One Idea, from Montclair

Year_in_ideas_2 We missed this, but it didn’t get past our eagle-eyed summer intern Jake Adler, a student at Earlham College. A week ago Sunday, on Dec. 12, the New York Times Magazine featured its "Year in Ideas" issue. Blumrich_1 One of those ideas was the do-it-yourself-attack-ad and specifically mentioned as a master of the form was Montclair illustrator, animator and website designer Eric Blumrich. According to the Times, Blumrich has created 27 pieces of anti-GOP flash and has had 3.2 million visitors to his website.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Heya…
    Thanks for highlighting my site…
    If anyone out there needs web design, please let me know. I’m desperately poor, and after being turned down for a cashier job at CVS, I’m pretty desperate…
    -thanks again…
    -eric

  2. Well said ROC! Who did I see on Charlie Rose and then again on Brian Leher’s WNYC show (what’s a nice libertarian boy like me doing watching/listening to those shows?!) who said Michael Moore (and I thought “Roger and Me” was brilliant!) and MoveOn.org will be the downfall of the Democratic Party? Was it Panetta? Someone please refresh my memory!
    Keep up the good work Eric Blumrich! Imagine if you’d taken all that pent up energy and creativity and devoted to a well-deserving charity (no, I don’t mean the Kerry campaign!)
    BTW – just love your snide insult about not landing a job at CVS. The hard-working people that do work there making marginally above the minimum wage must love to see half their checks garnished to be redistributed to the likes of you.

  3. Bush didn’t win b/c of people like Blumrich or even Michael Moore…
    He won b/c of the tools in his arsenal included NOT a resume of success, a booming economy, a favorable war, etc…
    He DID win b/c his weapons included homophobia, fear mongering, mistruths, etc. If his team hadn’t promoted an absolute hate & fear of gay weddings along w/ the fear that the terrorists would get us in our sleep…he woudlnt have won. (Oh, and don’t forget pretty extensive voter disenfranchisement for blacks).
    Go ahead ROC, I’m sure you’ve got something obnoxious to say. Prove me right.

  4. PS- There’s PLENTY of disgusting and vile anti-Democrat things on the net…
    Imagine if the Swift Boat Vets had used their money for charity rather than lies…maybe some actual veterans could have benefited.

  5. Butch,
    Basically you are using the “They are too stupid to vote for the right guy” argument, so popular amongst the left these days.
    Far be it for me to try to dissuade that meme. To some degree continued GOP successes depend on it!
    Hopefully the slogan for the DNC in 08 will be:
    “Vote for us you drooling homophobic morons.”
    It will surely be effective.

  6. ROC’s right when he states the Left’s message is entirely based on the “You idiots in the Red States are too ignorant to vote for the right guy” platform (I loved this weeks Sat Night Live where Santa refuses to visit the Red States which he calls “Dumbf*ckistan” over Rudolph’s objections and spends the night with Al Franken and Moby. HYSTERIAL!)
    It was also a wee bit refreshing to see even the likes of Terry McAuliffe say the Dems had been out-smarted and out-maneuvered by the Repubs (how could such an ignorant bunch of rubes pull off such a thing? Now that’d be a good use of Michael Moore’s celluloid/cellulite!)
    And if you want to talk about voter disenfranchisement (and blackboxvoting.org has been thoroughly debunked by now as an complete myth!) try being a Repub in Essex Cty, NJ. I honestly sometimes wonder why I trek down the block to the firehouse!)
    Have a great Xmas and be sure to read “Hard News,” great book I’m mid-way through right now! Best!

  7. In case anyone cares, Michael Moore’s “Farenheit 9-11” is now on sale at Blockbuster (the VHS tape) for $5! In the “cut out” bin where it belongs!

  8. Poor taste? I’ll tell you what’s in “poor taste,” R. Chanin.
    Some extremist yahoo right wing clan, lying us off to war, sacrificing thousands of human beings, young men and women, American and Iraqi, for what?
    For what, R Chanin, you tell us here at the old barista, what ends will ever justify the means of this war.
    Poor taste. Perhaps its just tastes like mouthful of well deserve medicine.

  9. ROC-
    I have to believe this attitude of “don’t say what you believe because your opponents will then be motivated to vote against you” is some sort of perverse attempt at double-reverse psychology (triple reverse?) on your part. The GOP didn’t win because the Democrats opposed them. The Michael Moores and hollywood celebrifools may have dissuaded a few democrat-leaning undecided’s from voting, but I doubt they energized any but the enrageable fringe in the Republican party.
    I’d also like to point out that it is the GOP that has been pushing the anti-liberal, anti-intellectual thing for a while by distorting what liberalism and intellectualism mean. Tell me why you think those two things are so bad. Just because the GOP pushes anti-intellectualism, we should all start voting for the guy with the better aw-shucks grin?
    Plus, reading Gibbon means that when the cultural revolution comes, you’ll be first against the wall.
    RChanin! Haven’t heard from you in a while. Welcome.

  10. “I have to believe this attitude of “don’t say what you believe because your opponents will then be motivated to vote against you” is some sort of perverse attempt at double-reverse psychology (triple reverse?) on your part.”
    To get Mr. Blumrich to stop populurizing Bush=Hitler posters? Even I don’t harbor such delusions of my own grandeur. No, I am not being sarcastic when I say I am glad for people like Blumrich the more radical the Left and the more the Democrats incorporate the radicalism the better.
    “The GOP didn’t win because the Democrats opposed them. The Michael Moores and hollywood celebrifools may have dissuaded a few democrat-leaning undecided’s from voting, but I doubt they energized any but the enrageable fringe in the Republican party.”
    Perhaps, but every little bit helps. Michael Moore sitting next to Jimmy Carter at the convention made for a great visual! I know it was part of the reason Mrs. Right of Center (a still lifelong Democrat) voted for Bush. For all but the true policy wonks, it is my belief that the rise to political power rests more (or Moore) on the impression of the “man” (or woman) running for office; the measure of the kind of person they are. When a Presidential Candidate who has a public history of calling veterans war criminals wants to lead the country in a time of war – the voters notice and take measure. When much of the company he keeps says the same thing about current soldiers (Michael Moore) – the voters notice and take measure. Every little bit adds up.
    It cuts both ways in fact. In the ’96 election Dole lost (I think) in part by the promenence of the religious right at his convention and in the campaign.
    “I’d also like to point out that it is the GOP that has been pushing the anti-liberal, anti-intellectual thing for a while by distorting what liberalism and intellectualism mean. Tell me why you think those two things are so bad.”
    What an unfair question. That is your characterization of what the GOP is pushing. Not mine. So I’ll not defend it. From where I sit I would say the GOP is pushing an anti-statist, pro-democratic (as in non-judicial-authored “legislation”), anti-elitist, pro-personal responsibility agenda. So, “YOU Tell ME why THOSE things are bad?” (and tell me how often you beat your wife, while you are at it.) See what I mean?
    “Just because the GOP pushes anti-intellectualism, we should all start voting for the guy with the better aw-shucks grin?”
    Just because the Left pushes intellectual elitism, we should all start voting for the guy with the perfect pronunciation and the Nantucket Address?
    “Plus, reading Gibbon means that when the cultural revolution comes, you’ll be first against the wall.”
    Don’t I know it! When Leftists can’t win at the ballot box, what other recourse is there?

  11. p.s.
    The cultural revolution has already arrived hasn’t it? Which side wants to banish all possible instances of mentions of the Deity from all public discourse?
    I don’t think religious belief should be taught in schools, but the study of religion should not be banished either.
    How can you understand the Enlightenment and the forces at work in the American Revolution (as well as much of the rest of American history) if you do not understand the religious aspects?
    Have you looked at high school history book letely?
    which side is responsible for that?

  12. Intellectual elitism should not be confused with a simple call to basic humanitarianism.
    The Right always whines, like a bunch of Prozaced teeenagers,
    “Quit telling us how to live.”
    Well belly up, your radical party is hell-bent on destruction.

  13. “Which side wants to banish all possible instances of mentions of the Deity from all public discourse?”
    Well, you tell me. I would venture that Clinton was more religious than Bush and he certainly mentioned God just as much, although he didn’t talk so much about his own religiosity. Most Democrats seem to think that the antics of the ban God crowd are as ridiculous as most Republicans do.
    I, of course, in my contrary way, think they are on the mark, if overzealous. If there’s anyone who I would want to teach my children about religion and morality less than a state appointed and paid employee I can’t imagine who it is. Maybe because I’m Catholic and mindful of the protestant history of our country. I learned my religion in Sunday school, and the textbooks there had The Good News printed all over them.
    Why kids are singing Christmas carols in school rather than reading Gibbon is absolutely beyond me in any case :).
    LC- you seem to have bought into the intellectualism=bad line… why not say that your open-minded reasoning has led you to a humanitarian position that you are willing to discuss and defend in debate. That’s what intellectualism is all about: the willingness to rethink received truths.

  14. BTW, heres an excellent article I recommend for both party-hardies:
    “The Triumph and Collapse of Liberalism” by John Lukacs. (don’t worry, liberals, it’s from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
    https://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=1jc70i32o9r29m48zyunst4qtqvv2fq3
    An excerpt:
    “For a long time in common American parlance, to be antiliberal meant also to be anti-intellectual. That is no longer so, for many reasons, one of which is the increasing presence of serious conservative thinkers, writers, and academics. Meanwhile, most academics, however, are still anti- or nonconservative, and remote from the mainstream of people. That is not unusual: Isolation of intellectuals and academics from the great mass of people has almost always been thus.
    “That liberals in academe have contributed to that isolation by asserting unreasonable ideas, contributing thereby to the increasing confusion and corruption of both higher education and intellectual commerce, may be largely true. Alas, the defense of traditions of humanism ceased to be the monopoly of liberals long ago. Still, intellectual dishonesty (and its customary consequence, selective indignation) is not a monopoly of liberals, either: There is evidence of it among self-identified conservative and neoconservative writers, thinkers, and academics.”

  15. “Most Democrats seem to think that the antics of the ban God crowd are as ridiculous as most Republicans do.”
    Odd that “most Democrats” are mum on the subject then. Once again, they must have their fingers on the pulse of the zeitgeist!
    If there’s anyone who I would want to teach my children about religion and morality less than a state appointed and paid employee I can’t imagine who it is.”
    I think you miss my point, I don’t think the public schools should teach them “about” religion (as in proselytize) but “of” religion as it relates to our history. You can’t read the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence (or the second for that matter) without running across a mention of God. Shouldn’t our children know why? Shouldn’t they have a keen understanding of the moral basis those documents were framed around? Even if they don’t believe is it (sorry not to be anti-intellectual about it) intellectually honest to have them assume the religious aspect of the founding of this nation are merely superstitious belief which no longer applies?
    “Why kids are singing Christmas carols in school rather than reading Gibbon is absolutely beyond me in any case :).”
    I thought you thought Gibbon hopelessly out of date? Singing Christmas carols? Where have YOU been?
    https://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/10474001.htm?1c

  16. “Odd that ‘most Democrats’ are mum on the subject then.”
    Well, I suppose you would consider the ACLU Democratic (or, at least, liberal). Here’s one for you: “After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries”
    https://www.aclu.org/StudentsRights/StudentsRights.cfm?ID=15680&c=159
    The ACLU draws a distinction between government-funded religion and the right to the expression of personal religious belief.
    “I don’t think the public schools should teach them ‘about’ religion (as in proselytize) but ‘of’ religion as it relates to our history.”
    Well, I would agree with you there. Speaking of that, Thomas Jefferson did his level best to end the teaching of religion in schools, despite opposition from the Episcopalians who generally ran things back then. Also, the Puritans banned Christmas soon after they arrived here. Did they teach you that in high school? It didn’t really recover until the 19th century when the birth of Christ was paired with the little known feast day of St. Nicholas, the formerly obscure third century bishop of Myra. Here’s an interesting history: https://www.theweekmagazine.com/briefing.asp?a_id=774
    But, really, what does Christmas have to do with history? The only significance I can think of is that the Hessians were getting drunk for it when Washington overran them.

  17. regarding Lukacs’ musings.
    First of all, he is a little sloppy. He moves between liberalism (little l) and Liberalism (capital L) without always being clear.
    Also (ugh) seems like a fancy pants way of saying the the decline of liberalism leads to “populism” which he cleverly adjusts to “national populism” and voil√ɬ° look out for the Nazis!
    (Think I’m making it up? https://tinyurl.com/4erxk )
    Money quote:
    ” Why would Lukacs underplay Hitler the racist? Because he is more intent upon painting Hitler as a populist–a creature of the baleful age that wrested authority from responsible elites and enshrined popular sovereignty.”
    Back to the article at hand. Lukacs’ analysis seems overly simplistic to me. The ONLY alternative to liberalism is “nationalist populism”?
    How about 19th century “liberalism”?
    “During the 19th century, liberalism, by and large, meant political and economic individualism, an emphasis on liberty even more than equality, a reduction and limitation of the powers of government.”
    Who does that sound like today? Perhaps it is an update to Regan’s famous quip., Something like: “liberalism didn’t leave the Democrats, the Democrats left liberalism!”
    Case in point: I have always found the silence of liberal Feminists regarding afghani suffrage to be telling. Shouldn’t they have cheered in the streets? Women can vote, go to school and are no longer being executed in soccer stadiums for adultery! Too busy marching for abortion rights I suppose.
    “Liberalism in its noblest, and also in its most essential, sense has always meant (and, to be fair, here and there it still means) an exaltation, a defense of the fundamental value and category of human dignity.”
    For the birthed anyway. Sorry. But seriously, we have to remember he means Liberalism (capital L) meaning liberal democracy.
    My favorite quote:
    “There is less institutionalized injustice around the globe than ever before. The abolition of slavery; the promotion of universal education, universal suffrage, freedom, and equal rights for women; and the provision of health services, guaranteed help for the poor, popular sovereignty, etc., if not perfectly or everywhere, but at least in principle, have been widely adopted around the world.”
    What is he smoking? “widely adopted?” China?, Tibet? Pakistan? The ENTIRE middle east? (save Israel), Russia? (now that it is reverting), The CONTINENT of Africa?, All the “Stans”, France? (well, ok not France). “Less…than ever before” well ok. But only because the “ever before” was horrible! But “widely adopted” ?
    – HUH??!!

  18. one more thing.
    The ACLU? Glad to hear the Democrats are for getting God back in the schools.
    Back to Lukacs:
    “There was the inclination, sometimes fatal, of liberals to take the ideas of the Enlightenment to extremes: to propagate a public morality devoid of, if not altogether opposed to, religion”
    I assume you will be writing to him to set him straight?

  19. “What is he smoking?”
    People seem to forget just how bad things were for almost everybody 100 years ago, heck, 40 years ago. They aren’t perfect today, but they’re certainly better in almost every place on the globe. If you can’t see progress in the human condition over the past century, you’ve got blinders on. As an example, during the enlightenment slavery was almost universal; England didn’t abolish the slave trade until 1807, remember, France in 1848. Pick any liberal measure of the human condition and put it on a graph and the trend upwards over the past two hundred years will be up. Does Lukacs hyperbolize? Well, it’s a magazine article, not an academic study, so yes. It’s funny though, I sent the article to the most left person I know and she had the exact same comment as you. Of course, ideologues need the apocalypse to be imminent or they won’t have an excuse for trying to save the world.
    “I assume you will be writing to him to set him straight?”
    I find what he says to be accurate: there’s a difference between public morality and private morality. Liberalism tries to minimize the public (state mandated) morality to those few tenets required by “natural law.” Me, I agree with Jesus: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray…” (Matthew 6:5-6).
    But, anyway, I don’t entirely agree with Lukacs (who is a conservative) I just thought it was an interesting viewpoint. And the historical context (re Taft, etc.) was priceless.
    Happy holidays.

  20. “ideologues” ?? Maybe we are idealists. In terms of the Human condition, it is a matter of weather or not the glass is 1/32nd full or 1/16th full. Ok, maybe it is 1/8th full, but it has a looooong way to go!
    If concern for the worldwide human condition are of interest, the real question is how we get there.
    The current crop of American Liberals seem pretty isolationist if you ask me.
    “Liberalism tries to minimize the public (state mandated) morality to those few tenets required by “natural law.”
    Now, really, if that were the case liberalism wouldn’t be endangered at the moment, would it? There is a clear sense of advocacy for moral reasons in modern liberalism, I’d say it has become near to a religious belief in and of itself. The wild-eyed liberals I see are just as fervent in faith-based belief (like recycling is an absolute good no matter the extra cost) as the religious fanatics I see on tv.
    And
    Merry Christmas
    Happy Hanukkah
    Good Kwansa  
    Festive Festivus
    Superior Solstice
    to you!

  21. What’s wrong with isolationism? Think globally, act locally, if you ask me. I think the world would be better off in the end if we enacted free trade and loosened immigration policies and let the Saddam’s of the world fight it out amongst themselves. I think it is true (without in any way casting the US as any other than the victim of the recent terrorism) that if we had not had a presence politically in the middle east we would not have been dragged into solving their problems for them. Don’t take this as uncaring: I do care what happens to the inhabitants of the middle east and Africa and Asia, I want them to have as good a life as we do. But, c’mon, we can’t even fix the government of our freakin’ county, why do we think we can bring democracy to someone else’s country? They’ve gotta do it themselves, if they can.
    “if that were the case liberalism wouldn’t be endangered at the moment, would it?”
    Well, I meant classical liberalism, not what passes for liberalism these days. But you’re right. Classical liberalism is faith based also: why accept natural rights theory when there are several other equally tenable moral theories?–modern liberalism doesn’t really rely on natural rights theory at all, as far as I can tell, more social contract theory. Not that I’m a moral relativist, of course: I think natural right theory is right and the others wrong. I can’t prove it though. That’s why it’s a faith. Like Weber, I am a reductionist: if you keep digging at some point you get to beliefs that can’t be further justified except in an appeal to faith.
    But, you know me, I’m not in favor of the wild-eyed of any political stripe or team affiliation. I believe that, in the medium term, the ideas conceived of and disseminated by the intellectuals win. The short-term ranting, raving and rioting is just good old-fashioned entertainment.

  22. “I believe that, in the medium term, the ideas conceived of and disseminated by the intellectuals win. The short-term ranting, raving and rioting is just good old-fashioned entertainment.”
    If you could just get us rubes to vote the right way….
    https://tinyurl.com/6jw7y
    Now just tell me this *doesn’t* sound like the watercooler!
    https://tinyurl.com/3pgwl
    But, as you know I am a big fan of our own online utopia known as the watercooler.
    https://tinyurl.com/6ownc

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