There are many warning signs when a culture is in serious decline.
Deteriorating defensive preparation at the borders, even though the Germanic tribes across the Rhine seem restless. A degrading central currency. Decreasing birth rates. The slide of popular art into the gutter. Electing a corpse as president.
So far in 2021, we’re 5 for 5.
Our border is now a disaster so stark that even our MSM can’t completely ignore it. The predictable flood of migrants is overwhelming, many of them have covid that isn’t being treated, and the kids are piling up in the cages (One of my favorite Trump lines was his debate comeback that would have killed Biden, if he weren’t already dead: “Who built the cages, Joe? Who built the cages?”).
The only tiny sliver of a silver lining is watch Hacky Psaki imploding before our eyes, hemming and hawing and flop-sweating like Biden trying to remember which woman on stage is his wife and which is the vice-president.
If you have a lot of self-respect, being a press secretary is usually a terrible job. You start out wanting to explain the policies you believe in for the president you believe in, and you end up having to dance and fudge the truth, and eventually lie pretty regularly. There’s an old description of a diplomat: “an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”
But even that caveat gives Psaki too much credit. She’s not honest, and her lies are told for the good of her corrupt party and president, and to the detriment of her country.
There are degrees of terribleness in a press secretary job. The more competent and consistent a president is, and the more successful the administration, the easier the job is. Trump was tough to work for, partly because of his lack of rhetorical discipline, and partly because the MSM are such dishonest creeps that they were constantly throwing mud that had to be cleaned up. But there was substance to answer the spurious attacks with: best economic performance and employment numbers in decades, trimming regulations, solid judicial nominations, successful peace initiatives, etc.
What does Psaki have to work with?
When asked about kids in cages, she had to say that those aren’t cages, they’re comfortable snuggle-huts lined with downy quilts, offering three daily servings of the milk of human kindness. When she was asked what Biden plans to do about stock market manipulation, she had to resort to the non sequitur of pointing out that the treasury secretary has ovaries. When asked why Biden promised 100 federal vaccination sites by the end of his February, but there were only 7, she had to say, ‘Look, a squirrel!” and then drop to the floor and commando-crawl out of the room.
The great C.S. Lewis memorably introduced a fictional character this way: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
Well, today there’s a woman named Jennifer “Hacky” Psaki who has the job of press secretary for Joe Biden.
And she absolutely deserves it.
You didn’t watch the Grammys last week, because you’re smart and have a life to lead, and neither did I, for the same reasons.
But I did watch a few excerpts after hearing about it on Ben Shapiro’s podcast. And it turns out that it featured an “artist” – yes, those are definitely scare quotes – whom I’d written about briefly before: Cardi B, and her hit “song” that can only be referred to by the initials WAP. (Don’t look it up, I beg you!)
First, it’s a bad sign when your song title is so offensive that it can only appear as an acronym. When a young Jo-Bach — which, if modern pop culture has taught me anything is what Johann Sebastian Bach must have been called back in the day – was at the height of his powers, here’s a conversation that absolutely never happened on the mean streets of Vienna:
Bach Fan 1: Have you heard JJMD yet? It’s better than the BC, man!
Bach Fan 2: Do you mean “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring?”
Bach Fan 1: Yeah.
Bach Fan 2: Not yet. But there’s no way it’s better than the Brandenburg Concertos! No way!
Bach Fan 1: Way!
Second, I remember way back when women’s behinds were the size of women’s behinds. But if the performance the other night is any indication, those days are gone, daddy-o.
Cardi’s got more tattoos than a cell block full of MS-13 members, and a beam like a D-Day landing craft. The other “artist” “singing” with her is called Megan thee Stallion, which makes sense, because I’ve seen smaller flanks on 2-year-old palominos going off at 5-3 in the third race at Pimlico.
Third, it’s a really bad sign if you notice anything about tattoos or adipose tissue when you’ve watched a “musical” performance.
I know that there’s good music being written today, somewhere. But it’s a troubling sign of a sickness in our society when this kind of junk is popular and wins awards. I know I sound like the oldest man in Christendom, and that old folks are always putting down the music of the young kids today.
But this stuff is garbage. The lyrics start out with “there’s some wh*res in this house,”and then it goes WAY downhill from there. I’m not kidding. If you can make it about 30 lines farther, you’ll be nostalgically looking back at “there’s some wh*res in this house” like it was, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art as lovely and as temperate.”
But you don’t need to compare this to Shakespeare or Bach to see how bad things have gotten. Instead, compare it to any reasonably middling popular songs from a few decades ago. Even when country musicians were writing only about drinking or fighting, or pop musicians were writing about surfing or cars, or everyone was writing about romantic troubles, they usually managed to do it without degrading themselves and their listeners.
One example that has been in my listening rotation lately is a not particularly famous song by not particularly famous song writers, from the mid-1950s. Sinatra sang it first; it’s called “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” It’s only 8 lines long and less than 3 minutes, and if you haven’t heard it before, give it a listen.
Here are the lyrics: “In the wee small hours of the morning/When the whole wide world is fast asleep/You lie awake, and think about the girl/And never ever think of counting sheep./ When your lonely heart has learned its lesson/ You’d be hers, if only she would call/ In the wee small hours of the morning/That’s the time you miss her most of all.”
There are some cliches in there, and it’s not Bach or Mozart. But it’s a sweet, melancholy tune, and evocative, and the line, “When your lonely heart has learned its lesson,” is lovely.
Listening to an ugly, vulgar, gynecologist’s nightmare of a “song” like WAP, and then to “In the Wee Small Hours,” will give you the bends!
Again, I know that there is some good music being written and played in our country, right now. But WAP, and an army of auto-tuned aural assaults just like it, is topping the charts and winning awards, and that is a very bad indicator of the cultural health of our society!
Speaking of bad health, how about that Joe Biden? (RIP) I’m sure you all saw him dance right up those airplane stairs with cat-like grace.
I mean, if the cat in question was deep into the last of its nine lives, and only hours earlier had been shot with several tranquilizer darts as it made its escape from an Old Cat’s Home on tapioca pudding night when the attendants weren’t looking.
I’m as much a fan of Weekend at Bernie’s as the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous. Biden can’t make an unscripted live appearance, they can’t let him answer media questions, he can’t play with his dog without breaking a bone. And now he can’t go up or down stairs.
I guess Hacky Psaki won the game of “rock, paper, scissors,” because WH Communications Director Kate Bedingfield got stuck with the job of explaining Biden dropping on those stairs like the guy who got sniped by the German in the church tower in Saving Private Ryan.
Kate did the best she could, chirping, “I’m happy to report that he is just fine, and did not even require any attention from the medical team who travels with him.” Of course he didn’t require any attention – what’s he going to get, MORE dead?
By the way, I looked into that “medical team” who travels with Biden: a mortician, an embalmer, a taxidermist, and a specialist who consulted on all of the autopsies on CSI: Miami.
When even the shamelessly sycophantic WH press corps wasn’t buying that, Psaki and Bedingfield stood behind the blue curtain at the WH briefing room and shoved Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre out in front of the microphones.
For a moment, Jean-Pierre spoke in French, apparently trying to pretend that she didn’t speak or understand English. Then she said that Biden fell because – and I Schumer you not, I am NOT making this quote up – “…it’s pretty windy outside. It’s very windy. I almost fell coming up the steps myself.”
If only there had been a real reporter in the room, the exchange would have gone like this:
Reporter: But you didn’t fall, did you?
Karine: Um, no.
Reporter: And none of the secret service guys, and none of the reporters, and none of the other staffers fell?
Reporter: And Diego, the guy who puts the baggage into the back of the plane, he didn’t fall?
Karine (through gritted teeth): No.
Reporter: And the National Weather Service says that winds at the time were in a range they describe as a “fresh breeze.”
Karine: What’s your point?
Reporter: It wasn’t very windy, and the only person who fell is the guy in his late hundreds who doesn’t know where he is, but still has the nuclear button clenched in his liver-spotted, desiccated hands.
Karine (after a long pause): No habla Ingles.
Reporter: That’s Spanish.
Karine: Je ne parle pas anglaise.
Avenatti/Cardi B 2024!