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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cartoon Character

Perhaps the only thing more off-putting than constantly being lectured on issues of character and morals by people who clearly have none themselves, is watching them vote and legislate on their projected inferiority complexes. Can't they just cheat on their wives, beat their mistresses, and harass minorities on their own time? It's adding insult to injury to make us pay them to do it.

But when C-Plus Augustus' last trick is to go pimp for the slugs who poll even lower than himself, you know the jig might finally be up. All that's left is the usual cheap scaremongering, and that just doesn't have the desired effect anymore. Either they've finally run out of wolf cards, or their vaunted base of moralizing nitwits has finally started to get slightly wise to the scam.

Or not, because there's clearly still great emotional investment on their part in hypocritical lectures on "principles" and "values", as well as the usual whining about how persecuted religious people are in American public life.

O'REILLY: You stand — yes, you sink or swim on your principle.

O'REILLY: That's it.

O'REILLY: But there's also something else in play, Mr. President. The secular progressives — I just wrote a book called "Culture Warrior." And we sent you a free copy, by the way.

BUSH: Good.

O'REILLY: The secular progressives...

BUSH: Might entice me to actually read it.

O'REILLY: The secular progressives don't like you because you're a man of faith.

BUSH: Yes.

O'REILLY: You know that.

BUSH: Yes. That causes me to be sad for people who don't like somebody because he happens to believe in the Almighty.

O'REILLY: But you know that's in play.

BUSH: Absolutely. They think you are some kind of evangelical. God tells you what to do and you go out and do it. And they hate that.

BUSH: I guess that I have pity for people who believe that. They don't understand the relationship between man and the Almighty, then. And.

O'REILLY: Don't believe it?

BUSH: Well, that's their choice. The great thing about America is we're equally American. In other words, those of us who believe in an Almighty, and those who don't are equal. And that's the way we got to keep it, because it distinguishes us from Usama bin Laden or the Taliban.

Well, let me finish my point.

O'REILLY: Sure.

BUSH: And so I welcome the diversity of views when it comes to religion. And I think that anybody who dislikes somebody because he happens to be a religious person is someone to be pitied.


Where to start? Perhaps with the setting itself, an obsequious suckupathon stretched over three nights from a sanctimonious douchebag who had to settle a six- or seven-figure sexual harassment suit and still has the balls to try to paint himself as a "culture warrior". That Falafel Factor still stubbornly insists on portraying himself as some sort of crusading hero, instead of the blustering tool that he is, is a pretty huge clue as to the scale of the collective delusion going on here, between interviewer, interviewee, and target demographic. It's all an elaborate kabuki for the braying self-styled Archie Bunker contrarian chumps, people who never seem to tire of telling everyone just how "out of the box" their adventurous thinking is.

Well, it's not remotely out of the box. Hell, they built the box, dug a moat around it, and started a homeowner's association for the damned box. These are people whose thinking is in fact unusually tethered to whatever entity happens to excite their authoritarian impulses. They seriously think that because they arrived at the exact same conclusions via mild differences in toxic rhetoric, they are "free thinkers".

Again, Falafel's known conduct should normally confer at least enough decency and grace to just shut the hell up about criticizing the supposed moral values of others. And it should confer enough common sense on his viewers to at least understand how badly they've been had. But no, the guy writes books about the shit, and these fools buy the books, watch the show, and mindlessly regurgitate their received wisdom.

As for the subject of this turgid kneepadfest, Bush's passive-aggressive strawman sanctimony might have a little more heft if this were a country where a professed atheist had even an outside chance at being elected to anything higher than dog catcher. Bush claims he feels sorry for secular progressives who feel "that way" about the religious. Talk about reckless oversimplification.

But then, Bush knows better anyway. It's all just the usual dog-whistle boilerplate to try to re-energize a base that's slowly realizing that maybe they've been played for suckers to a certain extent, at least in comparison to their expectations. And, you know, it'll probably work for a lot of them. Let's face it, when you're the sort of chump that seriously believes that fags a-gittin' hitched is going to affect your marriage in any way, you'll believe pretty much anything you're told to believe, so long as it conforms to your projected daddy issues.

All this is just another bumpy cobblestone in the road to the election. I believe this election is bigger than it's been portrayed, but for perhaps subtler, somewhat less tangible reasons. In all practicality, ceding both houses of Congress to the Democrats simply provides some slim hope for a modicum of oversight, but for every John Conyers who wants to climb up the sphincter of this mendacious lot with a microscope, there's a Joe Lieberman who has staked his "serious" cred on having the dipshits from the Heritage Foundation listen to his enabling nonsense. In other words, it's a nice thought, but it's not the be-all end-all of good governance.

What it really is is a referendum on the people of this nation, and its continued viability. I'm very serious about this. We can argue about the Republican noise machine, the money train, the ground game, the smear ads and the cheap shots, the strawman rhetoric, the intuitive feel for the visceral pulse of so-called red-staters. But what it really comes down to is what all of us know about how these people have chosen to run this country. All of us, Republican and Democrat alike, have the ability and the choice to avail ourselves of a sea of information pointing to the lies, the incompetence, the the perversion and criminality of the various characters who populate this festering tumor of an administration.

And after all is said and done, if after knowing what they know to be at least as reliably true as any other current events news they know, they still vote to keep the destructive, mindless, hypocritical status quo, then it's over. The Democratic Party might as well fold up its tent if they can't secure big wins in this climate. It doesn't even have to be their "fault" specifically, but if you have a preponderance of people who continue to delude themselves and drive the entire country further downward out of nothing more than sheer ignorance and spite, then what's the goddamned point?

And in the end, that's what "character" and "values" are all about, on an individual level -- either you care enough about your country and your family to pull your head out of your ass and pay attention and maybe even admit to yourself that you were wrong, or you don't. And if enough people truly don't, then we're done, not now perhaps, but eventually. Call it idiocracy, call it anything you like; the results are the same -- we collapse under our own stupid weight.

1 comment:

Tehanu said...

You make me feel sad, Heywood. I hope what we both wish for comes true.