From the Mouths of Babes (UPDATED)

Fox News has a story about a 13-year-old kid who posted a YouTube video criticizing President Obama’s decision to invite Ahmed Mohamed to the White House (h/t Tim). It pretty much covers all the usual points: why is the president taking an active stand on this issue and not on [other, possibly-unrelated issue]??? Even at its best, it’s not a very good argument. In this case, the kid mentioned the president’s purported silence about Kate Steinle and “cops…being gunned down,” even though the second point is decidedly not true, and neither point is relevant to Ahmed Mohamed’s story.

I’m not going to get too worked up about this, though, because this kid is 13 years old. The real question is why Fox News seems to be giving him so much of a platform.

See, this is not the first time conservatives have rallied around a teenager who said things they wanted to hear. Wonkette reported on young conservative darling Jonathan Krohn a few years ago: Continue reading


“What ought to be”


It’s easy to confuse ‘what is’ with ‘what ought to be,’ especially when ‘what is’ has worked out in your favor.

– Tyrion Lannister, “The Dance of Dragons,” Games of Thrones season 5, episode 9

© HBO / via

© HBO / via (click image for source)


Conservative Caricatures (UPDATED)

By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsUPDATED 05/14/2014: Fixed some pronoun and spelling errors (h/t Alice).

I’ve commented before (at least twice) on the disconnect between liberals/progressives and conservatives when it comes to humor. I’m still sorting out the reasons for that, but so far I’m coming to the conclusion that humor itself, by virtue of being based in part on the unexpected, has certain inherently “liberal” qualities* (to use the parlance of our times.)

B. Spencer at Lawyers, Guns & Money (fast becoming the most-cited blog on here, I think) offered some thoughts on caricatures of liberals and conservatives in pop culture that got me thinking:

I wrote a post awhile back about liberals and conservatives and how we look at pop culture differently. I’ve noted before–in passing–that there seem to be more liberal caricatures in media than there are conservative caricatures. Yet most liberals seem much less angsty about enjoying popular culture more broadly, and liberal caricatures specifically. I think that it’s too easy and pat to say that “well, libs are just super-cool about everything.” I don’t think that quite covers it.

She proposes that the reason for this is that “most writers, most purveyors of popular culture are ‘on my side.'” She also specifically references the “dour feminists” on Portlandia and notes that they come across as funny in part because the show’s creators, he suspects, “are actually pretty feminist.”

Atrios builds on this, noting that those characters work in part because the writers are making fun of themselves to a certain extent, whereas conservatives who try to lampoon liberals do not have the same sort of understanding: Continue reading


My nominee for tweet of the year

Via Oliver Griswold:


Sooo, the conservative heroes of Spring 2012 are the guy who killed an unarmed black kid and the guy who cut off a gay kid’s hair?