Slavery Redux And Other Tales

« July 2008 »

Memo to Jonah Goldberg, Mike Huckabee, and Jerry Holkins: YOU ARE DUMB.

It's that time again. Time for the semi-weekly roundup of the astonishingly stupid things that spew from the mouths of the general public and the punditocracy. Because IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS.

"There's a weird irony at work when Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate who will allegedly scrub the stain of racism from the nation, vows to run afoul of the constitutional amendment that abolishes slavery." - Jonah Goldberg, in the LA Times.

Holy shit! Barack Obama is gonna bring back slavery! I don't want to be a slave! I saw like 20 minutes of Roots this one time, and man, Geordie LaForge got his ass kicked. This is gonna suck. I'm voting for McCain, because he's a Republican, just like Abraham Lincoln, who I think was anti-slavery.

Wait, Obama was just giving the "we need national service" speech? The one pretty much every politician gives at some point? And none of them actually institute because, well, if we were the kind of people who wanted national service, we wouldn't need the government to make us do it? And even if they did, that wouldn't actually be slavery? Oh.

Man, it's almost as if Jonah Goldberg was deliberately exaggerating Obama's position in order to make white people more anxious about having a black person run the country. I'm sure that's just a rhetorical accident, and future Jonah Goldberg columns will be filled with more of the reasoned, intellectual discourse that made his "Liberal Fascism" book such a hit.

"The thing that many of us loved and admired about Jesse Helms was that, here was a guy, he didn't care what you thought about his view, but you were going to always know where he stood because he stood for something and he stood clearly. I think we're not seeing that in Barack Obama."- Mike Huckabee, Fox News.

Loving and admiring someone for their consistent stand is all well and good up to a point. When it becomes mind-bogglingly stupid is when that stand was, by all available evidence, that black people are inferior. That's when you're supposed to stop the goddamned love and admiration. Not get away with proclaiming it on national teevee. Now, I'm not saying Mike Huckabee's a racist, I'm just pointing out that he does love and admire racism.

And really? Comparing Obama unfavorably to Jesse Helms? The only acceptable way to compare Obama to Helms is to mention how uncomfortable ol' Jesse would have been using the same water fountain as the senator from Illinois. But that won't get you the Rupert Murdoch dollar, which Mike Huckabee desperately needs after showing the kind of political acumen that screams "I'm less appealing than a plastic Mormon and a doddering nutjob".

"The darkest revelation of modern times was that the game would include no player authorship of tracks. The benefit of this feature really can't be emphasized enough. Habitual readers of the site will know that I don't fully endorse Guitar Hero's method of going about it, but as an American citizen I tend to prefer more freedom over less... If one game has infinite songs, while the other has finite songs, the reckoning is clear.... I am a Harmonix stalwart to the end, but they've been outflanked." - Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, Penny Arcade.

Normally I wouldn't categorize Tycho as an idiot, but when the man is wrong, his is a wrong that dwarfs galaxies. To say that he has a bug up his ass about making music with video games is to do a disservice to the entire field of rectal entomology. Never mind that it's a fetish shared by almost nobody else, and more importantly, almost nobody else with talent.

Here, we have him boldly stating that a piss-poor version of the feature he craves, from the people who thought Battle Mode was a great fucking idea, gives the next Guitar Hero game an insurmountable advantage against the next Rock Band game. Which is true, in a universe consisting entirely of Tycho and this one guy I knew on the Internet once. You don't want to visit that universe.

Tycho says that infinite songs is automatically better than finite songs. By that logic, the comments on YouTube are better reading than Shakespeare, because YouTube features infinite user-created content. These are the ravings of a madman, and I hope he comes to his fucking senses soon.