Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Can't Make This Sh...tuff Up
Rothschild Anti-Elitism Edition



Oh, man, you guys gotta cut this stuff out you are killing me!

So, as you may have...wait. Excuse me...


Oh God.


So, as you may have heard, "Lady" Lynn Forester "de" Rothschild, noted person with too much money, former fund-raiser for HRC, and apparent leading-light of the self-parody industry, has announced that she will now be supporting John McCain because...wait for it...Barack Obama is "arrogant" and an elitist.

Oh, man, you morons out there have got to stop doing this stuff. You are killing me. Seriously!

O.k., let's just pick out a few things to talk about briefly here, k?

Nice announcement, "de." I mean, has it ever crossed your mind that nobody knows who you are, and nobody cares who you're supporting? Because it crossed my mind...

I saw our good buddy de on CNN last night, when my new hero Campbell Brown made her look quite the fool just by asking her a few fairly obvious questions. De were not amused. When Brown pointed out that it seemed a little peculiar for a talentless piece of pseudo-European pseudo-royalty to call the hard-working son of a single mom from Chicago an elitist, de said, archly: "You know it when you see it."*

Well, de, I know a few things when I see them, too. And I think we all know a thing or two about you at this point as well. But let's be polite enough not to talk about the majority of them.

Since Obama is so clealry not an "elitist," one has to wonder what the burr under de's saddle really is. My guess: even famously inbred pseudo-European pseudo-royalty recognizes at some level that, well, it's generally just not that bright. Rich dumb people are still dumb, and "Obama is an elitist" is probably code for "Obama thinks he's smarter than me," which is how arrogant people translate their own thought: "I think Obama is smarter than me."

The nerve of these peasants!

Being better than their betters.

Off with their heads!

Oh, man. You really just can't make this stuff up, can you? It's like the dimensional wall between our universe and the Onion universe has broken down.



Blogger Joshua said...

In other ironic news, the Pope says that us bloody secularists are too obsessed with ostentatious displays of temporal wealth. No, really.

As of press time, no pots could be contacted for their opinion on kettles.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


You're killin' me here Joshua

the hypocrisy is going to rip a hole in space-time

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, in the context of the whole homily, the Pope wasn't saying that "secularists" are too obsessed with displays of temporal wealth. He was saying that Christians, members of a largely materialistic culture, are.

"The Mass invites us to discern what, in ourselves, is obedient to the Spirit of God and what, in ourselves, is attuned to the spirit of evil." (My emphasis.)

Rather than speaking to the kettle, the pot is here reminding itself of its sootiness.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

I visited the 'sootiness' last summer, including a vist to St. Peter's, the vatican museums (Holy shit, one of those pieces of art would be the centerpice for a major museum and there were thousands of them...literally thousands...where did all that wealth come from?), and the vatican necropolis.

I doubt the pot (er, the pope) meant himself or his church at all...just the membership and the christians who should donate more to the cause...and that is the true irony and hypocrisy.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Aa,
I am unable to find any place in the homily where the Pope is using a criticism of materialism as an incentive to increase church collections (or any encouragement of collections in it at all). (The homily can be found here: - if you look at it, let me know if you see something I didn't.)
Regarding the Vatican art: why is it less morally commendable for major art pieces to be collected in a Vatican museum than any other museum? Keeping priceless art pieces in a publicly accessible museum doesn't strike me as an unethical hoarding of wealth. Granted, the wealth that the Papacy once had which enabled it to aquire the art was apalling, I'm not sure the mere fact that they continue to posess the art says anything about their virtue. In fact, it's my understanding that the Pope himself doesn't actually own any of that stuff.
That last bit does point to something else, though: as far as I can tell, Vatican finances are not exactly transparent. This does strike me as a moral failing.
I was gonna say more, but a co-worker is running me out of this room. So, peace ya later.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I dunno Spencer...I mean, is all that stuff *art*?

And: isn't a lot of that stuff commissioned? And if so, wasn't there something better to do with the $$?

I think it might be fairly tough to defend the Vatican on this one...

10:37 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Here's what you got:

Christianity when it started:

13 guys in dirty clothes living on the street, giving away all their possessions to the poor, and talking about loving everyone.

Christianity now:

See: the Vatican.


1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize for my lengthiness.

To speak in terms of the three qualifiers that Mystic helpfully boils the question down to, (1) is an oversimplification (NT evidence indicates that many early Christians did own property, in which the apostles would stay) and (3) is still standard in Vatican discussions (including the homily in question). The real question is the apparent disparity between the apostolic community and the contemporary Vatican on issue (2). I contend that much of this question can be boiled down further to a question, q: is it necessarily vicious to possess artistic artifacts? When it comes to the possession of art, I assume the Vatican escapes the charge of blatant hypocrisy (more insidious forms of hypocrisy I take to be really question q, because the Catholic Church long ago sided with those who would claim a moral and spiritual value for human art (Nicea II, 787).

I would say that everything in the Vatican museum and in St. Peter's is at least art. Even if it has no value beyond that, it would be a shame to destroy it just as it was criminal of extremist Muslims to destroy Buddhist statues (and just as it is regrettable that early Christians destroyed a lot of Roman religious artwork).

Sure a lot of that stuff was probably wickedly comissioned when the Vatican had more liquid forms of wealth. We know the Papacy has done some shitty things over the ages, and a self-serving use of money should undoubtedly be counted among them. I have no doctrinal stake in getting the Vatican off the hook for moral evil.

It's just that, I think sometimes people jump too quickly to morally equating the use of liquid forms of wealth to uneccessarily purchase art with the mere continued posession of that art. It strikes me that there is the possibility of a non-vicious posession of great works of art (else we would have to condemn museums that house the exact same kind of religious art - e.g., the Art Institute of Chicago has a lot of golden reliquaries). In order to differentiate vicious from non-vicious cases of art posession, one would have to determine several empirical factors (e.g., who actually owns it, how much do they pay on upkeep, do admissions costs/donations put them in the red?, what do they do with the profits from these things, how much money could be gained by selling it off, is there a non-monetary value to keeping them, etc.) that I never see anyone including in the question of the Vatican's moral culpability in this particular issue. Often, as above, it seems that people just assume that all of those factors should be answered negatively. It strikes me that there is often a presumption of guilt which takes no known indicators of innocence seriously (much Vatican wealth has been sold in the last 50 years for charitable donations - Pope John Paul II, for example, gave a papal ring to some poor in the slums of Sao Paolo, Brazil). Such indicators should probably not settle the case, but they should probably included in some way. The Vatican may not deserve the benefit of the doubt, but they - as anyone else - surely deserve the benefit of some uncertainty of guilt.

I said that most of the issues of selling all and giving to the poor can be boiled down to the question q. Certainly there are other questions involved, but these also require specific information about Vatican economic income and charitable output that no one seems interested in, either.

This is less an attempted defense of the Vatican than it is an attempted defense of fairness in moral judgment. (And in fairness, I would have to say something similar to some recent Vatican statements on homosexuals - they prejudge the answers to certain empirical questions on the way to moral/doctrinal judgment.)

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and in fairness I'll admit that my attempt at a defense of fairness in moral judgment is, of course, partly motivated by my own religious connection to the Vatican. But I don't think I have been unreasonably or unfairly partisan, as far as I can tell.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a vein unrelated to the comment discussion, but getting back to the original post: it is my opinion that in Republican doublespeak and word appropriation, "elitist" is clearly the new term for "uppity." Westmoreland just didn't get the memo that de and others did about how to justify their race-based discomforts about Obama.

9:28 PM  

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