Friday, October 20, 2006

A Powerful Letter

Here is an excerpt from an open letter by Kevin Tillman, the brother of former NFL player and Army Ranger, Pat Tillman. Pat was killed in Afghanistan and a cover up of his death ensued.

I encourage you to read the entire letter.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
Kevin Tillman

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Words only a Redneck Uhmerrikahn Mother Could Love

One of Harrogate's favorite spewers of noxious bile is John Gibson of Fox News Channel. Gibson epitomizes what the network means by Fair and Balanced, and he epitomizes the contemporary Uhmerrikahn soul in more ways than most dreamy liberals (excepting of course the incomparable Harrogate himself) could ever admit without hurling across the room.

Check this out, for example

Gotta love how "pretty boy" Gibson clarifies his position at the end:

"You don't have to conform," he soothes. "You just have to give up the urge to be separate and apart and unwilling to assimilate like the rest of us."

Oh, is that all? Harrogate feels much better now, and he'll try to pass along similar rhetoric to all of those in Uhmerrikah who experience the misfortune of being "different." After all the sageness of his advice surely doesn't stop with them there funny-lookin' observant fundie Muslims. Homosexuals, atheists, people who don't worship the dollar as the be all and end all of existence, women seeking to control their own bodies/destinies without first obtaining permission from the local Baptist patriarch, people who don't think the only way to untie a knot is to cut it through the middle, &c. All of these and many many more will be pleased to know they can avoid persecution so long as they supresses their urge to "be seperate."


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

By Popular Demand: A Follow-Up to the "K-Fed Situation"

Due to the flurry of links across the blogosphere that has resulted from last night's "K-Fed"-heavy post, Harrogate feels compelled to clarify what may be a misunderstanding on the parts of all these readers. Harrogate in no way meant his most recent post as a lambasting of the great "K-Fed." Indeed, Harrogate would argue that Johnny Nitro (depicted in repugnant hair coat, above) spoke to this issue on Monday Night when he told "K-Fed" not to pay attention to the boos. As a Raw regular who also gets booed on sight each Monday, Nitro had to remind "K-Fed" of the nature of The Rhetorical Situation into which he had walked. In short, Nitro explained, "these people are ignorant." Now there's some Reader-Response Theory for ya!

But anyway, Harrogate digresses. It is almost as if he is unintentionally implying, once again, that "K-Fed" like Johnny Nitro very much deserves to be booed when in reality Harrogate's point is that:

"K-Fed" ought to be congratulated for his capacity to elicit that kind of call and response from audiences. Again, people, Reader Response, Reader Response. Like Johnny Nitro and his skank ho Melina, "K-Fed" knows how to work those "peeps."

Now, Harrogate remembers during Raw turning to an amused Mrs. Harrogate and asking if she thought that Britney was rolling her eyes in disbelief. Mrs. Harrogate rejoined that Britney is probably just happy that "K-Fed" has finally found a proper venue in which to feature his talents, and perhaps as a result actually generate some of his own income. Or something like that.

But as Blues Traveler would say, "But anyway....." the point is that "K-Fed" very much needs to remain a WWE fixture, he really knows how to get it done in the squared circle. Right now Vince is on a roll, he is showing a renewed interest in The Rhetorical Situation that his program represents, and is building his stories accordingly.

In other words, Oops, Vince has happened to have experienced the great fortune of having done it yet again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Some Thoughts on Raw 10/16 (Kevin Federline Gets FU'd by Champion Cena)

Well, it was indeed the "Summer of Edge," but as Jim Morrison once famously crooned, "Summer's Almost Gone," and now the Raw Heavyweight Championship is once again, quite properly in a Jane Austen sense of the word, around the waist of THE MARINE.

Harrogate took especial delight in seeing Kevin Federline (now known as "K-Fed," it would seem)come out and flaunt his "A List" creds with Johnny Nitro and his skank ho sidekick Melina: the delight comes mainly from the fact that to a fan, "K-Fed" was getting robustly booed the moment he hit the aisle and started making his way to the ring. Now, many of the thousands who visit The Rhetorical Situation like to posture as intellectuals, and would perhaps fain have everyone believe they don't know who "K-Fed" is, let alone why he was getting booed. But that's a lie. All of you know exactly who he is and exactly why he got booed, "K-Fed" got booed because of who he is.

Anyway, Cena rolls out and after dealing with some Inter-Cable Rivalry stuff involving the Smackdown Champion King Booker and ECW Champion The Big Show, Cena was left alone to share the stage with the hapless "K-Fed," and after "K-Fed" offered to jaw THE MARINE, THE MARINE FU'd him. Thus the depiction above. One of Uhmerrikah's great cultural moments, to be sure, right up there with the elimination of the Geneva Convention (did Harrogate blog that out loud?)

Depicted above are the two New Testament-style visionaries behind the inimitable Jackass franchise, Steve-O and Chris Pontius, both of whom got their asses kicked by the figure Harrogate has already established as what would have been Walter Ong's
idea of a provocative wrestler, Umaga. That's right, Harrogate said it. Umaga. Perhaps some of you want a little of Umaga? Just keep laughing, you'll see. Harrogate saw. He no longer laughs.

But anyway, to wit: Word on the hard core wrestling blogosphere has it that Steve-O's continual laughter while getting pummeled by Umaga showed a lack of respect for the WWE. But Harrogate sides with lets wrestle, who with all the braggadocio of a Judith Fetterley, succinctly observes

The segment with the two guys from "Jackass" was also pretty funny. Having Steve-O get beat down by Umaga was great. I know that the on-line freaks are all mad that Steve-O was laughing during the whole thing, but come on, if you've ever watched or seen the JA movies, you know that these guys take beatdowns for a living and keep coming back, so this was pretty well done. Give Umaga credit as well for handing out some pretty stiff shots as well.
(lets wrestle 3:16)

Anyway, that's wrap for this edition. Join Harrogate next week as he resumes live blogging Raws, which is intended as a reward to Vince McMahon for finally starting to get this show together a little bit.

Works Cited

lets wrestle 3:16

How to Teach Argumentation and Debate

Lesson One: How Not to be Seen. Wait, I mean, how to have an argument:

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Creative Political Ad?

"Say it ain't so Joe."

From the Lamont-Lieberman Race (via Salon):

The (diminishing) Ethos of College Football

31 Thugs, I mean players, were suspended by Miami, Florida International, and their respectives conferences for their participation in the brawl on Saturday. The President of "The Penitentiary," I mean, "The University" stated that the fight was "outrageous." So outrageous, that the Miami players were suspended for one game-- against the legendary powerhouse of Duke. (I wonder if a regular student would be suspended or expelled from school for swining a helmet, swinging a crutch, or stomping on another student's leg? What if it happened in a chemistry lab and the students threw beakers at one another? Would they be suspended for the next lab session? Or what if in a business ethics class, one aspiring capitalist were to repeatedly beat another aspiring capitalist with Marx's Das Kapital?)

While the President of "The U" issued harsh words, the most severe (and most unbelievable) were delivered (and the passive voice is appropriate) from the Conference Comissioners. According to the ACC Commissioner John Swofford: "These suspensions send a clear and definitive message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated." According to Wright Waters, comissioner of the Sun Belt: "There is no place in higher education for the type of conduct exhibitd." According to the NCAA, "It is hoped that the actions taken by Miami, FIU and the conferences will send a message that such behavior is not tolerated."

If anyone finds these statements believable, please tell me why. This seems to me to be a "Nod-Nod, Wink-Wink" type of action: After all, "A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh?"

Edit: I stand corrected, kind of. Miami extended one ban; FI booted two and extended the sentences of 16 other players. Somehow the sentence for the foot-stomping UM player remains unchanged.

Congratulations Tigers!

While it is true that, when the chips were down, the A's unhappily wound up showing about as much backbone as your typical Congressional Democrat, the Tigers deserve much props for their recent demolition of the American League. What a feelgood story this has been for, really, any lover of the game, regardless of team loyalty. The local fans have been so, well, pastoral in their reception of this team. The payroll is low, the hitting timely, the defense magnifique, and most importantly the PITCHING is nasty and only getting nastier.

Harrogate is happy to see the game of baseball prove, once again, that it is bigger than the economic comedy of errors that continually threatens to strangle it. As a metonym for the Uhmerrikahn soul, baseball has always stood in handily: the leaguewide corruption of the late teens and early twenties nicely mirrored, for example, the nation's sophomoric, Puritanical/hypocritical, hilarious attempt to banish alcohol sales from the national discourse; when the civil rights struggle was gaining momentum, there was Jackie Robinson making a huge impact in the right direction; at the apogee of that struggle we were treated to Henry Aaron getting a standing ovation in Atlanta, the Heart of Dixie, as he broke the record of that ultimate white sports icon, the Babe.

Now, with Uhmerrikah in the thick of its orgiastic celebration of corporate power at all levels of society, it makes sense that the game of baseball would be aping that orgy as well. The Yankees can clock in with a 200 million dollar payroll because they own a heavyhitting television station and operate in the biggest media market on the face of the Earth. Yet for the past six years they have been blanked, and except for in 2004 (Red Sox) they have been blanked by teams with a payroll stratospheres below them.

Having learned from the Marlins who came before them, the Tigers understand that baseball's grandeur inheres in the multiplicity of approaches it rewards; every champion will look different, there is no model for excellence, no matter how much the price tag says. They took a core of young kids and developed them over the course of several losing seasons, now it is at fruition with pitchers throwing harder than Tim Robbins in Bull Durham. They add a couple of key veterans like Kenny "The Gambler" Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez. And the list goes on.

In the end, the Yankees looked like a parody of Uhmerrikah's $ Worshipping underbelly: no soul, no art, no soup for them. Harrogate thanks Detroit for keeping the dream alive.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My second post on College Football this weekend

File this under: I bet the players are philosophy students.

See what happens when good schools play cupcake schools.


Welcome Back

To honor the presence of Harrorgate as he posts again:

Placebo - A song to say goodbye

Yon this past half year, Harrogate has enjoyed the incredible fortune of living across the street from Amy and Mr. Reads, known by way of
Arrogant Self-Reliance

This delectable couple has introduced Harrogate to a wonderful new universe of music, including such heavyweights (to name but a darling few) as Red House Painters, The Cranes, Muse, Spoon, and Sufjan Stevens.

But right now Harrogate has been solidly grooving to another gift from the Reads household, the bizarre candy-rock operettic tour de force known by millions across the globe simply as Placebo. To express his appreciation for their contribution to his aesthetic and moral development, Harrogate would like to dedicate this MTV video to Amy and Mr. Reads