Trivial incident transformed into script!

MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2023

Perfect for Storyline: In our view, Kevin Drum basically had it right, from his headline right on down.

At issue was the forced resignation of a charter school principal at one small school in Tallahassee. Drum's killjoy headline said this:

BREAKING: Unbelievably trivial story somehow becomes national news

Drum linked to a report in the Washington Post about the forced resignation. As you can see if you read the report, the Post's reporters didn't have any obvious way of knowing why the principal had been shown the door.

On a simple journalistic basis, Bella and Natanson didn't know why the principal had been shown the door. In their report, they basically posed as press agents for the former principal, from whom they had taken dictation.

They didn't seem to know why the principal had been canned. That said, whoever wrote the headline on the Post's report had a good ear for Storyline:

Florida parents upset by Michelangelo’s ‘David’ force out principal

According to the Post's headline, the principal had been canned because of the naked statue brouhaha. Under current circumstances, that made for good solid blue Storyline.

The chairman of the charter school's board said the mishandling of the naked statue incident was only one of several reasons for the principal's dismissal. There seems to be no obvious was for outsiders to know why the principal is gone, but we can all agree on this:

The story is unbelievably trivial—and it did become national news.

It became big news due to Storyline—preferred Storyline at that. It let our tribunes start to cluck in some of the time-honored ways that our blue tribe has always loved. 

To see a trio of clowning clowns behaving like clowns on MSNBC, you can click this link to the Internet Archive, then search on the key word, David.

The sardonic clowning will start with Mehdi Hasan, filling in as guest host for the routinely woeful Stephanie Ruhle. He will perform like a clowning clown, after which he will throw to David Jolly and then to Robert Gibbs.

Each of the clowns will take his turn playing the blue corporate fool. Even as these blue tribe hacks mock the Tallahassee school for notifying parents ahead of time that a nude statue will be shown to sixth graders, you'll note that their corporate owner, MSNBC, was only willing to show the iconic statue from the waist up!

We can't say that we expect much better from Hasan. We were disappointed to see Gibbs play the fool this way, perhaps less so with Jolly. 

(For added enjoyment, note the way Jolly plays the fool, in that same segment, with respect to the nature of the Republican Party during the many years when he was a major party player within the GOP.  His presentation was clownishly inaccurate. If Lawrence called his presentation a lie, there would be no obvious reason to say that Lawrence was wrong.)

Decent progressives should be appalled to see our blue tribe's corporate hacks playing the fool in such ways. In another vein, we'll direct you to the comments which were appended to Drum's post.

Hasan and his two little pals showed us the ways of the blue corporate clown. Drum's commenters help us see how detached from reality, and how arrogant, so many blue voters are.

Inevitably, Drum's commenters wanted to mock The Others for being such ridiculous prudes. In such ways, they display their inability to live in a world in which some people's cultural norms and social judgments differ in some trivial way from their own.

To his credit, the first commenter tries to be fair about the reason for the dismissal. Still and all, we'd have to say that this comment is remarkably clueless:

FIRST COMMENT: One issue was that the school didn't notify parents this year that they'd be showing this art. It's depressing that we need to do this over pretty innocuous art, just as it seems depressing (to me, anyway) that this board member believes David isn't appropriate for kindergarteners. (I mean, really? Are we that frightened by nudity?)

Are we that frightened by nudity? this commenter asks. We wouldn't use the word "frightened" ourselves, but the cluelessness seeping out of that question truly defines comprehension.

To his credit, that first commenter was being fair about the (unknown) reason(s) for the dismissal. By way of contrast, the second commenter believed himself to be all-knowing, then moved straight to the name-calling.

Drum had asked the following question: "In what way is this even much of a local news story, let alone a national one?" Here's how the dumbly omniscient second commenter answered:

SECOND COMMENT: I think it's because the argument the school is making and that you're making on their behalf is so blatantly stupid. The issue is obviously about the nudity, not about not notifying the parents or any of the rest of the smokescreen. I'm quite sure the parents would not have demanded the firing of the principal over not notifying them about showing Mona Lisa or The Last Supper or some such.

The issue is newsworthy because it's not very long ago that a teacher could teach about Renaissance masterpieces without dealing with right-wing bullshit.

This all-knowing blue tribe droog is too dumb to understand that he simply doesn't know why the principal got canned. He also seems to think that sensitivity with respect to a matter like this is some sort of recent American development.

From there, let the name-calling begin! We're dealing with some "right-wing bullshit," this blue tribe ambassador says.

Here's a response to that second comment. Simply put, you can't get dumber, or more arrogant, than this:

RESPONSE TO SECOND COMMENT: This is the United States of America we're talking about. There's never been a time like the one you describe. The country has always been home to mouth-breathers who think "culture" is bad because it starts with the same letter as "Communism."

In fairness, this responder does at least know that The Others have always been prudes. From there, he moves directly to some remarkably dimwitted insults. Let the name-calling begin!

The third commenter offered these thoughts:

THIRD COMMENT: The real problem is that a few prudish, bigoted, generally backwards parents want to control education for all kids, and that more enlightened parents generally stay silent and let the bullies run the schools.

It's a play on Goofus and Gallant! The Others are "bigoted, generally backward." Just as it ever was, we blues are "more enlightened." 

(On the down side, we're also so freakishly dumb that we tend to believe this dumb shit.)

On and on this sort of thing goes. The dumbness of these comments is matched by the inability of the commenters to understand that they live in a world where various people may differ from them in a wide array of unharmful ways.

Do you really fail to understand why our tribe is so widely loathed? In fact, we're stupid and nasty and nobody likes us. Also, we've been this way for a long time.

Hasan and the other two children played the fool last Friday. Drum's commenters brought on the insults.

This is a significant part of who and what we actually are. This sort of thing helped get Trump elected. We're very dumb and very unpleasant, and we can't see ourselves as we are.


  1. Yawn. Yes, this is what you liberal cult is like, dear Bob. And you're one of them -- and yes, you do think (if that can be called 'thinking') just like they. A littlie bit of self-reflection that somehow, by some miracle, survived in you notwithstanding...

    Anyhow: here's, for your reading pleasure, the incomparable Caitlin Johnstone writing about your cult's The Most Important Paper:

    ...enjoy, dear Bob...

  2. No good liberal disagrees the NYT is disgusting Mao. What's your point?

    1. Can you read, dear dembot? Our point is to recommend Caitlin Johnstone's piece about dear Bob cult's Most Important Paper. For dear Bob's reading pleasure. What's so complicated?

    2. The obvious cure for TDS is being on Putin's payroll.

  3. I would never bother with your links, don't want to poison my beautiful mind. It could end up like your noggin, filled with endless agrievances about meaningless BS. So sad.

  4. The statue is OF COURSE pornographic. The male organ is the center of attention. It’s also a great work of fine art. In my opinion, it’s suitable for all ages. But I understand that some good, decent people may disagree. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep — and so was Michelangelo.

  5. Totally trivial incident is somehow worth writing about two days in a row.

    1. Yes, nothing like digging up a dead horse to rebeat it. But, Bob doesn’t like talking about school shootings or Trump Trump Trump…

  6. "The Others are "bigoted, generally backward."

    The factual accuracy of this statement is confirmed by lots of statistics and polls. I think it is odd that Somerby would dispute it. I posted links to some of those stats yesterday.

  7. The main problem we face is women.

    1. Lose your Elliot Rodger poster again?

  8. When you read the interview with that school board chair, it is obvious why the principal was fired, even though the chair was obviously evasive about all aspects of the case. He did not ever explain what any of the other reasons were. That leaves unkind people thinking about pedophilia or being drunk on the job, when it is obvious from the political diatribe later on, that this was a political stunt, lib owning, not anything justified by the circumstances described. Showing that picture book with David in it was described by the principal and something that happened every school year.

  9. Why is Somerby attacking Drum's commenters when he has commenters of his own that he could respond to?

    1. Ah, short answer, he’s a weirdo.

  10. Calling MSNBC "blue" doesn't make it so. Decent progressives know that.

  11. "Are we that frightened by nudity? this commenter asks. We wouldn't use the word "frightened" ourselves, but the cluelessness seeping out of that question truly defines comprehension."

    If parents are not "frightened" by nudity, why are they objecting? Is Somerby aware that nudity is not universally avoided in subcultures within the USA, and in other countries, and in other time periods in our own past? For example, it has been routine for young children to play entirely nude or semi-nude (no tops) in fire hydrants, fountains, sprinklers, and plastic swimming pools. Not all people are wealthy enough to buy kids bathing suits, so they play in underpants in the summer. We did this ourselves as kids. There are cultures that engage in ritual family bathing, in the nude. There are parents who bathe with and sleep with their kids. I've seen moms strip their kids clothes off in order to try on new clothes in stores.

    The prudery about this arose more around the huge fear over pedophiles in preschools back in the 80s. Before the panic over pedophiles online or photographing young kids at play or in homes, there was more innocence and less parental protectiveness. But this isn't about child nudity, it is about a statue for God's sake. Kids play doctor with each other, to discover what bodies look like. Statues and art books are helpful to that research. Denying it as something shameful is harmful to child development because it instills shame in kids too young to understand what they should be ashamed about -- so they attach the shame to things that will be hard to overcome later, when a married sex life is appropriate. We learned that the hard way from Victorian prudery. Do we now have to relearn that lesson because conservatives don't know why they oppose liberal and educated beliefs except that it is part of their political winning strategy, no matter which kids it hurts.

  12. "Do you really fail to understand why our tribe is so widely loathed?"

    We all understand that the right has been vilifying the left for as long as Fox news has existed. We don't agree that our friends, neighbors and relatives on the right hate us for being liberal, because we are nice to such people on a personal level.

    It is right to hate the kind of mindset that would deny children a chance to learn about art. It is right to hate anyone like this school board chair, who would fire a principal for doing her job, instead of arguing and defending her against the cretins who attacked her.

    It is also right to hate whatever hurts kids. And this right wing agenda definitely is bad for kids. I don't have to like people who subscribe to this crap. And if Somerby claims that the right hates us for being knowledgeable about education and child development, that doesn't mean we should all become stupid so that the right will like us better. That is idiotic.

    I have come to hate Somerby, not because I am an uppity liberal with too much book-learning, but because he is an evil man who tells lies and doesn't really care about kids at all, except those charming 10-12 year old girls who he gushes over periodically. Then I mainly feel relief that he is no longer permitted to teach real life children. But oddly, that doesn't bother the conservative trolls here, not even Cecelia, who claims she is hypersensitive to danger to children. But she doesn't find Somerby's posts about female children creepy at all. What is wrong with her?

    1. Bob’s real question is…”Don’t you
      understand why I enjoy hating you
      so much, Yankee?”

    2. Hating Somerby, you’re hurting yourself. Stop reading this miserable blog.

    3. Hey, thanks for thinking of me. On a day this obviously repetitive, I skim.

  13. "This sort of thing helped get Trump elected."

    Cherry-picked comments from a 3rd-rate blog?
    Time to clear out the pasture spring, Bob.

  14. When Somerby and Drum get this triggered, you know you’re on the right track, they don’t want the ugliness and hatred of right wingers getting national press, they see it as a threat to their remarkably empty goals. This is the sort of thing that prevents Trump from getting elected, Somerby knows this, he’s not a complete moron, more a lost and wounded soul.

    There is no such thing as right wing ideology; part of the reason why right wingers get so triggered by these issues related to children is because they are a category of people suffering from unresolved childhood trauma. It’s what makes them obsessed with dominance, and it’s what makes them sensitive to issues related to children being freed from indoctrination, which they see as their right as a parent, to indoctrinate their children how they see fit, which is horribly abusive to children, and so the cycle continues, much like generational wealth.

  15. It's been decades since I saw the statue. IIRC it's larger than actual size and it's on a pedestal. As a result, the penis is quite large and near eye-level.

    Nevertheless, there's a significant difference between a picture of this statue and the statue itself/. This statue is obviously a work of art. It can't be mistaken for a person. OTOH a picture of this statue might just as well be picture of a naked man. They look no different.

    IMO a reproduction statue that's shaped like a miniature David would be considerably less offensive than the picture.

    1. Teaching kids that art is offensive is in itself offensive. If the statue were of a naked horse, it wouldn’t be offensive so your obvious concern is about sex. But these are young kids seeing a statue of a man, not guys like you looking at pron. They see it in a class with a teacher. There is no sex involved, except that you superimpose on kids. Perhaps you don’t remember being 10. You weren’t lusting after anyone.

      There is more to teaching about David and Michelangelo than the artist’s skill. Why was he carved without clothes? Who was David and why would he be a subject? This was religious art, intended to be part of a cathedral. What is the religious aspect of his figure. This statue was not obscene to the Tomans. Why not, David? Would you really teach kids that David who slew Goliath was obscene?

    2. Thanks for your response @9:48. To clarify, my comment didn't mean to say that the picture of the statue should or shouldn't be shown to the class. My only point was that a reproduction of the statue would be less offensive than a picture of the statue, because the latter looks just like a picture of a naked man.

      Now that I'm an old man, I'm much less prudish than when I was 11 years old. Looking back, if my 6th grade teacher had shown a picture of a naked woman, I'd have been shocked and probably titillated. Back in those days, even Playboy didn't show a woman's sexual organ. The Playboy centerfold showed only breasts.

      There seems to be movement to expand what's acceptable to things that were formerly prohibited: In addition to nudity, other examples include marijuana, pornography, extra-marital sex, and salty language. I don't have a strong feeling about whether these changes are beneficial or not.

      I do have strong feelings about all the things that were formerly acceptable that are now more or less forbidden -- particularly free speech. Living near Stanford University, I remain shocked and horrified that law school students shouted down a federal appellate court judge who had come to address them and prevented him from speaking. I am horrified at the bowdlerization of popular works of art, including Roald Dahl's children's stories, Cole Porter's musical shows, and Agatha Christie's mysteries.

      Today, we can look at naked people, but we can't read Charlie and Chocolate Factory or Hercule Poirot or watch Anything Goes IMO the freedom we lost is considerably more valuable than what we gained.

    3. 1. Nudes have been part of art forever. This is nothing new.
      2. Eliminating bigotry is not new in most circles, just among ignorant people. Just as there have always been abolitionists there have been people fighting antisemitism, sexism and other bigotry forever. They have made progress slowly.
      3. Revising books to eliminate hate does not make them worse. It improves them by making them available to all.
      4. Don’t be silly. Anything Goes is still being performed and those books published. They aren’t banned like Maus. Maintaining bigotry because it was historically present doesn’t improve the entertainment value of a book or show because it is not entertaining to be hurt.
      5. If you want to remain a bigot, I’m sure you can locate the originals and share them among your Proud Boy friends. As Cecelia says, there is still Amazon and Ebay. There is even a brisk trade in Hitler memorabilia.

    4. Yes, a version of Anything Goes is still being performed, but less and less of it is Cole Porter's version. Characters, plots and songs are changed or amended or replaced. All to the detriment of the show IMO.

      @10:29, you think I;'m a bigot; I think you're a philistine. Paraphrasing Gerald Howard, future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term woke advantage.
      —Gerald Howard

    5. Anonymouse 10:49pm, if I were Bob, I’d be revising all your posts so as to spare the sensibilities of anyone with a spirit and a brain.

    6. Cecelia,
      Can you explain again that CRT isn't being taught in elementary schools? One of our two political parties didn't hear you.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. I can’t help the Anonymouse Flying Monkey Party, and Mr. Rogers is dead.

  16. Here's an irony: If gay song-writer Cole Porter were alive today, he wouldn't have to hide his sexual orientation. OTOH we are no longer permitted to see his great shows as he wrote them.

    1. From what I’ve read, he didn’t hide much.

    2. The Barbican’s lavish, thrilling and “deliriously, defiantly, de-lovely” production of Cole Porter’s joyous musical is so sensationally good it “immediately joins the pantheon” of great revivals, said Marianka Swain in The Daily Telegraph.

      It is not simply that the show charms you with such gems as You’re the Top and I Get a Kick Out of You; or that it “makes you laugh till it hurts, and gasp in wonder at the epic ensemble production numbers that start huge and keep getting bigger and better”. It is also the case that in this incarnation, Anything Goes has an extraordinary “restorative effect that takes you beyond being an appreciative audience member: it makes you feel kinder towards your fellow man. It cures the soul.”

      At the climax, my mother turned to me literally crying with joy and said, “Well, that’s the show of the year.” And I couldn’t have agreed more. “I would give it six stars if I could.”

      When it comes to “the Golden Era musicals”, Anything Goes is “le grand fromage”, said Alex Wood on What’s On Stage. A romantic extravaganza set on an ocean liner, it has “gargantuan numbers, epic choreography”, slapstick skits and “whip-sharp dialogue” (by P.G. Wodehouse, among others).

      Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, who won a Tony for her 2011 Broadway staging, this new London production is a flat-out triumph – “vintage stage magic at its most explosively joyous” – with a fabulous “nautical wedding cake” set, and uniformly superb performances.

      Sutton Foster plays Reno Sweeney with the “wildfire energy” that also won her a Tony on Broadway. Robert Lindsay was “born to play gangster Moonface Martin”. Carly Mercedes Dyer is superb as Moonface’s partner-in-crime Erma, while Gary Wilmot and Felicity Kendal “generate cackles with every line”.

      The problem with bringing an ecstatic audience to their feet cheering before the interval is that you’re then going to “need to top it in the second half. And that could prove tricky.” But not here, said Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail. This incredible show doesn’t just keep “raising the rafters”, it “blows them halfway across town”.

      With her dazzling physical dexterity and effortless comic timing, Foster is the star. But above all, the production shines for the dancing. When the company floods the stage for tap number Anything Goes, it lifts the soul and “sounds like the Household Cavalry is passing by”. The whole thing is just a “dream”, said Clive Davis in The Times. As soon as the evening ends, you just “want it to start all over again”.

      But DinC misses the offensive racial stereotypes.

  17. "Florida School District Bans ‘Ruby Bridges’ Film
    March 28, 2023 at 9:16 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 91 Comments

    A Florida school district banned the showing of a film about Ruby Bridges — the young girl who became a civil rights icon by wading through a White mob to integrate an elementary school in the South in 1960, the Weekly Challenger reports.

    Reports indicate that, once again, a single parent provoked the district’s action toward censorship, and the district failed to follow the process when petitioned.

    1. Corby Perry Joe Bob Bill Neurotic Super Troll!

    2. Cecelia sez you're just going to have to live with this dynamic, and there's always Amazon.

    3. Obviously, in FL, TX, OH, kids are not going to be taught the facts. Meanwhile those critical milestones for correcting our course slip by and doom our planet to uninhabitable levels of warming.

      You trolls joke about this but it is serious.


    4. The planet is already practically uninhabitable: too many dembots. Way too many...

    5. “You trolls joke about this but it is serious.”

      The anonymouse isn't joking. I really say that.

    6. Cecelia,
      But do you really believe it, or is this another "CRT is being taught in elementary schools" lie you know isn't true but say anyway?

  18. Classics academy run by Philistines. Brilliant. At that school they teach sex ed and the relevant anatomy in 5th grade. Amongst any sizeable group of right wingers who send their kids to a Hillsdale- based school whose board chairman's profession is listed "lobbyist" there are gonna be a few complainers. And speaking of complainers, go easy on the D U M B keys, Bobby, you're wearing them out.

  19. And this is from today's news:

    "A 12-year-old Black male was found suffering a gunshot wound to the chest and arm. He was transported to Temple Hospital and placed in stable condition thankfully," said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

    Police arrested the 10-year-old and charged him with possession of a gun, simple assault and aggravated assault.

    Krasner said that police are looking for the parent who owned the gun."

  20. And here is what is happening in Ohio (from Kowalski at Energy News Network, via Paul Campos at Lawyers Guns & Money blog):

    "Ohio college and university instructors could be barred from teaching climate science without also including false or misleading counterpoints under a sprawling higher education bill that received its first hearing Wednesday.

    Senate Bill 83, or the Higher Education Enhancement Act, seeks to police classroom speech on a wide range of topics, including climate change, abortion, immigration, and diversity, equity and inclusion — all of which would be labeled “controversial.”

    On these and other subjects, public colleges and universities would need to guarantee that faculty and staff will “encourage and allow students to reach their own conclusions” and “not seek to inculcate any social, political, or religious point of view.” . .

    Sen. Jerry Cirino, a Republican from Kirtland and SB 83’s primary sponsor, said it was his idea to include climate change as a “controversial” belief or policy, and that he “didn’t actually consult with climate people.”

    1. These are the same people who have been whining for weeks now because some Stanford Law Students heckled an extreme radical arrogant prick Federalist "Judge" who came to the school with his own video crew to make sure he had evidence to launch another RW whine-appaloosa on the Mighty Right Wing Media Industrial Complex Wurlitzer Machine.

    2. Whoa, sounds like a great law, dear government scientist.

      ...the bill that seeks precisely to prevent policing classroom speech on a wide range of topics.


    3. "Sen. Jerry Cirino, a Republican from Kirtland and SB 83’s primary sponsor, said it was his idea to include climate change as a “controversial” belief or policy, and that he “didn’t actually consult with climate people.”"

      It's the same as with COVID and 2020 election: if dembots the faithful do believe that something is uncontroversial, why are they so afraid of facing any kind of opposition? Why do they insist on banning, deplatforming, suppressing the infidels?

      ...never mind; of course we know why...

    4. Freshman History:
      Osama bin Laden had some good ideas, but he took them too far.

  21. Here is something you'll never hear from Somerby. From Jamelle Bouie's editorial in this morning's NY Times:

    "“Parents’ rights,” like “states’ rights,” is quite particular. It’s not about all parents and all children and all the rights they might have.

    The reality of the “parents’ rights” movement is that it is meant to empower a conservative and reactionary minority of parents to dictate education and curriculums to the rest of the community. It is, in essence, an institutionalization of the heckler’s veto, in which a single parent — or any individual, really — can remove hundreds of books or shut down lessons on the basis of the political discomfort they feel. “Parents’ rights,” in other words, is when some parents have the right to dominate all the others.

    And, of course, the point of this movement — the point of creating this state-sanctioned heckler’s veto — is to undermine public education through a thousand little cuts, each meant to weaken public support for teachers and public schools, and to open the floodgates to policies that siphon funds and resources from public institutions and pumps them into private ones. The Texas bill I mentioned, for instance, would give taxpayer dollars to parents who chose to opt out of public schools for private schools or even home-schooling.

    The culture war that conservatives are currently waging over education is, like the culture wars in other areas of American society, a cover for a more material and ideological agenda. The screaming over “wokeness” and “D.E.I.” is just another Trojan horse for a relentless effort to dismantle a pillar of American democracy that, for all of its flaws, is still one of the country’s most powerful engines for economic and social mobility.

    Ultimately, then, the “parents’ rights” movement is not about parents at all; it’s about whether this country will continue to strive for a more equitable and democratic system of education, or whether we’ll let a reactionary minority drag us as far from that goal as possible, in favor of something even more unequal and hierarchical than what we already have."

    1. DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, another name for civil rights

    2. Sure it’s not diversity, equity, and illusions?


    3. Indeed, most liberals do have equity. Some of them, like, for example, the Soros and Biden families, a whole lot of it...

    4. Trump gave the Soros and Biden families HUGE tax breaks, and Republican voters, who are economically anxious--and not all just a bunch of bigots (hat tip, corporate-owned mainstream media)---were thrilled to vote for Trump again.

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