Happy Birthday Sarah Michelle Gellar!

13 Apr

April 14 is Sarah Michelle Gellar’s birthday. Gellar originated the role of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer for TV in 1997 (Kristi Swanson having earlier played Buffy in Joss Whedon’s 1992 film of the same name). During the series Buffy dies (and is resurrected) and we see her gravestone, which reads: “Best Friend. Beloved Sister. She saved the world — a lot.” And Buffy did save the world a lot; but we should stop and ask: from what?

I first saw Buffy in its second season, in 1999. I was working 80 hours a week in residential real estate in downtown Washington, D.C., and could have easily cloned myself and given my triplets lucrative full-time employment. I was an hour late to meet a lesbian couple in Dupont Circle, and as soon I entered their rented co-op I was handed a plate of the pasta they had just prepared and told to join them, because we would have to watch “Buffy” and then write the offer. It was a season two finale, with Buffy battling the evil alter ego of her boyfriend (to save the world). Sword play, martial arts (Gellar is a black belt in taekwondo), incredible gymnastics; I was hooked.
Buffy always had a big lesbian and gay following; female action heroes, anti-authoritarianism, a love that dare not speak its name between a slayer (human) and a vampire, a teen and her friends (“the Scoobies”) who must keep the secrets of their blossoming identities and their after-school activities from their parents and teachers; in later seasons, a major character who becomes a lesbian.
But Buffy had wider political ramifications. Buffy protected a sunlit world of oblivious humans (in Sunnydale in sunny southern California) from a dark world of predators waiting to eat them. Predators who either were the authorities in charge (a Mayor working dark magic to become a pure demon in dragon form, by a ritual that included eating the graduating senior class), or aided and abetted by authorities (Buffy’s bete noir, Principal Snyder). And even when the government stepped in to manage and control the demonic threat (a military funded “project 314” which captured demons and vampires, with the hope of turning them into weapons), it failed and Buffy had to save the world, again. (In the case of the military she was aided by a boyfriend played by actor Marc Blucas as a kind of hunky heterosexual Bradley Manning defector, who slugs his commanding officer and declares “I’m an anarchist.”)
And while Buffy was becoming a cult hit we were all in our own sunlit world, the asset bubble created by the federal government and the Federal Reserve’s inflating the currency to buy government debt and fuel expanding government under Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. An inflation that lit a boom and bust cycle with one collapsing asset bubble after another, from the tech bubble, to the real estate bubble, to the coming devaluation of the currency and downgrading of government bonds. The predators in this case also operate in the dark, with the Federal Reserve refusing transparency and both major parties (aside from Ron and Rand Paul and a few others) discussing tax rates and proposing gimmicky miniscule pseudo-spending cuts, but never discussing the effects of currency inflation on investment and employment.  Most voters and taxpayers are oblivious to this, just as Sunnydale residents were oblivious the vampires lurking in the night.

The writers at Buffy actually knocked government and statism often. Social climbing cheerleader and mean girl Cordelia Chase is thrown into poverty in her senior year when the IRS seizes her home and her parents’ business and assets. Demon-turned-human and Buffy friend Anya is shown in one flashback sparking the Russian revolution, in her role as as a vengeance demon, because she wants to see maximum bloodshed; later when Buffy’s cancer patient mom is facing a hospital that can’t cure her, someone in the Buffy entourage says “I hate hospitals” and ever-Dadaist Anya says “it’s like communism.” And of course there is always Principal Snyder, tin pot dictator of Sunnydale High (played by Armin Shimerman, who had a role as a villain in the Atlas Shrugged movie). This isn’t surprising, since Joss Whedon (who is a liberal, not a libertarian) always has libertarianish heroes in his work, like the crew of the ship Serenity, the rebels turned smugglers in the space opera Firefly, who outwit a galactic empire that created an aerosolized drug used by the government for mind control of the population.

Sara Michelle Gellar is reported to be registered as a Republican, as is her reportedly more politically active husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. One assumes that being young Hollywooders they are more libertarian than social conservative, but I have never heard them interviewed about it. (Emma Caufield, who played Anya for the last half of the series, publicly endorsed Ron Paul.) Of “Buffy” Gellar has said: “I truly believe that it is one of the greatest shows of all time and it will go down in history as that. And I don’t feel that that is a cocky statement. We changed the way that people looked at television.” I can’t help but agree with that, even aside from the politics of the Scoobies, and the show does seem to have helped encourage an endless array of entertaining occult fantasy shows (Moonlight, Being Human, TrueBlood, Grimm). Happy Birthday Sarah Michelle Gellar!

The Ginsburg Gamble and the Future of the Supreme Court

12 Apr

JONATHAN TURLEY

225px-ruth_bader_ginsburg_scotus_photo_portrait500px-The_CardsharpsBelow is my column on the unfolding future of the Supreme Court after the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch and the elimination of filibusters in the selection of Supreme Court nominees.  For years, commentators have been discussing the timing of the retirement of our older justices, including Justice Ginsburg.  There was rising concern when Ginsburg decided to stay on the Court past the midterm mark of the second Obama term.  Those concerns have now been magnified and realized with the Trump election and filibuster elimination.  Of course, the same concerns are raised by the possible retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on the current Court.  New rumors have arisen  this week about Kennedy. However, of all of the older justices, it is replacement of Ginsburg that could produce the most profound changes for the country.

View original post 903 more words

The Moth Presents Steve Burns: Fameishness

2 Apr

Katie Hopkins For Donald Trump DESTROYS TJ Walker For Hillary Clinton

31 Mar

CNN LOSES IT When Katie Hopkins Calls Them The ‘Clinton News Network’

29 Mar

No One Needs an AR-15

28 Mar

The Liberty Zone

Scary, scary assault gun.

No one needs assault weapons. Why do you need an AR-15? Only criminals need these high-powered assault guns designed to kill a lot of people very quickly!

That’s what gun grabbers will tell you. As arbiters of what you need, they arrogantly remind you that this evil, high-powered assault gun, which you can spray fire indiscriminately and consequently kill multiple nuns and small children, should be banned, because no one needs it.

Until one does.

Three would-be robbers were shot and killed Monday when an Oklahoma homeowner’s son opened fire on them with an AR-15, authorities said.

Wagoner County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home in Broken Arrow, southeast of Tulsa at around 12:30 p.m. local time. When they arrived, they found the three dead suspects and two uninjured residents.

[…]

Mahoney said the suspects encountered the homeowner’s 19-year-old son, who opened fire after…

View original post 92 more words

Conservatives

28 Mar

The Liberty Zone

Rob wrote a great piece last night eviscerating David Shephard’s condemnation of conservatives who actually stand on principles on the Bull Elephant. You should really go read Rob’s fisk. He uses big words, and he didn’t drop the F-bomb even once! (Note: this is why I will never write for an actual news source or political site again. Too much effort to constrain my cursing.)

Shephard, whose claim to fame is apparently being a lobbyist in Richmond, claims that the House Freedom Caucus and its “conservative” members were never meant to be legislators, because they apparently never influence policy (Except for tanking the GOP’s shit show of a health care bill, of course. You’re welcome.) They should just hang out in think tanks and attend luncheons, proclaims a snot-nosed millennial whose contribution to the economy is lobbying and consulting.

If my eyes rolled back any harder, I’d need…

View original post 1,056 more words