May 31, 2008

The unending burden of whiteness

I have no idea how I missed this article the first time it went around, but it's one of the greatest articles about race I've ever read in my life:

People think I have it easy, but it's surprisingly difficult being The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He's Black, what with the whole having to be everywhere in the country at once thing. One second I'm nodding enthusiastically in a sales conference in Boise, Idaho, and the next I'm separating conjoined triplets at the Institute For Terribly Complicated Surgery in Buchanan, N.Y., and then I have to rush out to Muncie, Ind., to put my little "Inspector 12" tag in a bag of Fruit of the Loom.

It's exhausting, all that travel. Decent, hard-working folks out there have their religion and their xenophobia to cling to. All I have is a fistful of upgrades to first class and free headphones. Headphones That Should Have Gone to a More Deserving Passenger.

Guns? I wish I had a gun! Ever run out of truffle oil before a dinner party and have to go to Whole Foods on a weekend? It'll make you want to spread a little buckshot around, that's for sure.

Look, we're all hurting, trying to make ends meet. I have serious overhead with all the résumés I send out. The postage is one thing, but I also like to print my résumé on a nice creamy bond. I think it sends a message. Then there's the dry cleaning and the soap -- I prefer to be clean and articulate in my interviews, put my best foot forward. I think it's working. People are responding to how I present myself.

I know some folks feel bitter about me, as bitter as the first dandelion greens of the season. Yet these people are not without hope, hope that is drizzled on those dandelion greens like a dash of sweet pomegranate vinegar. Do they begrudge the scorpion its sting, or the duck its quack? How can I be other than what I am, The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He's Black?

Frankly it's a lot better than my last two gigs, The Guy Who Left the Seat Up and The Guy Who Took the Last Beer, although I do suffer from a lot of work-related injuries, as you can imagine. For all this jibber-jabber about how I don't understand a working man's problems, you should take a look at my medical chart. I have carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, miner's lung, scapegoat rash and vintner's dropsy, and just last week I burned my thumb making horseshoes. The funny thing is, I didn't want to be a blacksmith. But I heard they had an opening and I couldn't help myself.

Via Ta-Nehisi, who like (Gasp! White guy! With a weblog! How'd that happen!) John Cole, as well as myself, wonder what the hell is wrong with Geraldine Ferraro. Seriously, did she go nuts recently or was she nuts all along?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:54 AM

May 30, 2008

There is nothing else that matters for the next 72 hours

Venture Bros.

Season 3.

If you made other plans, cancel them. This is your plan now.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:25 AM

Harvey Korman

In case you were still wondering why for some odd reason the world felt less funny all of a sudden yesterday, it's because one of the funniest persons who ever lived left us. I'm sure everyone and their uncle has a favorite bit of his, but as a lifelong Mel Brooks fan the great Blazing Saddles rant was always my favorite.

RIP, Mr. Lamarr.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:00 AM

May 29, 2008

And now, another edition of "Hillary Is More Electable Because Polls are Totally Accurate Because I Said So"

On May 28, 2004, John Kerry was winning the presidential election with 327 electoral votes.

This has been another edition of "Hillary Is More Electable Because Polls are Totally Accurate Because I Said So," dedicated by a caller to one Todd B. of Imaginationland.

Update: Now, if I wanted to be really snotty, I suppose I could just mention that I personally think Obama is much more electable than Clinton in the general election because his name will be on the ballot, but of course I would only do that if I was really, really fed up with this bullshit.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:05 PM

Scottie Doesn't Know (anything)

Marc Ambinder has a good summary of the reaction to Scott McClellan's book, but I find it weird that people are still amazed the entire collective right wing would rush to deny Scottie faster than Peter denied Christ the moment McClellan released a book that, from everything I've seen about it, essentially just admitted everything that we all knew about the Bush administration since about 2002.

This doesn't really change my opinion of McClellan, either. The man was a contemptible piece of shit and my only pleasure out of seeing his face on TV again is the chance we might get one more cartoon from Matt out of it. You may as well ask me how I would feel if Rove relased a book called "okay, you got us, we stole the election."

I guess, ultimately, the remaining thing this administration had going for it was the thin sliver of plausible deniabilty- the idea that this was all a character play from Jon Stewart's writers, as Ambinder noted. I imagine Scottie just made that a little harder.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:51 AM

May 26, 2008

"Her chances"

Latest comic - click here!

I tapped a popular nerve two weeks ago when I pointed out that Hillary Clinton has been the victim of incredible and unfair misogyny in this campaign, and there is nothing she can do or has done that will counter that, or justify what she endured. That said, I am going to make an incredibly horrible analogy, and note that Clinton suffering misogynistic attacks is relevant to the last few weeks of her actions roughly as much as the racism of the Los Angeles Police Department was relevant to whether or not O. J. Simpson murdered his wife.

If this analogy offends you, at least I did not use the candidate's name in direct conjunction with actually being murdered. Clinton already covered that this weekend.

I have reached the point where I no longer reserve my pity for Clinton herself, as she effectively begins a strategy of outright lying to claim a form of legitimacy to her still being a candidate. Rather, I feel very sorry for a generation of young women who are watching the credibility of their own status of groundbreakers a generation from now shattered by a total lunatic demanding to be the poster child for female empowerment in politics. I remain permanently disillusioned by this nation's first credible female vice-presidential candidate using that status to declare, emphatically, that a black man can't win an election. That feeling is only furthered by the legion of Clinton supporters who, under some bastardized guise of feminism, defended her.

I find myself furious at news reports that will not air for twenty years, as a young congresswoman, reaching the apex of her political clout and prestige (all without, mind you, the slight advantage of being married to a former president enabling one's ability to landslide into a senate seat from a state she never previously lived in), envisions the possibly of the unthinkable- a woman in the White House- and enduring weeks of headlines pondering "the next Hillary?" Oh, to recall the halcyon days of six weeks ago, when that was still a compliment.

I truly do hope that if you are a Clinton supporter, now enraged at what you've read here, you might pause before expressing your outrage at the open audacity for me, me of all people, to claim to speak for feminism, to reflect upon the unspeakable irony of such outrage. Perhaps, if we are lucky, more people will realize she no longer speaks for anyone but herself in time to find brighter voices when they still have a chance.

Buy some crap. Join the mailing list. Whatever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:35 AM