Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Wingnut Bracketology: The West
They may be the future columnists of Townhall.com, but for now these diaper dandies are still in school. And they’re gearing up for college wingnutball’s grand stage – the NCAA Division I Wankoffs. Yes, March Barking Madness is sure to be as exciting as ever this year, as wet-behind-the-ears wankers from university newspapers across the country vie with each other for a shot at the Final 4-F. It's not as fast-and-spurious as the professional circuit, but unlike the pros, these amateur wingnuts do it purely for the love of the wank. All across the nation, fans of a more traditional brand of wingnutball are watching these young keyboardists play the game at its purest – just solid, fundamental wankery without the government bribes or the think tank sinecures.
This year’s crop of talent includes players from unheralded schools such as Arkansas Tech and Eastern Washington University. Meanwhile, storied programs such as UCLA’s have fallen out of the rankings … in the Bruins’ case, the loss of sexually confused master debater Ben Shapiro simply too much of a hole to fill in just one season.
The wankoffs may still be a month from now, but with the regular season well underway it’s time to look at the wingnuts emerging from the pack. This week, a preview of the top teams in the West Region:
1. Colorado State Rams
The Skinny: This juggernaut of wingnuttery does everything well – from bashing the French and Cindy Sheehan … to demanding that the exercise of First Amendment rights in wartime be tried as treason. Boasting not one, but two wingnut All-Americans in senior marketing major Ryan Chapman and senior speech communication major Tyler Wittman, the Rams are the prohibitive favorites to emerge from the tough Western Regional Wankoffs for a shot at the title. Most scouts give Chapman the slight edge in pure wanking talent over Wittman, due to the former’s willingness to heave up smears from literally anywhere on the court. But in reality the pair complement each other perfectly, with creative slanderer Chapman covering the broad topic of liberal treason and boring-threat Wittman focusing more narrowly on the evils of homosexuality and abortion. Some of their top performances:
ON TREASONOUS FREE SPEECH AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF: “You also may be wondering how in the hell people can get away with rooting against their own country in a time of war, like I am. I have all the respect in the world for the First Amendment but this goes way beyond that. As far as I am concerned this behavior is treason and should be tried as such. The only problem is that I have no physical evidence of my claims; it just happens to be a theory of mine.”
ON MIND-READING: “[David] Letterman struggled to refrain from cheering aloud for terrorists and their insurgent counterparts and simply ended the interview.”
ON LIBERAL RELIGION: “Liberals pray more to their pagan gods for the wellbeing of the U.N. and prisoners of the luxurious Gautanamo Bay than they ever would for the men and women who give them their freedom.”
ON HOW TO DEAL WITH DISSENT BY NON-PROFESSIONALS: “Anyway there you have it, proof that all protesters can be idiots, not just the ones who want peace. The way I would suggest resolving this situation, is to have the police of Crawford simply start tear-gassing the crowd, on BOTH sides of the road until they return to wherever it is they came from. Hopefully that way we can get back to letting the professionals solve the problems of the world without the input of a bunch of nutcases in a field.”
ON THE NEW 'HIPSTER' LINGO: “Take the case of conservatives who still support the war on terror. Chided by their liberal counterparts for being blind followers of the ‘Fuhrer’ (hip liberal slang for President Bush, likening him to Adolf Hitler - I wonder how Jews feel about this comparison), these conservatives are the ones most likely to have an encounter with a liberal that is worthy of a Steve Erwin special.”
ON A FAUSTIAN (AND FURRY) BARGAIN FOR ‘CHICKENHAWK’ ACCUSERS: “Regardless of your political affiliation, if you support the war on terror then you must either shut up or join the armed forces. In the interest of equal and fair treatment to all, however, I will have to ask that everyone commit their lives to everything that they support. If you are a hippie who supports not bathing and pot-smoking, please go live with monkeys (just not bears, someone recently had some bad luck with that one).”
ON TAKING A HARD STANCE ON GAYS: “I stand firm in the truth, as written in the Bible, that homosexuality is a sin.”
ON CURING HOMOSEXUALITY: “Do not misunderstand me though, I am not advocating for an acceptance or ‘tolerance’ of the gay lifestyle. I believe anyone can be freed from a homosexual lifestyle if they seek the proper help and guidance. I believe the Bible is the truth and that is where I get these ideas. You may not agree with this, but the Bible doesn't require your approval of its veracity. Some of you would write me off as a raging lunatic, and so be it.”
ON THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN AMERICAN ‘MID-EASTERNERS’ AND, UM, THOSE OTHER ONES WHO HATE US FOR OUR BASEBALL: “The Middle East. No, I'm not talking about Iowa, where the spuds are plentiful and people are depressed all year long (I smell a connection). No, rather I'm talking about those crazy, fun-loving people on the other side of the globe who seem so intent on killing one another and even us - baseball-loving Americans.”
Coach’s Corner: Few teams in the nation possess the one-two punch of Colorado State. Leftists reeling from a Tuesday op-ed from Wittman are typically put out for the count by Chapman’s Thursday screed.
Go-To Play: The Pick Your Nose and Roll
Can Be Compared To: Ben Shapiro (Chapman), Kyle Williams (Wittman)
Outlook: A solid bet to go all the way.
2. Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys*
The Skinny: This Little Project that Could is shocking the big boys of wankery on a weekly basis. Featuring just one frontline starter in conservative opinion columnist John Burris, the Wonder Boys nevertheless have to be considered a top seed in the region on the strength of pure offensive wanking alone. A master of improvisation, Burris’ specialty is pushing the ball upcourt with reckless abandon - his mind seemingly out-of-control and with little regard for the punishment absorbed by his thought process. But more times than not, he punctuates his free-form drives with a slam-dunk, as these greatest hits attest:
ON CONSERVATISM VS. LIBERALISM: “If the words ‘Dude, I know stuff about the government,’ have ever come out of your mouth, your beliefs are probably more in line with that of a Liberal. On the other hand, if you started singing an old Randy Travis song when you read the first part of this sentence, you can more than likely call yourself a Conservative.”
ON WHINING ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA, PLUS A NEW DEFINITION OF 'PUN': “Whether it be from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Reverend Jessie Jackson, or the well-respected Kanye West (pun intended), there seems to be a never-ceasing cry of hatred and neglect on the part of the government.”
ON WHY WE WENT TO WAR: “Saddam was in violation of numerous U.N. sanctions, and he didn't care. He was on the path to re-developing his nuclear stockpile, and nobody would stop him. … Well, we all know how that ended. The United States Armed Forces solved yet another world catastrophe, single handedly, while others stood by and watched.”
ON HOW HILLARY IS MAKING IRAN PURSUE NUKES AND TAKE UP SPELUNKING: “I find it hard not to laugh while watching Hillary attempt to take a ‘hard-line’ approach to the Iranian regime (the one thing that helps me keep a straight face is the somber realization of the effects of Iran possessing a nuclear bomb). No doubt the Iranian regime is rolling around in their cave in laughter as well.”
Credit the Tech coaching staff for the Wonder Boys’ run of success. The humble Burris is the first to offer thanks to one coach who helped him refine his game:
ON WHY WE NEED TO SHOOT HILL … UH, WAIT, WE’RE NOT SURE WHO HE WANTS US TO SHOOT IN THIS EXAMPLE: “As one of my favorite professors always says, ‘There are those people in history that you had to pay off, and then there were those that you had to shoot.’ That explains why Hillary Clinton is a millionaire, and President Bush has to wear a bulletproof vest.”
Coach’s Corner: Relentless is the only word to describe the Wonder Boy offense spearheaded by Burris. Few teams in wingnutball operate the run-and-shoot with the pedal-to-the-metal intensity of Tech, which maintains that paragraph breaks are for sissies … instead opting to vomit an entire op-ed in one seamless chunk of war-mongering nonsense.
Go-To Play: Cross-over contradiction from top of the keyboard that leaves opponents going, “Huh?” Classic example: “I have said it before and I will say it again. Conservative beliefs are more in line with the beliefs that most Christians in America hold. That is not my opinion.”
Can Be Compared To: Pastor J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Outlook: Wonder Boys ride Burris to the No. 2 seed in the West and deep into the NCAA tournament.
* No, really.
3. UC Davis Aggies
The Skinny: In most instances, to call a wingnutball team “selfish” would be a criticism of its play. But in the case of the Aggies, “selfishness” is a virtue. That’s because floor general Josh Diedesch is able to sneak up on opponents with statist-bashing forays to the goal that lean heavily on the tried-but-true Randian playbook … without ever mentioning it. Some examples qua examples:
ON PRODUCERS VS. MOOCHERS: “Modern liberals generally employ the language of Marxist class struggle; hence, you hear all sorts of rhetoric denouncing ‘the rich’ for causing poverty. The modern liberal believes that it is the proper role of government to forcibly redistribute wealth from the rich (read: productive) to the poor (read: unproductive).”
ON WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT: “What better way to enjoy Christmas than embracing and celebrating the fruits of your productive ability? Christmas is not ‘too materialistic’; it is the time to celebrate life in the objective, material world in which we live … celebrating productive ability is what Christmas is all about. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, ‘That sounds selfish.’ That is because it is. When I give my wife a gift, I feel joy beyond description. It is a truly selfish act and is the reason why I work.”
ON WHAT THANKSGIVING IS REALLY ALL ABOUT: “So on Thanksgiving, don’t feel guilty about how much America consumes and the abundance we enjoy relative to the rest of the world - it has been earned. Instead, celebrate the brilliance of human ingenuity and the ever-improving quality of life made possible by free people (and hydrocarbons).”
ON THE USELESSNESS OF DIPLOMACY, PLUS A COOL USE OF ‘FECKLESS': “If diplomatic channels fail, which is inevitable, the United States must be prepared to destroy Iran's nuclear capability by any means necessary. The danger posed by an Iranian nuclear weapon is simply too great to rely upon the disingenuous promises of a terrorist nation, or the feckless and weak attempts at appeasement by our European allies.”
ON HOW WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR BAZILLIONS OF DEAD POLAR BEARS, BUT WARY OF AL GORE AND BILL O’REILLY TEAMING UP TO ENSLAVE US: “Perhaps you have heard the theory that the average global temperature is rising due to human activities like driving cars and using hairspray. You have probably heard all about how carbon dioxide is released when humans burn hydrocarbons, or when blowhards like Al Gore [!] and Bill O’Reilly [!!] speak. …
“You have probably also heard about how it is all Americans’ fault because America consumes a bazillion times more oil than it produces. Or it is America’s fault because it generates a gajillion times more carbon dioxide than any other country. In short, you have probably heard all of the alleged bad things about modern life and how it floods island nations and kills polar bears.
“But what about the benefits?
“What about those ‘evil’ automobiles that spew ‘greenhouse gases’ and are ‘destroying the world’? That automobile you drive makes it possible for you to drive to Berkeley for the week’s Greenpeace protest and still make it back in time to study for your Intro to Junk Science midterm.”
ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF ENACTING EVEN A SINGLE, NARROW ANTI-PROFITEERING REGULATION: "Why stop at prescription drugs? … We should continue until we have stamped out the last vestiges of such bourgeois ideals as self-determination and individual liberty. It will be a wonderful, egalitarian paradise with unicorns and rainbows!”
Coach’s Corner: Three-hour locker room pep talks from John Galt before games set tone for Diedesch, who “swears - by my life and my love of it - that I will never wank for the sake of another wingnut, nor ask another wingnut to wank for me.”
Go-To Play: A is A
Can Be Compared To: Leonard Peikoff
Outlook: A dark horse in the wankoffs, but don’t tell that to the Aggies’ legions of 16-year-old fans making the transition from Goth to a more cerebral identity crisis that will give the gift of embarrassing memories for decades to come.
4. Stanford Cardinal
The Skinny: When Stanford’s John Komkov and Matt Martin come to wank, they bring an array of rhetorical pick-and-rolls, cuts and diversions that leave many an opponent befuddled, beaten and reaching for a thesaurus. Some may complain that a blunt “Liberals hate Jesus!” is the better argument to counter opponents of Intelligent Design, but the Cardinal’s Triangulation Offense, for all its Byzantine sophistry, also gets the job done:
ON WHY POSITIVISM SHOULD NEVER TRUMP EXTRA-SCHOLASTIC MODES OF VERIFICATION … OR SOMETHING EQUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PARAPHRASE SNARKILY: “But it would be totally wrong to grant positivist thought the status of philosophy. True philosophy relies on a unitary body that is shattered in the face of ‘empirical philosophy’. For empirical philosophy, originating in the 17th century with such laymen experts as Voltaire (Philosophie de l’historie) and Lamarck ( Philosophie de la Nature), supplants extra-scholastic modes of verification with countless inductive hypotheses about disparate fields. Ultimately, the contempt for any idea of God makes for an ungrounded world. When the focus of an argument does not lie within itself nor in God, it is impractical because it is subject to every external dictate.”
ON WHAT IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO (MINUS THE CORPSE OF THE FROG IN A REDUCED ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE STEW): “If we boil it down, the problem of evolution is the problem of how the spirit functions in an unspiritual age.”
ON WHY AMERICA NEEDS TO FREE FOREIGNERS FROM THEIR GULAGS (AND PUT THEM IN OUR OWN): “While September 11th provided some perspective on the evil we face, it is easy to lose sight of the enemy when we are watching the daily news briefs of deaths and car bombs. … [I]t may be helpful to turn, as I did this summer, to the writings of those who have experienced the stark reality of evil and oppression. One example of such literature is Warning to the West by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winning author who spent eight years in a Soviet gulag and most of his life as a Soviet dissident.”
Coach’s Corner: The bibliography of Stanford’s playbook is thicker than most of the actual playbooks of their opponents in the West Regional. This may be an advantage for now, but the Cardinal are anxiously awaiting a ruling by the NCAA on a Colorado State-proposed playbook burning rally ahead of the wankoffs.
Go-To Play: The Backdoor Appeal to Authority
Can Be Compared To: Allan Bloom
Outlook: Stanford ought to finish out the regular season in top form, but in the wankoffs, it’s usually pure up-and-down wingnuttery that rules the day. That could spell doom for the Cardinal’s cerebral style of play.
5. Oregon Ducks
The Skinny: Depth is an issue for the Ducks, with big-time wanking talent in short supply on the Oregon bench. Star player Kristen Brock’s greatest hit may be her only hit:
ON WHY THE PROBLEM IS THE FISA STATUTE, NOT BUSH’S FLOUTING OF IT: “Many agree that the president should be using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain information from al-Qaeda members. The act, which was passed in 1978, allows officials to get warrants from a secret eleven-member court. However, the FISA court isn’t always fast enough, or it sometimes serves as an obstacle in and of itself.”
Coach’s Corner: Brock clearly knows her way around the courts, but one spectacular rationalization does not a champion make.
Go-To Play: The Naked Constitutional Bootleg
Can Be Compared To: Victoria Toensing
Outlook: Bounced in the early rounds
6. Eastern Washington Eagles
The Skinny: Another team without as much firepower as it would like. Jake Murray provides the offense with an array of Ted Kennedy “jokes”, Pro Life tut-tutting and literary criticism:
ON A SUGGESTION FOR A CHAPTER IN 'MY SENATOR AND ME' TO FOLLOW THE DOO-DOO ON THE SENATE FLOOR EPISODE: “Ted Kennedy has announced that he is releasing a children’s book in May. … What is going on? When did corrupt people get to write children’s books? Not only did Kennedy get expelled from Harvard for cheating, he killed a woman! I wonder if he’ll be covering that aspect of his life in the book.”
ON THAT ONE PART IN THE ‘LEFT BEHIND’ SERIES THEY ACCIDENTALLY FORGOT TO MENTION: “When a bloated, morally-defunct man can write a book for kids, I expect the skies to part and God to bring down the apocalypse.”
ON MORE RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION AND DISJOINTED USE OF TENSE: “On Jan. 22, 1973 the Supreme Court handed irresponsible women a license to kill and a free-pass on accountability in one tragically skewed decision. The Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion for the first time, has since resulted in more deaths than the United States could amass in 10,000 wars in Iraq. As for the quality of the lives lost, we will never know. But the simple fact that the fetus didn’t develop a personality doesn’t change the fact that it would have, had its life not been cut short. The line between road-side bombs and forceps suddenly becomes dangerously thin.”
Coach’s Corner: Murray has tremendous upside as a primetime wanker … but needs to hone his game with more than just Ted Kennedy smears
Go-To Play: The Chappaquiddick Cheap Shot
Can Be Compared To: Ann Coulter
Outlook: Eagles' slim wankoff hopes are still alive ... but Mary Jo Kopechne's not!
On the Bubble: BYU Cougars
The Skinny: The Cougars are always a factor in the West, and this bit of anti-gay wankery shows why:
ON THE TWIN ARBITERS OF MORALITY (EXCEPT, IN THE CHURCH’S CASE, IT’S ‘A MAN AND A WOMAN AND A WOMAN AND A WOMAN'): “… as U.S. President George W. Bush and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have stated, marriage is sacred and between a man and a woman.”
But for all its rich wanking history, BYU dropped out of the rankings earlier this season with this shocker of an editorial: Opinion: Dancing not a crime.
What the Cougars need to do to get back in the race: Renounce the apostasy of Kevin Bacon