Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'MY BUTCH PREZ': This Never Gets Old

Because they're libertarians and only people at Newsweek seem to think it's worthwhile listening to them, the staff at Reason magazine usually come off as over-earnest. If they're not taking themselves seriously, there's a very real danger that no one is. True, they publish flippant blog posts and quick observations that make them seem hip and re-tweetable and the sort of thing you might remember, but they do so with that thumb-on-the-scale seriousness that lets you know, we are seriously being unserious here. Like, for instance, being a male author and adopting the pose of a woman who'd kill all men.

It's a strangely paradoxical behavior, but that's par for the course with libertarianism. You know, like free-thinking ideologues, decentralists who love the military, anti-government enablers of the worst excesses of the Bush II administration. The effect is of someone who knows how things work but who can't execute them because of some clumsy refusal to adapt guidebooks to reality. Like, for instance, knowing comic timing and irony and what makes a joke about sports funny, but calling the room's attention to a joke by saying, "Ahem, it is my intention now to tell you a joke about sports." Or like anything else about libertarianism.

But at least insofar as the former is concerned, check out this killer dig about how Barack Obama isn't a man because of [sports thing], while George W. Bush is a man because of [sports thing], in an article literally titled "Who Is More Macho":
Whether you're a student of presidential sports history or just a fan of President Obama's feats of fleetfooted derring-do, tremble for your nation as you compare these two executive bike pics[.]

As a devout Solanist, I believe men are the problem, and I'm generally happy when presidents eschew the kind of alpha male bullshit that was George W. Bush's stock in trade. But looking at these two photos, boy, I'm starting to rethink that position.

Related: Do we really want a president who throws like a girl?
This is fantastic stuff. The article ends with a link to a bogus conspiracy theory about Obama's first pitch at the 2009 All-Star Game, a maliciously stupid non-issue I addressed here and which came up again this April, regarding Opening Day and the Final Four. What a way to close out a piece: bankrupt, lazy, dumb.

But there's so much more fun you can have with this, if you're up for it.

First, there's the empty pop-culture neologism of "solanist" (after Valerie Solanas, who attempted to murder Andy Warhol and was violently intolerant of men), which is totally unnecessary. With any other group, you'd normally say, "Who cares?" but, you know, words mean definite things. Libertarians insist on that. There is a word for this position, divorced from the Warholian/hippie/radical feminist focus of Solanas and the occluding intervention of pop-culture relationships, and that word is "misandry," or in the case of one who advocates it, a misandrist. Come on: A is A, and Femme is Femme.

Second, there's the fact that a soi-disant "solanist" — a joking pose, but the joke only covers the author's gender and not the concluding favorable attitude toward a single figure — is moved by a bike picture to overlook first principles and, one assumes, his/her/who cares' intense personal objections to things like Bush's Medicare reform, his unfunded mandate in No Child Left Behind, The Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detentions and reckless deficit spending. Whatever, homie's got bike-calfs. That's a good reason, apart from:

Third, Bush fell off a fucking Segway.