Wednesday, November 25, 2009

That Swirling Sound

Kunstler susses the current media/culture dynamic with his usual cheery optimism. Obviously it's a quick and easy rant button to push, why presumably sentient beings would waste one second of their lives watching reality teevee or Erik Estrada dancing or what have you. Fish in a barrel and all.

And the last two months of the year are always the silly season anyway, when it comes to what qualifies as newsworthy. This is not coincidental; the corporate media, after all, are in business to sell ad space, just as if they were airing Jon and Kate or Leave it to Llamas. If you no longer have to try, content-wise, because enough idiots show up to the train wreck regardless, it instantly becomes much easier to control your marginal and operational costs.

But the silly season has expanded to all year long, not just summer and the holidays, the media 'tards just frog-jump from one contrivance to another, hoping to whip another crowd of morons into a frenzy. This throws the usual bread-to-circuses ratio ever more out of balance. The distractions become bigger, emptier, and somehow more baroque and protracted; the characters more interchangeable and uninteresting; the peanut gallery playing to ever-dumber audiences.

So when random mouth-breathers take up their electronic crayons to draft their hysterical plaints about how the scope of poor Sarah Palin's public abuse has been uniquely unfair and vicious, I have to wonder where the fuck they were when Hitlery Clinton was being called a lesbian and a murderer. Whatever fancifully-based mortal wounds the herd animals of the MSM have apparently inflicted on this beleaguered Christian woman, so far they have not Gone There.

Probably the worst rumor-mongering Palin has had to endure revolved around the birth of her most recent rugrat. But between her failure to tell anyone about the impending birth, her efforts to wear clothing to obscure the pregnancy, and her peculiar (and dangerous) insistence on flying home from Texas while in labor, and the subsequent knocked-upness of her presumably abstinence-educated daughter, some confusion was bound to occur. The most important thing to remember about Sarah is that, whatever the issue or event in question may be, it's never ever her fault. These really are the biggest bunch of fucking crybabies since the Michael Jackson funeral (no doubt available on DVD any day now).

The fact of the matter is, the media has stepped over itself in order to allow Palin to peddle her unnecessary memoir, regularly trotting out talking heads who have not actually read the damned thing, but can still be counted to let us all know what a compelling read it is. None of them ever quite seem to get around to asking the more fundamental question, "Does this book serve any purpose whatsoever, and if so, what in hell could it possibly be?".

Well, the purpose is to make her some money, and keep her name out there, keep her options open. But her idiot fanclub have higher aspirations for her, of course -- merely reifying their incoherent tropes is just the cover charge. And that's just not going to happen if the money people don't believe she's a good investment.

Comparisons are inevitably made to George W. Bush, who counterintuitively comes out looking rather intelligent and well-spoken next to Palin. But Fredo had a serious pedigree in both the familial and political senses of the word, which Palin has yet to cultivate in even a professional sense. And until she can convince some of the actual money and power players in her party to sponsor her tomfoolery, she'll always just be a populist totem, to be trotted out at appropriate times and make these drunken goobers forget that their jobs have been outsourced and their homes have been foreclosed, and that both parties are balls-deep in those problems.

But people who have that kind of money and influence clearly are not going to invest in Palin populism unless they can control the aim of its vituperation. Truly influential people will always be mortified at the very notion of the country being run or even affected in any truly meaningful way by the dipshits waiting in line at the signing of a book they'll never quite finish. [Hilarious video here.]

And really, who can blame them? There's a reason Mencken loathed and distrusted the democratic process, and these fucking yahoos are it. Damned if I can find a difference between these fools and a gaggle of moony-eyed teeny-boppers waiting in line to see the Twilight sequel for the eighth time. Jesus H. Christ, they must have interviewed a couple dozen people in that segment, and not one of them made any fucking sense at all. It's obviously not some isolated agitprop edit, either -- videos like this proliferate, at the teabagger rallies, at the summer town-hall putsches, and not one of these goddamned people has the presence of mind to explain themselves or how they can buy into this happy horseshit.

Surely one (1) of these bozos is able to show up at what they reasonably anticipate (or assume, or hope) is going to be a media event, and have taken two minutes to prepare some meaningful sound-byte manifesto beyond the usual boilerplate they picked up through Glenn Beck osmosis. Or not, since it has yet to happen. Any sensible person should be viewing these troglodytes with a hearty mixture of scorn and contempt, of figuring that they pretty much deserve whatever they get. Pity is always wasted on the willfully, obnoxiously ignorant -- you don't have to buy what Hopenchange is selling, but you do have to have a better answer for why not, or at least one that makes some sense.

Now supposedly, there is a wide disconnect between the amount of coverage Palin gets, and the amount most people think she should get. And yet it continues unabated, much like her reality teevee counterparts. It's the old Yogi Berra conundrum -- nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

What it is is a vile combination of the newsertainment symbiosis which has metastasized and seems well on its way to turning every journamalistic institution into tabloid coverage, celebrity ass-sniffing, and reading viewers' tweets; and the impulse of the flailing media establishment to mainstream all these niche marketing gambits. All the things they do are covered on the internets, and faster and better, so there's no need for the people who actually crave that sort of Twinkie news coverage to bother with watching Andrea Mitchell cover some fucking book signing.

And in the meantime, the "recovery" is still jobless, the bubble is still being re-inflated, Goldman Sachs is still fucking you and your grandchildren over, Blackwater is still conducting ops and will probably be covertly bombing Laos next week. And Sarah Palin is well on her way to becoming the conservatards' Lucy Van Pelt, forever dangling incoherent hopes and fever dreams in front of their bloodshot eyes, and always yanking the ball away when the time is right. And why shouldn't she? Why should the Democrats have all the fun with true believers?


Marius said...

Duuude! Are you kiddin' me? Leave it to the Lamas? For real? "Shayne Dahl" and "Dakota Pike"? THose are real people? And a fucking dog? Lorenzo fucking Lamas? The dude who wasn't even good enough to be another Steven Seagal? A Seagal-wannabe, if that is even possible?

Somebody needs to kill us all. The emperor of China can't come soon enough to take possession of our asses.

And how will the 'viewers' be able to tell "Dakota Pike" from that Kardashian cow that was on TV recently? Are they different beings? How would you even know which show you're watching?

Heywood J. said...

Yep, that's why I watch The Soup, so I can see just how much more ridiculous and debased people -- or in this case, llamas -- can get. I am never disappointed. As the song says, when the aliens land, we'll make great pets.

I have no idea who the demo is for this show -- do the seventh-graders who normally watch this shit need their parents to explain what a Falcon Crest was, and who Lamas used to be?

The dude who wasn't even good enough to be another Steven Seagal?

Awesome. That is perfect. And for the record, I once caught a Dakota Pike when I went fishing up in Yellowstone. Maybe if I hadn't have thrown it back, it wouldn't now have its own reality show.

Marius said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Heywood. May your turkey be juicy and your beer cold, man. We should enjoy the little we have before they take it all away from us.

Anonymous said...

You've hit another one out of the park, Dr. Floyd.

Joe Blow said...

heh heh...

that is actually "Leave it to LLamas" with TWO Ls.

now back to back with the new huge hit! "Ask an Alpaca!!"

log on to for more info on how to have an "All Alpaca" premier party!

The Vile Scribbler said...

Heywood -- I figured you might enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the financial sausage-making involved when small bands sign to major labels.