Thursday, March 30, 2023

Professional Left Podcast Episode #705

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late. -William Shakespeare.

 "Clearly Bill Shakes never recorded a podcast two hours before Trump was indicted. -driftglass

 
Don't forget to visit our website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!

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The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!







Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Cursed Knowledge

I have seen the future.  


 At the tail end of the summer of '85, my best friend John and I hopped in my shit-brown Cutlass, left my tiny, crappy apartment in Chicago behinds, and made our way (sans Google Maps or MapQuest or cell phones or any suchlike modern conveniences) to Marc Plaza Hotel in the city of Milwaukee for the annual Triangulum science fiction convention.  

The Guests of Honor that year were David "The Trouble with Tribbles" Gerrold, Harlan "If You've Never Heard of Him, Well, We Don't Have Time For That Now" Ellison, and Isaac Asimov, who literally phoned it in.

Moments I disinctly remember of from convention are, in no particular order...

...David Gerrold, apparently fresh from an EST weekend and still brimming with confrontational bullshit, conducting the worse writing workshop I have ever attended.

...winning first prize (a radio!) in a science fiction-themed murder mystery (the scientist did it, because the scientist always does it.)

...meeting one of a young lady who alleged that a) Harlan Ellison had bedded her and, b) she was the inspiration for the cover art on one of his books.  

...listening to Ellison and Asimov telephonically bust each other's balls at the banquet.

...the anguish that ran through the place when a woman had her purse stolen, because at conventions in 1985 such things were not done!

And Ellison sneak-previewing a few episodes of The New Twilight Zone, which was being debuted later that month.  Fun Fact:  The very first episode of TNTZ was an adaptation of Ellison's Shatterday which starred a young, up-and-comer named Bruce Willis.  

Which brings me the long-way-round to one of only two possible theories about what happened to schmucks like Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan and Matt Taibbi:


Theory One.  In the TNTZ episode "Need to Know" (starring Frances McDormand and William Petersen, both Illinois natives) a sudden and inexplicable plague of insanity is sweeping a small town, and the victims have nothing in common with each other.  Petersen is sent to investigate.  

It turns out, the cause of the madness is an idea brought back from aboard by a scholar.  An idea that, when whispered in your ear, drives you irreversibly insane.  

So, Theory One:  Greenwald, Sullivan, Taibbi and others have all been whispered cursed knowledge in the secret language of lunacy which has turned them into smarmy contrarian assholes in the service of Team Evil.

Or, Theory Two.  They were always smarmy contrarian assholes and Team Evil just pays sooo much better.


No Half Measures



Science Fiction University Episode 13 -- This Is The Voice Of World Control





All episodes available at our Science Fiction University website here.

Why We Will Never Have a Liberal Media

Because who needs an actual Liberal media when you have Tom Nichols and Charlie Sykes?

Because while Democrats were just standing around not winning and never winning and just generally sucking at winning, and the Lincoln Project and The Bulwark were out there -- repeatedly and single-handedly -- saving democracy!

Because the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark really know how to get in Republican's heads, man!  I mean, why can't the DNC hook up with them and let Rick Wilson orchestrate everything?  

I mean, after all, is was the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark "that got Biden elected".

For the record, these are not my sentiments.  My analysis and critiques of the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark are marbled throughout the last seven years of this blog -- from the invention of the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark by MSNBC, to the ongoing and lavish sponsorship of the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark by MSNBC to, finally, the colonization of MSNBC by employees of the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark.

No, these are the sentiments of the actress Jane Lynch.  

The spectacular Jane Lynch (Glee, Party Down) joins Tim and Sarah this week, and turns out she’s a huge fan of Never Trumpers! 


Which, I suspect,also  reflects the beliefs of a large number of Coastal Liberal elites.  Which is why we can stop looking to them for any support in creating an actual Liberal media in this country.  

Jane Lynch is a fine actress whose work I enjoy a great deal.  She has also ingested wholesale all the self-aggrandizing bullshit the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark are constantly pumping out.  Self-aggrandizing bullshit which, thanks to their MSNBC benefactors, now reaches millions of liberals every week, including our Coastal Liberal elites.

So why bother to build an actual Liberal media when its so much easier to just job it out the Lincoln Lads and The Bulwark and cut them large checks whenever they need it?

After all, the Lincoln Lads proved that a small group of very determined people could change the tide of history. 

And the reason I know that is true is because...uh...well...because veteran Republican charlatan and Lincoln Lad co-founder Rick Wilson says so:

"One thing we proved at the Lincoln Project was a small group of very determined people could change the tide of history." --  Rick Wilson 


I Am The Liberal Media


Thursday, March 23, 2023

Professional Left Podcast Episode #704

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."  
-- Kurt Vonnegut
 
Don't forget to visit our website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!

Links:  

The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!







The Judgment of History Can Take a Flying Fuck at a Rolling Donut


“... know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.” -- Mike "Renfield" Pence

It is a little known fact that the Judge of History is either drunk or sleeping one off most of the time.  Because of all the gods conjured by the imagination of humans, he has one of the easiest gig of all.  

As catastrophes unfold or despotism spreads, the Judge of History does absolutely nothing but lie back and dine on the prayers of the suffering and the hopes of the oppressed that one day in the far future the Judge of History will decide that enough time has passed and enough of the principals have died.

Then, once the coast is clear, the Judge of History will sober up, take up his mighty Quill of History, crack open his mighty Book of History, and render his Final Judgment.

Those catastrophes?  Yep, they were pretty damned catastrophic.

And that despotism?  Yep, it was pretty damned despotic.

Or not.

After all, if the descendants of the authors of the catastrophes are still around and are still powerful...or if the despotism has become normalized and systemic...it might be best to get drunk again for a generation or two or three.  Y'know, just  until the coast is clear.  Then,  maybe, the Judge of History will get back to the Quill and the Book and his Final Judgment.

This Yelp review of the Judge of History was occasioned this week by two stories stories of Remembering Stuff.  On you could see marching towards you on the calendar, and the other that came out of nowhere.  The first, was the 20th anniversary of the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Iraq, and the second was the story of  a man named Ben Barnes decided, after 43 years, to come clean about his part in the plot to sabotage the re-election campaign of Jimmy Carter.  

So this week we have two cases where the actions of responsible men and women failed in real-time and all we had left to us was to wait and hope for the Judgment of History.

And you know what?  The Judgment of History is mostly bullshit.   The sabotage of the Carter campaign happened two generations ago.  Reagan is dead.  John Connolly is dead.  Carter is in hospice and 43 years out of power.   The damage is done.   And after 20 years, we're still waiting for any of architects of and cheerleaders of the Iraq War to pay any price for what they have done.  

And the lesson we should be learning in this moment – right now – is that appeals to the judgment of history about Trump and the GOP are such bullshit.  

Because, yeah, 20 years or 40 years from now, on their deathbed, Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham or Kevin McCarthy or Kellyanne Conway may tell all, but so what?  By that time the damage will not only have been done, but the the chain reactions from that damage will have already been woven into the fabric of whatever's left of our culture. 

This is what the moral monsters on the Right understand.  That once you have a sufficiently large, armed, rage-drunk mob of bigots and imbeciles on you saide, you can quite worrying about the judgment of history -- which in nothing but the feeble, third cousin twice removed of conscience anyway.  Once they have real power in the real world, they can get away with anything, reap the rewards of their crimes, duck the consequences, and go smirking to their graves unscathed by the evil that they have done. 


Burn The Lifeboats Before They Turn Them Into Cathedrals


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

What Your Never Trump Allies Talk About When You're Not Paying Attention

 


The following is an exchange between Mona Charen (who, once a week, manages to tamp down her seething contempt for the Left just long enough for Chris Hayes put her in the MSNBC spotlight)  and Bill Galston (one of The Bulwark's token, housebroken "Liberals".)

It has all the things that one can now expect from Never Trump media.  The mandatory "Liberal outrage of the week" in which an anecdote [Stanford students protesting a Federalist troll who was brought on-campus by Federalist student trolls for the expressed purpose of trolling] is inflated into a raging epidemic.  Both Siderism.  And, of course, a tame, in-house "Liberal" validator.

Charen: Yeah this keeps happening, Bill [Galston].  The law school's Dean did later  apologize to judge Duncan. though I don't think she apologized to the Federalist Society students who probably deserved an apology as well since it was their event.  And intolerance of dissent is very much present on both sides! I mean we have seen, y'know Ron DeSantis attempting to pass laws saying that you cannot discuss certain things in universities in Florida.  That...that's being challenged as unconstitutional, which it plainly is.  So there is a threat.  

Now some people say, well, look yeah you can have some bad behavior by students and by people and on Twitter -- though, Bill, I know you're not on Twitter -- but y'know that's not the same.  It's much worse when it comes from the state because the  state is more powerful.  Do you agree with that argument?

Galston:  Uh the state shouldn't be using its power to suppress speech, but neither should the students.  And if I look at the prospects of long-term harm to the system, I'm not prepared to downplay the significance of what's going on at premier institutions of higher learning around the country.  

The students are a problem, but the administrators are the real problem.  If there were administrators with spines who are prepared to articulate the principles on which universities stand or fall and certainly law schools stand or fall we wouldn't be having this epidemic...

There is a whole, not-so-sotto "Fuck those fucking Liberals" sotto voce thing that goes on in Never Trump media every day.  And I honestly wouldn't care about any of these creatures any more than I care about what poisonous claptrap oozes out of the Daily Wire or Newsmax on any given day, were it not for the fact that these same people are treated as long-lost lodge brothers -- savvy allies who deserve deference and respect -- every day on what little is left of the "Liberal" media.

Of all the millions issues to choose from out there in the swirling chaos of American politics and culture. what does David French (The NYT's third auxiliary straight, while, privileged Conservative op-ed columnist) clock as the one issue so important that he needed to use his priceless NYT real estate to hobbyhorse it?

Free Speech Doesn’t Mean Free Rein to Shout Down Others

By David French

If you pay any attention to legal news at all, you’re familiar with the Stanford Law School shout-down. The story is simple and disturbing...

If they want to hang onto their True Conservative cred by keeping all of one foot and most of the other firmly planted in ruins of a movement in which they prospered since they were wee Reagan hatchlings, that's fine.  Let 'em.   But now that they've been run out of Conservative, Inc. and have been permitted to colonize MSNBC, just once I'd like to see one MSNBC host turn and ask them why they're still trafficking in exactly same corrosive, overwrought bullshit as the Daily Wire --

Stanford Law Sides With Howling Mob Of Spoiled Brats In Shameful Treatment Of Federal Judge

and Newsmax:

Corrosive Miasma Erodes American Speech, Culture

 

Never Trust a Never Trumper