In the War Against Rebellion And Slavery there were at least 360,000 Union dead. Those who died in defense of Rebellion And Slavery go unremarked by me, as they justly should for their treason.
Knowing the cost, should we have not had this war? Should we have been content that people be enslaved, beaten, and killed on the basis of their skin color for the financial benefit and sadistic pleasure of their masters?
Charlie Pierce has it exactly right-
Here are the articles of surrender, in case you wonder one day how it all happened.
“I want to tell you how much your kind words meant to me following my personal remarks at last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner about the roots of my belief in journalism’s essential role.
“I also have heard from members expressing dismay with the entertainer’s monologue and concerns about how it reflects on our mission. Olivier Knox, who will take over this summer as our president, and I, recognize these concerns and are committed to hearing from members on your views on the format of the dinner going forward. Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.
“Every day we are working hard to advocate for our members and ensure coverage that benefits the public, and the dinner is an important opportunity to highlight and maintain our essential work. The White House Correspondents’ Association remains dedicated to that mission.
Faced with an administration* and a president* dedicated to poisoning both the spirit and the institutions of free government, and faced with an administration* and a president* dedicated only to looting those institutions that it cannot destroy, the representatives of the elite political media, through the woman at the head of their formal association, Margaret Talev, have determined that bowing to the fauxtrage aimed at a comedian on behalf of the administration*’s paid liar is the proper way to respond to the weekend’s festivities. The commitment to a free press is not common to this nation’s people any more, if it ever was, and it damn sure doesn’t have any fans in this administration*. Anyone who thinks that “a vigorous and free press” and “honoring civility” are equally desirable goals doesn’t love the former enough to deserve the latter.
The daily briefings are pointless. Sanders isn’t even a particularly accomplished liar. (Neither is her boss.) The benign faces she puts on malignant policies are thin and transparent. The idea that people actually are carrying her water in reply to Michelle Wolf’s monologue on Saturday night is absolutely astonishing to me. (I thought the routine was a solid B, and I’ve never seen a standup for whom every joke landed, except for the late Richard Pryor.)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is not your friend. She is, professionally, the enemy. I don’t care if most of the time she’s a combination of Florence Nightingale, Mother Superior, and Cher. When she gets behind the podium, her job is to belittle you and your profession and, by proxy, all of us who practice it. She is a tower of contempt. That she was discomfited on Saturday night because of a comedian is part of what she gets paid for. Discomfiting the likes of Sarah Huckabee Sanders is part of what Michelle Wolf got paid for. The forces were perfectly in balance.
But that statement…Lord, what a mess that is. It devalues what it proposes to defend and it trivializes what it claims is of paramount importance. In an age that demands what Whitman called a barbaric YAWP from all corners of the journalistic community, it is the squeaking of a hamster wheel. Next year, they should have that dinner in Stockholm.
Charlie attributes it to Stockholm Syndrome which I think far too charitable. People afflicted by that are in the throes of life threatening fear. Our Villagers are experiencing mild dyspepsia that anyone should question their gatekeeper status, 8 figure salaries, and “holier than thou” morality in the slightest.
He has helped you sell your papers & your books & your TV. You helped create this monster & now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re gonna profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.
Bring me my fainting couch!
Charlie also evokes the memory of William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator. Since he quotes it only partly and I’m a great advocate of context here is the whole thing.
From The Liberator
January 1, 1831
To the Public
In the month of August, I issued proposals for publishing “THE LIBERATOR” in Washington city; but the enterprise, though hailed in different sections of the country, was palsied by public indifference. Since that time, the removal of the Genius of Universal Emancipation [Benjamin Lundy’s anti-slavery newspaper] to the Seat of Government has rendered less imperious the establishment of a similar periodical in that quarter.
During my recent tour for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact, that a greater revolution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free states — and particularly in New-England — than at the south. I found contempt more bitter, opposition more active, detraction more relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen, than among slave owners themselves. Of course, there were individual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted, but did not dishearten me. I determined, at every hazard, to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill and in the birth place of liberty. That standard is now unfurled; and long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe — yea, till every chain be broken, and every bondman set free! Let southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.
I deem the publication of my original Prospectus unnecessary, as it has obtained a wide circulation. The principles therein inculcated will be steadily pursued in this paper, excepting that I shall not array myself as the political partisan of any man. In defending the great cause of human rights, I wish to derive the assistance of all religions and of all parties.
Assenting to the “self-evident truth” maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popluar but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My consicence in now satisfied.
I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.
It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective, and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question my influence, — humble as it is, — is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years — not perniciously, but beneficially — not as a curse, but as a blessing; and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God, that he enables me to disregard “the fear of man which bringeth a snare,” and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power. And here I close with this fresh dedication:
Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,
And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow;
But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now —
For dread to prouder feelings doth give place
Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace
Of slavish knees that at thy footstool bow,
I also kneel — but with far other vow
Do hail thee and thy hord of hirelings base: —
I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,
Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,
Thy brutalising sway — till Afric’s chains
Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land, —
Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:
Such is the vow I take — SO HELP ME GOD!
What does Stockton think? So glad you asked.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.
There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it “vengeful” and “primitive” and “perverse” regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. “That kind of stuff is opinion,” they say, “and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.” Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers and normal “objective journalism.” Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment, and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called “advocacy journalism,” I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.
Politics is the art of controlling your environment. That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that ‘it doesn’t matter who’s President’ has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World — or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.
I’ve taken classes in Journalism, even published, but I’m not a Journalist- I’m a writer.
Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits— a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.