April 29, 2007

Bill Maher: Alec Baldwin "Going To Be A Hero" Rude Pig Voicemail To Daughter
— Ace

Shock value.

But, as much as it pains me to admit this, he has a point here. Pretty much the only sensible trope of Maher's is his criticism of liberals for thinking of children not as children but as "little adults" -- basically with the full panoply of rights of adults to do what they want, simply in smaller packages. Which is of course nonsense.

So although here Maher is engaging in his typical kneejerk contrarianism, "edginess" for the sake of edginess, he's using it as a jumping-off point for the hard-to-deny proposition kids in general need to be disciplined more. Treated less like "little adults," and more, as he says, as children in need of instruction and, where appropriate, punishment, so as to "straighten their asses out."

Kids have too much entitlement in this country. Kids have too much latitude. Kids have too many parents who are negotiating with them and telling them to, instead of just telling them to “Shut up, and I’m going to straighten your ass out.” They need their ass straightened out.” I’m telling you. Next time you’re on an airplane, you’ll wish Alec Baldwin was on that plane with you.

Yeah, I know: What Baldwin said to his 11 year old (or 12, who can be sure about such things) daughter was horrible. And Maher's being his characteristically dickish self to all but blame the daughter for the incident, rather than saying "I don't know the facts of the situation here, but in general..."

Then he of course goes into full-bore dick mode:

When [fellow panelist] National Review contributor Lisa Schiffren protested saying, “I have an eleven-year-old,” Maher despicably asked, “Is she a rude, little pig?”

Does anyone think Maher would have asked this question of anyone in Hollywood, i.e., anyone who could have helped or harmed his meager career? Of course not -- the brave Maher only asks such a nasty question of someone safely outside the industry, and safely despised by most of the industry as well.

He's the typical sort of bully -- the bully who's utterly craven with anyone who can actually hit back.


Also at Newsbusters, former minor comedian turned lunatic conspiracy theorist Richard Belzer claims that even Democrats are scheming with Republicans to steal Iraq's oil. He objects to being compared to Rosie O'Donnell, calling foul on such "name-calling."

So even to the lunatic insult pseudo-comic Richard Belzer, the term "Rosie O'Donnell" is now a perjorative of supreme invective.

Posted by: Ace at 03:44 PM | Comments (93)
Post contains 437 words, total size 3 kb.

1

Bill " the 9-11 high jackers are braver than our military" Maher said something outrageous? Just for the sake of shock? And followed up by insulting the nearest female consevative?


Who would have seen that coming?


Posted by: captkidney at April 29, 2007 03:56 PM (CUVj3)

2 He said the same thing on David Spade's Comedy Central show.
The force is strong in that one, if by force we mean inability to avoid being a dick.

Posted by: Nom de Blog at April 29, 2007 03:57 PM (faxKj)

3 I dunno, wasn't it "liberal" parenting in the first place that started this mess?

Posted by: someone at April 29, 2007 04:11 PM (TXnhk)

4 The way Maher attempts to insert himself into every "controversy" makes Al Sharpton seem almost statesman-like.

Posted by: wiserbud at April 29, 2007 04:11 PM (56ssE)

5

I often think of our friend seattle slough when contemplating something Maher says.


Except, and it pains me to admit it, Maher manages to be a bigger dick about it most of the time.


I think it's confidence.  Something.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 29, 2007 04:18 PM (FXakj)

6 Richard Belzer?  That guy still has a career?  I believe this post is the most pub that guys gotten in 5 years.  Expect his agent to send you a fruit basket.

Posted by: Ray Midge at April 29, 2007 04:21 PM (rH3Ei)

7

Maher likely got his lunch money taken from him in school everyday.


By girls.


Posted by: eman at April 29, 2007 04:50 PM (FWrFx)

8

The way Maher attempts to insert himself into every "controversy..."


Maher thinks of himself of as a social critic/humorists. Or, at least that's the way he'd like to be portrayed in history. The guy is a fucking expert on everything -- foreign policy, religion, military, history, culture. Bill Maher is a real renaissance man.


These people are delusional. Look at Amanda Marcotte. He considers himself a satirist. A fucking satirist. Ezra Pound and Will Rogers anin't got nothing on Marcotte.


But I do agree that kids are generally bad people. Most of them, from the ages of 5 to 25, are simply too obnoxious to be around. They do indeed deserve a stern ass-straightening speech once in a while. Alec Baldwin's speech to his daughter went way past that, though. Even if we assume that his daughter is an asshole, and she probably is, Baldwin is a bigger asshole for saying what he said. He didn't handle the situation like a man, like a father. He handled it like a angry, bitter, impotent, dysfunctional putz.


Posted by: Bart at April 29, 2007 04:54 PM (USG83)

9 *name fix*

Posted by: eman at April 29, 2007 05:01 PM (FWrFx)

10 Even if we assume that his daughter is an asshole, and she probably is,
Baldwin is a bigger asshole for saying what he said. He didn't handle
the situation like a man, like a father. He handled it like a angry,
bitter, impotent, dysfunctional putz.


Don't forget self-centered.  Maher assumes that the source of Baldwin's anger was the misbehavior of his daughter.  That doesn't come across in the tape.  The source of his anger seems to be the fact that he was personally inconvenienced by what his daughter did - his own hurt and anger are on display - not his daughter's well-being or discipline.

Posted by: Slublog at April 29, 2007 05:33 PM (VLSRA)

11 Excellent distinction, Slu. Baldwin wasn't parenting, he was simply ripping into his kid because he was pissed.

Posted by: Bart at April 29, 2007 05:43 PM (mA76R)

12 I think Baldwin is full of shit yapping about how hard it is to get to a phone. He's an actor, for crissakes! He has an assisstant nearby just to hold his cellphone for him.



Posted by: daveg at April 29, 2007 05:47 PM (FqfwW)

13 On the second link-

Everybody's jumping on Belzer, which is pointless, he's just another
hollywood moron, but they're ignoring the outrageous remark by the NPR
reporter. The NPR reporter repeats the myth about the American soldiers
guarding the oil ministry. This was a widely repeated(and varying in
the details) rumor with no actual support at any time.



The fact that reporters for the super-duper reliable and professional
network(or so all the liberal elite assure us) repeat complete lies as
if they are truth should attract a bit more notice. And funny, they
only seem to treat the anti-american wild rumors as presumptively true.

Posted by: Bill at April 29, 2007 05:47 PM (mhNvu)

14 I wish just once someone would knock the bejesus out of Maher when he
says something like that.  He takes another personal cheap shot at
a guest and said guest belts him across the jaw.  That smug
fucking shrimp toast prick, I couldn't take 30 seconds of him before I
broke his nose.

Posted by: UGAdawg at April 29, 2007 05:53 PM (enHsG)

15 "And now the Democrats are stealthfully working with the Republicans to take all the oil from Iraq..."

Stealthfully?

Posted by: B Moe at April 29, 2007 05:56 PM (z0v3n)

16 Ezra Pound, a satirist?

The author of "Cantos"?

Modernist poet, fascist mouthpiece, and madman, yes. Satirist -- no.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 29, 2007 06:02 PM (MNdFx)

17

Kids are spoiled, but they don't need to be called "pigs".  Especially skinny 12-year-old girls.


I'm glad Kim released the tape.  Screw anybody who talks like that.


 


Posted by: Dogstar at April 29, 2007 06:04 PM (iddx7)

18

Dammit. Stop fact-checking my comments. Allow me to speak out of my ass, please. I was trying to think off the top of my head of a piece of shit who is respected in Universities without doing a search.


It was bad of me to put Pound in the same company as Will Rogers, too. I'll shut up now.


Posted by: Bart at April 29, 2007 06:13 PM (zktOX)

19 Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'm an English Lit major. It's one of the few things I know anything about.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 29, 2007 06:16 PM (MNdFx)

20 Baldwin wasn't parenting, he was simply ripping into his kid because he was pissed.

Yeah, that's what bothered me the most about Baldwin's little rant - the fact that he put his own feelings above those of his daughter.  Sure, his daughter may have been in the wrong - but that was no excuse for him to say what he said.

Maybe new fatherhood has turned me into a softie, but the Baldwin rant made me sad more than anything else - I just imagined how hurt that kid was when she heard her dad insult and berate her.

Posted by: Slublog at April 29, 2007 06:17 PM (VLSRA)

21

When Maher has a child with someone, goes through all of the pains/joys of actually raising that  child......then maybe I'll listen to what his opinion is about child rearing and how they need their " asses straightned out".


On second thought - I still wouldn't listen to him.  What an ass.


Posted by: Nurse Cheri at April 29, 2007 06:34 PM (cz6lG)

22

Any person, even a dummy like me, knows that kids are very impressionable. The two most influential people in a kid's life is the mom and dad. Not only do kids take their cues from their parents, but the mother and father are shaping that kid into a grown-up with every word and action they take.


Baldwin hurt his daughter's feelings. She will remember that voicemail and every other mean thing he has said to her for the rest of the her life. Moreover, he's given her a lesson on how to behave as an adult and a parent. She will be just as bad as Balwdin and Bassinger when it comes to being a wife and a mother. Who can blame her? She doesn't know any better.


 


Hollywood parents are the worst. All those kids Angelina is adopting, how do you think they will grow up? She's out making movies while her kids (read: accessories) are being raised by hired servants.


I watched a show on E! about Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson. All their shithead friends were raving about how good of a dad Tommy was. Are you shitting me? He's not a good father. Neither is fucking Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. They are the opposite of good parents.


Some of you might remember that at one of Tommy and Pam's kid's birhtday parties another kid died in the pool. These people are not fit to babysit, let alone raise, children. The incident was swept under the rug, most likely with a monetary payoff.


 


Posted by: Bart at April 29, 2007 06:37 PM (5Ibfz)

23 All those kids Angelina is adopting, how do you think they will grow up?

Rich. The little bastards.

I wish Angelina Jolie would adopt me. For one night. Okay, 1 hour.

Okay, 5 minutes.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 29, 2007 06:41 PM (MNdFx)

24 Any person, even a dummy like me, knows that kids are very
impressionable. The two most influential people in a kid's life is the
mom and dad. Not only do kids take their cues from their parents, but
the mother and father are shaping that kid into a grown-up with every
word and action they take.


Dang, Bart...you're on frickin' fire tonight.  Well said.

I'm hoping that Baldwin's daughter can break this cycle her selfish parents have created.  It makes me angry when adults use children to settle their petty scores.  Children are not a weapon.

Posted by: Slublog at April 29, 2007 06:42 PM (VLSRA)

25 Yeah, sure you'd make it five minutes.
Whatever helps you sleep at night.
Number of Ejaculations: 0 (premature doesn't count)

Posted by: Tin Foil de Blog at April 29, 2007 06:45 PM (faxKj)

26

"Children are not a weapon."


 


I seem to remember a skank from Pennsylvania during the last year who wouldn't agree with that statement.


Posted by: Russ from Winterset at April 29, 2007 07:05 PM (ScVon)

27 I'm hoping that Baldwin's daughter can break this cycle her selfish parents have created. 

Her ultimate revenge: become a Republican--A Christian Republican. Now that's taking the whole Klingon "revenge is a dish best served cold" to it's ultimate.

Posted by: cheshirecat at April 29, 2007 07:55 PM (kGOuB)

28  Of course, only a complete idiot would actually leave a RECORDED MESSAGE like that. Or Alec Baldwin. But I repeat myself.

Posted by: Jim C. at April 29, 2007 08:03 PM (BCpQ3)

29 16 Ezra Pound, a satirist?

The author of "Cantos"?

Modernist poet, fascist mouthpiece, and madman, yes. Satirist -- no.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 29, 2007 11:02 PM (MNdFx)

----------------------------------

Late in his long life, Ezra Pound, in a letter thanking Henry Rago, then the editor of Poetry, for a special 50th anniversary Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize called himself ''a minor satirist who at one time contributed to the general liveliness by scratching a few barnacles off the language.''

(Of course, there are few critics who would take this rare moment of self-deprecation seriously.)

But I think it should be noted that if Mr. Pound were online today, he would be far more likely to agree with "you morons" than the lifelong Democrat Will Rogers.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 29, 2007 09:27 PM (HW5PO)

30

Kim Basinger is the bigger asshole for releasing the tape.


Look; some children are fragile and every wound festers. Most children are durable. Worse things happened to me as a child, and I'm perfectly fine. *twitch*


If your Dad is a venal, mean Dad who flies off the handle easily, that's one thing to deal with.


But the Mom who decides it's OK to let everybody else in the world know what's going on in the family is something else entirely. Playing the victim and airing the family's dirty laundry to a mass market is gross.


Posted by: lauraw at April 30, 2007 03:08 AM (DbybK)

31

O rly?


I thought Pound was totally in favor for a defeat of the Allies? Didn't he just love Mussolini? I'm thinking Pound would be a Taliban/Iran/Syria supporter if he were alive today. Rogers strikes me as someone who would be onboard with defeating Islamofascism.


Thanks for vindication on the satirist thing. I knew I was right!


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 03:17 AM (2GU1r)

32

I just thought of a great idea for a gameshow or drinking game.


"Who's the Bigger A-hole, Alec Baldwin or..."


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 03:19 AM (2GU1r)

33 Bill Maher is that guy that we all know who one time says something that people agree with, and it validates his entire existence.  It does't matter that everything else he says is crap; that one thing is right.  He then runs around giving his opinions on everything because surely he will hit a nigget of truth again and get the adulation of the people around him.  Instead, he just annoys people/

Posted by: Steve L. at April 30, 2007 03:34 AM (hpZf2)

34 Okay, I can't leave this alone.

Pound was not a satirist, notwithstanding what he said in his self-serving letter to Rago. Which is presumably why R. L. Page was at pains to point out that "there are few critics who would take this rare moment of self-deprecation seriously."

Never take seriously what a writer says about himself.

He was not a satirist; rather, he was a pretentious gasbag. And a fascist.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 04:34 AM (MNdFx)

35

Although it is true that parents in general are not parenting these days, but negotiating, what needs to be done is NOT what Alec Balwin did. As Bart said, " He didn't handle the situation like a man, like a father. He handled it like a angry, bitter, impotent, dysfunctional putz."


Being a firm parent doesn't mean being a jerk. In all my years of growing up my Father never so much as yelled once. He let a belt do the talking. It sounds harsh now. It sounds harsh to me as I typed it, but I wouldn't trade the spankings for the ugly words that Baldwin imprinted on his daughter's brain and self esteem for anything.


The simple truth was that as much as we loved my Dad, my brothers and I were afraid of my Dad. And that is how it should be. He would tell us to go get the belt and we took FOREVER to do it. He never yelled at us to hurry. He told me later that that time period gave him time to calm down so that he never spanked us in anger. And he never did. But one important thing is that he only had to spank me a few times in my life. By the time I was 6 or 7 when my Dad said "jump," I jumped. When he said "stop" I stopped. There was no "count to three" I can tell you that. You did what he said the first time or you got the belt. Period.


No one was a more loving Father than my Dad. He never said one thing to me that hurt my self esteem. Which is why I always had such a great deal  of it when none of my friends seemed to. It also is why, imo, that I never let guys take advantage of me.


The role of a Father in a daughter's life is probably what defines a woman the most. No one should underestimate it's importance.


What Baldwin did was not parenting, but bullying.  


 


Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 30, 2007 04:47 AM (1Ysh+)

36 Kim Basinger is the bigger asshole for releasing the tape.

Of which there is no proof and which she has adamantly denied.  Most tabloids get their tips from court personnel and scores of them would have had access to this tape. 


Posted by: daveg at April 30, 2007 04:59 AM (FqfwW)

37 Lisa Schiffren is too civilized for that discussion.  If Maher had said that to one of my sisters, he'd have a handprint on his face his kids would inherit.

And if he'd said it in front of their brothers, there wouldn't be enough of him left to use for a Stephen Hawking NASA shuttlecock...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at April 30, 2007 05:03 AM (VRjm9)

38 Rightwingsparkle:

Nice post. Your penultimate paragraph eloquently explains, better than I can, my objection to both single-parent adoption and adoption by lesbian couples. I don't want to make such adoption illegal--that's impractical. But I am against it.

Children need fathers.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 05:04 AM (MNdFx)

39

Steve, what part of "I was right" do you not understand?


Can we at least agree that Pound was a social critic? Good.


Now can we agree that Pound wrote about social issues with sarcasm and synicism?


What is a satirist, in your opinion?


 


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 05:06 AM (Gl6vp)

40

Oops, I mean cynicism.


I'll shut up now.


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 05:15 AM (Gl6vp)

41 Bart -

Easy, there, big fella.

Sarcasm and cynicism do not a satirist make. Sarcasm and cynicism are attitudes; satire is a mode of expression. I find little in the vast corpus of Pound's work--or, if you will, in the corpus of his vast work, Cantos--that can be categorized as satire.

Pound was primarily a poet. He did indeed write about social issues, but with the same degree of acuity that Sean Penn or Alec Baldwin and other Hollywood lefties display when they discuss politics, policy, environmental issue, parenting, etc. He was a fascist, after all. As a poet Pound was something of Hollywood type: he thought his views and opinions, apart from his poetry, were insightful and wise. He was a boob.

I cannot believe we are discussing Ezra Pound on a Monday morning. This is an erudite group.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 05:19 AM (MNdFx)

42 I'll quit talking about this if you will. You can have the last word. : )

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 05:21 AM (MNdFx)

43

FWIW, it's been my experience that children have a remarkable capacity for grace and forgiveness.  You can make a mistake, but the most important thing that happens next is what you do after the mistake.  If you can own up to it, admit your flaw, seek restoration of the relationship, children will gladly forgive you (for things an adult would never speak to you again over).


Repeat the same mistake and that wears thin.  But if you can admit your occasional human failures and demonstrate that you really do love them, you'll be fine.


Taking your mistake and turning it into a campaign for disenfranchised parents?


Probably not gonna work.


Posted by: Dave the Texas at April 30, 2007 05:35 AM (pzen5)

44 my objection to both single-parent adoption and adoption by lesbian
couples. I don't want to make such adoption illegal--that's
impractical. But I am against it.

While I agree fathers are necessary, I am not against single-parent adoption and adoption by gay couples because they adopt kids who would otherwise never be adopted and end up shuffled between group homes until they are kicked out on their little keisters at age18 and on to the streets.    

Posted by: daveg at April 30, 2007 05:43 AM (FqfwW)

45 Being a firm parent doesn't mean being a jerk.

Most of the time it means not laughing.

Posted by: daveg at April 30, 2007 05:45 AM (FqfwW)

46

Steve, at least we both agree that Pound was an ass.


Speaking of American Lit,  I'm looking for Winthrop's sermon "A Model of Christianity" but all I can find are edited versions. Why do people have to screw with original work? I want to read the writer's original words, not your stupid interpretation!


 


 


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 05:46 AM (Gl6vp)

47 Oh, and of corse you're right, by the way, Steve. I was looking for a loophole in which to slip Pound as a satirist.

Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 05:47 AM (Gl6vp)

48

Dammit, I mean "A Model of Christian Charity."


I guess it would help my search if I knew the title.


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 05:50 AM (Gl6vp)

49

I found it!


FYI: John Winthrop was the first to coin the phrase, "City upon a Hill."


Winthrop was a Puritan, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630. He came over from England on the ship Arbella.


Winthrop believed that the settling of America by Christians was God's will. He believed that it was their destiny to create a "utopia" based on Christian values.


"wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us;"


For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Soe that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.


 


 


Posted by: Bart at April 30, 2007 06:12 AM (efQLG)

50

Frankly, this is old hat for Belzer.  I've heard him on Stern a hundred or so times over the past twenty years or so.  The guy is now what he always has been--quick to conspiratorize.  The guy was thick with 'em during the 80's.  I think its a result of Hulk Hogan dropping the Belz on his head


(Not sure if Pixy has implemented this on the mu.nu sites)



Posted by: mcgurk at April 30, 2007 06:29 AM (Ri74D)

51 I am kind of a tough dad but I have never, ever, called my kids the same kind of names Baldwin did. That is flat out wrong.

It is tough when you have a shitty father. I did. I had a drunken abusive father and you do carry those words with you for the rest of your life.  I know this sounds simplistic but the lesson to learn is to not be like that, but that is really difficult when it is all you know.

I will never tell my kids that they are anything ugly, but I will tell them that they are behaving like something unseemly.

Baldwin is a pussy and a bully, Maher is just an ignoramus

I understand Baldwins anger but his actions were selfish and lacked foresight.

Posted by: Uniball at April 30, 2007 06:39 AM (27iEn)

52

Uniball,


I can't tell you how much I admire people like yourself who broke a cycle of abuse or just bad parenting and became good parents themselves. My Dad did that as well. His father left him when he was 12 and was abusive when he was there. I'm not sure to what extent because he would never talk about it. 


It wasn't until I was an adult and a parent that I understood how difficult it must have been for my Dad to not only break that cycle, but become an absolutely wonderful Dad.


My Dad died when I was 21, but luckily for me when I went to college and saw what other kid's parents were like, I let my Dad know many many times how much I appreciated him and all he did for me. I can't tell you how glad I am that I did that before he died.


 


Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 30, 2007 06:49 AM (1Ysh+)

53 One more thing. I don't ever remember my Dad calling me a name, but he called my brothers "knuckleheads" when he was mad at them. That was as bad as it ever got.

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at April 30, 2007 06:51 AM (1Ysh+)

54 Ezra Pound was ( without a doubt) a Fascist, an anti-Semite, and a "pretentious gasbag;" (but then, pretention and 'gasbagerry' are not rare characteristics among literary men.)

However, 20th century literature in English (most of it) would be the poorer without his own work (particularly his critical essays and the Cantos) and without his generous and tireless efforts to help the other 'Modernists,' such as Eliot, Joyce, Cummings, and many, many others.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 07:02 AM (HW5PO)

55 Thanks for the kind words Rightwingsparkle.

Your Dad sounds like he was a great father.

Posted by: Uniball at April 30, 2007 07:08 AM (27iEn)

56 Steve, at least we both agree that Pound was an ass.

Bart, I think we agree on most things that come up for discussion at AoS.

I was looking for a loophole in which to slip Pound as a satirist.

No worries, mate. I spend most of my life looking for loopholes ... that's how English Lit majors find a way to make a living with our worthless degrees.

R.L. Page:

Re: "However, 20th century literature in English (most of it) would be the
poorer without his own work ...


Maybe (see next). But that wasn't my point.

Re: " ... without his generous and tireless efforts to help the other
'Modernists,' such as Eliot, Joyce, Cummings, and many, many others."


You say that like it's a good thing. I don't think it is, mostly. I have little love for the Modernist project in general and, in particular, for the Modernist poets you name. In my view the Modernist project movement equates with pessimism, nihilism, and civilizational self-loathing, that is, the idea that Western Civilization is a failure, a bad thing. Which, in a roundabout way, accounts for the turn to fascism that Pound eventually took. And, concerning literary figures, he was not alone in this regard.



Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 07:26 AM (MNdFx)

57 Concerning the Modernist project: I think, on balance, it has been a bad thing, devastating to the morale of Western civilization. For guidance in these matters I look Alasdair MacIntyre and his book "After Virtue."

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 07:30 AM (MNdFx)

58 Pound was most certainly not alone during the 1930s in his admiration of the Fascists. Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Prescott Bush, T.S. Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis (to name only a few) were enthusiastic supporters of the Fascist movement in Europe.

And I think you misunderstand the many 'conservative' authors among the Modernists. Taking Eliot as one example, he did not consider Western Civilization a bad thing, but lamented what a great thing (by his lights) it once was, and advocated a hasty retreat in time to what he saw as the glory days of the West.

Of course, the Rev. Eliot was (like most of his American generation) also a raving anti-Semite (and gynophobic misogynist) but had the good sense, unlike Pound, to be more discrete about his bigotries.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 07:38 AM (HW5PO)

59 Maybe Eliot didn't consider Western Civ a bad thing, but certainly he believed that it was failing. In other words, he was pessimistic about it. His poetry is suffused with pessimism, attributable in large measure to his regret and sympathetic nostalgia for those so-called glory days. Tell me that "The Waste Land" and "The Hollow Men" were not pessimistic, to the point (and beyond) of being indictments of Western Civ.

That attitude is pure bullshit, the kind only a pompous, self-regarding literary elitist like Eliot could adopt with any degree of sincerity. "Waste Land" and "Hollow Men" are exercises in literary and intellectual grandstanding, a dreadful flood of metaphors. "Prufrock" is maudlin crap, the kind of stuff that appeals to high school students and tenured English Lit professors.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 07:55 AM (MNdFx)

60 While Eliot and his ilk were living their comfortable elitist lives and lamenting the decline of Western Civ the lot of the common man--and everyone else for that matter--was improving almost daily in just about every phase and aspect of his existence. Had Eliot been forced to work a real job he would have known this and would not have produced his wretched poetry as a result.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 08:00 AM (MNdFx)

61 You are talking about Thomas Stearns Eliot, right?

I suggest you take some time to familiarize yourself with the Actual life of Mr. Eliot. He was first employed as a secondary-school teacher, and then worked many years in a basement office of Lloyd's Bank, eventually becoming an editor for the publishing house of Faber & Faber. Although descended from an old (and 'elite') American family, Mr. Eliot worked "real jobs" all his life.

(And it is certainly easy, 90 years after the publication of 'Prufrock,' to fail to understand how startling and radical that poem was to the 'literary elite' of London.)

But you are quite right that Mr. Eliot (and the entire class of people from which he came) had little interest in 'the common man' outside of devising ways to control him and exploit him. And that is, of course, why, in the 1930s, Fascism seemed so appealing to so many.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 08:20 AM (SWhAZ)

62 Yes, I am speaking of Thomas Stearns Eliot. There was a gentility to his jobs as teacher, banking clerk, and editor that made for a very comfortable life, in both material and psychological terms, and that shielded him to the harsher realities that most employment for most people entailed.

I am, of course, quite aware that "Prufrock" was regarded as startling and radical to the literary of London. I have not failed to understand this, as you imply.

What you seem to fail to understand is that this is quite beside the point I have been making, which you also have clearly failed to grasp. Probably because you're too busy instructing me on how I "fail to understand" or "misunderstand" the subject at hand.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 08:40 AM (MNdFx)

63

Hey, parents are people. I'm sure even the best of them have had regrets or wished they'd done something different.


But an average parent losing his shit and lashing out verbally is not that big a deal.


I do remember some of the crappy things that were said to me by my Dad. And today they crack me up. I was too young to understand how funny he was.


Me, 6 yrs. old: "Daddy, will you get me some milk?"


He: "Are you a cripple?"


And then there are the rainy days when as a child you push them to the point where they freak out and come running at ya with a house shoe in their hand. OH MY GAWD THE TRAUMA I WILL RELIVE THAT MOMENT ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE. Please. Again, funny in retrospect.


Maybe those who did have perfect parents can't understand how meaningless to the big picture those occasional dramatic events are (to those of us who didn't have perfect parents). I'm purposely excluding constant long term abuse, here, which is never funny in retrospect but always inspires feelings of bitterness.


Nobody else here ever saw their NON-abusive parent lose his or her shit?


if you can admit your occasional human failures and demonstrate that you really do love them, you'll be fine.


Bingo, Dave.


Posted by: lauraw at April 30, 2007 08:41 AM (tu8Xa)

64 To imagine the Rev. Eliot, at any point in his life, comfortable "in psychological terms" is laughable. But no, I did note your point; I just preferred to make my own based on the facts.

And Eliot once described himself like this: "I am an Anglo-Catholic in religion, a classicist in literature, and a royalist in politics."

With some minor, analogous adjustments in terminology, I suspect you, and many who frequent this site, would find themselves in agreement with Mr. Eliot's views.

But enough of the Possum. There are many other interesting Modernists to attack.

Would you care to give us your analysis of Joyce, and, particularly, your response to 'Finnegans Wake?'

[One more thing: since you don't seem to like "tenured professors," what's your thought on the poor guys who scrape along without tenure?]

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 08:54 AM (SWhAZ)

65

were enthusiastic supporters of the Fascist movement in Europe


Seems a little thin to me.  I can't say for Eliot, but in the case of Lindbergh, Bush and Ford, more anti-communist than just pro-fascist.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2007 08:54 AM (pzen5)

66

"tenure"


 


Why shouldn't they scrape along on their accomplishments and work like the rest of us?  Or rather, why should the "tenure" club ignore when accomplishments and work become value-less?


Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2007 08:55 AM (pzen5)

67 Well, Dave, I suppose as long as a man is "anti-Communist" that's all that really counts.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 09:02 AM (SWhAZ)

68 Achieving "tenure" in the academic world is an acknowledgement of the individual's "accomplishment" and "work."

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 09:03 AM (SWhAZ)

69 Achieving "tenure" in the academic world is an acknowledgement of the individual's "accomplishment" and "work."

...and that acknowledgment stands unique among professions. Why? The vaunted ethic of freedom of scholarly inquiry has long since been abandoned. The idea of tenure is antiquated and abused in academia. It's time to move on and let the market continue to judge their performance, as it does with everybody else.

And it's time to update our apprenticeship approach to graduate education as well.

Posted by: geoff at April 30, 2007 09:21 AM (Ns+5J)

70

Well, Dave, I suppose as long as a man is "anti-Communist" that's all that really counts.


Well that and he's not a cocksucker.


As for tenure, do you assert that once you accomplish it there's no need to demonstrate your contribution any longer?  You proved it way back when, no need to continue. 


 


Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2007 09:52 AM (pzen5)

71 Anything you say, sir.

So much for that "vaunted idea of freedom of scholary inquiry ... "

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 10:07 AM (SWhAZ)

72 One thing though: I am aware of the negative attitude toward the vulva here, and cunnilingus, but are you also opposed to "cocksuck[ing]" ?

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 10:15 AM (SWhAZ)

73 Are you offering or asking?

Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2007 10:21 AM (pzen5)

74 I was just about to ask you that.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 10:31 AM (SWhAZ)

75 Achieving "tenure" in the academic world is an acknowledgement of the individual's "accomplishment" and "work."

Well, five to six years of work anyway.

Posted by: Slublog at April 30, 2007 10:33 AM (R8+nJ)

76

I was just about to ask you that.


Of course you were.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at April 30, 2007 10:38 AM (pzen5)

77 Achieving "tenure" in the academic world is an acknowledgement of the individual's "accomplishment" and "work."

Why are you framing those words in quotes? Are "you" implying that they don't "mean" what we "think" they mean? "Sir"?

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 10:49 AM (MNdFx)

78 In the previous, I meant to italicize this: Achieving "tenure" in the academic world is an acknowledgement of the individual's "accomplishment" and "work."

Just so "readers" would "know" that I wasn't the "author" of that "statement."

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 10:51 AM (MNdFx)

79 Words and phrases are placed between quotation marks to indicate that they are words and phrases being quoted from another source; in this case, the comment to which I was responding.

Next week we will be reviewing the fascinating differences in the uses of commas and semicolons.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 10:54 AM (SWhAZ)

80 You forgot to cite your sources in the standard Brown & Strunk-approved format.  I give you an "F."

Posted by: wiserbud at April 30, 2007 11:03 AM (cEYYd)

81 As for the institution of tenure: I'm against it, for many reasons.

But specifically, in answer to your question, "what's your thought on the poor guys who scrape along without tenure?":

First, I don't care about those poor guys, sorry. Any more than you care about me, that is. Maybe the hidden hand of the market is trying to tell them something, i.e., that they aren't worth all that much. Or:

Second, maybe the market would adjust their value hence their compensation upward, were it not for tenure; in other words, tenure is artificially depressing their compensation while artificially elevating those who enjoy it.

In answer to your question:
Would you care to give us your analysis of Joyce, and, particularly, your response to 'Finnegans Wake?'

No.



Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 11:03 AM (MNdFx)

82 Words and phrases are placed between quotation marks to indicate that
they are words and phrases being quoted from another source; in this
case, the comment to which I was responding.

Nice try. But you might want to brush up on modern usage. Suggest you consult the latest Chicago Manual of Style on the use of quote marks in this context.

(Aside to everyone else: I bet he does, and I bet he'll provide quotes in his next post.)

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 11:08 AM (MNdFx)

83 He hasn't responded yet. Thumbing furiously through CMS, no doubt.

Posted by: Steve (formerly Ed Snate) at April 30, 2007 11:13 AM (MNdFx)

84 All apologies. I must admit that I did wander from my post for a bit; (various things too trivial to mention in this serious context.)

So, if I understand you (and I will be amazed if I do) the associate professor lacking tenure does not qualify as a "common man" doing a "real job" ? (And yes, the quotation marks are the tip-off that I am alluding to earlier comments by yourself and others.)

And I am very curious about this powerful and apparently omniscient entity you refer to as "the market;" is this a religious thing with you ? a matter of faith ?

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 11:31 AM (SWhAZ)

85 ... you might want to brush up on modern usage.

Wouldn't the better term be 'contemporary usage' ? With all your distaste for the Modernists, I am certain you are aware that the 'modern period' is over.

Posted by: R.L.Page at April 30, 2007 11:34 AM (SWhAZ)

86

R.L., my friend, surely you know what is meant by the "market." Perhaps you don't.


Those who are in the education business don't feel that they are in a "business" at all, but they should. For example, the taxpayer who sends their kid to public school expects his kid's teachers to be qualified for the task. If the teacher sucks, s/he should be shitcanned because the taxpayer isn't getting his money's worth. Of course this also applies equally to private schools.


College students paying $2,000+ for a course expect to learn something. A tenured professor can "mail it in" and be a lousy course instructor, or they can be a shrill political crank. Where's the accountability for tenured professors ripping-off students and wasting the time of students with stupid political discussions?


I don't know. Tenureship, entrenched employees of a huge corporation, protected by a huge bureaucracy seems kind of fascist to me. What do you think?


Posted by: Bart at May 01, 2007 03:08 AM (bPX6G)

87 One of the usual claims for Corporatism (a/k/a Fascism) is that it insists on advancement based only on merit. (Of course, in practice it never quite worked out that way.)

And, to my mind, it is not quite that simple a question. After all, selling education and selling toothpaste are very different enterprises.

Posted by: R.L.Page at May 01, 2007 06:43 AM (SWhAZ)

88

Corporatism = Fascism.


Now you're just making shit up.


The funny thing is that you're obvious a leftwing socialist and would like nothing more than an all-powerful government telling people what to do -- as long as you agree with it, of course. I don't know who cooked up this connection between American capitalism and fascism but you people seemed to have embraced it. I'm sure that you've noticed it's a hard sell to those outside your circle.


 


 


Posted by: Bart at May 01, 2007 09:14 AM (Y5Z/d)

89 And, to my mind, it is not quite that simple a question. After all,
selling education and selling toothpaste are very different enterprises.


But selling Pop-Tarts and selling education?  More alike than you know.

Actually, R.L. Page has a point here.  Toothpaste manufacturers kiss up to Consumer Reports.  Higher education kisses up to U.S. News and World Report.

It's completely different.

Posted by: Slublog at May 01, 2007 09:32 AM (R8+nJ)

90 I made no connection between "American capitalism and fascism."

But that comment does seem to at least support the point that education in America could be better.

[Hint: Benito Mussolini's writing in the first quarter of the 20th century where he discusses his concept of "Corporatism" and "the Corporate State." You could look it up.]

Posted by: R.L.Page at May 01, 2007 10:40 AM (SWhAZ)

91

You could look it up.


R.L., are you making a claever literary reference? James Thurber wrote a short story called, "You Could Look it Up."


 


Posted by: Bart at May 01, 2007 07:08 PM (NK1wI)

92 Maher just needs to get his a** kicked, it's that simple. He's an arrogant, smarmy, insulting little weasel of a man. And, I'm told, a total pothead. Anyway, as pointed out by Bernard Goldberg, he and his ilk seem to get a total pass from the media with respect to the vitriol they spew. From a conservative, there'd be an uproar. Typical and well-established. FYI, I was present at the Magazine Awards show in NYC last night. Jann Wenner, another arrogant little jerk, told the audience that he was "going after Bush hard", like he's f'in Batman or something. Hey Jann, just write about Keith Richards and "report" some news once in a while. And no one gives a f' about Rolling Stone anymore, FYI

Posted by: SUb at May 02, 2007 02:28 AM (IR+WG)

93

To Alec:


Raspberry Tongue Alert!!


Blllllllppppp!!


Posted by: Noneofyour Business at May 08, 2007 07:33 AM (023QO)

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