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Friday, May 21, 2010

Mister Answer Man:  Insane Clown Posse edition!

Dear Mr. Answer Man:  I am beginning to suspect that the letters you receive are not really letters from readers at all.  In fact, I am beginning to suspect that you make them up yourself, and then give the “letter-writers” names that you think are “clever.” Am I right?  --Mary Rosh

Mister Answer Man replies:  Ms. Rosh (if that is your real name), my letters are genuine real letters from readers.  All of them!

Well, not really.  But this one is—I received it in the electronical mail two days ago.  It’s from “Clueness in Kansas,” and he writes:

Dear Mr. Answer Man:  We’ve all witnessed just how badly the Republicans want Obama to fail. They’re doing everything they can to derail any advancement or improvement he might possibly be able to make, just to point out that he failed. They’ve demonstrated that they’ll latch on to anything that could in any way be construed as bad, and drive it into his heart. My question to you is this: Given the extent to which they want to ruin this man, why don’t they take advantage of the Tea Party Sea/BP Gulf oil fiasco, and start screaming that Obama is not going fast enough to switch us all to renewables? Obama is even not admitting just how bad the leak is! He has no idea how to stop it, no plans to make sure this never happens again, no clue how to clean this mess up, and no clue how much death and economic destruction this is going to cause. Why aren’t Republicans screaming that this great nation of ours cannot afford to wait for the “Democrats” to get off their high horses and “negotiate” in their back room deals, and “agree” to make a “decision” to make a “plan” that will somehow magically “fix” all of the planet’s problems, but not until they’ve achieved social “justice” for little Demitria down the street? Why aren’t Republicans using this disaster to their advantage, taking this opportunity to call for a change in this nation’s energy priorities?  --Clueless in Kansas

Mister Answer Man replies:  Dear Mr. Clueless, I am happy to report that you are aptly named.  Your entire question, from start to finish, presumes that Republicans will use “logic” and “reason” to characterize Obama as a failure.  While you’re right that Republicans could make Obama look silly by calling for a renewed emphasis on renewable energy, you’re “right” only in the sense that your point makes “sense.” You need to understand that from the perspective of today’s GOP, the important thing is not scoring “logic points” from this disaster.  The important thing is that the American people have to understand that this socialist Muslim black blackety black man, who pals around with terrorists and (with the help of ACORN) elevated an actual scary Muslim person to the post of Miss USA, is arrogantly bowing too low to foreign leaders.  Also, socialism.  If we are ever to address the problem in the Gulf, we will need to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

This answer may not make “sense” to you.  But it is the right answer.  And because I understand that, people call me--

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Answer Man

P.S. Who is “Demitria”?  That sounds like a made-up name.

Dear Mister Answer Man:  Last month, the Globe and Mail published an interview with Camille Paglia in which she said,

This whole thing about global warming—I am absolutely incredulous at the gullibility of people. What is this hysteria over drowning polar bears? And finally I realized, people don’t know polar bears can swim! For me, the answer is always more facts, more basic information, presented without sentimentality and without drama. To inflict this kind of anxiety on young people is an outrage.

Polar bears can swim!  Mr. Answer Man, this is perhaps the most disturbing thing I have read all year.  I mean, I don’t expect much from Paglia.  I wasn’t the least bit surprised that she’s become a birther.  For many years she’s been a flibbertigibbet, a will-o’-the-wisp, a clown.  But this is perhaps the single most stupid thing I have ever heard from a college professor, and that’s setting the bar awfully high.  Do you think this is dementia, or is Paglia consciously trying to bait us, the way she does sometimes?  --Concerned in Calgary

Mister Answer Man replies:  On the Internets, it has become customary to dismiss Paglia’s rantings by suggesting that Salon likes the attention and the click-throughs.  But that tired, reductive Marxist explanation won’t wash here, because this has nothing to do with Salon.  So we need to look elsewhere.

There is a moment, earlier in the interview, that leads me to believe that Paglia is going for deliberate self-parody:

Do you have any impression of the landscape in Canada right now?

I’m not that familiar with Canada. But when I was at York University a few years ago, I thought, “Oh my god, they are so shallow. Such a backwater.”

It’s kinda priceless to accuse Canadians of shallowness by prefacing your remark with “I’m not that familiar with Canada.” You can’t make that kind of performative-contradiction shit up.  But in this case, I . . . I . . .

People don’t know polar bears can swim?

Sweet merciful greataunt of Moloch.  I got a whole penalty box full of nothin’.  And I’m supposed to be Mister Answer Man!  Well, I guess there’s only one way to find out how much Paglia knows about facts and information and science.

We will have to ask her how magnets work.

Posted by Michael on 05/21 at 04:58 AM
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