"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 29, 2010

The Totempwog and the Pwogfather: A Corollary


Whenever the Pwogfather (or in very rare instances, usually during an interregnum, a Pwogmother) violates some part of the liberal canon, look for liberals to turn to the Totempwog for succor. So that the amount of attention paid the Totempwog has an inverse relation to the amount of canon violation currently undertaken by the Pwogfather.

Thanks to Spartacus and Charles Oxtrot for the inspiration.


Richard said...

OT: what's with Skeptical Eye putting out right wing talking points about Chavez, and claiming that it's an anarchist position?

and, the purported explanation in the comments is even more embarrassing

I mean, Chavez is like Hitler???

the left supported Hitler and Mussolini???

is anything taught in the schools anywhere anymore?

Jack Crow said...

Dunno. Hadn't checked back. Will now.

Jack Crow said...

But damn, did you handle that.

Anonymous said...

imitating Bunk Moreland**, I say:


**ref: The Wire

I thought it was weak and sad when Pwogland circled their meagre wagons made of toothpicks and balsa, and protected Wee Denny the Circus Midget.

But Alan Grayson?

Holy absurdity, Batman.

I guess we should be glad Miss Digby isn't declaring Steny Hoyer the true pwog-buddha. I guess.

I just don't get the lowest-common-denominator gig of stumping for Grayson. He's a shit.

Maybe it's an indirect plea for Israel?

Jack Crow said...


Dennis almost occasionally lived up to the title, however dubious the honor. Those balsa wood defenses gave the progressive cosmos its first taste of fidelity in almost a generation.

And what'd he do with it?

Yielded at the first opportunity, to take a hack job fundraising.

It's like he almost enjoyed the idea of betrayal trading his "moral stance" for the commission.

Will the pwoglanders forget all this, when it comes to Grayson.




Richard said...

yeah, even Oliver Stone has signed on, bizarre.

Anonymous said...


Pwogtopia showed its stripes quite a few years ago, when Markos Zuniga and Howard Dean worked together to "create a grassroots movement" via MoveOn.org, and then curiously watched over a million dollars disappear from MO's coffers under the watch of Messrs Dean and Zuniga. Shortly thereafter, "Doctor" Dean took the position as Chair of the DNC, in which role he stopped his "shouting" of complaints at the Repub-emulation of the "other" Democrats who were his supposed arch-enemy while he was still a "grassroots" candidate for the Donkey POTUS Nomination.

Then along comes Wee Denny, Circus Clown to repeat the same "grassroots" support gig, only to rebuke his supporters in favor of Obamaphilic sycophancy re health care "reform."

Hey, it's almost like there's some kind of pattern here.

Jack Crow said...

Good pattern recognition you've got, Charles. Really good.

Anonymous said...

It's not too different from the Sierra Club and the other NPR-fan-favorite "green" advocacy groups being co-opted by the interests of the polluter-rapist-despoiler class.

Or the running of AIG as a CIA front company for corporate espionage, then pretending that AIG is "failing" and in need of bailout when AIG patriarch Hank Greenberg wants to retire and his sons are too stupid to run the AIG business conglomerate.

The patterns are everywhere. The only question I ever have is, how are they shown in any given area of socio-economic interest.

Richard said...

there is a consistency to this that renders such behaviour complimentary

pwogtopia is not a poltical movement in the classic sense of the term, one centered around transforming society according to its ideology

no, it is more analoguous to a social identity, a club, where you can be a member as long as you say the right things, it is about feeling good about yourself without forcing anyone to do anything that might make your life uncomfortable

hence, the support for people like Dean and Kucinich who gratify their emotional needs through progressive political statements, while ultimately going along for the corporatist line

Marxist-Leninists have wrongly maligned anarchists for being more concerned with personal purity than with accomplishments through political engagement, but it actually fits here

Jack Crow said...


I think this explains both what I outlined above, and the patterns Charles has identified.

As an identity, it operates without any accomplishments.

But, this means that those identifiers which define the group must be continuously reinforced.

In the case of most progressives, some Exemplar will do.

After Obama failed the test, miserably (the Candidate became the President), the progressive community settled almost immediately on Kucinich, as a temporary replacement Dean, who himself was a mere stand in for goodman Nader.

For a subset, of course, it's always been Hillary, but that's another story.

Being progressives, they are utterly attached to the primary identifier, Good Government.

Everything they do centers on capturing the state in order to [insert thing that the state does, which confirms their pre-existing group identity].

But, once the party leader begins the actual business of government, and reveals that he was all along really just a guy who liked power, the progs split into two almost predictable groups - the Realists and the True Progressives.

The Realists adhere to the pwogfather, the TPs to the Totempwog.

I suppose we could make a triptych of this at some point, and inject an anti-Pwog, but that's for a later date.

And the old narrative begins all over again, with the Totem seduced by the Father until the Totem realizes the error of his idealist ways, or the Totem being cast out for failing to bring his fold back into the larger camp of power...

Jay Taber said...

I touched on this http://fwe.cwis.org/2007/10/04/fabric-of-identity/ a while back.

Jay Taber said...

Just checked identity as a search term on my blog. It happens that it comes up http://skookumgeoduck.blogspot.com/search?q=identity quite a bit. Thanks for the reminder.

Jay Taber said...

One more http://tbarj.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/lost-souls/ over at Friends.

Jack Crow said...


Thanks for the links and the heads up. Spent a chunk of the last few off-line, watching my kids play.

Or reading books with paper pages.

It's really not all that relevant, but I just started "The Invention of the Jewish People," and it's immediately absorbing.

Again, thanks - and thanks all.

PS - Al, if you're reading this - much obliged to you.

With enduring respect,


easyplankin said...

Totempwog and pwogfather - useful concepts