Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Al Greenleaf Wordsworth Whittier Tennyson Silverstein Gore

ROBERT FROST WOULD BE FROSTED

Al Gore has written some poetry. And it’s pretty good–except for the endings. Let me show you what I mean:

One thin September soon
a floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

That’s a little too artsy, Al. Here, let me help:

One thin September soon
a floating continent disappears
In midnight sun
If you’re going to leave the lights on all night
you’ll have to buy some carbon credits

Of course, you’ll have to buy Al’s carbon credits even if you turn the lights off. That’s the beauty of carbon credits. And of poetry about carbon credits.

I fixed the rest of these, too:

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune’s bones dissolve
just like the other bones
in Tipper’s crawl space

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly
Man, that Bill Ayers
sure can write

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning’s celebration
Did I mention
I invented lightning?

Unknown creatures
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups
Too bad we banned horses:
non-native species

Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung
But no one could hear
a bell made from hemp

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools
That will be
$1.1 Trillion

Update:

And still the snowflakes fell
just as predicted
it must be “science”

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Posted in Art!   

Q: When is a bench not a bench?

I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE NO QUIZ

A: When the bench is a deck chair on Rock Star Lines’ HMS Titanic Moral Vanity.

Mike has the whole sorry story on the castaway’s ill-fated Three Hour Grandstanding for Gaia-Tour here. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the minnow-sized moral moment would be lost.

Clearly, we’re in the wrong business, Mike. This Expedition About Nothing cost the British taxpayers £150,000, about a quarter-million US. You could dry clean the burkas of a London imam’s 5 welfare wives for a year with that kind of money.

Alert the orphans, Tiny Tim–all their problems are solved! Surely a country rich enough to indulge artistes building a bus-bench on an iceberg has solved all its real problems. And the fuel oil used to haul them there was no doubt made from carbon-capturing Unicorn waste!

I wouldn’t really care–but our own NEA looks to their European betters for guidance in how to extract pelf from the peons and waste it on ugly art and preening poseurs. Chesterton:

“Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. But the artists find it harder.”

How ’bout a federally-funded Bass-Fishing Tour instead?

Nah–they’d just end up taxing our singing bass’s off.

And we’d end up on a park bench on some iceberg somewhere.

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Art For Art Vandelay’s Sake

CAESAR SALAD DAYS

or “Orange Julius Glad You Asked?”

Joseph Abrams:

Maybe President Obama will win the Nobel Prize for Literature, too, now that the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts has declared that “Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists…”

Barack Obama is the most powerful check-writer since Julius Caesar, anyway.

I guess that makes Bill Ayers the most powerful ghostwriter since Great Caesar’s Ghost.

“Julius Caesar is historically the last person in the world that American presidents would want to be compared to,” said historian Richard Brookhiser, who has written widely on the Founding Fathers. “He tried to subvert the republic — that’s why he was killed. …The Founders insulted each other by calling each other Caesar.”

And they called Little Jimmy Madison “Czar” for short–he was the Limited Government Czar. Founders can be so cruel.

That embrace of the president has pricked some ears, particularly after the NEA’s previous director of communications, Yosi Sergant, was forced to resign for promoting the president’s political agenda on a conference call with artists he hoped to prod into backing Obama’s domestic policies.

It’s “The Circle of Life-long Funding”:

Politicians pay artists to support policies like paying artists to support politicians who pay artists to support policies like paying artists who…

Instead of “National Endowment for the Arts”, let’s call it “National Art for the Endowment”. Or maybe the “Julius and Ethel Caesar Rosenburg Fund”. But only because “The Human Fund” was already taken. By Art Vandelay.

Lee Rosenbaum interviews “Landmines” Landesman:

While he may think he’s gotten a bad rap, Mr. Landesman has no problem with bestowing funds on good rap. Near the start of our conversation, I asked him what new initiatives he was considering.

“There are new forms of music …and the NEA should be there. We should be reflecting the reality in our world these days, whether it’s hip-hop, or whatever. There’s a lot going on that the NEA traditionally has no comprehension about.”

“Do you think that hip-hop would be an appropriate area for NEA to fund?” I inquired.

“Absolutely. And mural painting and graffiti are art. There are popular aspects of all the arts that I think shouldn’t be ignored. […] I think there are probably some things where people will say, ‘Go ahead and do that, but not with my tax dollars.'”

No, there’s not. There is absolutely nothing that should not be funded by tax dollars.

I don’t want to hear another word about “The Great Recession” or “10% Fun-employment”. Obviously we’re filthy rich. We’ve got so much money, the government can pay kids to spray-paint graffiti on buildings–and then pay other kids to come scrub the graffiti off!

We’ll teach some kids how to and rhyme “‘ho” with “mo'” for cold, hard cash–and then we’ll pay schoolteachers to teach them proper English again!

Seriously; except for maybe nutty ideas like National Defense, can you name one area of life that is off-limits for government funding? They’ve already funded naked dance troupes with Stimulus money. [insert joke and dollar bill here.]

Hey–at least they’re finally supporting the troops!

I know the answer. And I’ll be happy to tell you.

As soon as my NEA Writer’s Grant gets here.

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“Let’s All Go to the Lobby, Let’s All Go to the Lobby…”

LET’S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY

to get ourselves a treat from the Capitalist Running-Dog Lackey Bourgeois Exploiter of the Masses running the concession stand.

Got any Junior Mints, there, Rockefeller?

Speaking of Exploiters of the Masses, Ann Althouse watched the new Micheal Moore movie so we don’t have to. Like we were going to.

“Capitalism and Wendy’s Triple Baconator. With Cheese: A Love Story”:

Amusingly, Barack Obama is presented — outright — as a socialist.

Already I like this movie. Obama would of course implement Full-Boat Socialism tomorrow if he could–but he’s also a Narcissist. If his Socialism conflicts with his Narcissism, his Narcissism wins. I have never been as profoundly grateful for Personality Disorders as I am at this moment. You love me. You really love me.

We see a roomful of people exulting over the election night announcement that Obama has won and, in context, we’re made to think that it’s the downtrodden people celebrating that socialism has arrived. I don’t think Obama really wants Michael Moore’s help.

The 22 Most Feared Words in the Kenyan Language: “I’m from the planetary system that revolves around the gravitational field emanating from Michael Moore’s massive ass…and I’m here to help!”

I was disgusted by the camera trained on the face of a boy who cried over the death of his young mother. The real villain there was asthma. It said nothing significant about capitalism, which made it grotesque exploitation to use that boy in the movie.

This is vintage Moore–“Orphan Noir”. Moore exploits two or three orphans before lunch every day…and the time is always “before lunch”.

My favorite thing in the movie was the trashing of young math and science graduates who, instead of applying their talents to the benefit of humanity, went to Wall Street to design the complicated derivative securities that almost destroyed the economy. The closeup on an incomprehensible math equation was, for me, the most shocking image in the movie.

I’m no fan of cattle futures of futures of futures of futures–but this reminds me of the Khmer Rouge breaking everyone’s eyeglasses to stamp out the Educated Bourgeois. Oh, wait–only right-wingers can be anti-intellectual. It’s the law. Just like All Death Squads are Right-Wing. Nevermind.

Moore wants a revolution. He kept advising the workers — and the evictees — of the world to unite and shake off their chains.

Until they show up at his mansions and start using his Oscar as a hammer to break up the furniture into firewood. Then he’ll be on the phone begging Dick Cheney for an airstrike.

‘Christianity requires socialism.’

Moore is saying “Christianity IS Socialism”. But the Bible condemns greed and materialism and endorses prosperity, honest work and private property. The early church did indeed adopt a socialist practice–but it was completely voluntary, not state-run. And the prerequisite was…to be in the Holy Spirit!

Until such time as we can legislate that, maybe we’d better stick to capitalism, which has provided better living standards for more people than any other system in history.

We receive long lectures about how capitalism is inconsistent with Christianity, followed a heavy-handed array of — it’s up to you to see that they are — Jewish villains. Am I wrong to see Moore as an anti-Semite?

I don’t know. And because I don’t, I’m not going to hurl the charge without evidence like the Left does. In other words, I’m not Michael Moore.

I do know that he’s anti-common sense, and that’s enough. I haven’t even mentioned the stunning and obvious hypocrisy yet, but Moore conducts every aspect of his life as a capitalist–except one. He hires, fires, buys, sells, promotes and invests like one–he only propagandizes like a socialist. It’s beyond hypocritical–it’s bizarre.

P.J. O’Rourke:

Wealth is, for most people, the only honest and likely path to liberty. With money comes power over the world. Men are freed from drudgery, women from exploitation. Businesses can be started, homes built, communities formed, religions practiced, educations pursued. But liberals aren’t very interested in such real and material freedoms. They have a more innocent–not to say toddlerlike–idea of freedom. Liberals want the freedom to put anything into their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums. […]

In the difference between poverty and plenty, the problem is the poverty, not the difference. Wealth is good. You know this about your own wealth. If you got rich, it would be a great thing. You’d improve your life. You’d improve your family’s life. You’d purchase education, travel, knowledge about the world. You’d invest in worthwhile things. You’d give money to noble causes. You’d help your friends and neighbors. Your life would be better if you got rich. The lives of the people around you would be better. Your wealth is good. So why isn’t everyone else’s wealth good?

Because Michael Moore said so. From the French Riviera. Popcorn, mes amis?

UPDATE: Full Disclosure: Under ridiculous FTC blog-disclosure rules, this glowing movie review was purchased when Michael Moore promised me a cheeseburger. I never got the cheeseburger. I knew he was lying when his lips were moving.

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Children of the Corn Dog Carnival Barker

I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE…

The reason Leftist educators go after young children is not just to warp their minds from a young age. They profile and stalk the young because they can’t fight back. It’s a kind of bullying. They are violating their own bullying standards.

In the classic style of bullies everywhere, they won’t pick on someone their own size–or in LiberalSpeak, they “exploit the power imbalance”.

The film “The Story of Stuff” is being used in some classrooms even though it is a pure Green Party screed: we’re raping the earth, stealing from the Third World, the Government is all-caring except for the military which is evil, etc.

It is inflicted on young kids uncritically as fact. By people who pride themselves as “critical thinkers”.

The kids at Bernice Johnson Elementary were forced into child labor, singing Obama campaign chants at less than Davis/Bacon wages. Aren’t children in show business supposed to have tutors so they don’t miss out on their education? Sample lyric:

Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He sends his kids to private school
so they don’t have to sing this drool
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

His Harvard thesis gone from view
Hey; the dog ate his homework, too!
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Okay, okay–I got it off the internet.

The principal at the school is upset they got caught, not mad that they did it. Although its refreshing in a sense to see the return of School Prayer, the lady who wrote these hymns, a Harvard classmate of the president’s, is now trying to say that the children wrote the lyrics. The lyrics include the word “doth”, as in “Thou doth be joking, lady.”

And for the record, “Mmm, mmm, mm!” is not a lyric; it’s the sound Sandy Berger makes in his pants at the National Archives.

UPDATE: Doc Zero:

Besides the understandable anger parents feel when their children are used as political props, the Bernice Young sing-along is grating because it’s another aspect of the Obama omnipresence. The guy is everywhere, all the time.

He’s not just “More Cowbell!”–he’s like a 25-minute Iron Butterfly “Inna-Gadda-da-Vida” album-cut drum solo consisting only of pure, sweet cowbell.

People who are intelligent enough to spend half the income of a vast country better than its citizens will naturally seem like fitting subjects for songs of praise, to their most dedicated admirers. Why shouldn’t your children be made to learn those songs?

For the same reason we shouldn’t criminalize neighbors watching neighbor’s kids without a Federal Permit: because the Jealous State has no business trying to crowd out all the other “little platoons” that make a society work, whether its your local school, your bowling league, your charities or your family.

And Personality Cults are for Loser Nations. We didn’t do it for truly great presidents like Washington, Lincoln and Reagan and we’re certainly not gonna do it for this poseur.

But the Doctor knew that.

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Blinded by Science-ish-Type-Stuff

THE OPPOSITE OF SCIENCE:

“Take my word for it.”

It’s been a long time, but I still remember being taught about the Scientific Method: you observe a phenomenon, you posit a hypothesis and prove or disprove it by conducting experiments that other scientists can duplicate, thus confirming your conclusion.

Ace:

Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist …politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’ response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Now since then, FOIA requests for the data have been filed, and an increasing number of scientists have been curious to see precisely what exactly the evidence is of the much-heralded 0.6 degree Centigrade rise in temperature this century we’ve heard so very much about.

The new answer?

We lost all the old data so we can’t provide it to you.

“The dog ate my Global homework…but she’ll vouch for me! Lassie, come here, girl; if the Hockey Stick is accurate, bark once!”
Arf!
“See–that proves it!”

The reason “why” you should “make the data available” is because BY DEFINITION, THAT’S WHAT SCIENCE IS!

Even making it available to skeptics. Especially to skeptics. If they get the same results, BAM!–you win.

Here’s the good news, though; because you say it’s rock-solid science…you should be able to duplicate the result again!

And not to rub it in, but if had shared your research, you would still have a copy today. Or you can always sift through Lassie’s stools. We’ll take your word for what it says. Again.

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National Art for the Endowment–Washington Calling!

THE MASTER’S VOICE

Good Morning, everyone. I’ve put together this conference call because as artists, you personally owe Barack Obama a favor. After all, he hasn’t nationalized your studios and given them to ACORN for their BrothelAmerica Outreach Program, has he?

And as creative people, you know that nothing really good is created unless the deft, lighter-than-air hand of government is there with its selfless and endlessly fertile imagination.

I just first of all want to thank everyone for being on the call and just a deep, deep appreciation for all the work you all put into the campaign for the 2-plus years we all worked together.

EVERYBODY: “Wh…What?”

Oh–didn’t you know? We’ve been using your art for years without your permission. Or paying royalties. Now let’s move on.

We won. I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda. We’re going to come at you with some specific “asks” here. And by “ask”, I mean “tell”. I hope you guys are ready. Obviously a big area is health care. Second was energy and the environment.

Mr. Da Vinci; We like this “Mona Lisa”-but is there any reason Ms. Lisa can’t be wearing a campaign button? In fact, the Committee to Re-Elect the Prince Yerbouti (CREEPY) wants her to wear a 2008 button, a 2012 button and 2016 button–that’s when the president issues his Executive Order proclaiming a bonus 2-yr. presidential term extension. And the vice-president’s office wants a “Biden in 2018!” button.

Mr. Whistler, everyone here likes the portrait of your mother. However, we feel there is room for a thought balloon over her head. She could be thinking “I hope the President takes away my MedicarePlus policy…it’s just a big giveaway to insurance companies!”–something like that.

And Mr. Van Gogh; we’ll be using your “Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear” to illustrate the way the uninsured are clogging our emergency rooms. I’m sorry you object. But frankly, Vince, that’s the problem; when I talk to you, it goes in one ear and stays there.

Grandma Moses, your art is fine just the way it is. But could you change your name to “Grandma Ishtar” or something like that for diversity’s sake? Do it for Warren, hon. And Michelangelo; one our our corporate sponsors, Benetton, has paid us for the rights to put a sweater on your sculpture “David”. And Calvin Klein will be paying us handsomely not to put pants on it. Thanks for your cooperation, Mick.

Now, Mr. Cezanne, for our School Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Midnight Snack Program you will see that we’ve taken your masterpiece “Apples and Oranges” and painted in some green stuff which we now call “Apples and Oranges and Organic Free-Range Arugula”. And Rembrandt, we’ve taken the liberty of placing a giant “Look For the Union Label”-banner over your “Syndics of the Clothmakers’ Guild”. We knew you’d approve.

Mr. Leutze, your painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” is just the sort of jingoistic propaganda we here in Washington disapprove of. A slave-holding militarist leading a boat full of bitter-clingers on their way to wreak inappropriate violence on their European betters–and without even sending an attorney ahead to warn them of their rights! But the rubes like it, so I suppose, with a few changes, it might work.

First, Green Jobs Czar Van Jones has asked that you give the boat a solar-powered Evinrude outboard. What’s that…fired? Yes, he was fired. But what does “fired” really mean, anyway? He’s a czar: he was never really hired in the first place.

I don’t think I like your attitude, Mr. Leutze. Let me remind you that Gov. Corzine and New Jersey Game and Fish says your boat was unregistered. And Port Authority says Gen. Washington has been operating an unlicensed ferry. They say you owe them 237 years of back fines–I don’t know how much longer I can hold them off if you don’t get with the program.

Next up is Mr. Warhol–but I see that our 15 minutes are up. Let me just say that it’s been a pleasure doing art with you all.

I’ve know you’ve enjoyed our little chat about the state of art…and the Art of the State! Or as Socrates put it in his immortal “Stuff Lincoln Said To Jefferson–George Jefferson”:

“so that Art of the Government, by the Government and for the Government shall not perish from the earth.”

Have a nice day! Say–does anybody know who designed that smiley-face thing

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Posted in Art!   

Should We Bail-Out the Arts?

ART CARNEY, MAYBE

The prez of the JFK Center for the Panhandling Arts:

We are losing the entertainment and inspiration we need more than ever during this terribly scary time.

Get a grip, man.

As we try to rebuild America’s image abroad, we are losing our most potent goodwill ambassadors.

It’s bad form to bash Bush and conservatives while demanding money from them, old chap.

As we reshape our economy, we are losing the organizations that teach our children to think creatively.

How ’bout some creative thinking about fund-raising instead of running to the government?

And as we celebrate the diversity of our nation, we are losing the voices that have traditionally helped change society’s thinking.

What if the change in thinking we need is the knee-jerk urge to go on the dole?

The arts in the United States provide 5.7 million jobs and account for $166 billion in economic activity annually. This sector is at serious risk.

He’s right in this regard; there is no principled reason to bailout some industries and not all of them.

But thousands of organizations, and the state of America’s arts ecology, are in danger.

“Ecology”? Is that like “Global Arts Warming”? It’s an “epidemic”!

We need an emergency grant for arts organizations in America, and we need legislation that allows unusual access to endowments. Washington must encourage foundations to increase their spending rates during this crisis, and we need immediate tax breaks for corporate giving.

As we print billions of dollars in bailout money, isn’t it time to ensure that we are saving our soul as well as our economy?

Jesus, not government, saves souls, and for free. While he’s right about printing money, he’s just another pirate who wants his cut.

Ol’ Mapplethorpe missed out. He could have gotten two federal bailouts today; one as an artist, the other as a buggy-whip manufacturer.

I supported the first half of the first bail-out–but once the banks stabilized, it should have stopped. I supported it because banks function as a public utility on which all other businesses depend–and because the Gummint helped melt them down by ordering them to produce the impossible, a Free Lunch.

Now we’ve evidently decided that the way out of this mess is not just the Free Lunch, but Free Breakfasts, Dinners, Brunches, Between Meal Snacks and Midnight Raids on the Treasury. Good luck with that new diet, fatso.

There is no Free Lunch and there are no free symphonies. And when everything is made into a government program, symphonies must compete with potholes, battleships, midnight basketball and that performance art-lady who pours chocolate on her body as she “changes the way society thinks” and “rebuilds America’s image abroad”. I don’t know about you, but I’m suddenly thirsty for a chocolate malted.

If you pay for it, that is.

Will Rogers used to ask “Stupidity got us into this mess–why can’t stupidity get us out?”

Unlimited Government got us into this mess–and Unlimited Government stupidity is going to keep us there until we either wise up or go down the drain.

After all, bailouts are only for sinking ships.

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Posted in Art!   

Beauty

Seems to be the subject du jour lately, if you’ll pardon the French, (which I don’t, personally, nasty lot, the French) so I thought I’d toss my two cents in.

I find more beauty in this simple design than in all the “Modern Art” displays in all the museums of the world.

Add your links in the comments.

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Posted in Art!   

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