View Full Version : WFB and BhTV

03-04-2008, 12:02 PM

Will Wilkinson
03-04-2008, 12:58 PM
Peter, I'm not sure that Marlo's "My name is my name!" tirade in any way diminishes him. I thought it was a powerful portrayal of the logic of the street's honor culture. This is the ONE thing there is really to get upset about. That his crew saw fit to protect him from Omar by not communicating that he was being called out--that he was called out and did not "step" to Omar, and that this may be publicly recognized--was obviously a greater humiliation than the prospect of a life in prison. His "name," his reputation, is his only real asset, and the fact that his crew threatened it is a greater betrayal by far than the possibility that there is a snitch inside his operation.

03-04-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm sorry but I just have to nominate Ezra Klein for a modesty award:


03-04-2008, 01:44 PM
Re: your discussion of Goolsbee's support of Obama, it's interesting to note that former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who is held in extremely high regard by libertarians, is behind Obama. In fact, he endorsed Obama at a time when Ron Paul was still in the Republican race.

Of course, the libertarian response to Volcker's endorsement has been a big, deafening silence. Pretty amazing, really.

03-04-2008, 01:54 PM
Rock the geek analogies Peter. Rock them.

03-04-2008, 02:41 PM
I'm sorry but I just have to nominate Ezra Klein for a modesty award:


A funny jab, but Ezra's struck me as a inarguable statement. And the only thing worse than bragging is false modesty. The truth is, not only are the overwhelming majority of the diavloggers better than what you get to hear elsewhere, one could interpret his "we" as including the forum participants, as well.

And of course, we are all above average.

03-04-2008, 03:43 PM
When it comes to sexiness, maybe.

03-04-2008, 04:17 PM
Well, actually, that "Modesty Award" snippet doesn't really do that quote full justice. It should really be trimmed a wee bit more artfully, per this (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9215?in=00:04:00&out=00:04:25), and then followed by watching, precisely in order, these two short u-tube clips all the way through to their grim conclusion.

This should go right to the realities of Obama-mesmerized press and those who self-congratulate on being intellectually superior in intellection and objectivity:

1) http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=ghSJsEVf0pU

2) http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=EdM8PDu6VMg


03-04-2008, 04:35 PM


You already posted (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=71187#post71187) those links. Endless repetition may work for the Faux News audience; here, it just undermines your case.

03-04-2008, 04:44 PM
I'm not sure Peter Suderman understands The Wire.

ed fielding
03-04-2008, 07:18 PM
What a grand exploration. The political opinions are welcome and illuminating, while guided by gentle freshness. Not unlike a lot of other rewarding conversations here.

Having done that, when you moved to Mr. Buckley you moved to the plane of the exceptional.
I was thinking during the first half how by contrast with Ezra and Peter I can only see Coulter’s performance as calculated to proselytize for the GOP among the bitterly cynical, the nihilist vote, the happily alienated urban/suburban happpily bitter coke-head crowd. A lot of good hardball Players with good money ready to make their score. Ladies and Gentlemen, give a big hand, for— Annie Coulter; just in from Vegas!

The elements of grace and thoughtfulness and honest engagement at a distinguished level that you examined, whose loss you spoke of wistfully;
you guys were grand, did yerselves proud and your audience too, and did a favor to everyone for getting those thoughts out on the table.
Not at all that they’re not implicit in the pleasures of bloggingheads and the few other sites I enjoy settling; but you two laid out the terms with deft emblematic precision.

Whatta pleasure.
Many thanks.

03-04-2008, 07:37 PM
Re BJ's:

You already posted those links.

That's not a case of "spamming" the site, but rather one of not wanting to miss a chance to place the issue squarely in the lap of a class of writers with the potential to become future Judith Millers gestating in the echo-chamber of faux-Left ego-intoxication.

As far as the actual course of the primary goes, I suspect it's all over except for the body count. The General should be another comedy entirely.


Bloggin' Noggin
03-04-2008, 08:03 PM
Completely over the top! In the context of Bush/Cheney militarism, surveillance, cheerleading for torture, the Clinton supporters want to tar Barack Obama with fascism on the basis of a Youtube video?
To me that smacks of a) desperation and b) a Clinton scorched earth policy -- if Hillary can't win this time, then no Democrat should win!

I'd personally rather have either candidate than McCain -- I even like HRC -- unless that she really is willing to throw this election to the Republicans if she can't win it for herself. I trust she's a bit more level headed than some of her supporters seem to be (and I hope even they will come around when they recognize they've lost).

03-04-2008, 11:01 PM
Re Bloggin Noggin's:
the Clinton supporters want to tar ... with fascism ...?

Actually, BN, your reply demonstrates the same problem that should be easily deducible as the identified problem from listening not just with the ears, eyes and emotions, but also with aid of what we sometimes refer to as "critical faculties."

The point has nothing to do with fascism, but rather to do with the sheep-like herdability of the press producing a secondary effect of facilitating decerebration of an already brain-paralyzed media-drone electorate.

If you'd rather just sing along with whoever's calling the mind-control tune this particular election cycle, no need to stumble on this little pebble on the parade ground.

Finally, a point of clarification: I'm not really a "Clinton Supporter." I just think she would have been less likely to screw things up in a massive way. But like I said, she's probably toast (thanks largely to the press, idiot strategists, and the "first impressions mesmerization syndrome" brought up in the Michael Gazzaniga interview on the latest "Science Saturday" [and reflected in my post there, the 9th down from top of page]).

The comedy goes on...


03-05-2008, 01:57 AM
Re Suderman on Buckley's politeness, what's he smoking? (Buckley, on air, lost his cool, called Vidal a queer and threatened to punch him out. Also, on air, threatened to punch out Chomsky. Why? They refuted stupid statements.) See utube.

(Guess EK was too busy humming Obama theme song and reflecting on digirati intellectual superiority to call him out.)

Also, Suderman references Buckley's easy half-hour dilation with Chomsky. Didn't happen. Chomsky completely "owned" the red-faced Buckley, pinning his ears back throughout, refuting in coolly strafing phrases the endless stream of Buckley delusions. (See utube.)

Great Suderman left this "calling card" on the BHTV carpet. Another fine illustration of mesmerized adulation throttling critical faculties.

Buckley was a complete bully, pioneered the style of never letting a "guest" complete a sentence (hence the spiritual progenitor of Bill O'Reilly, etc.), and was never one to let facts get in the way of ideology (hence he sired the neocons as well).

As for Buckley's 50 books, too bad they're not printed on 2-ply "unscented." At least then they'd have a use!

Verdict: Send them both back to J-school 101 or tryouts for film-review jobs.


03-05-2008, 02:16 AM

It strikes me that you're starting to sound as determinedly unreasoning in your dislike of Obama as you accuse his supporters of being in liking him.

Jeff Morgan
03-05-2008, 02:56 AM
EW, I wonder how you'd stomach this. (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=kiQA-ocO-Es) (you'll catch on to what it is by 1:40)

03-05-2008, 07:05 AM
Re BJ's:
you're starting to sound as unreasoning in your dislike of Obama...

As I've said before, I actually like Obama, but he's green and I don't advocate on-the-job training for presidents.

I'll still vote for Obama even if he slicks his way into the nod. What could be worse than another Republican administration?

If you'd read the above posts, you'd notice my bone to pick is with an irresponsibly fawning legends-in-their-own-minds press determined through personal affections and prejudices to abuse their power and influence the election by abandoning balance, being as suckered by vanilla-hope rhetoric and echo-chamber egotism as the herd of Obama white-bread groupies.

But, hey, what do you know? Hillary hammered Obama in bell-weather Ohio and showed him a thing or two in Texas in spite of Texas caucus antics.

And what do you know? Obama has only succeeded in demonstrating that he can win primaries mostly solely where his popularity will be irrelevant to General election success.

Three cheers for super delegates. All we have to do now is allow delegates from the penalized states and expose the Obamagain vote manipulation in the caucuses.

Whoo-hoo: "Bitch is the new Black!"


03-05-2008, 08:00 AM
Addendum reply to Bloggin Noggin's:

the Clinton supporters want to tar ... with fascism ...?

Though I'd never thought of the Obama machine as having "authoritarian" tendencies, sounds like little brown shirt groupies may in fact have been out there in service of the Obamagain dream, photocopying counterfeit caucus-entry qualifications for Obama-caucus wannabees who had no right to be allowed into caucus on account of having failed to vote in the primary proper.

In short, attempting to steal an election. Kind of an "authoritarian" thing, wouldn't you say?

So, thanks BN. Even though that wasn't my drift, maybe you were "channeling" something after all.

Now, let's see how assiduous the press is in investigating this one. See if maybe they can go out and actually do what they claim to have qualifications for (i.e, investigative reporting in place of their latest full-time side-line hobby of sycophancy, punditry, prognostication, and premeditated influencing of the electorate.)


Thus Spoke Elvis
03-05-2008, 10:16 AM
In fairness, the youtube links are a great juxtaposition. The point EW made deserved a broader audience than it likely received in the other thread, where it was buried deep within the replies.

Bloggin' Noggin
03-05-2008, 10:17 AM
Re Bloggin Noggin's:

If you'd rather just sing along with whoever's calling the mind-control tune this particular election cycle, no need to stumble on this little pebble on the parade ground.


If emotive appeals are all "mind control", then all campaigns include "mind control". Are you claiming that Hilllary's "Red Phone" ad was not an emotive appeal? Or do you have some reason for thinking that Obama's speeches have some genuinely new and amazing power to coerce people's minds, beyond the standard emotive appeal of effective rhetoric.
Or is the problem really just that Obama's emotive appeals had (until last night) been more effective than Hillary's?
You seem to be saying that if any candidate ever succeeds in getting people excited about supporting him and excited about politics, then we should vote against him. It's the elitist appeal of those who trash any book that makes the best seller lists just because it has proved popular.
I reserve the right to make up my own mind, even if the person I choose happens to be more popular (and hence more likely to win).

Thus Spoke Elvis
03-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Come on, that ad's use of "Obama" chants was very reminiscent of fascist propaganda techniques. Which isn't to say that it was therefore morally reprehensible. The fact that the style of the ad appeared influenced by fascist propaganda techniques doesn't mean the substance was also similar. Those techniques are regularly used in art and politics even today. That's not because people are secretly Nazis -- it's because those techniques are damn effective at triggering people's Romantic impulses.

Thus Spoke Elvis
03-05-2008, 11:06 AM
I think Buckley's reply to Vidal, while uncouth, is quite forgiveable given the fact that Vidal had just called him a crypto-Nazi. I also interpreted the Chomsky comment as at least a half-joking given the heated yet controlled discussion they had for the previous half hour (Buckley similar debates with many people who he considered good friends). I agree that he lost the debate to Chomsky, but it was hardly an "embarrassing" and "red-faced" defeat as you call it. And it was a far more interesting and in-depth factual and philosophical discussion than you're likely to see on TV in 2008, which is one of the reasons why even people who disagreed with Buckley have spoken fondly about him after his passing.

I watched several "Firing Line" debates growing up, and your characterization of Buckley as a bully or a poor debater doesn't hold up.

Also, how exactly did Buckely "sire neoconservatives"? Conservatism and neoconservatism are not the same thing. Buckley was the former, not the latter, and often disagreed with the neoconservative agenda when the two philosophies came into conflict (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=0d96c2b6-3723-4560-a3c0-fcccce2891f2&p=3).

03-05-2008, 01:40 PM
The Wire is a libertarian show??? a cynical show, yes, but libertarian? I don't think Season 4 is an argument for the privatization of education.

03-06-2008, 09:30 AM
That Star Trek reference was impossibly geeky. But at least it's a more accurate comparison for McCain than Churchill.

03-08-2008, 03:48 PM
I agree with an above comment that this was a fresh and illuminating explortaion of the The Wire, especially the comments coming from Suderman. I agree with almost everything he said about The Wire and liked the way he folded details into an overarching thematic account of The Show. Two exceptions to this, though:

1. The demythologizing, which is defintely underway, particularly with Omar even more than Prop Joe, and also in the scenes of Barksdale in jail, just another con, did not seem to be happening as such, as Wllkinson noted, with Marlo in his fury in the jail cell. There have been plenty of scenes in Season 5 qualifying Marlo. His insistence on cash before P. Joe schools him about the benefits of doing your laundary; his being so out of place off shore trying to make deposits; his unfamiliarity with cell phones and the like when being schooled by Vondas. He is a terrifying, ominous, dangerous shark in a constricted Baltimore urban sea. But in jail, in his fury, he is a magnificent presence, entirely compelling, bursting out of his shell of sociopathic cool. At the same time, though, it is all as nothing, street punks going macho on us over tragically delusional notions of self importance. So in the scene the build up and the take down are simultaneous;

2. I can see the case for how the show asserts a libertarian vision that is appealing to libertarian conservatives. But I suggest that that view overthinks The Wire, and amounts to the assertion that anytime in the arts indviduals can endure, prevail or even triumph by virtue of their fortitude, contingencies that break their way--Namond, personal growth, however, a libertarian vision is at hand. In the case of Namond, thriving in a good, slightly upper middle class home, with caring, devoted, virtual parents, going to what looks a good school, it is taking a village to raise a child, in a synergy of individual effort and functioning institutions.

A smaller dissent is from Klein's idea that Omar's quest after Marlo is quixotic. Actually not: Omar was playing it right. Had Omar's call outs reached Marlo's ears, he would have, presumably, succeeded in luring Marlo into the streets where the playing field, to be trite, would have been more even as between Marlo and Omar. Chris was wise, almost Stringer Bell-like, in keeping the call outs from Marlo's ears, which, when thought about, also works to undercut the force of Marlo's mightily affecting fury in the jail cell.

I loved Suderman's comments about the reporter in Simon at tension with the idelologue in Simon and I liked the comments of Klein, with which I agree and had noted myself, , how as "the game is always the game", new wine is being poured into the old bottles of patterns of social pathology and typology.

I say The Wire is the best dramatic series ever aired on television and is high art.

03-08-2008, 11:50 PM
about the CHomsky/Buckley debate on firing line-- a classic example of O'Reilly tactics before the advent of aggressive producing/editing/sound controls. Instead of turning Chomsky's sound off, as Hannity might do (or Randi Rhodes, or many other pundits on left or right), Buckley drops the point, changes the subject, and interrupts. This is NOT the model that bloggingheads.tv adopts. There is such a thing as "dropped points." In a debate, if you address an idea and the other side fails to respond, it is counted as a win. Here, you see textbook examples of dropped points again and again. Chomsky questions Buckley's idea of "disinterested intervention" and Buckley changes the focus to the exceptions. CHomsky asserts that the exceptions do not serve Buckley's point. Buckley changes the subject. On the intervention in Greece, Buckley compares it to liberation of France. Chomsky refutes it totally by pointing out the presence of an occupying foreign military force. Buckley again interrupts. At one point he pleads a disagreement over "nomenclature", ceding the point entirely without showing how calling it "nomenclature" can refute Chomsky's argument.

Finally, Buckley resorts to physical threats against Chomsky. This is not bloggingheads.tv. This is an animal much closer to McLaughlin and Carville. Chomsky brings a set of facts and pov that cannot be satisfactorily refuted by use of "real world" data. The response is constant interruption, obfuscation, meaningless word games, and meaningless blabber meant to drown out the opposing position. Please don't tell me that this is the essence of bloggingheads. I know better. I have seen you aspire to a higher calling, ezra.

Watch the tape on youtube. Please submit ANY points Chomsky made that Buckley did not drop. And the threat of violence or bodily harm against a co-diavlogger would (rightly) not be permitted by the commenters or the uber-host.

03-09-2008, 10:34 AM
No takers on The Wire? I live to talk about that show. If not it's back to The House Next Door