There's nothing worse than a long holiday weekend for falling behind on the news. What group of clumsy criminals are we bailing out now? And, gosh, will a zillion dollars be enough? You can lose track. Plus what's happening with Heidi and Spencer?
That's why a website like Free Republic is indispensable. I know most people write it off as the tragic mutterings of a bunch of dandruff-addled, pit-sniffing shut-ins without the social skills to form a lynch mob. But that's an oversimplification.
It's also a news aggregator. With one click not only do I get all the headlines I need, I also find out -- in parenthesis -- how they make me feel.
Right Tilt: Attacks Tilt India to the Right (Barf!)
One Dead Rabbi Not the Issue (Barf Alert)
A President Named Obama Changes the Name Game (BARF Alert)
Aligning Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin is Insulting (Barf Alert)
It's a Madhouse Outside the Gun Shops, Too (Barf Alert)
Putting a Face on Big Auto (Semi Barf)
Morning In America - Could Barack Obama Become the Next Ronald Reagan? (Mega Barf)
Iowa Cafe Swamped with Orders for "Obama Cookie" (MEGA BARF ALERT!)
Second Stonewall: One Gay Man's Rant on the State of Queer Equality (Hurl-icious!)
Okay, so the part in brackets isn't actually a very useful feature. You can be pretty sure how you're supposed to feel is nauseous.
Almost everything makes Freepers throw up at least a little. If an army marches on its stomach, this one isn't going anywhere.
The trick, if you're not the typical Free Republic reader -- one hand on your gat, the other probing and stroking the crack between the couch cushions, dreamily, then frenziedly, then dreamily again -- is to figure out what it is about each story that makes you sick with rage.
It's not always immediately clear.
Sometimes it's the facts themselves that do it. I think that's what's going on with Obama's cookie and people choosing Obama as a baby name.
Sometimes you're convulsed with inchoate fury because the writer is expressing an opinion that's different than your own. That's what's wrong with the Obama/Reagan piece and Stonewall, I guess.
Sometimes you're wasting perfectly good food because, while you don't doubt the facts of a story, you don't like the reporter's tone. (The gun shop story and Big Auto.)
Sometimes you're queasy from a rare and difficult op-ed double reverse. (The thing about comparing Hillary to Sarah Palin. The author thinks people say they're alike, when really they're not, but Freepers know they are. Aren't. Are. Aren't. Are.)
Sometimes your guess is as good as mine.
One thing's for certain, though: Newsweek, the New York Times, Beliefnet.com, Eleanor Clift, the AP, the Caldwell (New Jersey) Progress and the Newport News Daily Press might think they're getting away with something but they're not.
They've now been added to an illustrious spit list that includes:
The Atlantic (DOUBLE BARF ALERT!!)
Barbara Walters (additional barf bags required)
CNN (Hold your tummy BARF alert)
The Economist (Barf Alert)
The Edmonton Sun (barf)
Helen Thomas (Mega-barf alert)
Jimmy Carter (DEFCON 5 Barf Alert)
The Los Angeles Times (Mega-Barf Alert!)
The Maryville Daily News (BARF ALERT)
Market Watch (BARF ALERT)
The New Orleans Time-Picayune (Barf alert on illegal aliens)
The New Republic: We need to embrace liberalism's proud history (Too funny to Barf
The Palm Springs Desert Local News (Barf Alert)
The San Antonio Express-News (Barf Alert)
The San Francisco Chronicle (Barf with Chunks Alert - Heave 2)
Ted Rall (GIGA BARF ALERT)
The Washington Post (Mandatory WaPo Barf Alert)
The Wall Street Journal: Political Perceptions: Is Iran a Winning McCain Issue? (A Barf but Questions to be Faced)
Still, you've got to admire "A Barf but Questions to be Faced." You imagine some Joe the Plumber-type opening the paper and puking his guts out -- I mean, just this sudden explosion of hot upchuck, everywhere. Just racked by it. He's hurling so hard he's crying. The place looks an action painting. And then he stops and goes: "On the other hand, Peggy Noonan makes a good point."
Forget Fox News. That's fair and balanced.
There's nothing wrong with an insult like "You make me sick." The impressionist painter Max Liebermann famously said: "Ick kann ja nich so ville fressen, wie ick kotzen mochte." ("I can't even eat as much as I want to throw up.") But it was Berlin, and it was the '30s, and he had a legitimate beef. The problem with the Free Republic is being a hyper-patriot and using "barf" as your reaction to everything.
In America, the most gluttonous country in history, the ultimate insult for an object -- any object -- is that it could stop you from eating.
Rush Limbaugh has said:
"I can only read so many paragraphs of a New York Times story before I puke."
And you probably thought the worst thing that could happen when you lent someone the sports section was they took it to the men's room.