to themselves. Most people I guess. I know it's upsetting. I'm upset too. But be real man.

    15. Bernie has no charisma to me but lots of kids disagree. There's no accounting for taste. Trump makes my skin crawl but guys love him. You think this is a property of the politician and not the follower. You are wrong about that.

    16. I don't think you have thought this through. I know that you think she had charisma and star power. For you, she did. You projected your highest hopes and dreams on her which is what people do in elections.

      But objectively, there is such a thing as star power. She did not have it. Charisma, she did not have it. Trump made your skin crawl. But did you ever watch his rallies on CNN? Many people did. Many of them also had skin that Trump made a crawl. But they watched him anyway in droves. That's called star power.

      At the same time, Hillary was in Tampa speaking to a half full school gymnasium with 250 people. That's called lack of star power.

      Sorry, but it's true. But I guess it doesn't really matter now. She's over and we will never hear from her again.

    17. When discussing “charisma”, the direct popular vote is a better gauge than the more indirect Electoral College.

      The proof is in the pudding, objectively:
      Clinton:  65,853,516  48.2%
       Trump:  62,984,825  46.1%
      (Clinton received about 2.9 million more votes nationwide, a margin of 2.1%.)

    18. > “But did you ever watch his rallies on CNN?”

      Sanders and Trump both relied on rallies in stadiums to give the impression of popularity; both actually got fewer actual votes (in the primary and general elections, respectively) than Clinton, going head-to-head. Objectively, she was more popular at the voting booth, despite the GOP’s determined voter-suppression campaign swinging critical state results. In Trump’s case, the manipulation was even more blatant; he had rented actors for his campaign launch; and when his rally attendance was sparse, he crowded the audience toward the front of the stadium and had the cameras point only at the crowded portion during the brief moments they looked away from him... but tweets from cellphones show the difference.

    19. Raven I admire your efforts here but you are not that dumb. You are not trying to say Clinton and trump were equally charismatic. You are not trying to say Trump's enormous stadium crowds and record setting cable ratings were some kind of false charade. The votes are not an objective measure of charisma. One of the votes was mine and I thought she was ridiculous. We have to agree to disagree. If you think Clinton is charismatic and has star power and lost to trump in spite of it, that's your business. You can lie to yourself all you want. She got more votes. I cast one of them as did many others including Bernie supporters. Many people held their nose and voted for her. She almost Reese Weatherspooned her way in there but she didn't. She has no star quality and a horrible voice. People hate her. I'm not saying it's rational. Of course, if she could fill stadiums she would have also. Of course, right? She couldn't because she doesn't have the star quality. Trump and Sanders did it because they could. Duh. They both had so much more star quality and charisma then she had. I know it's hard for you to admit it to yourself. I get that. You're not a dumb guy. You're just lying to yourself to protect your emotional investment. She never should have been in the position she was and was and only because Bill was who he was. Don't lie to yourself about it. Or do. Whatever.

    20. > “... false charade.” — Even your huge cloud of squid ink fails to obscure details like Trump’s renting actors for his campaign launch, and pointing TV cameras only briefly away from himself toward the audience but then only in close-ups that showed just the crowded-up sections not the empty sections to either side... yes, exactly a false charade.

    21. I mean, come on, how gullible can you be, Trump is the same guy that repeatedly and on record claims he WON the popular vote, and that he had the largest Inauguration Day crowd ever (larger than Obama’s!), and those are both also demonstrably false to fact [photo shows Obama’s crowd above, Trump’s crowd below] — so why do you seem so incredulous that his other claims to popularity are “false charades”? His entire career has used deception as his basic tactic: highlights include Trump University, and the non-charitable “charity” called the Trump Foundation.

    22. Reese Witherspoon certainly has charisma. She is a major star.

    23. I'm fine to agree to disagree about Trump's star quality and charisma versus Clinton's. He did hire actors and do all those things you say but I still think he had real charisma versus Clinton but it doesn't mattter really. What's done is done. . All the best.

    24. If Trump had ever had “real charisma”, or had ever even believed in his own mind that he had “real charisma”, then he wouldn’t have needed to fake it by hiring actors or letting TV cameras briefly show a few bunched-together audience members close-up and carefully avoid showing the big empty spaces. Just like a guy who’s really popular with the girls doesn't need to hire his dates....

    25. He does have charisma. He was at one time the most popular television star in America. You just don't know what you're talking about and are in denial, no offense. That said, he did hire those actors! Let me ask you this, how do you compare the crowds Trump had during the election compared to the crowds that Hillary had? Anyway, yes you're right that he is a charlatan but charlatans with beucoup charisma like him have always existed and have always filled the circus tents full of suckers like he did. He's the kind of guy they write folks song about. Anyway, you're fucking boring.

    26. Hillary's advisors told her that she came across better, more genuinely, when relating to smaller groups, so she tried to make contact with more people in smaller venues. Trump is autistic socially speaking, so he doesn't relate to anyone, whether in small groups or large rallies. He likes the big rallies because he can revels in the applause and can imagine himself beloved by all. Hillary doesn't need to stoke her ego that way. In contrast, Hillary wants to hear what individual people have to say, not speak at them through microphones.

      You are correct that they each have different styles. You are wrong about what those styles mean.

      Name one folk song written about Trump.

    27. > “He was at one time the most popular television star in America.”

      Neither The Apprentice nor The Celebrity Apprentice was ever the highest-rated show; taken as a single series, starting out at #7, it slid year by year to #90.

      The opening concept was not Trump’s, in any case, but producer Mark Burnett’s. (When “Burnett approached Trump about a new television show... Trump was skeptical, stating that reality television was for the bottom-feeders of society — yet, oh my goodness, he fit right in, didn’t he?) You might as well credit William Shatner for the concept of Star Trek....

  3. Ah. Too bad the pretentious little prat didn't write about the fabulous Candidate Clinton. It would've probably caused her to lose a couple more states...

    1. It does seem to me that most of Somerby's complaints are not about the reporting but about the opinion pieces and editorials. He has broadened his focus to "public intellectuals" who he believes have a civic duty of some sort, so he has something to write about even when actual news reporters are not messing up their statistics or logic or whatever. But it hardly seems fair to consider people like Gay or even Krugman as part of the mainstream media.

    2. @ 12:03 PM - Care to reminisce?

    3. Oh, sure, thank you, my dear Anon. So, you too enjoy watching liberal zombies squirm and squeal?

      ... and please rest assured that I do appreciate and value your zeal in researching my humble online persona...

    4. "But it hardly seems fair to consider people like Gay or even Krugman as part of the mainstream media."

      Um, what? Everything/everyone published by the nytimes, wapo, and other major establishment propaganda outlets is part of the "mainstream media". Once Krugman (or any other clown they publish) disappears from their pages, he'll stop being part of it...

    5. When a 12 year old wins an essay contest and her essay is reprinted, does she then become part of the mainstream media? When an astronaut talks about the importance of the space program is he part of the mainstream media?

      Are the advertisers all part of the mainstream media -- they would be by your definition, which I consider way too broad.

      For one thing, the opinion writers tend to have no journalistic training and are not professional writers, for the most part.

    6. Arguably, it's yes to all of it, though to different degrees, obviously. If an essay glorifying, say, Hugo Chavez wins somehow, it won't be published. And I'm sure certain advertisers are rejected.

      But okay, I don't insist. Still, the op-ed writers like Krugman, Friedman, Dowd, etc. are very much permanent fixtures. Very important, carefully selected 'opinion-makers'. They are basically the face of the publication.

    7. Hmm..Mao actually concedes a point @2:21pm...and sounds semi-reasonable.
      Will wonders never cease?

    8. "... and please rest assured that I do appreciate and value your zeal in researching my humble online persona.."

    9. Read it. Potentially cool site, but the thing on Mao is a big fat unfunny nothing burger.

      Why do you recommend it, again, and what do you imagine it proves?

    10. To each his own, jackass.

    11. How sweet. The troll has his/her/its own little puppy that likes burgers.

  4. Does it strike anyone else as odd that our two trolls both post under other people's names? Cannot trolls think up their own names?

    1. It strikes me every day.

    2. You mean clever names like "Greg," "Anonymous," or "Unknown"?

    3. Especially "Unknown".

    4. Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

  5. It wouldn't have changed the election outcome one bit if Gay had written more strong editorials about Clinton. Clinton lost because of 70,000 votes in three states. The people who didn't vote for her there aren't in any demographic likely to have been influenced by Gay, assuming the outcomes there were not the result of tampering with votes. On the other hand, both Stein and Sanders could have sent some votes Clinton's way and that would have made a difference (again assuming the outcome wasn't manipulated).

    The silliest response to Gay's remarks is to assume that Clinton lost because the feminists weren't strongly behind her, as Somerby seems to suggest here. That's is just plain idiotic.

    1. Agreed. Somerby has been off the rails for the most part since Trump's election. He is treating Trump as if he were some Al Gore-like figure, and the "mainstream media" are just chasing trivialities as they did with Gore, when there is actual corruption and potential "unhingement" (as Somerby himself suggests). So wrong on his part. Plus, his constant attacks on "liberals" (ALL liberals, not just media elites) is not just tiresome, but damaging to liberal causes. His vitriol towards liberals is puzzling. Each day, I come closer to not reading his blog anymore.
      Somerby's whole premise nowadays seems to be that it was the "liberal media" (and by extension, all of us dimwits) that is/are solely/mostly responsible for the election of Trump and the dominance of Republicans. That seems ludicrous in the face of the massive assault on the country by right-wing media. And Somerby seems to buy into the right-wing meme of the "elitist" "mainstream media"...using a right-wing definition of "mainstream media"...well, in Somerby's case it seems to consist only of CNN, MSNBC, and the NY Times.

    2. @ 1:04 PM: Somerby seems to buy into the right-wing meme...” — Often, and in many other contexts than this.

  6. Hey, Bob...are you one of the silly "dumbnified" liberals who enabled Trump? Just askin'...

  7. Roxanne Gay is a disgustingly fat slob whose only value to society comes in the form of potential bars of soap (admittedly, that's serious potential). But though she could be boiled down into probably thousands of bars of soap, that potential value is vastly overshadowed by her negative contribution coming in the form of feminist advocacy (as well has society being forced to view her disgusting figure).

    Anything a feminist says is likely to be stupid. That's axiomatic.

    1. Asshole says what?

    2. "Asshole says what?"

      Asshole says what an incredibly hapless troll he/she/it is.

  8. Dava Sobel's "Galileo's Daughter" is a good book. It helps us understand the social and historical context of Galileo's work.

  9. Mr. Somerby, this post is just asinine. You're criticizing style writers for writing about style?
    Writers of personal anecdotal stories for writing about personal anecdotes? Travel writers for writing about travel?
    It's like criticizing Ann Landers or Dear Abby for not offering their assessments of the Allied strategy in Europe at the end of WWII.

  10. "Extremely bad feminist speaks"..oh I see. Somerby opines, final judgment is rendered. What makes her a "bad" feminist, do tell? That seems to be a subjective statement Bob. Maybe you should stick to the facts?
    Also: "What follows should make liberals angry—furious, disgusted, resentful"
    ...I would suggest following this statement with most of Somerby's columns lately.
    Bob, you sure do criticize others for their "bad" opinions. Where do you stand on Clinton? Sanders? Trump? These folks you criticize are willing to stick their necks out. Are you?

  11. If he is going to call Roxanne Gay a "bad feminist," he should at least make clear that this is a reference to her collection of essays, entitled "Bad Feminist." It is kind of elitist to assume everyone knows this already.

    1. Wow..thanks for pointing that out. It was disingenuous of Bob not to mention that she self-titled as "bad feminist." He takes other writers to task for failing to mention things like that. My main point still stands, though (from my previous post at 1:58pm).



  12. Just as we've given up our sense of outrage about Trump's continuing misdeeds, Somerby seems to have given up criticizing Dowd with any specificity. This is an excellent example of lacking the energy to address the neverending stream of feces that flows from people like her. If he were to focus on why he didn't deal with Dowd, perhaps he might work up some empathy for Gay.

  13. Part One: Sometimes, even when very serious events are going on, Newspapers feature lightweight, entertainment material for their readers. That's as far as I could get today, Bob was still circling his subject when I gave up.
    Should note that Loudon Wainwright is one of the great comic/poetic talents of our time, Bob should check out some of his records one day.

    1. I was a history major in the 1960's. Social history was just coming into its own. It was controversial because some historians didn't consider how people lived to be suitable material for study by historians. A history of garbage disposal in NYC had just been published and it talked about pigs roaming the streets and how people poured pails of waste into the streets to dispose of it until sewers were invented. I found that stuff fascinating but other historians thought it wasn't worth writing about or considering legitimate history.

      Somerby seems to have a similar attitude toward the news. He thinks it isn't worth chronicling how people live -- just the stuff of political and economic history matters, I guess. That makes him not only behind the times, but kind of sexist, since the change in emphasis on social history arose with the call for inclusion of women into the mainstream of history, which mean including the stuff of their lives, since they were excluded from the political and economic doings of men (that were written down and considered important). Somerby needs to rethink this attitude, in my opinion. The history of our time will be reconstructed as much by what we did for leisure and entertainment, as what we did in our wars and speeches. Loudon Wainwright will be an important source, not just the front pages of the NY Times.

    2. "In his essay on swimming holes, Wainwright cited a song he wrote, "Swimming Song," which appeared in 1976 on one of the greatest albums we know about, Kate & Anna McGarrigle."


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