Sunday, December 26, 2004

Lapsus Liberales

Today's paper reports that the Democratic Leadership Council is worried that the reason the Dems lost the 2004 election to such a big group of corporate demogogues, free trade schills, evangelist warmongerers and royalists is because the Democratic Party Platform is the party's failure to "court moderates and find a way to compete in the Midwest and South."*

So let me get this perfectly straight. The reason that the party that threw its weight behind Joe Liberman for VP in 2000 and John Kerry for Pres in 2004 is, if I'm getting this right, "too liberal?"

WAH HA HA ha ha ha ha ha hah haha ha ha ha ha ah ha ah..... WAAAAAAh ha ha ha ah ah aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah ahaha aha ha ha hahaaha..... AHHHHHHHH ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha a hah a a ha hah a ah ah ah ah ahah a hah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah hahah ah ah ahah ah ah a hahah ....

Oh, mercy. That's a good one.

* Sirota, David. "Debunking 'Centrism,'" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 26 DEC 2004, J-1. Rock on, Dave!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Cogitate and Masticate

Something to think and chew on from H. L. Mencken in "Smart Set" Magazine, December 1919:

"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to he conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are."

I used to think about this quote with real gusto, to think that I am the dangerous man, or I should strive to be. But these days I'm not so sure. On the Daily Show the other day the guest was Seth Mnookin, author of HARD NEWS, former journalist with NEWSWEEK and general smug pundit flavor-of-the-week. But Seth said something that struck me, which was that part of the reason journalism in America is currently paddling down diarrhea drive is because the news-consuming individual of the USA is now so politically polarized that he can't stand to see, read, or hear anything on the news that doesn't confirm beliefs he's already holding. Or she. Or they/it to my buddies at Coney Island. Anyway, my reaction to this was "yeah, those fucking conservative tight-asses." But then it hit me: it's me too, of course. That's why even NPR was starting to seem right-wing to me for a while. That's why I tend to believe only the news I get from the Daily Show, even though I know damn well it's just a parody show.

And I thought of Mencken: the keyword in this quote is that the dangerous man is dangerous to ANY government. That means that EVERY government rules by lies, innuendo, fictive constructs covering those inevitable gaps that inexorably crack and split in the gulf between actual material reality and the nationalistic idealism necessary to run a state. Get it? So the dangerous man, who can think for himself, sees the insanity in the government, and if he tries to change it, he's a romantic. An idealist. Naiive. Deaf to real-politik. Because whatever system he put in the place of the one he tore down would be just as false, just as fictive, and just as prone to balderdash to shore up its ever-weakening facade.

So now I see Mencken's dangerous man as a position on a cycle: the more he realizes that it is systemhood itself that is eminently fucked, the more he realizes that the intolerability of his government is inevitable. And government is also inevitable. Inevitable, but intolerable. When he realizes that he stops trying to change things, and instead breeds discontent among other romantics.

I really think there's only one way to stop this. Anyone who wants to hold a high public office like President or Senator, from now on, should be immediately disqualified from running. Only people who DON'T want the job should be allowed to do it. Well, forced. I mean, you'd have to.

Well, that's all from "Mencken's Corner." And now back to our correspondent in Terebithia for our continuing 24-hour war coverage of the Sucralose Crisis.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Evidence of a Disturbing Trend?

Originally uploaded by Mickey Marx.

Took this photo of a church in my neighborhood. Is it too late to retract all those mean things I said about our President?

Now Tell Me This Ship Ain't Sinkin'

Today on the bbc:

"As Mr Bush build a team for his second term, US ambassador to the United Nations, John Danforth, has resigned. The former Republican senator only took on the UN job in July, after the previous US envoy, John Negroponte, became ambassador to Iraq. Mr Danforth's announcement came as a "complete surprise", according to a US official quoted anonymously by Reuters news agency. Officials from the US delegation at the United Nations said Mr Danforth's decision to go was not related to any UN matter, nor events in Washington. The ambassador simply wanted to spend more time with his family in Missouri, officials said. "

A lot of that going around, lately. Seems like family pressures have dessicated the top chairs of Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, and State, and now the Secretary of Agriculture, Ann Veneman, has quit, to be replaced by some guy who grew up on a dairy farm (ain't that cute?), Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has quit, Secretary of Education Rod Paige (to be replaced by someone who wants to put warning stickers on books about evolution) has quit, all wanting to spend more time with their families. Needy fuckin' families! And Danforth was appointed in JUNE. His leather chair doesn't even has his ass groove yet! But good news! Tom Ridge's replacement's been selected, and who does Georgie nominate to fill the position of Big Brother? Someone who will have all our lives in his hands? Someone who needs to outwit the wickedest intellects on the planet?

Highschool dropout Bernard Kerik. Give it up, everyone! It's Bush's America, where you don't need an education to wield immense power! Take that, East Coast Liberal Intellectual Elite! At least, until his kids start to miss him.

Does anyone else have a vaguely undefinable but growing sense of "we're really, really fucked?"