Been a while since I’ve done one of these but hopefully you remember the drill. Quietly put the link below up on every available computer screen in your office, then crank all the speakers to full volume.
Mischief points: 65,012
While things were certainly dry for a bit, they’ve picked up lately and I’m trying to keep it going that way — balancing lengthy, cumbersome writing projects for the Daily Banter with good content around here, all of it balanced with the rest of the piles and piles of work I have on my desk so that I can avoid literally panhandling.
Anyway, you know the drill: If you like what you find at DXM, on The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and at the Daily Banter, then by all means feel free to kick a little money toward keeping these proceedings humming along.
There are a few ways you can contribute. The first is the simplest: Just click the Paypal electronic tip link in the right-hand sidebar of this screen and donate away. You can also use the Paypal tip jar to pay-what-you-want for a digital copy of my book, Dead Star Twilight, for iPad or Kindle. Go here to begin your instant download. Remember, it’s a full length book and it can be yours for whatever you feel like putting toward it. The last way you can give is by buying a physical copy of Dead Star Twilight from Amazon. To purchase the paperback, just click here. (It should be said that buying the book outright sends the least amount of money in my direction since there are costs and percentages to contend with; I want to sell books but I know there are some people out there who would want to be made aware of that.)
a big thank-you to Riles, Comedy Fred and Brett Skean for the generosity. And as always, thanks very much to everyone else for continuing to read, share, comment, and not get too pissed at me when my dipshit trolls decide to bleed over and infect your own sites with their crap.
Another update tomorrow.
I realize that we’re right in the middle of our massive Summer Pledge Drive around here so the last thing I want to do is defer whatever loose change you have in your pocket toward some worthy cause other than my own need to eat, but I really want to do a favor for a friend here while turning you all on to something awesome. If you’ve ever dined out in New York, you know that the city has just about any kind of food you could possibly want. What it doesn’t have, though — and what it needs — is biscuits. We’re talking excellent, Southern-style biscuits, jams and jellies, biscuit sandwiches and, from what I hear, freaking unbelievable biscuits and gravy.
Well, good friend, great guy, and up-and-coming restaurateur Yonadav Tsuna and his business partners aim to rectify that unfortunate situation by opening Empire Biscuit on Avenue A in the East Village in the very near future. They’ve got a terrific chef, a great space that they’re currently in the process of clearing out, and the kind of business model that can only come from a kid who worked on Wall Street before quickly deciding that he needed to get the hell out of there and go do something worthwhile and passionate with his life. (I’ve known about his plan to open a restaurant since we first met out and about in NYC a couple of years ago.)
Bottom line: Yonadav and his partners at Empire Biscuit have launched a Kickstarter campaign and it’s really the kind of reason that Kickstarter was created — to give people with dreams a little start-up cash to be put toward making them come true.
Watch the video. When the place is open, visit the restaurant and buy the biscuits. And if you can afford to, throw some money toward this worthwhile venture. If you pledge enough, maybe Yonadav will agree to shave that silly moustache.
Yesterday, I promised that I was going to be following up last week’s quick post on the police arrest and shooting in Hawthorne, California that ended with a dog being killed with something a little more thoughtful. Well, that piece is now up over at the Daily Banter. This whole thing has been a great debate to have and I can certainly understand where everyone’s passions are coming from with regard to a case of a dog being shot by the cops. But do me a favor and try to keep an open mind when reading this piece and my take on the shooting. Suffice it to say, I’ve been mulling the objections and the points made against my arguments over in my head throughout the past week and while I still think the police were justified, I’ve definitely softened my language and a few of my more absolutist statements a little.
Anyway, here’s the opening:
“The coolest job I ever had I got at the very young age of 14. It was the coolest job any 14-year-old should be allowed to have, the coolest job anybody should be allowed to have, period. When I was 14, a friend of my family’s got me part-time summer work at the Broward County police academy, as an actor in its live-action police training exercises. Basically, it went like this: the instructors would set up a scenario aimed at recreating a real-life situation a cop might encounter in his or her daily routine, from something as simple as a suspicious or stolen vehicle stop to something as complex as a hostage standoff; they’d hand me a modified gun loaded with blanks which I’d slip into my waistband; then they’d basically give me one instruction — if the recruit didn’t bother to check me out, taking it for granted that I was just a kid, draw and kill that recruit the first chance I got.”
I admit that there was a time there when very little was going up on this site and it can still occasionally be hit or miss. With that in mind, I’m not going to belabor the point or draw this out any longer than necessary, but the fact is that if I want to keep doing pledge drives, the best way to do them is seasonal — hence, it’s time for one. And so here we are — with Beggy the Beaver and his sad, soulful eyes marking the start of our Summer Pledge Drive here at Deus Ex Malcontent.
You know how it works: If you like what you find at DXM and, more recently, on The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and at the Daily Banter — if you find my rapier wit, not-at-all-penetrating insight, pathetic attempts at comedy, public fights with trolls, musical picks, and general juvenile behavior entertaining — then by all means feel free to throw some money toward keeping these proceedings humming along.
There are a few ways you can put your hard-earned cash toward the DXM empire and me, its humble proprietor. The first is the simplest: Just click the Paypal electronic tip link in the right-hand sidebar of this screen and donate away. You can also use the Paypal tip jar to pay-what-you-want for a digital copy of my book, Dead Star Twilight, for iPad or Kindle. Go here to begin your instant download. Remember, it’s a full length book — 300-some-odd pages that I promise will whiz right by — and it can be yours for whatever you feel like putting toward it. The last way you can give is by buying a physical copy of Dead Star Twilight from Amazon. To purchase the paperback, just click here. (It should be said that buying the book outright sends the least amount of money in my direction since there are costs and percentages to contend with; I want to sell books but I know there are some people out there who would want to be made aware of that.)
As always, I want to take a minute to thank everyone who continues, after more than seven years of effort and output, to read, share, comment on and otherwise indulge in this ongoing little experiment of mine. As I’ve admitted lately, I miss writing here full-time but unfortunately I’m no longer in a position to make a lot of money on a specific, regular shift, thereby leaving me space to write in my off-time. In fact, I actually have very little off-time these days. But I still write here. This is still my home. Believe it or not, I’ve had offers over the past year or so to either “sell-off” DXM or allow somebody else to partially take it over for me and, despite monthly money on the table, I’ve turned them down flat. This thing is just too important to me and even when I’m not here the way I’d like to be, just the knowledge that no matter where I go or what happens I always have this to return to is enough to make it worth it to keep it mine and only mine. DXM has always been independent and it will hopefully stay that way.
As for simply writing, I do that on a near-daily basis, whether it’s specifically for here or for here, Banter and the Huffington Post, and I sure as hell don’t do it because it makes me rich — I do it because I love it and because you guys still inexplicably keep wanting to read it. So, again, thank you from the bottom of the dank pit where my heart is supposed to be.
An update tomorrow.
Now back to your regularly scheduled nonsense.
For years now I’ve been preaching fire and brimstone when it comes to the dangers of trusting the press to do the job of law enforcement or allowing it to do the job of the courts. While I admit to not always being successful, I generally try very hard to take a deep breath and think twice before buying wholesale into the immediate media narrative whenever a story breaks or even as it develops. The reason for this is simple: In the middle of a feeding frenzy blood gets everywhere, nobody can tell what’s what, important details get lost, and the animal mentality can completely block out rational thought. What you then get is, well, Richard Jewell.
Remember him? You should. You should remember him solely as a hero who saved lives in the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta back in 1996, but thanks to the media’s rush to judgment and the public that let them get away with it for far too long without asking questions, you probably know him as a guy who was falsely accused of causing the Olympic Park bombing. Or worse, you don’t even know about the correction the press was forced to choke on or the bullshit hand-wringing and soul-searching that followed it and you still think Richard Jewell was the man who killed one person and injured more than a hundred others in an act of homegrown terrorism. Jewell went to his grave in 2007 still dealing with the effects of being wrongly tried and convicted in the shameful court of public opinion that sprung entirely from the fevered mind of the media.
The worldwide press should’ve learned from that and so many other of its sins. Unfortunately, as the Boston Marathon bombing coverage proved, it hasn’t learned a damn thing.
Cracked, which regularly traffics in brilliantly addictive listicles, catalogs the media’s failures and counts them down for you.
Gay people can have their same-sex marriage.
They can have equal rights.
They can hold public office.
They can live in the city and neighborhood I call home, be my friends and acquaintances, and be afforded the same privileges as any of their fellow Americans.
But when a gay man decides that he can and should make country music, that’s where I have to draw the line.
There’s are some things I simply will not tolerate.
And country music is one of them.
Dear God, Steve Grand — what the hell are you thinking?
Country? Come on. You’re better than that.
Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine recently posted a really good little column that draws some fascinating parallels between Glenn Greenwald’s personality and that of Ralph Nader. For something so quick and to-the-point, it’s honestly one of the most insightful pieces examining what makes Glenn so wonderfully “Glenny” that I’ve ever read; to say that Chait has nailed Greenwald’s essence is an understatement.
Take a look:
“Greenwald, like Nader, marries an indefatigable mastery of detail with fierce moralism. Every issue he examines has a good side and an evil side. Greenwald, speaking not long ago to the New York Times, said something revealing about his intellectual style:
‘I approach my journalism as a litigator,’ he said. ‘People say things, you assume they are lying, and dig for documents to prove it.’
That is a highly self-aware account. Of course, the job description of a litigator does not include being fair. You take a side, assume the other side is lying, and prosecute your side full tilt. It’s not your job to account for evidence that undermines your case — it’s your adversary’s job to point that out.
This way of looking at the world naturally places one in conflict with most liberals, who are willing to distinguish between gradations of success or failure. Nader and Greenwald believe their analysis not only completely correct, but so obviously correct that the only motivation one could have to disagree is corruption. Good-faith disagreement, or even rank stupidity, is not possible around Greenwald. His liberal critics are lackeys and partisan shills. He may be willing to concede ideological disagreement with self-identified conservatives, but a liberal who disagrees can only be a kept man.”
A journalist can certainly be part litigator; every journalist to some extent is an advocate. But what makes Greenwald the furthest thing from a journalist is that his tendency toward litigation in favor of his intransigent beliefs causes him to not only overlook facts that contradict his central argument but to then lash out through verbal and intellectual violence at those who point out his negligence. As Chait says, he leaves it up to his adversaries to present the side of the debate that he believes he has no responsibility to consider and promote. However, since he holds so firmly to the case he presents and thinks so highly of both himself and the causes he embraces, there’s no way those adversaries can be anything but immoral by taking an opposite position.
The thing is, though, that while a journalist is part litigator, as I’ve said a few times before, he or she is also part scientist. A good journalist has to constantly be testing his or her theories and findings for signs that a bias might be getting the better of the commitment to the truth. In other words, journalists try to prove themselves wrong as often as they try to prove themselves right, just to make sure that an adversary has no contrary argument. Not one that holds water anyway. Greenwald will have none of this. He doesn’t check his facts and he doesn’t seal up a story airtight because he doesn’t approach his work like a journalist — he approaches it like an ideologue.
Case in point: Over the weekend, Greenwald embarrassed himself entirely by instinctively going on the attack on Twitter against Daniel Serwer. Serwer, the father of Mother Jones and MSNBC contributor Adam Serwer, had pointed out that Greenwald, through his constant supplication and fan-girl teasing of new details directly from the mouth of his teen idol, is doing little more than being a PR flack for Edward Snowden. As criticism, this may be somewhat stinging, but in Serwer’s defense it has the benefit of being absolutely correct. Greenwald’s reaction was exactly what you would expect: He fired off a snotty, petulant tweet in response aimed at putting Serwer in his place:
Here’s the only problem with Greenwald’s response: He’s provably, quantifiably wrong; Daniel Serwer has actually done more to make the world a better place in his lifetime than Snowden or just about anybody else ever will.
Here’s his résumé, compliments of the Center for Transatlantic Relations:
“Daniel Serwer (Ph.D., Princeton) is a Professor of Conflict Management, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a Scholar at the Middle East Institute.
Formerly Vice President for Centers of Peacebuilding Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (2009-10), he led teams there working on rule of law, religion, economics, media, technology, security sector governance and gender. He was previously Vice President for Peace and Stability Operations at USIP, where he led its peacebuilding work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Balkans and served as Executive Director of the Hamilton/Baker Iraq Study Group. Serwer has worked on preventing interethnic and sectarian conflict in Iraq and has facilitated dialogue between Serbs and Albanians in the Balkans.
He was a minister-counselor at the Department of State, serving from 1994 to 1996 as U.S. special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation, mediating between Croats and Muslims and negotiating the first agreement reached at the Dayton peace talks. From 1990 to 1993, he was deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, where he led a major diplomatic mission through the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War.”
This is the guy who Glenn Greenwald thinks has done less than Edward Snowden in his lifetime. What this shows is that Greenwald is either A) so delusional in his dauntless worship of Snowden that he truly believes that Serwer’s accomplishments pale in significance, or B) such a knee-jerk and piss-poor journalist that he didn’t bother to check his facts before running his mouth off. Either way, Greenwald’s comment cements, for those who still require it, why he doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously and why everything he writes should be eyed with suspicion. This kind of bullshit — the kind of thing we’re very much used to from Greenwald — isn’t the behavior of a journalist, even a necessary, iconoclastic asshole journalist (and there are many of those). It’s the behavior of a pissy child.
Adding: Cesca posted not only the full conversation between Greenwald and Daniel Serwer but Adam Serwer’s totally fair response to Greenwald’s insult, which included the words “Hey Glenn, fuck you.” He also put up the best responses to the resulting Twitter hashtag game based around Greenwald’s “best Snowden brags.” You can find it over at Bob’s blog.
I almost never post e-mails that I get, whether complimentary or critical, mostly because I feel like the privacy of those who reach out to me off-the-record deserves to be protected. But every once in a while somebody steps up and behaves like a fucking idiot and when that happens I see no need to be decent about it.
Suffice it to say, last week’s quickie post on the Hawthorne dog shooting garnered not just a lot of passionate debate in the comment section, it also won me quite a bit of hate mail from dog lovers. It should go without saying that the killing of Leon Rosby’s dog was really tragic and unfortunate; like just about everybody else on the planet, I’m a huge dog fan and it made my heart sink watching that awful scene unfold. But I still think that given the circumstances as they occurred, the shooting was justified.
I’ll get more into it in another piece I’m putting together on the shooting and the reaction to it, but for now, please enjoy the comments of one Nicole Haley, who apparently has a huge problem with my take on the incident — as well as with the English language:
“Ugly fuk … U an informer piece of shit.. Prob ducking that pigs cock like that faggot u r. Ur a loser n should get a life..
That cops a waste bytch n had no reason to even go over there watch the video again idiot.”
Why am I bothering with this? Because Nicole’s been pretty relentless in e-mailing me over the past week, so, in the words of William Sadler’s evil Colonel Stuart character from Die Hard 2, that ends our object lesson for this evening. Anybody want her e-mail address?
During a landing at San Francisco International Airport, an Asiana Airlines plane crash landed. Early reports indicated that the plane’s tail disintegrated. LA Times: At least some passengers appeared to get out safely from a Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines that crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. Photos taken by… Read More
Yes, it’s a Fight Cub reference. The whole George Zimmerman conversation needs to stop. Right now. Trayvon Martin went out to do whatever he went out to do and I don’t care if he went out for Skittles or crack. The conversation starts and ends with why George Zimmerman followed him. Let’s get the elephant… Read More
“You’re going to have to wait along with everybody else. I will say that there are vast programs, both domestic and international spying, that the world will be shocked to learn about, that the NSA is engaged in with no democratic accountability and that’s what driving our reporting.”
– Glenn Greenwald to Fox News’s Eric Bolling today
A tease. A tease, you fucking hack.
I swear, I’m going to deck the next person who tells me that Glenn Greenwald is a serious journalist and not a narcissistic child who’s strictly doing this for the shot of pure adrenaline into the heart of his sense of self-importance it’s giving him. First of all, Greenwald talks to a racist piece of crap like Eric Bolling as if he’s someone whose views are worth taking seriously — then he drops back to coy-little-girl mode just as Bolling decides can’t take it anymore and needs to show his appreciation and excitement by basically pulling his dong out and stroking it for him.
Jesus, Greenwald’s a joke.
While the American people support marriage equality, these members of the GOP have not gotten the memo. Here’s a roundup of some of the more ridiculous responses to the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s prop 8. Congressman Paul Ryan tweeted a photo of himself kissing a fish with the comment that “Politicians don’t always just… Read More