Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Newsweek Gets Kesler's Points Wrong

Ilan's already written well on this, so I won't belabor any of his points.

Here's what Newsweek wrote.

The team at National Review's The Corner had mixed opinions, but they skewed positive. Charles Kesler said ho-hum to the responsibility theme Obama chose, but gave props to his effort to take back patriotism and religion from their seemingly exclusively conservative domain. “President Obama’s speech was interesting, dignified, and unmemorable, like so many inaugural addresses,” he wrote, but gave Obama credit for handling "with grace" his unique place in history.
First and foremost, "Gave props"? You must be joking. Rap slang has little business in a national publication or its website.

More to the point, Professor Charles Kesler didn't credit Obama with trying to "take back patriotism and religion," but instead argued that Obama was part of the same kind of ideology that wants to "remake" America. Kesler was mocking that idea of a "transformed patriotism" and certainly not "giving props" to Obama!


Anonymous said...

Rap slang has little business in a national publication or its website.

Do you have a problem with the slang because it's "rap" slang or just the use of slang in writing in general? Apparently the editors of many national publications don't agree with you.

Irrelevant now, but I suppose one could apply the same sentiment and wonder what place the unending colloquialisms spewed by one certain VP candidate had in a national debate. (wink,wink)

Charles Johnson said...

I agree with you about the would-be VP candidate. I don't think slang in general has a place in the public forum, but rap slang is especially bad.

Tom said...

Visual of the Day: Charles Kesler decked out in rapper paraphernalia. Leo Strauss, repreSENT.

Anonymous said...

And by rap slang you mean, essentially, black slang. I'm not slinging some outraged charges of racism, but it's stupid to automatically conflate all black culture with all "rap" culture, and then "rap" culture with the, ahem, "deviant" nature you find to define some (well, for you, all) hip-hop.

I'm pretty sure that if some kid growing up in the inner city during the 80s said "give props", he probably said it because everyone else around him says it. It's just normal slang, like everything else.

Also, "giving props" is exclusively rap slang in 2009? I'm fairly certain *everyone* is familiar with it and has no problem using it. I suppose when the Obamas fist-bump (or, to use this rap speak you talk of, a "dap"), it sends a similar shiver of disdain down your spine?

All in all, a petty, fatuous, and irrelevant comment. You sound like some grumpy old man whining.

Charles Johnson said...


Thanks for the image. I wonder how the gang signs would look on his MySpace page...


I think it's rather racist for you to assume that rap slang is black slang. Clearly you've never seen Eight Mile or known any would be white gangbangers.

I didn't like the fist pump, nor do I like it when Obama wears his hat backwards, nor do I like it when he calls the press "guys." But then again, I'm a conservative. We believe in standards of behavior.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha, you're a joker.

Tom said...

Would it be better if Obama came up with mildly patronizing nicknames for all his associates? For starters, he could call David Axelrod "Mr. Belvedere."