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Otium cum Dignitatae

Thursday, December 04, 2008

His Name Was 'Anonymous'

I feel that if you set up a page for the express purpose of thanking an outgoing President, it speaks volumes that so many doing the thanking would choose not to sign their own names:

476 kathy
477 Anonymous
478 Anonymous
479 Anonymous
480 Anonymous
481 Anonymous
482 Anonymous
483 Anonymous
484 Anonymous
485 Anonymous
486 Anonymous
487 Anonymous
488 Anonymous
489 Emilie Louise Ille
490 Diane Hickel
491 Terry and Pat Bailey
492 Judy Shackelford
493 Anonymous
494 Anonymous
495 Pam Tomlinson
496 Anonymous

This is from ThankYouPresidentGeorgeWBush, which, as many have noted, seems incompetent even by the standards of modern Republicanism.

There's many an example of the curious habit of your average conservative to write only in ALL CAPS, perhaps to underscore the urgency of their message, or just to let you know that THEY ONLY SCREAM, and never talk.
And, for a bunch of people who routinely make the sovereignity of the English language a campaign issue, I note that they're some of the worst spellers I've encountered, and if you call them on it, you're an elitist.

Mind you, "bush is my faverat presadant kiss him with butthole" strikes me more as something a kid would write...But it's there, which is more than I can say for the pages and pages of people who wrote in and did not wish to thank Mr. Bush.
This morning, the above mentioned folks easily outnumbered the fans of the President, and I notice that most of them have been deleted. Even the guy who just wrote in repeatedly to update you, every few lines, on the lyrics to "Don't Stop Believin'". However, the immunity to irony in yer average 'Pub webdweller is there: Heywood Jamblomy, Mike Hunt and even I.P. Freely are there, as is, obliquely, Robert Paulson.

But the Anonymouses easily outnumber them all, interestingly.

I believe this webpage is an outgrowth of something I keep running into; the trope that not only was Bush good for this country, but we somehow failed to be as good as He, and now owe him some sort of national apology.
It strikes me as revisionism in its earliest incarnation. And since the flow of information has increased to the degree that it has, it will probably go through a boom/bust cycle in about four months, then will go away and come back repeatedly throughout the years to come.

I was watching the opening scene of "The Truce" the other night, and it's right where the Nazis are running away from Auschwitz, as the Russians are rapidly approaching. The war is over.
And I couldn't help thinking: and the Nazis hated Commies about as much as they hated Jews, and the Russians hated Jews even more than they hated Germans, and... And how nuances like that get ignored in favor of shit like well Hitler was just Evil, man, and how above all else, how there will always be an overwhelming number of people encouraging you to Forget.
Not just the Holocaust specifically; lots of things. I feel like we are encouraged to not care about history. Whether or not this is the case everywhere -and not just America- I don't know.

There's a guy I work with who laughs with that weird, guttural back-of-throat thing that I ascribe to fourteen-year-old boys. He's a geek, but grown up now. Anyway, we were having a discussion about just that above, and he said, "So we'll always be certain to repeat our mistakes?"
I was a little shocked to hear myself reply, "I'm gonna say we even did that when the study of history was more widely encouraged. Because we think it'll never happen to us."

Yup. And that leads us into irrelevant little loops in our political conversations. I was doing my usual and back-and-forthing with all the other people with too much time on their hands who haunt The Onion's AV Club blog, and I said...

"And I'm tired of people crediting Dick (Nixon) with the EPA and lots of other '70's governmental reforms. I'd say that was the largely Democratic and liberal Republican congress, and Nixon didn't have the votes for a veto that wouldn't get overturned."

To which someone said...
"that may well be, but you are still wrong. Nixon was actually a relatively moderate guy. He did bad things, of course, but to pretend he wasnt a efficient and productive president is dumb."

Well, if (it) could indeed be, then in that case I would be not wrong, right?
But the problem here is that I just ran into exactly what I dislike, and was expressing above: people think that since Nixon was nowhere near as effective in his wrecking of the Constitution as our current Chief Executive, he was a moderate. This leads to the many people I've encountered who say, "Well, except for that one thing, he was a pretty good president..."
This leads, in turn to: "And Watergate proves that the system works, because we got rid of the bad man."

And never ever again will we have to do that. This also happens when discussing Bill Clinton. Yes of course he was nowhere near as bad as Bush II. Hell, Bush I wasn't as bad as his son. Does that automatically make either of them good presidents? No, unless you're using some sort of flawed reasoning model.
Something along the lines of: you use stones to grind the grain into flour, which you make into bread, therefore bread is stones.

Mind you, this is all just annoyance, here. You know how whenever I write about the simplistic thinking at work in those who get mad at Portland being so proud of itself? Pretty much all of my points could be boiled down to; "well yeah, it's annoying, but it isn't dangerous."

Same thing about the ontological game above, except that I see something else at work there: laying the groundwork of forgetting.
Forgetting is dangerous, although of course, whatcha gonna do? The human mind is a reducing valve that takes tons of undifferentiated information and stimuli, boils it down into something it can use.
So if all you remember of the Ford administration is him falling down the stairs of Air Force One, you're in pretty good company. Unfortunately, a lot more than that happened.

People who do this shit for a living include George Will, who has decided to go back to making fallacious points to support arguments about things that aren't happening. As you read the following quote, remember that no one has discussed bringing back the Fairness Doctrine. It's not under consideration.

"If reactionary liberals, unsatisfied with dominating the mainstream media, academia and Hollywood, were competitive on talk radio, they would be uninterested in reviving the fairness doctrine. Having so sullied liberalism's name that they have taken to calling themselves progressives, liberals are now ruining the reputation of reactionaries, which really is unfair."

What I got from that was:
1. Liberals are reactionary.
2. Liberals dominate the whole of political discussion.
3. Liberals are interested in reviving the fairness doctrine.
4. Liberals were the ones who ruined the word 'liberal'.
5. See point one.

Well, he was one of those who dissed Sarah Palin, so he has to get back some sort of cred. He accomplishes this by getting all huffy and not making any sense. This endears him to most people, although...
He was once described by a colleague, I forget who, as "a pinched-mouth little prig who had to write a book about baseball just to get anyone to like him." I always liked that.



Blogger rich bachelor said...

And now there's nothing at all over at the Thank W site. Guess they got tired of the abuse.

But there are still all these empty lines, like No One At All wanted to thank The President. Ever.

2:30 PM  
Blogger LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Perhaps a new name for right wing talk radio should be ALL CAPS RADIO since that's pretty much what it is.

6:06 PM  

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