Search Results for: pony


From: gemma@arialblack
Re: Fresh content for Popehat

Hi Ken

My name is Gemma and I work primarily as a freelance writer, I'm writing to you because I thought you might be interested in a contributed article for

Previous to starting my career as a freelancer I worked for many years in business and finance. When I became a mother, I decided to turn to writing to make a living and now pen articles on as many different topics as I can – from news and current affairs through to pieces on money matters.

I'd love to know if you'd be interested in a piece from me. This would come to you free of charge, and all I'd ask in return is that I'd be allowed to mention a partner as a resource within the text. If you're interested in this I'd love to hear back from you with ideas for topics I could write on. Otherwise I leave you with my best wishes

Kind regards

Dear Gemma:

Thank you for your correspondence?

We at Popehat might well be interested in an article. Specifically we'd be interested in an article about certain security issues. If you think that your background qualifies you to write about security issues — about certain threats to our children, that you and I as parents must consider to do our jobs — I can elaborate.

Of course it's fine to mention your partner. We at Popehat unreservedly support marriage equality and are in favor of normalizing all relationships by mentioning them in writing.


Ken at Popehat

Hi Ken

I would certainly be interested in hearing your ideas and would be more than willing to put something together on what you suggest. Please do let me know what you had in mind

Kind regards

Dear Gemma:

What I have in mind is nothing less than a comprehensive treatment of the greatest menace facing our race: ponies.

By race I mean the human race, of course. I'm not a racialist. Ponies are a threat to all ethnicities. Of course, some ethnicities are better able, because of circumstance, to repel the pony threat. Which ones is a matter of considerable debate. On the one hand white Americans enjoy superior wealth, agreeable climate, and the ability to be elected to our various legislatures without any apparent qualifications whatsoever. Arguably this makes us more equipped to deal with ponies through expensive security systems and various punitive zoning measures. Many whites would deny this truth; this phenomenon is known as Pony Privilege. But on the other hand, white Americans have become flabby, easily distracted, and generally unreliable with the sort of light antitank weapons that are most effective against closely-grouped clusters of ponies. I made my oldest child fire a LAW at a group of burros the other day — you know, for practice — and it knocked him right on his ass. What are they teaching our children in their physical education classes? The ponies aren't here to play dodgeball with us, Gemma.

I may have strayed somewhat from the point.

Yes. Back to your article. Listicles are very popular these days so to clickbait this motherfucker I'd like to see something along the lines of "The Ten Most Horrible Things That The Ponies Will Do To Your Children When That Day Comes. Number Seven Will Make You Soil Yourself And Curl Into A Stinking Ball." Then I'd like a series of ten cautionary tales, calculated to stir the complacent guts of America: Pilates classes disrupted. Facial hoofprints on children just before picture day. Great heaps of the dead making our electric vehicle charging stations almost inaccessible. HBO producers forced against their will to replace Peter Dinklage with a swaggering, abusive Shetland. Mere anarchy loosed upon the world. Blood-dimmed tides irretrievably staining my sustainable bamboo parquet meditation deck. And so on and so forth.

We need visuals that pop, Gemma, so if you and your partner could dress up as ponies, or people being hunted mercilessly by ponies past all hope and reason, that would be ideal.

I eagerly await your draft.

Very truly yours,

Ken at Popehat

Also, The Pony Will Need Three References

Hi Ken,

I’m Rebecca Gray from I love writing guest posts for blogs that interest me. It's a great way to expand one's portfolio, network with other bloggers, and learn new things.

That being said, I was wondering if I could write a guest post for you. The article will be unique and specifically tailored as per the theme of your blog. I’ll just include a reference to my site in the author byline at the end of the article.

Please let me know if you are interested.


Dear Rebecca,

Happy New Year! I'm pleased that we can provide an opportunity to expand someone's portfolio.

We're excited to hear that you can offer specifically tailored guest posts per the theme of our blog. Most people don't get the theme of our blog quite frankly.

So: I see you are from Can you provide a specifically tailored guest post about background checks? If so I have a few specifications and questions for such a post.


Hi Ken,

Thanks for the response. Well, I would love to write an article related to background checks. Please let me know if you have any specific topic in mind.



Well, here's the thing. Most available articles about background checks involve people.

Now I grant you that in many ways this is sensible. Man, we are told, is the most dangerous game. Also not an island, and the bastard, and to the extent he is good, hard to find. Man is also a battlefield, if I recall correctly.

But what about other threats?

Is it possible to run a background check on a pony?

Now, wait. I recognize you will see this as immediately preposterous. "What kind of idiot has to run a background check on a pony," you might be thinking. "A pony is overtly hazardous, a patent threat by definition. You might as well run a background check on a puddle of acid or a board with a rusty nail or R. Kelly."

But there are gradations of risk, Rebecca. We deal with them every day. Do I speed up to make that yellow light, or slow down? Do I try skydiving, or not? Do I eat another Double-Double animal style from In-N-Out Burger even though my entire abdomen is so taut and bloated that my vision is blurred and I can feel my pulse in my scrotum?

All ponies are wicked and hazardous, but surely some ponies are more deadly than others. For instance, though all ponies would bite our precious children given a suitable opportunity, some have actually done so and developed a taste for man-flesh that torments their dreams and makes them shudder when darling little hands run over their manes. Any pony MIGHT kill a man, but some ponies HAVE killed a man, and have begun to develop . . . . skills. It's like the difference between a job applicant who has a proven record of being repeatedly fired for incompetence, and one who merely has visible barbed wire or tribal tattoos.

So: I guess what I'm looking for is an article on the extent to which modern technology and investigative methods has made it practicable to run background checks on ponies before one retains their services for one purpose or another.

Also: our readers have grown extremely wary to the point of unmedicated phobia about ponies. So the article should be ABOUT ponies but under no circumstances should the article SAY "pony" or directly mention anything clearly pony-related like "hoof" or "snort" or "rend." Kindly employ a euphemism instead, viz. "In this article I will discuss whether it is possible to run a background check on William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States of America, in order to protect your children."

Trusting that these terms will be agreeable, I remain very sincerely yours,


Dress For The Pony You Fear, Not The Pony You Have


My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called I'm sure you must have heard of it by now. We are nationally recognized, reliable source for kid's games, and we are located at

I was looking at a few different sites for realty information, and I thought yours was one of the best. I would like to request a link to our website. I realize that sometimes there are set rates involved in this kind of placement of text links, so, please, feel free to name your price. If you need more information in order to review and consider our site for linking, please feel free to contact me via email at [email protected], or, if you would like to talk about this by phone, my direct number is 5446999904.

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for

Hey Ken,

I tried to reach you again some time ago but something obviously went wrong, or you just didn't have the time to check my email….that's all right. My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called and it is located at
I was wondering if you'd be interested in us paying to advertise via text links on your site. I realize that there are sometimes set rates/fees involved in such placement of text links so feel free to name your price. We like your blog and we would love to be a part of it.
If not, thanks for the time and keep up the good work!

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for
mail to:
[email protected]

Hi Ken,

I tried to reach you again before, but obviously it didn't work; anyway I thought I should give it another-last-try. We are interested in working with you.
We are interested in a permanent post with a do-follow link to our site and a picture. We prefer you to write the post, but we can write it, too. Please let me know if you are interested, and your rates in both cases.


Dear Annita,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your three attempts to contact me. I forgot how to computer.

I appreciate your praise for our website and the work we have done on realty information. Initially I wasn't sure whether you meant reality information — for we do supply a great deal of information about certain unpleasant aspect of reality, Annita — or realty information, meaning information about the purchase and sale of homes. While we have only provided limited realty information — for instance, advice not to buy in Destin, Florida — I am gratified that what we have done is of use.

I also very much appreciate your exhortation that we feel free to name our price for a text link. I shall do so! Money is actually a little tight these days Annita and I don't mind telling you that some cash to defray certain medical, legal, and psycho-sexual expenses would come in very handy right now. But either Sun Tzu or Cap'n Crunch said that we must never pass up the opportunity for a substantial long-term victory to secure a minor short-term goal. Therefore I would like to name a more creative price.

You wish us to link a site that specializes in dress-up games for children. We will do so on the condition that you create and feature prominently a game teaching children about the patent dangers of ponies. Children are taught to love and cherish and squeal over ponies, Annita. This is like teaching children that whirling sawblades taste like Strawberry Quik. If falls to us — we few, we desperate few — to push back against this message, just as we push back against messages that promote negative body images or tolerance of ironic facial hair.

Children love games, particularly video games with eerie bug-eyed avatars and art styles out of the methadone nightmares of Japanese pornographers, so I see a win-win scenario in a collaboration here. Our proposed dress-up game — tentatively titled PONIES LAUGH WHILE THEY KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE — would have the following elements:

* Players could choose amongst a variety of high-fashion outfits to dress their avatar stylishly but in the manner best suited to defend against a pony onslaught, only to discover that their painstaking choices are meaningless because no protective clothing — however sparkly — is sufficient to protect against the junvilequine terror.

* Players could choose amongst different outfits suitable for a post-pony-apocalypse, including gnawed tatters, wretched tear-stained shifts, and gowns slick and dark with the blood of their cherished grandparents.

* Occasionally screens displaying, say, different hats would go suddenly black and a screaming pony would appear in 3D in an effort to teach vigilance.

* In-game characters would use fashion situations for pedagogical purposes, like saying "that's a lovely chemise you've chosen, but how are you going to work the buttons when ponies have bitten your fingers off?"

This serves both of our needs, Annita, as well as the needs of the world's children. You've asked us to name our price. That's it.

I eagerly await your reply.

Very truly yours,


P.S. I am aware that Cap'n Crunch may not really be a Captain.


Hi Ken,

I was very surprised by your email! Please give me some time to
forward this to the relevant department; I'll let you know soon. Meanwhile, can't we find a way to sort things out, and do that post?

Best Regards,

The Tesla, Or The Pony?

Hello editor/admin,

I love your site and think it may be a fit for my marketing campaign. What kind of advertising options do you offer?

How much do you charge for a one very relevant, do-follow, in-copy text link to a non-spammy website?

I will give you great content. I just need to know the cheapest rate you can offer for a link inside the article I will give you.

If your rates meet my budget, I will get back with relevant stories.


Dear Susan,

Thank you for your inquiry.

I am very happy to hear that may be a fit for your marketing campaign.

I am intrigued by your offer for an article containing a link. Can you give me a sense of the likely subject matter of the article you would offer?




Thanks for responding. I was actually interested in sponsored post opportunities such as something similar to this article. The link below is an example to show the type of post. I can write content relevant to any niche.

Please let me know if you would be able to offer this and what your rate would be.


Your linked post demonstrates exactly the sort of incisive analysis we aspire to on Popehat,and echoes some of our deepest and most ill-concealed fears and anxieties. We, too, feel like minnows amongst big blog fish. Although Patrick says that I am more of a grouper, and Clark wrote a 4,000 word essay about how he is the Megaladon. I had to set that post as private because there was too many capitalized swears. Some of them weren't even real words.

I think that it is possible that we could reach some sort of accommodation, Susan. I propose that you consider one of the following:

1. WE: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link. YOU: Buy us a red Model X Tesla, with a custom-installed electrical element in the seat that will give me a cautionary shock if I stare at the gigantic dash touchscreen too long, endangering pedestrians. The gazing, I mean, not the shocking; ideally the shocking would help pedestrians by preventing the gazing, which endangers them. Though I suppose technically the shocking shouldn't be set so high that it makes me flinch and swerve into pedestrians either because I think that would defeat the purpose, don't you? So: mild shock reasonably far from the genitals, please. I'm thinking about mid-thigh. In connection with the cautionary shock-device on my new Tesla, I mean, not in connection with anything else. THIS IS NOT AN OBSCENE EMAIL; THIS IS A BUSINESS EMAIL.

2. WE: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link, for FREE. YOU: ensure that the guest post includes a cautionary artistic rendering of a pony. This option is only acceptable if you can provide an artistic depiction that captures, to the satisfaction of an artistic panel consisting of us, the terrifying duality of a pony. The pony can't be rending flesh or breathing fire or sucking the soul out of a baby or anything like that. That's the subtext, Susan. No, the pony has to be doing pony things, like amusing children or capering or being photogenic even whilst shitting indiscriminately. It has to be pretty, Susan. It has to be — and I beg you to forgive my roughness here — one extremely Goddamned pretty pony. But it has to simultaneously convey the dark promises of every pony, the bleak and fell possibilities raised by every juvenilequine encounter. The pony has to exist in a visible dual-state of pretty and horrific. You're going to need quite an artist for that, Susan. You can't just hire anyone off the street. Street people are okay at caricatures and the artwork at the New Yorker and stuff but they don't get ponies. If they got ponies they would live off the street, in houses, because ponies are more likely to be on streets. See?

3. We: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link, but edit it to our personal satisfaction, potentially including but not limited to altering it until it addresses the Pony Menace to our satisfaction. YOU: help me get my left arm out of this vending machine. Long story. All I can say is: thank God for iPads.

I remain faithfully yours,


Me Write Pony One Day

David Williamson

Jul 2, 2013

Hi Ken,

My name is David and I was just checking out your blog Popehat. I have seen that you have published guest posts from different authors in your niche. I am fully interested in witting about law and legal topics.

Here is couple of post that I have written in the past.




Please let me Know how it sounds like so I will start putting a piece together or drop me an email if you have any question/ideas.

Kind Regards,

David Williamson

Hi David,

My name is Ken and I was checking out your email. I have seen that you have written guest posts for various blogs.

David, I am excited to Know that you are open to my questions/ideas about possible guest posts about law and legal topics.

Here's a topic that interests us at Popehat: how does the law classify ponies vis a vis horses?

David, until recently we were under the impression that ponies were simply teenaged horses. That would explain their impetuous and dangerous behavior. Everyone knows that teenagers act badly. Time Magazine has been warning us about teenaged super-predators for decades. That was supposed to be because of crack cocaine and fetal alcohol system and possibly cable television, which I'm pretty sure aren't problems for ponies, but I think my point is still clear, isn't it?

But now I learn that I was wrong, that ponies are different — that they are Other, not merely teenaged or otherwise stunted horses. My question: does this Otherness have any standing at law? Are ponies, as an Other, somehow privileged to wreck the dank and copper-scented havoc they lust for? Do ponies have rights superior to horses, or superior to we foolish men who allow ourselves to believe we are their masters?

I would be very interested in discussing a guest post about that, David.

Very truly yours,


Town Without Pony


I am currently working with to find content partners that would be interested in posting a quality on-topic post to their site with a link back to

Our writer is top-notch and the content will be exclusive to your site only. If you are interested please let me know and I can have a custom article written for your site within a week.

Dorothy Gibson

Dear Ms. Gibson:

Thank you for the offer. I have reviewed the web site and am enthralled by the prospect of a post regarding Destin, Florida. Destin seems to embody all the qualities I've come to associate with Florida: peace and tranquility, good judgment, and shirtless people.

One issue remains. My careful search of the many activities featured on the Destin, Florida promotional web site reveals no pony-related recreation. This is not a problem: this is a unassailable prerequisite to associating Popehat with the site. Can you please confirm that Destin is pony-free, to a level of confidence of at least .9 PPI (Pony Probability Index)?

Thank you. I eagerly await hearing more.


Hi Ken,

You need not to worry about pony-related recreation. Destin is pony free.




I am thrilled, relieved, and more than a little inappropriately agitated to hear it.

Would a guest post extol the virtues of Destin as a recreational locale? That might make a very pleasant change of pace. We write about grim things, Dorothy. Ours is not a place of carefree beach frolic. No, we write about injustice and censorship and brutality and violence and ponies and racism and corruption. Beware, this is a place for tears, as Scarpia says to Cavaradossi in the course of the latter's regrettable encounter with the Italian court system. So: a post about happy people doing happy things in a happy place would be like a refreshing zephyr, with adjacent condominiums and entertainment venues.

However, my concern is that a guest post about Destin would be a little too cheerful, a little too bright. The transition from one of my posts about wrongful convictions or one of Clark's posts about the impending overthrow of the United States government into a post about sunny Destin might be abrupt and jarring for our readers. So I was thinking: could your top-notch writer start the guest post with something ugly and sordid and low about Destin, and then ease in to the nice things? Like maybe if someone recently found a vacationing podiatrist from Duluth dead in the jacuzzi at the Hyatt and there was some unpleasantness, you could start with that, and with a discussion of what a pain in the ass it is to drain the jacuzzi so the water doesn't taste like dead podiatrist any more, and then you could segue naturally from there into Destin's beaches and pool opportunities and famous umbrellaed drinks and thus-and-such. That would be easier on our readers. Some of of them don't deal well with change, Dorothy, I don't mind telling you.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you again, and learning more about the pony-free beaches of Destin.

Very truly yours,


[no response]


My dear Dorothy:

May I quote what you said to me, Dorothy?

"You need not to worry about pony-related recreation. Destin is pony free."

There was a time when I could believe, Dorothy. There was a time when I had faith. There was a time when I had trust.

This is not that time.

I should have seen your crafty wordsmithing, Dorothy. I should have seen that "you need not to worry about pony-related recreation" might simply mean that the ponies would be upon me without warning and that my end would be swift. I should have seen that, rather than "pony-free," you wrote "pony free," smugly signalling a place where ponies obey no law of God nor man.

You deceived me, Dorothy. I choose to look at this as a learning experience.

Game on, Dorothy.


In Which A Marketeer Throws Her Clients Under The Pony


My name is Katie and I am contacting you to see if you would be interested in a guest or sponsored blog post regarding car accident or personal injury lawyers on your site ( If you are interested, I would love to have you or your writers provide the content or I can write the post as well! I can provide you with unique, high quality material and will pay through Paypal. Please let me know how this sounds to you. Thank you!

Best Regards,


Can you identify the site that your guest posts would be linking to or otherwise promoting?

Thank you.

Hi Ken,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I was either thinking of [actual law firm's web site] or [another actual law firm's web site] if you think that would fit better. Let me know what you think! Thanks again.

Best regards,


Thank you for the swift response.

So, do I understand that you are a marketing professional in the field of social media promotion, and those two firms are clients?



Hi Ken,

Yes, you are correct and yes, they are. Would you be interested in a post regarding either of them?

Best regards,


I'd be interested in a post about marketing professionals in the field of social media promotion who spam blogs with guest-post solicitations without first checking to see if the blog is remotely appropriate for the marketeers' law firm clients. Say, for example, a post about a marketeer who spams my blog, Popehat, a blog that relentlessly criticizes "legal marketing" like this, and has a popular and long-running series ridiculing inappropriate guest-post solicitations. For example:

The guest post might analyze whether law firms are well served by such marketing, whether they are exercising due diligence in hiring and supervising their marketeers, whether they'd like it if they knew their marketeers promptly give up their names when asked, and whether their marketing strategy reflects well on their reliability as lawyers.

Or ponies. Some kind of post about ponies would be swell.

Very faithfully yours,



I will keep that in mind. Although it may seem that I wouldn't, I understand where you're coming from. I think a post on ponies would suffice. Have a nice day.

Best regards,

The point, gentle readers, is not just that Katie spams my blog for the benefit of her clients. The point is not just that Katie is either auto-spamming some list of blogs without evaluating their suitability, or else has exceedingly bad judgment about what blogs are suitable targets for her spam. The point is not just that Katie, who should have sensed danger immediately, named two clients to a strange blogger.

The point is now a familiar one: as others have said, outsource your marketing, outsource your reputation and your ethics. If you hire some SEO-snake-oil-selling-marketeer without understanding the industry, and asking tough questions of your would-be marketeer, and supervising what they do on your behalf, then some Katie or Katies may be dropping your name in an exceedingly reckless correspondence in a strange (in every sense of the word) blogger. Today I am on the Surfliner to San Diego and in an expansive mood, so I didn't publish the names of the client law firms to humiliate them for being so reckless as to hire one of the Katies of the world. Tomorrow, perhaps I will have slept badly, or my morning gruel will be burnt, or one of my minions will displease me, and I'll name and shame, as we often have before here.

Don't hire a Katie. If you don't understand what a Katie is, and don't feel competent to evaluate your marketeer for Katietude, don't outsource your marketing at all.

Debbie Schlussel Rides The My Little Pony Of Bigotry

Debbie Schlussel. … Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. What am I going to do with you?

I've already tried to tell you, politely, that I'm just not into you. I get the come-hither look. Those smoldering blue contact lenses under that tawny mane of dyed blonde hair. I appreciate all the desperate attempts to grab attention, really, but I'm sorry to tell you that it will never work out between us. You're Betty and I'm Archie.

And I'm into Veronica. My Veronica, Debbie, is astronaut Sally Ride. Sally Ride will always be first in my heart. So while I know you won't forgive me, Debbie, for this rude reply to your love letter, I hope one day you'll understand.

The mainstream news media and many Americans are remembering Sally Ride, who died today at age 61, as though she were some sort of American hero for being the first female astronaut. She was not. Not even close. Instead, she was the beneficiary of militant feminism, in whose ranks she was proudly present, along with blatant gender-based affirmative action. Many male astronauts and astronauts-in-waiting were far more qualified, had more experience, and had been waiting much longer for a ticket to ride onthe space shuttle. But they were passed over because NASA had just instituted affirmative action and wanted to please feminists.

Poor Debbie, don't you see that none of that matters to me?  I loved Sally Ride for her wit, her intelligence, her can-do spirit, her raven-haired good looks, and because Sally was something that you, Debbie, can never be: a great human being.

Although, as I've mentioned countless times in response to your pleas for attention Debbie, we're never going to be a couple, I want to tell you, as a friend, about your least attractive trait: Jealousy does not become you, Debbie. Contrary to your assertions, Sally Ride was absolutely qualified to go into space, to be the first American woman into space, and the third woman ever into space. I know this because Sally did it.


You'll never go into space Debbie. Because you're not qualified. You're barely qualified to be a guest hostess on the G. Gordon Liddy Show,  much less to ride a rocket into low earth orbit.

In one biography of Ride, it gushes that she was the first female astronaut to use the robotic arm to retrieve a satellite. Big whoop (or as I was thinking, B-F-D, “Big F Deal”). A man did it first, so it’s not history. It was done. She was also the first woman to go to the bathroom on a space shuttle. Again, a dude did it first. And he was still more qualified and earned his trip.

Now you're showing your ugly side Debbie. This is why I de-friended you on Facebook. Shall we put your biography under the same lens?

As an attorney, Schlussel represented University of Michigan students in a lawsuit against the University when it hosted Al-Arian as a speaker at a radical conference (a conference urging divestment from Israel) on campus, exposing him and other radical speakers, and putting them and their supporters on campus on the defensive.

Big whoop. (Or as I was thinking, B-F-D, "Big F Deal").  You lost a lawsuit in which you attempted to suppress a fellow American's right to speak in a public forum.

You know what, Debbie? A man did that first.

In 2002-2003, Schlussel was the host of her own show, “The Debbie Schlussel Show,” on 97.1 FM, Detroit’s FM Talk Station (Infinity/CBS)–#1 in its time-slot.

You hosted a failed talk radio show? A man did that first.

You fucked up your html formatting, on your own website, by allowing strange symbols from foreign languages to stand in place of apostrophes and quotation marks? A man did that first.

A regular on the nationally syndicated “The Howard Stern Show” (audience: 20 million every morning)

I hate to break this to you Debbie, but Howard Stern didn't invite you onto his show because you're a great political thinker. When Howard Stern wants to discuss politics seriously, he invites a man.

In 1988, Schlussel was the youngest female and youngest Jewish delegate to the Republican National Convention, a National Youth Vice Chairman of George H. W. Bush’s 1988 Presidential campaign, and a Youth Chairman of his 1989 Inauguration.

You were invited to be a delegate at a major party convention? A man did that first. You think it's significant that you were invited as a Jew? A gentile did that first.

A lifelong conservative Republican activist, at the age of 21 and with all odds against her, Schlussel ran for the Michigan House of Representatives from the suburban Detroit area and lost by just one vote, the closest election in Michigan political history.

You lost an election in Michigan? A man did that first. You lost it running as a Republican? A Whig did that first.

 Schlussel has literally worked on campaigns for conservative Republican candidates since she was in the sixth grade, when she worked on Ronald Reagan’s first campaign for President.

You misused the word "literally"? A man did that first.

A long-time member of Mensa, the high IQ society, Schlussel was a National Merit Scholar Finalist.

You boast about membership in an organization whose name is a byword for clueless snobbery? A man did that first. You failed to earn a national merit scholarship? A man did that first.

It takes astonishing courage, willpower, and ability to ride a multiton rocket into space Debbie. It takes none of those qualities to bitch about it here on earth. All that it takes is a lack of shame.

So I'm returning the class ring that you sent me Debbie. I won't be taking your phone calls. You can stand in the street outside my house, screaming at the top of your lungs, for another weekend, but I'll just call the cops.

P. S. I was glad to hear that your father finally broke down and bought you a pony. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend your pony party.

Your Pony Is In Good Hands With Popehat

Hi Ken,

I was just reading through your blog and thought it was very helpful. I was wondering if you would allow a guest post?

I was considering a topic related to the legal trouble you can get into if you don't have the proper auto insurance.

Is this something you would consider?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

Kelly Blogger ([email protected])

Dear Kelly:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Actually, we've already had guest bloggers covering the need for auto insurance. If we repeat similar topics too often, our readers get unruly, and may start either posting unpleasant pictures in the comments, or else abandoning us entirely for sites that cater to their most base and contemptible desires, like Huffington Post.

There is a related topic you could cover, however: the legal trouble you can get into if you don't have proper pony insurance.

Ponies are cute and frolicsome and endearing, Kelly — at least on the surface. But ponies are also deadly. A pony can take away everything you've got and everything you're ever going to have. You won't know it to look at them — unless you look close, in the eye. A pony's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes.

So you can just imagine our concerns about liability, legal and moral, arising from the stable of ponies we've accumulated as payment for advertising and guest-posting. Why, my co-blogger Clark went into that stable just the other day. There was a sound — a harsh and terrible keening, Kelly, a sound like I have never heard before and pray to God I shall never hear again — and Clark came out a different man entirely. He was a changed man — and not even in a good way. He seemed a man emptied of all that was good and hopeful and filled up with something else, something dark and other, and now he sits in the corner in the shadow rocking and muttering softly in some language that not even David can pretend to recognize.

Apparently that sort of thing is not covered by our current pony insurance policy. So you can see my dilemma.

I look forward to your guest post about the hazards of uninsured pony-related activities. Please don't use us as a cautionary tale: it's still too painful.

Very truly yours,


P.S. No Brony stuff.

Jonah Goldberg Hides The Pony

The optimist, we are told, dives into a pile of horseshit because he is sure there must be a pony in there somewhere. I must be an optimist, because I suffered all the way through Jonah Goldberg's screedy Los Angeles Times column yesterday about how the liberals are a-gonna destroy free speech. And to Goldberg's credit, there was a pony in there. Eventually. A spavined beast destined for the glue factory, to be sure, but a pony all the same.

Goldberg's little pony is his entirely apt complaint about the Obama Administration's position in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which was argued before the Supreme Court last week. The case concerns Hillary: The Movie, a rather belabored effort at the seemingly easy task of convincing people that Hillary Clinton is fit neither for high office nor for polite society. The question presented in the case is whether the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 — one of the latest stars in the firmament of federal restrictions on political speech — is constitutional to the extent it purports to prohibit release of the film or others like it when funded by corporations or certain interest groups. As Goldberg points out, the Obama Administration — which elected to continue to support the law and the FEC's position before the Supreme Court — was forced by justices to concede the ridiculous implications of its position:

But his task seemed easier than that of Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart, who quickly found himself pulled into a discussion of something at issue in neither the law nor the case: whether the government could prevent using corporate or union funds to publish a book that mentioned a candidate for office within the election time frame.

Stewart said that it could, though he quickly added that there was an exception in the law for the media, and that the law said nothing about books.

"That's pretty incredible," said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

And that set off a search for hypotheticals. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wondered about Kindle, the electronic device. Roberts bore down.

"If it has one name, one use of the candidate's name, it would be covered, correct?" Roberts asked.

"That's correct," Stewart replied.

"It's a 500-page book, and at the end it says, 'And so vote for X,' the government could ban that?" Roberts asked again.

It is entirely right and fit that Goldberg should highlight the continuing threats to free speech posed by modern campaign finance legislation.

So why is Goldberg's pony spavined, and from whence comes the horseshit?

Well, first there is the attempt to portray the Obama Administration's position before SCOTUS as emblematic of a liberal position. There are a few problems with this. The first is that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was co-sponsored by Senator John-McCain, subsequently the Republican Party's choice for President of the United States in the 2008 race, and even Goldberg's choice, albeit a reluctant one. Moreover, the Obama Administration did not invent this position — it is simply a continuation of the FEC's position in the courts below under the Bush Administration. Though the FEC did not file its brief before SCOTUS until this February, its position was locked in well before that. Hence Goldberg's implication — that the FEC's arguments before SCOTUS represent a censorious sin that may be laid squarely and exclusively at the feet of liberals — is disingenuous horseshit.

Moreover, Goldberg takes half the column to actually get to the point. The rest is noise. The political speech issue presented by this case should be able to carry a dozen columns by itself. But Goldberg cannot resist forcing it into a stridently partisan and bitterly culturally conservative frame amounting to "LOL liberals suck because they defend porn but don't defend political speech":

In 1996, Milos Forman directed "The People vs. Larry Flynt," the propagandistic film that made a "1st Amendment hero" out of the publisher of Hustler, a racist and filthy porn magazine. And yet Frank Rich of the New York Times dubbed it "the most timely and patriotic movie of the year."

Even if you've never seen the movie (or read Hanna Rosin's contemporaneous debunking of it in the New Republic), it's easy to guess why the film was a favorite of people like Rich. It whitewashed Flynt while demonizing prudish conservatives and religious traditionalists.

The fact that Goldberg cannot discuss a serious free speech issue without venting his spleen about an unrelated twelve-year-old Woody Harrelson movie speaks more about Goldberg's lack of seriousness than it does about any honest assessment of the sins of censorship committed on either side of the spectrum. This is particularly true when his attempt to pin the fault on the donkey is so misleading. Campaign finance "reform" presents free speech problems attributable to the indifference or mendacity of Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. (So, for that matter, does the history of restrictions on pornography and "obscenity," a goal furthered by both cultural conservatives and liberal feminists.) Pretending otherwise interferes with attempts to forge consensus on freedom of expression, a value that people across the political spectrum should respect.

Goldberg's little pony is worth petting. But I wish he had arranged for it to relieve itself elsewhere before he trotted it out.