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Friday, January 09, 2009

Lars Larson is a Cheap Little Punk

One of my favorite things that reactionaries do is wax horrified at relatively minor things, in order to get you that way too. This is either for purposes of entertainment (which is always Limbaugh's excuse), or for good old market manipulation. But the basic rule seems to be -relay all information in a tone that registers you as shocked, just shocked, and you will get the ear of your average asshole quite easily.

And so professional shit stirrers like Lars Larson spend their time creating things for people to be incoherently angry at, and encouraging them meanwhile to ignore/ridicule the actual problems of others.

Lars would like you to think that he's crusading in the public interest, and Sissy Jennifer over there thinks she's a cute little girl. But really, he's a middle aged dude in a pretty, frilly pink dress. (thank you, Salty Miss Jill.)

Along with the unending need of reactionaries to get people outraged about pretty inconsequential things simply for the purpose of entertainment, there's this knee-jerk union bashing that's getting more and more ubiquitous as the economy gets worse. The UAW, you know...
Never mind that a lot of your Page 14 corrections are now coming around to noting that they way overstated how much an auto worker makes...And said nothing about how much a CEO of an automobile company makes, while consistently throughout the decades even in the best of times whining about needing to bailed out. Their crap product can't compete, you see.

I look around the media a bit, and I note almost no commensurate anger at the the geniuses actively running the economy into the ground, utterly failing to suffer from the effects of their flawed decision making. Well, there is a token story about the one German businessman who took the classic approach of jumping off a building, but that's the Germans for you; they're more about Honor over there.

For all the bluster, there remains very little oversight indeed, and I imagine it's gonna stay that way, since politicians are bought and sold by the selfsame crooks who got us here in the first place, and the media won't talk about it, because they are owned by selfsame crooks.

But of course, the really dangerous thing is the possibility that a children's book is about trade unionism. In this case, 'a play adapted from a book', by Oregon Children's Theater. Cue Helen Lovejoy: 'Won't some-one pl-eeease think of the children?'

Apparently Lars got some sand in his oyster after being alerted to a grave threat to our moral foundation, namely:
OCT press release about its upcoming show, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type, which included the following teaser: "The book is widely used and supported by unions as it promotes their message of organizing, empowerment, and solidarity. Lawyers of labor and employment law also recommend this book."
(thanks to Culture Shock PDX. Matter of fact, more quotes from them right below:)

The plot of the slim volume is simple: The farm animals are cold. Banding together, they use a typewriter they have found to type a note asking Farmer Brown for electric blankets. When Farmer Brown ignores their repeated requests, the animals refuse to produce eggs and milk--in other words, they strike. Outraged, Farmer Brown sends his response: “There will be no electric blankets. You are cows and hens. I demand milk and eggs.

The labor/management impasse is resolved when the farm animals offer to exchange their typewriter for electric blankets. Farmer Brown decides this a fair exchange and everyone gets what they want.

About this, Lars said;

"Aren't the animals making demands that will drive the poor farmer into bankruptcy? How is this any different than union autoworkers forcing GM out of business by making unreasonable demands for outrageous wages and benefits? Isn't using subtle messages to teach unsuspecting children that unionism is good a lot like a madrassa teaching Palestinian children that Jews are dogs that ought to be put in the ovens?"

Uh, Lars: straw-man much? Plus, I'm liking the 'Not to Painfully Overstate it, But...' argument tacked on the end there. The above quote is also taken from CultureShockPDX, because if one goes to Lars' website, one is not able to read transcripts if one is not a member of Team Lars.
This is probably just intellectual self-protection; he knows his arguments don't stand up on the page. You can't hear his overwrought, pseudo-outraged stage voice.

** ** **
'Marxism' is a word Leftists haven't used it in any serious context in over thirty years, but rightists (I guess) can't get enough of it. And unionism has something somewhere to do with Marxism, and that is a word that we have been taught to immediately fear.
So anyway, unions are bad, especially in These Tough Times. Of course, people like Larson use the opposite argument when times are good: If things are so wonderful, then we don't need unions, right?

Wrong, dick. Despite obvious corruption in some unions, they remain one of the very few ways that an average worker may hope to see anything proportionate to the extraordinary profits made by their bosses, and even that is still a very small percentage indeed.

I've ran three labor actions in my life without ever involving a union (before I joined IATSE), and every time it was simply because the employer wasn't even following the law. In each case, the employer had decided to blithely ignore basic aspects of labor law simply because they felt they could, and knew damn well that they would get away with it. When their staff responded with civil collective bargaining, it surprised them, and ultimately they went with our suggestions.

So let me leave it there: Employers will break the law if you don't watch them like a hawk, and will scream and cry even when being asked to do something that the law requires, and has required for a very, very long time. I've had to basically get up on a chair and shout, more often than you'd think, just to get what was legally my due.

And while I'm well aware that our deeply ingrained fear of Words in this country preclude there being any serious discussion of socialism, let me break it down kinda easy for you: only the coldest-hearted reactionary scold would say that the government should not take care of -say- those who are paralyzed from the neck down.
While on one hand, you think they'd fall back on some sort of 'well, that's the market!' argument for letting them die, they also have this whole 'life is sacred' clause that they don't really believe in (because it only applies to fetuses and the terminally ill), but must constantly espouse.

Anyway, I'm not asking for the gummint to prop up my useless body. I'm asking for something much simpler -the ability to bargain with those who own Things but do not own me- and am always amazed at the amount of pants-pooping this inspires among those who shout for a living.

And, as a former radio engineer, I must point out that if that pussy came into my studio wearing that fucking gun of his, I'd keep his ass waiting outside until he took it off. Nothing untoward would happen to him in there anyway, and there's nothing more dangerous than a sissy with a gun, to quote Gore Vidal.



Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

You're very welcome, but wait-Sissy Jennifer is a DUDE?

9:44 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Well, in as much as Lars is.

Hm. We seem to be in the middle of a zeitgeist-y type thing here, regarding writings about Labor. Mister White has finally got around to apologizing to the Workers:

Now, if Satan does it too, we'll have a trifecta.

11:31 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Aw! Triple Crown!

12:25 PM  

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