Don’t call it a comeback (well, OK, if you must…)

by matttbastard

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna put forth a sorry Nikki Finke-style excuse for my lack of productivity this summer. All responsibility for low creative yield is entirely mine and mine alone (FYI, the dog ate my motivation). Ok, so Twitter shares at least part of the blame — though if you follow me there (and if you don’t, well, why the hell not??) you’ll see that I’ve merely shifted platforms when it comes to deliverin’ teh linky goodness, snarky invective and one-line squibs.

Still, for the past 3 (!) years, this site has been my primary base of operations. And though I’ve begun to focus more on feature writing (for cash — hell, at this point, will write for potato chips and soda pop, though booze is preferred) the blog format — this parasitic, freewheeling burst medium that still gets little-to-no respect from more formalistic practioners of the journalistic arts — is my first love.

And, damn it all, I miss it.

Therefore, in the coming weeks, yours truly will be returning to regular daily (yes, daily) blogging, both here at bastard.logic and my other haunt, Comments From Left Field. Am sure some of you are pleased by this bit of news, others gravely disappointed — while the vast majority are, in all likelihood, entirely indifferent. It is this last group with whom I intend to make the biggest impact; would rather that you love — or loathe — me than not give a toss.

Anyway, forgive the brief foray into self-indulgence; on with the show.

PS: Buy a t-shirt — help support Canada’s left-wing fringe (ie, women — buh?!)

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A Quick Note

by matttbastard

Due to travel considerations (and, um, the Academy Awards  *cough*) this week’s Shock Doctrine posts from Sarah and I will be delayed until tomorrow.  Which gives y’all an extra day to read Chapter One (slackers).  And, if you  are wondering what the hell I’m going on about, our posts outlining the reasons why we decided to do this series now, nearly two years after TSD was released, are crossposted here and here; our posts re: the introduction can be found here and here.

See you Monday.

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matttbastard at GlobalComment

by matttbastard

The fine folks @ GlobalComment have graciously published an opinion piece written by yours truly on the recent fatal shooting of BART passenger Oscar Grant.

A sample:

Cold. Blooded. Murder.

What else can you call what occurred on New Year’s Day in Oakland? A BART officer caught on tape shooting transit passenger Oscar Grant in the back, while Grant lay flat on his stomach, restrained, prone and defenseless. Kinda difficult to argue self-defense, or ‘excited delirium‘ (or whatever they’re calling it this year) when the victim isn’t even facing his assailant (let alone upright) and the cause of death is a police-issue lead projectile that sliced through flesh and bone without prejudice.

So, what next?

To have that cruel cliff-hanger of a question answered, head on over to GC and read the whole damn thing.


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A Special Note re: the Associated Press

This is Jennifer Palmieri, acting CEO of the Center for American Progess [sic] Action Fund.

Most readers know that the views expressed on matttbastard’s blog are his own and don’t always reflect the views of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Such is the case with regard to matttbastard’s comments about the Associated Press. Our institution has partnered with the Associated Press on a number of important projects and have a great deal of respect for their critical thinking and excellent work product (plus, we totally heart the donuts with sprinkles — thanks, Liz!) They are key leaders in the world of investigative journalism and we look forward to working with them in the future (especially if they remember to bring the donuts — Liz, you are a doll!)

In addition, we’d also like to extend our respectful admiration to the editors at Obsidian Wings and The Atlantic, with whom we hope to partner with on a number of important projects in the near future.


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Paul Krugman Takes George Will to School–But Was Anyone Educated?

by matttbastard

As Ezra Klein (h/t) observed, the segment is “interesting on a meta-level, as someone who’s paid to seem like he knows these things collides with someone who’s paid to know these things. It’s expertise versus the aesthetic of expertise.”

Also known in MSM parlance as ‘balance’–which, as Klein further notes, means “the actual takeaway is that sounding like you know things and actually knowing things are, in this forum, pretty much equal.”

So, in essence, the outcomes are, by and large, predetermined. Huh. That probably explains why I’ve always thought the ritualistic Sunday morning bobblehead pantomime would be far more entertaining if the participants would go all out and wear Kabuki make-up, or dress in spandex and smash folding chairs over each other’s heads.

Picture it: Next Sunday on This Week, Krugman and Will try to even the score–in a 15 ft high STEEL CAGE!

Now that’s what I call opinion journalism at its finest.

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On ‘Civility’ (With Apologies to Lenny Bruce)

by matttbastard

Civility is a public discourse between [white] men, allowable because they have the time and personal resources to engage in it.

Q Grrl

Obviously it’s not my place to critique the comment policies put in place by other self-identified progressive bloggers with more delicate sensibilities (and–inexplicably–larger conservative fanbases) than yours truly.

Your house, your rules.

But come on, dude–if you take away the right to say ‘fuck’ then you take away the right to say ‘fuck straight white male privilege!’

Rest assured, dear readers, this progressive venue will continue to be both troll-free and heavily pro-profanity, all part of our nefarious plot to both further deteriorate blogospheric discourse and, in light of these troubled economic times, help spur sales of pearls and fainting couches (who says all Marxist redistributionists have contempt for the marketplace?) This is not a ‘family blog’ (whatever the fuck that means); this is a zone where we try to limit the privileged fetishization of ‘civility’ (aka classist/sexist/ableist/racist/heteronormative silencing practices) and fully intend to keep it that way. So, if you too are *ahem* uncivilized and lack common sense, please feel free to pull up a chair, crack open a cold beverage, and let the unseemly invective fly.

You goddamn fucking right.

(A quick caveat: my tongue-in-cheek observations are not meant to denigrate nor cast aspersions upon the good character and progressive bona fides of Dawg, someone whom I genuinely respect–even if I think he really needs to lighten up about the naughty language.)

Update: More from Renee on gender and the policing of “vulgar” language:

When a woman says fuck you, she is asserting a sense of power that we have socially tried to deny. She is stepping out of the submissive role and assuming an active body which patriarchy finds threatening. The mehnz immediately go into panic mode and try to remind us our place. No No little one, aggression is reserved for those with testicles.

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Go Read Off Our Pedestals Now.

by matttbastard

Ilyka fires off one final scorching laser-guided missive at the “shit-shoveling fire-fueling fauxtography-and-Jamil-obsessed bastards” of the wingnutosphere.

Not even gonna bother excerpting–am too busy applauding (much to the bemusement of my cat.)


You. Must. Read. The. Whole. Damn. Thing.

Related: Bookmark John Amato’s vidcap shrine to wingnut irrelevance during the 2008 presidential election. It might come in handy as a historical footnote when future generations wonder what the hell happened to the world in the first decade of the millennium–and to mark the moment when we finally stopped shrieking and kinda-sorta started breathing again.

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The Ripper Strikes Back (A Cynical Beef)

by matttbastard

“Nigga you want the fame, now you’re famous overnight
Famous for getting fucked by a stick of dynamite.”

Update: This is so becoming my new tagline:

Ti-Guy said…

Ah, he’s always screeching about something or other. The archetypal moonbat.

You know you’ve hit the big time when butt-hurt fauxgressives start lobbing teh lazy right-wing slurs.

I’m goin underground and blowin your rep down
Next time, save that shit for the Lyricist’s Lounge

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Open Letter Re: Personality Cults

by matttbastard

Via Alison @ The BeavPSA can suck my ass:

I’ve not had much to say in the last few weeks because my lack of faith in the Obama juggernaut has been, it appears, heretical. I’ve not been feeling too welcome or encouraged to share my opinion. So a few snips aside, I’ve kept to myself. And fair enough, I understand that after the long years of George Bush, anything that isn’t a complete waste of skin will seem like a glorious leader. But I just can’t get over the disconnect of people in one breath hailing the conquering hero and appending their gushes of praise by noting that in reality Obama lies somewhere to the right of Steve Harper on the political spectrum. Hello? Anyone in there?

The grand transformation that is sweeping America this electoral season comes down to the ability of a black candidate to be seen as electable. Alas, in the year 2008 that is the great American step forward and it speaks volumes about the hidebound ignorance and undercurrents of racism that still underpin much of America. Both Islamic Pakistan and mostly Hindu India have had women as heads of state. America’s great achievement and signal of progress is that one of their parties was willing to put forward either a woman or a black man as Presidential candidate. Forgive me not joining in the rapturous applause at the sight of the world’s most well armed nation reluctantly joining the modern world.

Ok, look. I’m not going to let some fucking lefter-than-thou litmus test be used as a cruel means to piss on the joy–the absolute, unfettered joy–that my friends in the US, many of whom now living in blue states for the first time in their lives, are reveling in. This is bigger than a mere ‘personality cult’, bigger than even President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama.

To many around the world, it is the symbolic end of the Sept 11th era.

Sure, the sensation may be fleeting, illusory. But it is a whole lot better than what we’ve had over the past 10 years (if not the past 40). And we deserve a bit of hope after so many years in the wilderness.

Plus, speaking as a person of colour, I reserve my hard-earned birth-right to be absolutely fucking gobsmacked that America has a black president (a black president!) It is, as many of my fellow POC have said, something I never expected to see in my lifetime.

Once again, as Leonard Pitts, Jr said today in his Miami Herald column,

For most of the years of the American experiment, “we the people” did not include African Americans. We were not included in “we.” We were not even included in ‘‘people.”What made it galling was all the flowery words to the contrary, all the perfumed lies about equality and opportunity. This was, people kept saying, a nation where any boy might grow up and become president. Which was only true, we knew, as long as it was indeed a boy and as long as the boy was white.

But as of today, we don’t know that anymore. What this election tells us is that the nation has changed in ways that would have been unthinkable, unimaginable, flat out preposterous, just 40 years ago. And that we, black, white and otherwise, better recalibrate our sense of the possible.

So, with all due respect to PSA and his precious undiluted ideological purity, fuck the hell off with the self-righteous killjoy routine. I’ll post whatever the fuck I want and keep doing so, whether you like it or not. Is that too ’emotional’, not ‘intellectual’ enough for you?


Watch as I strain to shed a single tear.

Update: Dr. Prole weighs in:

And about those haters: stop insulting my intelligence with your sour grapes, nihilistic purity trolling. I’ve got work to do, and so should YOU if you’re going to do something, anything, besides sit around and bitch and moan about the state of the world and how imperfect it is. So get off your ass, fat or otherwise, and get to work or shut your fucking pie hole. Last I checked, your opposition parties could use a substantial shot in the arm. What have you done, besides type furiously to anyone but your MP, MLA, mayor or city council? I mean, there have been massive fucking missives written against Obama, surely you have time. Huh? What are you waiting for, an engraved invitation? It’s not coming, so stop waiting, stop whining and crash the goddam gate.

Most politicians only understand two things: votes and money. Money can mean cash, or it can mean volunteering, boots on the ground stuff, which translates into votes. Capice?

Shark-fu nails it:

I’m going to relish this indescribable feeling today…allow my soul to fill with the emotion of knowing that my Father, may he rest in peace, would be so thrilled that he lived to witness this…and let my sore as hell feet heal a bit (wince).

But tomorrow we begin again.

President Elect Obama inherits a towering mass of drama and the daunting task of dealing with it.

And our work…the work of social justice…begins today.

Elections give us tools that we call politicians. It is our job to use the hell out of them…to hold them accountable and to work with them to bring about change.

So get your party on, y’all.

Update 2: Chet destroys the ‘personality cult’ smear (h/t pale via IM):

[O]ne of the most scurrilous falsehoods out there was that Obama’s supporters resembled a cult of some sort. Despite the fact that Obama kept insisting that the election was not really about him but about the people, some skeptics just kept repeating this distortion. Some probably still are. But no, it really wasn’t only about Obama himself. The enthusiasm came from the fact that as a public figure and campaigner he managed to tap into a deep well in American culture. His candidacy was built on a combination of the can-do Horatio Alger story at a time of general hardship, and the traditional New Deal empathy at the heart of the Democratic party, and the chance to overcome the deep wound of racism that defines much of American public life. These things matter, and if they seem irrational it’s only because they represent the basic axioms from which a larger political program can now be derived. As far as his policies go, he’s been plenty specific about them, but before you can put them into place, you’ve got to win, and before you do that you have to get people on side. As Jean Chretien once put it, “When you have power, then you can do stuff.” Obama’s path to power had nothing to do with a cult, and everything to do with shared communal ideas and principles. But you need a spark, a focal point, and a voice to help turn those ideas into action. Obama had the right qualities to be those things, and he knew it. But he also knows that that’s all he is, and so do his supporters.

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