Jan
29

Bring Back The Whip of Starvation and Misery!




Posted at 14:37 by HTML Mencken

Mona Charen and Mrs. Norman Podhoretz on Uncommon Knowledge, as taped on the post-election National Review failboat:

At about 16:55 or so into the vid Charen channels David “Donner Party” Frum and spews the following:

It is economically possible to raise children with just a mother in the home, and we see this throughout Western Europe, we see it in other countries and we see it here. Unless, I guess, there’s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families; and one of the jobs of conservatives (it seems to me) is to argue strenuously for doing what’s best for the well-being of women and their children — is marriage.

The whole thing so far is chock full of crazy, but Charon the Ferrywoman is in especially fine form here because she is showing how the original ideologies of the modern wingnut movement, libertarianism and social conservatism (fanatical religiosity), naturally flowed together into a fusionist river of awfulness. Make the people suffer economically, improve their characters, save their souls.

63 Comments »

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    January 29, 2013 at 14:58

    Make the people suffer economically

    For thee, and not Mona, of course.
    ~

  2. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    January 29, 2013 at 15:00

    Unless, I guess, there’s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families; and one of the jobs of conservatives (it seems to me) is to argue strenuously for doing what’s best for the well-being of women and their children — is marriage.

    What kind of monster would believe that making it harder for women to escape from abusive partners is a good thing? Oh, yeah, a Mon-ster.

  3. S. cerevisiae said,

    January 29, 2013 at 15:46

    Yes, what the poors need is MOAR FEAR! That’ll learn ‘em.

  4. daveX99 said,

    January 29, 2013 at 15:49

    These people are all about judging and punishing people. Blech. What a soulless existence.

  5. El Manquécito said,

    January 29, 2013 at 16:09

    Somewhere in the NR offices is an inlaid (heh) velvet lined box containing the Lash of Necessity. Hard to guess who resorts to it most often.

  6. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:17

    Somehow, my ability to suspend disbelief while reading fiction never extended itself far enough to account for the existence of a creature known as “Mrs. Norman Podhoretz”.

  7. jim, in yr paradigm-base killing yr narrative-dudes said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:38

    Memo to Midge Dexter: for Bob’s sake, roll those joints thinner, girlfriend! The days of weak-ass harsh hippie bunkweed are long gone! Also, beverages exist, & are helpful if you’re going to be speaking for more than a half hour straight. I do not enjoy watching you channel Ernest Borgnine. Sheesh.

    Single women are nothing less than a “civilizational catastrophe” to Mona “Computer Spellchaeck Is HARD!” Charen … who I’d bet also thinks ICBMs are the awesome Peacemakers of the victorious Free Market™. That their plight would be fixed far better by long-term wage increases than by hooking up with a nice feller is unthinkable for these nincompoops because JERB CREATORZ.

    Charen also gives the “men do all the dangerous & dirty jobs because TESTOSTERONE FUCK YEAH” trope CPR, or necrophilic foreplay if you prefer. Prostitutes, nurses & maids can all share a hearty Homeric laugh over this one, I suppose? Dexter nakedly lusts for a Gratitude R3VOLution … yes, all the world’s billions of consumer-proles that are still recovering from having their 401ks & bank accounts anally raped & infected with Ebola by the Wall Street crime gang should sure be on their knees every day singing songs of thanks, alright. Big love for the interviewer blithely relating that the elections of Thatcher & Reagan marked “the Cold War beginning to end” rather than it blossoming into its Renaissance of psychotic dominion, with splendid results for the owners of certain brand names.

    Obviously a major dogma-strap-on malfunction.

  8. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:38

    Somehow, my ability to suspend disbelief while reading fiction never extended itself far enough to account for the existence of a creature known as “Mrs. Norman Podhoretz”.

    Really? You don’t think Grendel’s mother had a name?

  9. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:44

    Grendel’s mother was, IMO, a rational woman quite justified in her revenge. And, if Hollywood has taught us anything, she was a hot babe with heels built into her feet.

  10. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:45

    High heels, that is. People without heels in their feet tend to wobble a lot.

  11. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 17:55

    …people will make poor decisions about their families.

    Right. Because even when he’s beating you and fucking the kids, GtFo of the relationship is a poor decision.

    Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot. When the man turns out to be less than a perfect gentil knight, the Karing Kompassionate Konservatives are ready to fling rocks at the horrible mother who didn’t keep her man happy thereby causing him to do those dreadful things.

    Is there a way we can arrange for this rancid sewer lump to get stuck in an elevator full of women who have escaped abusive relationships? I think five minutes should do the trick.

  12. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:04

    Is there a way we can arrange for this rancid sewer lump to get stuck in an elevatorforever full of women who have escaped abusive relationships?

    FTFY

  13. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:16

    Your recommended daily allowance of scumbags: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/29/1182999/-Sandy-relief-vote-shows-vast-majority-of-GOP-congress-members-hate-nbsp-America

  14. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:19

    The audio recording could be used to encourager les autres to StFu.

  15. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:25

    N_B there seems to be a heaping helping of people from places that regularly get disaster relief on that list. The next time Florida gets a hurricane’s attention can we relief to everywhere except Marco Rubio’s district?

  16. Thread Bear said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:30

    Ideally that would be relief to everyone who needs it except those that voted for Rubio.

  17. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:31

    Yeah, that’s the problem with Dems. We’re not going to deny aid to people who need it just because the vote for scumbags or live in a scumbag’s district.

  18. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:34

    Just before that squib she has another version of her first sentence in which she says “It’s now economically possible to be a single mother” as if such a thing hadn’t happened before evil liberals started stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

  19. Trilateral Commissioner said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:35

    You know, I never understood the meaning of the phrase “hatchet faced” until I looked at that picture of Mona. Wow.

  20. Chris said,

    January 29, 2013 at 18:36

    Jesus! What is happening? There’s like two weeks’ worth of posts over the last two days!

  21. Thread Bear said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:02

    HTML Mencken post seem to come in bursts. I’m trying to figure out if it’s because he only posts when he’s out of prison.

  22. Oh, yeah... said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:10

    Just went and re-read that old Donner Party article about David Frum… It was just as good as it was a few years ago!

    One thing that I find interesting about the conservative psyche is how they have no interest in the history of conservatism.

    Conservatives supported slavery while the abolitionists were liberals?

    -Nope, never heard that before.

    Conservatives opposed equal rights for blacks, women and gays?

    - Surely you jest!

    Conservatives brought us the Iraq War and the 2008 economic meltdown?

    -Impossible! Because Bush was definitely NOT a true conservative!

    Hitler was brought to power by a conservative coalition?

    -Nope, the Nazis were SOCIALISTS, it said so right in their name!

  23. t4toby said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:24

    Ferrywoman…heh.

  24. Sophist said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:26

    How it this tale of Jonah the Whale and he band of merry buccaneers NOT titled “Frum, Sodomy and the Lash”?

  25. N__B said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:44

    Sophist –

    Because some of us would like, at some point in our lives, to not be vomiting.

  26. tigris said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:47

    Unless, I guess, there’s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families

    8-o Because there’s no way the “fear of real privation” could lead to poor decision-making. Is history not a thing in her world?

  27. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:48

    “It’s now economically possible to be a single mother” as if such a thing hadn’t happened before evil liberals started stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

    It’s all about the money, ain’t a damn thing funny. Gotta have a man in this land of milk n’ honey.

    Also gives you interesting insight into their views of romantic love, don’t it?

    My grandmother became a widow in her early 40′s and never remarried despite the fact I can’t recall a time when she had fewer than six guys jostling for her attention. She was wildly devoted to my grandpa and none of the other guys measured up. (Hur.)

    But according to these fucknuggets, a woman who finds herself sans spouse should just latch on to the next guy who has a suitable income and is willing to accept to spawns that aren’t his own.

    Note: I’m not saying people shouldn’t remarry, I’m just saying that you have to be a pretty fucked up piece of goods if you think economic necessity is the only thing that causes people, especially women, to enter relationships.

  28. Pupienus Maximus said,

    January 29, 2013 at 19:50

    Any time the name “Donner” comes up I can’t resist showing the pic proving that someone at the US Forest Service sense of humor.

  29. S. cerevisiae said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:08

    “Frum, Sodomy and the Lash”

    A movie on my must not see list.

    Pup, that sign is awesome.

  30. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:14

    In other news, CNN drops some dead weight. (Warning, links to Poolitico.)

  31. Bitter Scribe said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:33

    In their muddleheaded way, these people may be on to something. One of the reasons “unwed motherhood” was so low in the 1950s was because of shotgun weddings. And the reason so many shotgun weddings “held together” is because the woman usually was economically dependent on the man. Once that “lash of necessity” was removed, surprise…women didn’t want to live in the same house and sleep in the same bed as the men they’d come to hate.

    I don’t know how these idiots propose to take us back to those days, and I have no intention of wasting 42 minutes of my life watching that video to find out.

  32. Substance McGravitas said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:41

    It was easier when there were slaves, and it wasn’t just about skin colour.

  33. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:45

    Were shotgun weddings really that common? I always thought that was a joke.

    In addition, abandonment is hardly a new event. Until recently it was easy to disappear beyond the reach of the law (which might demand child support) and enraged in-laws.

  34. VCarlson said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:48

    Because there’s no way the “fear of real privation” could lead to poor decision-making. Is history not a thing in her world?

    This.

  35. Bitter Scribe said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:48

    Were shotgun weddings really that common? I always thought that was a joke.

    I’m using a loose definition of the term, meaning “a marriage entered into mostly or solely because the woman became unintentionally pregnant.” In the old days, to which Mona et al. would gladly return us all, marriage was the only respectable option for a pregnant, unmarried young woman. Unless she wanted to disappear for nine months to “visit an aunt.”

  36. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:58

    Conservatives in this country have a myopic fascination with the nuclear family as it was portrayed on TV in the 1950s. They never question why the US was so prosperous that one average white collar worker could support a whole family in their own home. They point to the result of prosperity and claim it as the cause. They want the trophy, but they are totally uninteresting in winning the race.

    The prosperity of the 50s was not the result of anti-communism and right living. It was because we were the last industrialized country standing after nearly a decade of war. It wasn’t because we were the best at industry and agriculture, its cause we were the biggest and onlyest.

  37. VCarlson said,

    January 29, 2013 at 20:59

    Were shotgun weddings really that common? I always thought that was a joke.

    Literally, probably not. I believe there was incredible social pressure against unwed motherhood (not so much about the sperm donor, natch). If you wanted any kind of social acceptance (I’m not talking just Mitch and Midge at the Club – they had resources), you got married ASAP & knew people would count backwards, you went away for a visit to relatives (& knew people would notice), you took your life/fertility in your hands & chanced an illegal abortion. Anyone who had & kept a kid was pretty much on her own, to everbody’s loss. Especially mother & child.

  38. Pupienus Maximus said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:02

    Moana sed: one of the jobs of conservatives (it seems to me) is to argue strenuously for doing what’s best for the well-being of women and their children — is marriage.

    You go right ahead and do that. Because, just as with hispanics, blacks, et al., you simply haven’t done a good job of making your case, right?

    Pssst – hey conservatives, you have made your case. Those people you are trying to reach out to? They do understand your ideas. They do know you. They just don’t likeyour ideas and they don’t like you.

  39. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:19

    I don’t dispute there was (and still is) pressure on the mother, but I’m saying that it is still really easy for a father to take off if he doesn’t want to be a husband and daddy.

    There has never (to my knowledge) been any real downside to getting a woman pregnant, especially if one was willing to leave the vicinity. So if you agree guys weren’t being prodded down the aisle by a blasting iron, how did these baby-induced marriages come about?

    Answer: They didn’t and when they did, they did they only lasted when the parties were in love. (Because people in love do have sex.)

    However, if the man changed his mind, he was gone. (Remember, at one point one of the few reasons you could get a divorce was to prove abandonment.)

    In addition, we all know that if the Young Gentleman of the Manor knocked up a maid, he wasn’t forced to marry her.

    Result, women have been rearing kids without a spouse since forever, even if it meant being given the business by the Moaner Charons of the day, even when some of those beotches were armed with rocks.

    Any NeoCon gibberish about “The good old days when folks stayed married,” is as valid as their thoughts on gay relationships. There’s no point in trying to find a historical root for their theories because that root ain’t there.

  40. Chris said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:23

    The prosperity of the 50s was not the result of anti-communism and right living. It was because we were the last industrialized country standing after nearly a decade of war. It wasn’t because we were the best at industry and agriculture, its cause we were the biggest and onlyest.

    Well, that and the aftereffects of twenty years of New Deal, leaving a landscape dominated by strong unions, a strong welfare state, and strong regulations, all of which ensured that the prosperity actually trickled down to the general public instead of being hoarded at the top. The regular people would probably have seen some benefit even if it was still a 1%er’s country, but nothing comparable with what the “liberal consensus” years produced.

    West Europeans also generally remember the three decades after World War Two fairly happily – the immediate aftermath sucked, but it’s generally conceded that the society that was rebuilt was a good one, and mostly for the same reasons as here. The free market + welfare state model of democracy is still the most efficient engine of prosperity the world’s ever seen. Pity we had to go and break it thirty years ago.

  41. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:25

    P.S. I apologize for spewing seriousness all over the place. Please accept this as a token of my contrition.

  42. Helmut Monotreme said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:28

    The regular people would probably have seen some benefit even if it was still a 1%er’s country, but nothing comparable with what the “liberal consensus” years produced.

    Things were good for white men in the 1950s. They were less good for women and minorities. With sexism and segregation working against them, they did not compete for skilled labor or management jobs. In the wake of 2 world wars, there were fewer people period, much less in the job market. Many of the survivors of the wars were, due to injury, not able to participate in the economy at all or to the extent they would have preferred. Higher taxes and the cold war meant massive government investment in defense industries, public infrastructure and education. Greater union membership helped ensure that as the economy improved, so did the pay of the workers.

    But all of these came at a cost. How much of our national wealth did we squander fighting mostly imaginary communists at home? How many of that generation’s best minds never got the education or investment capitol to make a difference? How many foreign countries suffered under kleptocrats supported by the USA in the name of anti communism?

    I like the idea of a nuclear family as long as that isn’t presented as the only option. I like the idea of prosperity, provided everyone gets to share in it.

  43. Chris said,

    January 29, 2013 at 21:32

    Oh, sure. Not saying the 1950s prosperity had to do with the nuclear family – although I do like the notion of one person being paid enough to be able to support his/her family (no reason it should only be the man). So, what you said about prosperity.

  44. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 29, 2013 at 22:24

    Conservatives in this country have a myopic fascination with the nuclear family as it was portrayed on TV in the 1950s.

    I’ve become increasingly convinced that this is the root of the conservative mind’s fascination with action movies and TV dramas as representations of reality, rather than tarted-up dramatic fantasies. They’ve never really been able to accept, truly accept, that the lives they saw on television in the 1950s and 60s were unreal fabrications. Somewhere, they expect the Waltons really existed, the Cleavers really existed. That the existence of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson as depicted on television was exactly how the existence of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson was in reality.

    When people exhibit that reality simply doesn’t work that way, they get all twisted up inside. I shudder to imagine how they respond every day they have to use the bathroom in direct opposition to the 1950s nuclear family’s purity of essence.

  45. Smut Clyde said,

    January 29, 2013 at 22:27

    I can’t resist showing the pic proving that someone at the US Forest Service sense of humor.

    How can Pupienus not have eaten at the Alferd Packer Memorial Grill?

  46. Smut Clyde said,

    January 29, 2013 at 22:31

    One of the jobs of conservatives [...] is to argue strenuously for doing what’s best for the well-being of women and their children

    You’d think that “what’s best for the well-being” would include access to birth control and abortion rights, but Sadly No.

  47. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 22:57

    See also school lunches, access to health care, maternity leave, equal pay for women, increased prevention of domestic violence, suing the RCC to the ground…

  48. Smut Clyde said,

    January 29, 2013 at 23:06

    It is strange how “what’s best for the well-being of women” inevitably comes down to maintaining or increasing the power of men over them.

  49. Shakezula said,

    January 29, 2013 at 23:44

    Oh. I thought it was “Fucking with the powerless because we’re the kind of cowardly psychos who get off on that sort of thing.”

    If every person settled into their idea of the correct family unit tomorrow they would be really sad. For about five seconds.

    Then they’d start in on the women who didn’t meet the baby output quotas. And a child would be overheard giggling near a church which would be a clear sign of slovenly women not rearing the pups properly.

    Also, pie crust judging. WE HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY THAT SOME WOMEN AREN’T MAKING PIE CRUSTS OF SUFFICIENT FLAKINESS AND WE ARE DISGUSTED!

    Sorry. I don’t like these people and wish they would fall into holes. Deep ones. Perhaps the kind with lava at the bottom.

  50. g said,

    January 30, 2013 at 0:01

    My great Aunt was a Methodist church worker in Texas in the 1920s, and she worked for a church that ran a home for “unwed mothers” -which also included young women who had been turned out of their homes for whatever reason and needed to be “rescued” from the streets. They’d live under strict supervision and be taught “skills” like sewing.

    These kinds of institutions were not uncommon in both the US and England.

    Let’s also not forget that in the early part of the century, during times of economic decline, people used to send their own kids to “homes” because they couldn’t afford to feed them. Also, sometimes they sent them away for behavior problems. Or they’d get sent to farm families to be “adopted” as free labor.

    The American family was not all that stable, especially during the early part of the 20th century. Lots of grass widows and abandoned families and “orphaned” kids.

  51. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 1:17

    Um. Yeah. My better half’s All American, roots deep in the heartland, lily white family were getting up to stuff in the early 1900s that made a single mom look like the Brady Bunch and they weren’t a unique case.

    Out there a common cause of domestic upheaval was a spouse of either gender taking off with someone else. A lot of times the kids were an after thought. Sometimes the abandoned spouse would take them back or kept them. Sometimes no one wanted the kids.

  52. Pupienus Maximus said,

    January 30, 2013 at 2:06

    How can Pupienus not have eaten at the Alferd Packer Memorial Grill?

    I was in Boulder on business once. I suggested to my hosts that we lunch on PackerSnackers but they demurred.

  53. Trilateral Commissioner said,

    January 30, 2013 at 2:52

    “When people exhibit that reality simply doesn’t work that way, they get all twisted up inside.”

    Exactly. A truly amazing amount of conservatism can be explained as an attack against people who fuck with their worldview. They *want* to believe that America is a great and powerful nation that is a tremendous force for good in the world, etc., etc. So when you present evidence of American atrocities, or even evidence that life in socialist Denmark isn’t so bad, they go batshit crazy and don’t know what to do other than attack you as a traitor Commie liberal fascist.

  54. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    January 30, 2013 at 3:19

    Pretty much, yeah. When all you’ve got to your ideology is some lost Golden Age, you will do anything to protect yourself and your ideology from being reminded that Age never happened.

  55. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 5:31

    However, many laughs can be had imagining the fate of well known Punditocrats if they were zapped back to the actual post-WWII U.S. of A.

  56. VCarlson said,

    January 30, 2013 at 6:09

    However, many laughs can be had imagining the fate of well known Punditocrats if they were zapped back to the actual post-WWII U.S. of A.

    Especially if they happen not to be WASP males of the heterosexual persuasion.

  57. Gerald Fnord said,

    January 30, 2013 at 12:30

    People not constantly afraid of death or privation start to act as if they had rights.

    Then again, maybe economic death isn’t of sufficient threat.

  58. W. Kiernan said,

    January 30, 2013 at 12:58

    Unless, I guess, there’s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families

    or in other words, rich people will inevitably make bad decisions about their families.

    Go to any high school adjacent to any wealthy neighborhood. You see all those healthy, nicely dressed, well-educated, cheerful-looking kids happily looking forward to their bright futures? Poor bastards.

  59. Shakezula said,

    January 30, 2013 at 17:56

    Many of the rich kids look cheerful because they’re stoned on the contents of the parental medicine cabinet/stash. And they aren’t looking forward to their future so much as they are terrified they won’t get into an Ivy, which is what mummy and daddy have been telling them they MUST do since they were in kindergarten. Suicide attempts caused by academic pressure isn’t uncommon.

    Poor bastards, indeed.

    Especially if they happen not to be WASP males of the heterosexual persuasion.

    Yeah, I had to stop when I got to Pam Gellar. There was nothing funny about involuntary institutionalization back then. Especially for women.

  60. Interrobang said,

    January 30, 2013 at 19:54

    They’re also nostalgic for baby-snatching — severe social disapproval of unwed motherhood means in practice a good healthy supply of white infants who can be coerced from their birth mothers and placed with the “right” sort of people. I’m an adoptee from the “baby-snatching” era, and some of the horror stories I’ve read would turn your hair white. Not letting the birth mother see the baby and then telling her it was dead is about the least of it.

    You know, for people who are ostensibly so adamant about the evils of wealth redistribution, there are an awful lot of forms of wealth they’re slavering to redistribute…usually upward. Four legs GOOD, two legs BAD!

  61. Bozo the Cocksucker said,

    February 1, 2013 at 23:40

    There’s a Mrs. Norman Podhoretz? How?

  62. rapier said,

    February 4, 2013 at 2:14

    The definitive exploration of this is here.

    http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/2003/11/dead_right.html

  63. Scenes from the class war said,

    February 26, 2013 at 16:09

    [...] I guess, there’?s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their [...]

Leave a Comment

  • Things of Interest

  • Meta Goodness

  • Clunkers

  • httpbl_stats()