Marky Steyn, He of the Fuzzy Wuzzy, hath seen the failed Birther launch of Breitbart, and attempts to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like any good alcoholic forestalling an intervention.
Our Story, so far …
The attack hounds at Breitbart dot com (while not engaged in a vicious and irrelevant smear of Elizabeth Warren’s parentage) came up with this:
- BREITBART.COM: THE VETTING – EXCLUSIVE – OBAMA’S LITERARY AGENT IN 1991 BOOKLET: ‘BORN IN KENYA AND RAISED IN INDONESIA AND HAWAII’
With, as noted elsewhere, the odd “I’m not a birther, BUT …” and “Well, I believed that Obama was born in the Yew Essay, BUT …”
Followed immediately by the “egg on the face” revelation that the document in question was an internal publicity piece (listing the agency’s stable of authors) and the lower-level (at the time) employee who researched and wrote the bio blurb came forward to admit that she blew it.
But, never let the Dumb & Google Corps let facts get in the way.
WHY, if it was WRONG, then WHY did Obama let them get away with it?
You know, for a bunch of “writers,” these schmucks don’t seem to know a damned thing about actual publishing. These sorts of internal document are rife in the publishing world, and half the crap they put out, you never see. One sheets describing their tempestuous tomes; ads in trade magazines, pages in their quarterly catalogs. And here, an “insider” pamphlet to remind the publishers what a splendid stable of literary studs are at their behest.
The odds that Barack Obama (“Barry” in Steyn’s depersonalization riff) never laid eyes on the document. It’s the sort of thing that authors only ever come across by accident — even if reprinted for several years. The world of internal advertising is a Byzantine labyrinth of little print runs that often can run to less than a hundred pieces. Once, I used to typeset for defense contractors, and we had to come up with a shot of a New York Times headline literally ripped from the front pages, and a slug of type reminding the recipients of how effective the TOW missile was.
It was an utterly amoral thing, since the incident in question had (IIRC) involved a mistake identification of a ship, subsequently sunk. But the MISSILE did a DAMNED FINE JOB!
How many recipients of this bit of “industry” advertising? Maybe 50. Maybe more, but probably less.
The point being that, having been caught in a stupid bit of attack meme reinforcement, the attack was twisted to other means, without ever taking it back.
And then Steyn, who looks deeply into the discredited document, imputes knowledge, and, therefore intent to Obama and, having climbed the steaming mountain of bullshit laid out since 5 AM EDT Friday, finds the perfect rose growing from the top. He stoops, ankle deep in mush, and plucks it:
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
The Great Barry
By Mark Steyn
May 19, 2012 4:00 A.M.
It used to be a lot simpler. As E. C. Bentley deftly summarized it in 1905:
Geography is about maps
But Biography is about chaps.
But that was then, and now Biography is also about maps. For example, have you ever thought it would be way cooler to have been born in colonial Kenya?
The literary pretension of doggerel from some obscure English humourist [sic] before the rationalizing invention (emphasis added):
Whoa, that sounds like crazy Birther talk; don’t go there! But Breitbart News did, and it turns out that the earliest recorded example of Birtherism is from the president’s own literary agent, way back in 1991, in the official bio of her exciting new author: “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of The Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
So the lunatic theory that Barack Obama doesn’t meet the minimum eligibility requirements to be president of the United States was first advanced by Barack Obama’s official representative. Where did she get that wacky idea from? “This was nothing more than a fact-checking error by me,” says Obama’s literary agent Miriam Goderich, a “fact” that went so un-“checked” that it stayed up on her agency’s website in the official biography of her by-then-famous client up until 2007: “He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister.”
Yeah. Literary agencies employ armies of fact-checkers for their limited distribution ad pamphlets. And publishing is rife with fact-checking and high journalistic standards of truthiness and sechlike.
Seriously, dude. Have you ever actually WORKED in publishing? (And by “dude” I mean it in the traditional Western manner, and not in the argot of skateboarder younger brothers of surfers.)
More Steyn whine, still in sequence:
And then in April 2007, someone belatedly decided to “check” the 16-year-old “fact” and revised the biography, a few weeks into the now non-Kenyan’s campaign for the presidency. Fancy that!
Oooh. Withering sarcasm. J’Accuse! J’ACCUSE!
And now, the coup de grace! The DEATH THRUST:
When it comes to conspiracies, I’m an Occam’s Razor man. The more obvious explanation of the variable first line in the eternally shifting sands of Obama’s biography is that, rather than pretending to have been born in Hawaii, he’s spent much of his life pretending to have been born in Kenya.
Funny thing, though: The bull fails to fall over.
In fact, the only bull on the floor, thus far, belongs entirely to Steyn’s ordure.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the Satanic reversal working in the fever-dreams of Steyn (who believes himself to be frank):
We can’t prove that Obama was born in Kenya, but, with some extreme mental gymnastics we CAN prove that he FALSELY GAVE THE IMPRESSION that he was! HAH! GOTCHA!
If Occam had razor in hand, at this point, he would surely slit his own throat.
I mean, it’s one thing to pull something like that out of one’s fuzzy ass, but to PREFACE it with an appeal to Occam’s Razor (and, by implication, Steyn’s vast reservoir of literary and formal logic training — not in evidence anywhere in the piece itself, I might note) is as astonishing an act of buffrontery as one can hear in civil society without tuning in to Rush Limbaugh or, more delusionally, Glenn Beck.
But soft. Steyn squeaks:
The recipes from “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee” include a crab dish with tomato mayonnaise. Mrs. Warren’s fictional Cherokee ancestors in Oklahoma were renowned for their ability to spear the fast-moving Oklahoma crab. It’s in the state song: “Ooooooklahoma! Where the crabs come sweepin’ down the plain . . . ” But then the white man came and now the Oklahoma crab is extinct, and at the Cherokee clambakes they have to make do with Mrs. Warren’s traditional Five Tribes recipe for Cherokee Lime Pie… All I did was say it the way they’ve always said it back in Kenya. But Obama himself didn’t finally decide what his name was or how to say it until he was pushing 30. In the shifting sands of identity, he picked his crabs carefully.
A twofer! Two slime jobs in one! (Who says the National Review Online isn’t worth every penny you paid to read it?) Does it occur to anyone that the attacks here are fundamentally castrating bigotry. Them what cain’t say “n****r” or “c**t” are constrained to bizarro world racist Klein-bottle reversals:
Elizabeth Warren is NOT a Cherokee! (irrespective of what her parents might have told her, since, as we all know, all pre-internet Americans were genealogical experts and the notion of “good faith” is inconceivable to the faithless and the children of the Father of Lies.) Barack Obama is a Kenyan, OH WAIT, he’s NOT a Kenyan!
Bwahahahah! Pretending to be post racial, the race and birthplace of the Democrats who made the mistake of standing up to these bullies is now THE ONLY focal point of the attack, and whatever else is happening is not important. Occam’s Razor makes this clear. (I think.)
I guess it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. (Occam would probably say something, but he just committed suicide.)
More like Occam’s Eraser: when given the choice between two competing versions of reality, ALWAYS choose the version most expedient to your agenda.
But what is the DAMNING imputed accusation? What is “Barry” — because Steyn refuses to call him “Barack” while entertaining the notion of Kenyan birth, but calls him the Americanized “Barry” while subtly (with the usual deniability caveats) denying that President Obama is an American — what is “Barry” guilty of?
In that sense, Obama out-Gatsbys Gatsby: His “shiftless and unsuccessful” relatives — the deportation-dodging aunt on public housing in Boston, the DWI undocumented uncle, the $12-a-year brother back in Nairobi — are useful props in his story, the ever more vivid bit-players as the central character swims ever more out of focus, but they don’t seem to know him either. The more autobiographies he writes, the less anybody knows. Like Gatsby presiding over his wild, lavish parties, Obama is aloof and remote: Let everyone else rave deliriously; he just has to be. He is in his way the apotheosis of the Age of American Incredibility. When just being who you are anyway is an incredible accomplishment, Obama managed to run and win on biography almost entirely unmoored from life. But then, like Gatsby, he knew a thing or two about “the unreality of reality.”
Hyperbole aside (“The more autobiographies he writes, the less anybody knows”), what is this Capital Crime that Steyn, that Great American Patriot, accuses President Obama of?
Why, He isn’t anything. He isn’t American, He isn’t Kenyan, He isn’t Barack, He isn’t Barry. He isn’t a black man, he isn’t a white man, he just ISN’T. Whatever exists can be Etch-a-Sketched away and, thus, the man you ought to hate not only doesn’t exist, but you must HATE HIM BECAUSE HE DOESN’T EXIST.
Occam came back to consciousness, realized he wasn’t dead enough and slit both wrists for good measure.
Ah. Pretention, vainglory and hubris. The Great Baracksby. Another bit of literary pretension. Everybody who went to college ended up having to read that book at some point. But Steyn evidently doesn’t remember the book that well (presuming it to be lingua franca, he doesn’t bother to inform the reader of the parallels in the book, it is assumed, else you’re not in the “in” crowd of intelleckshuals thet Brainiac is).
Nick reflects that just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsby’s power to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him “great,” Nick reflects that the era of dreaming—both Gatsby’s dream and the American dream—is over.
Leave a green light on, Steyn.
Although President Obama’s guilt is only “provable” through the most tortuous of mental gymnastics, if hubris be crime, then we have the perfect criminal. Here’s his (almost undoubtedly self-authored) NRO bio:
Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist … his Christmas single with Jessica Martin, reached number seven on Amazon’s easy-listening bestsellers, and number 41 on Amazon’s main pop chart…
Ahhh. A Christmas novelty single launched via his literary marketing machine. Number FORTY ONE on Amazon? Not on Billboard? Cashbox?
OK. Well. Let’s see how he treats his fellow chart-topping musicians:
By Mark Steyn
May 17, 2012 3:51 P.M. Comments7
Donna Summer, 9/11 victim?
Donna died from lung cancer. Several sources are telling us Donna believed she contracted it by inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City.
NR cruiser Ed Driscoll says it “sounds like her survivors are preparing some sort of lawsuit.”
Be that as it may, back when I did my disco version of “Marshmallow World”, I spent a week listening to the old Seventies stuff just to refresh my memory of the horn sound, the strings, the hi-hat semi-quavers, the bongo breaks and all the rest. I went through all the big hits – Gloria Gaynor, the Village People – but in the end figured for the slow intro we’d borrow Donna’s “Last Dance” and do it sideways (when he heard my record, Rush’s sidekick Mr Snerdley spotted the hommage in the first two bars). And for the big finish we wound up doing the same with her and Barbra Streisand’s pneumatic finale for “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”. Because when it comes to Seventies disco Donna Summer’s about as good as it gets. RIP.
Meanwhile, in other disco-era news: In the navy…
That is it. Alpha and omega, Dorothy and Sum in Toto.
Because, you know, the death of Donna Summer Friday (same day the lame “Born in Kenya” booklet Birther Bomb was being launched by Breitbart dot com) is only important when it’s ABOUT HIM.
Donna Summer dead. Let me tell you about how I, great musician, ripped off a Donna Summer song, because she was the best person to rip off for a genre that I think is funny. Ha ha. “In the Navy” FAG JOKE!
Count the number of words devoted to Ms. Summer’s death. It should be quick.
Now, count the number of words about Mark Steyn Super-Musician.
What sort of man writes something this monstrously arrogant about a beloved entertainer who just died of lung cancer?
Who quietly mocks her belief that she contracted it from breathing 9-11 smoke? Who talks more about his obscure novelty Christmas record and blithely admits to stealing from the dead woman’s repertoire, as though stealing from the creative was a right and not immoral or unethical or even pretentious, like Jay Gatsby?
What kind of delusional mind can turn on a dime and make the same slurs against a man’s character and even BEING by using an argument, that, when discredited, somehow becomes the EXACT same attack argument?
In the void of the afterlife, William of Ockham mourns that he was ever born, that such use should be made of his reasoning.
What kind of hubris is evident herein, if hubris be a crime?
And what sort of inauthenticity and résumé-padding are we to cast our contempt on, if those be crimes?
I don’t know.
Ask the top 41 (on Amazon) “musician.”
He knows everything.
Note: No pictures in this post, in respect for the dead.
And you might enjoy the yawp and jeer of the unthinking MeeTooers:
Mike / Cold Fury: A self-serving liar, through and throughamericanthinker.com: Steyn: Out ‘Gatsby-ing’ GatsbyAnn Althouse / Althouse: Why would Obama pretend to have been born in Kenya?Jill / Pundit & Pundette: The self-made-up man — Afterthought to yesterday’s post: