A fair trade

In perusing the blogroll I discovered that our friendly enemy Strange Semantics has disappeared from the Blogosphere, but by way of compensation, we have been graced by the appearance of a new Voxologista, The Court of the Virgin Queen. Check her out when you get a chance.

Oh, and if today’s column left you thinking I’m just bitter and envious of the squawkers on Fox, do consider the following breaking news from Drudge:

Hannity has landed an exclusive with runaway bride fiance John Mason . . . interview tonight at 9pm et on FOXNEWS…

I don’t know about you, but that sounds more like a Circle of Hell than a dream job to me.

It’s a mystery

From the WSJ:

The newspaper industry, already suffering from circulation problems, could be looking at its worst numbers in more than a decade.

Circulation numbers to be released today by the Audit Bureau of Circulations probably will show industrywide declines of 1% to 3%, according to people familiar with the situation — possibly the highest for daily newspapers since the industry shed 2.6% of subscribers in 1990-91.

The biggest publishers may show the largest declines: Gannett Co., which owns about 100 newspapers, says it will be down “a couple of points” from last year’s levels. Circulation at Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times is likely to be off in excess of 6% of its most recently reported figures. Belo Corp.’s Dallas Morning News expects to report daily circulation down 9% and Sunday circulation down 13% from the year-earlier period.

I found that last part particularly amusing, as it was the DMN that briefly signed up my UPS column, then dropped it before even running it once. I’m not saying that adding it would have helped anything at this point, but it seems reasonable to suggest that one of the various factors in this circulation fall is that white men under the age of fifty don’t read the newspaper much because the newspapers, like network television, pay almost no attention to anything in which they’re interested.

When I first wrote my computer game column in 1994, nearly every newspaper in America turned down Chronicle Features because all the editors knew that no one was interested in computer games. Now, they all run little blurbs about games written by a clueless reporter, but it’s clear that none of these “reviewers” know anything about the industry because their reviews always revolve around the fact that graphics today are better than the last year’s graphics. As if one couldn’t have written the same idiocy in 1986.

You don’t go to the newspaper to read about sports, games or women, but it seems as if print publications such as Sports Illustrated, Computer Gaming World and Maxim are all doing just fine. To quote the Real Slim Shady:

And there’s a million of us just like me
Who cuss like me, who just don’t give a f— like me
Who dress like me, walk, talk and act like me
And just might be the next best thing but not quite me

So, naturally, when a few newspaper editors finally figure out that maybe there is a logical reason as to why Fox is crushing CNN et al and decide they need to add some right-leaning writers, who tops the list? A white chick, an Asian chick and a young Jewish law student.

Prediction: continuing circulation fall

The P-song

Christina Hoff Sommers on the university war against the penis:

“Testaclese” tipped the scales when he approached the university Provost, Edward J. Kavanagh, outside the student union. Apparently taking him/it for a giant mushroom, Provost Kavanagh cheerfully greeted him. But when Testaclese presented him with an honorary award as a campus “Penis Warrior,” the stunned official realized that it was no mushroom. After this incident, which was recorded on videotape, the promoters of P-Day were ordered to cease circulating their flyers and to keep Testaclese off campus grounds. Mindful of how school officers had never once protested any of the antics of Vagina warriors, the P-warriors did not comply. The Testaclese costume was then confiscated and formal charges followed.

It is easy to understand why school officials would not want a six-foot phallus wandering around campus; nor why they would ask students not to paper the college with posters describing all the things it likes to do. But that is just the sort of thing the vagina warriors have been doing, year after year, on hundreds of campuses. In fact, P-Day at Roger Williams was mild by comparison. Wesleyan College hosted a “C***” workshop; Penn State held a “C***”-fest. At Arizona State, students displayed a 40-foot inflatable plastic vagina. It was not confiscated and no one was ever threatened with probation.

Penis penis penis penis penis penis song. Penis penis penis penis penis all day long… great, now I’ve got that melody in my head. The worst thing is I don’t know if it’s an actual song or just something that goofball Bowen made up.

Anyhow, as I’ve said before, merciless confrontation of the sort described here is the most effective way to rout feminists. They are complete cowards who can’t handle finding themselves on the defensive and as long as you pay attention to make sure they can’t stab you in the back when you’re not looking, you’ll win every time. The only way they have ever one is when the other side simply concedes the battle.

In college, the White Buffalo, Big Chilly and I were publicly accused of being “sexist pornographers” in our college newspaper and the WB was actually brought up on university charges of sexual harassment. (Given who he was charged with harassing, I think he had one heck of a case for slander. Think “shaved gorilla”.) But the WB’s bold insistence on marching into the Dean’s office to meet the charges wearing nothing but his tidy whities combined with a pair of my scathingly brutal responses in the paper caused his accuser to be sentenced to 40 hours of campus trash cleanup, turned our leading feminist group into a complete laughingstock and caused the newspaper reporter who started the whole thing to dissolve in tears because everyone was convinced she was a bitter lesbian.


The artlessness of Lucas

Libertas on George Lucas:

From the sum total of Lucas’ remarks, I’m left with the following impression: that Lucas is dismissing Moore, simply because Moore is too obvious – too openly political and ‘of the moment’ – but that Lucas isn’t otherwise troubled by Fahrenheit, at all. In fact, the film and its reception are obviously on his mind a lot – and seem to frustrate him. Moore is clumsy, Lucas seems to be saying, because he isn’t able to explore the same issues in the more guarded language of symbolism and fiction. [For example, Lucas himself has repeatedly indicated that the origins of the ‘Star Wars’ series – however it’s subsequently developed – were in his reaction to the Vietnam War and Nixon’s corruption.] Moore says things openly – and perhaps stupidly – that we can say in other, more sophisticated and insightful ways, Lucas seems to be saying.

Now, I find all of this a bit alarming, for obvious reasons. Lucas clearly wants to “affect” people, and he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with how Moore had intended to “affect” audiences – only that it may not have worked. This is a bit like saying Goebbels was merely clumsy, but his intentions were pure. I sincerely hope I’m only misunderstanding what’s being said here by this otherwise great filmmaker. If not, then what he’s outlining is actually already what Hollywood’s elite classes (of which Moore is not really a part) already believe: film is there to be used to shape people’s values, but it can only be done effectively through popular entertainments that can’t push their politics too much. And, of course, it’s understood that those values are supposed to be left-wing.

Wired put Lucas on its cover, his face half-encased in the helmet Darth Vader. That may be more appropriate than they imagined.

What people tend to forget is that while Lucas may be think of himself as a quietly subversive storyteller, he is also a bad one. The conflict between the inherent conservativism of the original Star Wars and the ever-heavier left-oriented PC creep of the prequels – I’m going by what I’ve read here, as I noted before, I’m following the Sports Guy on Rocky V with regards to Episodes I, II and III – is potentially easy to explain. In the original, Episode IV, Lucas was reinterpreting Kurasawa’s Hidden Fortress, which necessarily drove much of the storyline. And the second two films were thereby constrained by the need to continue the plot of the first one.

Although some elements of Episode I more closely resemble the plot of Hidden Fortress, twenty years of success (wrongly) gave Lucas more confidence to depart from his influences and tell more of the story he wanted as well as adding more of the subersive elements he champions. Whatever the level of financial success the three prequels may have, they will remain a lasting tribute to the dangers of creative hubris.

Mailvox: update on Andrew

Vox, I have been faithfully praying for your nephew Andrew since you asked, and have been wondering about how he is doing. If you would just give me a quick update I would know how to more adequately pray on his behalf.

My cousin emailed me the following four days ago:

Andrew finished his second round of chemo with flying colors! He is now resting up in the hospital waiting for his ANC (immune system) to come back up. This will take a week to two weeks. Luckily this time he was able to venture out more with a mask on which kept his spirits up! Thank you everyone for your continued support and generosity!

Also, I’d appreciate it if those regulars who are readers would pray for a little boy who is undergoing minor surgery to remove a cyst on his neck tomorrow. It’s a simple procedure and every indication is that it’s nothing to be concerned about, but no surgery is minor surgery in a parent’s eyes.

Will wonders never cease

I suspect we’ll be hearing more from Dr. Ken Hutchinson in the future. The NYT is already complaining of him:

Dr. Hutcherson is known for publicly chastising and excommunicating members if he finds out they are sinning, calling adulterers, for example, up to the pulpit and demanding they repent, congregants said.

“And if they don’t want to repent of it, he’ll let them know that this is not the church for you,” said John Stachofsky, 42, a longtime friend of Dr. Hutcherson and a member of the church who goes bird and deer hunting with him.

Ach du lieber! A church leader who follows Biblical teachings! What outrage shall be inflicted next upon the helpless secularists of America, a Catholic Pope?