The problem with the JournoList scandal is the problem with a lot of right wing news: It's not happening on Earth I, where you and I live. Like the Black Panthers taking over the Justice Department, or Shirley Sherrod's night raids on Andrew Breitbart's small family farm or Glenn Beck's lonely one-man struggle against the Tides Foundation, it exists in a parallel universe that only superficially resembles our own.
A universe where straight, rich white men are the only victims of anything, ever, and shrieking like an infant is their only defense; where Christianity and capitalism are in constant peril, where black lesbians and the very, very poor run everything and Iran has the Bomb and we don't. And where Andrew Breitbart is Biko, and revolutionary political power doesn't come from a gun, it comes, under TV lights, out of the puckered, anus-like mouth of a whining pink face.
You can imagine why the people in that universe are so unhappy. You wouldn't want to live there for five seconds.
Since it's not real, trying to figure out what they're complaining about is a chore, if you're not ready to commit some real time. It's like attending a family reunion where half the guests are talking about your actual relatives, and the other half are talking about the people on The Bold and the Beautiful.
That's why I turn to Dennis Prager.
(Dennis Prager, for those of you who never visit that other universe, is a thrice-married Judeo-Christian values scold, with his own radio show, of course, and syndicated column. A staunch believer in the American Dream of self-reliance, stoic manly rectitude and hard work, he's never held a job, except professional complainer.)
The JournoList thing is pretty arcane. (Some liberal writers talked to each other on the Internet about preferring Obama to Sarah Palin, proving something; it's not clear what. But it's very serious in Universe II.)
Here's how Dennis Prager explained it today:
You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or fear that the one who confronted the bully would provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does.
I hope that clears it all up for you.
There are a couple of things that I really love about this:
1) There's no way a normal person, applying standard methods of reasoning, could make their way back from this parable to JournoList. The bully is who? The other kids are us? Obama? Tucker Carlson? Ponyboy? The playground is what? Where?
2) I have never witnessed or experienced the feelings in this analogy, and neither has anyone else. It's completely insane. He might as well be describing the mating habits of Pokemon. Have you ever been to this playground? No you haven't, because you live on this planet, here.
Of course it doesn't illuminate. That's what makes it so wonderfully Prager.
It only works if you're in his head with him. It's like Inception, only you're inside Bill Bennett's dream, and he's being dreamt by Joe Lieberman, and he's being dreamt by a large, slow, embden goose.
That's why the really great Prager columns go from complaining about adults who high five children to depression rates in feminist women because their men don't act like men. Or from Harvey Weinstein defending Roman Polanski to the liberal media not admitting that priests -- even the child molesters -- do a lot of good.
(I swear I'm not making either of these up.)
He thinks like that because he doesn't live here. He circles a faraway star.
Where the inhabitants say things to each other like:
I will surrender a lot of things to stay alive. But I will not surrender my intelligence. That and being told when to urinate are the real losses of dignity, not a full body scan. -- 1/5/10
I'm with you, Braveheart. But are those really our only two options?
First, a child smacking an adult across the face is not funny. It is, in fact, one of the last things society should tolerate. I will deal with the widespread defense of the child's action -- "he was only protecting his mother" -- later.
In real life, a child who hits an adult needs to be disciplined. If a child did that to me, I would grab his offending arm and apply enough force to make it clear that he will never do that again.
-- The Doritos Ad Was Not Funny -- 2/16/10
Dennis Prager, by the way, is over six feet tall, and weighs nearly 5000 pounds. So the kid in that ad had better watch himself.
And this is the real key to Prager, and maybe all the other Pragers: The memory inside the fantasy inside the analogy is of being a frightened outcast fat kid who wishes he could go pee, but bullies would see his penis, so he's holding it until he gets home, but someday they'll pay.
School couldn't have been much fun for a guy who now brags:
I have always wanted the best possible music reproduction in my own home. In high school, I skipped lunches for months in order to pay for the best stereo system I could buy. -- 12/19/09
From my late teens onward, the relationship between my mother and me improved steadily. -- 9/29/09
Virtually every game I played as a child during school recess is now banned. -- 4/13/10
You can see why he'd hate Greenpeace. Wait, you can't? Here's why:
The world is filled with activists of all varieties who are loathsome individuals. In general, we would do well to be far more impressed with a young person who sits next to the less popular fat kid who is eating alone at lunch. -- 12/15/09
Aha. And, zo, who ist zist boy you keep seeing is zist dream?
What's wrong with a cap and trade carbon tax? The question you should be asking is: What's wrong with schoolyard restrooms.
Here's how Dennis Prager explained it to me:
Last year, the civil rights commission of the State of Maine asked that no Maine schools should insist that biological males use only boys' or men's rooms in schools. From elementary school on, every student in Maine should be allowed to determine if he feels male or female, and enter whichever bathroom matches this self-definition...
On the Left, few, if any, changes in the sexual arena are worthy of more than a shrug. Manmade carbon dioxide emissions are worth changing the nation's and world's economy over. But redefining marriage from male-female to same-sex, forcing companies to retain male employees who cross-dress at work and ending gender-specific teams and bathrooms in schools -- these are not worth a shrug. -- 6/01/10
And the same goes for JournoList. We'll never understand it. Because we don't live in that other universe, the universe of wounded baby-men, where the boys' room is more important than the end of life on earth.
Here, in this universe, it's not worth a shrug.