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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Bargain

"We’re not smart as a nation. We don’t learn from the past, and we don’t plan for the future. "

Wow, Bob Herbert. Really? Course, David Brooks made pretty much the same point, same day:

"Personally, I’m not a fan of this movement..." Yeah, I suspect he isn't. The more Teabaggy our public discourse becomes, the even less room there is for what passes for a thoughtful conservative.
But Bob, Dave; maybe you personally didn't do this, but your industry did. "You let them in, and now they're everywhere..."

I know what it is, too: you wanted to seem less elitist. It scared you when they called you that. You wanted to seem like you paid attention to the good common folks, so you might make some money selling them things. Like all journalists, you feel that in order to truly explain something well, you need to dumb it down to embarrassing levels. To reach all people and let no one feel bad, you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

So now the Loud and Stupid are everywhere on the march, because you continue to give them coverage. They could have marginalized themselves in peace, but no; you liked the numbers. To ridicule someone's gramma moaning, "I'm skeeered of OH-Bah-ma!" would open you up to criticism, something you apparently can no longer take at all.
But the ridiculous deserve ridicule. And to act like they are to be taken seriously just because they are loud is to steal from us all.

And Mr. Obama himself is the worst offender in this area. He wants to spread the blame around for his failures, and made certain to set out in every way possible to fail. Rather than take a solid majority and use it to govern or something, he felt it necessary to let people who don't think- and only yell- get their two cents in. Then they ruined everything, as stupid people usually do.

It would take a strong person in this particular climate to say it, but someone must: Hey Stupid! Shut the fuck up! The grown-ups 'r talkin'! Now would be exactly that moment when somebody needs to remind them: you're only here because the rest of us take care of you. Be stupid all you want, on your own time, but just because you feel bad about it, don't expect me to feel sorry.
Furthermore, that means the responsibility falls to the rest of us to lead, and not turn back just because Stupid there feels his awful bullshit is being ignored.


Americans, as I often say, are a nation of people terrified of the idea that someone somewhere might think they are better than them. It informs much of their belief system. Queers? Educated n' rich 'cuz they don't hafta git pregnint! Besides, The Bauble says...Giving a shit about the planet we're on? Dey tek yer jerbs! Not bombing the living fuck out of everything and everyone all the time? Why do you hate Our Troops? Ghettoes? Gangs? Poverty? Those colored people are just lazy!

I've lived in the United States my entire life, and I'm pretty sure that I can safely make some generalizations about it. Wanna know about stupid people? Lemme tell ya' about stupid people!

Stupid people beat and scream at their children, sure they're doing the right thing, because that's what their parents did to them. They believe in God, but it doesn't make them happy. It makes them feel somewhat better that here, finally at the end of life, is the possibility of Revenge on all those Smarty Pants who made them feel so small. It doesn't make them nice people: it makes them want to kill their neighbor. The fact that Wrath is one of the Seven Deadly Sins always eludes them; they weren't specifically told the words This Means You. They think they're the only ones who know anything, but people who know too much are dangerous. They cry all day long when they don't get theirs, but feel that no one else is entitled to anything. Torture's funny when it happens to somebody Brown, but if it happened to them or one of their Babies, it would be the biggest fucking tragedy in human history.
And they feel that the only pure form of expression is yelling. At this point, why would they feel any different? People keep pointing cameras at them!

So yeah; it's not like this is a new thing, or an uncommon thing. The stupid are with us always, and always have been. They comprise the majority of most crowds. But now, since being smart is no clear ticket to immediately clearing up the shitty decision making of previous stupid office-holders, it's somehow those int'lecshuls fault.
And it gets reported as if it is news. Hey; stupid people are incoherently angry! Imagine that!

But hey; you're right. The smart people have failed us, too. Not due to a surfeit of intelligence, though...more like that problem Bob mentioned earlier: they never learn. They will keep on trying things the same awful way we always do, fooling ourselves that the chiefs of industry who long ago abandoned American society will somehow come back and save us.
The whole while, there will be much milksoppy talk about listening to the other side's point of view...Let's find out what Shouty there thinks; no, no...Let the man ta-aalk...
As if they'd ever do that for you.

So real quick: two things we should do while there's still a Democratic majority...
Make campaign contributions taxable. Tired of watching you drunks get sloppier.
Penalize U.S. corporations that move offshore. Tariffs, taxes, whatever. Fuck them. They are the problem.
...Oh hell, while we're at it, tax the churches too. They never kept their side of the Bargain anyway...

And it's time the Democrats finally admitted to themselves that they will never, ever get the evangelical vote. Never. So stop degrading yourself trying to get it.

All the way back in a magical time called the Nineteen Eighties (the Reagan Years!), a band called Shriekback did a song called "Hammerheads," and it is oddly prescient:

our time has come
age of the hothead
this is our mission
to be the darlings of god
too late for silence
too late for anything
it's all too much for me
it's roots go down too deep for me

all-punishing fire
an animal frenzy
these hammerhead people
they know what danger is for
you let them in
and now they're everywhere
if it's vegetable or mineral
it's back a little up a little


Shout, push, hammerheads!
bold and resolute
marching, balancing
in too far to go back
Yes, yes, hammerheads!
swimming, kissing
we are big and clever
and we don't know anything

Onward, hammerheads!
bright and dangerous
jumping, running
in the fields and factories
God save hammerheads!
keeping going
we are sleek and special
and we're sure of Something


And just to see if we can Google-bomb this one again:
Lars Larson is a cheap little punk.

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3 Comments:

Blogger TweenyBopper said...

"And it's time the Democrats finally admitted to themselves that they will never, ever get the evangelical vote. Never. So stop degrading yourself trying to get it."

A - fucking - men to that.

In reading the lyrics you posted, I noticed something:

"...an animal frenzy...if it's vegetable or mineral..."

Wait a minute,... is Barbara Kingsolver a secret fan of Shriekback? I guess that would be "miracle," but whatever.

4:36 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

I'm tired, I've been fuming for hours now about the evangelical ass hat who... aw, who cares... what irritates me is that the radicalized always end up radicalizing you in the end. Like Hitchens said, more or less, given the history of 'people of faith' opposing them now is a matter of survival and not mere political advantage.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

I like these ranty, smart posts!
You may like brendancalling.com
for similar tirades-erm-viewpoints.

2:28 PM  

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