Thursday, September 04, 2008

Triumph of the Swill

As I have said before, it doesn't perturb today's Republicans one bit to depart from the truth. Truth is quite literally not a value they recognize anymore. The language they speak, Advertese, does not express truth, any more than musical notation expresses mathematics. It's all about the pitch, the sort of Tastes Great/Less Filling! corporate fiction that lubes the ever-accelerating whirlygig of mass-market capitalism. In its idiom, a siren song like hatred, like heroin's "high thin whistle in the blood," the free market can indeed seem possible, wise and benign, that's why Advertese is the Latin of Fascist orthodoxy.

Karl Rove is the prophet of the GOP's Postmodern mystery religion. He holds, along with millions of his gullible adherents that there really is no such thing as truth. As Joesph Palermo observes, for Rove, ...the individual self (or subject) is an ideological construct, and that there is no "truth" aside from discursive myths society perpetuates and constructs through language and thought.... For Rove, like Foucault, there is no such thing as objective "truth," only assertions mediated through an ever-shifting discourse where the past and the future matter little and are infinitely malleable.

This allowed Rove to assert, when he was Bush's right hand man: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.' "

And this allows Rove to assert one day that Tim Kaine is unqualifed for the VP spot, having only been the mayor of Richmond and Lt. Governor and then Governor or Virginia, and then, soon thereafter, to rather hilariously assert that Sarah Palin is emminently qualified by her much slimmer resume.

Given all this, it is not surprising that Sarah Palin should ascend to the pinnacle of the cult as Virgin-Mother. Judging from last night's performance she is a virtuoso of pitch, the sort of woman more usually and properly found on the Shopping Channel extolling the virtues of cubic zirconium or ever-keen cutlery. Her choice as VP candidate was apparently made in a nearly complete absence of fact or even rumor. But why bother with research if the apparent truth of fact is, in fact, a mirage in the discourse, a fast-decaying state among the shifting frames of reference? Contrary to her outsider pose, it's abundantly obvious that Palin has been an ardent Christo-fascist since her political infancy, winning her first election on the kind of sentimentalized non-issue distraction dictated by the Gingrich playbook: God, guns, abortion etc. In a way, she's the consummate Republican candidate now, turning the elections quite literally into a beauty pageant. She can't seem to string ten words together without falsehood, and yet apparently million ssee her only for the character she plays on TV. Because she is so slick, and because the discourse is so degraded it's often now nearly impossible to tell noise from signal, Sarah Palin is inmdeed dangerous. She may be the Banshee of Banality, come to take the soul of America off to the WalMart at the End of History, where it will be sold for pennies on the dollar. There are two kinds of people who don't fear and loath Sarah Palin, the ignorant and the Theocrats -- admittedly, these are overlapping subsets.


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