Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Brown Celebrities

No, I'm not referring to skin pigmentation. "Brown" is the term used by this website to take note of the environmentally-incorrect ways of some well-known celebrities--many of whom (e.g., Madonna and Babs) are prone to wax eloquent when lecturing others about the virtues of going green. Still . . . Simon Cowell only earns my further esteem as I note his placement on the list. Someday I'm sure I'll learn something about him to disappoint me, but so far he has amused me to no end with his no-nonsense approach to the truth, his biting wit and his complete disregard for the mind-numbing idiocy that grips so much of Hollywood.
Categories > Environment

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"It is a particularly disgusting habit of the human mind that propels it to dismiss virtue because of some perceived hypocrisy on the part of virtue’s defenders. What is worse is the childish delight some characters seem to take in the public unveiling of such hypocrisy" - Julie Ponzi; May, 2003

"But here we go down the whole ’hypocrisy’ route again. Liberals love to salivate over the shortcomings of conservatives when conservatives don’t measure up to the high standards they set for themselves. But I’ll say it again . . . it’s better to aim high and fall hard than to aim low and reach your goals." - Julie Ponzi 11/4/06

I've always found it rather creepy how you keep tabs of everyone on this website, Craig.

Julie is speaking the truth, then and now.

The problem isn't really that they are hypocrites, but it is the fact they want to play by different rules than you or I.

That's worse than just being a hypocrite.

The problem is they would force the rest of us to play by rules they can afford to avoid, so that they can conscience avoiding them. If they can make another 100 of us live like cave men one of them can fly in his jet to his next well-paid lecture on living green. I wouldn't mind if they were hypocrites if they left me out of it. However, they are telling me that denial is good for the soul and for the planet, and would force me to submit to their faith in man-made global warming.
If their call to "virtue" were merely about themselves - private moral matters - I could laugh at them and move on. They will not let me move on. They want me to live in a box. I feel I must protest.

[Andrew, if "words mean things" - a popular conservative mantra that I can get behind - then I don't know why it's creepy that I remember, and take note, of the words, the views, the declarations written here on this blog. If the bloggers here are - or will ever be - considered great thinkers, then why not keep tabs on what they write? If Jaffa himself was blogging here, I'd bet his eager disciples would consider and parse his every word, and be ready to recall it. Or, does the very nature of blogging encourage the use of disposable thoughts - particularly if they demonstrate contradictory approaches to making judgments of others?

I reserve the word "creepy" for other things, so I'll just say that I find it amusingly odd that Julie says that Simon Cowell - a Botox-using man whose most salient characteristic is his laughably super-sized ego - "earns her further esteem" merely by his inclusion on this list, demonstrating that he consumes resources and pollutes much more than the average bloke in fulfilling his important professional duties. I hate to flaunt my (short-term) memory, but is this the same woman writing who just waxed eloquent a short time ago about the depth and significance of the word "earn" in the English language? So, Cowell, has "earned" her further esteem merely by having a lot of cars and flying in planes a lot, and thus being a (presumably shameless) Hollywood "brown" celeb? And, for the matter of his wealth which enables him to have and do those things,what great talents has Cowell displayed to earn his fortunes, other than having a knack for issuing caustic opinions on those who are trying to hone their singing and dancing skills? I also think it's wildly inaccurate to say that Cowell has a "complete disregard for the mind-numbing idiocy that grips so much of Hollywood" - a quick check of The Google shows that he appears to thrive in the midst of it.

If Julie's looking for something about him that would be disappointing, we could start with his PETA ads (promoting the dangerously radical cause of keeping your pets out of hot cars in the summer) and move from there to his stated disdain for marriage and children. How can we expect Western Civilization to flourish without such esteem-worthy people as Cowell reproducing? But perhaps Cowell can make amends for these things if, on next year's Earth Day, he performs some estimable and environmentally-incorrect deed, say dumping a bunch of oil from his yacht into the bay near Malibu? That ought to do it!]

Who and Why is Craig Scanlon?

Never mind I don't care.


Nothing scares me more, excites me more and is more inevitable than "brown" celebrity. When I declare the end of history I mean the triumph of brown in the world. But I don't mean that hispanics will take over...but they will. And I don't mean that we will have a black/brown president, which we do. What I mean is that the anti-green isn't brown. The anti-green is Magenta or Purple. The color that when combined with green will give us brown. In fact the only guarantee is that brown will win in the world. The apparentness of this fact means that only slaves are green or magenta, instruments of those who bet on brown. If Red vs. Blue give us purple And the people rise up against government in a green way then brown wins. Brown always wins. If you don't believe me grab some paint put it on a pallete and mix it together, you mix enough colors you are guaranteed to get a brown. When folks start celebrating brown then you really are screwed. When Dr. Adams writes a piece that begs for a give me liberty or give me death response and John M. replies by quoteing Burke, he doesn't quote the only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...but why should good men do much of anything but calculate the inevitable shade of brown that must result from the mixtures of opinions and sentiments on issues? What if Barrack Obama does represent the Audacity of Hope as technocratic as his solutions are? It is a brown we can believe in, because it might be false that we ever expected a green or a magenta.

Our government is brown and we are just debating shades. But there is no real grounds for thinking that your particular shade triumphs. The only way to triumph is to become a fan of a shade of brown and direct against whatever color advanced its antagonist to achieve your hue.

Of course this oil painting color pallete scheme thinking isn't quite perfect in translation into politics, but I don't think it that far from explaining some this particular case there is really no good hue that exists in a desireable form as itself. There is no real good anti-green position that is or can be coherently held, nevertheless if you are a fan of a certain kind of brown you require someone to advocate the strange magenta shade to get to your end point...I happen to think that a certain level of foolish magenta type behavior will feed a green and vice versa in a reciprocal relationship...but the end result is brown...the extremists sometimes have to make themselves more extreme to get the shade they want, and this in turn makes the other shade more extremist...I am not sure that the Audacity of Hope isn't the Audacity of Brown, that we haven't Chicago Schooled all World History...I mean aside from the rhetoric nothing much has changed in the shade of brown...what if rhetoric never has to be coherent in a binary sense but instead is simply an effort to brown out the opposite wave length.


"Or, does the very nature of blogging encourage the use of disposable thoughts - particularly if they demonstrate contradictory approaches to making judgments of others?"

Blogging certainly does encourage flippancy. It seems to me with most bloggers that I read consistently there are times when they are making earnest, considered statements and times when they just want to point something out and perhaps make a wisecrack. I hope you haven't wasted your time deconstructing a hasty blog post as if it were Julie's research prospectus.

The part about how bloggers can't be "great thinkers" if they don't get their posts peer-reviewed is unbelievably pretentious, I might add. If you want only the best of every person's thought stick to published journals, the internet isn't for you.

"The part about how bloggers can't be "great thinkers" if they don't get their posts peer-reviewed is unbelievably pretentious, I might add."

Oh, you mean that part that I never said?

I've just assumed that what she wrote before she meant, and I went from there. If my status is below that of being her "peer" I think I can live with that. I have no idea if Andrew is her peer. I don't think blog posts ought to require peer review. Yet, the fact is that, with cultural critiques and politically-oriented movie reviews and such on offer here, distinguishing between posts made with all seriousness and posts made in jest is not so simple; further, I believe one of those quotes of hers is not from a blog post, but an Ashbrook editorial (maybe from "On Principle"?). Isn't it wrong to assume that she couldn't be making a serious point simply because her post lacks some reference to Locke, Hobbes, Strauss, Aristotle, etc.?

I would hope, though, that a research prospectus would be more clear, for starters. There are so many logical twists and turns in that short blog post, it's really hard to know where she's going with it. I'm guessing it's something like this:

Celebrities who don't care about the environmental impact - (and people don't really make a significant impact anyway?) - of their personal activities are great. Liberal hypocrites are bad. (Because, as we know from her earlier proclamations, however fleetingly bloggish they might be, conservative hypocrites are either not really hypocrites or they're the good kind. It seems clear enough, after this much time, that she wasn't really talking about hypocrites generally, just hypocrites from The Other Team.)

"Yet, the fact is that, with cultural critiques and politically-oriented movie reviews and such on offer here, distinguishing between posts made with all seriousness and posts made in jest is not so simple"

I agree 100% with this, so maybe you can recognize the complexity by interpreting her post with a little bit of charity.

I agree with your comments on Cowell and agree that he is not someone to be admired in most aspects of his life by conservatives. I presume that Julie would also agree, but unlike you I have not kept track of every word she has written for the last 6 years, so you may have a better sense of that than I do.

Maybe she is a raving hypocrite, or maybe she just chose her words poorly in a blog post.

I haven't kept track of her every word, just those that struck me as more definitive and exclamatory, and were thus more memorable, or worth noting.

Do notice that I haven't called her a hypocrite. My first post was comprised solely of her own quotations.

The "gotcha" nature of her original post (ah-HA! Enviro-celebs are actually "environmentally-incorrect"!) didn't exactly establish a charitable atmosphere, did it?

As for Simon Cowell, he's "not someone to be admired in most aspects of his life" by people in general, not just conservatives. Every liberal friend I have who knows of and about him finds him loathsome, at best. The little I've seen of him and read about him didn't impress me. His initial reaction to the pop-culture sensation Susan Boyle (before she sang like a bird) certainly didn't help.

Comment 11 is a little insane. But I like rolling that way, the big picture has a lot of displacement going on, a lot of shooting the messanger and a lot of scapegoating. I like a lot of what Craig says, still I don't know if I can get behind hammering Simon Cowell for his reaction to Susan Boyle. I don't watch american idol, and Craig already burned me once on my pop refference to Anna Nicole Smith. These are people I "know of" not folks I know. I do like the article by the neuroscientists who say that we have instinctive reactions to folks who are "ugly" even if this is "wrong". As someone who used to reads folks playing poker, I simply know that when ugly folks walk in eyebrows furl and a host of lymbic(honest) reactions do occur.

If you dig into the archives I believe I commented on these sort of reactions in a defense of GW Bush when he came under fire by Michael Moore for freezing in front of school children when told of 9/11. Yet freezing is also a lymbic response to horrible news...freeze, flight, fight or displacement. Displacement isn't really a lymbic/automatic response, and yet in a complex world where all parts are moveing and the number of people you "know of" is much greater than those you know, and the news occurs outside your neihboorhood realm of control, when in many senses you are extended into a world where you are powerless the easiest thing to do is figure out how things work and then cheer for the inevitable cheer in other words for brown. If you are good enough at figureing out how things must or will work, where the wind is blowing what shades are at work and what color they will combine to make...well then at least you are despised by folks for being a fairweather fan, the only folks more hated than longtime Yankee fans, and for roughly the same reason.

But you are only despised for voicing this, so you are hated for being the messenger or for being too obvious about it. In some way I like that Craig is holding folks to account, a sort of political consumer reports...but I am not sure that lymbically deep down into the real biological nature of human beings covered up by various displacements...I am not sure that the folks most concerned with beauty are not greater Darwinians than Darwinians who would uncover the roots of beauty...I am also not sure that a certain wing of conservatism doesn't require a belief in human greatness that praises Obama, where democrats are just as ready to attribute his actions to more secular economic factors.

Also Craig, despite quotes of Aristotle, Locke, Hobbes exetera...there is no guarantee that these in any way represent or speak to the thinking of Republicans who actually rule or have power. Just as there is never any guarantee that the most radical examples of environmentalism ever speak for the actual thing. There is in a certain way almost a guarantee that these are outliers, folks who think they have to be so radical in order that when they mix with the opposition they produce a reasonable shade of brown.

I think Kate is right in 4, but that her general attitude is felt by folks on both sides of every issue...ergo I think we are in a stalemate situation on nearly every political issue.

But Craig there is no real hope even for those who blow whistles, by blowing the whistle you just become the fall guy. The face on the issue.

On another level all of this is too bleak, too influenced by the fact that unemployment is up and too much mass media with no real way to digest it all...a kindle overloaded with books whose wisdom is forgotten, not unlike the character of these blog comments that speak honestly get started on a potentially deep thought and then die.

The even more dangerous question would be if posts made in jest are not more serious than straight foward and rigidly construed research prospectus...obviously if you are writting for peer review you are writting for a more narrow are also probably writting for folks who you know will judge it on narrow grounds, on a predetermined and mentally stable set of criteria.

In other words let X equal the amount of time folks have to digest material. Let Y equal the time they have to reply/act. Let Z equal natural lymbic responses to shock...i.e. freeze, flight, fight, let Z' equal displacement(affecting even presidents) Let B equal the difference between what academics consider to be reasonable in peer review and what I am positing in terms of actual human behavior/reasonableness....let B' represent the fact that I cannot spell out comprehensively the eternaly repetitive nature of the dialectic between Pete and Craig. Let D represent the fact that everything that is occuring right now has already been predicted by various bearish sociologist/economists, let D' be the difference between reality and the theoretical underpinnings of the crisis that will validate them, let D'' be the number of folks striking on hot iron...let B equal the browness that will win when all the colors mix on the canvas.

Even more insane...

For the record . . . Craig hasn't unearthed anything to make me lose respect for Simon Cowell--though I remain open to the inevitable disappointment that comes from admiring "stars." His point about marriage for himself is that he doesn't want to make a joke of the thing. He seems still to cling to the "old fashioned" notion that the purpose of marriage is to build a family. He has no intention of doing that because he recognizes that he values other things and would not be good at it. He wouldn't be a good father or a good husband. Fair enough. There's honesty in that and, in his "hypocrisy" there is respect for the institutions that demand respect. He is not pretending that his fling with Terry Seymour is akin to marriage or as good as marriage or making babies with her because he needs an accessory. He reminds me of Katherine Hepburn, in a way, who never pretended that her affair with Spencer Tracey was anything akin to marriage (however meaningful it was to her and Tracey) and never imagined that she ought to have been able to "have it all" with a family when she knew that her lust for fame (and Tracey) consumed her. She knew her limits and one has to respect that--even if one doesn't consider it to be the moral ideal. Craig considers that the lack of moral perfection in people means that we should throw out the idea of movement toward perfection. Abandon the standard because I can't reach it! And if I can't reach it, then you may judge my life inferior to another life. I think Simon might say something like, "Suck it up, Craig. This is not for you."

"Craig considers that the lack of moral perfection in people means that we should throw out the idea of movement toward perfection. Abandon the standard because I can't reach it! And if I can't reach it, then you may judge my life inferior to another life."

I don't recall where I said that or implied that, sorry. Now that you've critiqued me for supposedly "consider[ing]" that to be so, I am at even more of a loss as to why you even posted that silly link in the first place. What's the purpose of even noting "the environmentally-incorrect ways of some well-known celebrities...[who] are prone to wax eloquent when lecturing others about the virtues of going green," then? For starters, surely you don't even find the notion of "going green" to be a standard worth moving or striving towards, such that if a celeb said "who cares?" when confronted with their excess, THAT would be honorable.

"I think Simon might say something like, 'Suck it up, Craig. This is not for you.'"

I'm not clear, in your game of Simon Says, what "this" (as in "This is not for you.") would be. The mind-numbing idiocy of American Idol and similar shows, or developing a persona based largely on egotism, arrogance, and irritability? No, I guess it's not for me.

In the smallness of the Ponzi mind, there will always be room for the point-scoring ad hominem, the zinger, the well-played point, the snark. It is difficult to extirpate. No doubt my pointing it out gets interpreted as itself a snark, a put-down, anything to score one for the team.The problem then is that everything serious gets contaminated. So what if a celebrity acts inconsistently with values Ponzi detests? Next week she will lecture us on the frailty of human nature in support of some conservative involved in a scandal. I simply cannot take anything said on this site seriously. But all is ok, because John Lewis will be there to collect it all in a Kerouac-like stream of consciousness. Cries for help from what appear to be intensely lonely lives.

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