Friday, September 14, 2007

Touche, Seth Green. Touche.

Good Lord.

For those who haven't seen Seth Green's ad hominem
rebuttal of the arguments
soundly put forth by
Chris Crocker, well, this is some
seriously funny shit.

Oh the Sublime Agony of it All: "Leave Britney Alone!"

By now, Readers, many of you have seen this. According to the E! Channel this video is hot hot hot. And for good reason. Wonderfully entitled, "Britney Spears Fan Cries," Chris Crocker in this video speaks to the veritable essence of what Lloyd Bitzer was getting at when he layed down the principles of The Rhetorical Situation. Really, fans, all this obviously distraught fan wants is for us to remember the broader context within which Britney Spears' much discussed (but o! so little understood) performance took place.

Note the seriousness, the austere shift in tone, with which he references Paris Hilton, as though he was giving an academic paper and quoting Aristotle. Then experience the sudden, biting sarcasm with which he disputes Hilton's shaky thesis.

But note especially that final, plaintive whisper, "Leave her alone" which poignantly closes out Crocker's virtuosic performance. Truly that final utterance ought rightly to haunt the dreams of all who have dared to mock Britney during this difficult, difficult time.

(Oh, and Larry Craig's a douchebag)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Internicine Sniping With the Board of The Rhetorical Situation (And, Happy Birthday Solon!)

Recently, O Readers, Harrogate's Pulitzer-Prize Winning Colleague, Solon, opined the following:

There may be perfectly good reasons why even a homosexual would reject same-sex marriage specially if it were sought through the judiciary rather than the legislative process.

Now first of all, let Harrogate make clear his position that what is happening with Larry Craig goes well beyond the question of whether homosexuals ought to be able to get married. The Thunder Mug case is functioning as a revelation about the ridiculousness of the "Values Voter" myth. It is one of many examples of why these holier-than-thou fire-eating panderers deserve to be ridiculed at every turn. This is what the Thunder Mug case is all about, it's about always taking advantage of opportunities to undermine the vacuous, dangerous rhetoric that the GOP used so effectively in 2004. But that aside, let us take a look at Solon's statement and engage it on its own terms.

Harrogate, famous for trolling Right Wing media on television and the Internet alike, is deeply familiar with the Talking Points Solon is invoking. And he must say, there have been moments where he has felt almost compelled to join Solon in actually taking this argument seriously. But in the end, right at the moment when he's about to take the bait, Harrogate always finds himself cut short by ruminations such as these:

1)Since 2004 gay marriage has been the hot-button symbolic loadstone for the gay rights debate. Yet just a few moments spent listening to Republican lawmakers and/or the people who vote for them will show you that the gay marriage "debate" is only the current cover from which people can safely bash homosexuality without seeming bigoted.

Simply google Lawrence v Texas to see why Harrogate conservatively ventures that 85% of those currently opposed to gay marriage would bring back the sodomy laws (only overturned in 2003!) in a hearbeat if they could: which they can, by the way, with only one more Supreme.

2)The much-trumpeted worry over the judiciary trumping the democratic process vis a vis gay marriage makes some sense at first glance. That is, until you stop and consider the presupposition scaffolding this argument: that it is right and proper that civil rights be put to a vote.

But there is such a thing as minority rights. And Harrogate would like to see the Courts protect minority rights, especially in the face of a hostile majority.

3)Does anybody actually know a practicing homosexual who opposes gay marriage? Harrogate doesn't, nor has he seen one speak out to this effect. This doesn't mean there are none. Far be it from Harrogate to be so petty as to foundationally rest his argument upon the whims of anecdote. Yet Harrogate would suggest that, excluding Solon and a precious few others, when you hear the canard, "it's possible to be gay and still oppose gay marriage," you can pretty well safely bet the farm that the person making this claim is heterosexual, hostile to gay rights generally, and a GOP supporter.

A Brave New Web Site: Explication of the Wide Stance

Harrogate likes this picture because it symbolizes the GOP coalition of corporate donors and Thunder-Mugging Values Voters.

Anyway, as Readers undoubtedly know, part of Larry Craig's explanation for the Thunder Mug Incident is that he has a Wide Stance. Happily, the term "Wide Stance" has become yet another comedic catch phrase with which to broadly tar the GOP more generally. Now, like a bolt of truth mightily hurled down from the very Heavens, comes this hilarious happening.

It really is quite a Rhetorical Situation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Censoring of Kathy Griffin, Whose Performance in Pulp Fiction Still Has People Talking

Readers, check out this Rhetorical Situation involving comedian Kathy Griffin. As you can see from the link, after winning her Emmy, Griffin had the Jezebel-like audacity to take the podium, accept the trophy, and blaspheme thusly:

a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus

The vaunted AP goes on to tell us that Griffin followed with an "off-color remark about Christ," and finally proclaimed, "This award is my god now!"

Horrors of the Black Museum!!!! Thank Heavens that the E! channel will be editing this out before it airs on television Saturday night!!!!

And by the way, Harrogate especially appreciates the theological profundity evinced by (notorious gay-basher)Catholic League President Bill Donahue when he called out Griffin's speech as a "vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech."

Sigh. Does it get any harder, does it take any more bravery, than to practice Christianity in the United States? Ah, that small brave following, what heaps of persecution must they suffer? Truly Donahue's situation is thoroughly analagous to the story of Daniel and the Lions. And to extend the analogy further, E! may be said to be channeling God, righteously shutting Griffin's mouth.

Readers, verily Harrogate sayeth unto thee, this is the kind of ridiculous element you keep hoping society will grow out of, but which instead hangs in there as a defining characteristic. Really. No, seriously. Anyone familiar with awards in the Sports and Pop Music industries knows that this joke had been a long time coming. For a comedien like Griffin who has made irreverence a big part of her act, the joke is especially fitting.

Finally, here is Griffin's brilliant, 16 second performance in Pulp Fiction. Even then ya knew there was something there that Christians everywhere would learn to fear.

The "self-evident truths" of bathroom Etiquette

In a recent post, Harrogate wrote the following:
Nevertheless, at the heart of the Larry Craig Show is the basic truth that when one enters a stall, even in a public bathroom, one partakes of a social contract whereby privacy is ostensibly guaranteed.

Yet, is this the case? Is the case about the "self-evident" canture of privacy in a public bathroom? The last section suggest a contradiction between public and private that would suggest Harrogate rethink his position.

What I would suggest is that the distinction is between acceptable cultural norms about homosexuality. Further, Harrogates discussion of the Larry Craig incidents reaffirms these roles and, maybe unintentionally, reaffirms the norm that homosexual should stay closeted.

This is what we know about the situation. Minnesota police used cops to deter incidents of sexual encounters between men in public restrooms. When Larry Craig entered the restroom, he followed the typical protocols of a person wanting to solicit sex in a bathroom. Research from the 1960s by Laud Humphrey suggests Craig’s behavior is normal for the ends which he sought. This moves our understanding of this event from the “self-evident” realm of privacy to one of cultural norms about sexual practices.

Rather than trying to understand why a person would choose secrecy for a sexual practice and the cultural that banishes people to the restroom, Harrogate chooses to bash Craig for his “hypocrisy,” which may have a negative effect on how others come to grips with whether or not they should come out of the closet. There may be perfectly good reasons why even a homosexual would reject same-sex marriage specially if it were sought through the judiciary rather than the legislative process.

Craig is a sad man, who rescinded his guilty plea and beat this because of alleged entrapment. Yet, even if is punished for his actions or beats the charge, by focusing on his actions we lose sight of the bigger picture on the cultural norms of society.

A Musical Interlude, for those with 7 Minutes to Spare

Harrogate's had this song stuck in his head going on, oh, about 22 years now. Here is a beautamous version of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," one of Pink Floyd's earliest and most enduring classics. All the original spirit of the song, especially its essential gorgeousness, comes flooding back in this performance of it by Roger Waters during his In the Flesh tour, circa 2000.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Thunder Mug Family: Fun With Classifications

Jae over at the always refreshing site, Genuine Ideas, recently posted a funny writeup of the Thunder Mug fiasco, complete with this wonderful photograph of a state-of-the-art Thunder Mug: Now, clearly, as one can see from the broader Rhetorical Situation in which the Thunder Mug is placed, what we have here is not a public stall, but a private space where one can attend to one's, well, toiletries. Nevertheless, at the heart of the Larry Craig Show is the basic truth that when one enters a stall, even in a public bathroom, one partakes of a social contract whereby privacy is ostensibly guaranteed.

Harrogate, meanwhile--nothing if not willing to rise to a good challenge--here responds with a High Art Urinal he found somewhere in cyberspace. This Rodin-like piece clearly conveys the idea of a urinary space that is public; and, while conceding the Rhetorical Truth that Urinals represent a somewhat different concept from the full-on Toilet Proper, it still belongs to what we ought, in all intellectual honesty, to refer to as the Thunder Mug Family (what would the Latin Phraesology be for such a thing, Harrogate wonders?)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What book are you...

Here is an interesting internet quiz, The Book Quiz.

My book: The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner. I just started reading it. The description of myself:

Strong-willed but deeply confused, you are trying to come to grips with a major crisis in your life. You can see many different perspectives on the issue, but you're mostly overwhelmed with despair at what you've lost. People often have a hard time understanding you, but they have some vague sense that you must be brilliant anyway. Ultimately, you signify nothing.

Sunday Night Quarterback....

Random musings about week one in the NFL....oh, and if you want a discussion on NFL games, you should look elsewhere.

(1) Watching, or in my case-- not watching, the NFL without the NFL package from DirecTv is one of the worst experiences ever. I live in the country's biggest market and received one game at 1pm (Patriots v. Jets- and I hate both teams) and one game at 4pm, Bears v. Chargers. I am glad I watched my daughter this afternoon rather than watching these games.

(2) While I miss Direct TV, I do not miss it enough to pay for their overall service. I would pay for the football package but i can get phone, internet, and cable for less than what I paid for DirecTv.

(3) Before the MLB season started, Congress was about to force MLB to offer the baseball package to other services, such as cable, or be attacked for being a monopoly. Why has no one done this for the NFL?

(4) I have a very strong dislike for Time Warner as well. The picture breaks up; they will not carry the NFL Channel. Even on their website, they discuss how they carry more "NFL football than you can watch," which no one can take this claim seriously since they can only broadcast what is on the networks (four to five games a week, not the fourteen games a week that Direct TV shows.) Where is free enterprise in NYC?

(5) In The Rock's new movie, The Game Plan, one of the best quarterbacks in the game meets his match- his daughter. In one scene, The Rock's daughter bakes him cookies with cinnamon, which causes him to have an allergic reaction. Of course, his "reaction" is that he develops a lisp while he films a television commercial. What type of allergy makes you seem "gay." Doesn't this play into too many cultural stereotypes, mainly athletes are "manly" and not gay.

(6) Tomorrow night, General Petraeus will gives an exclusive one-hour interview to Fox News. Brit Hume will interview him. will anyone believe that this report will be credible?

(7) Think your best thoughts or send you best wishes to Kevin Everett of the Buffalo Bills, who underwent emergency surgery for a spinal cords injury suffered on the opening kickoff for the second-half.