Apparently, being cold and stuck inside makes me kind of rant-filled about bailouts, stimuli, Prop 8, Hannukah, the mortgage crisis and structural deficiencies, so Spencer Ackerman is basically the perfect person to talk to.
MEGAN: Greetings from the frigid north, where my father is currently suiting up in full snow regalia to head outside and snowblow away the foot of snow in our driveway in temperatures that should reach 15 degrees! (Without wind chill, of course).
SPENCER: Greetings from Washington D.C.'s historic blogger Flophouse, where the heat has evidently decided to give out the week that the managing company and most of my roommates have skipped town for this farkakteh holiday. I'm typing this on my couch in a Triple F.A.T. Goose coat and probably look like a South Park character
MEGAN: Only if you have a knit hat with a pom pom on it, or your hood drawn close around your face.
SPENCER: Hmm I should put the hood up.
MEGAN: Also, the local "news"cast here reliably informed me that it is now Hannukah, this strange eight day holiday celebrated by the Jews over something to do with war with the Syrians and macaroons and candles. And oil, though I'm not sure Syria has much oil.
SPENCER: now now now. Hannukah is more properly understood as the first-ever war for oil.
MEGAN: I still fail to see why it merited 70 seconds of explanation! On the news! The Jews! They don't celebrate Christmas! Do they even know it's Christmastime at all?
SPENCER: Is it actually Hannukah? I hate that bullshit holiday too. It's a bunch of Jews trying to out-vulgarize Christians. Have some self-respect, it's embarrassing. Do you really need an explanation for why THE MEDIA devoted so much time to a JEWISH HOLIDAY
MEGAN: To explaining its existence? Yes. What amused/annoyed me was how the anchorwoman managed to infuse such awe into her voice when explaining it, as though she was explaining to the viewers some strange, secret thing they'd never heard of before. It's fucking Hannukah, it happens every year and has for longer than Christmas. The end.
SPENCER: I love how the Catholic girl is more offended than the Jewboy
MEGAN: Former Catholic. I get offended over the insult to my intelligence, and more so when I've been drinking until my parents seem normal.
SPENCER: sorry! I keep forgetting that you Christians don't have to be Christians if you don't choose to be, which is not the case for Jews.
MEGAN: Former Catholics get all of the guilt and none of the absolution. It's the only real choice for a true masochist. Anyway, so a real media outlet informs me that the mortgage crisis is Bush's fault?
SPENCER: Ah, now we have the natural tie between religionethnicity and broader political questions. I didn't read that story and wouldn't have understood it if I had, so I don't know if it blames Jews at all for the mortgage crisis, unlike the giant Ponzi scheme that's been going on for some time which is obviously the fault of the Jew. But isn't it fair to say that over the last eight years, our three biggest core-competencies as Jews — the media; international finance; and American foreign policy — have seriously suffered? I'm kind of gratified Obama doesn't have Jews in his cabinet. We need to take a knee and think about what we've done.
MEGAN: I believe it blames it all on Bush's laissez faire regulatory policies, not the Jews. But I had not been paying attention to who wasn't in the Cabinet, that's sort of interesting.
SPENCER: well, that's the whitewashing Jewish media for you. Actually it isn't! Politico is the one media organization in DC that's practically judenrein. Seriously, they're one giant cucumber sandwich. Wrapped in a foreskin. Another symptom of the Jew's weakening hold on this country.
MEGAN: Cucumber sandwiches? I have never once eaten one, but I come from the land of Fluffernutters and baloney-and-cheese-on-Wonder-bread.
SPENCER: Nonsense. I read on Ta-Nehisi's blog all about cucumber sandwiches.
MEGAN: I cannot get on board with a steak cooked past "mooing." If I wanted to eat carbonized carpet padding, I wouldn't pay $30 for the privilege.
SPENCER: PREACH IT. I have no idea why you'd ruin a perfectly good piece of red meat
MEGAN: Besides, like Sarah Palin before me, something about the thrill of the hunt makes me enjoy it more, even if it is just chasing a piece of beef around my plate as it tries to escape from my fork, screaming.
SPENCER: No one could possibly believe a steak is improved by removing its flavor. Speaking of removing its flavor, or at least numbing it, did you & Ana talk about Levi's mother's apparent oxycontin dealership? Because, i mean — SHIT.
MEGAN: Was it oxy? I was convinced it was meth. Either way, I'm guessing someone won't be babysitting much. If it was meth, though, the house could be a Superfund site, depending on how long she was cooking. For real, Arkansas had so many meth labs a couple years back that it cost the state and the feds a ton to clean up because they all ended up being so polluted they became Superfund sites.
SPENCER: no it was definitely Oxycontin. I learned it from watching Alex Pareene.
MEGAN: One would think it would be hard to get enough oxy to distro in rural Alaska, since it's a controlled substance and all and monitored by the feds, but I guess that is why she got caught.
SPENCER: In any event. I liked his point about how we were supposed to venerate the Palinites' rugged white authenticity. Cuts both ways, doesn't it?
MEGAN: The only people that venerated the Palin's white rural authenticity are Republicans that grew up in urban areas and avoid places like where I grew up in the fear that they might get their wingtips dirty. They like the idea of the noble lower middle class or the poor that could lift themselves up by their bootstraps, and not the actuality of sitting on there decomposing sofas with the Coors light cans and full ashtrays talking about how both their kids went to state schools but live at home because they can't find jobs. A Republican friend who grew up around D.C. called me last week in the midst of some Caroline Kennedy coverage and said, "Did you know that half of the welfare payments in the state of New York are made upstate? And that half of the industrialized jobs in the country that have disappeared since the Reagan years came from upstate New York?" And I was like, um, yeah. I grew up there.
SPENCER: I'm just going to sit back and watch you riff. Preach!
MEGAN: There wasn't a boom in the 90s up here! We went from being the headquarters of General Electric (hello, Jack Welch, and fuck you very much, the stock sucks now, too) to being a minor gas turbine generating plant and a bunch of semi-reclaimed green space. One in every 2 adults or something up here works for the state. Ohio? Pennsylvania? We got your rust belt, only it's gotten a little thinner in the last 25 years, but so have our local budgets. It didn't take 7 days to fix the electricity here and in Western Mass (hello, Rachel Maddow's family!) last week because they couldn't. It took a week because there's not enough money in it for a big electrical company to care to spend the money to fix it quickly.
SPENCER: I'm from Brooklyn, where upstate — everything north of Yonkers — is an abstraction. I've heard you also have a nuclear power plant that doesn't work well?
MEGAN: Not where I live, there's still some minor nuclear research that's done, apparently, but no one really talks about it. Anyway, my parents were without power for 5 days and we live in "town" so I'm a little bitter. Also, I spent the one night that I wasn't snowed in drinking with a really old friend whose job was outsourced to China this year and who, because of the economy, is working at a FedEx facility part-time, unable to make ends meet, but thankful that the work means he doesn't have to be on the dole.
SPENCER: God, my feet are startng to freeze.
MEGAN: If I had money, I would buy you a slanket.
SPENCER: Is anyone around Scotia NY expecting to see anything out of the Obama job-creation package?
MEGAN: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Oh, thanks, I needed a good laugh. I mean, that stimulus is aimed at temporarily fixing the recent unemployment. This part of the country — and others, I shouldn't mock our Ohio and Pennsylvania brothers-and-sisters-in-shabby-arms too much — the unemployment and underemployment is structural. It's two decades worth of declining employment and population. I mean, we lost a Blockbuster and a McDonalds here, and one of the two liquor stores went out of business. When you can't support a liquor store, man... Anyway, in other outrage news, the Prop 8 people who totally promised they weren't going to go after the same sex couples that got married before the vote are totally going after the same sex marriages that were performed just in time for Christmas! They want to give 18,000 married people annulments for Christmas! How charitable!
SPENCER: one of them is my rabbi, if you can believe that. It's not just a Christmas miracle!
MEGAN: Oh, and noted moralist Ken Starr has signed up, too. Actually, it makes a kind of perverse sense that a bunch of Christian bigots would try to annul your rabbi's marriage for Christmas.
SPENCER: Let's call this for what it is. Barbarism. I'm sick of arguing about the merits of gay marriage. They're self-evident from a civil-rights perspective. All that's left to do is, as you're doing, point out the bad faith and bigotry of people like the man who's going to be preaching during the inauguration.
SPENCER: I don't like the framing of this piece in the slightest. It's not just a problem for gays that Obama is coddling this homophobe, it's a problem for America, indicating a persistent — what was that word you used earlier? — structural deficiency in American politics that you can say all this Bull-Connor shit about millions of your fellow Americans and be treated as a force to be appeased. I mean, I suppose I'm inconsistent here, as I think you should appease Moqtada al-Sadr and not Rick Warren, but let's treat Warren like Moqtada al-Sadr in terms of the contempt that we hold him in and invective and treat him to.
MEGAN: Yeah, fuck that guy with a chainsaw.