November 30, 2010

Julian Assange — "He's a sissy; he's a waif, purely and simply an Internet creation."

That's how Rush Limbaugh talked about Julian Assange on his show yesterday. What I'm interested in here is not Assange per se or what Limbaugh thinks of him. I'm interested in the gratuitous disparagement of men whose looks and personal style fail to track the masculine stereotype:
Let's look at Julian Assange. In a contest between Janet Napolitano and Julian Assange, who do you think would win?  Big Sis, there's no question about it.  Now, if Janet Napolitano, Big Sis, can put her hands down our underwear at any airport in America she chooses, why can't she get her hands on the State Department leaker?  Why can't she get her hands around the scrawny little neck of Julian Assange and all the other people at WikiLeaks?  This little guy, this little waif, this little Peter Pan, Julian Assange, does anybody really believe that is his real name?...

I'm in the mood to listen to a sissy, and we have an audio sound bite here from Julian Assange, who looks like a sissy and is a sissy....

No, I just don't like the guy in general principles.  I don't like the name. I don't like the way he looks. I don't like the way he sounds. He's a sissy; he's a waif, purely and simply an Internet creation.
Here's the graphic:



Limbaugh seems to have a general aversion to effeminate men (not to mention mannish women), and he's not processing this rather low reflex into much of anything but the repetition of the word "sissy." I like Rush Limbaugh and have defended him many times, in front of people who tend to hate you if you say anything good about him, so I think my opinion on the subject of Rush Limbaugh has special weight. I think this "sissy" business is beneath him.

There's something in the linked rant that was worth saying. If you read the whole thing, you'll see that Limbaugh was criticizing our government for not being able to catch Assange. In that context, the apparent feebleness of the man is relevant. If Limbaugh wants to say Assange is a weak little man and he's making us look weak, that's fine. What I don't like is the implication that in general men who look small, thin, and weak don't count as real men.

Now, Limbaugh's own critics frequently, gratuitously point out that Limbaugh is fat. I'm sure that creates a temptation for the big man to swing back at little men. I'm not saying he has to resist that temptation every single time, but process it into something better than saying "sissy" over and over. The subject, after all, was strength and weakness, and that was weak comic rhetoric.

UPDATE: I get word that Rush is talking about me on today's show, and, later, I listen to the podcast of the show and respond in real time.

108 comments:

Triangle Man said...

He's a sissyphobe.

ricpic said...

What I wanna know is what makes Hillary Clinton's head off limits? It's her State Department and it's her head that should roll.

TRO said...

Must be a slow blogging day.

D. B. Light said...

Like you I heard Rush's rant and found it a bit disturbing. I remember thinking "Boy, he's gonna hear about this one", and assumed he was just tweaking the Left. I didn't think he'd be hearing from you, though. Thanks for including the ending where he was making his main point rather than just calling the guy names. I had tuned out by then and missed it. It's good to know that his diatribe was leading to a valid point.

AllenS said...

It's just his shtick. Saying controversial things like this just increases the need for some people to listen to him so they can agree or hate his guts. Either way, he's being successful.

narciso said...

He looks like Colin Mochrie's evil twin from WLIA, the more interesting
question is who is behind him, Soros
was an early player,

Triangle Man said...

@AllenS

I think you're right, and it's why I have a hard time taking Rush any more seriously than Howard Stern. I don't listen anymore.

edutcher said...

He's mad about what Assange did and the looks put a handle on it, the way a lot of other people address something someone does that angers them. As Ann notes, the Lefties do it all the time.

If Assange looked like Michael Moore, he'd be called a big, fat pig. If he looked like Robert Reich, he'd be called a malignant dwarf or something.

And so on.

What Assange did is something a sneak and a coward does and the looks reinforce that image.

shoutingthomas said...

Contempt for sissies is a shaming tactic used by the community to force every man to assume his duty to defend the community.

So, in this case, I think Rush is right on the mark. Assange is not only refusing his duty to defend his own community, he's undercutting the his community's ability to defend itself.

It is assumed now in the liberal West that we don't need to force every man to "man up" and do his duty to defend his community. I suspect that that is notion is illusory and transient.

The day will come when every man will be called on again, and our fashionable tolerance for sissies will disappear instantly.

Hari said...

Assanage is a sissy in the sense that he hides from the consequences of his allegedly principled actions. He hits, torments, and hides.

Compare Julian Assanage to Daniel Elsburg, who to his credit said, “I did this clearly at my own jeopardy, and I am prepared to answer to all he consequences of this decision.”

mesquito said...

I remember laughing out loud at a Florence King essay when she described Michael Kinsley's "transluscent wrists."

former law student said...

Where are the leaked documents from Russia, China, India, Iran, or Brazil? Or is Wikileaks just another way to bash America?

But anyone whose voice is a tenor nasal drone has little standing to criticize the voices of others.

Triangle Man said...

Contempt for sissies is a shaming tactic used by the community to force every man to assume his duty to defend the community.

Sissyphobe.

Triangle Man said...

Or is Wikileaks just another way to bash America?

Yes. They are only concerned with undermining the global hegemony.

shoutingthomas said...

Sissyphobe.

Some of my best friends are sissies.

Triangle Man said...

Some of my best friends are sissies.

LOL! Five points to Slytherin.

jwest said...

Considering the charges of rape in Sweden, do you think Limbaugh may be “tweaking” Aussage for being effeminate in an effort to use the one thing that would get to him?

Patrick said...

To add a non-original point to Former Law Student's comment: If Assange were truly as principled as he purports to be, he would seek out docs from N Korea, Russia, Hezbollah, and a host of other bad actors and countries. It takes no courage to condemn the US, especially when all he does is receive documents from someone who has taken a risk. It takes little to see that is why he does this. In his little world, that is cool. Expanding his targets would be "dangerous," a concept for which Mr. Assange's principles have no taste. Rush skirts (heh- "skirts") around this with his "sissy" commentary, but in his effort to be humorous, fails.

SteveR said...

I don't much about this Assange guy. I don't have any respect for his way of doing things but I do believe he's doing someone else's bidding.

Its not hard to imagine whom that might be or that they are well hidden from discovery.

Sissy is pretty playground though, I can only assume Rush would like to have used stronger language.

MadisonMan said...

Blame the Messenger!

Pastafarian said...

I agree that this series of insults wasn't the best the Limbaugh could have done here.

But I must admit: When I first saw a photo of this Assange twit, I thought something similar: He's a creepy effeminate little twerp.

Is it wrong of me to find effeminate men creepy? I've known and liked a few gay men, but they weren't effeminate. And this little shit is apparently a rapist of women, so he's apparently not gay.

So I don't think calling him a sissy is homophobic -- sissy and gay seem to be independent of one another.

There's something sneaky and sinister about effeminate men. Maybe I've just seen Rob Roy one too many times.

AllenS said...

Manning stole the documents that Wikileaks is using. He is an open homosexual. Does anyone actually think that someone like him would ever be in a position to seek out docs from N Korea, Russia, Hezbollah?

garage mahal said...

Maybe Assange could play piano at Limbaugh's next wedding.

AllenS said...

That was a good one, garage. Proving that Limbaugh is not a homophobe.

JAY said...

Manning stole the documents that Wikileaks is using. He is an open homosexual.

And Assange is suspected of raping one woman and sexually molesting another during a visit to Sweden.

I think there is a pattern here...

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth."

William said...

A lifetime of such ridicule has caused Assange to overcompensate by becoming a rapist.

EDH said...

What surprises me more, especially in light of the DADT debate, is the lack of mention that the source of the leaks, Pfc Manning, appears to have been an openly gay activist in the military.

shoutingthomas said...

Listen, the left gets this connection between sissification and defense, too.

In Woodstock, the left actively promotes sissification of men as the antidote to war. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.

The theory seems to be that the more effeminate men become, the less likely they are to engage in warfare.

Every generation of leftists seems to up the ante in this. In the 60s, wearing long hair was the sign of the peacenik. Today in Woodstock, you'll see young men dressed in skirts, trying to avoid the evil eye of the leftist women.

So, I think you're playing dumb here, Ann. The left embraces feminizing men as part of its agenda.

Sissifying men is supposed to lead to world peace. Manliness is the enemy.

Pastafarian said...

Sissy or not, Assange (and Manning) should both be killed, quickly.

The damage that's been done here is real: In the future, potential sources of intelligence in places like Iran and North Korea will be less likely to cooperate with us, because they'll know that it's entirely possible, if not likely, that their cooperation will at some point be made public; and they'll be executed along with their entire family.

This "Wikileaks" (Jesus what a name -- like "tweet" or "Wii") bullshit will end up costing actual lives, probably of American servicemen. Manning should be tried for treason and shot. Assange should be assassinated. It's situations like this that are the reason that we have entities like NSA and CIA.

former law student said...

He is an open homosexual. Does anyone actually think that someone like him would ever be in a position to seek out docs from N Korea, Russia, Hezbollah?

We hear all the time that the US is only one of a handful of countries prohibiting openly gay soldiers and sailors. Could this be wrong?

AllenS said...

What do you think, fls. Do you think that there is a homosexual element in Hezbollah?

Skyler said...

And the truth is that Assange isn't really all that sissy looking.

Bender said...

What I don't like is the implication that in general men who look small, thin, and weak don't count as real men.

Such people as Rush speaks about are not "real men" not because of what they look like on the outside, but because of what they look like on the inside -- small, thin and weak. In fact, there are plenty of six-foot, 200-pound sturdy guys out there who are small, weak, sissies on the inside. And there are some who manifest their inner smallness and weakness on the outside as well.

And there are also some who, through no fault of their own, are physically small or have looks that are less than "manly," but they are tough and all-man on the inside. Rush isn't talking about these latter guys.

MadisonMan said...

In other words, I'd prefer to focus the attention on why a lowly enlisted man had access to all these documents. That's what I'd like to hear Rush address, not the outlet for the documents that are found.

I think it's better (maybe) that the documents saw the light of day compared to the alternative of, say, vanishing to Moscow or Beijing or Tehran without the USA really knowing what had gone missing.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I knew a guy a little like this. Short, scrawny, balding, nasal voice.

He was a former drill sergeant and hand to hand combat instructor. He once threw me twelve feet across a room.

Judging a book by its cover is a great way to get your ass kicked.

traditionalguy said...

Rush is in reaction mode to Assange's style which is clearly passive-aggressive. Rush is challenging his listeners to see that Assange is actually an agressor who is hiding behind his non-threatening female persona. Assange is also charged with a rape, I have heard.

Salamandyr said...

Julian Assange is an enemy of this country and a threat to our interests. He brazenly risks the lives of not only Americans, but people who cooperate with us. He is a sociopath deserving of every insult, every denigration, every humiliation that can be heaped upon him. In addition to that, he appears completely lacking in masculine virtues; call him a sissy all you want.

William said...

That's the great good thing about being a member of the militant left: because of your love for all mankind, you never have to say you're sorry for all the idealistic acts that go splat and leave people dead. Pfc Manning (not the name a novelist would chose) was apparently a very confused young man who wasn't even sure that he wanted to remain a man. He was an unhappy person, and his unhappiness was not the result of the chicanery of the US government. Nonetheless, the Wiki people encouraged him in his grandiosity and told him how brave and idealistic he was. He was given the love and attention that is lavished on a new cult member....Well, he will spend the greater part of his life in prison, and some where along the way a few people will be murdered as a result of the leaks. Assange and his wiki, wacky band will go on to further mischief. If they look back on their collateral damage at all, they will blame it all on the malignant government.....Rapist and sissy are the least of Assange's faults. He is manipulative, granndiose, self righteous, and wrong.

Lincolntf said...

Assange is just like all the other emotionally stunted and grandiosely self-regarded Libs out there. He looks around the world and sees one country that he considers the problem. It just so happens that it's the freest, most just, and most prosperous Country in history. It's also the one most likely to allow gnats like him to survive.
If any of these oh-so principled activists really gave a shit about the world, they'd be sending us Al-Qaeda's plans, not the other way around.

Paul said...

I kind of wish there was a HELLFIRE with Julian Assange's name on it.

Where are the UAVs when you need them?

AllenS said...

If Limbaugh had such a general aversion to effeminate men as you say, Professor. Do you really think that he would have had Elton John play at his wedding?

Pogo said...

"What I don't like is the implication that in general men who look small, thin, and weak don't count as real men."

Assange doesn't count as a real man because of his deeds and behavior.

Some physical attributes betray one's character flaws, so the mockery is easy and accurate.

traditionalguy said...

This is partly a free speech issue. An American intelligence officer gave Assange this information. Is reading other people's mail only to be permitted by the CIA but not by the public? If we are at war, then Assange's act is a crime... at both ends to publish it or to read it. That must be determined. Are we at war?

Tex said...

Limbaugh starts off his program with an Ann Althouse mention.

Robert Cook said...

"What Assange did is something a sneak and a coward does and the looks reinforce that image."

Hardly.

Agree or disagree with his actions, he has done so openly and put himself at rish of retaliation by the U.S.

David said...

That Assange has not been killed disproves all the conspiracy theories of the last 50 years (except, as a friend pointed out, the theory that the US government is behind Wikileaks).

Robert Cook said...

"Assange is not only refusing his duty to defend his own community, he's undercutting the his community's ability to defend itself."

Assange is not American and has no legal or ethical obligations to serve America's agenda.

America may conflate its own agenda with the needs or the "protection" of "the West," but that's typical self-serving baloney.

How does the publication of these documents undercut the effort to prevent terrorist violence?

jimbino said...

Guys who after their fraternity days praise big boobs or disparage effeminate or short men lose credibility with me.

Just imagine a contest between Napoleon or James Madison, intellectual or otherwise, with Rush Limbaugh.

Robert Cook said...

"Where are the leaked documents from Russia, China, India, Iran, or Brazil?"

Perhaps they have none. The American documents were provided to Wikileaks by an American serviceman who had access to them. We don't know there are persons in these other countries with similar access to their own governments' documents or, if so, the inclination to provide them to Wikileaks.

Robert Cook said...

"They are only concerned with undermining the global hegemony."

Sounds like a good thing.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

Too bad Assange wasn't around to leak the real story on Nobel Peace Laureates and terrorists Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat.

Or anti-feminist and fraud Mother Theresa, for that matter.

Bender said...

Rush responding to Althouse --

He's concerned with "the chickification of things."

Robert Cook said...

"Is it wrong of me to find effeminate men creepy?"

Well, you can't help how you feel, but...yes.

"And this little shit is apparently a rapist of women...."

Absent new information, the charges were apparent fabrications intended solely to discredit and/or halt Assange's activity.

Julius said...

How the hell do you see Julian as looking weak? He's rather soft-spoken... only in that he speaks in the way that a European journalist does, unlike the boisterous loud argumentative way that the American talking heads that you see on TV do. He's not effeminate.

This is Limbaugh trash, Althouse. And for whatever reason you are accepting it from Rush without even pausing for a moment to assess for yourself if it is true.

TMink said...

Most guys don't like effeminate men.

Trey

Robert Cook said...

"Too bad Assange wasn't around to leak the real story on Nobel Peace Laureates and terrorists Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat."

Yes.

Lincolntf said...

Awww, two trolls make a love connection over Mother Teresa and Henry Kissinger....so sweet...

shoutingthomas said...

America may conflate its own agenda with the needs or the "protection" of "the West," but that's typical self-serving baloney.

Yes, it's the type of "self-serving baloney" that led to the U.S. bailing out the West in two world wars in the 20th century... with the sacrifice of the lives of millions of men.

I suspect that the war against the Jihadis will once again see the U.S. ultimately left to bail out Europe, with the sacrifice of the lives of American soldiers

Everything you say, Kookie, has to be balanced with the reality of your insane hatred of the U.S. You are always on the side of the enemy because you are a Stalinist. Stalinists hate the U.S. as a matter of course.

Your hatred of your own country is standard for nuts like you. You think of it as a form of "enlightenment." I know that. Woodstock is full of creeps like you.

jwest said...

Why would someone release documents that most probably would cause harm to individuals and governments?

Perhaps it’s for the same reason someone would rape a woman – to make himself feel powerful when he is anything but.

Rush may have this guy pegged as a “waif” and a “sissy”.

Coketown said...

Well, he is a sissy. He's always gaunt and sickly looking. He reminds me of the main villain in Quantum of Solace. Really? This guy runs the largest criminal organization in the world?

And I think it's silly to build Assange up so much. He didn't acquire the documents. He didn't build the Wikileaks infrastructure. He's just a spokeswoman for an otherwise elusive organization. I'm sure he masturbates every night thinking about all the attention he's getting.

Oligonicella said...

"I'm interested in the gratuitous disparagement of men whose looks and personal style fail to track the masculine stereotype:"

Kinda like saying men with mustaches look gay or like porn stars?

shoutingthomas said...

Kookie, your grotesque, sick hatred of your own country is so twisted and stupid that you are effectively an ally of the Jihadis.

Is this intentional or inadvertent?

The Crack Emcee said...

I think you missed the point:

It was funny!

I'm serious - I giggled my ass off! Maybe it was something you would expect me to find funny (plus I'm a fan of Rush) but that's how it hit me. Some words, sounds, etc., are funny and, like a poet, Rush has an ear for that kind of thing. Anyhow, that's how it hit me:

It just sounded funny.

Kensington said...

Althouse:
"I'm interested in the gratuitous disparagement of men whose looks and personal style fail to track the masculine stereotype:"

Would you be more sympathetic if you knew that Assange wears shorts?

Robert Cook said...

"This guy (Assange) runs the largest criminal organization in the world?"

Well, no, of course not.

"And I think it's silly to build Assange up so much."

I see you agree with me.

Sokmnkee said...

I'd say the graphic IS accurate insofar as Assange is concerned. Seeing him dressed as Peter Pan looks more than natural. Hillary Clinton as Tinkerbell, not so much. I'm pretty sure she wears a cup.

shoutingthomas said...

So, Kookie, are you a ally of the Jihadis by default, as a result of your sick hatred of your own country?

Are do you simply prefer the Jihadis to the U.S.?

Coketown said...

@Robert Cook: That's the danger of inserting words when quoting someone. In that sentence, I was airing my disbelief with the movie. In the movie, the effeminate twerp ran that criminal organization that overthrew governments. Wikileaks is a glorified gossip site. Like Gawker, only less centralized and with better scoops.

Skyler said...

I'm not comfortable with vilifying Assange to this extent. Sure, he is hurting us and we should do whatever we can to stop him, but he isn't the source of the leaks. He's just a two bit jerk with a website. Anyone can have a website. The real villain is PFC Manning. Whoever published the documents is largely irrelevant. Someone would have eventually. And in fact journalists of most newspapers would compete to get the documents and publish them first. Every news organization I know of has been publishing excerpts that they consider most damaging.

Pandora's box was opened. It seems unimportant who sees the mischief caused by the traitor who opened it.

Beth said...

It's particularly funny to see this from Rush, whose weight and persona have made him purely a radio creation. He's no masculine icon, either. Who would say, "Hey Rush, gimme a hand with this chainsaw, will you?" or "Yo, Rush, can you help me move this couch down the stairs?" Remember those images of his New York apartment? Not a man cave, not so much.

Robert Cook said...

Coketown:

Point taken.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

He is an open homosexual. Does anyone actually think that someone like him would ever be in a position to seek out docs from N Korea, Russia, Hezbollah?

We hear all the time that the US is only one of a handful of countries prohibiting openly gay soldiers and sailors. Could this be wrong?


We also have one of the few credible militaries in the world, so the answer is, "No".

JAL said...

Rush is reading Althouse's post right now.

JAL said...

I'm sure he masturbates every night thinking about all the attention he's getting.

No. Apparently he's been out there having unprotected sex in Sweden and is being looked by them for alleged rape charges.

Robert Cook said...

Shouting Tommy (can you hear me?):

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration (so hardly a frothing leftie), has this scathing column on the nascent American police state at today's COUNTERPUNCH:

http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts11302010.html

Unquestioning acceptance or approval of government policies "in the name of our safety" (sic) or for any other reason leads us to this dangerous pass that Roberts describes so well and frighteningly. It hardly bespeaks hatred of one's country to call bullshit on the thugs who have taken it over for their own financial and political aggrandizement.

(I really am not too concerned with answering your comical invective, but I just wanted an excuse to put Thomas' column in front of whomever here might have the fortitude to read it and heed it.)

Peter Fee said...

RE: Rush, Assange, Ann & related posts about "sissy."

“the left actively promotes sissification of men”


What shoutingthomas said in the quoted passage above, is correct, but I believe that it runs far deeper than merely being related to an antidote to war.

Actually, the Left and Marxism aim at displacing masculinity because it is a pillar of that which it seeks to destroy. Individuality, Rationality, Action and Resourcefulness are the hallmarks of masculinity. They are antithetical to the State having predominant control over people’s lives. The Human Being that the Left wishes to construct and see prevail is subject to the State and has needs towards the State as the Child has to the Parent.

Since it seeks to replace the Family and become the Parent, the State must displace Man and his traditional relationship to Woman; and to Children. Through this lens we can readily interpret a lot of relatively recent cultural and philosophical history in the West.

Related Notes: Sissification is not the same as Homosexual. Effeminate is lacking Masculine self-identity, while not having the Grace of a Woman.
This middle ground is an odious “no-man’s land” because it fails to be Man or to be Woman and is just feckless. That is the essence of the stigmatization of the sissy.

Joe said...

Isn't anyone even a little amused at the depth of lies our Government has been engaging in for no reason? Isn't a good thing to throw back the covers and expose a lot of things which shouldn't be secret at all but are because the government can?

All this talk of delicate negotiations is hooey. These papers show how two-faced everyone is and it's good to get that out in the open.

Skyler said...

Joe,

Why would you have ever thought that governments are not two-faced? Have you no understanding of human beings and thousands of years of history?

Robert Cook said...

Joe said:

"Isn't anyone even a little amused at the depth of lies our Government has been engaging in for no reason? Isn't a good thing to throw back the covers and expose a lot of things which shouldn't be secret at all but are because the government can?"

Joe, I wouldn't say "amused," and certainly not surprised, but yes, you are right...as Martha Stewart says, it is a good thing that we know what our government--that's us, right?--is doing in our name on our behalf (sic) with our tax dollars.

shoutingthomas said...

The "nascent American police state" crap is your martyrdom dream. The left has been ballyhooing the "nascent American police state" for my entire life.

It's like the "great night of fascism" that seem to be eternally hovering over the U.S. Somehow, it always lands in Europe.

You are an ally of the Jihadis, Kookie. You are truly evil. And the bizarre thing is, you're so damned crazy, that you think this is "enlightenment."

I've heard all of your BS before, Kookie. It is my unfortunate lot in life to have met many kooks like you. Every one of them thinks he's an original headed for martyrdom because of his keen insights.

roesch-voltaire said...

Given the comments his critics have made about his three marriages and no children, wink, wink, I think Rush has always been a bit defensive in tying to prove his manly image by calling others the sissy.

Dennis said...

The best conservative defense:

***
traditionalguy said...
Rush is in reaction mode to Assange's style which is clearly passive-aggressive. Rush is challenging his listeners to see that Assange is actually an agressor who is hiding behind his non-threatening female persona. Assange is also charged with a rape, I have heard.

11/30/10 10:41 AM
***
But could it be that this is Rush's jump the shark moment? The fact is, I can't follow him there. He has added one too many ironic twists, it would be better for him instead to straight out accuse Assange of cowardly hypocrisy...

...except that there exists an abiding prejudicial trope within our cultural legacy that connects feyness with a lack of courage.

(ps: Wasn't Lawrence of Arabia fey? I only know of him in the O'Toole/Lean movie!)

Robert Cook said...

"The left has been ballyhooing the 'nascent American police state' for my entire life."

And they've been right.

What...you think Rome was built in a day?

shoutingthomas said...

You left out, Kookie, the part about this being your martyrdom dream.

That's a icky part of your fantasy.

You're the great Jesus Christ/Che/Charlie Manson who alone is honest and courageous enough to see the truth.

And, somebody, those awful Powers that Be are going to martyr you for your incredible honesty and courageous.

It's a teenage boy's wet dream, Kookie.

And the women you're playing it out for... well, they ain't worth shit. Which makes it all the more maudlin and stupid.

Robert Cook said...

C'mon, Tommy...didn't you appreciate my clever little remark about Rome...you know, because Rome was also a global empire that began as a democracy and devolved into tyranny?

I was making an allusion to and comparison with us and them, simultaneously, while merely citing a shop-worn cliche! ("Shop-worn" is a cliche, too, right?)

Ain't I something?

Lucien said...

Of course "Julian Assange" is not his real name. His real name is "Bat Guano" (Col. Ret.).

shoutingthomas said...

C'mon, Tommy...didn't you appreciate my clever little remark about Rome...you know, because Rome was also a global empire that began as a democracy and devolved into tyranny?

Well, yes, for you Kookie, that almost qualifies as humor.

Someday, you might develop a sense of humor.

First, you'll have to stop Saving the World.

I'm telling you, it's one hell of a responsibility Saving the World. I used to do it myself over 30 years ago.

To think of all the things I could have accomplished if I'd just though about saving myself.

yes said...

Assange/Manning Halloween costumes.

I love the first line: "Gentlemen, start your slashfic engines."

slashfic

Robert Cook said...

Aw, Tommy...I'm not Saving the World...as I've said before, I'm just standing on the sidelines, bitching.

(Just like everyone else here...but I'm bitching about real shit--I'm "reality-based,"--unlike most-but-not-all everyone else here.)

Robert Cook said...

Another great column at today's COUNTERPUNCH about New Rome, (i.e. The U.S. of A.):

http://www.counterpunch.com/englehardt11302010.html

Hoosier Daddy said...

Another great column at today's COUNTERPUNCH about New Rome

As an avid Romanophile, I do enjoy the contemporary comparisons of how we are going the way of the Roman empire.

Well keep in mind that one of the mian contributing factors to the fall of the Roman Empire (the Western half) was the constant internecine warfare which weakened the Legions which allowed the Germanic tribes to enter Roman territory with impunity. Since the Legions were too weak to resist the invasions they were simply allowed to settle and over time eventually overran Rome. I'll let you draw the appropriate analogy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

you know, because Rome was also a global empire that began as a democracy and devolved into tyranny?

Actually it began as a Republic.

Michael said...

A favorite phrase from long ago was "big fucking sissy." Often the guys were big. And they were sissies, afraid to walk the log over the roaring river, afraid to bust it down the single track, afraid to walk the thin ledge on the mountain path. It didn't have much to do with their physical daintiness, more with their unwillingness to take risks. I am not sure that every single thing somehow has to do with homosexuals or Muslims.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Another contributing factor to Rome's fall was that the Eastern Empire (Byzantium) essentially replaced Rome as the focus of the Empire as a whole which, after Rome's demise, last another thousand years.

And yes they had a huge military machine too.

former law student said...

Actually [Rome] began as a Republic.

Then it taxed the well-off for free food and entertainment for Romans.

chuck b. said...

A preoccupation with what is masculine is not masculine.

Robert Cook said...

"Actually (Rome) began as a Republic."

I'm aware of that, and I almost said "republic," but I thought this might be too arcane in making the comparison with us, who are also a republic--or were--but are constantly referring to ourselves as a "democracy."

Actually, I guess we're a "democratic republic," yes?

Brevity is the soul of...something...as the man says, so I made an authorial decision to go for "democracy."

Michael said...

Hoosier Daddy: I am not certain that the Roman legions were weak, but they were certainly decadent. As are we.

Michael said...

Hoosier Daddy: I am currently plowing through A History of the Decline and Fall, intending to finish all six volumes. I am not certain I will make it, but the writing is so superb I often find myself twenty pages forward without the slightest idea of what I have just read. I tried it on Kindle but found it impossible and am now on the hard cover version. Many parallels to today.

AllenS said...

Michael,

Here is something I came across a while ago. If you skip to about the 8 minute mark, you'll see the similarities between Rome and our current situation.

Michael said...

AllenS: Thank you for the link. Excellent piece. There is no doubt that we are paying, big time, for bread and circus and are creating expectations for more and more entertaining events in the coliseum.

jgowen said...

I vote with the guy who noted it's funny. I don't listen to Rush anymore 'cause I'm taking an extended vacation from gloom and doom, left and right, but I thought the graphic was funny, and I can imagine him bloviating about it. It's the very *fact* that it makes smoke come out of liberals' ears; I can *hear* the infuriated left, I can *smell* the smoke, and that makes it *extra* funny....

Robert Cook said...

I just checked the link to the YouTube video purporting to explain the difference between a democracy and a republic. I haven't got far into it yet and perhaps it has valuable information to offer, but it immediately becomes suspect when it propagates at the start the untenable meme--popularized by Johah Goldberg--that all totalitarian systems are "leftist" in nature, whereas the farther one goes to the right the more one arrives at lesser and lesser and ultimately NO government at all.

The author states that those who declare the Nazis and Fascists were right wing "never define their terms." I don't claim to be expert on the nuances of political semantics and nomenclature, but I believe fascism has always been defined as the confluence of government and capital, of business and politics. One may argue whether this is an attribute of the left or right--it strikes me as self-evidently of a right wing nature--but it cannot be said that the term has not been defined. How are the terms being defined by those who conflate Communism and fascism as brother ideologies or power structures of the left?

Frankly, authoritarianism is at the root of any totalitarian system, and authoritarianism exists across the political spectrum. Witness David Horowitz, who famously became known first as a totalitarian leftist, and subsequently shifted to become a totalitarian rightist.

Cedarford said...

Peter Fee - "Sissification is not the same as Homosexual. Effeminate is lacking Masculine self-identity, while not having the Grace of a Woman."

Agree, and add in Girlie-Man.
And "Wussy".

A Nancy-boy or Brit "poofter" also is a sissy descriptor, but is liked to homosexuality.
The gay community has their own endearing phrases for manly manly gay men (bears), effeminate older gay men (queens, ones for girlish young boys they seek to seduce...and so on...

treedude said...

If Rush Limbaugh wanted to do or say something that truly upset "Little Julian," he would call him a sissy. Assange's personality and reactions in the world show that he is desparate to prove that he is not weak.

city said...

thanks for share...