Tokyo Damage Report


Middlemen. I hate them. How I hate them. Why is it that the least useful, least necessary motherfuckers wind up being the most powerful? They insert themselves in between the maker of shit and the buyer of shit, adding nothing, and slowly little-by-little they assume the role of gate-keeper. Pretty soon they’re making all the rules, making all the money,. . .taking over . . .. they grow fatter and fatter until finally they’re more of a wall than a conduit.
Why hasn’t anyone pointed out that all the fuckers behind America’s 2008 collapse – real estate agents, health insurance companies, stockbrokers – the common thread is they are all fucking middle-men! They don’t MAKE the houses, they don’t OWN the companies that issue stocks, they sure as SHIT never actually did any damn brain surgery. And don’t get me started about record companies.
But those are not the middlemen I am ranting about. There is a whole ‘nother, leeching, cocksucking, tiresome BATCH of middlemen that are fucking up our country: PUNDITS. They’re the same general phylum of scum as rock critics, but a) they wear suits and b) people care.
Pundits are the goofballs on TV – not just FOX but legitimate news shows as well, CNN or whatever. They drag these people on to talk about issues. But these motherfuckers have no more qualifications than you or I. Of course, I’m an old, bitter drunk, but you – the reader – don’t YOU have absolutely brilliant opinions about shit? Especially after a few shots of tequila? Don’t YOU have the requisite number of arms, legs, and necks to put on a suit and a spiffy bow tie? Why does some dick with a new book out get an audience of 2,000,000 people and YOU get stuck explaining shit to the next dude at the bar with his dandruff-breath WTF?
It goes beyond pundits being unqualified. They’re also unaccountable. If a politician is wrong or lies, they get called out, or voted out – but pundits can lie all they want and no one even cares. If anyone even notices, it’s just proof that THEY (the complainer) are biased.  
If a politician takes money from a sponsor, it can be illegal or corrupt, like that Alaska governor who had a government contractor build him a free house. Fired! But pundits are SUPPOSED to get paid by backers. In fact, some pundits’ whole qualification for being on TV is that they are a member of such-and-such a think tank. The fuck is a think tank? A think tank is what happens when some rich crank pays douches to sit around and advocate for his point of view, because the eggheads can make his message sound more persuasive than simply, “I’M FUCKIN’ RICH, CAN’T YOU SEE? EVERYONE DO THINGS MY WAY! I DIDN’T GET THESE CATAMARANS BY DOING THINGS YOUR LITTLE BULLSHIT WAY! I CAN BUY AND SELL YOUR SORRY ASS A HUNDRED TIMES OVER! NOW CHANGE THAT LAW SO I CAN MAKE EVEN MORE DUBLOONS! ARRRR!” but I digress. Think tanks. Pfeh.
Anyway, pundits can go on vacations that Reupert Murdoch pays for or go on speaking tours or get a free melon or whatever and it’s cool.
Also, unlike reporters OR scientists, no one cares if a pundit’s predictions are wrong half the time, or even if they turn out to be wrong 90% of the time. It’s not their job to be accurate or accountable. It’s their job to fill up space in the 24-hour news cycle. Whatever happens the next 24 hours is like a whole different deal, apparently.
So pundits basically combine the power of politicians with the accountability of entertainment people, plus the pretention of scientists, without any of the good points of the three.
A pox on all them, even ones I agree with!
Another problem with pundits is the ‘echo chamber’ effect – where they will take some little bullshit thing and keep repeating it amongst themselves until it seems like a legitimate news story. That one is pretty obvious so enough said.
A more interesting, less obvious way that pundits pervert and corrupt public discourse is, you get these news reports that have no actual news. It’s all “Here’s what Bill said about George’s reaction to Peggy’s opinion of the President’s speech.” Basically the entire journalism structure has been turned into a junior high school girls’ bathroom.
WTF whatever happened to reporters leaving the studio and uncovering facts? Interviewing actual people who are affected by the issues?
But wait, it gets even more insidious. Because, even if a pundit says something I agree with – like if John Stewart takes the piss out of Sean Hannity or whatever – even if he’s totally right on, at the end of the day he just wasted 5 minutes talking about someone who doesn’t matter. Talking about a middleman! Instead of talking to someone whose home was foreclosed on, someone who actually did derivatives swapping, someone who actually went bankrupt because of medical bills despite having insurance, etc. DOYYYYY.
And that’s just the problem with pundits in general. It gets even worse when you’re talking about FOX news people. These guys are happier than pigs in shit because they know the game is rigged. It’s heads-they-win, tails-we-lose. They’ll say some bullshit, some retarded thing about you, and if you ignore it, then they just punked you. But if you retaliate, then they can complain to a million people, “Bias in the liberal media! Look how they are trying to censor us, the oppressed white male minority! We need to take back America, waaah.”
It beats me why smart people still even talk back to the FOX people. I mean, you could fill a whole shelf with books that have been published – each book documenting and correcting lies of FOX commentators, lie after lie after lie, painstakingly exposed. And these books are like 10 years old, and the FOX people are more popular than ever. It’s like, yo, chump! You think if you expose a lie, somehow they’ll be ashamed? Or apologize? Or their fans will be like, “Whoa! My role model has been insulting my intelligence! I should re-think my priorities in life.” WTF! The whole PURPOSE of the FOX people is to create their own little universe, their own set of facts, which is totally independent of facts that everyone else uses. That is their whole reason for being- that’s the point of an echo-chamber. They want to make it impossible to reach consensus about anything, and thus eliminate the possibility of rational debate.
Which is funny as fuck, because that is the exact same agenda of the super-left-wing ivory-tower post-modern academics, with their relativism and their “truth is just a social construct” and their deconstructionism and ‘nothing is really real’ and shit. That’s been a huge part of ‘radical’ academic theory for decades, but – dooooooooooinks – the only people who are able to put that theory into practice are these un-educated right-wing populist louts. (who, incidentally, are the first people to scream bloody murder about the wackos teaching un-American subversive thoughts in the universities, so that’s the icing on the irony cake).
In conclusion, FUCK THE MAN.



15 comments Tags: ,

15 Comments so far

  1. Baka_toroi November 26th, 2009 9:11 am

    You know what’s worse? I want to be a pundit. I got to some of the same conclusions you got to (I’m not saying I’m smart) and realized that it’s the best job.

    * No actual work
    * No real accountability
    * Gifts
    * Enough money

    Plus, it seems to be lots of fun.

  2. TRex November 26th, 2009 10:27 am

    spiffy bow tie = Tucker Carlson?
    Actually, I think he gave that up for a normal tie after that episode with chuckles the video store clerk.
    And what pray tell is wrong with being a bitter old drunk? Except for your choice of cactus swill over triple filtered top shelf vodka?
    But that’s just my opinion. ; )

  3. BOD November 26th, 2009 10:43 am

    This is why I get all my punditry from TDR. No middle man!

  4. Sophisto November 26th, 2009 7:11 pm

    Reasonably explained observation that I agree with.

    Is this to butter us up for “Ura Hello Pundit”?

  5. Chris November 27th, 2009 7:11 am

    Those last two paragraphs are bang on. You’ve summed up the absurdity of it all perfectly.

  6. Doner November 27th, 2009 12:13 pm


  7. Sarah November 27th, 2009 5:34 pm

    Fuck the man before he fucks you.

  8. Anja Flower November 29th, 2009 12:01 am

    And this post? It constitutes punditry. Niche punditry – but punditry nonetheless. How meta!

    But really, I think this all boils down to a criticism of – or rather a voicing of the frustrations resulting from – the division of labor, and if you take that to its logical conclusion you end up as some sort of John Zerzanite anarcho-primitivist, which is amusing and fun but rather difficult to, um, do anything about.

    Also, I think that your equation of poststructural/continental philosophical discourse with right-wing nutbaggery is somehow very off, but that might just be because I like wanking to the stuff.

  9. admin November 29th, 2009 6:51 am

    @anja: Yeah, yeah, “having an opinion about pundits makes you a pundit.” Right, and I suppose you’re one of those wankers who thinks, “If you wear clothes, you have fashion, so you can’t make fun of the fashion industry.” I have no use for you. Fuck along now.

  10. TRex November 29th, 2009 12:06 pm

    So you only respond to critics now? And in the negative no less? Thin skin comes o mind.

  11. Anja Flower November 29th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Oh shit, this is one of those the-Internet-makes-everyone-sound-angry things. I was going for irony and minor disagreement, not “fuck youuuuuu.” I guess I didn’t come off that way. Sorry.

    I’m not saying that what you do when you write an opinion post is the same as TV pundits or New York Times columnists, etc. – the nature of what you’re achieving is changed by your DIY blogger status and your audience, among other things.

    Nonetheless, you -are- essentially a DIY journalist/photog/opinion writer/music critic. And that makes you a “middleman” of a sort, if you consider someone who creates original content that comments on or represents something you did not make – a show, a building, a sign, a social phenomenon – a “middleman.” I frankly don’t think it does.

    Seems to me that (a) the function of pundit-like people changes when they’re doing what you’re doing instead of what, say, Paul Krugman does being the talking head economist on TV
    (b) what mainstream pundits do to a certain extent, and what you do to a larger extent, falls outside of “middleman” status.

    And like I said, division of labor. Having one’s own, distinct opinions = not being a sheep, but it would be pretty difficult to do that without people who make it their job to help us form those opinions in the modern world, ’cause we just don’t have the brainpower to spend on every damned issue all the time. And sure, that makes people easy to brainwash.

    Anyway, I just came back to TDR after some time away, and I’ve got to say the nostalgia is overwhelming; you seem to be rocking just as hard as you used to.
    Been listening to Dot(.) and loving it.

    Anyway, no harm meant. You’ve always been one of my fave bloggers.


  12. admin November 29th, 2009 11:11 pm

    @trex: sorry if i offended your thin skin with my reply to someone else who isn’t you.

  13. Doner November 30th, 2009 1:47 pm

    I thought this was going to be about “fuck” experts

  14. admin November 30th, 2009 6:07 pm

    @doner : Sorry, Doner. We’ll have to wait until your instructional DVD comes out. Or was that a pay-per-view special?

  15. Doner December 2nd, 2009 11:32 am

    It’s just on youporn at the moment, but I’m planning a breakthrough DVD spectacular

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