A few quick links and an open thread

Victorian posy of pansiesAn unexpected errand is calling me out of the house in a few minutes. Until then, some quick links:

Harvard is now mandating that all students entering its Kennedy school of government must take an official class telling the whites that they’re unduly privileged and everyone else that they’re victims of this privilege. (I know that’s not what the course description says, but it’s what’s going to happen.) Does anyone find it amusing that this is happening at the Kennedy School of Government? The Kennedys, after all, have been for decades the most decadent example of privilege in America.


Kurt Schlichter has the perfect antidote for this “privilege” insanity, and it’s not anger or retreat — it’s in-your-face pride and humor.


Of course, this new world of white privilege sounds the death knell for acts of anarchic genius such as Blazing Saddles. When I saw it in England, I was the only one laughing, because I was the only one who got the American/Yiddish jokes. Were you to show it in a theater now, people would be afraid to laugh.

Gotta run. More later.

Why I am not (yet) a Ted Cruz fan

Senator Ted Cruz

Yup.  You read that right.  I am not a Ted Cruz fan.  I should be.  He’s young, conservative, and courageous.  Although new to the United States Senate, he was unafraid of rigid collegiality rules and, instead, interrogated Hagel the way a good lawyer or a good Senator should.  After all, although a president is entitled to his own advisers, the fact that those advisers have to pass Senate review should mean something — and Cruz made sure it did.

That Cruz’s efforts were for naught had nothing to do with his courage or competence, and everything to do with a dysfunctional D.C. mentality.  For those of you who watched Netflix’s House of Cards, while the whole melodrama soap opera part was boring, the political machinations were true to form and they were more frightening than any horror movie could be.

So why aren’t I gaga over Cruz?  Because I’m not putting my heart on the line again.  In past years, conservatives have had the chronic frustration of watching our elected officials get played by Democrats, choose collegiality over values, or behave just plain stupidly.  Our response is to become desperate and are constantly on the lookout for a messiah.

Have we learned nothing?  To begin with, after the experience with Obama, instead of trying to create our own cult of personality, we should be afraid of that path.  I’ll abandon that objection for now, though, because in a media-saturated, low-information age (a sad oxymoron), personality may be all we’ve got.

But more important than this foolish cult of personality is our rush to open our hearts to any conservative candidate who’s not the one that came before.  With luck, Cruz will be everything we hoped.  But as we’ve seen with other candidates, his past (if he has one) will catch up with him, or his ego will outrun his abilities or, of course, the drive-by media will utterly destroy him.  I’m ready to fall in love with Cruz only if the drive-by media is unable to expose a sordid past, his ego remains in check, and he figures out how to play the media better than they play him.  And of course, he has to continue to be a stalwart, intelligent, courageous conservative politician in the D.C. cesspool.

This time around, I refuse to rush headlong into love with the first (or the second or the third) potential presidential candidate who comes along.  I’m not Marlene Dietrich:

Nor am I going to be the exhausted Lily von Shtup, too tired to function after falling in love with one candidate after another.  (And despite the vulgarity of these lyrics, it’s rather uncanny how accurate Madeline Kahn describes the conservative voters’ relationship with the legions of candidates who pass before them and then fail.)

I can help falling in love again — and I will not give my heart to a politician until I’m pretty darn sure the romance has legs.

I’m tired

Except for the ridiculous costume and the equally ridiculous sexual references, this video aptly describes my state of mind.  In lieu of the line about “slept with thousands of men,” substitute “dealt with thousands of carpools/play dates/elderly parent health crises,” and you’ve got the things in my life that leave me just loving this song:

I actually first saw the movie Blazing Saddles at a revival theater when I was living in England.  I went with a couple of friends, and was the only one in the theater laughing.  I guess you have to be American (and, maybe, Jewish) to appreciate much of the humor.

I especially lost it, giggle-wise, when I first saw the name for Madeline Kahn’s character:  Lilly von Schtupp.  It helped that, unlike everyone else in the theater, I had/have a passing acquaintance with Yiddish.

After the movie, I explained to one of my British friends why I thought the name so funny.  Quick as can be, she tossed back, “You mean, as in that famous 18th Century comedy, “She Schtups to Conquer“?  I admire a brain that agile.