January 2, 2018

"That sounds absurd, but, if Trump is our President, and our Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is posing with a sheet of cash, who’s to say that [Gene] Simmons isn’t coursing through the body politic?"

"The book’s top Amazon review, at present, calls it a 'raw dose of reality.' And it does reflect a hard truth: that Simmons and his ilk have succeeded in yoking the nihilism of the rock age to a policing, rapacious conservatism. 'I made a living spitting blood, sticking my tongue out, and being as grotesque and horrifying as possible,' he brags. Were it written in the present tense, it would be the truest sentence in the book."

From "How to Get Power (and Banned from Fox News), According to Gene Simmons" by Dan Piepenbring in The New Yorker.

The book is "On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power" — published last November. That's also when the New Yorker article was published, but for some reason the New Yorker is promoting it on Facebook this morning.

Since we're already talking about psychopaths this morning, let me quote this too:
In its most confounding passage, “On Power” finds a model in Frank Underwood, from “House of Cards.” True, Underwood is a murderer, but he exemplifies a kind of can-do psychopathy that Simmons admires. “If you find psychopaths terrifying, it’s likely because they are the most effective at the evil they do,” he writes. “So I would ask you to seize this power for yourself. . . . Be a psychopath with a conscience.” There is no such thing, of course, just as there is no such person as Underwood; there’s only Kevin Spacey, whose abuses of power have left him in disgrace.

19 comments:

Michael K said...

I had to look at the Amazon page to figure who Gene Simmons is.

I don;t watch TV so have never seen "House of Cards."

I don't think I've missed much.

Achilles said...

This is how the left justifies what they do. First they have to turn their political opponents into caricatures that don’t exist.

MadisonMan said...

It's rich to see someone at the New Yorker try to write knowingly (and fail spectacularly) about Kiss.

n.n said...

Why, unicorns, of course. Also, storks. And a Grinch, a Scrooge, in a pare tree.

EDH said...

Why should anyone care about Gene Simmons? It’s been more than forty years since Kiss’s first single, “Nothin’ to Lose,” featured him singing about coercive anal sex.

Coercive? Or liberating from shackles of societal convention of the time then... and now?

I switched the lyrics to describe a male-on-male first time sexual encounter. Today, it could be a Lifetime movie of the week!

Nothin' to Lose (original lyrics)

Before we could marry
I didn't care anyway
I thought about the back door
I didn't know what to say
But once I got a boyfriend
I, I tried every way
He didn't want to do it
But he did anyway

[Pre-Chorus]
But dude please don't refuse
You know you got nothing to lose

[Chorus]
You got nothing to lose
You got, got nothing to lose, well nothing
You got, got nothing to lose, yeah dude
You got, got nothing to lose
You got, got nothing to lose, you g-g-g-g-got nothing
You got, got nothing to lose, well come on dude
You got, got nothing to lose, yeah shake your
You got, got
You got, you got, you got nothing to lose

[Verse 2]
So now I've got a dude
And we've tried every way
You know he wants to do it
And he does anyway

[Pre-Chorus]
But dude please don't refuse
You know you got nothing to lose

David Begley said...

Gene Simmons is a manipulative nut and not worth the time of day.

The Treasury Secretary posed with a sheet of new currency. This is news? This is significant?

Curious George said...

"Michael K said...
I had to look at the Amazon page to figure who Gene Simmons is."

How old are you?

rehajm said...

You can buy uncut currency from the government here. It makes great gift wrap for the kiddies!

MountainJohn said...



When you move backwards from conclusion to premise, everything makes sense. It has to.

Michael K said...

"How old are you?"

Almost as old as Tony Bennet,

Well, not quite.

His big singles were popular when I was in 8th grade,

Here's a hint.

EDH said...

In its most confounding passage, “On Power” finds a model in Frank Underwood, from “House of Cards.” True, Underwood is a murderer, but he exemplifies a kind of can-do psychopathy that Simmons admires. “If you find psychopaths terrifying, it’s likely because they are the most effective at the evil they do,” he writes. “So I would ask you to seize this power for yourself. . . . Be a psychopath with a conscience." There is no such thing, of course, just as there is no such person as Underwood; there’s only Kevin Spacey, whose abuses of power have left him in disgrace.

Or maybe the Frank Underwood connection is as simple as Bryan Cranston doing a movie with KISS?

Nonapod said...

Power itself may be amoral but it can be wielded for moral purposes or ends. Power will tend to corrupt even the most moral person, which is why ideally it should be kept ephemeral and diffuse by mechanisms such as hard term limits, various layers of oversight, and checks and balances and all that.

Power also has a natural tendency to coalesce over time. Over the past 240 odd years the United States Federal government has gradually gotten larger and more significant in the day to day lives of average citizens. There's a sort of inertia to the growth of government power that can be paused or slowed but is largely irreversible in any way other than extreme measures such as violent revolution.

EDH said...

"Let me see your tongue, kid... And scoop it, like it's mommy's hot ice cream."

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, EDH. That was something.

Rick Turley said...

Michael K said...

"How old are you?"

Thanks for the link to your history in Chicago. In the early 2000's we would ride our bikes down south and turn around at the country club to head back north.

My wife's family are long-time Chicagoans from before the fire except on the near North Side. The neighborhood has met the opposite fate as yours. She recalls driving out to the suburbs in the 60's looking at houses but they never moved. Buildings would mysteriously burn down and cynics call it a Baird & Warner rehab. You could pick up brownstones in the 70's for $10,000 and fix them up with city loans at a nominal rate if you had the guts.

Now it's all bankers and titans of industry in homes worth many millions.

Sigivald said...

Truly, there can be nothing as "rapacious" and horrifying as the Secretary of the Treasury posing with a sheet of money.

It's not like the Treasury has anything at all to do with money, right?

1775OGG said...

Changed my blogger name, still it's just me by another name, with same photo ID!

Blueshirts may rot in hell, except that would be too good for those rotten followers of Saul A!

CJinPA said...

'Flamboyant rock-and-roller shocks mainstream writer with his radical politics.'

It's 1968 again!

chickelit said...

"Kiss" was a whiteface troupe. I was bored with them when they came out. The Replacements did a great cover of "Black Diamond" though.