Friday, November 12, 2010

Humble Narcissism

Remember last year when the Dubya "Miss Me Yet?" billboard popped up out in flyover country somewhere, and most people either laughed or shrugged? Yeah, good times. Fredo has graciously stayed away for two full years, but now he's back pimping some two-ply compendium of lies, excuses, and half-witticisms, naturally with the help of the librul lamestream media. What are the odds on Oprah and/or the Sheinhardt Wig Company having a vested interest in whatever hack factory is publishing this doorstop?

But it's actually been good in a way, Fredo's return, because it conclusively proves that there's nothing to miss about him. He really did, and really does, suck in a very fundamental way. He has never second-guessed a single major decision he made, no matter how tragic the consequences were. Apparently he would have changed the "Mission Accomplished" banner (to what? it was never about appreciating troops, it was about playing dress-up and legitimizing his incompetence), and he was really really butthurt over what Kanye West said about him.

Kanye, as I said at the time, had the wrong end of the stick on that one. It's not that Bush doesn't care about black people -- his diversity record was perfectly fine, and he genuinely seems to be as inclusive and non-racist as anyone could hope.

It's that he doesn't care about poor people, because it is an alien experience to him. Oh, he's talked about his failed congressional run back in the late '70s, when he and Laura were starting a family and had no money. But that is not being poor; coming from an East Coast establishment family means that you may find yourself cash-poor at times, but there is always a fallback position, usually many. Poor means if you don't figure something out, you are well and truly fucked, you're a paycheck or two from living on the sidewalk, whatever.

Ann RichardsJim Hightower had it so right when shehe said that Bush was born on third base but acted like he'd hit a triple. This is a penetrating insight to the man's personality -- it really is incomprehensible to him that actual poor people, who literally cannot bootstrap out of their mess with hard work and/or gumption, because they are overworked and underpaid, and will probably work until the day they drop, that such people exist. His mother's infamous comment at the Katrina shelter in Texas illuminated that whole mentality -- she seems to regard poor people as another species -- so it would make sense that Junior, who literally has never made a fucking dime in his life without the imprimatur of his old man and Nazi-symp grandfather, would just have no clue.

So. A piss-thin excursion into the, ahem, decision-making process of perhaps the most notoriously bad decision-maker in recent history, merely as an opportunity to rationalize them, as opposed to rethinking them, or even assessing their consequences. He amazingly still regards his failure to privatize Social Security -- even after the biggest financial catastrophe in eight decades -- as his biggest miss, rather than the missed bullet that it was. (Oh, and the miscarried fetus in the jar. Holy fucking shit. This explains a lot.)

Bush is one of those people who constantly, almost reflexively professes commitment to principle and humility. But clearly it's all about him, everything is viewed through a prism of brushes with greatness and perceived slights. The decisions that George W. Bush made between 2001 and 2008 cost a lot of people their lives; the number of people affected directly in tragic fashion would be mid-eight to low-nine figures, and the number indirectly affected obviously much greater. We're paying the price right now for his deregulation of the financial securitization system, and will do so for years to come, if indeed "we" (as in, a meaningful percentage of the total population, not the 1% of moral parasites at the top who are doing better than ever, fuck you very much) ever do recover.

Tens or hundreds of millions of lives forever altered, destroyed by unnecessary war, unleashed sectarian brutality, domestic financial chicanery. But it's Kanye West that's kept him up at night. The fucking moral degeneracy of this person, the sheer solipsism it must take to capture and hold a world-view like that, is -- well, I'm not sure the proper word exists for it in the English language.

Speaking of degenerate narcissists who refuse to just fucking go away already, the Wasilla Hillbillies have themselves a ree-alitee show, from the fine folks at the basic-cable sump that used to be known as The Learning Channel, but now trucks in garbage like I Didn't Know I was Pregnant and makes scumbags like Jon and Kate Gosselin into preening fametard assholes. The estimable Tim Goodman, now writing for the Hollywood Reporter, takes this bottomless sack of crap with his usual good cheer.

Perhaps most surprising is that — in the first episode, at least — it doesn’t cast the best light on Palin’s kids. Piper, 9, doesn’t seem to listen much to what Mom asks, and teenager Willow seems moody and defiant, at one point sneaking her boyfriend upstairs to her room after Mom slid the baby gate (for Trig) closed and told him not to go up. You’d think with the whole Bristol Babygate thing, they might have edited that part.

There’s also paranoia about Joe McGinniss, who is writing a book about Palin and rented the house next to her. She talks about him (without naming him) constantly as the camera shows him about 15 feet away on his deck, face blurred out. But though Todd says McGinniss is writing “a hit piece on my wife” and Palin keeps asking whether he’s watching, what he’s doing is reading a book on his porch, oblivious. Todd built a 14-foot fence to give the family more privacy. “By the way,” Palin intones politically, “I thought that was a good example; what we just did others could look at and say, ‘This is what we need to do to secure our nation’s border.’”

Ohohoho, see what she did there? Fucking brilliant. This is definitely the sort of person who needs to be in a position of political prominence, an intellectually sterile soccer mom who hasn't heard the phrase "market saturation", but knows she appeals to impotent old farts and vapid sob sister cows who buy into that moronic "mama grizzly" schtick. The takeaway from Goodman's review is that the producers got the title ass-backwards -- it really should have been called Alaska's Sarah Palin. It's all about her and she knows it.

No one's tuning in to see Alaska scenery. That's what they have Rick Steves and that Travel Channel shit for. They're tuning in to watch this braying jackass affirm their grievances and validate their insecurities. And she eats it up, she loves the attention. I suppose it's too much to ask Todd to throw his back into it once in a while, just so's she doesn't constantly have to seek validation from the rest of the fucking planet.

Anyway, a little cross-promotion from Li'l Miss Humility:

"You're lucky," she said at a Republican rally in Orlando, according to the New York Post. "You're going to get to learn a little bit more about my state here in the coming weeks."

Palin also took a dig at the current President, saying he'd likely get a show called "Barack Obama's Golf Courses"… "sometime [around] November 2012."

See, because Barack Obama is a rich patrician who plays a lot of golf, which is an elitist sport, doncha know....

Wait. No, that was George W. Bush. Not that it matters, facts are useless, ignorance is strength, cokehead alcoholics have inside wisdom on how Woodrow Wilson turned us all into communists, and multimillionaires like Bush (and now Palin) are jes plain folks.


woodguy said...

Spot on and written in your inimitable and hilariously literate style.
One small question, though. Wasn't it Jim Hightower who coined the "born on.." comment? I could be wrong, as I have heard Ann Richards say this also. At any rate, that and the "Poor George, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth" comments are priceless. I do miss Ann.
I love your turn of phrase. Gave up blogs for a year and decided to check yours out first upon resumption. Glad I did.

Heywood J. said...


According to this revolting slobberjob, you are correct, Hightower said it back in 1988, so I guess Richards just popularized it. Nice catch.

And you have no idea how cool it is that, after a year of not hitting the blogs, you came here of all places first. Thanks.

woodguy said...

Always a pleasure to read your insights. I'll be around more regularly henceforth--until next project.


Tehanu said...

But it's actually been good in a way, Fredo's return, because it conclusively proves that there's nothing to miss about him.

Thank you! I continue to be astounded at the number of people who find this dead soul attractive. Fine turn of phrase you've got about him - terrific post.