Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Pod Couple

There are two very stolid young people, a couple, in my neighborhood, who sometimes ride my bus. On it they are always talking to each other volubly and with such altogether body-snatched zeal and such seamless self-satisfaction about the most hideous reactionary clap-trap, e.g. “Mitt would be fine with me, as would any of our top three.... " "Yes, top of his class, Law Review, they can't call him a C student"

I’ve really never quite seen the like of it. They talk unnaturally loud, like people name-dropping in restaurants, just aching to be overheard -- as if each of their "ideas" added wattage to the aura of their young glory. They are clearly very glib (that is to say fluent with sentiment and generality) and ambitious and they surely work in the Party machine somewhere. It could be they're Hill staffers, or flunkies for the Party itself or perhaps one of its privateering sub-rackets on K-Street -- but in any case they seem to think that we should be impressed by the brilliance and righteousness of whatever they say. They have blogs ("I wrote on my blog today about why it's unfair to compare the product of our think-tanks to academic papers....") which we can be assured are wholly given over to voicing the Love of the Party. Yesterday Pod-Girl was carrying a paperback entitled Taking on Tehran – good to know these people aren’t out of ideas for invasion, especially since the last one continues so successfully.

In any case their voluble chat annoys and alarms me -- especially since the prevailing custom here in Washington is silence and solitude on mass transit. It alarms me because I wonder how many more of these lost and despicable souls there are out there (many I imagine darkly), and I don't see how we are to be rescued from their fascist zeal and lawlessness without violence. But in the near term and in close-up, they brings up an ethical and aesthetic dilemma: at what point can one inject something into these loudmouth's broadcast, and what should it be? I'm tempted to take their picture and explain to them, “If you’re going to make this bus your soap box you can't get stingy with your images.”

Instead though I have devised this plan: I'll simply study them, note their many scintillating bon mots and send them up as the Pod Couple. I find this abstracts them and their ilk, neutralizing the salutary hatred they engender. Perhaps if I ask them to..."Speak louder and more slowly; I'm having a hard time getting this down."


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