My, My, My, My, Mitchell

« April 2010 »


Assholes confuse me. Not actual anuses; their function is fairly simple to understand. But the assholes who smear the name of honest, hard-working anuses by going around being assholes all the time? They confound me. Especially the way they think they're entitled to both hold asshole views, and not actually suffer the slings and arrows that oh-so rarely come from being an asshole in today's America.

We have, many times in the past, discussed "political correctness" as a term assholes use when they get called out on being assholes. We've also mentioned, from time to time, the "I Meant To Do That" defense, in which an asshole reacts to people calling him out for his asshole behavior by saying he was just trying to get people to call him out on his asshole behavior, which is why he acted like an asshole, and it's their fault for falling for it. What do you get when you combine the best of both worlds? Las Vegas Review-Journal editor Thomas Mitchell.

On Friday, Mitchell published a piece entitled "Time to repeal the 19th amendment?" The premise of the piece, to the extent that it had one, was that women were inherently biased in the voting booth on account of their not being men. Mitchell demonstrated this by pointing out that in polling, more women said they'd vote for Harry Reid than men would. And that the numbers changed when you changed the Republican candidate from Susan Lowden to a basketball star.

From this, he concluded that "Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased.", and pointed out another poll in which, to quote Sinbad*, women be different than men, facetiously suggesting repealing the 19th amendment as a result. The piece was a complete fucking mess on every level - logic, interpretation of statistics, managing not to sound like a boss who grabs his secretary's ass... it even fails as over-the-top polemic, which believe me, I know a little something about. It was, justly, mocked all over the Intertubes.

So Mitchell started off Monday's editorial by telling us how he meant to do that.

"I baited the hook and dropped it in the water. It was swallowed hook, line and sinker, rod and reel, up to the elbow, in a piranha-like feeding frenzy."

Right. One more thing to add to Mitchell's crimes against reason - not knowing how fucking piranhas work. Did he just watch Mega Piranha on SyFy? Because only a giant, badly-rendered CGI mega-piranha could actually swallow you up to the elbow like that. Actual piranha can't fly, so I can only assume Mitchell was fishing in a completely retarded manner, holding his rod, reel, hook, line, sinker, and arm up to the elbow under the waters of the Amazon. Which, walking his metaphor back to its source, isn't an awful description of his first article, come to think of it.

He then recounted the plight of poor Harvard president Larry Summers, who got pilloried for suggesting that it was women's baby-mad brains that kept them from doing well in math or science**, and suggested that he was experiencing a similar unjust fate. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Without once addressing the fundamental postulate that men and women are delightfully different, I was called an idiot, an (expletive deleted) moron, an ignorant redneck male chauvinist, a racist, a sexist, a narrow minded and crude douchebag, unsophisticated, ignorant, a flat earther, a fool, a Neanderthal and a misogynist."

Actually, looking at that list, it's clear that "idiot", "ignorant redneck male chauvinist", "sexist", "narrow-minded and crude douchebag", "unsophisticated", "ignorant", "fool", "Neanderthal", and "misogynist" all DO address the fundamental postulate that men and women are "delightfully different". So does "(expletive deleted) moron", depending on the expletive that was deleted. The judges would accept fucking, motherfucking, pigfucking, goddamned, shitkicking, and donkey-fellating, but might have issues with cuntastic.

I'll grant him racist and flat-earther, though. Those were unsupported inferences, although as the editor of a Las Vegas newspaper, surely Mitchell can understand the value of playing the odds.

You know why you almost never hear women extolling the "delightful differences" between men and women? Because it's patronizing bullshit, that's why. "Honey" may be a term of endearment to your wife, but that doesn't mean you get to call Dian Fossey that. Furthering his inept defense, Mitchell went on to prove that the concept of identity politics is as much of a mystery to him as piranha are.

"For a bunch that claims to embrace the concept of diversity, they sure are quick to sling a load of identity epithets, such as the one by someone going by the name of marko: 'Clearly Tom's hat is too tight and squeezed what once may have passed as his brain out his nose to settle on his upper lip.' Diversity of thought is unacceptable if you don’t look like them?"

Making fun of your appearance, which, to be as kind as possible, looks like bad Teddy Roosevelt cosplay at a Wisconsin Dells Ye Olde West sideshow, is not a violation of the "embrace of diversity". Wearing a hat and growing a moustache is not an identity. And even if it were, marko didn't call you stupid because you wore that hat and grew that moustache, he used that hat and your moustache as a rhetorical device with which to call you stupid. Given how you fucked up cause and effect in your first column, I can see why this one slipped past you.

And then, because he hasn't finished shitting all over himself and calling it "making brownies", he tries to end on a profound note. "Thanks for playing the game. Here is a lovely parting gift: a mirror. Hold it up. Take a look." Hey, guess what I see? Someone who isn't Thomas Mitchell! This mirror's awesome! Thanks, dude.

*Technically I'm quoting MST3K quoting Sinbad, but still.

**See, Mitchell, THIS is how you exaggerate properly in an over-the-top polemic.