May
20

The Freikorpsization of the American Right




Posted at 11:23 by HTML Mencken

I’m interested in the history and evolution of the Bush Cult of Contrived Masculinity. Here’s some vintage journalism from Alexander Cockburn on one of the cult’s Ur-tracts, Norman Podhoretz’s Harper’s essay on the faggotry of appeasement:

norman_podhoretz1.jpg
Above: N-Pod awarded Presidential Medal of
Freedom, 2004

Poddy on the Threat

Now that it’s safely off the stands, and therefore no one can waste a penny on the thing, we can turn our attention to the astonishing essay by Norman Podhoretz in the October issue of Harper’s entitled ‘The Culture of Appeasement.’ Podhoretz starts with the sort of ranting one regularly finds in the pages of Commentary: namely that the Vietnam debacle left as one of its chief destructive effects ‘the undifferenciated fear, loathing and revulsion that the prospect of war now seems to inspire in the American mind… All one heard about and saw was the horrors of war — unredeemed, as it appeared, by any noble purpose.’ Podhoretz, needless to say, thinks this sort of thinking thoroughly bad, since if people don’t like the idea of war — noble or not — then they won’t stand up to the Russians. And, indeed, he suspects Americans have lost ‘the will’ to fight Communism.

After more of this sort of thing — the spread of ‘native anti-Americanism’ and so forth — Podhoretz finally gets down to the real business.

He detects, he claims, resemblances between the United States of today and Great Britain in the years after World War I. Similar distaste for combat occurred then to the extent ‘that the Illiad…could no longer be comfortably read.’ England itself was discredited in the eyes of the young; the place seemed drearily middle class. The young rebelled, some of them becoming Nazi sympathizers, others Communists or fellow travellers. ‘That Auden and Burgess were both homosexuals,’ says Podhoretz, ‘clearly had something, perhaps everything, to do with their need “completely and finally to rebel against England.” And indeed it is impossible to read books like Children of the Sun or Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory without being struck by the central role homosexuality played in the entire rebellious ethos of the interwar period in England.’

‘…Homosexual feeling,’ Podhoretz says, ‘also accounted for a good deal of the pacificism that rose out of the trenches and into the upper reaches of the culture after the war was over.’ One would have thought, actually, that the fresh memory of the most wantonly bloody war in human history might have had something to do with it. Shortly thereafter, we get to the guts of the matter: ‘No wonder, then, that so many of those who resented their own country…should have been or should have chosen to become, homosexuals. For whatever else homosexuality may be, or may be caused by, to these young men of the English upper class it represented — the refusal of fatherhood and all that fatherhood entailed: responsibility for a family and therefore an inescapable implication in the destiny of society as a whole…they were rejecting their birthright as successors to their own fathers in assuming direct responsibility for the fate of the country.’

It’s a short leap now to the conclusion: ‘Anyone familiar with homosexual apologetics in America today will recognize these attitudes.’ That is: England appeased in the ’30s; there were homosexuals in England; therefore homosexuals caused appeasement. Watch your ass, Neville Chamberlain. Specifically mentioning Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin and Gore Vidal, Podhoretz says we ‘find the same sort of pacificism [with Vietnam naturally standing in for World War I], hostility to one’s own country and its putatively dreary middle-class way of life, and dersion of the idea that it stands for anything worth defending or that it is threatened by anything but its own stupidity and wickedness.’

Short of direct charges that Commie faggots are running the State Department, it is hard to conceive of a more hysterical and willfully demagogic posture: America is getting soft on Communism; America’s population includes declared homosexuals; homosexuals are pacifists and soft on Communism: finally (though this is as yet unstated), homosexual Communists run America.

[Village Voice, 1977]

This is still important because the Reichwing has so thoroughly adopted The Pod’s thesis. The irony is that in so completely demonizing homosexuality, femininity, pacifism, socialism — which it sees as related, even complementary traits — the Reichwing, creating itself in opposition to these traits, has made itself so fucking butch that it belongs in an S&M parlor in the Castro. All of which is funny enough. Funnier in the more pathetic sense, is that the Reichwing is composed of human physical wrecks like Daffyd ab Hugh and James Taranto, who despite their macho rhetoric wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours on a hippified Sierra Club hike, much less last a day of boot camp. Less funny is that their transformation perfectly mirrors the machoization process of ’20s Germany, the product of which we all know.

52 Comments »

  1. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    May 20, 2007 at 12:14

    I suppose that it’s easier to imagine that sexuality might be an expression of political beliefs, when you have the example right in front of you of Penny Noonan and her Reagan necrophilia.

  2. M. Bouffant said,

    May 20, 2007 at 13:30

    And don’t miss Stormin’ Norman in the June Commentary. “We’ve been at war with EurabiaEastAsia since WW1, and it’s now WW IV, in case you weaklings haven’t noticed!”
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.aip?id=10882&page=all

  3. El Cid said,

    May 20, 2007 at 13:40

    That single phrase, the “faggotry of appeasement,” is not only apt but kept me laughing for much of the early Sunday morn.

    A fun topic might be to compare the weird, weird over the top Nazi and Italian fascist homo-eroticism with the weird, weird Bush Jr. codpiece sniffing and warrior-worship we’ve seen for the last 6 years, mostly from people who are in the most literal sense cowards.

    (If the movie “300″ had been released back in 2003 or 2004, it probably would have been banned in overly Republican areas due to the unsanitary sticky floors it would have produced.)

  4. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 13:43

    A fun topic might be to compare the weird, weird over the top Nazi and Italian fascist homo-eroticism with the weird, weird Bush Jr. codpiece sniffing and warrior-worship we’ve seen for the last 6 years, mostly from people who are in the most literal sense cowards.

    That’s exactly what I intend to do, but I’m waiting on a book to come in, first.

  5. Qetesh the Abyssinian said,

    May 20, 2007 at 14:01

    For whatever else homosexuality may be, or may be caused by, to these young men of the English upper class it represented — the refusal of fatherhood and all that fatherhood entailed: responsibility for a family and therefore an inescapable implication in the destiny of society as a whole…they were rejecting their birthright as successors to their own fathers in assuming direct responsibility for the fate of the country.’

    Wow, those English sure are strange: all the gay men I know just fancy blokes.

  6. anangryoldbroad said,

    May 20, 2007 at 14:11

    The list of people one is supposed to hate nowadays is getting pretty long. Gay,Minorities of any kind that are not “passable”for white,Liberalhippies,poor people,feminists,most college professors except Althouse,Reynolds and a few select others,environmentalists,I even got hate mail once for an old blog post I did about organic small scale farming(don’t ask,I don’t get it either),librarians,teachers(and their damned unions),Unions,atheists,any religion but Southern Baptist,and that’s just my short list,I know I’ve left lots of people out. Sooner or later either you or someone you love is gonna make “the list”.

    So pretty much,everyone sucks except well off white people who like FOX news. Not a majority of the country. That’s what scares the fuckers,probably more than anything else. What if everyone starts treating them as shitty as they’ve treated everyone else? Uh oh.

    And can anyone explain to me why someone would buy a brand new Prius and then plaster it with Newt/GOP/and Bush/Cheney stickers? That made me have to pull over my car and stop hyperventilating before I could drive home.

    Jeff Sharlett wrote an article for Harper’s a couple years ago about Pastor Ted’s former church out in Co Springs. The artwork chosen for that church screamed homoerotic”no we’re not gay,I swear!”. There was also a quote in the article about destroying families in the name of God if that’s what it took to get everyone in line.

    Lots of misogyny goes with fascism,if I remember correctly. Maybe some of you more edumacated types can enlighten me as to why that is.

  7. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    May 20, 2007 at 14:26

    all the gay men I know just fancy blokes
    This is the weird part. Podhoretz knows that Auden was gay as a deliberate rejection of his birthright, a rebellion against his heritage. Obviously the 1970s counterculture was heading in the same direction. Auden himself thought that it was something to do with liking boys, but what did he know?

  8. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 15:01

    A preview of where I’m eventually going with all this.

  9. atheist said,

    May 20, 2007 at 15:18

    Something I was noticing the other day:

    It’s not a perfect resemblance, but look at the faces.

    ProtestWarrior, a modern USA right-wing organization.

    Nazi Poster 1

    Nazi Poster 2

    Thought it was interesting.

  10. El Cid said,

    May 20, 2007 at 15:25

    By the way, let’s not forget that in addition to being suffused by weird homo-erotic themes, Nazi and Italian fascist “art” was really, really dumb, banal, hokey. Just really, really stupid.

  11. Thomas D said,

    May 20, 2007 at 15:39

    The Reichwing is controlled by Tel Aviv, it’s that simple. Israel pretends to be strong when the US fights all her battles. The neo-cons are merely unwitting sell-outs to that Jewish masculinity. Only Israel benefits from these endless Middle East wars. Iraq is the beginning. As we commit war-crimes in Baghdad, the US gov’t commits treason at home by opening mail, eliminating habeas corpus, using the judiciary to steal private lands, banning books like “America Deceived” from Amazon and Wikipedia, conducting warrantless wiretaps and engaging in illegal wars on behalf of AIPAC’s ‘money-men’. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran.. Then we’ll invade Syria, then Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon (again) then ….
    Final link (before Google Books bends to gov’t demands and censors the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  12. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 15:58

    No, it’s not like that at all. U.S. bellicosity is not a Jewish conspiracy anymore than terrorism is an Arab conspiracy.

    The problem is that the same mentality that has hijacked Israeli foriegn policy has hijacked American foriegn policy. It has nothing to do with race; it has everything to do with, well, with racist, religious, tribalist paranoia.

    The fact is that no race, tribe, creed, or sect has a monopoly on depravity. There are Christian-, Jewish-, Islamic-, Hindu-, Atheistic-fascists. Etc. Fundamentalism causes it.

    By far the majority of world Jewry is decent, peaceful, skeptical, liberal. I reject nasty insinuations that the facts point otherwise. Most of the creeps who’ve done the crimes you describe are WASPs.

  13. atheist said,

    May 20, 2007 at 16:35

    Yeah. Looking at most of the folks who currently make up the “Peace Movement” in the USA will show you that there a heck of a lot of Jews, religious or not, who are invested in stopping wars. Israel acts badly, but the USA has probably does more damage worldwide.

  14. atheist said,

    May 20, 2007 at 16:41

    Nazi Poster 1

    Nazi Poster 2

    Oh shoot, looks like you can’t view them from this site. Go here, and follow the first link.

  15. anangryoldbroad said,

    May 20, 2007 at 16:48

    Awesome HTML,can’t wait to read what you’re writing about all this.

  16. Jas said,

    May 20, 2007 at 16:50

    And can anyone explain to me why someone would buy a brand new Prius and then plaster it with Newt/GOP/and Bush/Cheney stickers?

    To stick it to the Ay-rabs, of course, by refusing to buy their oil. And to get the tax credits, of course. Not much more satisfying to a righty than a tax credit for someone who can afford to invest 30K in a car. Oh, and to save a few bucks at the pump while they’re at it. So that they can afford to fill the tank on the Hummer for weekends. This is just their commute car.

    Nazi and Italian fascist “art� was really, really dumb, banal, hokey. Just really, really stupid.

    Quite a few art historians automatically disregarded art by the Nazis because of it’s, for lack of a better term leaping to mind, photorealism. The quality was quite high, and some of it was beautiful, objectively speaking, but the subject matter was almost always entirely suspect and nearly enough to warrant disregarding the entire period.

  17. Jillian said,

    May 20, 2007 at 17:05

    Hmmmm……someone refresh my memory here…..

    Was Norman Podhoretz one of the guys who was arguing in 1991 that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a devious plot to get us to drop our guard so that the long-awaited Operation Red Dawn could finally begin?

  18. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 17:12

    Nazi and Italian fascist “art� was really, really dumb, banal, hokey. Just really, really stupid.

    Depends. On this sort of thing I’m maybe more ‘Roy Edroso’ than even Roy Edroso himself. It is entirely possible that good art can come out of a milieu of depravity. I sort of like some fascist architecture (and I’m not the only one; Philip Johnson had a career, after all); some Stalinist propaganda posters are masterpieces of graphic art; some of the crypto-fascist pop art of the American 50s that Lileks fawns over has merit.

  19. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 17:17

    Yep, he was, Jillian.

  20. MrWonderful said,

    May 20, 2007 at 17:21

    “And can anyone explain to me why someone would buy a brand new Prius and then plaster it with Newt/GOP/and Bush/Cheney stickers?”

    Reminds me of when I saw, on the same car, a Grateful Dead sticker and a WWJD? bumper sticker. Hold on, thinks I. Who is both a Deadhead and a Jesus promoter?

    Then I looked more closely and saw that WWJD? stood for “What Would Jerry Do?” Was my face red!

  21. Some Guy said,

    May 20, 2007 at 17:26

    “And can anyone explain to me why someone would buy a brand new Prius and then plaster it with Newt/GOP/and Bush/Cheney stickers?�

    Also, why there are Confederate flags in Buffalo, NY?

  22. Jillian said,

    May 20, 2007 at 18:08

    Thanks, Mencken dearie. I thought so.

    The question remains…..how does he show his face in public at this point? Seriously…the shame of being THAT wrong about anything would leave me absolutely paralyzed with humiliation.

    I’m not claiming I’m always right….far from it. But Jesus Haploid Christ – how could anyone be THAT stupid? THAT incompetent? THAT insane? How utterly mortifying.

    I guess it’s true….some people really do have *no* shame.

  23. truthlover said,

    May 20, 2007 at 18:25

    What an interesting blast from the past!

    And what logic.

    However, high ranking members of the Nazi Party, and many important leaders of the French fascist movement were also homosexual.

    So could one not also conclude that homosexuality leads to fascism and war-mongering instead?

  24. s9 said,

    May 20, 2007 at 18:29

    “…who despite their macho rhetoric wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours on a hippified Sierra Club hike, much less last a day of boot camp.”

    …or an S/M parlor anywhere in San Francisco.

    (I’m not entirely sure, but I’m pretty sure most of our establishments of that sort are located in other districts around town, but I think there might be a couple in the Castro that might, if you’re willing to stretch it a bit, qualify as “S/M parlor” businesses. At the very least, there are a few gyms…)

  25. atheist said,

    May 20, 2007 at 18:45

    However, high ranking members of the Nazi Party, and many important leaders of the French fascist movement were also homosexual.
    So could one not also conclude that homosexuality leads to fascism and war-mongering instead?

    I think you are confusing the way an Authoritarian leader thinks about himself versus the kind of propaganda that an Authoritarian movement uses. An Authoritarian leader usually is not stupid, but instead is very amoral and power-hungry. His movement, on the other hand, is not like the leader. They are followers, who want a strong, manly leader, and are often very bigoted.

    So the leader, and his circle, amass power and find enjoyment however they want to. If this is through homosexuality so be it. The mass of followers can take pride in the manly strength of their leader, perhaps believing that they are gaining strength through him. This kind of follower often hates gays for being the antithesis of their leader.

    So no, I don’t think that the existence of gay nazis would suggest that homosexuality inexorably leads to fascism.

  26. Snorghagen said,

    May 20, 2007 at 18:57

    The question remains…..how does he show his face in public at this point?

    For these guys, gross incompetence and proven failure is not a problem. Look at Michael Ledeen’s career.

    The neo-cons’ transition from communist-hating zealots to Muslim-hating zealots was fascinating. Their fervent anti-communism was made irrelevant by the collapse of the Soviet Union, but they were too addicted to the thrill of intense foreign policy paranoia to rethink their views. Instead, they spent the 1990s looking around for a new international super-villain. There were times when some of them seemed less interested in plunging into the Middle East than in pushing for a confrontation with China, which could have been even more frigging disastrous than our current mess.

  27. Linnaeus said,

    May 20, 2007 at 19:19

    I’ve been waiting for someone to draw this analogy. Organizations like, say, Blackwater are the new Freikorps.

  28. MrWonderful said,

    May 20, 2007 at 19:38

    Interesting and prescient piece by Michael Lind in The Nation in 2004 re neocons:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040223/lind

  29. HTML Mencken said,

    May 20, 2007 at 19:58

    However, high ranking members of the Nazi Party, and many important leaders of the French fascist movement were also homosexual.

    Well, what atheist said, but also: The homosexual element in the Nazi apparatus — Roem and so on — were purged fairly quickly. Reality had to comform with the homophobic ideology. And of course homosexuals were eventually put into concentration camps and made to wear pink triangles.

  30. mikey said,

    May 20, 2007 at 20:50

    ‘the undifferenciated fear, loathing and revulsion that the prospect of war now seems to inspire in the American mind…

    That is not a gay reaction. That is not a rebellious reaction. That is not even a surprising reaction. Someone mentioned a few threads back that for all of the American tradition of warfighting, warfare itself has not been visited on American soil for well over a century and a half. People who know war, whether they be civilians trying to live in a war zone, refugees, fighters or relief workers universally fear, loath and are revolted by war. It is the single most brutal, horrific, destructive and wasteful undertaking humans are capable of. To walk in a war zone, even if the rounds aren’t flying is to witness disease, desperation, degradation, hunger, fear, hatred and pain. When it gets hot, you have all those things plus people being killed in large numbers in the most terrifying, inhumane manner possible.

    If there is anything that sets the Neocon/Likud mindset apart from all other thinking human beings it is simply their refusal to accept that war is a course taken out of desperation, something you do when there is absolutely no alternative, not something you choose a a best solution and glorify as something beautiful and productive.

    This is the basis for all their other transgressions. And it is why they must fail. They speak the biggest lie, the greatest heresy. And while people may fall for it’s hypnotic promises, what comes out of a gun barrel, along with death, is undeniable truth. The horror cannot be concealed, and these war mongers will be discredited every time. It is sad, however, the amount of death and suffering they deliver to innocents around the globe during their times of power…

    mikey

  31. Defeatocrat Appeasers Abound Because of…Faggots! § Unqualified Offerings said,

    May 20, 2007 at 21:13

    [...] Neocon godfather, Norman Podhoretz, was on to how the homos sap the nation’s will many decades… Posted by Mona @ 2:13 pm, Filed under: Main « « The knowledge problem, Sadr edition | Main | [...]

  32. Dennis Savage said,

    May 20, 2007 at 21:28

    “Philip Johnson had a career, after all”

    …turns out he was gay, too. (In fact, he and John Cage were lovers in the 30s.)

    I made my peace with the use of the rainbow as the gay symbolic colors (even though it reminds me of Ted Baxter saying “I love plaid, it’s my favorite color”) because it’s preferable to letting the nazis pick our colors. Besides, I don’t think I look good in pink.

    Still, the relation between the nazi style and homoeroticism is quite pronounced — just check out Tom of Finland. I think there’s some self-repression in there as well.

  33. Mona said,

    May 20, 2007 at 22:20

    The putrid Podhoretz might wish to consider the case of Brit genius Alan Turing, who may have been the sine qua non of the allies prevailing in WWII. As thanks, a grateful British nation drove the gay Turing to suicide.

  34. Klein's tiny left nut said,

    May 20, 2007 at 23:21

    Podhoretz has been railing against gays forever. It’s a strage obsession of his — everything is about being a father. You would think a guy who spawned JPod would be a little less boisterous about this point.

    I’m always struck by the faux manliness of the right wingers. Christ is there a guy in the group who did not have his lunch money taken from him on a routine basis?

  35. Karen said,

    May 21, 2007 at 0:00

    Great post.

    On the point in question, I have to wonder if NPod actually, you know, read any Auden? Auden wrote some amazing anti-war poetry, but he could hardly be called anti-American or anti-British. He was a liberal, but also a devout Christian who almost single-handedly made The Lord of the Rings respectable for adults to read. (He said it was the greatest novel of the 20th C.) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a leading neocon is an idiot, but this one is so easy to correct it’s unusually bad. On that one point, the Podoretz article is nothing more than redneckism written with one hand on the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Oh, and maybe the interwar culture had something to do with the fact that WWI was a massively stupid and bloody war which completely wrecked European society? It’s not possible that the Bright Young Things of the 20′s rejected their elders ideas for being proven disastrously wrong?

  36. Karen said,

    May 21, 2007 at 0:19

    Just because I’m a pointy-headed liberal and all, here’s a link to my favorite Auden anti-war poem.

  37. J— said,

    May 21, 2007 at 0:36

    Warning: Long quotes and dorkiness below.

    In what has become a tired neoconservative trope, Podhoretz lays claim to George Orwell as one of his own. This argument is developed in detail in “If Orwell Were Alive Today� (Harper’s, January 1983, subscription). In “The Culture of Appeasement� (Harper’s, October 1977) Podhoretz limits himself to asserting that his analysis of English intellectuals in the 1930s corresponds with Orwell’s own reaction to them in that period. He does this by selectively quoting from Orwell’s review of Cyril Connolly’s The Rock Pool and reducing its historical, cultural context:

    The great influence of this complex of attitudes in the mid-1930s provoked George Orwell to an outburst against “so-called artists who spend on sodomy what they have gained by sponging.� Even to wish to write about such people, as Cyril Connolly had just done in his novel The Rock Pool, was to “betray a kind of spiritual inadequacy� and “a distaste for normal life and common decency.� Thinking no doubt of the contribution this “sluttish antinomianism� was making to the paralysis of British will in the face of an ever-growing Nazi threat, Orwell added, in a sentence which after forty years retains every last bit of its original force and relevance: “The fact to which we have got to cling, as to a life-belt, is that it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet to be fully alive.�

    Here’s the full paragraph from which Podhoretz draws his quotes (from Orwell’s review of The Rock Pool, in An Age Like This, 1920-1940, Volume 1 of The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters Of George Orwell, emphases in the original):

    There are two reasons why subject-matter such as this is unsatisfactory. In the first place one can hardly approach a novel about artists’ colonies on the Mediterannean without reflecting that Norman Douglas and Aldous Huxley did that kind of thing a long time ago and probably better. A more serious objection is that even to want to write about so-called artists who spend on sodomy what they have gained by sponging betrays a kind of spiritual inadequacy. For it is clear that Mr Connolly rather admires the disgusting beasts he depicts, and certainly he prefers them to the polite and sheeplike Englishman; he even compares them, in their ceaseless war against decency, to heroic savage tribes struggling against western civilization. But this, you see, only amounts to a distaste for normal life and common decency, and one might equally well express it, as so many do, by scuttling beneath the moulting wing of Mother Church. Obviously, modern mechanised life becomes dreary if you let it. The awful thraldom of money is upon everyone and there are only three immediately obvious escapes. One is religion, another is unending work, the third is the kind of sluttish antinomianism—lying in bed till four in the afternoon, drinking Pernod—that Mr Connolly seems to admire. The third is certainly the worst, but in any case the essential evil is to think in terms of escape. The fact to which we have got to cling, as to a life-belt, is that it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet to be fully alive. Mr Connolly seems to suggest that there are only two alternatives: lie in bed till four in the afternoon, drinking Pernod, or you will infallibly surrender to the gods of Success and become a London social-cum-literary backstairs-crawler. The orthodox Christian tries to pitchfork you with a very similar dilemma. But both dilemmas are false and unnecessarily depressing.

    Here Orwell identifies what he considers three escapist responses not to a specific, national threat but to modernism in general—“modern mechanised life� and “the awful thraldom of money�—in the early 20th century. He chastizes his friend Connolly for writing a novel that for Orwell overly celebrates one form of escape. Podhoretz, in his embrace of Orwell, leaves out the first two forms—the reactionary and the acquiescent ones—focuses on the irreverent one, and reduces modernism and its discontents to a specific, extreme manifestation of them.

    And pace Podhoretz, the particular English intellectual in question was well aware of the fascist threat. For example, Connolly traveled to Spain during the Civil War and wrote about it for English readers.

  38. atheist said,

    May 21, 2007 at 0:51

    Yes, looks like Podhoretz was dishonestly changing Orwell to fit a required model. As the Neocons so often do. Interesting.

  39. The Visigoth said,

    May 21, 2007 at 1:31

    Whoa, hold up, so after WWI the Limeys don’t seem to like fighting after their country lost an ENTIRE GENERATION OF YOUNG MEN. No shit, Pod Person!

    Of all the things that Poddy says, the thing that gets my goat the most (and the most telling insight into his psychology) is the gutless demonization of Neville Chamberlain as a “sissy.” Which is not just bad history, but post-facto macho posturing bullshit.

    History remembers Chamberlain as the “peace in our time” guy, but the reality is far more complicated: while declaring peace with Uncle Adolf, Chamberlain was re-militarizing; in fact much of the Churchill government’s ability to fight comes from Chamberlain. Really, Chamberlain was talking peace to buy time, because the reality is, in any conflict Britain would be creamed with a militarized Germany. If Chamberlain was guilty of anything, it was of a miscalculation: he didn’t anticipate the Russian/German peace treaty, and expected the Russians to check Nazi ambition.

    Suddenly, I understand now why these guys enjoy jacking off to a movie as shitty as 300: it’s not about living in reality, but this death-or-glory comic book world full of bashing and yelling and regular steroid use.

    Me, I’d take Roger Corman’s VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT over 300 anyday.

    And of course, there was Pod’s gay-baiting.

    Because obviously, if there’s one thing gays hate, it’s the military. Ever hear of a guy called Alexander the Great? The Sacred Band of Thebes, made up of 150 homosexual lovers (who eventually beat the Spartans but good)? Or that Villiage People song where they talk about the Navy? How about history’s greatest asskicker and flaming homo, Batman?

  40. mikey said,

    May 21, 2007 at 1:42

    How bout Clyde Barrow? Pretty good gunfighter. Liked him da boyz….

    mikey

  41. Retarded Donut said,

    May 21, 2007 at 2:51

    Awwww, I liked ’300,’ despite its glaring historical inaccuracies.

    I mean, everybody knows Leonidas’s wife didn’t like butt sex all that much.

    Come on.

  42. medula said,

    May 21, 2007 at 21:27

    I really don’t think Batman’s gay; he’d be a LOT less tense if he were getting it on a regular basis. (On the other hand, he could be in some seriously over the top denial mode, sitting in his cave doing pushups while watching Robin practice on the trapeze…). Of course, 300 creator Frank Miller did some Batman comics, so that whole “I’m not gay, just seriously into homoerotica” thing can’t be ruled out.

  43. ironicname said,

    May 22, 2007 at 0:54

    Podhoretz lays claim to George Orwell

    This pisses me off. Orwell would have shot the J-pod without hesitation. Orwell was a man of passion who put his life on the line durring the spanish civil war (course ol’ Norman wouldn’t have been anywhere near the fighting). He was in the Spanish republic’s infantry fighting against Franco and his phalangists. I hate it when the right tries to hijack him.

  44. amplesand said,

    May 22, 2007 at 8:51

    human physical wrecks like Daffyd ab Hugh and James Taranto, who despite their macho rhetoric wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours on a hippified Sierra Club hike, much less last a day of boot camp.

    How dare you mock my morbidly obese bretheren — you monster !!

    Never mind those tens of thousands of incinerated Iraqi children — I’m the real victim here !

  45. moron said,

    May 22, 2007 at 8:56

    I hate it when the right tries to hijack him.

    I sympathize with the sentiment, but the fact is: Orwell hijacked himself. Orwell started out as a wog-pummeling imperial policeman in India, and toward the end of his life he began returning to his roots as a faithful servant of Cross, Crown and Empire — slagging Communists, then socialists, then finally liberals altogether, reaching a low point shortly before his death as a government informant eagerly scratching out ‘enemies lists’ of ‘subversives’ to be purged from government service or worse.

  46. Sadly, No! » Oooh, Looky What I Got!!! said,

    June 14, 2007 at 12:22

    [...] Macho Men’ post I’ve been planning for so long (hints to its nature are here and here.) It’s about the wingnut Cult of Contrived Masculinity, and how it is indicative of a fascist [...]

  47. Smart Remarks » Blog Archive » More macho men said,

    June 15, 2007 at 18:25

    [...] topic du jour, it seems: This is from about a month ago but points to an older piece from Alexander Cockburn suggesting that this [...]

  48. Sadly, No! » Shorter Mark Steyn said,

    July 28, 2007 at 17:04

    [...] Remember your neocon 101: homosexuality saps morale, appeases islamocommiefascists, has always formed an integral part of [...]

  49. Sadly, No! » Hoover Vs. Pantload (Commentaries on Fascism, Part 1) said,

    January 26, 2008 at 6:55

    [...] discuss the Empire, the conservative transformation (Freikorpsization, really), Nixon, Pantload, David Neiwart’s definition of fascism, and have the conclusion of [...]

  50. Sadly, No! » Tricky Dick on The Faggotry of Appeasement said,

    May 1, 2008 at 20:28

    [...] the trifecta. It’s not just that he thought gays were awful and icky, but that, like many a wingnut, he’d worked out a whole theory about how homosexuality is a unique danger because it saps [...]

  51. Sadly, No! » Poddy Training said,

    January 30, 2013 at 16:54

    [...] themes: America and Israel are beseiged by a monolithic foe, liberals within the West always backstab the virtuous neocons who want to send other people’s children overseas to fight the enemy, [...]

  52. Sadly, No! » Likud It Or Not, Syria Had To Be Blown Up said,

    February 4, 2013 at 19:29

    [...] homophobic fascist, brother-in-law to one of same sentiments, son-in-law of a certifiable madman, and author of a book which demands of his co-tribalists a more ethnic purity by denouncing [...]

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