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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Saturday, February 08, 2003


Warblogger-watching is a generally tiresome and thankless task. Note the absence of an alms bowl hereabouts. We realize no profit from the present project and actually suffer great injury in its pursuit. Listening to Bill Quick's under-informed hyperventilations tends to fray the nerves and dull the mind. Brian Lamb has provided a clinical account of the effects of prolonged exposure.

That said, the exercise is at times instructive. In the past few weeks alone I've stumbled upon data I certainly wouldn't have had a limited myself to the pedestrian world of research libraries and sane discourse. For instance, I now know Ben Shapiro's "sexual status," and have been told by Herr Professor Doktor Reynolds and his hangers-on that because a regrettable front group had secured permits for and organized attendance of a peace protest that, as someone who shares that group's presumption against war, I am a Stalinist/apologist for Stalinism/irrelevant. I'm still unsure of the formulation, but he is Professor Reynolds after all; he's probably just operating above my lowly level of comprehension.

If it is logically and intellectually defensible to depict the constituents of a growing and vast grassroots movement as endorsing the politics of its most marginal members - and GHR's frequent resort to the practice suggests that for him it is - we must assume that weighty and influential sub-groups can be substituted for marginal ones.

Quite a few of today's conservative stink tankers were stillborn of Yale's Party of the Right. Nowhere have the Party's alumni figured more prominently than at National Review, historic home of Frank Meyer and current quarters of Big Dick Brookhiser (a blogger of mass destruction favorite) and Smaller Dick Vigilante. The relevant Audit Bureau of Circulations elude me, but I'd wager National Review beats Worker's World in both paid subscriptions and newsstand sales.

Nation columnist Doug Henwood, an apostate Partyer, recently attended a POR alumni conclave, later reporting on the events:

But things really livened up once the mediocre food was cleared away and the toasting session began. A POR toasting ritual is organized around a "green cup"--a large silver cup filled with a vile green punch. The first toaster is always the current chairman (so called even though the current officeholder is a woman), who began with the traditional reading of the speech given in 1649 by the party's hero, King Charles I of England, just before his head was lopped off by an executioner. It's strange enough that American conservatives would support a monarch against the claims of Parliament, but the speech is even stranger: "I must tell you that the liberty and freedom [of the people] consists in having of Government, those laws by which their life and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having share in Government, Sir, that is nothing pertaining to them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things." Having performed her task, the chairman passed the cup to her right (of course), to another officer, who performed the ritual recitation of the British monarchs, starting with Egbert. So much for the Declaration of Independence.

Rightward passage of the green cup continued, and the content of the toasts evolved from the odd to the repulsive. There were toasts to: the Catholic Church (inspiring some hisses from the Episcopalians); the "brotherhood" of the POR; the "possession of absolute truth," which is one of the "incidental perquisites" of party membership; to the murder of Ben Linder, the American Sandinista sympathizer who was killed by the Nicaraguan contras in 1987. The toasting was interrupted to sing an apparently well-known song, "Stomping Out the Reds." Toasts resumed: to the Crusades; to the "British empire and its American successor"; and to the prospect of building "a Basilica in Riyadh, and a cathedral in Mecca." The last prompted a call from the audience, "What about Jerusalem?"
GHR and his friends have never shied away from taking up the white man's burden or urging an imperialistic war on whoever's inconvenient at the moment. We know that from their public pronouncements. Thanks to Henwood's report and the innovations in logic pioneered by the killbloggers, why now know what they're thinking privately.

Someone tell Hitchens about the threatened Church-building spree. It sounds vaguely Thocraticfascistic.

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