Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ballad of a Spin Man

Almost anyone who spends much time reading political commentary has one special pundit who attracts them like a car crash by virtue of their pure awfulness - their ideas, their attitudes, their execution, or a combination of these. Tengrain believes that Richard Cohen is the bottom of the barrel, while Driftglass swears that it's David Fucking Brooks.

For me, the choice is obvious - Cal Thomas, the babbling toupee who in the span of five hundred words can whip pretentiousness, vapidity, ridiculousness and incoherence into a fine purée of mind numbing dullness. He is a master, of sorts, at least in the sense that I am completely unable to parody him. I've tried before, I tried again today, and it's simply beyond me.

Forty-four years ago, Bob Dylan's music showed up on a bootleg album with the incendiary title 'While the Establishment Burns'. That's the first line of Cal's latest column, 'Burn the establishment', in which he expresses his, uh, burning desire to stick it to the man. I love the image it conjures of Cal flipping through his extensive and well worn stack of Dylan bootlegs, searching for the perfect phrase to encapsulate his rage.

He's mad, but not just at the liberals - that's so passé. Karl Rove, George W. Bush's 'architect' within the political establishment, said that Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell can't win in November. He then gave the Democrats enough negative sound bites about O'Donnell for them to use in their TV ads for far-left Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons. Cal is so angry that he is no longer even willing to give Rove his due. You can hear him saying the word arrrrkitek like a pirate, fuming at the very thought of someone helping out that Socialist Chris Coons, a man who is quite obviously insane, unlike the bewitching Christine.  After all, who is free of baggage, including several current and former members of Congress? Who shall go unnamed until Cal's next column, 'Current and former members of congress with baggage'.

It's so unfair. The nation need an occasional turnover, even revolution... And here they come now, the old wild men, Cal flanked by George Will and Pat Buchanan and Fred Barnes and David Fucking Brooks and of course Krauthammer with the heavy artillery. They want a white riot, a riot of their own. The big media treated the anti-establishment rebellion of the '60s as something good. They will treat this attempt to overthrow the establishment as something bad... I wasn't overselling, was I? Pretentiousness, vapidity, ridiculousness, incoherence, all in one neat package, today featuring bonus self-righteousness. Come on, Cal, wrap it up in a way that'll make us all proud.

When Dylan sang, "The Times They Are A-Changin'," the pot-smoking, free love, anti-establishment hippies sang with him. Drum roll.. Conservatives can now sing Dylan's lyrics.


  1. interesting. I have always thought that Ferry was a cool dude going back to the Roxy Music days. I know that is not the point of your article, but when I see Bryan then all else just takes second fiddle.

  2. also interesting... the second fiddle was played by Maria Amorez.

  3. ahhyeah, brutha Cal Thomas taking on the ...Oppressor. Damn the Man.


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  5. alright some of us confess to roxy musick fetish out of the blue

    ferry's dylan's alright...a bit tame

  6. It's alright Ma, Cal's only seething.