Shutdown Theater!

If anyone’s ever wondered why I don’t like politics, or don’t support either party, the “shutdown” of the WWII Memorial is a great demonstration why.

If you haven’t seen the WWII Memorial, it’s not only a classic work of fascist architecture, but it’s an open-air monument. To shut it down doesn’t mean simply closing the doors, as with the adjacent Washington Monument, it means first creating some doors for it, then closing them; i.e, barricades.

The National Mall, the open-air area on which the open-air WWII Memorial sits is not itself being barricaded off, as far as I’ve heard, so why the need to barricade this section? Shutdown theater. “Look at what the Republicans have done; they’re keeping good patriotic Americans from seeing their noble monuments!”

That was probably a miscalculation, though, because it just gave the Republicans a stand from which to grand. Err, you get my drift, right? And right on cure the Outrage MachineTM cranked it up to 11, with a flood of Tea Party royalty from the Noble House of Asshat, who just happened to be out for a stroll in the mall, such as The Earl of Douchery Steve King, Princess of Moronovia Michelle Bachmann, and Duke of Dipshite Louis Gohmert. Oh, but lest the GOP get all the credit from a credulous public for taking on the Vital Issues of the Day, Tom Harkin (Lord Viscount Hogslop) was there to righteously indignate for the honor of the House of Usstoo.

I’m supposed to have faith in and side with one or the other of these in-bred families? Please tell me you’re joking.

About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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30 Responses to Shutdown Theater!

  1. Matty says:

    how much did the barrier cost and who’s paying?

  2. jwk1101 says:

    Doubtless the people who erect barriers are considered “essential personnel”.

  3. lancifer666 says:


    This is where a responsible and intelligent media would step up to expose the douchbaggery on both sides.

    Of course there really isn’t an intelligent and responsible media organization of any note out there. Fox, NPR and MSNBC will be all to eager to fan the flames of outrage from their respective political parapets and the rest of the media will just sell what ever emotional tagline that they think will make a good “hook” for a ten second lead-in promo.

    Unless of course Miley Cirus starts “twerking” and then all coverage will be devoted to live coverage of her gyrations.

  4. j@m3z Aitch says:

    Do you want a free press operating in the commercial sphere, or do you want a publicly funded (hence controllable) intelligent and responsible media?

    Am I committing the fallacy of the excluded middle? Or are the alternatives really that discrete?

  5. lancifer666 says:

    It would seem to me that there would be a viable commercial market, however small, that would pay for unbiased, nuanced and insightful news reporting.

    Of course one man’s “unbiased news” is another man’s propaganda. Hence the compartmentalized and targeted news organizations we have today.

    I like NPR the best. Of course you have to apply a liberal bias filter even though I think they are oblivious to their slant (as most people, including me, probably are).

  6. Troublesome Frog says:

    NPR is also at the top of my list. In terms of “units of useful information per minute of talking” they’re far and away the best. They also get pretty good points for not trying to turn everything into a hyped up scare story. “It’s big, it’s hot, it emits radiation! Is it going to kill us all? We talk about the sun, tonight!”

    Even with the talking head programs, the NPR hosts generally manage to make it about the guests instead of about themselves. I’m not big on watching a journalism school drop-out share his thoughts on nuclear physics, monetary policy and constitutional law while talking over the nuclear phycicists, economists, and constitutional scholars sitting in the guest chairs.

  7. lancifer666 says:


    I’m pretty much an NPR junkie.

    They are excellent on in depth reporting but with emphasis on their liberal values.. Feminism, multi-culturalism and catastrophic climate change are unassailable truths to them.

    If you correct for that they are a great resource for news and cultural reporting.

  8. Troublesome Frog says:

    I was pretty well convinced that we couldn’t top the memorial closure for stupid “shooting one’s on foot off” shutdown theater until I saw this. Seriously, people. WTF?

  9. Dr X says:


    I just knew that had to be that video. Words fail.

  10. pierrecorneille says:

    I really should listen to NPR, and I’m enough of a liberal that one would think it’s tailor-made for me. But I really can’t stand it, or at least the few times I’ve tried to listen to it, I just get so annoyed that I just can’t take it. There’s something about the hyper-softened, yet crisp voices that bugs me, along with a certain something I just can’t explain… just bothers me. And also, at least some of the people I know use “I listen to NPR” to signal all sorts of nonsense about how virtuous of a person they are, because, for example, they don’t listen to “pop music.” (Present company excluded, by the way….I’m just thinking of some people I know from grad school.)

    I do like the PBS Newshour and the local PBS news show (Chicago Tonight). They too probably have a bias, and it perhaps too often succumbs to the “point/counterpoint” style of interviewing even on topics where there’s two sides to every story and as long as someone is there to represent each side, some real reporting has been done. Still, I think the Newshour and Chicago Tonight do a decent job.

  11. Dr X says:

    Funny, Pierre, I know exactly the type of annoyance you’re talking about: that virtue attribution applied to tastes. Though I often listen to NPR in the car, and don’t have those negative associations to it, I can understand that you have that reaction. Something similar happened with me when Brokeback Mountain was all the rage. I have absolutely no qualms about people being gay and lesbian, and gay men and lesbians are part of my everyday social world, but when that movie came out, I felt a sense of self-applauding virtue that turned me off to seeing it. I suppose that implies a sense of moral superiority on my part, but I just didn’t want to see that movie. And I watch movies and documentaries with gay and lesbian themese quite often. When Brokeback Mountain was all the rage, my best friend of 20 years, a gay man who was very comfortable in his own skin (he has since died way too young) likewise couldn’t bring himself to see the movie for the same reasons. His work collegues had organized a group to see the movie. They all went except him. Rightly or wrongly, he always saw in their views, a kind of self-congratulatory sense of virtue. He couldn’t stand it.

  12. Dr X says:

    Oh, on NPR. I can’t bear Garrison Keillor.

  13. J@m3z Aitch says:

    I can’t bear Garrison Keillor.

    I knew you were a right-winger at heart.

    I’m probably the kind of person who shouldn’t like Prairie Home Companion, but I do.

  14. Dr X says:

    “I’m probably the kind of person who shouldn’t like Prairie Home Companion, but I do.”

    Well that means you’re a socialist, no matter what you may otherwise say.

  15. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Yes, but just a Prairie Socialist. We’re pretty low key.

  16. lancifer666 says:

    Yes, I know many people that are NPR snobs. Many work at the university where I teach. I am highly suspicious of NPR’s motives and thus have a strange “love-hate” relationship with them.

    Speaking of Prairie Home Companion they once did a knock down on NPR snobbery. It featured those self righteous and “hyper-softened, yet crisp voices” you are talking about Pierre.

    My favorite part was when they mocked Robert Siegal with a character named “Jonathan Livingston Siegal”. His co-anchor was a woman (of course) with a name that was mostly consonants, named something like Blikirm Xfpot or something.

    It was a loving jab, but made many of the points listed in the above critiques.

    My favorite hate is a show called Living On Earth. Even the name is pretentious environmental drivel. Where else might we live?

    The original host was a guy named Bruce Gellerman. He had the most cloying, condescending tone I had ever heard for a radio host/interviewer. It was like he was Mr. Rogers talking to four year-olds.

    The show was, and is, pretty much the “All the reasons we are fucked by climate change hour.” I can’t turn it off, even though I’m pretty much yelling at the radio the whole time I listen.

  17. pierrecorneille says:

    Dr. X,

    I think I see where you’re coming from re “Brokeback Mountain,” although it probably wasn’t my sense at the time.


    My favorite hate is a show called Living On Earth. Even the name is pretentious environmental drivel. Where else might we live?


    (Just kidding)

    There used to be shows/songs I hate so much that I just had to watch/listen to because I hated them so much. But now that I’m rounding the corner into bona fide middle age, I’m less willing to do it.

  18. J@m3z Aitch says:

    There used to be shows/songs I hate so much that I just had to watch/listen to because I hated them so much.

    1. I, Robot, which I despise for being the quintessential Hollywood blockbuster adaptation from a novel, but which fascinates me because it is so quintessential in every single damn way. 1) Take a famous novel and make a movie that is absolutely nothing like it, down to completely changing the story line away from “robots good” to “robots evil;” 2) Add a main character who doesn’t exist in the novel; 3) Turn the female scientists from a socially awkward, unattractive, middle-age to elderly lady to a hot young chick; 4) Make sure hot young chick doesn’t seem remotely intelligent enough to actually be a scientists; 5) Add shitloads of CGI; 6) Make every moment entirely predictable. It is the Platonic form of the Hollywood blockbuster adaptation. I loathe it, but can’t turn it off.

    2. “I’ve Never Been to Me”, by Charlene. I remember laying in bed before school for many a day in junior high and hearing this song. It is so phenomenally ridiculous that it deserves a special place in music history. There should be a Grammy named after it for most cloying and unbelievable lyrics. I can’t actually listen to it all the way through, but I can’t stop myself from giving it 15-30 seconds on those rare occasions I hear it.

  19. Dr X says:

    “I’ve Never Been to Me, by Charlene.”

    Fortunately, I have absolutely no recollection of that song. If only I could forget Paul Anka’s Having My Baby.

  20. J@m3z Aitch says:

    I remember my mom complaining, “I wish she’d have that baby, already.”

  21. pierrecorneille says:

    I actually think “Never Been to Me” would have been a good song (at least by my non-professional, musically tone-deaf standards) without that unfortunate, preachy monologue.

  22. J@m3z Aitch says:

    It’s not the music, really. That’s just typical bland pop. It’s the lyrics.

    “I’ve been undressed by kings, and I’ve seen some things, that a woman ain’t s’posed to see. I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.”

    Really? Really?

  23. lancifer666 says:

    Dr X,

    Yes, Paul Anka should be executed for inflicting that song on society.

    One of the best summers of my youth was when I was 15. My parents were separated. My mother and sisters went off to live in my mother’s homeland, Iceland. Leaving me in a beautiful Victorian home in Evanston with a dazed and inattentive father.

    I had a few bucks from a part time job and complete freedom to roam Chicago with friends.

    Then it happened, “Rock the Boat” by the Hughes Corporation. An otherwise glorious time of discovery and adventure marred by that mind-numbing inanity being played everywhere I went.

    Perhaps the Hughes Corporation was an international conglomerate whose mission statement was to sap the joy from my youth.

  24. trumwill says:

    I have an affinity for that song but the monologue in painful.

  25. Dr X says:

    ugh… Rock the Boat. Sadly, that brings to mind another from that period, the dreadful Seasons in the Sun.

  26. pierrecorneille says:


    Most of the songs I like have pretty clumsy lyrics, with forced rhymes, etc. So that didn’t really bother me any more than 90% of the crap I already listen to. And frankly, I kind of like the message.

  27. lancifer666 says:

    Dr X,

    Ay Chihuahua! Seasons in the Sun. Now I’ll have that playing in my head all day.

    Perhaps we should stop before we dredge up even more of these virulently infectious songs that have lain dormant, like audio Ebola, for a generation.

    Oh no, too late.

    Ooga Shakka! Ooga Shakka! Ooga! Ooga! Ooga! Shakka!

  28. J@m3z Aitch says:

    “Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool. Loving both of them is breaking all the rules.”

  29. lancifer666 says:

    Dear Lord,

    What have we wrought?

    Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting! Those kicks were fast as lightning!

  30. J@m3z Aitch says:

    “Billy, don’t be a hero…”

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