And Doggone It, People Like Me!

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Ah, yes, I remember "Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley" sketches on good old SNL. (Like many recurring characters: funny until, inevitably, run into the ground.) I wonder how Stuart would react to Freddie deBoer, who has penned a Prologue to an Anti-Therapeutic, Anti-Affirmation Movement

I am about to make a prediction about a political shift, of a sort. But I’m not predicting a major social change writ large so much as I am predicting a new or newly invigorated response to a preexisting cultural reality, an unfortunate one. I think there's gathering dissatisfaction with a common set of tropes regarding personal agency and mental health. In particular, I think that the dominance of the therapeutic assumption in American life, and the role of affirmation within it, will be challenged. Currently, an inescapable American cultural mode, particularly among the educated, is one of mandatory therapeutic maximalism and an attendant tyranny of affirmation. The therapeutic/affirmational mode assumes

  • Wanting and not getting is disordered and a kind of identity crime

  • Human life is meant to be spent in a ceaseless state of feeling “valid,” which is to say, affirmed and respected and paid attention to and liked; any deviation from this state is pathological and a vestige of injustice

  • Good people spend a great deal of their time categorically and uncritically affirming others - telling friends and strangers alike that their desires are all legitimate, their instincts always correct, their perceptions of their own needs never mistaken or misguided, their self-conception compelling

That's just the first three items on Freedie's 12-element list. Click over for the remainder. If he's right in forecasting a backlash against that sort of thing, it's devoutly to be wished.

Freddie used to self-identify as "Marxist". He seems to have dialed that to "leftist". Progress!

Also of note:

  • A helpful and scary reminder… from Ace of Spades HQ: The 2nd Amendment Is The Hill Upon Which The Left Will Die: They Will Do Anything To Gut It, And They Will Never Stop

    It doesn't matter to the left how they ban guns. They will go after them with onerous purchase regulations. They will try to confiscate them using "Red Flag" laws. They will increase costs with ridiculous registration and purchase fees, and increased fees levied against retailers. They will restrict the right to carry weapons for self-protection to narrowly defined and useless places. They will demonize guns in the media...even anthropomorphizing if guns were sentient and able to act on their own!

    I will use that last bit to (once again) note one of the definitions of "fetish":

    an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

    A good thing to point out when someone talks about owners having a "gun fetish". That's a term much more applicable to the left.

  • More like the Internal Revenue Disservice, amirite? J.D. Tuccile looks at a repeat of a TV show you didn't like the first time: The IRS Misplaced Millions of Taxpayer Records. Again.

    Do you know where your tax records are? It's a serious question in the case of millions of Americans whose records the IRS carelessly misplaced. That's the big reveal in a recent inspector general's report telling us that the federal mugging agency continues to be mindbogglingly incompetent at safeguarding the sensitive financial information it forcibly extracts from us all.

    "The IRS was unable to locate any of the FY 2010 microfilm cartridges that should have been sent from the Fresno Tax Processing Center to the Kansas City Tax Processing Center," the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed in an August 8 report on the tax agency's data-handling practices. "As a result of the lack of adequate inventory controls, the IRS cannot account for thousands of microfilm cartridges containing millions of sensitive business and individual tax account records."

    Oddly enough, the IRS is a branch of the very same Federal Government that thinks they're qualified to write regulations on how private companies can handle "your data".

  • Poof! Into a cloud of crack smoke! Andrew C. McCarthy is pretty peeved at a vanishing act: ‘Special Counsel’ David Weiss Makes $5 Million Biden–China Scheme Disappear

    Remember Hunter Biden’s extortionate WhatsApp message to his Chinese business associate, Henry Zhao? The message we just learned about in June because Gary Shapley, an IRS whistleblower agent, shone a light on it? The message that spun up Congress and much of the public, and even stirred the press out of its slumber for a moment or two, because it undeniably implicated President Biden?

    Well guess whom the message failed to stir? That would be none other than newly minted “special counsel” David Weiss, the prosecutor who has supposedly been investigating Hunter Biden — and thus the Biden family influence-peddling business, the main source of income for the president’s son — since 2018. Weiss, of course, is the Delaware U.S. attorney. Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland never tires of pointing out that he is a Trump appointee, but Weiss was confirmed and appointed in Democrat-dominated Delaware only because of strong support by the state’s two Democratic senators, Biden allies Chris Coons and Tom Carper.

    McCarthy helpfully provides Hunter's "extortionate WhatsApp message":

    I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.

    Since we've mentioned one recurring SNL character already, let's go for another, the Church Lady: Well, isn't that special?

  • Are you a Futurama fan? If no, you should probably stop reading here. Hulu started airing the new episode Parasites Regained yesterday. And boy, it was a hoot. An extended parody of Dune (books and movies), carried out in the desert world of … Nibbler's litter box, thanks to the Professor's shrink ray.

    That was necessitated by Nibbler's parasitic infection, which was quickly eating into his intelligence. The medic said (I'm paraphrasing) that it wouldn't stop until he had the IQ of a terrier.

    Then he said, no it's worse: a Boston terrier!

    Well, you may have noticed me and Barney up there at the top of the right-hand column. The good news is: he wasn't listening when this vile slander was issued.

    But it got me Googling a bit:

    And yes, people have noticed Nibbler's resemblance to that noble breed.

    And (also) yes, people have also submitted their pups to this indignity:

Last Modified 2024-01-11 2:58 PM EDT