The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 27, 2013: The Acerebralists™ Are Still Among Us


I own a great book (thank you, Jane) called “The Superior Person’s Book of Words”, by Peter Bowler (1985). It’s very funny and has definitions (or explanations) of a bunch of great and, almost always, actual words that describe things perfectly. Not quite Ambrose Bierce, but chosen to effect an air of superiority when the occasion calls for it. Words like

CONTRADISTINCTION n. Why say “in contrast with” when you can say “in contradistinction to”?

There’s another great entry for

EREPTION n. Snatching away. Do not confuse with EREPTATION (creeping forth). Snuggling up to your beloved at the drive-in, you say, “I sense an ereption coming on,” and suddenly snatch the M&Ms from her lap. If it transpires that she has put the M&Ms somewhere else, you will be compelled to perform an ereptation.

The whole book is like that. It’s great. On the back cover can be found this:

ACEREBRAL a.Without a brain. A word for which there would at first sight appear to be no use, since no entity to which there would be any point in applying the term could in fact possess this attribute. (There would be no point in speaking of an acerebral windowsill.) However, recent researches into the central nervous system of the wire-haired terrier have conclusively demonstrated the need for such a word.

I then (technically improperly, I think) applied a suffix to indicate a person who practices or is concerned with something (“-ist”), and came up with

ACEREBRALIST n. A person who tries to think without having the capacity to do so. (i.e. A person without a brain who insists on trying to use it.)

You’ll probably derive your own variations on the theme, but it’s one of those words that you either get it and know to whom it applies or you don’t, and probably never will. Remember, you heard it from me first. Don’t go trying to steal it, Colbert!

[The above was part of a post first published more than six years ago on my original blog.]

Fast forward six years later and a word with what seemed like limited application then is almost indispensable in describing large segments of our society today. What other word best describes the faithful and believing viewers of Fox News Channel? I’ve written about Fox News in my song parodies (here, here, here, and especially here), and yet despite my efforts people still watch that network to get their news. And the sad part is that the Acerebralists™ in America (their target audience) believe every lie they’re told. Whether it’s about Benghazi or polls based on the lies about Benghazi, misinformation about the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down one section of the Voting Rights Act (not all of it), or denying that racism is still a major problem in this country, Fox News knows their audience lacks the brain power to think for themselves (or do their own internet research). If it weren’t for brainless people, Fox News Channel wouldn’t have enough viewers to stay on the air. (BTW, all of the examples I linked to were just from the past few days on Fox News Channel. The rest of the year is no better.)

But cable TV news is not the only place dependent on Acerebralists™ to make a living. Right-wing talk radio not only counts on them for their audiences, they even employ some Acerebralists™ as on-air hosts. I’m not talking about Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Those guys aren’t stupid, they’re just plain evil in all sorts of ways. I’m talking about people like Bryan Fischer, who once regaled his audience with tales of his bravely fighting off demons, who thinks Liz Cheney isn’t anti-gay enough to be a US Senator, and who thinks it’s your patriotic duty (as Americans) to worship God. You can read about soem of the others at Right Wing Watch (A Project of People For the American Way).

And maybe all of that wouldn’t be so bad, wouldn’t be so detrimental to the country, if there weren’t any Acerebralists™ in Congress. Unfortunately for us as a nation, there are. On just the anti-immigration front, there’s Rep Michele Bachmann, who predicted that if any kind of immigration reform legislation passes, the Republicans will lose the House of Representatives because President Obama “will wave his magic wand” and declare that all immigrants have the right to vote (he can’t and won’t); Rep Louie Gohmert, who thinks that not only are black people “embracing” the Republican Party, but that “Hispanic voters will do likewise once they understand that the GOP wants them to learn to speak English and assimilate so that they don’t have to work as ditch diggers.”; and Rep Steve King (IA), who thinks that most of the undocumented immigrants are “130-pound” drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.” [Not to be confused with Rep Peter King (NY), the famous terrorist supporter.] Acerebralists™ can truly feel they have one of their own (or, in this case, at least three) representing them in our Congress.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss the Acerebralists™ in your life, the ones who watch Fox News Channel, or even the ones in Congress, or anything else you wish to discuss. I only ask that you use your brain, which I know you have because you’re here at The Zoo right now.

94 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 27, 2013: The Acerebralists™ Are Still Among Us

  1. I do hereby propose one more new word: Acerebralistan. New name for Texas, maybe? Florida? North Carolina? The South in general? To include Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, most of Montana, all of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, also Indiana, much of Wisconsin and Michigan . . . Bachmann/s district in Minnesota, etc. Acerebralistan: The Nation of the Dumb, the Mindless, the Huddled Masses yearning to breathe carbonized air. Etc.

    Politically represented by the G.A.P. — the Grand Acerebralist Party.

    As Emily Dickinson wrote,

    To fill a Gap
    Insert the Thing that caused it —
    Block it up
    With Other — and ’twill yawn the more —
    You cannot solder an Abyss
    With Air.

    • Most-Profitable Football Programs
      The University of Texas football program in 2011-12 generated the most revenue and highest profit among all programs, according to NCAA data. The numbers, in millions:

      School——-Rev.——-Exp.——-Profit
      Texas——-$103.8—-$25.9——$77.9
      Michigan—–$85.2—-$23.6——$61.6
      Georgia——$75.0—-$22.7——$52.3*
      Florida——-$74.1—-$23.1——$51.1*
      Alabama—–$82.0—-$36.9——$45.1*
      LSU———–$68.8—-$24.1——$44.8*
      Auburn——-$77.2—-$33.3——$43.8*
      Notre Dame–$69.0—-$25.8—–$43.2
      Arkansas—–$64.2—-$24.3—–$39.9*
      Nebraska—–$55.1—-$18.7—–$36.4

      I added the asterisks to denote the Southeastern Conference schools.
      Y’all evaluate what the head football coach means to the school’s revenue stream. Remember, the coach in question was at Florida, not MIT.

      If you want to blame someone, blame the fans. They buy the tickets, watch the games on TV, which determines the ad revenue, and buy the school’s licensed sports gear.

      Joe Theisman pees his pants because he gets paid to do so. I’m personally tired of those ads myself.

      Ping pong is the biggest amateur recreational sport in China. Chinese teachers earn whatever the government pays them.

      • I suggest a 100% tax on any and all college sport program profits, such monies to be redistributed to education, including professorial salaries and lower tuition for students.

        • So, you’re not in favor of women’s track, volleyball, softball and soccer, etc?
          Those are sports that are directly subsidized by the profitable sports programs. I would submit to you that the excess money already go to offset some of the costs you mention. Now, they may be limited to the university that earns them, but the conference already distributes a portion of the tv earnings to all member schools, and bowl payoffs are shared also, so the schools who don’t have winning records get paid even if they’re not on TV as much as the winning schools. Don’t field a football team? Then you don’t share in the revenue.

          • Generally speaking, I have zero interest in competitive sports, period. What troubles me most about collegiate competitives is the cost of the facilities . . . stadium, arena, courts, ball parks, etc., an abject waste of funds that continues at the city and state level with their respective tax contributions to professional sports, not to mention the horrendous public burden, globally, to support Olympics, summer and winter, or, as in Brazil’s recent case (iirc) facilities for world cup soccer finals, whatever they’re called. And all for what? Lots of cash subsidies for what generally amounts to nothing but entertainment, of a sort, for the masses — most of whom would be far better off doing something other than watching such stuff on the telly.

            Yes, I know, I’m way out of the mainstream, but I’ve never seen or heard a reasonable argument in favor of public (i.e. tax dollar expenditure) support of competitive sports, esp. when it’s at the expense of actual education.

            • Case in point:

              New Red Wings stadium in Detroit will be built using $285 million in public funds

              Amid all the drama surrounding Detroit’s bankruptcy this past week, there was a supremely ironic announcement made that came the same day a federal bankruptcy court judge cleared the way for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to proceed with the Chapter 9 filing. Plans for new sports complex, centered around a new Red Wings hockey arena, were revealed. The complex will cost $650 million of which $285 million will come from tax dollars. The arena itself will cost $450 million and 58% of that cost, $261.5 million, will be paid for by tax revenues.

              The bonds are being issued by the state in part under a tax-increment-financing, or TIF, plan. Under a TIF arrangement, “future gains in taxes [are used] to subsidize current improvements, which are projected to create the conditions for said gains.” In other words, the project will essentially pay for itself by increasing property values and tax revenues in the future after it is built.

              Right. Uh huh.

  2. Steve Kornacki included Michael Steele on his panel and I immediately lost interest in watching the show.

  3. Acerebralist: The fellow I spoke with the other day, who was positive that Bengazi involves massive cover-ups, with Obama at the center of the web of intrigue, although he was not sure what the specific cover-up was: it was one of about half a dozen possibilities. And any evidence that has been presented to the contrary, including official documents and testimony, is all part of the cover-up of some terrible and heinous deed(s), orchestrated by Obama and the Democratic Party.

    AND insisted:

    There is no possible way that the “Zimmerman saves family from a burning wreck like some real-world Batman” involves any kind of deception – because there was a police report about the wreck (not that he SAW the police report himself…). To suggest otherwise was just as ridiculous to him as if I told him that gangs of wild space lemurs were teleporting into my basement at night and stealing socks from the dryer as part of their plan to conquer the planet Earth.

    Credulity of the evidence appears to be based on predetermined bias, rather than on an objective set of standards. Judge first, then make the evidence fit the judgment.

  4. I can’t think of anything more acerebral than the amount of money we in the US spend on watching sports on all levels. The very idea a large part of our upper level education system depends on sports generated revenues is so very weird. Then you add in the people who make a living, some of them a very lucrative one, from sports and it gets even weirder.

    The idea that we invest so much capital in being spectators of things that really don’t add a damn thing to the advancement of society is about the most bizarre concept modern civilization has come up with.

      • Doing well, thanks. I’m still in the process of rebuilding the muscle structure but I’m back to work full time. Best part of having it fixed is being able to move without pain which has led to losing weight. The other little benny is not being as chronically cranky.

  5. “Bryan Fischer,…who thinks Liz Cheney isn’t anti-gay enough”

    Revealingly, Fischer never brings up the subject of Liz Cheney’s lesbian sister, Mary. Way to cherry pick, Bry.

  6. TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan security officials say more than 1,000 detainees have escaped from a prison near the eastern city of Benghazi in a mass jailbreak.

    Thanks, Obama.

  7. “Though I was during the campaign running for VP, I was banned from talking about Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s friend, Bill Ayers, the character that he befriended and kicked off his political campaign in the guy’s living room” — Sarah Palin.

    The Choice (and remember, death is not an option): Sarah Palin’s tortured speech patterns, or Anthony Weiner’s titillating Twitter?

  8. QOTD:

    “What is it about the modern GOP that so many of its leaders are correct on the righteousness of either the Civil War or the Iraq War, but rarely both?” – Joan Walsh.

  9. Sad news:

    JJ Cale passed away at 8:00 pm on Friday July 26 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, CA.
    The legendary singer / songwriter had suffered a heart attack

    .

  10. …Both cars proceeded driving until Hill stopped his car in front of the second vehicle and jumped out brandishing a black pool cue. The second driver pulled out a gun in order to defend himself as Hill continued to yell that he get out of the car.

    Hill eventually retreated without anyone getting hurt.

    This being Florida…pool cue guy was arrested!

    • My neighbor, Peckerhead Pete, told me a story yesterday about an incident in 1988 where he threatened the manager of a car dealership with a gun because of the continuing mechanical problems Pete was having with a car he bought there. I told pete he was lucky that that had occurred prior to Florida’s 10-20-Life Law being enacted. Pete claimed the law was already in effect then (it wasn’t until 1999) but because he knew the sheriff he was never charged. I left to look it up on wiki and went back to his house emboldened. with additional knowledge to impart to him.

      I walked in his front door without knocking, went to his refrigerator and took a beer without asking in an effort to provoke his anger. After some back and forth banter I began laughing and said the following: Not only are you wrong about when the 10-20-Life Law was enacted I also discovered that at the same time Florida made it a felony, with a 3 year mandatory sentence, to assault anyone 65 or older, so shut up or I’ll call the cops on you!

      Today I drink free because he knocked on my door very early to borrow my portable air pump. He borrows tools from me a lot and usually brings me a beer when he does and when I go to retrieve I have another one.

    • maybe you should put lipstick on them…I mean, if you’re gonna pimp the pigs, you should go whole hog…..

      (ducks for cover)

  11. I apologize if someone already posted this link. I came across it in doing research for this post, but I was getting tired and didn’t want to spend an hour collecting material on another Acerebralist.

    http://www.newshounds.us/sarah_palin_i_was_silenced_from_blowing_the_whistle_on_obama_s_ignorance_by_karl_rove_and_the_gop_machine_in_2008_07262013

    I wonder how far Fox will let Sarah go in attacking one of their major Republican liars?

    • This was exquisite:

      But the even bigger shocker was that Palin, the poster child for ignorance, lack of experience and who not to choose as a running mate, suggested that if only she had been allowed to blow the whistle on “Obama’s lack of knowledge and job experience”…

      Ego does get in the way, doesn’t it? She’s so damn clueless.

    • I just posted a mind numbing, grammatically mangled quote by Palin from the article. I figure around here, no one would want to actually read about the woman.

  12. Teresa Heinz Kerry released from hospital

    Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry and heir to the ketchup company fortune, was released Saturday from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, where she was treated for a seizure she experienced on July 7.
    Doctors said they expect Heinz Kerry to complete a full recovery at home after some limited out-patient treatment, read a statement released by Kerry’s spokesman Glen Johnson.

  13. The combination of this HP computer, AMD processor, Vista operating system and Discus makes for a very unpleasant commenting session when there are hundreds of comments or a lot of comments being made at the same time. The Zoo is a lot friendlier than Media Matters, way less stress with nicer people and a variety of interesting posts. And a butterfly to dream about. 😉

    • You mean Dissux, don’t you? I start to get irritated at about twenty comments.

      I hate it Crooks and Liars switched to using it. They said their servers were taxed too much storing all their comments. It’s better than Facebook, but not by much.

      • I’ve been at MM on a thread with over 800 comments now. If I open a new browser window then close any other window, I can then go to MM and open the thread. When Dissux loads and I responses I can click on a comment link and go directly to the response and make another comment. Then I open a new window and close the one I made a comment on and repeat the process for the next comment. I guess that eliminates loading all the other comments before and after that aren’t showing. Its cumbersome for sure but it lets me make comments!

        I’ve also noticed a certain Zooster posting at TP and C&L using an alias. Did I mention I dream about butterflies. 🙂

  14. via – Amazing Photos From Around the World (unfortunately there’s no attribution for the photographer)

    One in a million shot

    Good fortune dragonflies have wings, as it seems their eyesight may not be all that sharp.

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