My second entry yesterday, the alphabetical new "personal ad," probably owes some subconscious inspiration to the brilliant book The Alphabet of Manliness (written by a friend of a friend of mine, as it turns out, though I didn't know that when first amused by its glorious man-vs.-gorilla fistfight cover painting). And it is largely of men, smelly and uncouth though they are, that I must blog today.
1. First of all, while the commentary proles -- all those anonymous, near-mindless comment thread participants -- often weighed in against me after the C-SPAN2 confrontation with my evil ex, whereas those close to the situation (non-famous wonk types in many cases) tended to weigh in in my favor (forming a solidly moral "commentary bourgeoisie," as it were), the commentary elite (bigtime media such as Washington Post and the like) seemed more divided, less knowledgeable about the details than the commentary bourgeoisie but generally more willing to admit their confusion and ignorance than the commentary proles.
One of my favorite balancing acts in this department (and I don't think I'm biased by the fact I was working for the same network at the time) was the reaction of the funny and too-rarely-seen 3am Fox News political humor show Red Eye, which on October 19 had a panel of anti-Todd talking heads, including two women I didn't recognize and that recurring Red Eye participant who looks like a bald lesbian but is in fact a man, whose name I forget. Sort of like a Frank Black gone bad.
They reacted to a very brief, edited version of the already-brief C-SPAN2 clip -- their even-briefer version leaving out the crucial detail that my nominally-traditionalist ex actually acted upon her sociopathically sinister plan to bring together and then break up a couple for kicks -- and they did not react to the clip wisely. That guy who looks like a bald lesbian -- and who I'm told has gone on about his penchant for hiring prostitutes on previous shows -- even took the time to call me chinless and unattractive and to say that he has the hots for Helen. He also hypothesized (quite erroneously, I must say) that I must have a small penis. Again: the bald lesbian-looking man who has to hire prostitutes hypothesizes that I have a small penis.
And this went on for about five minutes, apparently to the horror of some internal Fox forces who didn't
think unwittingly insulting someone who worked in the same building was such a smooth move, but I would happily defend Red Eye in that matter and wish all media organizations were as comfortable with internal division and self-criticism.
But what really made it all worthwhile was the reaction of the one intelligent person on the set during that segment, smart and funny (and not coincidentally libertarian) host Greg Gutfeld, who used to be a Men's Health editor. His comments have become my new blog epigram (one of many things I might not have been able to do without irking my bosses had I not switched recently from being a Fox producer to my current more-lucrative ghostwriting activities), namely: "He is my favorite person on the planet for the rest of my life. I don’t think anybody can beat him...I have to say it’s probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen, but somehow I admire it. Why is that?" Gutfeld does not place silence above a willingness to confront evil in his hierarchy of values, and that is why he is a better person than his panelists. His is the paradigmatic correct reaction to the entire C-SPAN2 incident.
2. There is other manly news today, out of Toronto (the real home base of Broken Social Scene, according to comments from the surprisingly young-seeming band onstage last night, despite at least one of their subsidiaries, Stars, being of Montreal, which is what I was thinking when writing yesterday's first entry). And the news is not good. Seth Rogen, who I think would have been well cast as Yogi Bear without the need for any computer graphics, says George Lucas genuinely believes the world will end in 2012, presumably in keeping with (ersatz) Mayan prophecy, as noted on Drudge today.
In another blow to my childhood, this officially makes George Lucas stupider than Roland Emmerich, who gets rich from Mayan prophecies instead of getting panicked about them. Will Lucas stop making plans for 3D rereleases of the Star Wars movies, I wonder? Will he stop planning a live-action Star Wars TV series that features the bounty hunters? Come to think of it, if it stopped George Lucas from making more movies and TV shows, I might be in favor of the world coming to an end in 2012. A Cartman-like scheme to convince Lucas that the Earth has been destroyed and that he is the sole survivor, placed in a space capsule and rescued by Gungans, may be in order.
But then, we always knew Lucas was fond of religion, myth, and other delusions -- and I'll have much more to say about religion, which contributed in various ways to the evil I confronted on C-SPAN2, tomorrow, as the "Month of Haters" blog entries approach their giddy climax.
3. The real world has a growing number of actual superheroes, I'm pleased to see (multiple articles have now been written about colorful costumed vigilantes arising in various cities), though there is not yet a real Green Hornet, as far as I'm aware. Even before this long-overdue wave of real superheroes, though, America already had a few important forms of privatized law enforcement, and Don Boudreaux notes that his colleague Alex Tabarrok has written an article for The Wilson Quarterly about one: bounty hunters. George Lucas could read it and learn some things applicable to his live-action TV series, were the world not coming to an end.
4. As an atheist who's moderate on abortion, I'm not one to think that God will send floods to kill us all over that issue -- something I've heard it rumored Matt Drudge fears -- but I will say that I could imagine even my ardently pro-choice friends thinking there's something odd about people reacting with such horror to the bad-abortion-doctor story on Drudge today, when it seems so little removed, in its basics, from a "properly functioning" abortion clinic. I mean, is the horror we all feel in reaction really just a reaction to fraud and unhygienic practices? Or is there something deeper going on?
And what happens to the attitudes of all those pro-choice, free-loving party animals who laugh at charges of promiscuity or infidelity if they start thinking of our whole post-1960s culture as something akin to a wacky dance party taking place ankle-deep in baby blood? Doesn't the combined admonishment to respect life and repress lust start looking more coherent and rational than your average liberal college party gal concedes? I ask as someone increasingly interested in how psychology influences politics, you understand, not as someone arguing for shifting the rules on abortion. (And I certainly do not ask as a religion-sympathizer, as I suspect tomorrow's entry will demonstrate.)