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Issue #69

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Features:

Gannonballs: Republicans Defend Gay Man, Pigs Fly - Allan Uthman

Not Funny: You're Either With Kurt Andersen or the Terrorists - Matt Taibbi

Kyoto Fried Chicken: Where's Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum when you need them? - Alexander Zaitchik

Who Killed Gonzo? You're a Prime Suspect - Chris Crawford

No, Your Other Left: Americans Don't Know Which Way to Turn - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Q&A: The Beastmo Disinformer

What Your GOP Man Really Means

4 Rules to Avoid Dating Disaster - by Harvard Prez Larry Summers

Are You Being Tortured? The Beastmo Quiz

The Top 10 Coiffures of 2005 - N. Sorrenti

A Word From Our Sponsors



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 5

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Music Reviews:

The Perceptionists

Chin Up Chin Up/ Sub Rosa

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner



Comix:

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Perry Bible Fellowship - N!cholas Gurewitch

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez




Issue #68

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

Features:

Social Anxiety: Kleptocracy is the Greatest Luxury - Allan Uthman

Sorry to Wake You: A Rousing Conversation - Matt Taibbi

Hillary Takes a Dive: Buffalo loves any kind of attention - Jeff Dean

Soylent Purple : The Finger Thing Makes More Sense Than You Thought - Allan Uthman

Bowtie Bondage: Newsworm Tucker Carlson Asks the Tough Questions - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Future World News

Rooney Eyebrow Reserves to be Opened for Driling - Ian Murphy

Money Matta$$: Finincial Advice from 50 Cent



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Cross Examination: Bible Study with Itza Crock

The Straight Dope: Growing Advice from Dr. Rotten

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Music Reviews:

Voodoo Dollies CD Release Party

Full Treble Stereo/Day Month Year/Kamchatka

Hondsome Boy Modeling School

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: The Losman Cometh - Ronnie Roscoe





Issue #67

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

Features:

Devil in an Ice-Bllue Dress: Nation Delights in Worship of Unattainable Affluence- Matt Taibbi

Inaugural Balls: Increased Freedom Exports Lead to Domestic Shortage - Allan Uthman

Dr. Strangefeld - Alexander Zaitchik

Ripped from the Headlines: WMD Not Found, Media Coverage Likewise - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Inaugural Numbers

Scores Injured as Landon Clone Ramages - N. Sorrenti

Beast Reader Opinion: This Tiger is Still on the Prowl

Are You Dyslexic?

BEAST Art Director Accidentally Drinks Own Urine

Corrections



Departments:

Cross Examination: Bible Study with Itza Crock

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner







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© 2004 The Beast


NOT FUNNY

You're Either With Kurt Andersen or You're With the Terrorists.

by Matt Taibbi

Each of us has a Hobbesian choice concerning Iraq; either we hope for the vindication of Bush's risky, very possibly reckless policy, or we are in de facto alliance with the killers of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians... I don't mean to suggest, in the right-wing proto-fascist rhetorical fashion, that every good American is obliged to support all American wars. But at this moment in this war, that binary choice of who you want to win is inescapable and needs to be faced squarely— just as being pro-war obliges one to admit that thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed or maimed or slaughtered.

—Kurt Andersen, New York magazine

Man, is it easy to make money in this writing business in New York City. You youngsters out there who are still waiting to get published, still trolling for intern jobs, you may not see it yet. But take a good look at Kurt Andersen at New York if you want to see how it all works out at the end of the rainbow.

Once upon a time, when he was writing for the legendary Spy magazine, Kurt Andersen was not a mouse, but a man. After four years of working (along with Graydon Carter) at Time magazine, Andersen left in 1986 to found the famous send-up of Time's idiot news-mag culture. In hindsight, Spy was maybe not the viciously dead-on parody of media careerism that it seemed to be at the time, but it was definitely funny as hell, during a very unfunny time in our history.

It was a publication Jefferson would have been proud of—a high-tech pain in the ass that savaged everything that entered into its field of view, proving over and over that we were all better off thinking for ourselves than listening to the pompous mannequin-frauds American society presented to us as sages and cultural authorities.

For reasons that ought to strike everyone (and especially Andersen and Graydon Carter) as quite sinister, Spy never made anybody any real money. In a publishing landscape where dumbness itself (read: Cargo, Self ) sells like hotcakes, this obviously brilliant magazine with a desperately devoted readership died something like a half-dozen deaths—finally expiring, I think, in the spindly altruistic arms of the owners of Psychology Today.

Andersen was long gone by then, having joined Carter on a 20-year journey in which they would both be endlessly hailed as geniuses and innovators by hordes of media sycophants and offered gobs of money to do either nothing at all (2003: a million bucks to co-write Spy: The Funny Years) or to just add countercultural elan to the staid, unthreatening publications (New York, Vanity Fair) that were placed in their rabbity custody.

Carter's career path showed that the best way to secure a golden old age of attending parties and carrying the skirts for celebrities is to behead a few in your youth.

What Andersen proves is that once you've put in a few years of writing very well, with dignity and iconoclastic fervor, you can then mail it in for the rest of your life, if you like. You can melt into the easy life and undead thinking of a timorous upper-class weasel, and you can dress it up as "realism," because you were somebody once.

Andersen's Feb. 21 Iraq piece, "When Good News Feels Bad," is the most shameful, vicious piece of horseshit I have seen anybody write about this terrible war. It is sickening not on the level of writing or rhetoric, but on the level of human behavior.

On the surface, Andersen's piece is a cheeky piece of political self-denunciation, a mock show-trial confession. He confesses to being one of those many New Yorkers who considers himself smarter than everybody else and tends to disagree with the Bush administration "politically, temperamentally, and ontologically most of the time." But, he says, smart New York people like him—us—have to get real and face the ugly reality of our emotional struggle over Iraq. He then goes on to indict all of us for secretly applauding any bad news that comes from Iraq, and for choosing to ignore in grumbling fashion the "surprisingly smooth and inarguably inspiring" spectacle of the Iraqi elections. If we face this reality, he says, we are then forced to see that "the only way out is to root for Bush's victory."

The crux of his argument comes in the remarkable passage listed at the top of this column, the one that casts our dilemma as a "Hobbesian choice." Observations:

"Each of us has a Hobbesian choice concerning Iraq": This idea of Iraq as a "Hobbesian choice" is horseshit on its face. Even the original Hobbesian choice was horseshit, especially in the eyes of the stereotypical New York liberal Andersen is addressing. We no more have to choose between chaos and authoritarianism than we do between rooting for Bush and rooting for the insurgents. There is a vast array of other outcomes and developments to root for.

We could root for Bush to admit he fucked up and appeal to the world for help in stabilizing Iraq. We could root for a similar admission and a similar appeal to the U.N., only coupled with an immediate American withdrawal. We could root for America to come out firmly against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which would change the equation in Iraq. We could root for such things as the turning over of Iraqi oil contracts to the United Nations and an end to war profiteering— which, again, would change the equation in the war.

And that's just the beginning. It does not come down to rooting either for Bush or for the insurgents. Andersen thinks he can make this argument because he thinks he knows that in our hearts, many of us are rooting for the insurgents— and he is trying to tell us that renouncing this instinct automatically translates into unqualified support for Bush. But that is wrong, and totally dishonest.

Incidentally—and this is neither here nor there—the use of the term "Hobbesian Choice" in a hack punditry piece like this is the literary equivalent of the purple hot pants on an elderly Bushwick Avenue hooker. Pull over, honey, I'm a pseudo-intellectual...

"Either we hope for the vindication of Bush's risky, very possibly reckless policy..." Note the use of the qualifying, "risky, very possibly reckless," here—obscuring the stark lie of the word "vindication." To the audience Andersen is addressing, nothing can possibly vindicate Bush's Iraq policy. Along with millions of other people, I opposed the war before it began, and we opposed it not because we thought we might lose or fail in Iraq, but because invading Iraq was wrong. It was wrong because they were lying about why we were invading; it was wrong because the whole notion of preemptive invasion is immoral and dangerous; it was wrong for a dozen other plainly irrefutable reasons that will not change if Iraq is magically transformed into Switzerland by next year.

"I don't mean to suggest, in the right-wing proto-fascist rhetorical fashion, that every good American is obliged to support all American wars." No. You suggest it in the pompous, verbose, superior fashion of a feckless left-wing snob.

"But at this moment in this war, that binary choice of who you want to win is inescapable." Translation: you're either with us or against us, either for us, or for the terrorists. Where have I heard that before?

Oh, that's right. I've heard it everywhere. Just never from that funny guy who used to run Spy. What a goddamn shame.


 

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It's the Hypocrisy, Stupid

Allan Uthman

Secrecy and denial are as much essential components of Bush’s White House as they are of a closet homosexual’s lifestyle. Penetrate the mirage, reveal the lie, and people get angry. Right-wingers are mad because, in essence, Guckert is Bush—a talentless pretender firing a cannon in a glass house.


Not Funny

Matt Taibbi

Man, is it easy to make money in this writing business in New York City. You youngsters out there who are still waiting to get published, still trolling for intern jobs, you may not see it yet. But take a good look at Kurt Andersen at New York if you want to see how it all works out at the end of the rainbow.


What Your Republican Boyfriend Really Means

Everyone knows Republican boyfriends are the hot new item this season. They're large and in charge, and they have all the money these days. However, many girls are finding that communication difficulties arise when they start getting to know their supply-side sweeties. Here's a guide to help you out.


Kyoto Fried Chicken

Alexander Zaitchik

Let's hope Earth never gets attacked by flesh-eating Martians. By the time the governments of the world mounted a counter-attack, we'd all be getting force-bred in Martian factory farms, wondering why the fat kids keep getting dragged away.


Beastmo Quiz: Are You Being Tortured?

AG Alberto Gonzalez

Relationships are tricky. Find out if your partner is going too far.


Buffalo in Briefs

Budgetary Bullshit

It's been an interesting two weeks watching our elected assholes scramble like mad chickens to pass a budget, and highly demonstrative of just how the government "works."


[sic] - letters

CRUISIN' FOR A BRUISIN'

Gentlemen:

I represent Tom Cruise. Your Issue #67 of "The Beast" contains false, defamatory and malicious assertions about Mr. Cruise. They include the following:

(1) That Mr. Cruise is a "cokehead." This is utterly false. He is not and never has been a "cokehead" or even a cocaine user. In fact, his fiercely anti-drug views are well known.

(2) That Mr. Cruise consistently casts women "for the purpose of nailing them."



Social Anxiety

Allan Uthman

I’m no slouch when it comes to math, and I even did well in economics, but I don’t have to look at the numbers to figure out whether Bush’s proposed changes to Social Security will be a boon or a disaster. All I have to do is look at who’s proposing them.


Sorry to Wake You

Matt Taibbi

1:36 a.m., Jan. 25. Somewhere along a row of darkened town houses near Arlington, VA, a phone rings.

RUMSFELD: Uh... Hello?

FEITH: Donny? Are you up, man?

RUMSFELD: Shit. Who is this?


Buffalo in Briefs

Playing Down Brown

Three weeks ago, the Buffalo News ran the results of a Zogby poll on our upcoming Mayoral election. The results were somewhat surprising, putting Byron Brown up front and spelling almost certain doom for Masiello, who may have actually lost to a canteloupe if it had been offered as an alternative in the poll.


Soylent Purple

Allan Uthman

“You see that shit?” Frank asked.

“Yeah,” he said, surprised to hear it. “I thought I was gonna puke.”

“Fucking hilarious, I know. It’s so ironic, really—if only they knew. Wouldn’t stop ‘em anyhow.”

“Knew what?”

He knocked back his whiskey, grimaced and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. “The ink. What it’s made out of. You wouldn’t fucking believe it.”


Money Matta$$

50 Cent

Bump dat! Dow Jones Industrials capped dat week with a 120-point climb and broader stock indicators also moved substantially higher. The Standard & Poors 500 index surpassed the 1,200 level for the first time since Jan. 3. The PIMP index was also up despite the Labor Department's job creation report, which showed just 146,000 new jobs last month, far less than the 200,000 expected. Uh Uh Uh Uh.


Future World News

Machine to Sign Historic Accord with Man

"Logic dictates that Machine and Man must learn to work together to terminate our common enemy. The world stage is now set to end the tyranny of nature" said President 1100, in a transmission from the White Cube mercury garden.

"The most important thing at the summit will be a mutual declaration of cooperation of violence against the planet earth," said Omega Sheila E, a Nectaris negotiator.

Whole page as PDF


The 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2004

21. Alan Colmes
Crimes: An angry conservative’s wet dream: an effete liberal dive artist. As a professional doormat, Colmes’ only tasks are to serve as a comforting aggregate of Republican stereotypes about Democrats and a target for the seething derision of his psychotic guests. Stands idly by while voracious green-blooded co-host utilizes Gestapo tactics against centrist Democrats.


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Inaugural Balls

Allan Uthman

...The real problem isn't that Bush's vision is vague, or that it signals an imperialist agenda that has already been in place for years. It isn't even that he's completely revised his justification for war in Afghanistan and Iraq for a proudly amnesiac public, or that he's launching his trial run at Iran. The real problem about Bush's speech is that it simply isn't true, and doesn't make any sense. It's 100% manure from start to finish.