Saturday, January 24, 2015

Endless Kabuki

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -- Frank Zappa
Hollywood is like high school, but with money. -- Martin Mull

Traditionally the "silly season" for "news" has been in the summer, since people (somebody, anyway) are on vacation and paying even less attention than usual. But it seems like this week -- heading straight into what is an unseasonably nice weekend here in the NorCal (I'm barbecuing steaks in about an hour, fool, so suck on it, snow country! Global warming, amirite?) -- has had more than its rightful share of sheer nonsense.

Starting with the State of the Union, a completely useless pseudo-political appendage, nothing more than an extended plug for the now-perpetual campaign that undergirds this nation's version of political engagement. Yes, Obama managed a few bons mots at the stone-faced dipshits on the other side of the proverbial aisle. He's always talked a good game, that's how he got in. Walking said talk has always been another matter, the tedious, mindless intransigence of the opposition notwithstanding.

Somewhere along the line, the SOTU has morphed from a routine of the president giving the speech, and an individual from the opposition party being appointed to giving a single rebuttal, to multiple responses in the same key, all of them stupid. It would be one thing if the respondents each had a fresh take or perspective on what, let's face it, is simply a barrage of self-serving hortatory rhetorical boilerplate. But they don't; instead of orchestrating their views, the teatards all play a triangle, and ting it at random intervals, or perhaps to some indiscernible inner rhythm.

I think we all had the most fun with soup-brained cornhole Senator Bread Bags, who apparently grew up in Dust Bowl Oklahoma in the mid 1930s. Listen close, you dingbat -- I grew up poor, with farmers and dairymen in my family (though we didn't get the gubmint subsidies Senator Hawg Ballz' kinfolk got, apparently not enough to buy her actual shoes). I know what it's like to wear the same clothes and shoes two years at a time, to stretch the same dinner three or four nights.

But I never wore bread bags over my shoes, not the least reason for which is that bread bags are not particularly known for their exceptional durability; they are, after all, made specifically to encase a food item which typically lasts less than a week. I mean, we all know these "stories" are 100% grade-A bullshit, but usually there's at least some believability to some of them. Hawg Ballz didn't even bother to brush the peanuts off this one when she pulled it directly out of her ass.

Hey, whatever. If you're the sort that takes some sort of weird "pride" in stuffing plastic bags and cardboard into shoes that really should be replaced, more power to you. Hell, you might be up for the one-two jib-jab of the King and Queen of Holy Derp pretending one more blessed time to throw their pointy hats in the ring. Will anyone fall for it this time?

Do we really need to ask? No matter what the question is, regardless of the ninth-circle example of sheer stupidity, whenever you read it and ask if anyone is really that fucking dumb, invariably someone shuffles forward, finger jammed into nostril up to the third knuckle, as if to say, "Uh, yup."

Trump and Palin are just two of the speakers -- and you know I use the term loosely -- gathered at something called the Iowa Freedom Summit (because "Fuckfest 2016" would have been too obvious). A larger collection of card-carrying shitbirds you will not find outside of a state penitentiary. These are people who literally cannot wait to destroy what's left of their country, spread the profits among themselves, and then find newer and better ways to export said destruction as far and wide as possible.

The icing on this shit sandwich of a news week is the manufactured outrage over Michael Moore and Seth Rogen tweeting smartass remarks of mild dissent regarding Duh Most Patriotic Movie Evar. You see, when it's some frog rag getting lit up over its disparaging remarks about Islam, every conservadouche is suddenly a fucking free-speech champeen, never mind that Charlie Hebdo had said nasty things about the Catholic Church as well. But it's all good because booga-booga-moooslim.

But a couple people say that the movie felt a little propagandistic (gee, ya think?) and even Dean Fucking Cain (hey, I kinda remember him, I think) comes unglued. You would think that Moore had directly referred to Chris Kyle (PBUH) as a "coward," rather than mentioning that because Moore's uncle was killed by a sniper in WW2, Moore's family had routinely referred to that mode of killing as cowardly in general. (For the record, I happen to disagree; for the most part, killing is killing. I'd say a drone bombing of a wedding party is pretty fucking cowardly, though.)

And you'd think that Rogen had called Kyle a Nazi or something, instead of merely alluding to the reputedly (I haven't seen it yet, not in any rush, will probably Netflix it eventually) propagandistic nature of the film. And so now Dean Cain and, um, Kid Rock want to kick Rogen's ass or something.

There's a thread in the tenor of these hirsute defenders of Chris Kyle's sacred honor, as if they themselves had a vested interest. More to the point, the "he did this in order to give you your rights" tack is just nuts. I don't have an issue with Kyle's feelings about the people he shot, or Iraqis and Muslims in general. No doubt most of the individuals Kyle encountered or dispatched were, in fact, what most of us would regard as "savages"; I sure as hell can't think of many better words to describe the sort of motherless fucks who torture people with power drills.

But that is orthogonal to whether Iraq or any of its demonic hordes presented anything resembling an actual threat to the Homeland, or that we even had a clue as to what sort of people we were supporting or aligning ourselves with. "Destabilizing unfriendly regimes" has a nice ring to it, for the ear of the hegemon; the reality of it is much different, now more than ever. But it's not like any of the people Chris Kyle killed from afar were on the verge of hopping a plane the next day so they could strap themselves with Semtex and ball bearing and hit the nearest mall food court. Yet that seems to be the thrust of the arguments, the japing at Moore and Rogen (who, if you haven't heard, are fat).

Maybe when Martin Mull famously opined that showbiz (and that's all any of this is, folks; you might as well have TMZ doing political coverage anymore) was like high school with money, he was being too generous. Because these days it seems more like preschool.

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