Michele Bachmann: All Sorts of Loony?

Nice profile and editorial in the Rolling Stone about Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government.

[…] in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau.

In modern American politics, being the right kind of ignorant and entertainingly crazy is like having a big right hand in boxing; you’ve always got a puncher’s chance.

But by the time you’ve finished reviewing her record of lies and embellishments and contradictions, you’ll have no idea if she actually believes in her own divine inspiration, or whether it’s a big con job.

[…] in which case this hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator. Whatever she is, she’s no joke.

Originally a division of Oral Roberts University, this august academy [Bachmann’s alma mater], dedicated to the teaching of “the law from a biblical worldview,” has gone through no fewer than three names — including the Christian Broadcasting Network School of Law.

Michele took a job as a tax attorney collecting for the IRS and spent the next four years sucking on the tit of the Internal Revenue Service, which makes her Tea Party-leader hypocrisy quotient about average.

But before long, parents began to complain that Bachmann and her cronies were trying to bombard the students with Christian dogma — advocating the inclusion of something called the “12 Biblical Principles” into the curriculum, pushing the teaching of creationism and banning the showing of the Disney movie Aladdin because it promoted witchcraft.

“She thought it was a socialist plot to turn our children into little worker-automatons,”

The theme of socialists scheming to herd children into a factorylike system of predetermined occupations still comes up often in Bachmann’s rhetoric.

Bachmannites despise IB because its “universal” curriculum refuses to recognize the superiority of Christianity to other religions.

In another version of the story told by Bachmann, she ran against Laidig only because a GOP endorsing convention in April of that year spontaneously selected her, prompting yet another Home Alone extreme-surprise moment. “I came in wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and moccasins, and I had no makeup on at all,” she said. “I had made not one phone call, and spent not five cents, and I did not solicit a vote.”

Bachmann lies because she can’t help it, because it’s a built-in component of both her genetics and her ideology. She is at once the most entertaining and the most dangerous kind of liar, a turbocharged cross between a born bullshit artist and a religious fanatic, for whom lying to the infidel is a kind of holy duty.

The first was a jeremiad against school standards, which fizzled out when Ventura’s replacement, then-governor and current presidential rival Tim Pawlenty, backed his own version of school standards with the coming of No Child Left Behind. The other was a hysterical campaign against gay marriage that involved some of the strangest behavior ever attributed to an American elected official.

Bachmann somehow took this to mean that the Obama administration might force ordinary Americans to abandon their familiar green dollar bills for some international and no doubt atheist currency.

She called gay marriage an “earthquake issue,” insisting that failure to pass her proposal would mean that “sex curriculum would essentially be taught by the gay community” and that “little K-12 children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it.”

A photo shows Bachmann, only the top of her Stepford head visible, crouched alone in an extreme catcher’s squat behind the Capitol shrubbery. She later insisted she wasn’t hiding at all, but resting because her heels hurt.

Images of Michele Bachmann squatting behind a bush or hiding from lesbians in a bathroom would seem to be punch lines of funny stories, but they are not. The real punch line is that rather than destroying her politically, these incidents helped propel her into Congress.

Snickering readers in New York or Los Angeles might be tempted by all of this to conclude that Bachmann is uniquely crazy. But in fact, such tales by Bachmann work precisely because there are a great many people in America just like Bachmann, people who believe that God tells them what condiments to put on their hamburgers, who can’t tell the difference between Soviet Communism and a Stafford loan, but can certainly tell the difference between being mocked and being taken seriously.

Danah Boyd on Kiki Kannibal

Kiki Hannibal

Danah Boyd has got some good comments on the whole Kiki Hannibal phenomenon and the recent Rolling Stone article. Just like any type of thing, there need to be limits to what teens can do on the Internet. Social media and networking are still new, and it will take time for children to learn how to interact with it. Oversharing is prevalent on Twitter and Facebook.

Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience

Photo by Theo Wenner for Rolling Stone
Photo by Theo Wenner for Rolling Stone

The new Steven Soderbergh movie stars 21-year-old porn star Sasha Grey as a high-class escort. She is trying to build up her business and the movie deals with her trials and tribulations over a period of five days. Christine deals with different problems, from getting good reviews on escort review sites by giving the reviewers a little taste, to being a girlfriend to lonely men.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

Continue reading “Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience”

Generation Kill The Cradle Of Civilization S01E02 (HBO)

Generation Kill is an American war mini-series on the US cable channel HBO that explores the lives of the men in a U.S. Marine Corps battalion as they serve their country during the early days of the second War in Iraq.

The mini-series comes from the creative team behind HBO’s critically acclaimed The Wire. It is based on Evan Wright’s book of the same name, which finds its origins in a series of essays published in Rolling Stone Magazine. The essays were written during his stint as an embedded member of the Marines’ First Reconnaissance Battalion. It was adapted by David Simon and Ed Burns.

Wright’s portrayal of the soldiers in Generation Kill is the first glimpse of a fighting force raised on a palpable culture of violence (slickly produced war movies, gangster rap and rock in particular), who are street-savvy beyond any generation of soldiers prior, and how they deal with the disjunction between Hollywood war and actual war, their biographical influences and bureaucracy.
Vaughn From Filthy Skies

Just like some of the other wars in the last century were socially and psychologically dissected, Generation Kill does the same for the Gulf Wars. It is much needed since these types of incisive examinations in popular culture are rare for the moment, as there is no palpable end in sight for the war on terror and that soldiers are living through these moments as we speak. This makes the Second Gulf War a controversial subject to say the least.

Continue reading “Generation Kill The Cradle Of Civilization S01E02 (HBO)”

Generation Kill Get Some S01E01 (HBO)

Generation Kill is an American war mini-series on the US cable channel HBO that explores the lives of the men in a U.S. Marine Corps battalion as they serve their country during the early days of the second War in Iraq.

The mini-series comes from the creative team behind HBO’s critically acclaimed The Wire. It is based on Evan Wright’s book of the same name, which finds its origins in a series of essays published in Rolling Stone Magazine. The essays were written during his stint as an embedded member of the Marines’ First Reconnaissance Battalion. It was adapted by David Simon and Ed Burns.

Wright’s portrayal of the soldiers in Generation Kill is the first glimpse of a fighting force raised on a palpable culture of violence (slickly produced war movies, gangster rap and rock in particular), who are street-savvy beyond any generation of soldiers prior, and how they deal with the disjunction between Hollywood war and actual war, their biographical influences and bureaucracy.
Vaughn From Filthy Skies

Continue reading “Generation Kill Get Some S01E01 (HBO)”