Culture Briefs

Overstaying Wilkommen

“[John] McCain took his biggest wrong turn when he boarded his ‘Straight Talk Express’ and became the media’s darling … quite unaware that the press adored him because he was useful to them in their own soft-core anti-Americanism. But once he became the Republican standard-bearer in 2008, he became the enemy — and this happened many months before he plumped for [Sarah] Palin. McCain then found himself, for the first time in his political career, to be a politician largely friendless in the media. …

“The decent thing for McCain to have done after Obama’s election would have been to say that he was calling it quits, giving way in the Senate to a politician less spent. But he didn’t. Politicians without a guiding ideology are, frequently, the ones who stay in the game longest. Manic redefinition, constant reorientation, tracking the latest directions on the ideological GPS, places them on an unending trajectory of reelection, a journey that ends only with death. The late Senator Robert Byrd was one such man; McCain, without Byrd’s godawful stains, is shaping to be another. I don’t have reliable data on the topic, so consider this an anecdotal observation, but this is how vainglorious politicians often end their careers — hanging on a little too long, at great cost to their public image. Think of McCain as the Liza Minnelli of American politics.”

Tunku Varadarajan, writing on “McCain’s Embarrassing Last Act,” on Aug. 23 at the Daily Beast

Peaceful mosque

“At Sunday’s Ground Zero mosque protest, I spoke to one man who had been with the counter-protesters, Joey 'Boots' Bassolino, immediately after the police pulled him out from the crowd. What happened, I asked? ‘There was a guy standing up, a Pakistani guy, who had identified himself as a Pakistani, and he said: “We’re not going to sit there and back these Zionist Jews,”’ Bassolino recounted, still clearly a little shaken up.

“‘And I’m like, whoa, wait a minute. What’s up with the racism? And they’re like, “What’s racist about that?”’ … Bassolino, a disabled U.S. Army veteran, claims that he’s an ‘objective’ observer and was in the group of counter-protesters to ‘document what was going on.’

“‘These are people that are supposedly protesting racism, yet you get people standing up there on a soap box yelling about “Zionist Jews.” What the hell is that? That’s racism to me, man,’ Bassolino explained to me.”

Daniel Halper, writing on “Anti-Semitic Incident at Ground Zero Mosque Counter Protest,” onAug. 23 at the Weekly Standard

Prophetic ‘Airplane’

“The US Justice Department is seeking people who speak Ebonics. Wait a minute, you mean this is a real story? It reads like an SNL skit or an article from the Onion. Ebonics is a dialect, are you kidding? Wonder how the Cajun folks feel this? Sorry if I am in the camp that Ebonics is a ‘bastardization of the English language.’ The Department of Justice needs Ebonics translators to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations. Who knew ‘crack’ was called something different in Ebonics? …

“As Wizbang states — Life imitates ‘Airplane,’ ‘oh stewardess, I speak jive.’ Who knew ‘Airplane’ was just ahead of its time? What will this be passed off as, more Obama job creation? Maybe the DOJ can hire some folks who speak ‘Downeast’ Mainiac, becaause aya, ya can’t get theya from hera. Maybe they can also hire some folks who speack South Jersey or Valley girl as well. I guess it is a good thing for the DOJ that Snooki from ‘Jersey Shore’ will be releasing a dictionary.”

From “The US Justice Department is hooked on Ebonics,” on Aug. 24 at the Scared Monkeys blog

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