“Grow a pair.”
We really have returned to junior high. Welcome to Barack Obama’s America in 2013.
Somebody ought to write a book about progressive bullying…
But when it came time to book the show, Morgan’s team refused to tell Shapiro what the format of the show would be. When Shapiro said that he expected balance — a second one-on-one interview with Morgan — Morgan’s producers balked. They did insist strongly, however, that Shapiro appear on the show, where he would be “in for the entire show” and “have a huge part.” When Shapiro again reiterated that balance would be a one-on-one, and asked for more details on what his role would be, Morgan’s producers went silent.
“This is how the left manipulates media situations to ambush conservatives,” Shapiro said. “Piers and I had a good conversation last week about gun control; if he wants a rematch, I’m always game.”
Related at PJ Lifestyle on the childish mentality of mainstream culture today:
From the editor-at-large of Breitbart.com comes a galvanizing and alarming look at the strategy and tactics of leftist thuggery.
While President Obama and the left like to pretend that they oppose bullying with all their hearts and souls, the truth is far darker: the left is the greatest purveyor of bullying in modern American history. Bullying has morphed into the left’s go-to tactic, as they attempt to quash their opponents through fear, threat of force, violence, and rhetorical intimidation on every major issue facing America today.
Ben Shapiro uncovers the simple strategy used by liberals and their friends in the media: bully the living hell out of conservatives. Play the race card, the class card, the sexism card. Use any and every means at your disposal to demonize your opposition—to shut them up. Then pretend that such bullying is justified, because, after all, conservatives are the true bullies, and need to be taught a lesson for their intolerance. Hidden beneath the left’s supposed hatred of bullying lies a passionate love of its vulgar tactics.
The left has created a climate of fear wherein ordinary Americans must abandon their principles, back abhorrent causes, and remain silent. They believe America is a force for evil, that our military is composed of war criminals, and that patriotism is the deepest form of treason. They incite riots and threaten violence by playing the race card, then claim they’re advocates for tolerance. Disagree with Obama? You must be a racist. They send out union thugs and Occupy Wall Street anarchists to destroy businesses and redistribute the wealth of earners and job creators. No target is off limits as liberal feminists declare war against stay-at-home moms, and gay activists out their enemies, destroy careers, and desecrate personal privacy.
These are the most despicable people in America, bullying their opponents while claiming to be the victims. Shapiro takes on the leftist bullies, exposes their hypocrisy, and offers conservatives a reality check in the face of what has become the gravest threat to American liberty: the left’s single-minded focus on ending political debate through bully tactics.
This week my friend John Hawkins released his annual ranking of the 50 best conservative columnists. A very generous guy, John included me on the list. And ahead of George Will too!
I wonder, though: what does it mean to be a columnist today?
Well, what qualifies as a column? The defining characteristics, which I invite others to dispute or refine in the comments: A) a regular appearance usually either weekly or bi-weekly, B) a standard word count in the range of 600-1500 words, and C) usually with a focus on opinion, analysis, or entertainment — not “objective,” fly-on-the-wall journalism.
But that’s the Old School understanding I learned in journalism classes in the pre-blogosphere days. Now in the New Media era a “column” counts as any piece of writing and “columnist” doubles for “writer.” And that’s fine — language evolves and we only gain so much from playing the semantics game. Here at PJ Media we call our all-star team of writers “Columnists” even though the content they produce ranges across the spectrum from blog posts to journalistic articles to traditional op/ed columns to extended essays on to Ed Driscoll’s podcasts and Zombie’s unforgettable photos.
But the truth is that the name does still fit for most of the PJ Columnists, and pressed to answer John’s challenge to provide “YOUR LIST of the best conservative columnists” I’d have to actually create two, the first of those I edit now and the second of those I wouldn’t mind editing someday. The 10 PJ columnists who predominantly write on a regular basis in the “newspaper column” style, of a 600-1500+ word, opinionated, elegantly stylized analysis (in no ranked order):
Roger L. Simon, Barry Rubin, Andrew Klavan, Roger Kimball, Michael Walsh, Andrew C. McCarthy, Claudia Rosett, David P. Goldman, Victor Davis Hanson, and Michael Ledeen
The other PJ Columnists I’d classify as top-tier bloggers (Stephen Green, Ed Driscoll, Helen Smith and Blog Father Glenn Reynolds) and deep essayists (Ron Radosh and Ion Mihai Pacepa.) J. Christian Adams’s Rule of Law, Richard Fernandez’s Belmont Club, and the mysterious Zombie transcend categorization in their own unique ways — the three of them have each taken the tools of New Media to innovate their own new mediums.
So about that second list… I decided to take John’s list and A) edit it down to my top 10 choices, B) re-order counting down to the best, C) throw on 5 more conservative columnists I adore who John neglected to include.
But here’s the problem: I’m fairly confident about the ranking of only the top 2. I could see legitimate reasons for why one should rank higher or lower than others.
So for my top 20 list of Best Conservative Columnists (forthcoming soon here at PJ Lifestyle) I thought I’d first hear the arguments of others about A) who should go where, B) which five additional columnists deserve inclusion, and C) if anyone I’ve already selected does not warrant placement.
Director Nick Cassavetes tells TMZ, he isnt a politician … hes an artist who makes movies — and thats why his comments about brother-sister lovin wont have a damned effect on his career.As we previously reported, Nick recently spoke out in defense of ALL kinds of relationships while promoting his new film in Toronto this weekend — gay, straight, incestuous, whatever — saying, “Who gives a st if people judge you? Im not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if youre not having kids — who gives a damn?”
This week, writer-director Nick Cassavetes released his new movie, “Yellow,” about a woman having an affair with her brother. “I have no experience with incest,” says Cassavetes. “We started thinking about that. We had heard a few stories where brothers and sisters were completely, absolutely in love with one another. You know what? This whole movie is about judgment, and lack of it, and doing what you want.”
But Cassavetes wasn’t done: “Who gives a s— if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute, but in a way, if you’re not having kids, who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage — love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister, it’s super weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”
Here’s the thing: Cassavetes is exactly correct.
There are those who say that gay marriage is a slippery slope toward incest. It isn’t. The gay marriage and incest lie are justified by precisely the same moral argument: the argument that love defines an acceptable relationship. Sexual urges are, according to the left, their own moral justification — what is biological is justifiable. If gays and lesbians are “born this way,” why not incestuous duos? If consent is the highest value and two siblings consent, what’s the problem?
Incest isn’t the final stopping point for the sexual left. The final stopping point is pedophilia. All it takes is for the left to declare that children have the ability to make rational decisions about their own sexuality. Then the final string tethering Western society to her Judeo-Christian moral roots will be severed. And Hollywood will celebrate.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
On Sunday, Nina and I finally caught The Dark Knight Rises. We both enjoyed it*, but with a nearly three-hour running time, I felt sort of numb afterwards, finding newfound respect for the terse minimalist Jack Webb police procedural-like feel of the half-hour Adam West Batman series from the 1960s.
OK, just kidding. But still, two hours and 44 minutes is way too long for anything that wasn’t directed by David Lean.
Speaking of which, at the Corner, Michael Walsh, linking to Andrew Klavan’s review in the Wall Street Journal, sees a Dr. Zhivago-esque subtext to the movie, which is obsessed with the dangers of revolution:
[I]f insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, what are we to make of every murderous Regressive movement from the French Revolution to the October Revolution to Mao and Pol Pot? All of them began in resentment and ended in oceans of blood. In fact, one of the worst things about being a Regressive is having to ride the tiger that eventually eats all of them. In Dr. Zhivago, the idealistic Pasha becomes the feared zealot Strelnikov who in turn becomes another of Stalin’s statistics. In this Batman installment, Bane’s raging Id and his secret controller’s lust for revenge are both defeated by heroes who understand where the truth lies.
In a spoiler-filled round-up at Big Hollywood, Ben Shapiro dubs The Dark Knight Rises, “Magnificent … And Most Conservative Film Ever.”
Most conservative film ever? Well…
I spent this last week vacationing with my wife in Paris. Between visits to historic sites like the Louvre and Versailles, my wife and I noticed something very odd: nobody seemed to be working. The sidewalk cafes were chock full of people sitting around in the middle of the day, watching the world pass them by. It seemed wonderfully relaxing.
Then we entered the Metro – the Parisian subway system. And there we saw the downside of the lax life of the Parisian coffee set. Dozens of beggars roamed the subways, passing out notes asking for a few Euros. Many brought their young children to beg.
This didn’t wash. What happened to France? Just why was this country – a supposed socialist paradise praised by those on the left as the ultimate example of a redistributionist society gone right – so unequal? Why was poverty so evident? Hadn’t the wealth been spread around enough?
I found the answers to my questions in David Limbaugh’s devastating new tome, The Great Destroyer, which together with his last book, Crimes Against Liberty, forms an encyclopedia of Obamaism – the philosophy of anti-American redistributionism that characterizes this administration. Obama wants us to become France. It doesn’t matter that France is hardly paradise. It aspires to paradise. And it’s the thought that counts.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
“Be Prepared To Spend a Few Years Working Boring Jobs You Think You’re Overqualified For That You Hate So You Can Pay The Bills. Just Take Whatever You Can Get So You Can Survive and Not Live in Mom and Dad’s Basement. Do Not Expect Your ‘Dream Job’ To Be Waiting for You When You Graduate. It Can (And Really It Should) Take Years Before You Break Into Your Field And Shift From Working Jobs to Living Your Career.”
Over the past few years, this has generally been the time when the younger, college-age writers finish up their BA or Master’s, prepare to venture off into the “real world,” and ask if I have any suggestions for them. (I was in their shoes six years ago.) The advice above summarizing my own post-college misadventures usually isn’t met with much enthusiasm.
And since 2008′s economic downturn, this injunction to “Just Take Whatever You Can Get” fell on deaf ears when passed on to some of my job-hunting friends. As long as they had an unemployment check flowing in or free rent from Mom and Dad, then what’s the rush to take a job that’s beneath you? Shouldn’t they hold out for something great? “I’ve got a college degree. Why should I work a job that I could’ve gotten just out of high school? I deserve better! I’ve worked for it!” But eventually the unemployment checks would run out.
Then it was time to cash the Reality Check, to go down to the temp office and take whatever job they’ll give you.
That’s the setting for the first act of Reality Check, a new musical comedy from father-and-son writing team David and Ben Shapiro that debuted with two performances last week in Los Angeles.
Reality Check takes the common young adult archetypes of The Breakfast Club and Friends and reinvents them for 2012. Five friends from high school rediscover each other at the temp office and find that after 10 years they’re still all clinging to the immature identities they embraced as teenagers:
- Sarah Brandon plays Lindsay, the workaholic overachiever who’s never able to focus her energy into real success and happiness. (Courtney Cox on Friends)
- Justin Buller plays Edward, the sex-obsessed jock, ladies man, and tough guy. (Matt LeBlanc in Friends and a blend of Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club.)
- Samantha Rose Cardenas plays Brittany, the cheerleader and princess (Jennifer Aniston in Friends and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.)
- Alex Robert Holes plays Alex, the “sensitive,” high-minded writer-artist eager to write the Great American Novel, always scribbling down notes (David Schwimmer in Friends meets Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club with sprinkles of Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay and Ally Sheedy-style “ooh! look at me!” pseudo-creative weirdness.)
- Haqumai Waring Sharpe plays Jimmy, the class clown joking through life. (Matthew Perry on Friends.)
The whole cast shines, with each performer embodying the high school stereotypes we know so well. The personalities are so universal that every audience member should see himself in at least one of the characters on the screen. I sympathized with the pretentious writer Alex who was dressed in the standard tortured artist uniform — all black, always carrying around a book, and facial hair that just doesn’t work. That was me senior year of high school. Even down to playing the Schwimmer role chasing Princesses who in turn pursue misogynistic men and then come running back to us for emotional support only to play with our hearts, never committing to a relationship. Reality Check hits this universal dynamic in the love triangle between Alex, Brittany, and Edward — a story told many times in real life and fiction and well done here.
But stealing every scene he’s in is Peter Pergelides as “The Man,” who runs the temp office and implores the adult-children to grow up with a song that’s still stuck in my head: “Let Go The Banana.” Here are some of the lyrics which set the tone of the whole production — fun, upbeat, clever, but still sincere:
In the jungles of Africa / This is how they catch a monkey
It’s a method that they’ve used for years / And it’s now become a habit
Take a jar with an opening / Slightly larger than a monkey’s hand
Put a banana inside the jar / And the monkey will soon grab it
He can’t see the reason / He can’t take his fist out
Now the hunters grab him / All because the monkey won’t
Let Go the Banana
He won’t let go the banana / You’ve got to know
For you to grow / You let go the banana
What are the bananas Reality Check targets? Several that should resonate not just with we Millennials now creeping up on 30, but also those in older generations, some of whom still struggle with letting go of the illusions trapping them in repeating cycles of self-destruction. The challenge of growing up and maturing into happy, responsible adults is a process that’s as necessary and ongoing at 53 and 76 as it is at 28.