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Bear with Jonah
November 9, 2006 6:51 PM   Subscribe

"Bush should then set out to track and kill a black bear, after which he should eat its still beating heart so he can absorb its spirit." The National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg (previously, previously) channels Stephen Colbert [youtube], or maybe he's found Hunter Thompson's lost stash. (Do we await the seminal God and Bear at Yale?)
posted by orthogonality (49 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Agree with William F. Buckley or not, he was a conservative "public intellectual" and a serious Catholic; his National Review existed to think about and explicate Conservatism --and it set the terms of the debate during the formative years of modern American conservatism. It wasn't just rah-rah boosterism for "our side" and certainly wasn't incoherent foolishness extolling pagan bear sacrifices topped with a facile equation of Democrats and anti-American terrorists.

Th elarger questions: just what the hell happened to intellectual conservatism in the US?
posted by orthogonality at 6:57 PM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


"This will send important messages to Democrats and well as to our enemies overseas, who are no doubt high-fiving as we speak."

You know, I don't picture Osama Bin Laden high-fiving anyone. It's a sad state of affairs when a fundie whackjob living in a cave has more gravitas than the President.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:03 PM on November 9, 2006


just what the hell happened to intellectual conservatism in the US?

It went to work for an investment bank.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:07 PM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Consider the possiblity that Goldberg was only joking throughout that post.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:08 PM on November 9, 2006


Now this . . . this is what I call losing with style.
posted by thecaddy at 7:12 PM on November 9, 2006


I have a similar plan, but I was going to actually leave about a dozen bears in the same spot.

And maybe some mines, just in case.
posted by pompomtom at 7:12 PM on November 9, 2006


If Goldberg was only joking, what was he kidding about? What was the punchline? Doesn't make sense as a joke.
posted by facetious at 7:12 PM on November 9, 2006


even joking, it's insane...they've all gone way round the bend.
posted by amberglow at 7:12 PM on November 9, 2006


wow
posted by jasenlee at 7:19 PM on November 9, 2006


pompomtom writes " If Goldberg was only joking, what was he kidding about? What was the punchline? Doesn't make sense as a joke."

He's mocking the facile equation of domestic political dissent with "terrorism".
posted by mr_roboto at 7:19 PM on November 9, 2006


I think it's one of those "look, look how well I'm taking it? AHAHAHA we can laugh too eat a bear" things. You know, one of those.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 7:21 PM on November 9, 2006


What was the punchline? Doesn't make sense as a joke

It's called being passive-agressive.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:26 PM on November 9, 2006


...just what the hell happened to intellectual conservatism in the US?

It's still out there; it just doesn't make as much noise as the dumbed-down and/or sensationalized flavors, but then no intellectual pursuit really ever has, compared to the similarly themed vulgarizations and popularizations.

There's still some fairly intelligent writing in conservative journals, including National Review, though I prefer Reason these days; however, the web era has allowed think tanks to publish good stuff for next to nothing, and that's where a lot of the truly interesting stuff is coming from.

See, e.g.:

Cato Institute
Claremont Institute
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Foundation for Economic Education
Institute for Humane Studies
Manhattan Institute

...and those were just a few that I could pull quickly out of my Bookmarks folder.

P.S. My theory about Jonah was that he was *trying* to joke, but just wasn't being very funny. Happens a lot with him, poor bastard.
posted by enrevanche at 7:27 PM on November 9, 2006


"He's mocking the facile equation of domestic political dissent with "terrorism"."

I don't think so. I might believe it was humorous if someone else had written it, but unless he's had some kind of Road to Damascus experience, that just doesn't seem like something Goldberg is capable of.
posted by facetious at 7:28 PM on November 9, 2006


...they've all gone way round the bend.

Yuppers! Coming unglued, they are...I never really thought it would happen like this...could it be instant karma is?
posted by taosbat at 7:34 PM on November 9, 2006


Self-followup: "Doesn't make sense as a joke." Let me rephrase. If he meant that column to be funny, he's an even bigger idiot than I thought.
posted by facetious at 7:35 PM on November 9, 2006


Let Mom Do It
posted by homunculus at 7:47 PM on November 9, 2006


Sigh. I know, it's all Bush's fault.

Certainly, if Kerry had won, things would be different because... he would have pulled the troops out? Sent more in? "Worked with others in the region to stabilize" Iraq? Do you believe this is even possible? The only reason Iran has not entirely invaded Iraq now is because it fears "Bush the Cowboy" will invade them back. Think they'll be similarly deterred in 2 years?

"Our enemies are in Iraq because we are there... if we leave, they won't have any reason to be there." (Pelosi, yesterday). So where will they go instead?

Oh, we wouldn't have enemies in the region. That's right. Bush made them hate us. That's why 9-11 happened, and the Cole bombing, and the Feb 1993 WTC bombing. Because they hated Bush.

No, better it had been Gore who won in 2000, because... why, again?

I know: Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, and invading it has "destabilized the region." Well pardon me, but seems to me that region was pretty unstable to begin with.

I know they didn't mention this on the John Stewart Show, but we were going to get attacked AND we were going to invade some Middle Eastern country no matter who was President. There was a pattern of attacks of escalating severity-- and, importantly, of increasing participation of the governments of these countries. One of the main reasons there are not a hundred suicide bombers running around NYC, is, again, fear that "Bush the Madman" will invade them. And I know everyone hates high gas prices-- money is better spent on Starbucks lattes-- but without oil, we die. Period.

So before everyone starts rejoicing-- not about the Democratic win, interestingly enough, but about how this "punishes" Bush-- maybe someone should answer how things will be different. I had great respect for (Bill) Clinton despite the silliness, and it's interesting that he regularly tries to remind everyone he had a plan for overthrowing Saddam, he tried to intervene in Kosovo, Somalia-- does anyone believe he would not have invaded _something_? Let me remind you his wife voted to invade Iraq. Oh, wait, that was just political expediency-- and that's supposed to make me respect her more?
posted by tomrac at 7:53 PM on November 9, 2006


Actually, it's the most sensible and useful advice I've ever seen Jonah G. give to anybody...
posted by wendell at 7:54 PM on November 9, 2006


It's a sad state of affairs when a fundie whackjob living in a cave has more gravitas than the President.

No, it's a sad state of affairs that America is got its panties in a bunch over some damn terrorists who just got lucky.

Think about it, this country went toe to toe with countries that intent on taking over the world and had succeeded in taking over a good portion of it and we beat them. NOW we're scared of some guys with box cutters who managed to get lucky? What the fuck?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:58 PM on November 9, 2006


You spin me right round baby, right round ...

Bump in the road. The L.A. Times notes that prominent right-wing activist Grover Norquist views the 2006 election “as a bump on an otherwise smooth road to continued conservative dominance.”
posted by ericb at 8:16 PM on November 9, 2006


tomrac: but without oil, we die. Period.

Nonsense. Without (Middle-East) oil, we make adjustments.
posted by tgyg at 8:25 PM on November 9, 2006


tomrac, what the hell are you on about?

This will send important messages to Democrats and well as to our enemies overseas, who are no doubt high-fiving as we speak.

Did Jonah miss the memo? That talking point died on Tuesday morning. Democrats are patriots now, Bush said so. This election does not give our enemies cause to rejoice, Bush said so. We'r going to work together now, Bush said so. He's made errors, he said so. etc.
posted by teece at 8:27 PM on November 9, 2006


If Goldberg was only joking, what was he kidding about? What was the punchline? Doesn't make sense as a joke.

The jab about eating a bear and absorbing its spirit is taken from an ancient Sami legend; the inference here is that Bush Jr. needs to seek direction and oneness within his surroundings before he can regain confidence among his people.

Ironically, Sami culture believed those who ate the heart of a beast lost their humanity altogether, and were doomed to a path of violence, as with the tjuder who plundered villages in the tale of Ofelas.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:28 PM on November 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


It almost reads like a flameout.
posted by owhydididoit at 8:30 PM on November 9, 2006


Norquist is one of the worst human beings in American public life today. Corrupt, hateful, incapable of honest dialogue, his every statement is aimed at conveying nastiness and hatred towards his political opponents. "Bipartisanship is another term for date rape." A charmer.

As to the Goldberg post, it's a silly joke that isn't funny. It's like someone in a comedy sketch making a silly face and yelling "freeedooommm!"
posted by ibmcginty at 8:31 PM on November 9, 2006


Frankly this sounds like the kind of "joke" that tends to pop up at the end of a 36-hour cocaine bender. Most people drown their sorrow, but apparently Jonah snorts his away.
posted by clevershark at 8:34 PM on November 9, 2006


Enrevanche, good call on Reason and Cato.

The National Review blurb seems to be going for the G-Gordon-Liddy-as-writ-by-Penny-Arcade angle. It's a crossover demographic whose Venn diagram looks uncannily like flunking ninth grade.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:00 PM on November 9, 2006


Uh. . . I think president Bush is busy right now, chewing on the still beating dick of america.

It's all that's left of the former teat and the scorned heart. Inshallah.
posted by isopraxis at 9:28 PM on November 9, 2006


You know what? I'd actually fucking vote for him if he did all that.
posted by Football Bat at 11:51 PM on November 9, 2006


No, better it had been Gore who won in 2000, because... why, again?

Because the Clinton administration had people that were aware of the terrorist threat, and maybe a report that was titled "Bin-Laden Determined To Attack US" would have gotten more than an "OK, you've covered your ass" from the Commander in Chief?

tomrac, the people that attacked us had nothing to do with Iraq and Saddam. And they still want to attack us, but our resources are occupied by our little "throw an Arab country against the wall to show them we mean business" hissy fit.

Just because your government has gone off the rails does not mean there aren't threats, you've just decided to go play in the wrong sandbox.

Wanna fight the war on terror? Get your ideological allies to devote resources(that's gun toting American soldiers) against the terrorists that attacked us, and out of your little pectoral-implant of an electioneering old grudge clusterfuck that you manufactured out of nothing.

Honestly, the jihadist-hating-patriotism-questioning-non-signing-up-fanatics would be surprised at the support their doofus leader would get if he announced tomorrow that we had to leave Iraq because the Army had to go and patrol that uncontrolled area between Afghanistan and Pakistan to hunt for Osama.

Even I would say he's a doofus, but at least now he has pointed our flesh and bone children in something approximating the right direction.

tomrac, you are convinced we are so different, but I'm telling you, just rotate fire about 170 degrees and adjust range to about 1500 miles East, you idiot, and maybe you might find more support.

Or, like I tell my dog, "No girl, over there..."
posted by dglynn at 12:20 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


yes, one misses Buckley's civility and wit, like, you know, the time he called Gore Vidal a fag on national TV and then threatened to bash his skull in.

that's an old-school gentleman.

but then, little Jonah couldn't beat up a shin-tzu with rickets, never mind a big man like Vidal.

anyway I enjoyed the little flameout. besides the usual Republican sadistic savagery and creepy macho swagger, we also have a bonus: the interesting homoerotic subtext of the loincloth thing.

poor little Jonah, really. he needs a hug so bad. where's momma when you need her the most?
posted by matteo at 2:10 AM on November 10, 2006


Norquist is one of the worst human beings in American public life today. Corrupt, hateful, incapable of honest dialogue, his every statement is aimed at conveying nastiness and hatred towards his political opponents. "Bipartisanship is another term for date rape." A charmer.

Don't forget: he has significant personal hygiene issues, as well.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:13 AM on November 10, 2006


"...modern American conservatism...."

Jack Abramoff. Ken Lay. Jeff Skilling. Cunningham. Ney. DeLay. Gingrich. Rush Limbaugh.

"Modern American Conservatism" seems to be a euphemism for cheats, thieves, bigots, hypocrites, and liars.

"Modern American Conservatism" has done nothing but screw America for the last 25 years.
posted by rougy at 5:57 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well pardon me, but seems to me that region was pretty unstable to begin with.

You haven't the slightest clue where this can lead. You think that was unstable? Wait 5-10 years, and you will potentially see Darfur x 100 in the region. A complete breakdown of social order in what used to be called Iraq, genocide, death squads, refugees spilling into Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, refugee camps set up to be fertile ground for terrorist recruitment, Iran setting up some kind of proxy government in an effort to stem it all and so on. You, really ain't seen nothin' yet.
posted by psmealey at 6:02 AM on November 10, 2006


isopraxis: It's all that's left of the former teat and the scorned heart. Inshallah.

InshaAllah someday you'll learn its proper usage.
(Insha=will/wish, Allah=Allah/God, InshaAllah=God willing)
posted by forwebsites at 9:47 AM on November 10, 2006


You, really ain't seen nothin' yet.

Well, at least Bush and his boys have given us the precedent that will allow us to blame all these problems on him/them for years after he leaves office.

Yeah, in all the glee over the election shift, I didn't stop to think about the pleasant side effect that little jonah and his ilk, who have been waving their dicks in everybody's face for the past few years, will kind of retreat into their rightful insignificance; the bonus being, of course, that (admitting that i'm being optimistic) his shtick is being rejected by even his own party. Look at Rush backtracking and saying he didn't really mean it; it was all an Oxycontin®-induced dream!
posted by troybob at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2006


Uh. . . I think president Bush is busy right now, chewing on the still beating dick of america.

Close. It's hard to chew with your asshole.
posted by tkchrist at 10:24 AM on November 10, 2006


I didn't stop to think about the pleasant side effect that little jonah and his ilk, who have been waving their dicks in everybody's face for the past few years, will kind of retreat into their rightful insignificance;

But they won't--the media still amplifies and propagates every single insane utterance of theirs, and still takes Drudge and Rush and Coulter and Malkin and all the rest of them as legitimate news sources-none of that is going to change. They'll just change the subjects of their raving to Pelosi and Reid and Rangel and ... (and Hillary's still around, don't forget).
posted by amberglow at 11:39 AM on November 10, 2006


I wonder why Goldberg decided it was a black bear that Dubya had to kill and eat, and not some sort of honkey bear.

Thinking about this, I may change my name to Honkey Bear.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2006


> yes, one misses Buckley's civility and wit, like, you know, the time he called Gore Vidal a fag
> on national TV and then threatened to bash his skull in.

Remember it vividly. Vidal had just finished Godwining him ("crypto-Nazi") and was smirking about it in a way that absolutely calls for flaming bloody veins-in-teeth murder. (Not for the Godwin, just the smirk.) I personally forgive him, though, because a writer who's going to be remembered for Myron has suffered plenty.
posted by jfuller at 12:50 PM on November 10, 2006


Amberglow is right.

These people peaked when the liberals were in control. It's better for them. That way ALL they have to do is bitch.

Didn't you notice how awkward the last four years were for these morons? They had it all. Congress. The executive. The supreme court. And everything was fucked up. They didn't achieve anything.

It was ringing hollow them blaming liberals when liberals had no power. The San Francisco dreadlocked radical lesbian scapegoat had no power to influence anything and they all knew it.

Now. Iraq will balkanize. The economy will tank. Vets will come home to no jobs. And liberals are "in charge."

It'll be good times for the Coulters and Limbaughs.
posted by tkchrist at 12:59 PM on November 10, 2006


Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, he eats you.
posted by oats at 1:15 PM on November 10, 2006


I don't know; with the talk about how Republicans blew it, it seemed to me that they blew it in part because they bought into the ill will, the arrogance of power, that Rush and his like have been pushing for so long. Why else would Rush so quickly backtrack (the whole 'carrying water for people he no longer believed in' or some such--not that it matters to his listeners that he'd been long feeding them a line that he wasn't buying anymore)?

Still overly optimistic, I'm sure, I think the best revenge against them all would be that an effort at a positive message and sincere effort actually does produce some results. I even hold out the hope that perhaps what Bush has needed all this time are some stumbling blocks that require him to compromise, and that with them he might actually do something worthwhile. As much as I've hated him, I'm open to the idea that, were he to give a shot at pursuing an agenda in an honest, up-front way and perhaps grasp that the kind of politicis he's surrounded himself with to this point have been damaging for the US and its government, I might be able to view him as a decent human being, despite ideological differences. Call it overly naive or plain ridiculous, but the shit's not going to change without some people holding out the hope for it, and it's been a long while since I've carried that kind of hope.
posted by troybob at 3:30 PM on November 10, 2006


related, especially in terms of blowhards and pundits: let me just be clear:
The Republicans lost the '06 elections because they are crazy people with shitty policies that have all failed.
...
Also, they're completely corrupt and incompetent, self-righteously religious, willing to gay bait and race bait, and generally all they do is tell lies and act like total weasels and whine about the phony bugbear of the "liberal media."

posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on November 10, 2006


Can't he come up with anything bad to complain about?
posted by jfuller at 4:43 PM on November 10, 2006


How myth gets built into conventional wisdom
posted by homunculus at 2:41 PM on November 11, 2006


and was smirking about it in a way that absolutely calls for flaming bloody veins-in-teeth murder.

But this is and always has been Wm. F.'s very modus operandi - the weirdly tense slouch back into the chair, the sneering smirk through the clenched jaw both conveying an absolute contempt for the interlocutor.

You wanna talk about someone whose very body language cries out for corrective discipline with prejudice, it's yer man Buckley.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:14 AM on November 12, 2006


Wait 5-10 years, and you will potentially see Darfur x 100 in the region.

Uh, yeah, destabilizing that region and drastically reducing it's power and population is essentially the goal whenever we monkey around in the middle east. We're not looking to create equals or domestic prosperity there, and in their black little hearts the people driving this process are thinking "the less of them the better".
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:15 AM on November 12, 2006


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