Harper's Weekly for May 19, 2009

Here's my favorite bit from the latest edition of Harper's Weekly:
200905190816 Arkansas state Senator Kim Hendren [left] apologized for calling New York Senator Chuck Schumer "that Jew" at a county Republican meeting. "I was attempting to explain that, unlike Senator Schumer, I believe in traditional values, like we used to see on The Andy Griffith Show," explained Hendron. "I made the mistake of referring to Senator Schumer as 'that Jew' and I should not have put it that way, as this took away from what I was trying to say." Venetia Phair, nee Burney, who as an 11-year-old girl in 1930 named the newly discovered planet Pluto, died at age 90. "In the year 4,000 A.D., when Pluto is hollowed out and millions of people are living inside," said an amateur astronomer, "the name of Venetia Burney may be the only thing that Great Britain is remembered for."
Harper's Weekly for May 19, 2009


  1. “In the year 4,000 A.D., when Pluto is hollowed out and millions of people are living inside,” said an amateur astronomer, “the name of Venetia Burney may be the only thing that Great Britain is remembered for.”

    Brilliant. Although I’m sure some Mnemosyne of the day will still be spitting on us for birthing / aborting the good old US of A.

  2. Hendren is mostly known locally (northwest Arkansas, which isn’t ALL rednecks and racists, though we DO have our fair share of that) for owning car dealerships. He made a statement to the press Monday or Tuesday that he “may not” run for Senate. Probably a good decision, douchebag.

  3. Nice. This kind of falls into my BS, unscientific, conspiracy theory that most of the more popular ‘traditional values’ are really just nostalgic memories of old 50’s sitcoms. The kind of shows where people always behave like other people think they’re supposed to think they’re supposed to behave… I think.

    The nugget of irony here in the dross of pop culture: I think that most of those classic 50’s sitcoms were a part of the social dialog where people were trying to figure out how to be the new(Deal), post-war, suburban middle class. Light sitcoms, after all, have often been used as a sort of anthropological mining canary to sound out the general impression of what people are talking about… at least during the commercial breaks.

    And now, having done the metaphorical equivalent of ballistic streaking down a crowded street, I’ll retire back to Plato’s cave.

  4. I am thinking the Senator wasn’t able to see the show clearly, possibly because the eye holes on his Klan robe were in the wrong place.

    Or maybe he was out in the backyard near the outhouse putting the finishing touches on the cross he was planning to burn in front of someone’s house who was different from him.

    To me the show expressed the importance of treating everyone with kindness and dignity.

    Maybe the Senator can catch Andy & Barney and the gang in reruns.
    He might learn something.

  5. I’m not clear on how the two snippets relate?

    That is, what does the racist republican have to do with the anti-historical UK hater? (they both hate Gordon Brown? badum-bum – g’night everyone!)

    Pebcak error?

  6. One more snipet from the weekly review:

    Aidan Clifford, named as half of Ireland’s Most Romantic Couple by Irish Wedding Journal, was stripped of his title after being convicted of following women in his car while masturbating. Clifford’s solicitor blamed a stressful lifestyle for the behavior, saying his client had been “working himself to the bone.”

    He might want a new solicitor, this one doesn’t choose his/her words wisely.

  7. Ahhh, yes, the golden years. When lynchers, spouse abusers, child molesters and segregationists could practice their traditional values, unfettered by the nanny state.

  8. Does Angrypaladin’s theory mean that in 50 years we’ll have conservative politicians longing for “‘Arrested Development’ values”?

    What a Brave New World that will be!

  9. Note the tone of the “apology” here: “I should not have put it that way, as this **took away from what I was trying to say**.” Seriously? That’s like when my wife and I are in an argument and she apologizes by saying, “I’m sorry that you got upset by what I said.”

    Take home point: Not much of an apology. Once a bigot, always a bigot.

  10. #8 I’m sorry, was I barking up the wrong tree? I’m often dead to such social subtleties, as if I were on some giant ice cube a million miles away. Dog-gonnit! ^^

    #13 Well, a friend suggested that we start the (Spiderman Great Power and Great Responsibility / Star Trek Live Long and Prosper/ Jedi Power of the Force) Party. While this may be a compelling prospect, there were a few important procedural details that, as of this writing, are yet to be worked out. First, it’s questionable if a policy of ‘Lightsabers for everyone’ is fully constitutional under the Second Amendment. Also, ‘The SGPGSTLLPJPTF Party’ doesn’t exactly fit on a campaign button, much less the little space next to a person’s name when they’re being interviewed on the dyna-holographic-sensomatic-tubes of THE FUTURE-TURE-TURE-TUre-ture-ture-ture…

  11. So, he’s basically saying there’s nothing wrong with referring to Schumer as “That Jew,” but in this instance he’s disappointed because doing so led people to take the focus off his message. Classic non-apology apology: “I am upset that you people noticed my racism when I wanted you to notice what a great guy I am.”

  12. @Blaven,

    You’re more right than you may realize. “Traditional values” is code for “southern Christianity,” a peculiar institution which is only somewhat contiguous with the teachings of the Nazarene. Whenever you hear someone badmouthing “East Coast intellectuals,” you should substitute the word “Jews” – more often than not, you’ll find that their comments align with the traditional rhetoric of antisemitism.

    [And yes, I know exactly what “peculiar institution” means.]

  13. I adore that the good senator is not apologizing because what he said was bigoted and thoughtless, but because it “took away from what I was trying to say”. Now instead of being the Family Values senator, he’s the Anti-Semite Jerk senator. While this may not have been his intent, the interests of accuracy have been well served.

  14. I used to watch that show all the time. I must have missed the episode where Andy and Barney grab the shotguns and run all the Jews out of town.

    Also, Judaism predates Christianity by 3000 years. If that religion doesn’t represent “traditional values” then who the hell does? The Sumerians?

  15. Hendren is definitely either KKK or else drinking the same juice.

    I always found the Andy Griffith show disturbing insofar as it never showed any black or hispanics or anyone else except a bunch of very white hillbillies.

    Amazing this monster looks to a TV show from the 50s for his values. I’d bet the only place he thinks women should be is in the kitchen, too.

  16. @ Keeper of the Lantern #17:

    Go easy on Andy Griffith. The show was set in a part of the country that really didn’t have many minorities back then. Still may not, for that matter.

    If you want shows that went out of their way to pretend minorities don’t exist you should try “Friends” or “Sex in the City,” which both seemed to be set in an alternate universe where New York City is populated entirely by beautiful, affluent young white people.

  17. Extra bonus irony for anyone like Mr. Hendren who is inclined to divide the culture between the values of “The Andy Griffith Show” and the values of “that Jew” or “those Jews, in general”: The Andy Griffith Show was a Sheldon Leonard production, and many of the writers were not just Jews, but “Hollywood Jews,” who undoubtedly occupy a place of honor in Hendren’s fantasy life. I read a reminiscence once by one of those writers, and he explained that he found he could take the most sardonic things his father ever said to him (for example, “You should go now… with BOTH feet!!!”) and when translated from Yiddish to English and put in Sheriff Taylor’s mouth, they magically became Homespun Wisdom (“Opie, my boy, when you leave a room, always leave with both feet”).

  18. Didn’t Bush Sr. once make a reference in a speech to having Andy Griffith values rather than Simpsons values? Or am I mixing stuff up? Anyway, why do people tend to make the idyllic/griffith comparison? Weren’t there other sitcoms back then, like Dick van Dyke or Bonanza? Why Griffith as the paragon as old-fashioned goodness?

  19. Perhaps in honor of Venetia’s passing, the scientific world will restore Pluto’s planetary status? It’s a shame she had to witness its fall from grace shortly before her death.

  20. surprise surprise, yet another republican that’s a bigotted, ignorant, racist sack of old, rich, white man shit.
    Don’t bother reporting these, a republican with decent human values would constiute actual news. Look around you, we all know how are got where we are now.

  21. Takuan “Look around you, we all know how are got where we are now.”
    Exactly. It’s all the fault of those East Coast Ivy League elitists!

  22. Why, oh why, do conservatives treat old ’50’s shows like Andy Griffith Show as if they were documentaries.

  23. I just love how Kim Hendren thinks stating that a guy who follows a religion approximately 3000 years older than his own isn’t into traditional values somehow makes him look better.

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