May 23, 2013

"I believe we may have reached 'peak bullshit.' And that increasingly, those who push back against the noise and nonsense..."

"... those who refuse to accept the untruths of politics and commerce and entertainment and government will be rewarded. That we are at the beginning of something important."
We see it across our culture, with not only popularity but hunger for the intellectual honesty of Jon Stewart or the raw sincerity of performers like Louis CK and Lena Dunham....

I believe Barack Obama represents this movement, that the rise of his candidacy was in part a consequence of the desire for greater authenticity in our public life.....

97 comments:

cold pizza said...

Intellectual honesty of Jon Stewart? That's the biggest punchline I've ever heard.

"Cry BS, and let slip the dogs of whore!" -CP

Carnifex said...

John Stewart?!? Intellectually honest?!? Just reading that statement was enough for me to NOT link to the article. I'm dumb enough already...don't need to be lowering my IQ voluntarily.

Carnifex said...

hah 2 great minds

President-Mom-Jeans said...

What drivel.

Rliyen said...

Raw Sincerity of Louie C.K. and Lena Dunham?

Really? That statment expounds bullshit to the yak killing level.

Chip S. said...

Sincere thanks, Althouse, for the gift of ROTFLMAO.

Conserve Liberty said...

Whoa. Seat calls the pot white.

Mitch H. said...

Yeah, no. No political speechwriter gets to pretend he's not part of the great gust of noise and nonsense like that. Especially not when his voices of authenticity seem to consist of a crowd of repulsive vulgarians, leavened slightly with Jon Stewart.

SJ said...

The desire for less BS has not produced much meaningful decrease in actual BS produced.

Especially by the characters named: Obama, Lena Dunham, Jon Stewart, etc.

rhhardin said...

Someone who tells you that he's torn up his prepared speech in order to speak frankly has torn up the wrong speech, says Erving Goffman.

traditionalguy said...

Combining "honesty" and Barack Obama in the same sentence is the end of all honesty.

It reminds me of the truth that many a speaker says he believes in something that he has never and will never act upon.

It is that basketball players deception to get the defender to look left and then he cuts right.

caplight45 said...

Obama is the bullshit.

Tank said...

Cosmic humour.

LordSomber said...

"greater authenticity in our public life"

Wtf does this even mean?

Oh... I get it. A speech about BS that was actually BS itself.

File under Meta.

SteveR said...

Wow, what a complete crock of shit. No sense of self awareness.

Amartel said...

Uh oh, he's lecturing white people. Wah!

Speech about perils of bullshit is full of bullshit.

Chip S. said...

Obama is the bullshit.

Obama's the delivery system. Fmr speechcrafter Lovett was one of the core producers.

wyo sis said...

" I believe Barack Obama represents this movement, that the rise of his candidacy was in part a consequence of the desire for greater authenticity in our public life. But you don't have to be a Democrat to believe me. You see it across the political spectrum, from Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts to Chris Christie in New Jersey to Rand Paul in Kentucky."

All across the political,spectrum from the hardcore left tot the moderately left with a sop thrown to the libertarians.
Intellectual,honesty?
Not exactly.

Birches said...

Link is down. You think they realized how foolish it looked.

Lyle said...

Haha... C.K. Louis sincere? Barack Obama authentic?

How laughable. These are creatures who excel at balderdashry.

bagoh20 said...

That was cosmic reading that Althouse lead. I thought for sure it was someone seeing recent events like I do, and thinking very optimistically about how all the bullshit that is the left now would shake out soon. Then suddenly, I'm informed that it's just more bullshit FROM the left.

A roller coaster in a sentence.

edutcher said...

One of Choom's speechwriters.

He doesn't drink the Kool-Aid, he IS the Kool-Aid.

Chip S. said...

Those poor Pitzer parents. $45K/yr in tuition and all they get for a commencement speech is The Big Picture from a 30-yr-old already past his prime.

John Lynch said...

there goes my coke into my keyboard.

David said...

Indeed we have reached an era of peak bullshit and this address is Exhibit A. Incoherent, self centered, laden with unexamined assumptions and immature.

"When hit by boredom, go for it. Let yourself be crushed by it. For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life, the lesson of your utter insignificance.
From the knowledge of insignificance grows a sensitivity to the outer world, a sense of mortality and, ultimately, passion. The privilege of the insignificant.


--Joseph Brodsky, speaking at Dartmouth Commencement in 1989.

Bob_R said...

The man behind the teleprompter picked a great week to hawk the intellectual honesty of Obama.

Titus said...

What a powerful speech.

Lena Dunham--love her.

I would do that 30 year old...he's hot.

tits and thanks.

jacksonjay said...

If 'peak bullshit' is anything like 'peak oil' we've got centuries of bullshit to endure!

edutcher said...

PS Ann, please tell us you don't buy into that nonsense.

We all know you have a big heart and still believe in the Shining City On The Hill For All The Downtrodden Where Pain No Longer Exists, but please tell us you see through this.

Paul said...

Once a rube.. always a rube.

This kid is still kidding himself.

Scott M said...

Holy crap. There's a bunker somewhere with a keg of weapons-grade kool-aide missing.

Lem said...

I believe we may have reached 'peak bullshit.' And that increasingly, those who push back against the noise and nonsense those who refuse to accept the untruths of politics and commencement speeches...

Scott M said...

Haha... C.K. Louis sincere?

I'm a fan, but I would put Danial Tosh ahead of CK for sincerity. And that's from BEFORE the CC show.

Michael K said...

Imagine listening to that and realizing that your tuition has gone down the rat hole. Bullshit indeed.

I much prefer this speech.

Astro said...

To paraphrase the real Pogo:
"We have met the bullshitters, and they is us."

edutcher said...

While we're peaking here, it may be time to note the judge who issued secret subpoenas for James Rosen's emails was ordered to make them public in Nov '11.

And, yes, I think this is very much on topic.

Libertarian Advocate said...

John Lynch said...

there goes my coke into my keyboard.


Peruvian, Chilean or Colombian?

Ooops, I meant Diet or Classic.

dbp said...

Satire is dead. And I don't mean mostly dead, but all-the-way dead.

chuck said...

The Atlantic finally dries up. I blame climate change.

bagoh20 said...

Sincerity is a nasty animal. Even when you think you got it tamed, it will bite you for no good reason. There you are all proud of him and showing off the tricks you've taught him, and as soon as everyone stops and takes a good look at him, he starts licking his balls!

Palladian said...

Ah yes, "authenticity". White liberals always look to the "other" for authenticity.

edutcher said...

OK, maybe I was wrong to say what I said.

In his big national security speech, Choom describes the Fort Hood murders as "violent jihad".

Or did TOTUS burp again?

chrisnavin.com said...

Freedom is next. Authenticity is just around the corner. I can feel it. A new age of progress is being born, an ever expanding age of Science and rationality, inclusion and new great art. An age of 'We' out of the excesses of the individual, and America's lack of civilization.

First the beats, then the hippies, now the hipsters.

Franklin said...

I think you guys are missing the joke. That entire piece about sincerity was itself brilliant bullshit critiquing bullshit artists. If you think meta enough, it actually works.

lemondog said...

Here is some of the Noise

Dante said...

I believe Barack Obama represents this movement, that the rise of his candidacy was in part a consequence of the desire for greater authenticity in our public life. But you don't have to be a Democrat to believe me. You see it across the political spectrum, from Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts to Chris Christie in New Jersey to Rand Paul in Kentucky.


...

No, what he said was, "[T]he test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

2 + 2 = 5. vs. 2 + 2 = 4. Both are right!

Richard Dolan said...

We've reached 'peak bullshit' only in the same sense that we've reached the end of history. Oddly, Lovett doesn't see (or perhaps just declines to admit) that his speech is proof in itself that 'peak bullship' is still an aspirational goal for some.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't want to share a country with those people anymore.

Quaestor said...

That one speech is worth reviving the old Penn & Teller Showtime series -- one more, the opus magnum, a final "we've been talking about bullshit for eight years and now we're at the very core of the pustule, the tyrannosaurus of bullshit" episode.

Recovering Lutheran said...

The Atlantic is determined to put the Onion out of business. Example: the Oklahoma tornado death toll is blamed on ... wait for it ... the budget sequester.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/oklahoma-tornado-fallout-the-sequester-cut-disaster-assistance-and-weather-warning-funds/276085/

At least the Atlantic did not blame the NRA.

TMink said...

Jon Lovitz would have called that speech peak bullshit.

Trey

Quaestor said...

[W]hat he said was, "[T]he test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." That's what you have to do: you have to be confident in your potential, and aware of your inexperience.

Bullshit.

Jason said...

Is this parody?

phx said...

And I've tried to honor that ever since; to call BS when I see it -- and to not be afraid to get in people's faces, and throw a punch or two, to make a point. Metaphorically. Look at me. I wouldn't do well in an altercation.

Phunny.

John Lynch said...

Authenticity doesn't exist.

All that matters is what people do. If they do something, then they do something. The motivation doesn't matter.

JohnJ said...

“Wow, what a complete crock of shit. No sense of self awareness.”

C’mon, now. The sentiment seems sincere.

If only it weren’t so laughable.

Quaestor said...

Is this parody?

Yup, the worst kind imaginable, the kind that rules our lives.

Jon Lovett, the Minister of Propaganda himself.

CEO-MMP said...

I hope this isn't the start of another one of Ann's paeans to the utterly horrible Lena Dunham.

Recovering Lutheran said...

Jason said...

Is this parody?

5/23/13, 4:40 PM


Not intentionally.

jacksonjay said...


Jon Lovitz would have called that speech peak bullshit.

"Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket!"

bpm4532 said...

I don't know about that. It's piled up pretty high and deep. Maybe all the bad ideas have been surfaced by the left and all the words have been tried and found wanting.

How will the left react when they realize that it is they who made that mess? I think the convulsions of self-loathing may be unpleasant.

Stephen said...

I believe we may have reached "peak bullshit." [snip]

And what's awesome is that you -- the graduates of schools like Pitzer -- will be the ones who are best prepared and most likely to lead this movement. What's striking about the culture of this school is an unabashedly sincere desire to do good in this world; to be responsible for one another and to carry yourselves with integrity.


Dude, that's so meta ("A term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential [Urban Dictionary]")

Jay said...

Recovering Lutheran said...
The Atlantic is determined to put the Onion out of business. Example: the Oklahoma tornado death toll is blamed on ... wait for it ... the budget sequester


Wow, did my respect for them drop.

It was already reported that the sequester did not effect that tornado warning.

For example:
Residents of Moore had about 36 minutes to prepare for a mile-wide tornado that flattened the Oklahoma City suburb, killing two dozen people, according to the National Weather Service.
...
“A 36-minute time period is pretty substantial,” Andra said in an interview. The average lead time for tornado warnings is 14 minutes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

ricpic said...

To truth is that never has "authenticity" been more verboten.

Sigivald said...

[...] the intellectual honesty of Jon Stewart [...]

What?

SERIOUSLY?

cubanbob said...

We have not only hit peak-bullshit but transcended it right into The Matrix of bullshit. If only George Carlin were alive, he could be our Neo or better still Oracle- in this Matrix of Peak Bullshit.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Go placidly amid the noise and waste. And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof." -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha, the ironing, it doesn't even burn.

elkh1 said...

Peak bullshit from a sycophant: I believe the rise of Obama's candidacy was in part a consequence of the desire for greater authenticity in our public life.....

Methadras said...

his candidacy was in part a consequence of the desire for greater authenticity in our public life.....

Asking for authenticity from one of the most vacuous, vapid, and unauthentic people on the face of the earth is rich. The left is in absolute apoplexy to justify how Urkel is the greatest thing since sliced bread in the face of his collapsing house of cards.

hawkeyedjb said...

Elizabeth Warren is to authenticity like Barack Obama is to honesty.

1/32 Indian
1/32 Honest

exhelodrvr1 said...

Elizabeth Warren and Obama are examples of authenticity? This must have been planted by The Onion.

Big Mike said...

This guy has half the brains of a lobotomized paramecium.

Mark said...

Yeaaaah! Let's all get fooled again!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Authenticity is everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

n.n said...

JournoListic integrity is an oxymoron.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Thanks, Althouse.

We need to be reminded time-to-time the magnitude of idiocy loose in the world.

virgil xenophon said...

That guy's BS output was so massive they needed to install a conveyor-belt from the guy's podium to the audience so he could dump shit in volume on 'em even faster..

tiger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Is this the bullshit thread or the terror is done thread? Lemme see. Oh, sorry, bye.

Sam L. said...

This boy needs psychiatric help. Perhaps Stuart Schneiderman can straighten him out.

Jim Hu said...

I had to google to figure out who he was. He's a former Obama speechwriter.

Fritz said...

Peak bullshit achieved.

PianoLessons said...

History is a pendulum , folks. College kids now are actually pretty awesome - tolerant, skeptical, aware of the recession that hurt their families so bad since 2008, hate speech restriction on campus, have PC antennas up and they hate it, more serious about how they can ever freaking dig out from the pile of crap the adults in their lives have thrown on their backs -

Conservatives in the incubator folks - trust me.

AprilApple said...

Obama = peak bullshit. Yeah.

kcom said...

Obama was the very definition of peak bullshit from the very first days of his campaign.

"Well, golly, I never heard Reverend Wright say any of those nasty, racist things. Honest."

Even though that's what his church was all about and even though Obama spent twenty YEARS there. As Darth Vader would say, "the BS is strong in this one" (or, in Yoda-ese, "the BS in this one, strong it is.")

AJ Lynch said...

Are these words of wisdom from a young pisant?

Ralph L said...

The amazing thing is that someone paid to have an Obama speechwriter speak. Just like Clinton, the only memorable things he says or does are off-script.

gadfly said...

One of the greatest threats we face is, simply put, bullshit. We are drowning in it. We are drowning in partisan rhetoric . . .

After that speech we most certainly are up to our nostrils in shit, bull and otherwise.

His speech should have been entitled: "You Too Can Become A Failed Comedy Writer."

Clyde said...

I like Louis CK. He deserves better than to be lumped in with those other intellectually dishonest weasels.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Sigh. I suppose people still seem to think that Stewart is a Truth Teller or something.

gerry said...

The ultimate postmodern moment, when everything becomes inverted and perception alone is truth.

gerry said...

Hey! A new book reveals John F. Kennedy's admiration of Hitler and fascism!

A Democrat - assassinated by a Communist - was a cryptofascist?

William Chadwick said...

"Plus, the State is out best friend! If world history--especially 20th Century history--teaches us anything, it's that the more power we give the State, the better off we all are!"

Yeah, no b.s. there.








William Chadwick said...

"Plus, the State is out best friend! If world history--especially 20th Century history--teaches us anything, it's that the more power we give the State, the better off we all are!"

Yeah, no b.s. there.








Darek from the Bible Belt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darek from the Bible Belt said...

Wow, this is definitely an echo chamber... Not sure, but I'm thinking it wouldn't be hard to guess the ages and race of most of these commenters... You should at least be struck by the fact that this is going viral with great enthusiasm among a huge number of college-age kids and recent graduates, including many of the very smartest, and in currently red states that are in the Bible belt... I'm going to reference this webpage as Exhibit A with the Republican party's own self-evaluation: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/06/gop-report-young-voters.php