Archive for December, 2011

‘For the first time since I was five, I have gazed at myself and not been repelled’

So, my cosmetic surgery was about being able to live with myself.


If the Mayans could see the future, how come they didn’t predict their own extinction?

Also? Ha!


Mark Steyn’s year in review: ‘The 20th century entitlement state is over’

In September, the 10th anniversary of a murderous strike at the heart of America’s most glittering city was commemorated at a building site: the Empire State Building was finished in 18 months during a depression, but in the 21st century the global superpower cannot put up two replacement skyscrapers within a decade.


George Carlin Wasn’t Funny: The Top 5 Overrated Liberal Comedians — my latest at PJMedia

Hope you’ll read the whole thing.

Here’s an excerpt:

I started thinking about overrated liberal comedians this week, when news broke that a fawning, big budget Smothers Brothers biopic is in development. Great: we’re now facing months of witless hagiography about these two “daring, transgressive, brave” performers, and the rest of the progressive comedy pantheon of heroic martyrs.

Who weren’t funny. (…)

A lot of stuff George Carlin came out with sounds like it belongs on a slightly “edgy” line of greeting cards (…)

(And if Carlin was so brave, why didn’t he rail against two other words you REALLY can’t say on the radio and [most of] TV: “n*****” and “f****t”? Because fighting for the right to say them would shock his liberal fans, not the looming right wing Christian prudes of his own imagination.)

UPDATE — As per one of the commenters at PJMedia, in fact, The Who were not impressed with the Smothers Brothers either…

(And yes, that is the moment Townshend lost the hearing in his right ear, thanks to the show’s stagehands, who accepted a bribe from Moon to overload his drum kit with explosives.)


At one Christmas dinner, I tried to explain to two disbelieving young people what New York City used to be like

I told them to rent Taxi Driver, and this.


Thanks to all my loyal 5FF readers…

As this blog enters its 12th year!

Thanks for your generous donations and gifts (which this year included Amazon gift cards and The Who: BBC Sessions — on original vinyl + mp3)

Thanks for reading my stuff elsewhere, like PJMedia and Taki’s.

Thanks for linking to me, and for your emails of support and encouragement — they mean a lot to me!

Wishing you all a prosperous, healthy and free new year.


With most talk show hosts on vacation this week, there’ll be no Talk Radio Watch column… but…

I’ll post a few radio related thingies here today, including:

(Here’s what it looks like — I could never handle that thing.)


Japan: nuked too much or not enough?


(Damnit, the Mayor beat me to “the same stuff they make airplane black boxes out of” hacky “joke.”)


Julie Burchill: ‘Between a shul and a hard place’

Julie Burchill writes:

Unlike many gentiles who are attracted to Judaism, it isn’t the “culture” I like. I detest bagels and Woody Allen. I loathe “Jewish humour”. I don’t think family is the most important thing in life. For me, it was always about two things; Israel, and Judaism, the religion. (Conversely – or perversely – all my Israeli friends are non-believers.)



Is ‘Airplane!’ the funniest movie of all time?

Ed Driscoll says yes.

I say no but I’m not awake enough to come up with a good response yet.

So you’ll need to fight it out in his comments section.

(Yeah, like you’re “working” today…)


The ridicule of sophisticated liberals is useless against belligerent Muslims


According to Nasser, the very first demand of the Brotherhood leader was for the hijab to return to Egypt, “for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf.”

The audience erupted in laughter at this, then, ludicrous demand; one person hollered “Let him wear it!” eliciting more laughter and applause.

Nasser continued by saying he told the Brotherhood leader that if they enforced the hijab, people would say Egypt had returned to the dark ages (to more laughter), adding that Egyptians should uphold such matters in the privacy of their own homes.

But the Muslim Brotherhood leader informed him that, as Egypt’s president, Nasser himself must enforce the hijab, to which Nasser replied:

“Sir, I know you have a daughter in college—and she doesn’t wear a headscarf or anything! [laughter] Why don’t you make her wear the headscarf? [laughter] So you can’t make one girl, your own daughter, wear it, and yet you want me to go and make ten million women wear it?!” [burst of laughter and applause]

Nasser and wife Tahia, back in an era when the idea of institutionalizing the hijab provoked laughter and ridicule.

Half a century later and none of this is a laughing matter: the hijab, if not the full burqa, is commonplace in Egypt, even as the Muslim Brotherhood—who for decades were banned and imprisoned for trying to return Egypt to an Islamic dark age—are now poised to govern the nation, all under U.S. tutelage.

Just a friendly reminder:


Social justice: the stubborn application of unworkable solutions to imaginary problems

Frank Furedi on “the year when the word ‘progressive’ lost all meaning:”

Paradoxically, the idea of social justice was historically associated with movements that were suspicious of and uncomfortable with progress. The term was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840. His aim was to reconstitute theological ideals on a social foundation. In the century that followed, ‘social justice’ was upheld by movements that were fearful of the future and which sought to contain the dynamic towards progress. Probably one of the best known advocates of social justice was Father Charles Edward Coughlin. This remarkable American demagogue and populist xenophobe set up the National Union of Social Justice in 1934. Through his popular radio broadcasts, which regularly attracted audiences of 30million, he became one of the most influential political figures in the United States. Coughlin praised Hitler and Mussolini’s crusade against communism and denounced President Roosevelt for being in the pocket of Jewish bankers. Here, ‘social justice’ was about condemning crooked financiers and putting forward a narrow, defensive appeal for the redistribution of resources.

Today’s campaigners for social justice bear little resemblance to their ideological ancestors. They’re far more sophisticated and middle class than the followers of Fr Coughlin. But they remain wedded to the idea that the unsettling effects of progress are best contained through state intervention into society. They also maintain the simplistic notion that financiers and bankers are the personification of evil. The current Occupy movement would be horrified by Coughlin’s racist ramblings, yet they would find that some of the ideas expressed in his weekly newspaper, Social Justice, were not a million miles away from their own.

When Glenn Beck talked about the meaning of the word “progressive,” and about the history of Coughlin and “social justice” all this year and last year, he was dismissed as a fruitcake, perhaps even by the average Spiked reader, assuming they even knew he was talking about them at all.


‘Make no mistake about it, Canada needs Obama to go’

Brian Lilley:

Fixing America’s economy is vitally important for the health of Canada’s economy. It is true that the Harper government has pushed forward on expanded trade deals including free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Jordan and attempted to expand trade with India and the EU but the U.S. is still the biggest market for Canadian goods.


‘It was a compliment, I guess’

“At the same time, it was possibly an insult.”

NYT confused by Mitt Romney’s “obsession” with… asking people questions about themselves.

I guess if you live in cosmopolitan, multicultural New York, you just assume everyone is exactly the same as you and therefore you already know all about them!

Wow, there really are two Americas…

Mr. Romney likes to congratulate people. For what, exactly, is not always clear.

“Congratulations,” he told a grandmother at an event on Thursday night, presumably because she had a large brood.

Over three consecutive days last week, he congratulated a girl who said she was attending college, a woman who said she owned a small business and a mother who said she was going back school. “Congratulations!” he exclaimed upon learning that a woman had three children.

The New York Times seems particularly irked by Romney’s (albeit amusingly incompetent) attempts to guess people’s national origins. Normal people actually care about race and culture. So do the readers of the NYT, but they’re obliged to pretend they don’t.

A few tips for Romney and his handlers:

  • I know someone once told you there are lots of ethnic French Canadians in New Hampshire. But while it’s semi-clever to ask “Are you French Canadian?” in that particular sate, not every state is in fact New Hampshire (Iowa especially) although at this point in the race I’m sure it feels that way.
  • Don’t ask a Sicilian to spell his name. It only confuses him.
  • Please follow the Dave Barry Protocol and never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you can literally see a baby’s head coming out of her body.

(PS — Just a reminder: the NYT will close its doors within the next five to ten years.)


Slate ponders ‘Christmas violence,’ mass murder — no mention of Islam, honor killing

Wonders if Die Hard might be to blame…

(via Sharpshooter PR)

Here’s what really happened.