Blogging While Intoxicated: Broseph and the Mantini edition
By Alex Wukman
Two Weeks Ago:
“Where’d you get your information,” snarls the tanned, blonde late-20s guy with the popped collar polo shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops. We’re at Liberty Station drinking and talking politics, well I’m drinking and he was talking politics to his friends until I interrupted by telling him “Hitler wasn’t a Marxist, Leninist or a Socialist. He was a right wing fascist.” I tell him I got it from a history and government class I took in college.
“Pshaw,” let’s call him Broseph says. “University. More like liberal indoctrination factory.” He swivels in his bar stool to get a better look at me; all I can think is how I really want a cigarette right now, if only so I have something to do with my hands and a reason not to look at his maniacally grinning eyes. “Let me guess they read it to you from a book, written by other liberals?’
“I really don’t know if the author was a liberal and I think it’s unfair to assume…” I try to say before he cuts me off dismissively with a wave of his hand. “Dude, everyone knows most textbooks were written by liberals. Come talk to me when you get some real and unbiased information, bro.” I try to ask him where I might find some real and unbiased information but he has already turned back to his friends who are also tanned and blonde. I sit there nursing my beer while Broseph and his friends laugh and order another round of mantinis.
Real and unbiased information?
I decide to spend the next two weeks locked in a room with nothing but “real and unbiased” information, only coming out to get drunk and do podcasts. Since facts and reality both have a well-known liberal bias I decided to be objective and get my information only from Snapple caps and Conservapedia; places where facts and reality don’t matter. Then I learned that Snapple is an iced tea brewed by hippies and distributed by a massive, faceless corporation. Simply too liberal for me. So I decided to look at World News Daily. I’ll attempt to recreate the things I learned by going into the No Fact Zone. The first thing I learned is that Conservatives appear to have a different view of popular media and seem obsessed with finding things to reinforce their own world view, so much that some of the most popular articles on Conservapedia are “The best or greatest conservative___”
I don’t know If I’m deviating from my experiment to get “real and unbiased information” by using logic; but I am going to attempt to do so here. If something is liked by liberals, or is interpreted as pushing a liberal point of view, then the creator must be liberal. Therefore: if something is liked by conservatives, or pushes a conservative point of view, then ip so facto (wait, is Latin liberal?) the creator must be conservative. So, after making sure my anti-virus software was up-to-date and getting behind a few proxies, I cruised over to Conservapedia where I found their essay: Greatest Conservative Songs. Since I could only think of a few conservative songs, America the Beautiful and “Let the Eagle Soar” by John Ashcroft, I decided to check the list. And wow, just wow. Either way more musicians are conservative than I realized or Conservapedia has some pretty liberal criteria for what a constitutes a “conservative song.”
Apparently Tracy Chapman’s, a singer I always thought was a progressive lesbian, hit single “Fast Car” is about “Self-help, free market, division of labor, and a criticism of alcohol” and the White Stripes’ anthemic chart topper “Seven Nation Army” is about “the growing power of conservatism.” However, nothing is more surprising than reading that Pink Floyd’s song “wish you were here,” which I always thought was about Syd Barrett, is actually “a song about wishing that a conservative president would return back to office.” Even though the single was released by a British band in 1975, during the administration of Gerald Ford (a Republican), lyrics like “So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell/blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?” certainly make me long for Calvin Coolidge’s steadying economic hand. Conservapedia lists Coolidge as the last conservative president before the election of Ronald Reagan.
I found it odd that revolutionary socialist, anti-Vietnam war protest singer Phil Ochs’ satirical attack on middle class lefty liberalism “Love me, I’m a liberal” is considered a conservative song. However nothing is more confusing than Guns N’ Roses’ bass blaster “Anything Goes” from the seminal album Appetite for Destruction being considered “a blatant message about the dangers of premarital sex.” With lyrics like “Panties ’round your knees/With your ass in debris/Doin’ dat grind with a push and squeeze/Tied up, tied down, up against the wall” it’s clear that Axle was advocating abstinence only sex education.
Some of the films listed here aren’t really that surprising, Red Dawn and The Ten Commandments, but I had no idea that “Space Jam” was an allegorical tale about using the values from a simpler time in America to defeat an external threat. I though that the aliens were just an excuse to get Michael Jordan and Bill Murray playing basketball with Bugs Bunny. For some reason the 1973 film “Day of the Jackal”, which depicts an attempt to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle by terrorists, is considered an acceptable conservative film. I never would have guessed: what with all the adultery, murder and homosexual content. However, it seems that “Day of the Jackal” also “celebrates conservative values like honor and duty.” Who knew? Also who knew that the Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan’s meditation on the ‘Global War on Terror’ disguised as a summer super hero movie, was a “Christian allegory with message of not giving in to terrorists” ?
Unlike the other media categories on Conservapedia, there seems to be far fewer great conservative TV shows. Surprisingly, TV shows from the 1950s and early 1960s, the era when black people lived in a different universe than middle class white people, are no where to be found. Instead of the idyllic community of Mayberry, the home spun wisdom of Ward Cleaver or even the easy going charm of Father Knows Best or My Three Sons Conservapedia contributors look to the 1960s and 1970s, with one exception Dragnet which started as a radio show in the late 1940s. It seems that there was no good conservative programming on television prior to the start of the culture wars of the late 1960s. Some of the shows, like the Waltons and 24, are not surprisingly included. However, it’s strange to see The Prisoner, a late 1960s psychedelic spy series most known for featuring a giant balloon as a character, on the list. Apparently the village that Patrick McGoohan is sent to is supposed to represent “the collective.”
And for some reason King of the Hill is considered a debatable conservative show. It apparently “shows the struggle of a hardworking, traditional American family against “alternative” modern cultural movements.” A struggle perfectly epitomized by this clip:
If World News Daily is to be believed conservatives are very interested in deals. Every day WND posts another “Deal of the Day” or a “Special Offer” on its front page; they seem to generally want to help their readers save money on everything from spices that claim to cut blood sugar, to gold and ‘real silver’ for $3, they’re even giving a special offer on the second coming. In fact the first link on their directory is to the WND superstore where I can buy books on the satanic influences in Karl Marx’s poetry, how the holocaust was carried out by homosexuals and how all the gains American women have made over the last 40 years have been because of men.
Unlike Chris Hansen, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about pedophilia. I don’t really wake up every morning thinking about adults having sex with children. I don’t really lose sleep over whether or not pedophiles are being mainstreamed into our society. Maybe that’s my fault, for wearing my liberal blinders and not thinking about the children like WND readers do. And they really seem to think about adults and children having sex alot. In one day three articles and a deal of the day about pedophilia were uploaded.Whether it was a book alleging that famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey based his research on “trained pedophiles” or articles explaining how psychologists want to destigmatize pedophilia; WND was overflowing with musings and reports from the child love war.
Now that the experiment is over I’m having a hard time determining if it was successful. I don’t know I was able to get real and unbiased information; but I did get a new appreciation for Anything Goes.