February 10, 2008

I Despair For My Country (Although My Waistline Might Well Improve)

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:55 pm

Jonah Goldberg just helped me get thrown out of an ice cream shop.

Over in Pacific Grove, California, a pretty little town between Monterey and the Pebble Beach golf community, where no hovel goes for less than about $800K, is a Lappert’s ice cream shop. Lappert’s is a brand from Hawaii and makes a darn good vanilla.

This vanilla today had some auwe in it. As I get to the head of the line I note that prominently displayed on the counter is a bunch of Truther literature. You know the kind: pictures of the WTC7 collapse, links to loathsome websites, the works.

“You don’t believe all this stuff, do you?”, says I, not realizing the storm to come.

“It’s all in there”, says the aging boomer running the place, pointing to a copy of the 9/11 Commission report in a Ziploc bag beneath the Troofer stuff.

“But you believe that the U.S. did it to ourselves? Then you’re a fool.”

He didn’t start calling me a Nazi and racist, though, until he noticed the book in my hand. Saturdays are
the only time off I have from this job, so I try to get a little reading in sometimes. In this case, it was Liberal Fascism, and I’m up to the part where Goldberg gets into Wilson versus Teddy Roosevelt in progressive ideals. Apparently the red cover is a red flag. Then I got called a racist for being white–how do you know what I am, quite frankly?–and it got a little loud in the shop.

I received a Nazi salute as I walked out, and the aging boomer eating his ice cream with his date near the door fluffed up and started telling me how he wasn’t going to talk to me as I was going out the door. I guess he didn’t like it when I stopped and asked him why he was talking to me if he didn’t want to talk to me…the gears didn’t move too quick on the guy.

Troofers. Boomers. Rich comfortable people in fake alt-lifestyle decorated businesses. Argh.

I can’t even buy ice cream without Troofer crap served up liberal fascism style.

Update: The author is kind enough to link! Thanks–it’s not often you read a book and simultaneously get life lessons about the theses in said book.

Update and bump: Ed Driscoll kindly links as well. He’s right–I was thinking about Kathy Shaidle’s questions also, but the discussion such as it was went to eleven too quickly for me to say a complete sentence.

To tell the truth, though, I was thinking of this also as I went back home–“the most intricate and flawlessly executed plan ever evaar”.

Well, that and “gosh, my history teacher never talked about President Wilson like this. I wonder why?”

Update: And of course Ed (pbuh) was way ahead of me.

Update: The funniest line yet about this mess.

Update: This line’s good too.

Update: I hadn’t realized…I was living in George Bush’s America.

Update: Phibian’s right; right at the end there was about what it looked like.

51 Responses to “I Despair For My Country (Although My Waistline Might Well Improve)”

  1. John deVille Says:

    Troofers are neither liberal nor fascist. Self-absorbed, pathetic, neurotic, probably worthy two or three entries in the DSM-IV but their refusal to seriously examine any evidence which runs counter to their world view makes them the antithesis of a liberal. And fascist……well, if merely acting in a cult-like fashion earns the label, ok. But Franco and Mussolini would shoot them in an instant.

    I think most people in the so-called “liberal fascist” camp wouldn’t have been so rude to you, though you might have caught a bit of repressed laughter once they saw the cover of the book.

  2. Chap Says:

    Well, this is close to Santa Cruz, so maybe that’s why he got all upset once he saw the book under my arm. I dunno.

    So far the book has been pretty darn good–more temperate than perhaps I would have expected, explains its biases up front, when he’s writing about something I know his story matches what I know, et cetera.

    But, dude. I wanted ice cream, not people telling me the CIA flew planes into the WTC and the Pentagon because “the whites needed to maintain superiority”. Argh.

  3. John deVille Says:

    Well, it’s kinda of a draw as to who drew “first blood.” The guy is peddling lit that makes you want to vomit but from the original post it didn’t sound like he was overtly out to convert you. Things might have gone equally badly had he pointed at your book and said, “You don’t believe Goldberg do you?” You have just done the repressed laugh thing or merely decided not to return.

    I’ve been frequenting a tobacconist here in town for 12 years. He thinks Jesse Helms is a liberal; he thinks Bill Clinton should have been executed. The guy is ancient, crippled from working extremely hard his whole life. And when he can, he corners me and starts his rants, peppered with xenophobia, racism, fear, and anger. I smile and ask a few polite questions and let him do his thing. I get my Fuentes cheaper than I can at any other store in the country and he feels like someone has listened to him.

    Nothing in the world
    is as soft and yielding as water.
    Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
    nothing can surpass it.

    The soft overcomes the hard;
    the gentle overcomes the rigid.
    Everyone knows this is true,
    but few can put it into practice.

    Therefore the Master remains
    serene in the midst of sorrow.
    Evil cannot enter his heart.
    Because he has given up helping,
    he is people’s greatest help.

    True words seem paradoxical.

    –Lao Tse

  4. Mike Says:

    Heh, that’s one of the nice things about Ames. For some reason, there seems to be (especially in college towns) a correlation of the good hole in the wall places to eat all being run by aging hippies. However, in Ames, they tend to keep it in check. I think my favorite example of this is an on campus cafe over in the design building, which is right next to the Armory. A lot of ROTC people tend to grab some soup or a sandwich and some coffee at this joint, which is primarily staffed by design students, who tend to be a little to the left of center. They *know* (I’m pretty sure it’s the haircuts…ROTC guys are generally the only people in there without hair over the ears and/or ridiculous amounts of scruffy facial hair), but they’re usually pretty civil. We’ll occasionally get a look, but it’s all in good fun.

    Besides, design chicks are some of the hottest (and more intelligent) on campus, so it’s not like it’s all bad.

  5. Chap Says:

    Heh. I went to CMU; I well remember the Dramats. That’s the environment I tend to swim in; I like odd music, and the Only Allowable Political Viewpoint pops up a lot just as it did when I was a punk.

    It’s not like I walk around in my jackboots all day long looking for trouble; immediately before, I was in the local small bookstore known for its interesting discussions and no fireworks ensued.

    I do, however, own my own money and will spend it where I desire. I have smelled the acrid and the jet fuel in the Pentagon; I will not buy ice cream from the shop on Lighthouse Avenue. Water can cut canyons but I have not the time to let it do its work; I’ll flow around the obstacle instead.

  6. CDR Salamander Says:

    Yes, young Chap — feel the power of the Dark Side. Boomers. Twoofers. That is a twofer!

    Remind me to tell you the time when I was single that a girl got up in the middle of dinner at a nice restaurant I took her to, and took a taxi home leaving me with two full Nouveau Cuisine entres and a full bottle of Pinot. It was in CA as well – and to give you a time reference it all had to do with the Sandinistas ……

    Nice book too …. got to wait until Mrs. Salamander finishes it though.

  7. TexasPatrick Says:

    Dang! Never went to Lapperts. I was at the Presidio, learning a language only slightly necessary when we was fighting Russkies . . . . how I miss them as an enemy . . . .

    Maybe it wasn’t there at the time. This has been some while ago. I remember a sandwich shop/iny grocery called Compagno’s, which had great huge sandwiches though, and the Inkiviglia’s (sp?) liquor store. Of course, like 4 years later we sat in the cheap seats at Ranger Stadium drinkin’ beer and yelling “you stink Inky!” (no one is harder on the players than their own fans . . . )

    Topic Drift/off

  8. John Wayne 1 Says:

    John DeVille’s position that this ice cream whacko wasn’t trying to convince anyone of his views is kind of bizarre if you ask me. Putting all that stuff up and in the face of anyone seeking a simple rocky-road is confrontational and an attempt to recruit, especially since it was the shop management’s display and not some relatively neutral “bulletin board” or the like.

    Its hardly anyone’s fault that a book cover’s artwork is so controversial–in fact, it’s good marketing. I remember a collection of humor columns by a Punch writer (Alan Coren) which had a huge swastika on its cover and was entitled “Golfing For Cats.” Inside, the author explained that according to the British Bookseller’s Association the three top selling subjects for sales in the UK were cats, golf, and WWII. At least Jonah’s book actually relates to its cover art.

    I DO think its kind of funny though–once upon a time, people (in my college days in the 70’s anyhow) used to buy these “plain” cloth bookcovers to put OVER racier paperbacks and books they didn’t want their neighbors on the bus, in the dorm, in the cafeteria or, heaven forbid, on the trips home to Mom to know they were reading.

    I guess in the rarified climes of the Bay Area, conservative political thought is the new porn.

    Sounds like a good reason to go back to Baskin-Robbins….but I don’t think I’d do “Ben & Jerrys” anytime soon!

  9. Ed Says:

    The Paranoid Style–Now With Extra Sprinkles!…

    Chapomatic writes, “I Despair For My Country (Although My Waistline Might Well Improve)”:Jonah Goldberg just helped me get thrown out of an ice cream shop. Over in Pacific Grove, California, a pretty little town between Monterey and the Pebble Beach….

  10. Dave Says:

    “Rich comfortable people in fake alt-lifestyle decorated businesses.”

    Oh yes, as opposed to the typical hangouts for say, readers of Jonah Goldberg’s book? Poor, insecure people without the slightest trace of smug self-satisfaction!

    Yeah, those rich comfortable people trying to keep down a disadvantaged guy like Goldberg, a guy who’s literally had to struggle every step of the way to his current great heights of intellectual respectability. And now that he has brought us this book which tells us nothing but The Truth, those liberal fascists are trying to keep it out of the hands of the common people. Wow, you’ve almost got your own Twoofers narrative right there!

    So, there’s this ice cream place where you disdain the owners and disdain the clientele – but of course, rightly so, as they victimize you – and on top of all that, they’ve got a lousy decorating scheme.

    I think there needs to be some kind of movement of conservatives like the lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights era, to protect poor, victimized conservatives such as yourself.

  11. Chap Says:

    If I were a conservative maybe your little attempt at sarcasm would have worked.

    No, maybe not then, either. Thanks for playing; good luck on the next comment. At least you got the award for First Angry Guy Coming From The Book’s Blog!

    All I wanted was a Pepsi ice cream. Just an ice cream! And s/he wouldn’t give it to me!

  12. Buck Says:

    Ah…I have similar memories. Before I went off Coulter , I bought and read one of her books… reading the thing almost entirely during my daily BART commute from Dublin/Pleasanton into The City…about 45 minutes. The dirty looks I got from the Good Citizens/Fellow Travelers in the SF Bay Area SSR were amazing, both in quality and quantity. Hilarious, as a matter of fact. But some folks have absolutely NO sense of humor when it comes to opposing points of view… which I believe is Jonah’s main point, no?

    Congrats on the NRO link, Chap!

  13. K Says:

    Politics and small business don’t mix.

    I used to frequent a SCI FI book store that wouldn’t carry Harlin Ellison (and others) because of his attitude towards women. The store went under within a year. The ice cream guy is cutting down his business by at least 20 percent, even in a lefty haven like Monterey by displaying that stuff. If he doesn’t have any competition now, he soon will have as he is ripe for the plucking.

  14. John deVille Says:

    Mr. Wayne,

    I said it was a draw. Guy had lit on counter but wasn’t forcing anyone to agree with it. I wasn’t being sanctimonious — if you see something that makes you puke and you want to make the effort, then sound off. But can’t expect that you’re gonna win that exchange anymore than I expect to win this one — most folks make their mind up like an institutional cot and don’t bother to muss them down the road — too much aggravation to re-evaluate one’s position. I’ll concede your interpretation makes as much sense as mine….maybe more so….

    …..but “It’s hardly anyone’s fault that a book cover’s artwork is so controversial–in fact, it’s good marketing” — that’s a howler, dude. For one thing, the cover demonstrates Godwin’s Law is operational in one move. But, your plea of innocence – “it’s no one’s fault that the cover is controversial”– followed by smug confession — “it’s good marketing” — is the kind of nonsense at which Mr. Goldberg excels. Maybe he can use it as a blurb on the paperback edition. Or at least print stickers of said koan when the hardback hits the remainder table.

  15. Dave Says:

    Oh, so what, you’re gonna start splitting hairs, a la Goldberg, that you’re really a LIBERTARIAN??? Yeah, well, a conservative libertarian (or whatever) nonetheless from what seems pretty obvious from a short perusal of this blog. Look, why pretend there’s more complexity to it? Your “frequent reads” being Instapundit, The Tank, Little Green Footballs, etc. Ok, the picture’s clear enough. Don’t be slippery. I’m left and you’re right, and of course that doesn’t say everything, but you’re gonna vote for a conservative (be they a standard Republican or a libertarian or some mix thereof, the issue of John McCain aside…) and I’m not.

    I don’t agree with or abide the “9/11 Truth” people, and I definitely don’t think anyone should have harrassed or accosted you simply because you were toting around Goldberg’s book (among other reasons, at least because it’s possible people who disagree with the vast majority of his book might still be reading it – I just got a copy from my local library a few days ago). People ought to be able to read what they want to read, obviously.

    That said, there is an undeniable whiny-lad quality to your post.

    And also, even your own description of the incident indicates that the confrontation may well have been started with your (no doubt snide and unconstructive) “You don’t believe all this stuff, do you?” dismissal. (Tip: When wanting to do business with someone, avoid berating any items they might have on display at the counter) I’m sure you’d just LOVE it if someone started a discussion with you about Goldberg’s book with that opening line (well, if you’re the belligerent everything-is-a-war type, then perhaps you really would love it).

    That “question” of yours was likely taken as a snap, a little cutdown, and the guy saw your book and fired back. And a very edifying and enlightening exchange was had by all. But worst of all – you didn’t get your ice cream!

  16. Chap Says:

    You are trying hard to be annoying, aren’t you? No, I don’t fit your little box, and you can put your box somewhere uncomfortable.

    And here’s a “Tip” back: I don’t want to do business with a Troofer. Nor a troll. Now do you have something to *say* or are you just down on people as a general thing?

  17. Pontius Pearslice Says:

    Thanks for the awesome Suicidal link. That took me back twenty years! Never would I have thought three clicks from NRO would get me to a Suicidal video. Don’t worry about responding to anyone who defends 9/11 truthers. The conspiracy theory has grown to such proportions that every government employee must be complicit by now, and the truther’s continued existence as a group refutes their central thesis. How can they believe Bush and his lackeys planned such a far-reaching conspiracy while failing to find “the Tallest Man in Afghanistan”?

  18. John Wilson aka MontereyJohn Says:

    Geezers, in PG?

    I live here, there, and I have never seen a Troofer. Maoists, yes. Stalinists, yes. Troofer? Holy $hit.

    I always feel for the guys that come here for the language school at The Presidio or the Naval Post Graduate School. It has to be so frickin’ depressing. “We’re risking our lives for these @ssholes?”

    Anyway, you made my day. I’ll have to look this dude up.

    JW – Monterey CA

  19. MeTooThen Says:


    I’m kind of surprised that this kind of thing happened at all in P.G.

    Or not.

    Contrary to what you might think about the Monterey Peninsula there are quite a few conservative and traditional-types living there. Active duty (Naval Postgraduate School and Defense Language Institute) and retired military in the community (Fort Ord), plus ranchers, farmers, Sicilian fisherman, and many other sensible people.

    But there are quite a few old, recalcitrant, crusty, or demented Lefties.

    Oh well.

    I know where I won’t be going for ice cream.

    Try the ColdStone at Del Monte.

    Just sayin’.

  20. Chap Says:

    Funny thing is, my family used to drop by the place on occasion, and I’ve had a lovely conversation with the leftist boomer lady running the shop at other times.

    Gotta draw the line at Troofers calling me a Nazi, though. Ah well.

  21. Dave Says:

    No, not trying to be annoying to you, but I suspect that not agreeing with you is all that is necessary for that to occur. If you only want comments from people who agree with you, then you should either not have them (like all of the National Review blogs, such as Jonah Goldberg’s) or only open comments to established friends who register.

    If you didn’t notice, I offered no defense of the 9/11 Truther beliefs (I have none), and I agree that you shouldn’t have been harrassed for having the Goldberg book on you.

    Okay, since you are apparently such an incredibly unique individual and your sociopolitical orientation is absolutely yours and yours alone, could you please sum up how you describe yourself – where DO you fit along the sociopolitical spectrum (or rather, axis)? Or, let me guess – you don’t fit anywhere (are you The Fonz? ;))
    (see here:

    Maybe you aren’t a conservative…but I doubt it.

  22. Dave Says:

    “Bet you that wouldn’t happen with It Takes a Village.”

    At the ice cream parlor where you got booed/shooed/booted out?? True, it probably wouldn’t.

    But suppose someone carrying around Clinton’s book went into, say, a gun shop where a bunch of David Duke-type defense-of-white-heritage literature was prominently displayed, and carrier of said book said “You don’t believe all this stuff, do you?”

    If you think that the type of behavior displayed at the scoop shop was unique to just one type of sociopolitical mindset, well, that’s a happy delusion.

  23. pst314 Says:

    “since you are apparently such an incredibly unique individual and your sociopolitical orientation is absolutely yours and yours alone”

    Dave says he is “not trying to be annoying” and yet he is an endless font of nasty sarcasm.

    What is it, Dave? Are you really unaware that there are many libertarians with a conservative bent? Well, I have encountered other lefties who also insist on forcing people into their ideological pigeonholes.

    “gun shop where a bunch of David Duke-types”

    Sounds like you associate gun ownership with white supremacism. A curious betrayal of bigotry. Oops.

    And by the way, there are very few Klansmen in America, but fascistic lefties are a dime a dozen.

  24. Brian Says:

    I just thought it was a good story! Geez folks, get a grip! :)

    I’m uncomfortable when any kind of political viewpoints come up in situations like those with aged hippie ice cream slinger. I always feel like I’m being tested, or as if I’m being treated as a captive audience for whatever political angle the shopkeeper feels the need to dish out at that very moment. I can hold my own in most political debates, but sometimes I just want to buy my beer and go home. This feeling probably has a lot to do with living in heavily blue urban area (redundant, I know), but it’s the same way with me regarding conservative banter, too

  25. Jerry Says:

    Having known Chap for literally years, I can attest to Chap’s “uniqueness”. Take him for his word, there is no box that will fit him in every demension, something always spills out or won’t fit, which is what makes all of our conversations interesting. I also know that if I was overseas and my wife and kids needed help, Chap is the guy I would call, regardless of his political orientation. Nice guy, nuff said.

  26. badbob Says:

    Gotta say I woulda left that place as soon as I saw that “crap” sanctioned by the ice cream shop…unless I just finished SERE school o’course- hunger and all. That being said a wise-crack would be called for too..couldn’t help myself unless they were really big scary-looking dudes(methinks not). You reacted normally kid.

    However I always like to take action against whacko’s who are also businessmen. Putting something like that up in an establishment, supposedly because you can get away with it because they might have good ice cream, just ain’t good business.

    Let’s call for a boycott of Lapperts Ice Cream Parlor in Pacific grove for displaying and sanctioning that crap. Let the ownership decide what’s more importnant- selling ice cream or pushing bizzare agendas..I wonder if their corporate knows…. Let’s start with all the folks at PG School. Perhaps we can get them put on the off limits list…I’m serious.

    You should have went to this Lappert’s, believe it or not- in Sausalito, CA:

    Now the real question. Why “Hawaiian” Ice Cream? SZeems like an oxy-moron! While I agree with the Ben & Jerry’s comment above of course, I highly recommend Baskin-Robbins or even Sealtest from the exchange! ‘Course I’m just a plebian who drinks Glenfiddich. LOL.

    Carry on.


  27. Dave Says:

    pst314 – the best way to actually quote someone on a blog is to cut-and-paste their comments. That way you’ll avoid blatantly misquoting that individual, as you did me. I wrote “a gun shop where a bunch of David Duke-type defense-of-white-heritage literature was prominently displayed,” clearly describing the type of “literature” on display, and NOT the clientele of the gun shop, as your misquote would seem to indicate. I need not be instructed on the wide array of sociopolitical views held by gun shop customers or gun shop proprietors. As a matter of fact, I – an avowed lefty – have not only been in gun shops numerous times, I’ve also made purchases. And, I have also personally seen such “white heritage” neo-Klan literature in one shop, which was there with the owner/manager’s approval. After seeing that, I opted not to patronize that shop. So, my hypothetical query, about carrying Clinton’s book into such a shop and inquiring sarcastically about the literature, was actually adopted from a real store that I have been to. Please don’t feign shock. I didn’t even do that w/ Chap’s tale of the “liberal fascists” running him out of the ice cream shop – his story’s completely plausible (that doesn’t make the term “liberal fascist” any more appropriate, however).

    So, what I ACTUALLY wrote was hardly a “curious betrayal of bigotry,” but your misquote was perhaps a curious display of some sort of premature defensiveness. So, in your world, would describing fans of David Duke and his ilk as “David Duke types” be a display of “bigotry”??? And dare I ask how you would describe the actual views of David Duke himself, if not bigotry? Do you even know the definition of that word?

  28. Tu Says:

    Gentle readers-

    What is most fun is watching the frustration of Dave grow as Chap continues to ignore the well-packaged bait. Following Lao’s advice are we?

    “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment. ” Man had some good thoughts. Course, he did teach Confucius now didn’t he? And we all know how many fortune cookies he’s authored.

    Lao Tse would be proud. . . if he allowed himself that pleasure.

    Plus, as SouthPark said, “a quarter of all Americans are retarded!” There’s that too.


  29. Bitters Says:

    I’m very sorry to interrupt here, but I am just missing Dave’s point? It seems he is bent on trying to categorize Chap as this/that/the other simply to be able to apply the right sort of prejudice. Simple math really, he’s trying to solve for x. The only problem is that it seems x is actually not one of his ready-made variables. Not a type for him to throw out buzzwords and catchphrases so that we have another redundant argument. This is not a character assasination on Dave, despite his repeated attempts at getting a response from the site owner.

    It’s simply not his fault, he’s arguing the best way he knows how, though I am not sure where exactly the arguemnt IS.

    Apparently, the adage of taking two people to argue does not hold water (PUN!) here.

  30. Mike Says:

    “Plus, as SouthPark said, “a quarter of all Americans are retarded!” There’s that too.”

    “Well, who ACTUALLY committed 9/11?”

    “Muslim terrorists, duh! Who else?”

    But the most important question is, who went number 2 in the urinal?!?

  31. Chap Says:

    Thanks, y’all. Kind of reminds me of the joke: How many koans does it take to change a lightbulb? –A tree in a golden forest.

    Thanks, I’m here all night. Try the veal.

  32. Dave Says:

    Oh please…

    At this point I’m not expecting any answer from “Chap” – whoever he may be. And that’s fine. The fact that I’m dismissed as a frustrated troll is just ad hominem; has no bearing on the validity of any of my points. I posted a comment, Chap made an initial reply, and I responded. Then I had a bit more to say. Why does it need to be described as “bait”? I’m not fishing, I thought I was just having a discussion (perhaps a bit heated) with a blogger and his (apparently rather) loyal commenters. And was the South Park quoting (??!) directed at me? If so, I think I’ve already made clear that I have no defenses to offer of 9/11 Truther views.

    I visited this blog via Jonah Goldberg’s book-promotion blog. I often like to read views that are different than mine. But in the blogosphere this much too often gets one tagged with the “troll” label. I guess one is only supposed to visit blogs they agree with and provide slap-on-the-back “I’m with ya!” type comments? Doesn’t that get boring pretty quick?

    It’s also interesting to me how my words of support – that Chap should NOT have been harrassed or badgered out of the shop for having the book – were just ignored. At some basic level, I agree that he was wronged, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think he’s being a bit whiny about it, nor does it mean that I see the incident as an example of “fascism.”

    Yes, I’m sure Chap is a unique person, as most people are. But still, whether he’s a guy that calls himself “socially liberal, fiscally conservative,” vice-versa, a “classical liberal,” a neoconservative, a libertarian, or whatever, the amalgam of his social and political views will probably place him somewhere on this, or some, political spectrum/axis. I don’t understand why some are so reluctant with these labels – it strikes me as merely evasive. It’s precisely because this particular approach (at PoliticalCompass) allows for so much more complexity of views that I prefer it.

    Even Jonah Goldberg has labelled himself (with some specificity) on various occasions. What’s the problem with that, exactly? One’s entire personhood is not determined by their sociopolitical beliefs ALONE – that’s a given!

    BTW, I came across this when I was perusing the PoliticalCompass site the other day (they update only infrequently, so I don’t visit very often) – it pertains directly to the thesis of Goldberg’s book:

    Ignore it, dismiss it, or discuss it…

  33. Tu Says:

    And don’t forget to tip your waitstaff!! They really work hard, ya know?

  34. David W Says:

    Just out of curiosity, Dave, where do you end up on the Political Compass? For myself, I am at:

    Economic Left/Right: 5.50
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.08

    I agree that it is a more useful test than a one dimensional left/right slider. I have not yet read Goldberg’s book, but it seems to me that the Political Compass site’s criticism of the notion that Fascism belongs to the political philosophy of the left focusses more on the economic x-axis, where Goldberg’s focus is on fascist authoritarianism and its evolution on the (American) Left. So the analysis on that site may not disagree with Goldberg’s quite so much as it might seem at first glance.

    For the record (and as a 1st time visitor at this site) I don’t see you as an unconstructive commenter at all: too often adversarial commentary at opinion websites is tarred as trollish. If we shout down dissenting opinions, we end up as a triumphalist chorus which is intellectually stultifying and just plain boring. I tend to sympathize with the viewpoints of the bulk of commenters here, but we should not assume that anyone who disagrees with us, even ‘heatedly’, is necessarily a Democratic Underground denizen.

  35. arminius Says:

    This story SO reminds me of the scene in the ice cream shop in The Best Years of Our Lives. Maybe there is something about ice cream…

  36. Ith Says:

    Here via Jonah’s link. It’s been so long since I’ve been to PG, I didn’t even know there was a Lappert’s. I used to live there, then Carmel, and am now in Monterey. A group of conservative friends and I used to have monthly coffee meetings, sometimes at Starbucks. We never got kicked out, but we did get some odd looks on occasion. I don’t think they expect conservatives to do something as scary as laugh and have fun.

    I have the book, just haven’t had time to read it yet. Looking forward to it.

  37. Dave Says:

    Well, at the risk of being further “frustrated” by not getting the attention and fame that I apparently seek here, I’ll toss one more response into the hat. Then I think I’ll be on my way. I already read too many blogs as it is.

    Thanks, Dave W, for putting in your vote in favor of attempts at intellectual cross-pollination. For the record I’ve been to the Democratic Underground site all of twice – ever. DailyKos maybe 3 or 4 times. Huffington Post on occasion. Not terribly enthralled by any of them. As for the 9/11 Truth stuff, I’ve generally got an aversion to it. Much of it just on the weakness and unconvincing nature of their arguments and partly also on principle (keep in mind conservatives have also made claims of liberals engaging in conspiratorial behavior of various kinds), yet still I’m not inclined to absolutely rule out even the possibility of a conspiracy of some sort being executed, even successfully. I don’t have that sort of hubris to assume it just could never occur. In most cases however, I think such scenarios would be unnecessary and most ends could be well achieved by other means, no conspiracy necessary.

    Thanks for sharing your score on the PoliCompass test. Some might call it pigeonholing, I call it interesting and useful, however imperfect it might be.

    My scores tuck me well down into that lower left corner. I’m a -9 on the economic (!!) and a -8.1 on the social. And I swear I didn’t strongly agree or disagree with EVERY question. Actually, I would’ve guessed that I wouldn’t have been quite so far in that corner (I’ve certainly met plenty of folks more “radical” than I), but I’m certainly in the appropriate corner. I don’t feel that I’ve been violated in some way simply because my particular mix of social, economic and political views can be and has been categorized (by that site). So, I’m a “type” – a libertarian leftist; I can live with that.

    Looking back, it’s sort of funny that Bitters said “It seems he [as in me] is bent on trying to categorize Chap as this/that/the other simply to be able to apply the right sort of prejudice. Simple math really, he’s trying to solve for x.” Not so. While it’s true that many to most conservatives believe this or that and many to most conservative libertarians also have a common set of viewpoints, that doesn’t mean that any particular person can’t surprise me from time to time. But as for this “solving for x” theory of Bitters’ it seems to me that this is PRECISELY what Jonah Goldberg seems to be attempting with his book. Everyone within polite civilized society prejudges fascists as dangerous and bad, so Goldberg is bent on categorizing liberals as such (oh dear, listen to all these LABELS!). He insists that Hillary is not a Mussolini or a Nazi, but then attempts to draw inheritance lines between them and warns us that fascism, if it truly comes again, will come from the left. He simultaneously tries to paint liberals as fascists but then denies that he’s doing just that. So, is the connection that he tries to draw between fascists of yesterday and liberals of today just a curious coincidence or does it have some ominous significance? He can’t have it both ways just for the sake of being slippery.

    Speaking of conspiracy theories (and a victim mentality/persecution complex), Mr. Goldberg himself seems to be not-so-subtly advancing the theory that there’s some sort of bookstore clerk conspiracy to keep his book off of bookstore shelves (yet somehow it’s been both an Amazon and a NYT bestseller – “Just imagine if the liberal fascists hadn’t blocked the pipeline!”).

    Well, anyway, this was fun (errrr…. I mean very frustrating!) while it lasted. Good luck finding another place to get ice cream.

  38. Chap Says:

    @Dave: I see; so it’s not a reaction you want but instead a discussion about something I don’t wish to discuss.

    Look, I’m going to offer free advice, worth every penny you pay for it. You’re here on the site I pay for; it’s my house. There’s a difference between spirited conversation and just being a jerk in someone’s house. And I don’t care to be threadjacked for a conversation about political biases using some website everybody got excited about a couple of years ago. You started off all snarky in a bad way, then asserted a change of subject, then tried to argue about my decisions or account of an event. If you want someone to talk with you then you either have to go find somewhere where flame wars are more common, or find a way to engage the other person in the discussion.

    — — —
    Also, to anyone here who would like me to be more sensitive when it comes to accusations of mass murder, treason, and high crimes and misdemeanors:

    Truthers assert that my colleagues murdered our countrymen and lied about it in some grand, nebulous but detailed conspiracy. By the time a truther has decided to put up truther decorations, handouts and so-called supporting evidence, that person has gone beyond the point of casual discussion about opinions. This behavior deserves opprobrium, denunciation and shaming, not sensitive listening and discussion–particularly since all I wanted was to buy some ice cream. You want to discuss the merits, go buy Popular Science’s book, watch Screw Loose Change, mumble to yourself, and get out of my face.

  39. Mike Says:

    That second part is one of the more eloquent and succinct responses I’ve seen to the truther phenomena, Chap. Thanks.

  40. Nick (from Sweden) Says:

    Thanks for a very interesting discussion. It is always greatly rewarding to see how people of another culture discuss politics!
    Especially interesting is the leftie or rightie discussion. It seems that what is considered very right in our culture is still very left in yours! Mrs Clinton for example would have had problems adjsuting to our conservative party. She would have thought them much to left-oriented.

    Well Chap, thanks again and regardles of whether I am left or right I must say that your truthers seem to be an odd bunch!

  41. Chap Says:

    Thanks. They’re not just “our” truthers, though; here’s a best-selling French author, which the Arab League took seriously. There are more where that guy came from, too…

  42. All the man wanted was ice cream Says:

    […] instead he got the “troof“! And a pigeon-holing troll. And a link to a hi-larious […]

  43. HomefrontSix Says:

    Here via Lex. If it’s Lappert’s you want, I’d recommend heading west to the islands for the real stuff. I’ve been to the Lappert’s here and there was no “Troofer” material on the counter. And yes, the vanilla is YUMMO.

    I love your comment (#38) regarding the “Truthers”. Best I’ve heard. Thanks.

  44. midwatchcowboy Says:

    Had a discussion with a gentleman in the parking lot of the local Target. Saw that he had a ‘red sticker’ on his car in this Navy town. He was also wearing a Che t-shirt.

    I gently asked him, “do you know about the guy on your shirt?” He replied that he didn’t. Let him know that the guy was a marxist murdering buddy of Castro. I expected a snappy remark back, but he said “thanks, I didn’t know about any of that.”


  45. Liz Says:

    Wait a minute! I’m getting an epiphany. Eating too much Lappert’s ice cream will make you fat. Elvis was fat. Elvis blew up the WTC!!!!!!!

    BTW…You could order their ice cream online.

  46. Marv Says:

    For Dave:
    I find it interesting that those on the left always refer to those to the right of them as facist and call them hitlers and such. It has been my observation that the only people that intent on calling people facists are socialists….

    For Midwatch Cowboy:
    Had a similar conversatiion with someone who wanted to vote Nader until I informed him that Naders running mate had been a Presidential candidate for the Socialist Workers Party. People need to read up a bit methinks…

  47. bothenook Says:

    dude, you get such good responses. i’m jealous.

  48. Justthisguy Says:

    Hey, _I’m_ a boomer! And I think Chap is kind of a hippy compared to me! At least where his taste in music is concerned, anyway. Feh! ‘lectric geetars! Take a fire axe to ’em!

    But then I don’t get along with _anybody_ socially, being in the DSM-IV m’self. Dang neurotypicals!
    Monkeys! Groupthinkers!

  49. Justthisguy Says:

    Jerry, I concur. Chap seems to be an aficionado of the weird, in culture and in (at least) his internet activities. I mean, he puts up with me parachuting in from time to time.

    I think he would make an OUTSTANDING foreign area officer. Of course, that used to be part of the job description for _all_ Naval Officers, back when we had a teeny weeny navy. Wait…

  50. Dani Says:

    I would actually report the location to the headquarters. You can complain that such literature is offensive. They do have an image to uphold ^_^

  51. Chapomatic » Two Ninety-Five Well Spent Says:

    […] lame screed and they laughed heartily…after I had recommended the book that got me thrown out of an ice cream shop. Ehh, maybe he reads purple. I also mentioned the plot points of Amity Schlaes’ new one (The […]

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