NRO Cracker Barrels

Readability

NRO Cracker Barrels

And I’m one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just try­ing to keep my cus­tomers sat­is­fied,
Sat­is­fied.

Simon and Gar­funkel Keep the Cus­tomer Sat­is­fied 1970

One of the joys of the inter­net is wait­ing on Mark Steyn to com­ment on an issue and the Duck Dynasty story was par­don the pun set­ting up ducks in a row for him.

Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion. But you can still find them in the archives, out on the edge of town, in Sub-​Basement Level 12 of the ever-​expanding Smith­son­ian Mau­soleum of the Unsayable. First, Bob Hope, tour­ing the world in the year or so after the pas­sage of the 1975 Con­sent­ing Adult Sex Bill:

I’ve just flown in from Cal­i­for­nia, where they’ve made homo­sex­u­al­ity legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

The most amaz­ing this about that pas­sage from Steyn is that it fol­lows this exchange on MSNBC (via Stacy McCain) that makes his point:

Is the new new offi­cial “posi­tion” at MSNBC how DARE you cri­tique Sodomy until you tried it? (I thought that our friends on the left insisted homo­sex­u­als were born that way?)

Steyn Con­tin­ues on the total­i­tar­ian nature of this busi­ness:

The asphyx­i­at­ing embrace of ide­o­log­i­cal con­for­mity was famously cap­tured by Niko­lai Krylenko, the People’s Com­mis­sar for Jus­tice, in a speech to the Soviet Con­gress of Chess Play­ers in 1932, at which he attacked the very con­cept of “the neu­tral­ity of chess.” It was nec­es­sary for chess to be Sovi­etized like every­thing else. “We must orga­nize shock brigades of chess play­ers, and begin imme­di­ate real­iza­tion of a Five-​Year Plan for chess,” he declared.

Six years later, the polit­i­cal winds hav­ing shifted, Krylenko was exe­cuted as an enemy of the peo­ple. But his spirit lives on among the Com­mis­sars of Gay Com­pli­ance at GLAAD. It is not enough to have gay mar­riage for gays. Every­thing must be gayed. There must be Five-​Year Gay Plans for Amer­i­can bak­eries, and the Chris­t­ian church, and real­ity TV. There must be shock brigades of gay duck-​hunters honk­ing out the party line deep in the back­woods of the proletariat.

As a fre­quent guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s show Mark Steyn is loved by the right nd hated by the left. He’s a guy who puts butts in the seats and that’s exactly what you need to keep a shoe­string mag­a­zine oper­a­tion afloat.

Some­one didn’t men­tion this to Jason Lee Ste­orts who cri­tiqued Steyn’s piece con­clud­ing thus:

By way of crit­i­ciz­ing speech, I’ll say that I found the deroga­tory lan­guage in this col­umn, and espe­cially the slur in its bor­rowed con­clud­ing joke, both puerile in its own right and dis­ap­point­ing com­ing from a writer of such talent.

I was rather surprised

That fundraiser is to fight the Michael Mann law­suit over NRO’s pieces on global warming.

Steyn, who has been a free speech tar­get in the past, had an answer:

It is a mat­ter of some regret to me that my own edi­tor at this pub­li­ca­tion does not regard this sort of thing as creepy and repel­lent rather than part of the vibrant tapes­try of what he calls an “awak­en­ing to a greater civil­ity”. I’m not inclined to euphem­ize intim­i­da­tion and bul­ly­ing as a lively exchange of ideas – “the use of speech to crit­i­cize other speech”, as Mr Ste­orts absurdly dig­ni­fies it. So do excuse me if I skip to the men’s room dur­ing his patron­iz­ing dis­qui­si­tion on the dis­tinc­tion between “state coer­cion” and “cul­tural coer­cion”. I’m well aware of that, thank you. In the early days of my free-​speech bat­tles in Canada, my friend Ezra Lev­ant used a par­tic­u­lar word to me: “de-​normalize”. Our ene­mies didn’t par­tic­u­larly care whether they won in court. What­ever the ver­dict, they’d suc­ceed in “de-​normalizing” us — that’s to say, putting us beyond the pale of polite soci­ety and main­stream cul­ture. “De-​normalizing” is the busi­ness GLAAD and the other enforcers are in. You’ll recall Paula Deen’s accuser even­tu­ally lost in court — but the ver­dict came too late for Ms Deen’s book deal, and TV show, and endorse­ment contracts.

One of the lessons of the Cracker Bar­rel /​Duck Dynasty exam­ple is to know your cus­tomer base.

NRO has a cus­tomer and a donor base too, appar­ently that was lost on Jason who dou­bled down:

The point is basic cour­tesy, Mark. It’s that you could mount your oppos­ing argu­ment with­out insult­ing peo­ple. Sure, you have the right to insult peo­ple, but I can’t sym­pa­thize much with some­one who exer­cises that right just to prove it exists, which seems to have been part of your rhetor­i­cal strat­egy. What I would like to de-​normalize is boor­ish­ness, what­ever its con­tent. I would do that by crit­i­ciz­ing your man­ners, not by “indef­i­nitely suspend[ing]” you, which would not be my deci­sion any­way. When peo­ple are indef­i­nitely sus­pended from this or that for being boors, I find it “sti­fling and unhealthy,” as you may recall that I said. I’ll upgrade that to “creepy and repel­lent,” if it’ll calm you down. But it’s also part of the rough-​and-​tumble of free expres­sion, which pro­tects equally the right of peo­ple to be boors, and the right of peo­ple to call for sus­pen­sions, and the right of orga­ni­za­tions to capit­u­late, and the right of you and me to crit­i­cize them for it, with or with­out courtesy.

Now as an edi­tor Jason Ste­orts might not be con­cerned with the vul­gar need to sat­isfy the cus­tomers who actu­ally sup­ply the funds in the check he cashes but Jack Fowler, the pub­lisher of National Review does. Last night at 8:32 PM with the com­ments sec­tions explod­ing online he jumped in

I believe Mark Steyn’s new col­umn is a tri­umph, and wrote him on Fri­day to say that. The ensu­ing crit­i­cal take on it by my col­league, Jason Ste­orts, left my head shaking.

and wasted no time in bring­ing up the Global Warm­ing suit and NRO’s fundrais­ing to defend it

This, to me, gets to Jason’s cultural/​state con­struct. So we at NR engage on the “cul­tural” field, but when we have said some­thing that is intol­er­a­ble to the Intol­li­gen­cia, we end up on the state field (judi­cial sub­di­vi­sion). NR knows we are in the right, and believes that we will prove vic­to­ri­ous in court, but not until after the expen­di­ture of mil­lions of dol­lars, which would have been much bet­ter used to advance our mis­sion of stand­ing athwart His­tory, yelling stop. Free­dom isn’t free, my friends, and the First Amend­ment is under assault, on cul­tural and state fronts — which is why we have no qualms ask­ing you to help sup­port us finan­cially in our legal fight.

Can you say Cause & Effect?

That was Jack Fowler pub­lic rebuke of his edi­tor. I would loved to see the e-​mail or heard the phone call that Mr. Ste­orts got. I sus­pect it sounded some­thing like this:

YOU IDIOT! who do you think pays the bills around here? Do you think GLAAD is going to send us a check because you hit Steyn on this?

I don’t know how old Mr. Ste­orts is but he doesn’t seem to real­ize how fast all this has hap­pened. At the start of the cen­tury if you told me that by 2014 we would go from fringe groups argu­ing to allow & accept Gay Mar­riage to peo­ple being attacked and called big­ots for quot­ing scrip­ture & MSNBC’s “don’t knock it till you try it” atti­tude on Anal sex, I’d have told you that’s only slightly less likely than the Red Sox win­ning 3 World series in that same time period.

I would ask Mr. Ste­orts if we are going to sub­mit to the cen­sor­ship of cul­ture and avoid offense are we going to cen­sor this Monty Python sketch:

or this one

or this one

or per­haps this one

I could go on but the fight for con­ser­vatism has always been a fight in the cul­ture, some­thing the GOP estab­lish­ment hasn’t fig­ured out. Humor & insult is a vital arrow for our bow and I’m not about to allow any­one to make us quiver it.

But I’ll make a deal with Mr. Ste­orts, I’ll recon­sider my posi­tion six months after the Catholic Church is once again allowed to han­dle adop­tions in the state of Massachusetts.

Maybe by then the Red Sox will have won 3 more world series, the Cubs will win one and the Dodgers will have moved back to Brooklyn.

Update: If NRO is Cracker Bar­rel is PJ Media Glenn Beck?

if NRO finds Steyn’s truth­ful­ness unpalat­able, I’m pretty sure we could find a place for him at PJ Media.

I’d turn my mag­nif­i­cent seven into an excit­ing eight to get Steyn.

Update 2: Ouch

As one of my Red­State col­leagues said, their mast­head should read:

Stand­ing Athwart His­tory, Yelling Okay Go Right Ahead (We Don’t Want to Offend Anyone)

and Ouch again:

If NRO loses Steyn I’ll have no use for the place…

…Jonah Gold­berg notwith­stand­ing. I cer­tainly don’t see myself read­ing for Jason Lee Ste­orts’ more-​in-​sorrow-​than-​in-​anger tut-​tutting.
Update 3: Added Musi­cal Quote.
Update 4: Linked at Steyn Online, now if I can only get him on the show.

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[olimome­ter id=3]

It’s Mon­day in the last full week of Decem­ber and we unfor­tu­nately are only $2 on our way to our $340 weekly goal and $615 dol­lars away from our monthly goal after short­falls in two of the last three weeks.

The only peo­ple who can change that sit­u­a­tion is you.

It will take a full 25 $25 tip jar hit­ters to make all the bills this month but any hit will move the ball and of course if some­one wants to hit DaTip­Jar for the full $615 I won’t com­plain either.

Be one of the pro­duc­ers of this blog, by hit­ting DaTip­Jar below.

We remain 59 14 new sub­scribers at $20 a month away from retire the daily tip jar shakes for the mort­gage and the Mag­nif­i­cent seven.

Give your­self a Christ­mas present that will inform and enter­tain you 365 days a year in 2014. Sub­scribe below.




And I’m one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,
Satisfied.

Simon and Garfunkel Keep the Customer Satisfied 1970

One of the joys of the internet is waiting on Mark Steyn to comment on an issue and the Duck Dynasty story was pardon the pun setting up ducks in a row for him.

Here are two jokes one can no longer tell on American television. But you can still find them in the archives, out on the edge of town, in Sub-Basement Level 12 of the ever-expanding Smithsonian Mausoleum of the Unsayable. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:

“I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

The most amazing this about that passage from Steyn is that it follows this exchange on MSNBC (via Stacy McCain) that makes his point:

Is the new new official “position” at MSNBC how DARE you critique Sodomy until you tried it? (I thought that our friends on the left insisted homosexuals were born that way?)

Steyn Continues on the totalitarian nature of this business:

The asphyxiating embrace of ideological conformity was famously captured by Nikolai Krylenko, the People’s Commissar for Justice, in a speech to the Soviet Congress of Chess Players in 1932, at which he attacked the very concept of “the neutrality of chess.” It was necessary for chess to be Sovietized like everything else. “We must organize shock brigades of chess players, and begin immediate realization of a Five-Year Plan for chess,” he declared.

Six years later, the political winds having shifted, Krylenko was executed as an enemy of the people. But his spirit lives on among the Commissars of Gay Compliance at GLAAD. It is not enough to have gay marriage for gays. Everything must be gayed. There must be Five-Year Gay Plans for American bakeries, and the Christian church, and reality TV. There must be shock brigades of gay duck-hunters honking out the party line deep in the backwoods of the proletariat.

As a frequent guest host on Rush Limbaugh’s show Mark Steyn is loved by the right nd hated by the left.  He’s a guy who puts butts in the seats and that’s exactly what you need to keep a shoestring magazine operation afloat.

Someone didn’t mention this to Jason Lee Steorts who critiqued Steyn’s piece concluding thus:

By way of criticizing speech, I’ll say that I found the derogatory language in this column, and especially the slur in its borrowed concluding joke, both puerile in its own right and disappointing coming from a writer of such talent.

I was rather surprised

That fundraiser is to fight the Michael Mann lawsuit over NRO’s pieces on global warming.

Steyn, who has been a free speech target in the past, had an answer:

It is a matter of some regret to me that my own editor at this publication does not regard this sort of thing as creepy and repellent rather than part of the vibrant tapestry of what he calls an “awakening to a greater civility”. I’m not inclined to euphemize intimidation and bullying as a lively exchange of ideas – “the use of speech to criticize other speech”, as Mr Steorts absurdly dignifies it. So do excuse me if I skip to the men’s room during his patronizing disquisition on the distinction between “state coercion” and “cultural coercion”. I’m well aware of that, thank you. In the early days of my free-speech battles in Canada, my friend Ezra Levant used a particular word to me: “de-normalize”. Our enemies didn’t particularly care whether they won in court. Whatever the verdict, they’d succeed in “de-normalizing” us — that’s to say, putting us beyond the pale of polite society and mainstream culture. “De-normalizing” is the business GLAAD and the other enforcers are in. You’ll recall Paula Deen’s accuser eventually lost in court — but the verdict came too late for Ms Deen’s book deal, and TV show, and endorsement contracts.

One of the lessons of the Cracker Barrel / Duck Dynasty example is to know your customer base.

NRO has a customer and a donor base too, apparently that was lost on Jason who doubled down:

The point is basic courtesy, Mark. It’s that you could mount your opposing argument without insulting people. Sure, you have the right to insult people, but I can’t sympathize much with someone who exercises that right just to prove it exists, which seems to have been part of your rhetorical strategy. What I would like to de-normalize is boorishness, whatever its content. I would do that by criticizing your manners, not by “indefinitely suspend[ing]” you, which would not be my decision anyway. When people are indefinitely suspended from this or that for being boors, I find it “stifling and unhealthy,” as you may recall that I said. I’ll upgrade that to “creepy and repellent,” if it’ll calm you down. But it’s also part of the rough-and-tumble of free expression, which protects equally the right of people to be boors, and the right of people to call for suspensions, and the right of organizations to capitulate, and the right of you and me to criticize them for it, with or without courtesy.

Now as an editor Jason Steorts might not be concerned with the vulgar need to satisfy the customers who actually supply the funds in the check he cashes but Jack Fowler, the publisher of National Review does.  Last night at 8:32 PM with the comments sections exploding online he jumped in

I believe Mark Steyn’s new column is a triumph, and wrote him on Friday to say that. The ensuing critical take on it by my colleague, Jason Steorts, left my head shaking.

and wasted no time in bringing up the Global Warming suit and NRO’s fundraising to defend it

This, to me, gets to Jason’s cultural/state construct. So we at NR engage on the “cultural” field, but when we have said something that is intolerable to the Intolligencia, we end up on the state field (judicial subdivision). NR knows we are in the right, and believes that we will prove victorious in court, but not until after the expenditure of millions of dollars, which would have been much better used to advance our mission of standing athwart History, yelling stop. Freedom isn’t free, my friends, and the First Amendment is under assault, on cultural and state fronts — which is why we have no qualms asking you to help support us financially in our legal fight.

Can you say Cause & Effect?

That was Jack Fowler public rebuke of his editor.  I would loved to see the e-mail or heard the phone call that Mr. Steorts got.  I suspect it sounded something like this:

YOU IDIOT! who do you think pays the bills around here?  Do you think GLAAD is going to send us a check because you hit Steyn on this?

I don’t know how old Mr. Steorts is but he doesn’t seem to realize how fast all this has happened.   At the start of the century if you told me that by 2014 we would go from fringe groups arguing to allow & accept Gay Marriage to people being attacked and called bigots for quoting scripture & MSNBC’s “don’t knock it till you try it” attitude on Anal sex, I’d have told you that’s only slightly less likely than the Red Sox winning 3 World series in that same time period.

I would ask Mr. Steorts if we are going to submit to the censorship of culture and avoid offense are we going to censor this Monty Python sketch:

or this one

or this one

or perhaps this one

I could go on but the fight for conservatism has always been a fight in the culture, something the GOP establishment hasn’t figured out.  Humor & insult is a vital arrow for our bow and I’m not about to allow anyone to make us quiver it.

But I’ll make a deal with Mr. Steorts, I’ll reconsider my position six months after the Catholic Church is once again allowed to handle adoptions in the state of  Massachusetts.

Maybe by then the Red Sox will have won 3 more world series, the Cubs will win one and the Dodgers will have moved back to Brooklyn.

Update:  If NRO is Cracker Barrel is PJ Media Glenn Beck?

if NRO finds Steyn’s truthfulness unpalatable, I’m pretty sure we could find a place for him at PJ Media.

I’d turn my magnificent seven into an exciting eight to get Steyn.

Update 2:  Ouch

As one of my RedState colleagues said, their masthead should read:

Standing Athwart History, Yelling Okay Go Right Ahead (We Don’t Want to Offend Anyone)

and Ouch again:

If NRO loses Steyn I’ll have no use for the place…

 …Jonah Goldberg notwithstanding. I certainly don’t see myself reading for Jason Lee Steorts’ more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tut-tutting.
Update 3:  Added Musical Quote.
Update 4:  Linked at Steyn Online, now if I can only get him on the show.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday in the last full week of December and we unfortunately are only $2 on our way to our $340 weekly goal and $615 dollars away from our monthly goal after shortfalls in two of the last three weeks.

The only people who can change that situation is you.

It will take a full 25 $25 tip jar hitters to make all the bills this month but any hit will move the ball and of course if someone wants to hit DaTipJar for the full $615 I won’t complain either.

Be one of the producers of this blog, by hitting DaTipJar below.

We remain 59 1/4 new subscribers at $20 a month away from retire the daily tip jar shakes for the mortgage and the Magnificent seven.

Give yourself a Christmas present that will inform and entertain you 365 days a year in 2014. Subscribe below.