20 Years of Rude Punditry: The AMA Part of It

If yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of this here blog (or "newsletter," if you wanna sound classy), today marks the 20th of the first proper post, which, interestingly, is more like a series of tweets (although I was here before Twitterx. Actually, now that I think about it, I was here before YouTube, before Facebook, hell, before Breitbart). It was a crude version of the crudeness to follow.

Lemme get the money part of things out of the way here. One of the big changes in the last few years is the ability to actually make some scratch on this stuff without allowing advertisers to put bullshit on your website. I do Patreon (for now), and if you subscribe there, you get extra posts, occasional uncensored versions of the videos I've been doing for the Political Voices Network, and other stuff. I'm a bit more personal there, and I do some deep dives into fascist websites and other shit. If you're gonna pay, I'm gonna work for it. 

You can do it at the $1, $3, $5, or $10 levels or even $100 if you're rich and insane (or extraordinarily kind - it's a fine line). And you can pay it monthly or annually. One more extra: a great community of readers who comment regularly on the posts, sometimes offering great takes, sometimes sanely disagreeing. It's way more fun than I thought it would be.

And I should mention that the old Donation button through PayPal is still up here if you just wanna toss a couple of shekels in the bucket and be on your way. 

Okay, let's go to the fun stuff. I asked on Twitterx and Threads and BlueSky for questions, and, damn, nice job everyone. I said AMA, and, goddamn, now I better answer. So away we go:

Since a bunch of you are Steph heads, you asked how I got involved with Ms. Stephanie Miller and her delicious, daily radio orgy. Kind of simple really: In the summer of 2009, I heard she was reading my posts on the air, so I got in touch and said, "Well, shit, if you're using my stuff, why not have me on?" I had to make all kinds of promises to be FCC compliant (which I've only fucked up twice in over 14 years). We discovered on the first time I appeared that the sexual tension between Steph and me was so intense that I've heard listeners spontaneously orgasmed, which made things extra awkward if they were already at work. Thus a long-term relationship was born. (Sincere note: Steph, Chris, Jody, Travis, Sean, and everyone I've met through the show are just terrific and smart people.)

Several of you wanna know what my employer, the City University of New York, thinks about me doing this gig. That's a good question, considering how many professors have gotten in trouble for shit they say on blogs, social media, or comment threads. But I'm a lucky motherfucker: a whole lot of my higher-ups are regular readers. When I did my first show back in 2005, the Provost congratulated me. I got tenure, in part, from the positive reaction to that show. I have a couple of rules: I don't shit where I eat (which means that if I have an issue at my daytime job, I keep it at my daytime job). I don't bring it into the classroom unless it's relevant (like if I teach writing solo shows, yeah, I'm gonna fuckin' talk about my solo shows). If a student has googled me and asks, I'll tell them. In fact, if anyone wants to talk politics because they know I do this, I'm more than happy to get into it.

Every now and then, some fucknut will contact the college president or dean or someone and say that I'm immoral or I'm trying to pervert minds or just that I'm an asshole, citing something I wrote that upset them. When I wrote something against Catholicism, this guy went on the warpath to say I'm bigoted and needed to be fired. The Provost called me and said, "What's this about?" I explained and it was done. It's good to have a strong union. It's good to work for people who actually think professors are allowed to have opinions. 

Here's an interesting question: "Who is the absolute worst person you’ve ever written about?" It might be recency bias, but I truly think it's Donald Trump. I mean, it's tempting to say Karl Rove, who was the architect of so much of our path to political damnation. I could easily say George W. Bush, who bumblefucked his way through crisis after crisis, doing the bidding of truly evil fucks, like Dick Cheney (also in the top five). But Trump has done so much damage to the American psyche, contorting the febrile brains of millions of people into releasing their racist, hateful ids and pushing them to committing or contemplating mass violence. Trump's the most dangerous motherfucker of all the motherfuckers because he's not seen as a politician. He's seen as a prophet, and he knows it, so he's gonna manipulate the idiot hordes to give him their cash and do his vile bidding until he's locked away or dead.

Someone asked if there are any posts where I might have gone too far. Nah. I regret being wrong sometimes. And there are a couple of posts that I think are extravagantly dark. There's the one where Donald Rumsfeld keeps a drawer of the mummified dicks of dead soldiers. Or the one where Dick Cheney masturbated at Auschwitz. More recently, there's the one where Tucker Carlson does autoerotic asphyxiation to images of the war in Ukraine. I guess one I might take back is where I was trying for parody with the "Modest Proposal" title, but it didn't come across as parody and it just sounds like I want Donald Trump to kill himself. But if I started deleting ones where I thought the jokes didn't work, I'd be here for days. 

I'll end here by bringing up something I bet a lot of you forgot about or never knew. When I went to the Bonnaroo Music Festival for a few years, I wrote a series of fictional posts about the event turning into a zombie apocalypse or environmental horror movie. Rude at Bonnaroo was a combination of exhaustion, drugs, and sun madness, and it's about as weird as my brain gets, and, yet, there's still a pretty good zombie story in there. Dive in and enjoy.

More tomorrow to round this celebration out.