Sep 10, 2009

What has been a sideshow until now — boviators on parade and now the Host Wars — is serious business. Glenn Beck has two kills on his holster in the last three days. More scalps to come. And now this terrible scandal in the ACORN office in Baltimore, at which two conservatives, posing as pimp and prostitute showed up and got tax advice on how to start a prostitution ring, with under-aged girls. Can you imagine how Rush will play this?

Keith Obermann licked his lips at the thought of revenge then decided otherwise. Still, you can see how this is going to turn into American Sunni and Shia, and how this will transform old time McCarthyism to a new art form.

There are extremists on all sides but it's the Reaganissimos, above all. There's no getting around it. It's those folks still listening to the aw-shucks patter of a 20-mule team Borax commercial, to the ghost in the attic of Ronnie MacBeth watching 12 O'Clock High, imagining he and Robert Stack had flown their B-17s right off the back lot and were suddenly over Germany, and later they would be among the first to break open the concentration camps.

And now Ronnie's kids, hanging on for dear life, are having an identity crisis. 'Where's Pappi?' They want to know because they're feeling powerlessness and the scoreboard says, political defeat. Plus all the economic uncertainty and paranoia, and above all, there's a nigger who got uppity and smart and who the fuck is he to tell us what to do. Boy! And now Ronnie's runnions have tripped the wire. Now they've done it.

It's been happening for months. There's breadcrumbs going back for years, actually. "Obama is a racist." "Poison Nancy Pelosi." Just that stuff in the last 45 days. And now all these little acts of defiance — it's no longer a matter of being civil — and just now this new form of personal destruction. Not to mention, murder. John Von Unn's shooting the Holocaust museum guard is one of several incidents in which deranged minds found refuge in right wing monologues. It's all coming to a head.

And there will be more killings. And the killer, or killers, whether from the Right of the Left, will imagine themselves as martyrs. One act will lead to another. And it will spread. Less the violence than the recrimination. What seemed like small polarities will become large. Barack will be in ever greater danger, just as that woman in the Bay View told me nearly a year ago.

And how did this happen? We all know. People said, "You're A Great American". And they meant it. Otherwise, technology, mostly. The death of Walter Chonkites, the end of newspapers, the extreme nature of meritocracy in private schools, just the end of things, the lack of personal filters, the free-for-all quality of public discourse. The comfort of political camps. The delirious quality of carelessness, itself.

What's needed is a clunker program for egos.

And all the while we indulge ourselves in expression without intellectual representation.... Expression without imagining an effect. I have done it myself.

What's needed is a great sleep, laughing gas from the Le Petit Prince's asteroid, which puts everybody to sleep for 30 days. After that, lost ability to utter a sound for six months. Quiet things down. Communicate by other means.

1 comment:

Anjuli said...

thank you for saying what I was thinking!