Thursday, February 08, 2007

Great Moments In Conservative Punditry Part 2

National Review columnist Mark Steyn can't resist making fun of people who voice concerns about the United States torture policies.

I have had a distressingly large number of reader e-mails on the lines of the following:

So they're against "the Use of Music as Torture?" Really? You mean they've decided to oppose "American Idol?"

Look, that’s not funny!

Okay, if you replace “American Idol” with “The Celine Dion Christmas Album”…

Steyn didn't feel that was insensitive enough. He took a shot at Andrew Sullivan's homosexuality.

Anyway, Andrew Sullivan walks up to this ethnomusicologist and says, “Do you know Bush is using sleep deprivation at Gitmo?” And the ethnomusicologist says, “No, but if you hum a few bars I’ll play it on my bone flute.”

This is what passing for punditry daily at The Corner.

Update: Read this post on why I stand by my assessment of Steyn's post.


At February 09, 2007 2:10 AM , Blogger Craig said...

What does anything in Steyn's posting have to do with homosexuality? Are all ethnomusicologists, you know, "playing for the other team?"

I guess this is what passes for keen observation on Pushing a Rope.

At February 09, 2007 3:10 AM , Blogger april said...

I'm with you. I'm still looking for the homophobic content in Steyn's post. And here I thought it was just some wacky ethnomusicologist humor that I wasn't getting. Silly me.

At February 09, 2007 3:23 AM , Blogger Kyle said...

The "do you know..." question was interpreted by the ethnomusicologist as a "do you know the tune..." It's an old joke. Conservatives - they can tell jokes! Surprise!

This is one of those classic hoping-to-be-offended moments, isn't it? Although I'm sure you were on the front lines defending Kerry during his botched-joke disaster.

At February 09, 2007 3:41 AM , Blogger plf5403 said...

FYI, "bone flute" has an alternative meaning in some circles (NSFW):

Now the question is, did Steyn know about this alternative meaning when he wrote the original post (thereby getting a "homophobic" double entendre in), or did the critic assume he knew this meaning and meant it in that vein when in actuality he simply chose an "unfortunate" instrument with respect to his subject's proclivities?

As both craig & april apparently were unfamiliar with this jargon by their posts, it is indeed a vivid lesson in perception based upon one's culture (or lack thereof).

At February 09, 2007 6:57 AM , Blogger Fargin_Bastage said...

Q: How many enthnomusicologists does it take to thumbscrew in a lightbulb?

Once again, liberals are proving John Podhoretz's point in his joke above that they are a bunch of humorless harpies. I suppose Mark Steyn should have just ignored Andrew Sullivan (like I do), but he took the bait.

You moonbat lefties should look for thinly veiled traces of racism in Steyn's joke too. I'm suuuuure it's there.

At February 09, 2007 8:07 AM , Blogger Mike Gebert (aka Max1919) said...

So any reference to homosexuality is by definition homophobic? That is, if it's coming from someone you disagree with?

At February 09, 2007 8:20 AM , Blogger monet1 said...

American idol and Celine Dion are pretty gay.

At February 09, 2007 9:14 AM , Blogger TC said...

Silly me! Here I am, thinking "skin flute" and "flesh horn" the only musical instrument-inspired replacements for penis... and invoking such was obviously homophobic? Well shut my mouth! I never knew that.

As Freud wanted to say, "sometimes a FLUTE is just, well, a flute."

At February 09, 2007 9:30 AM , Blogger V said...

You *might* have a point had Steyn said "I'll play it on YOUR bone flute," which would be a reference to Sullivan's homosexuality. But he didn't. He said *my* bone flute which, if anything, would be a reference to autofellatio.

You're really looking too hard for subtext. A bone flute is a crude musical instrument, and just the type of thing that an ethnomusicologist would study. Just Google "ethnomusicologist 'bone flute'" and you'll see.

At February 09, 2007 9:52 AM , Blogger Victor said...

Bone flute seems like a musical instrument right out of the ethnomusicology handbook--just like Howard Banister's igneous rocks.

At February 09, 2007 10:59 AM , Blogger lumberjack said...

How silly.

Bone flute didn't have any double meaning.

In my opinion, you're going off half-cocked on this.

At February 09, 2007 2:33 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

by my assessment. The National Review isn't known for their love of gays and lesbians. See John Derbyshire.

At February 09, 2007 3:44 PM , Blogger Kyle said...

Ah, so it's guilt by association. Is that one of the tenet's of liberalism?

At February 09, 2007 4:09 PM , Blogger Bthinkings said...

Mark did his best to bring a little humor into our lives and while he may not be the funniest guy or know his musical instruments all that well, we'd all do well to remember what the Zen philosopher Basha once wrote: "A flute without holes is not a flute and a doughnut without a hole is a Danish". Funny guy.

At February 12, 2007 4:49 PM , Blogger Rory said...

Come on, Mark Steyn is a well known racist a little to the right of Tom Tancredo. This is the same Mark Steyn who referred to most Mexicans as rapists and murderers. It is not a stretch to assume that he is homophobic as well.


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