Sunday, February 11, 2007

Al Gore, James Brown, Dixie Chicks, John Legend

This has turned out to be one of the strangest Grammy Awards event your blogstress has ever seen. Has a former vice president of the United States -- and winner of a stolen presidential election -- ever before present a Grammy? Seeing Al Gore up there, standing next to Queen Latifah, presenting the "Best Rock Album" award to Red Hot Chili Peppers (once known for wearing nothing but a single tube sock, encasing an appendage a bit north of the foot, on stage) was one of those moments of absurdity that seem to be breaking out all over these days.

While Mary J. Blige and Justin Timberlake had been given every reason to believe the evening was all about them -- they were relentlessly onstage -- the event turned out to be about the war. John Legend's song, "Coming Home," performed with the underappreciated Corinne Bailey Rae (who should have come away with one of the big awards for her extraordinary debut album) and the gifted John Mayer, seemed to set the stage for the strains of protest to come.

Ludacris did that amazing piece, Runaway Love with Madam Blige; it's really a
protest of family violence and addiction.

The biggest winners were the Dixie Chicks, whose lead singer, Natalie Maines, got the group kicked off country-music radio in 2003 when she told a British audience that she was ashamed of President Bush.

For their anthem of defiance, "Not Ready To Make Nice," the Chicks won "Song of the Year." They never did back down from those remarks, and this, and the two other wins they enjoyed tonight, were likely based as much on sentiment as on appreciation of their music. Natalie Maines, most graciously said as much, when she acknowledged the great talents against whom her group competed, and said, "I think people here tonight were exercising their freedom of speech..."

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Who's the trash-talker?
Bill Donohue on Jews and anal sex

In a predictable eruption two days ago (predictable because he hadn't been on TV for a while, and you know he was looking for his moment), William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (for white, Catholic men), went after two feminist bloggers, Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister and Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, calling them "vulgar, trash-talking bigots." (Edwards has rapped their knuckles but decided to keep them on as his net-roots folks, as reported here by Chris Cilizza of Your cybertrix suspects the comments of Mr. Donohue, that great defender of the faith, to be a bit of what the shrinks call "projection" -- that is, projecting one's own bad behavior onto others one perceives as threats (in this case, smart, liberal feminists).

Many, including your blogstress, have used this 2004 appearance by Donohue (or "BDo**", as he's known on Pandagon), on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" as evidence of Donohue's anti-Semitism. The topic is Mel Gibson's gore-fest, "The Passion of the Christ," which Donohue says is rejected by the "secular Jews" who run Hollywood because they "hate Christianity." Gibson's movie laid responsibility for the death of Jesus of Nazareth at the feet of the high priests of Jerusalem -- not Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who ordered the torture and execution.

In our critique of these remarks, few of us, however, have shone a light on the remarks Donohue made just after that. Here's a bit more of that passage:

WILLIAM DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I spoke to Mel a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don‘t think it really matters a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn‘t matter to me. We‘ve already won.

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah. Hollywood likes anal sex.

[Emphasis added by blogstress.]

Then things get really interesting when Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a conservative who has apparently been invited on the show to bash Michael Moore's "Farenheit 9/11" -- a film for which Donohue also expresses his disdain -- jumps on Donohue for his Jew-baiting.
[RABBI SHMULEY] BOTEACH: I‘m amazed that we‘ve made this a discussion about secular Jews. I have got to tell you that Bill Donahue, who I otherwise love and so respect, ought to be ashamed of himself, the way he‘s spoken about secular Jews hating Christians. That is a bunch of crap, OK?

DONOHUE: Who‘s making the movies? Who‘s making the movies?

BOTEACH: That is a bunch of crap.


BOTEACH: Stop the anti-Semitic garbage, OK?


DONOHUE: Who‘s making the movies? The Irishmen?


BOTEACH: Michael Moore is certainly not a Jew. Let me speak here,



BOTEACH: The fact is that Jewish people are incredibly charitable, good, decent family people.

DONOHUE: I didn‘t question that.

BOTEACH: Hollywood has become a cesspit because it‘s secular, period.

Don‘t this us—don‘t tell us that it‘s secular Jews.

DONOHUE: So the Catholics are running Hollywood, huh?


BOTEACH: Soon, you‘re going to start telling us that the NBA is violent because it‘s black people, all right, Bill? No, no, no.


BOTEACH: When people behave badly, just hold them individually accountable.

Now, let me just say one thing.


BOTEACH: Pat, the reason why many Jews—I‘m not among them—are fearful of Christianity is, they‘re tired of Christians saying that we‘re a bunch of Christ killers. They‘re tired of the lie that we killed Jesus.

DONOHUE: How far back do you got to go back in history to get this?


BOTEACH: Pontius Pilate—I‘m almost done. I‘m almost done.

BUCHANAN: All right. OK.

BOTEACH: Pontius Pilate killed Jesus. And the sin of Mel Gibson is the same sin of Michael Moore. They both whitewash tyrants. Michael Moore whitewashes Saddam Hussein, and Mel Gibson whitewashes Pontius Pilate, who was the Saddam Hussein of the ancient world. That‘s why Jews are afraid of Christians.

**Your blogstress humbly suggests a slight alteration to the spelling: try "B-Doh".

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lament of a B-List Basher

Your blogstress is most distressed; she no longer rates as an A-list Catholic-basher now that the media's favorite anti-Semite, William A. Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has discovered John Edwards' recent hires, bloggers Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister. From the AP via the Washington Post:

"John Edwards is a decent man who has had his campaign tarnished by two anti-Catholic, vulgar, trash-talking bigots," Donohue wrote in a statement. "He has no choice but to fire them immediately."
You'll recall, mes amis, that your blogstress was once the fetching serpent-borne apple of Donohue's ire when she dared to suggest that the Bush administration made a smart move when the president nominated the very Catholic John Roberts to head the Supreme Court, which would allow them to lob the false charge of "anti-Catholicism" every time Roberts was challenged about his views on abortion. This led to a raft of rather unfriendly e-mails sent to your cybertrix from Donohue's pious supporters. According to AP, Donohue was most offended by this passage from Marcotte:
The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.
Funny, Les Soeurs Dominican at St. Agnes's parish in Clark, New Jersey, actually taught me that it was my job to make more Catholics -- lots and lots of them. Either that or become a Soeur Domincan. I confess to never having had much interest in doing the former, and lost interest in the latter once the post-Vatican II habit came into view. (Badly proportioned and fastened with Velcro.)

But, your Webwench digresses. It's time that the Catholic League's board of advisers (scroll to bottom; they're rather discreet) be taken to task for the anti-Semitism and generally obnoxious behavior of Bill Donohue, its president. Should his book tour bring him to your town, question Dinesh D'Souza about Donohue's demonization of the Jews. (D'Souza prefers condescendention toward blacks.) Mary Ann Glendon has served as the Vatican's representative on a major U.N. document. She takes herself quite seriously. The next time Donohue demeans the commentary of feminists as "trash talk," ask Glendon if she agrees.

The next time Donohue appears in a major media outlet as a representative of Catholic Americans (when, in fact, he's simply a representative of a much smaller faction: right-wing, anti-Semitic Roman Catholics), call, write, and give the show and its network a little merde.




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Monday, February 05, 2007

Back to reality

At Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan makes a case for keeping that cuddly Bush pander bear (may Tsongas rest in peace), the Office for Faith-Based Initiatives in a Democratic administration. Sorry. Not allowed. Please see Amendment #1, U.S. Constitution. Okay, so that talks about what Congress can do. But one would think that religious folks would care about adherence to the spirit of the law.

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Happy Black History Month

Actually, shouldn't they just call it "history month"? After all, since black people have been here since America began, shouldn't all American history be black history? After all, who built this place? Who planted and harvested and cooked and gave us our music? (Don't give me that line about country music. The banjo is an African instrument, bro.) Seems to me that would add up to history AND culture. But we're only made to know that, see that, one month in the year -- and the shortest month, at that.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Biden: What I really meant is....

Herewith, a translation from your blogstress of Sen. Joe Biden's comments about Sen. Barack Obama. (Note that the senator from Illinois is in contention for the Democratic presidential nomination, while the delusional senator from Delaware thinks the title, "President Biden," to be an actual possibility.)

What Biden said:
“[With Barack Obama], you got the first mainstream African-American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

What Biden meant (blogstress interepretation in italics):
"[With Barack Obama], you got the first mainstream almost white African-American presidential candidate who is articulate talks like a white person and bright thinks like a white person and clean does not use Afro-Sheen and [is] a nice-looking guy because he looks like his white mama.

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