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AOL Buys Huffpo

2011 February 7
by Ian Welsh

Arianna Huffington cashes out.  This is the American dream baby, make something, then sell it to a soulless corporation which stands against everything you claim to stand for.  What do you care?  You’ve cashed out.

Cashing out is one of the biggest problems with American style business, actually.  Capitalism operating well requires making it difficult to cash out.  Cashing out almost always includes the creation of significant debt, debt which does not create new economic activity but which only weighs down the companies involved.  When it does not (as is largely the case here, to AOLs credit), it still means that money is used for ownership changes rather than to create new economic activity.

As for Arianna, it’s been clear for a while that Huffpo was becoming less and less progressive or liberal and more and more a business for business sakes.  The model for Huffpo was always that the entertainment and gossip news would drive the traffic, that traffic would slop over into the more progressive and political writing, and would pay for it.

In other words, the entertainment pays for the politics, just as in the old days, news on the big networks was either a loss loser or not particularly profitable compared to other types of programming.  When the MBA types took over, that meant turning the news into “infotainment”, or segregating into cable, a niche market.  Because there is only one value in post Reagan business in America: making money.  Anything which interferes with making the most money possible (for you, not for your shareholders, don’t make me laugh) must be gotten rid of.

As for Arianna, she got her second payday.  Hope the price she was paid was worth what she sold to get it.

All that said, AOL has been doing some interesting things lately, such as their emphasis on local news.  We’ll see how it plays out.  Having watched Huffpos changes over the years, however, I am not sanguine.

46 Responses
  1. S Brennan permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Off topic…but timely,

    “…football is an interesting game to watch, in many ways and on many levels.

    I won’t go through all of those, but I do want to point out one that I haven’t often seen mentioned: despite its reputation among people who don’t know any better, football is a thinking person’s game. It’s deep and strategically complex, on offense and defense. I’ve always described it as the chess of mainstream sports (compared to the checkers of baseball or the tic-tac-toe of basketball). It takes years to fully appreciate everything that’s going on during any given play of a game, and even after you’ve spent years watching it you can’t really take in every aspect of every play. At any given time I might be paying attention to the line, or the secondary, or the backs, or the receivers (and even that just scratches the surface, since within those divisions I might be watching the safeties or the defensive backs, the running backs or the tight ends, etc). Or I might follow something else entirely, or take it in as a whole instead of focusing on any of the parts.

    And I’m always impressed by the casual genius of the design of so many elements of football. Take the scoring: you get 3 points for a field goal and 7 for a touchdown—both prime numbers, so the least common multiple is their product of 21, which makes ties less likely and adds major strategic implications to any given score. Two field goals are just one point short of a touchdown, which makes touchdowns much more desirable, but a touchdown isn’t an automatic 7 points—you have to essentially kick a short field goal to earn the extra point, and if you miss it you’ve effectively scored two field goals. See what I mean?

    Then there’s the ball itself. A football is oblong so it can be thrown through the air farther and faster, of course, but that shape also means that when a football hits the ground you have no idea what it will do. Unlike the pickup games my friends and I played after school, most of professional football is planned to the last detail, but no planning can overcome that little piece of chaos at the center of the game. In one second this carefully planned and scripted game can turn into a Three Stooges free-for-all, and often does.

    I don’t begrudge a person hating football for any number of reasons, even as I feel sorry for anyone who can’t appreciate the unique beauty of a perfectly-thrown spiral perfectly caught. I watch much less of it than I did as a kid, actually, and I agree with a lot of the criticism I’ve read of football in particular and professional sports in general (and I’ve got plenty of my own gripes). But the notion that disliking football is some badge of ideological purity, and the particular brand of condescending dimestore psychologizing you see in the annual spate of Super Bowl-bashing exercises like Lipsyte’s, are just the kinds of things that push people away from the left.

    ADDING: Go Packers.”

  2. S Brennan permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Sorry about not adding:

    http://www.distantocean.com/2011/02/footballism.html

  3. Bruce Wilder permalink
    February 7, 2011

    The non-profit economic structure of the Green Bay Packers would be an instructive contrast to what Ariana did — or failed to do — with HuffPo.

    Michael O’Hare made the requisite points about the subversive nature of the Packers, as a firm.
    http://www.samefacts.com/2011/02/economics/super-bowl/

  4. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 7, 2011

    The Good Shepherds are consolidating the flocks.

  5. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Why don’t we call football what it really is instead of hypocritically beating around the bush. It’s a well-disguised, or not so well-disguised, homoerotic sadomasochistic orgy celebrated by a broad cross section of Americans, including a sizable percentage of Fundamentalist Christians who publically excoriate homosexuality.

    I have nothing against such endeavors, but let’s at least call it for what it is. It’s an Ernst Roehm wet dream fantasy. A bunch of grown men brutally groping, and salivating over, one another in carefully crafted costumes. Men are so peculiar when it comes to showing their affections and sexual predilections towards other men. They have to disguise it in the form of brutality and naked, or uniformed, aggression…..and so we get football…. and war….and so on.

    Personally, I stopped watching it years ago when I finally realized it for what it was. Still, I’m amazed at the audience this absurd spectacle draws. It just goes to show, sheep will be sheep, tautologically speaking.

  6. February 7, 2011

    i hardly ever read HuffPo, and that’s been true since it started. too much fluff, poor writing, slow page loading… it’s just never impressed me as a source of political information, and i don’t care about the celebrity stuff.

    Morocco: i agree with you about football, but it is after all, still a game. i don’t watch football anymore mainly because of the way it is televised these days. i could be wrong, but it seems to me all the stuff you mention are more emphasized than they used to be. the militarism, faux patriotism, etc. not to mention the celebrity sports journalist crap that infects modern day coverage. i want to watch a game, not listen to some sports bobblehead talk about what he thinks players and coaches should be doing.

  7. David Kowalski permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Onethng that bears saying. Over the past 10 lus years nobody has done a better job of losing shareholder value than the stuffed shirt boring creeps at Time Warner. At the Time of the AOL merger, the combined company was “worth” $350 billion. Now, with AOl being spun off, the two parts are worth $23 billion total.

    The creeps have ruined the CNN brand, screwed up AOL and continued to produce third rate dead tree products. But they are among thbe very best at back stabbing and behind the scenes maneuvers. HuffPo may stand a chance as it will be part of a separate AOL not run by these overpaid morons.

    The left’s web presence is melting. HuffPo was by far the biggest presence. Viewership since 2008 has really tailed off and right wing blogs, once seriously behind in page views, have better Alexa ratings as a whole now. Open Left closed this weekend. Huffington Post sold out on Monday. Who else later this week?

  8. February 7, 2011

    “The left’s web presence is melting. ”

    Well then, build it up by telling your friends to read Ian Welsh ;)

    I’m sorry to read this about HuffPo, but it seems like most of the articles there I wanted to read could be found elsewhere anyway, so even if it goes down in flames it’s alright.

  9. dandelion permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Arianna built that site on the backs of unpaid writers. A commenter over at FDL said that this cements Huff Po’s standing as the China of media empires — and that’s exactly right. How wonderful that she gets her $300 million. Mayhill Fowler, for example, was never paid even one dime.

    Lambert over at Corrente used to ask, with respect to sites like Kos and TPM: how do you build progressive politics on a platform of misogyny? (Still a revelant question.)

    With regard to Huff Po: how do you build progressive politics on a platform of labor exploitation?

  10. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Huffpo, FDL, DailyKos, DU……what’s the difference? Window dressing on the holding pen, that’s about it. They’re all holding pens that contain dissent and honest, creative expression. The Genius of the Crowd (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gifEn61dZBc) is used to cow the radical into consent with a predetermined, and neutered, resistance.

    Case in point, the whole “fan” thing they have going on. It’s a tribute to the fact that you never really leave high school if you spend your days posting to, and interacting, with a hive-mind cliquish group of people who “fan” each other all day long.

    It’s why I check out the small independents, like Ian Welsh. There are others I visit, but I don’t want to give them away, because I want them to be my little secret….unspoiled and pure in their objectivity….unafraid to say what’s on their mind without being severely admonished and cowed by the petulant border collies.

    Once you become part of a larger group such as the websites mentioned above, your objectivity and creative expression take a nosedive into the crapper because you are now consistently careful not to piss off the genius of the crowd, and the hand that feeds you and your ego, regardless of whether that “feed” is mere crumbs even a dog would ignore.

  11. S Brennan permalink
    February 7, 2011

    A gem Bruce Wilder, while one poster inflects he has nothing against football after spending a paragraph in using slanderous conjecture and then follows with two more paragraphs of viperous prose, it’s good to see some truthful criticism.

    The Green Bay Packers are a special team. A good town too.

    Years ago I remember driving by a shopping mall parking lot and dozens of men were chasing a man running with a purse. Most didn’t have a chance, as I pulled a U’ey to cut the guy off, a man broke from the pack and tackled the thief. He laid the guy out good too, fortunately for the shithead, the cops arrived in time to save his sorry ass

    Can’t speak for all, but the party I was at, was laughing at the over the top patriotic jingoism, so crude, so detached, so far from the game, a parody really. Why does any feeble fool think it’s part of the game? It’s not just football, they’ve been appending that stupid shit to every national venue for years.

    Thanks Bruce for reminding folks why Green Bay is special….and as the youngest team, they may have another chance to shove corporate America’s face in it’s own poop. And while the wussy brigade thinks that’s just awful, I like seeing corporate.inc getting smacked around by a town of a 101,000 with temerity to stick together and fight.

  12. Tom Hickey permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Ho-hum. HuffPo is essentially an aggregator. It’s made obsolete by RSS.

  13. Allison permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Peter Daou is suing Huffington et al for stealing the business model for the site, which he claims was a joint enterprise:

    http://peterdaou.com/2010/11/our-response-to-ken-and-arianna-on-our-agreement-to-build-the-huffington-post-together/

    Would not surprise me if this is true.

  14. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 7, 2011

    Don’t know if it’s true or not. I will say that, in my experience, Daou is about as much of a straight shooter as someone can be and do the jobs he’s done. Which may sound like damning with faint praise, but isn’t.

  15. Sam Adams permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Just something to consider: what if the right understood that the best way to quiet dissent and any progessive view was to control the medium?
    – just saying

  16. BDBlue permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Have no fear, dandelion, HuffPo wasn’t just built on exploited labor, it was also build on sexism.

  17. Mad Hemingway permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. Afterall, her ex-husband was the Republican. She was only a “progressive” to build up her site’s “value” for some sucker like AOL to come along with a boatload of cash. Now she can go back to her true values. Kinda like Obama after he got elected.

  18. S Brennan permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Blue,

    I do see an ever growing problem with misogyny, elitism and faintly disguised class based entitlement from the white males who form the Democratic/Obama nexus. I do not know one white male supporter of Obama who does not have at the core his being these three values [or lack there of].

    BTW, the comment section below your link was pretty entertaining.

  19. dandelion permalink
    February 7, 2011

    S. Brennan — yes. This is a big problem. I’m reading/hearing a lot of comments now from that Democratic/Obama nexus that take the form of outraged betrayal — we were conned by Obama!

    But I have not yet seen anyone in that nexus reflect on what enabled that con to take place.

    There are studies which indicate conmen are actually more successful with the more educated, because those people have come to be so sure of their own judgments and so unquestioning of their own assumptions and impressions. Meaning: they never doubt themselves.

    I think it’s past tiime that what passes for the left in this country, or rather, the “left” that elected Obama, move from their sense of outraged betrayal to some deep self-examination of what in themselves allowed them to be so easily and willingly conned.

    As you note: misogyny, elitism and classism.

    And what kind of a left is it, anyway, if it suffers from classism.

  20. February 7, 2011

    The main thing that I want to know is, when they say that Arianna will become the editor of AOL media, meaning that she will retain editorial control of HP, is that a lifelong appointment; will she get to choose her successor? As long as she remains in control of the Post, to me it retains its integrity. If the AOL honchos ever take control of the content on HP, then it will just be another part of the MSM.

    As far as the “red tide,” I don’t necessaril­y see it as a bad thing to bring together people of widely differing opinions on one site. The problems could come if there are discussion­s that are specifical­ly relevant to one group of people, and trolls start coming in and disrupting it. I hope that there will be (or already is) some method of preventing that, so that, basically, if people in the same general camp are attempting to debate the subtleties of an issue, they won’t be interrupte­d by people trashing their entire political philosophy­.

  21. alyosha permalink
    February 7, 2011

    I’m not bothered by what Arianna did. Net, the world would’ve been the worse off without her or without Huffington Post. Even its soft progressivism (if you will) I know challenged or irritated some closed minds on the right. And it provided a watering hole of sorts in the comment threads for a good number of liberal folk (and who cares about the goofy rating system). Those of us in California or Los Angeles I’m sure have a special fondness for Arianna’s project.

    I don’t need purity, and I see the purity fights as an almost complete waste of time. Imperfect is just how the world is, get used to it. There are strange bedfellows everywhere. It keeps life interesting.

    Now, I’m a lot more concerned about the shuttering of something like OpenLeft, over a mostly celebrity gossip rag like HuffPo. Miniscule in comparison to HuffPo, the quality of thought far outshone HuffPo and its vast stable of writers on any day of the week. I hope everyone involved lands on their feet and pops up soon online somewhere.

    I was amused that the deal with AOL was seen (if I read the reports right) as bolstering AOL’s “dial up division”. HuffPo was often a pig to load, even with broadband. It’ll crush anybody still on dial-up. It wouldn’t surprise me if HuffPo will be the acquisition that ate the host, and its moribund business model.

  22. Vernier permalink
    February 7, 2011

    I think it’s past tiime that what passes for the left in this country, or rather, the “left” that elected Obama, move from their sense of outraged betrayal to some deep self-examination of what in themselves allowed them to be so easily and willingly conned.

    I think many were in on the con themselves. Don’t underestimate the capacity of the powers the Bush Administration represented to intimidate and to terrify. Having rallied against those powers–having, in short, gambled and lost on the prospect of Bush and Cheney getting their comeuppance–many people felt backed into a corner. Obama offered them an escape route. And more than that, he offered them the opportunity to have their cake and eat it too–continuity of image with their old progressive stance, continuity of substance with the newly entrenched far-right order. In short, they could concede the right-wing position on almost everything while simultaneously casting themselves as the slayers of the right-wing. Is it any wonder that the right is now apoplectic with rage?

  23. David permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Sounds like sour grapes, to be honest. Were someone to offer, say, a million dollars for this blog, I have no doubt whatsoever that the author would take it and run.

    We don’t know what’s going on inside Arianna’s head. For all we know, she’ll take that money and invest in some other form of liberal media. HuffPost was getting weaker and weaker, more commercial, by the minute, and perhaps she decided that it wasn’t a good enough vehicle for what she wanted to convey anymore.

    Let’s leave the “insight” for another day, for when when we see whether Arianna has really cashed out, or whether she’s made a damn smart move by taking the huge amount of corporate money and using it to fight for what she believes in.

  24. S Brennan permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Sounds like sour grapes, to be honest. Were someone to have David [February 7, 2011] rape and murder his mother…say, for a million dollars, I have no doubt whatsoever that David [February 7, 2011] would take the money and run.

    Now some might say this conjecture was offered in bad faith in an effort to smear David [February 7, 2011] using the sleaziest of technique, but I have no doubt whatsoever that David [February 7, 2011] is the type of guy I describe…after all, his rhetorical trick makes that clear.

  25. guest permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Funny, I just came to this post after reading Felix Salmon’s take on it.

    I don’t much care what she does or AOL does. I liked the Huffpo for the first couple months, then only went to read her posts, then…. I don’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve read anything there. Any time I follow a link and Huffpo shows up, I get turned off. It”s like “where the hell is the article I came for? what the hell is all this other crap? I’m outta here” Funny, but some of the blogs mentioned here are ones I used to read a LOT for a while and got turned of by or lost interest in: Kos, FDL, Kevin Drum. Part of it I think is that only having mainstream newspapers and magazines to get political commentary from every week or month, I just didn’t get that much exposure to certain perspectives. So I found people with interesting new perspectives and backgrounds, but eventually outgrew or found myself losing patience with some.

    Others like Digby took me a long time to come around to just because her posts used to be so damned long. Paradoxically two of the few blogs I read every day now are Digby and the maddeningly brief Eschaton. After 8 or 9 years of reading blogs, besides them, my only must reads are down to Krugman, Wolcott, Calcualted Risk, Baseline Scenario, and Ambrose Evans Pritchard (he’s a bit absurd, and being a hardcore Keynesian I disagree with a LOT of what he writes, but I always want to see his take) and just in the last year the Agonist.

    Anyway, I doubt what AH did will matter that much one way or the other. It’s not like when Ted Turner, the only kinda sorta liberal media mogul cashed out of CNN. He got what he deserved when the TimeWarner stock tanked. He could have countered Fox with a liberal network. Or at least a reality based network that might have kept Fox in check by actually countering it’s outright lies. Instead CNN is now Fox-lite.

  26. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Years ago I remember driving by a shopping mall parking lot and dozens of men were chasing a man running with a purse. Most didn’t have a chance, as I pulled a U’ey to cut the guy off, a man broke from the pack and tackled the thief. He laid the guy out good too, fortunately for the shithead, the cops arrived in time to save his sorry ass.

    Oh my, yes, the Genius of the Crowd in all its violent glory. Here’s another face of the people of Green Bay, just Southern Style. It starts at the 1:00 mark.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ4ZEYO3D3U&feature=related

  27. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Of course, the police can match the Genius of the Crowd any old time, as this video illustrates. Message to the burglars. Next time, pack some heat and kill your marks, because you’re going to pay the same price, regardless, so you may as well go out in a blaze of glory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R-StFkbSGGE#t=134s

  28. bill permalink
    February 8, 2011

    What I can’t figure out is how an organization that was built “on the backs of unpaid writers” can be worth $300 million. Did all that money go just to keep Arianna in pretty haircuts? I’m obviously missing something here.

  29. DancingOpossum permalink
    February 8, 2011

    S Brennan, loved your little disquisition on football, one of the most beautiful games ever invented. And I have long admired the Packers and what they are and do, and am delighted that they won the big game (full disclosure: as a Ravens fan I am contractually obligated to root against the Steelers, but I would have rooted for Green Bay whoever they played, except for my beloved birds of course).

    As for HuffPo and Arianna, in my view she lost all her credibility long ago and I have often found HuffPo to be a tired Salon retread. Not sure what to think about the AOL venture/sale, will have to see what plays out.

  30. S Brennan permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Morama,

    Is there any falsification you won’t stoop to?

    You just implied all of Green Bay is racist with that video clip, how do you know that?

    Did your sorry white ass just assume the purse snatcher was black, didn’t you

    He wasn’t of course, but your inner bigotry colorized the guy. Dumb ass it’s Green Bay, have you ever been there?

    It’s YOU that are being racist with your remarks. Your racist projections, demonstrated by your remark above disgusts me. The fact that you can’t see your racist implications would make me pity your intelligence were it not so twisted by your cringing fear of those boys in high school who risked failure and made an effort while you effortlessly sat on the sideline pointing out their shortcomings with what you thought were witty remarks.

    As for your continued attacks on people with spines, people who actually do things, I’m sick of the wussy brigade’s ranks who thinks social justice arrives as some divine pearl of wisdom plucked off the half shell by a boy pecking on his keyboard.

    Your constant vilification of all who actually put their ass on the line for some rough form of justice is EXACTLY what a right wing think tank would pay somebody to do. When you grow up, I see a bright future as a right wing talk show host, because that’s where they come from, initially “lefty” loner sociopaths who fail to develop a following. Morama, give nothing and demands adulation for meaningless drivel with your multiple sequential postings and long quotes that are meant to obscure all the times you get caught in your never ending series of character assassinations and lies.

  31. February 8, 2011

    Don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming. Afterall, her ex-husband was the Republican.

    just to be a pedant, but i don’t judge people by their marriage partners. unless i have specific information about their relationship. i’m of mixed ‘race’ and it’s always amusing to hear what people think was the cause/environment/orientation/whatever of my parents’ relationship. mom has very amusing stories about their time in the civil rights movement, back when that sort of coupling was considered ‘controversial.’ i do know arianna’s ex is gay, and i will speculate about how that may have had an impact on their relationship and her politics, but that’s all i know and beyond that i won’t assume.

    on topic:
    -i’m not so sure HuffPo has had much of progressive policy “impact.” someone above thinks so in the case of CA but i don’t know why. but even if that’s true, one blogger i respect likes to say “this blog is not a vehicle for organizing and activism.” did HuffPo expressly begin as an activism/policy blog? i can’t recall that if so. but afaic: blogging =/= activism. nor reporting, with the exception of actual meatspace or research type journalism.

    -otoh in sheer moral terms, it’s pretty disgusting to know that huffpo is what it is because of all that unpaid effort at the beginning. just as a moral act of decency Arianna should take some of that money and say, reward the top ten thousand from those early days, the ones who brought in the traffic. it’s not like she needs the money, she was rich to begin with (by any progressive standard of “how much is enough” that is).

    -while i actually doubt that Ian would take 1M for this blog, speaking more generally, it’s a valid point. blogging is a little bit like gambling, in a way. you put your shit out there and see if any sucker wants to pay you for it, if only as an aside because you know sometimes that happens. i, unlike the valiant and highly moral Mr. Welsh, would take a million for my trademark or whatever. the point i’m making is that implicit in the minds of many bloggers who blog for free is that like in a lottery, some of them are going to cash out. are we bitter when that happens to someone else? maybe. but i don’t think anyone who blogs hasn’t had the thought of hitting the cash out jackpot cross their minds at least once.

  32. susan permalink
    February 8, 2011

    I still miss Billmon.

  33. February 8, 2011

    Man, I like football but some of these comments are funny. OTOH, we have the usual tirsome line about homoerotic subtext and otoh an almost worshipful pean to Green Bay and the Packers.

    Both are off for different reasons. One is silliness straight out a bad “Gender Studies 101″ class while the other notion that Green Bay’s victory represents a “little guy” FU to corporate.inc is kind of absurd. You’d be hard pressed to find a more corporate.inc institution than the NFL or corporate.inc event than the Superbowl. Green Bay is a cornerstone franchise in the NFL. Heck, the championship trophy of the corporate.inc NFL marquee game is named after their legendary coach. They are part and parcel of the league and not some underdog “little guys from a small scrappy Midwest city…..insert rest of mythology…..”

    Now if you want a more likely FU-to-corporate.inc candidate in the NFL, I’d suggest the Oakland Raiders.

  34. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 8, 2011

    Wow, S Brennan, what are you on about? I didn’t say anything about racism….you did. My point’s about the Genius of the Crowd. If that Genius sometimes, or oftentimes in the past, involves racism, especially in certain parts of the country, that’s not my fault, and it’s not the main point. Everything else you said was based off of your non sequitur, so it’s rendered irrelevant.

  35. S Brennan permalink
    February 8, 2011

    DancingOpossum,

    I didn’t write the piece, John Caruso did, it was in response to Robert Lipsyte’s self congratulatory commentary. Apparently, like our “Morama”…Lipsyte is:

    “….still bitter all these years later over the “high school jocks” who “shouldered him in the halls”, decides to take a ride on the reliable left hobby horse of football bashing. It’s a by-the-numbers bit of doctrinaire liberal cultural analysis that hits all the points you’d expect to see: vicarious proxy war, sexism, testosterone, soccer rejectionism (which he somehow fails to link explicitly to homophobia, though the subtext is certainly there), and even dog fighting to give the whole exercise some currency. I won’t bother excerpting it since I’m sure you can predict what it’s going to say as easily as I did before I read it…”

  36. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 8, 2011

    S Brennan, you forgot where I said I used to watch football, so I was guilty as charged once upon a time. And then, fortunately, and very much unlike yourself, I grew up and realized it for what it was.

    At this point, all of the hullabaloo over this silly game, and sports in general, is insane if you care to step outside of it and view it objectively.

    Like I said, though, I’m not begrudging you guys your jollies. If you dig men grinding on other men, have at it. Just don’t be afraid to call it what it is. Come out of the closet. Don’t be afraid.

  37. S Brennan permalink
    February 8, 2011

    All people have to do is go up thread to find out you can’t post with lying…for those lazy.

    “Why don’t we call football what it really is instead of hypocritically beating around the bush. It’s a well-disguised, or not so well-disguised, homoerotic sadomasochistic orgy celebrated by a broad cross section of Americans, including a sizable percentage of Fundamentalist Christians who publically excoriate homosexuality….I have nothing against such endeavors”

    -Morama

    On his first post on this thread using the gay bashing/baiting technique. Next he makes a innuendo that reveals his racist inclination and then returns to gay bashing. What a charmer.

    Morama, is today’s liberal, he’s got misogyny, racism, gay bashing, elitism, class based entitlement all wrapped up in a sissy package. What’s not to like?

  38. February 8, 2011

    *popcorn smiley*

  39. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 8, 2011

    I said this in that post up thread, S Brennan, but apparently you can’t read.

    Personally, I stopped watching it years ago when I finally realized it for what it was.

    I also said this, and it’s not gay bashing, it’s calling out hypocrisy. You appear very defensive about it. The shoe must fit quite nicely.

    I have nothing against such endeavors, but let’s at least call it for what it is. It’s an Ernst Roehm wet dream fantasy. A bunch of grown men brutally groping, and salivating over, one another in carefully crafted costumes. Men are so peculiar when it comes to showing their affections and sexual predilections towards other men. They have to disguise it in the form of brutality and naked, or uniformed, aggression…..and so we get football…. and war….and so on.

    All I’m asking is that you, the football players, and all the fans just come clean and call it for what it is. I’m not saying give it up. I don’t want the economy to collapse any further, I just want you all to be honest. Study your history, S Brennan. Being homoerotic didn’t have such a stigma attached to it. There was no need to pretend back in the good old days. If you all come out together, you don’t have to pretend either. It’s okay, really. I’ll hold your hand if you like, and if you’re good, I’ll even smack your backside.

  40. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 9, 2011

    All this talk about football calls for another episode of What’s My Perversion. Like so many say about the Superbowl.,the commercials are particularly entertaining. Funny how Woody didn’t do a spoof on his perverted predilection for young, nubile adolescent females.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoTDK95Ua94&feature=related

  41. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 9, 2011

    Let’s keep the personal stuff out of it, folks.

  42. David permalink
    February 9, 2011

    S Brennan, you read far too much into what people write – primarily to cause trouble where none exists.

  43. February 9, 2011

    I’ll refrain from typing out my venom towards the Green Bay Packers and their fans…and this is something i know a bit about, given that there’s a giant Packers helmet made of snow on the corner. But i will say that i’ve grown tired of the attempt to link GB to some socialist experiment within the NFL.

    American politics already resembles NFL fandom too fucking much, let’s not tie politics directly to teams, ok?

    Oh, and S.B. overstates the intellectualism of football greatly. I’m not saying that there isn’t strategy or that there’s no intellectual interest to be found, just saying that it is not such a great, thoughtful game. The attempt to paint football as chess vs. baseball as checkers is particularly laughable.

    But whatever, America’s deeply infatuated with handegg because it televises well and even idiots “get it”. Rubgy is a far more interesting game to watch. Baseball is much more intellectually stimulating. Hockey is far more beautiful (and at least as violent).

    I’d rank football as the least interesting sport, which probably explains why American’s love it so much. And i like football. I particularly like college football, but the NFL is utterly boring.

  44. John B. permalink
    February 9, 2011

    I echo Susan…

  45. S Brennan permalink
    February 9, 2011

    Lex,

    I mentioned this twice, maybe 3′s a charm

    “I didn’t write the piece, John Caruso did, it was in response to Robert Lipsyte’s self congratulatory commentary.” Apparently, like our “Morama”…Lipsyte is:

    “….still bitter all these years later over the “high school jocks” who “shouldered him in the halls”, decides to take a ride on the reliable left hobby horse of football bashing. It’s a by-the-numbers bit of doctrinaire liberal cultural analysis that hits all the points you’d expect to see: vicarious proxy war, sexism, testosterone, soccer rejectionism (which he somehow fails to link explicitly to homophobia, though the subtext is certainly there), and even dog fighting to give the whole exercise some currency. I won’t bother excerpting it since I’m sure you can predict what it’s going to say as easily as I did before I read it…”

    Go read it, John Caruso and the criticism that follows all of it pretty good.

    http://www.distantocean.com/2011/02/footballism.html

  46. February 9, 2011

    Enough already. Goodness, if you like a sport, you like it. That’s fine in and of itself but this need to categorize them by their “intellectual” rank is George Willish level pretension. NONE of these sports are particulary intellectual and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that at all. In terms of popularity, the NFl is top dog right now but that wasn’t always the case. Baseball had a long run at the top, so did boxing and even the NBA snuck in there for a bit.

    I have to diagree about the NFL vs College football comparison. The NFL may be over the top in terms of it’s societal effect but the actual games are usually contests well into the 4 qt. OTOH, college football is generally atrocious until the conf. championships and bowl games. Most of the games are the top teams blowing out lesser teams by halftime. It’s not too often where you have a say, Alburn or LSU playing several nailbiters during the reg.season and talk about corruption!, college football is an absolute cesspool.

    As an aside, the problem with the NHL in the US is that its regular season is just awful and a long slog but, their saving grace is that playoff hockey is absolutely amazing.

    Anyway, Morrocco Bama’s baiting of S. Brennan via the homoerotic trope is amusing though I thought that kind dubious “analysis” of sports died with the 80s.

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