Doc Holliday never ducked a fight

Underwater Operative notes that Mamalogue not only can’t take criticism of her friends, she can’t bear criticism of herself either:

I was just reading the comments on her blog and noticed after a refresh that the number of comments had dropped. Her blog her prerogative. It’s just funny that she felt the need to delete the comment. I hit the back button. Here’s the comment she felt needed to be deleted.

Do you know how inappropriate it is to “out” an author by giving his or her real name? Apparently not.

How do I say this gently? Women are more emotional than men, correct? In some instances this is beneficial, but this emotion can cause one to see things in a different light, especially if little or no time is given to reflect on a situation. In the instance of blogging, the lack of traffic of women’s blogs is no indication of inequality or suppression. It is an indication of a smaller level of interest in the topics written (and there’s no shame in that). For those complaining, what is your proposed solution? Force people to read blogs in which they have no interest? Do you see how irrational the whole complaint is? (I say this as a woman, so please don’t start on the ‘woman hater’ thing. It gets really old.)

As for Vox, you have two choices. Either lash out and learn nothing or glean the idea that not many people are going to care about the specifics of your life beyond friends and family and if you want a larger audience, you will have to adjust your writing accordingly. Whether man or woman, the “plight” of a blogger is the same. If bloggers want traffic, they have to write something people want to read. If you don’t want a larger audience, fine but don’t complain about it. Don’t be like some women who want not equality, but special treatment disguised as equality, which was the point of Vox’s original post.”
– By W on July 31, 2008 1:43 PM

Rule #6 – Don’t run an echo chamber. If you cannot bear to be humbled or shown to be wrong on your own blog, then you’d better not allow comments in the first place.

Interestingly enough, I received notice that those fine, upstanding women at Mamalogue are also imitating the Dawkins.Net atheists in vandalizing the amazingly accurate Wikipedia page that is theoretically about me. Here’s one of the additions made: “Many of his comments have left some wondering about the possibility of closet homosexuality or perhaps a simple case of rape fantasies fueled by anger towards his mother.”

I was under the impression that it was more the muscles, the mohawk and the flaming sword that had some wondering about my particular preferences. Now, I don’t really mind people screwing around with Wikipedia; I rather liked the old redirect to the syphilis page. Not exactly subtle, but still mildly amusing. It’s only Wikipedia, after all, where weirdos who don’t know the first thing about strangers write their biographies. Still, as one commenter there said: “Dana – way to respond with class.”

It’s not that hard, gentlemen

The frequent foot-targeting in Hollywood never ceases to astound me:

Waugh fans have been dismayed to learn that the forthcoming film will not stay true to the book. Sir John Mortimer, who adapted the landmark television series in the 1980s which remained faithful to the original text, is among those who have criticised the new production.

In the novel, Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder, played in the film by Ben Whishaw and Matthew Goode, travel to Venice to visit Sebastian’s father, Lord Marchmain. But in the new adaptation, they are joined by Sebastian’s sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell), allowing scriptwriter Jeremy Brock to develop a love triangle between the three main characters and inserting scenes which demonstrate Julia’s “sexual awakening” when she visits the Venice Carnivale.

I’ve always been partial to Merchant-Ivory and the BBC adaptation of “Brideshead Revisited” is one of the few DVDs I’ve gone out of my way to acquire. The BBC series was a beautiful and near-flawless transition from text to screen; its massive popularity is the reason that there’s a market for the film in the first place.

But, as has happened with so many science fiction classics, Hollywood producers are too arrogant to believe that a classic and hugely popular story told by a proven storyteller can’t be improved by an impromptu explosion, dinosaur attack, or sudden lesbian syndrome. But I’m not going to complain about the way in which the forthcoming “Brideshead Revisited” movie will be terrible in precisely the same way I didn’t complain about the desecration of Susan Cooper’s “The Dark is Rising” in the movie of the same name. Despite being a big fan of the latter, I never saw it and therefore have nothing to complain about.

That’s the best way to deal with these things. If it’s clear that Hollywood has messed with the basic story, don’t go to the movie. As movies based on “improved” stories fail while more faithful versions go on to massive success, the investors behind Hollywood will eventually get the message even if the idiot producers and directors don’t. What Hollywood can’t seem to grasp is that to score a big mainstream hit, you must first own your core niche. That’s the seed. If you elect to begin by blowing off your core fans in favor of chasing some ethereal mainstream appeal, you’ll achieve nothing more than sentencing your own project to failure.

She begins to bitchify

Mamalogues violates Rule #1 like a serial-killing pedophile locked into a daycare center the day before he’s supposed to be put away for life:

The ripples of this extended all the way over to World Net Daily, whose columnist by the pseudonym of Vox Day (seriously, I think there were like 20 of those pseudonyms back in my junior high AOL chatroom days) – excuse me – Christian columnist Vox Day (real name Theodore Beale; he’s a rich kid and his dad was on the board at WND, which undoubtedly helped Beale to get some ink) decided to go on a rant against women with emphasis on mothers who blog and basically called us all stupid. I realize that intelligence is probably very important to a man who works “I’m in Mensa” in every biographical footnote and pick-up lines, all the while juxtaposing it next to a standard Myspace headshot replete with a hairstyle and goatee sported by every teenage male member of my Ozark family.

Now see, that was cruel. It was as shallow and tasteless as the arguments Vox Day/Theodore Beale presented against women bloggers and for that I am ashamed. Really.

(Tangent: Some time ago I read wherein Beale apologized to national socialists for further disparaging their already-besmirched name with the “femi-nazi” sobriquet. I would go so far as to say Day is acting like a “manazi.” That would be an excellent metal album title.)

Well, technically it didn’t quite make it to WND, not unless I write a column about it. Which I simply can’t imagine. It’s not a terrible beginning, but sadly unoriginal. Cruel? I laughed, I did; one hears worse from the girls in the fantasy league. Mamalogues begins exactly as all the radical lesbian feminists and militant atheists do, complete with the customary references to family, hair, money, and Mensa, but perhaps because she’s a religious mommyblogger, she fails to threaten to not have sex with me or impute irregular sexual preferences. [UPDATE – one of her commenters finally got around to the latter, so check that one off too.] And, of course, we have the requisite “outing”, which only serves to demonstrate, unsurprisingly, that she flunked the intelligence test. But, because she’s Christian, she has to feign feeling bad about it, just before launching into another attack with all the biting savagery of a toothless lamb.

By the way, “Manazi” would be a terrible name for a metal album. It sounds like “manatee”. “Mamalaogai”, on the other hand, would rock in a very Rage Against the Machine sense that will almost surely be completely lost on every mommyblogger who happens to read this post.

My other problem with Beale is a repeat of what I mentioned in my earlier graphs: I don’t walk around with a makeshift halo over my head. However, Beale apparently does. This is a guy that advertises all the Christian books he’s reading or has written, a guy who opines about politics and the merits of Christianity in his World Net Daily columns; this is a guy who positions himself in an authoritative role with regards to spirituality, a guy who lectures us on the importance of faith. So forgive me if I find it a little contradictory when he calls someone I know, a genuinely real and good person, a “lactating cow.”

You don’t speak to someone about their concern for sexism by writing about them like a sexist.

I should point out that this was on his Blogger site and not on the World Net Daily site, otherwise that probably wouldn’t help sell books, I’d imagine.

Four lies in three paragraphs, at least two of which are intentional. Impressive, especially for a lecture on Christianity. Now, I don’t know what sort of halo could possibly involve Chris fucking Rock quotes, and if she was even remotely familiar with anything I’d written, she would know that I completely reject being viewed as any sort of spiritual or theological exemplar, or even as an authority of any kind except on electronic games. Her combination of dishonesty and ignorance is further demonstrated by her strange comment about selling books. Want a book? Then download one free on the right. As for our friendly lactating cow, if you want to get dramatic and play Enjolras at the barricades, that’s fine, but don’t be surprised when someone shoots at you. Now, I believe that Bad Mommy is probably a very nice woman. I have little doubt that Mamalogues is a lovely woman herself. But that doesn’t excuse them from suffering the consequences of publicly making blitheringly stupid remarks. I’m an equal-opportunity intellectual assassin.

He goes on to say how women marginalize themselves because of “hate and animosity.” I don’t disagree with this statement, yet he misses the irony completely.

I’m beginning to think I may have been too harsh on Enjolras… her manifesto was brilliant in comparison with this tripe. Mamalogues is either partially illiterate or she can’t read through her tears. I wrote absolutely nothing about women marginalizing themselves because of hate and animosity, I only pointed out that hate and animosity had nothing to do with the lack of respect shown mommybloggers and chick-bloggers. I said that they marginalize themselves due to their choice of subject matter – their own lives. There is no irony to be found in a statement I never made… but there is certainly an attempt to enlist all women in the cause of brainless, narcissistic female blogging here.

Why does this bother me? I try not to embarrass myself or my faith too much which can be really difficult for me because I have a notoriously sharp tongue and I feel that bluntness expediency in speech is more efficient. I realize that when I say I am a person of faith that I am representing a lot more here on earth than just myself. I try hard to avoid becoming like that which I detest: people like Benny Hinn and his ilk, people who praise God on Sunday but betray Him with their actions on Monday.

Talking about how spiritually righteous you are while at the same time eviscerating others does nothing to improve the stereotype that some have of Christians. It makes it harder for people to publicly admit their faith. It gives more ammunition to the jerks in high school that make fun of the kid on his way to a meeting of Christian Athletes.

And now the inevitable Appeal to Religion. Here’s a lesson for you, lady. What people can’t stomach is lies, hypocrisy, and pretense. I couldn’t stomach it myself, which was what kept me far away from church and Christians for more than two decades. It would be a lie, a monstrous lie, a lie of gargantuan proportions, for me to feign any respect whatsoever for that narcissistic demand for recognition and respect made by Bad Mommy. Dana isn’t at all interested in the truth, she desires the happy, fake, plastic niceness that allows everyone to pretend that Daddy isn’t an alcholic, Mommy didn’t get an abortion, and all the children are above average. She loves lies more than truth, which is why she tells them so readily. I challenge her to find a single assertion of being spiritually righteous anywhere in these blog archives, in the seven years of opinion columns or in any of my books.

Being a Christian has nothing whatsoever to do with being nice. And all are fallen, every single one. Some of us simply see little point in trying to hide our flaws. Now, your mileage may vary, but I happen to prefer open and snarling disagreement to the false smiles, whispers, and knives in the back that permeate so much of Churchianity.

Perhaps Beale’s zeal got ahead of his knowledge on this one: that’s not what was said in the slightest. All that was said was that women in technology would like to be treated with the same consideration as are the men. It’s interesting to me: Beale considers unfair treatment important when discussing matters of religion or politics; perhaps he discounts women because he’s a male and therefore can’t identify with some of what’s being discussed?

She’s lying again. I quote: “What is radical about it is that we push on, demanding to be heard, and demanding recognition of our worth as mothers, women, writers, business-people, innovators, people, against the ignorance of those who would keep us down.”

That’s demanding far more than being treated with the same consideration, in fact, being treated with precisely the same consideration as are the men is exactly what Mamalogues is complaining about here. I treated Bad Mommy’s absurd assertions in exactly the same way I treated Sam Harris’s and Richard Dawkins’s in The Irrational Atheist, she has no legitimate cause for complaint on that score. When have I ever considered unfair treatment to be important, anyhow? I’m openly and avowedly anti-equalitarian; equality is an immaterial myth far less credible than God. The only equality that conceivably exists is in the eyes of God, and one can make a credible case that it doesn’t even exist there.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I write online because I enjoy it, it helps me work through things, but most importantly, I have a living diary of my life with my children. I’d forget half of this without typing it up. Also important – I’ve connected with other mothers. I’ve found a groundswell of homeschooling resources and support.

Good for her, but she’s not demanding respect or recognition for it as Bad Mommy was. She can do whatever she wants. I neither mind nor care.

It’s the exact same as a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons nerds sitting around in Vox’s mom’s basement, drinking the Kool-Aid, combing their goatees and talking about how much they hate women. OK. That was mean. See? It takes work, ya’ll.

It’s the exact same, except of course that her example doesn’t exist. Whereas one can see “groups of narcissistic women” that “like to babble at each other and tell each other how wonderful they are” at any given coffee shop every single day, to say nothing of every mommyblog I’ve ever seen. Granted, my experience of the latter is thankfully quite limited; I’m still trying to bleach my mind from that momentary exposure to the unspeakable Dooche.

Everyone is deserving of respect until otherwise proven. Have you even read the Bible which you thump so hard? NONE of us have earned respect, yet, by faith, we are saved.

Nonsense. Given the broad and beautiful spectrum of human idiocies on display throughout the Internet, there is absolutely no logical reason to grant respect to anyone or their opinion until they have demonstrated that they merit it. As for the religious non sequitor, I merely point out that salvation!=respect.

I don’t hate women. I especially don’t hate mothers. But I will always show open contempt for those of either sex who demand that which they have not earned and who attempt to seize it through social manipulation and other passive-aggressive means. Bloggers tend to play rough on the blogosphere and if you want to be a big dog there, then you’d better learn how to take both well-earned shots as well as cheap ones without running away and crying. I must give Mamalogues her due for trying, but she’s got a long way to go before she’ll even get to Pandagon and PZ territory.

UPDATE – A Blonde Moment has a significantly more rational perspective on mommyblogging: “I blog for my own amusement. If others are likewise entertained, I’m glad. I don’t need special recognition for my “worth” as a mom, woman, writer, worker or a person. Nor do I think anyone is trying to keep me down. My vocation, or in military terms, my mission is to be Josh’s wife, Mallory’s mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and to do so with a cheerful attitude as Christ would have me do. I don’t need a special “Good job” or recognition from the New York Times or anyone else.”

UPDATE II – The increasingly hapless Mamalogues adds: “I’ve read him before and stopped because there were other, better political and religious writers out there who didn’t depend on daddy to get them their columns (note how he sidesteps that whole issue.”

Translation: “I tried to read it but it’s over my head so I’m sticking with the Littlest Chickenhawk.” Anyhow, it seems Mamalogues enjoys the Continental Touch and is looking for another bitch-slap. Groovie! I was a weekly columnist for the Pioneer Press and nationally syndicated by both Chronicle Features and Universal Press Syndicate long before my father had any involvement with WND. The amusing thing is that even the feminists and atheists gave up on this futile line of attack some time ago, but then, evangelical culture has always been a bit behind the times.

Relax, Mr. Nordlinger

They’re not thinking anywhere else either:

One subject I’d like to be done with, for now, is bumper stickers — we’ve devoted a lot of time to it in this column. But I’d like to bring up one more — brought to my attention by a reader. The sticker says, “Don’t Pray in My School. I Won’t Think in Your Church.” Is that the most pretentious and arrogant sticker of all time? Of all time? Quite possibly.

The message may be intended to be pretentious and arrogant, but as is so often the case with militant atheists, the arrogance is unmerited. The prayer in schools issue was always a manufactured one and is now irrelevant; nine months of collective learning is a technologically outmoded relic of the nineteenth century even without the useless PC propaganda that now passes for “education”.

Since atheists are demonstrably no more prone to think for themselves than any other group of people, there’s no reason to fear them thinking in church, or anywhere else, for that matter. There are few things more ironic than the mindless infidel who thinks himself a fearless freethinker because he successfully parrots the logical and factual absurdities of those to whom he has delegated his own doxastic responsibilities.

As for the juvenile lionizing of all things European that so bothers Mr. Nordlinger, there are two contrasting aspects to it. The first is that there truly are plenty of things to be embarrassed about when one sees Americans on display in Europe. One need not be a pretentious East Coast Euro-wannabee to be appalled by the appearance and behavior of one’s fellow Americans. Many of them wandering around the continent in summertime are fat, loud, obnoxious, and poorly dressed. Their children are often grotesque and ludicrously undisciplined. I certainly didn’t mind at all being taken for an Italian one evening in Amsterdam when two obese American teens were doing backwards somersaults over the back of the couch upon which their parents were sitting, while the two Italian children of a similar age were sitting politely and quietly drinking wine with their own parents. When the older girl rolled her eyes after one particularly buffoonish landing and mouthed “Americani” at me, I can’t honestly say that I felt any burning need to stand up and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in order to stand in solidarity with my countrymen.

All that being said, Europeans can not only rival Americans for insularity and hostility towards the wider world, they’re quite visibly more inbred. You can literally see it in some of the smaller towns. Also, the idea that most Europeans speak English is simply false and those who possess it actually betray their 0wn lack of familiarity with the continent. Comparing the wealthy, educated, and well-traveled European elite with the American boobeoisie simply is not a fair or reasonable comparison, indeed, across most of Europe, it’s the German tourists who are considered the most annoying, with Americans coming in a distant second. Most younger Europeans tend to think of America as a much livelier, exciting, and dynamic place than the Old World; while the cultural disdain of their elders is real, so too is the younger generation’s envy.

The well-deserved death of Labour

Seldom has a party still in power looked more headed for extinction than the British Labour Party. And a very well-deserved extinction it would be:

Endangered in England’s largest cities, losers in London, out of power in Scotland and sharing it with the nationalists in Wales, wiped out in the south, on the run in the north-west marginals, under fire in the West Midlands, all but bankrupt and with a collapsing membership: what it to become of Labour?

This is how, if they are not careful, parties die. Extinction is never the result of a single event, rather it happens more slowly, over several decades. A grouping whose leaders and policies once appeared as a fixed point on the landscape, gradually lose definition until virtually no one thinks it is any longer worth paying attention.

The party is left abandoned, and historians with the benefit of hindsight insist that it was always going to happen.

The Tories could assure themselves of two generations in power if they did three simple things.

1. Embrace Scottish independence and encourage further Welsh devolution towards the same end.

2. Embrace Euroskepticism, abjure the Lisbon Treaty and give the nation the referendum that Labor promised and denied it.

3. Announce the end of immigration from all non-EU nations and cease renewing visas or granting nationalization to non-EU citizens.

This isn’t likely, of course, since most of the Tory politicians are every bit as enthusiastic about Brussels as the Labourites, since they’re feeding from the same trough. The only question is whether a Cameron-led Conservative party has more in common with Neville Chamberlain or Winston Churchill, and there’s every indication that it’s the former. Don’t skip past the comments, the hatred for Labour and the treacherous Scot at its head is really quite remarkable.

Fear of a Black President

Sen. Obama: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”

Now, the man has been running on a “hey, vote for the black guy for once” theme since the beginning of the Democratic primaries. So, I’m kind of curious about what those past traditions might be… slavery and peanut butter? Don’t get me wrong, peanut butter beats anything that McCain has on offer, but still.

The irreligious resort to force

Since religious persecution by the secular authorities has such a long and successful track record of eliminating religion from a culture, a British journalist advocates having a go at stamping it out in England:

[R]eligious people and their views should not be officially recognised in groups. Religion should not be allowed a public space or public representation. This is hard for those of us who used to love the muddled Anglican compromise; it means the disestablishment of our national church – if it doesn’t self-destruct first…. There must be no more religious schools – personally I would leave those that exist alone. There must be no public recognition of religious associations as representatives of anything or anybody: not on campuses, not in student unions, not in government consultations or in parliament.

So-called religious community leaders, or umbrella groups of religious bodies, must of course be free to associate as they like in private, in a free country, but publicly they must be ignored. Publicly they must not teach or promote illegal prejudices. Forced into the private sphere, denied the oxygen of publicity, power and influence, highly politicised religious groups will wither on the vine.

As I pointed out in TIA, this is the connecting point between atheism and totalitarianism that so many atheists are afraid to admit. But I’m not outraged, quite the opposite in fact, as it would be very, very good for Christianity to see it abolished by the secular authorities in the West. Only then would it revert to the flame-forged form that competes so favorably with Islam and every other religion; not even lifelong Anglicans can stomach the increasingly apostate state church any longer.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.