Tuesday, March 31, 2009

America the Beautiful

Strangely enough, it now appears that all that torturing we did under Dick Cheney's reign of terror accounted for no useful intelligence. That seems like a real lose/lose situation: the American people lose their souls, their honor, their good name, the good opinion of millions around the world (thereby increasing the likelihood of more terrorist attacks); then again, through the false confessions elicited under torture we gained... cover for the innumerable lies the Bushies told the American people in order to make themselves look like effective defenders of the nation, rather than like the criminal bunglers they so clearly, actually were.

Good job Dick and George, and Colin and Karl and all the rest -- excellent! Girly men, hypercompensating, sending people with actual courage to be tough for them (and for William Kristol, Jonah Goldeberg etc) vicariously. The eight year conservative circle-jerk.

Conservatism is a cult of masculinity; its prime sacrament is penis envy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

View from the Clouds

The Lobbyist and I watched the President the other night on the giant flat- screen in the gold-plated Gulfstream which she bought with the interest on her cut of the AIG money. Obama managed to be pretty articulate while simulating actual answers to some of the really suck-ass questions. We were pleased, once again, and still surprised, to have again as President someone who can speak English, but I must admit that was about as far as my positive impression went.

I really would have liked to hear someone ask him, 'Now that the Red Cross has certified the war crime of torture at Guantanamo, and our allies the British and Spanish are considering the implications of that under their criminal laws, will the Justice Department be investigating these matters as is required by our signature on various treaties?' Or perhaps someone might have asked, 'Why is it that the same criminal asslickers, who as U. S. Attorneys under Bush trumped up sham investigations and selective prosecutions of Democrats, still all have their jobs?' Or maybe someone, just for fun, could have asked, 'Isn't Harry Reid the most stupid, cowardly, ineffective total-waste-of-biomass majority leader in the entire history of the known universe?'

But our journamalists are too supid and chickenshit to ask those questions and it seems highly likely that Obama is either too brownshirted or cowardly to answer them (although he may yet surprise us). America is turning into a really, really soulless and crappy little country. At least so it seems from up here in the G-5. Now, where are the gals with the champagne...?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Sound of One Hand Jacking

It occured to me recently that in the same way we find it ethically or socially illegitimate to bestow honorifics (Doctor, Professor, Ambassador, etc.) on ourselves, perhaps we should recognize that people who dub themselves "Christians" or "conservatives" are just as dubious as people who call themselves modest, heroes, or geniuses. (Quick question: may you call yourself an "artist"?) Certainly those who choose these titles for themselves consider them to be compliments, so why aren't they more abashed to be applying them to themselves. Now certainly it's fine to take tacit pride in one's virtues and especially in one's good work, but the only seemly or honorable recourse is to let others sing your praises.

But that's not the way with today's "conservatives" -- oh no. Dispensing with the time-honored ethos of modesty, they're self-aggrandizing as hip-hop "artists," ready to proclaim themselvees our betters at the drop of a Klan hood.

Here's the meme of the day, from John Cole of all people, and a post titled aptly "Conservatism as Urine." The very first comment: "Conservatism is, apparently, the sound of one hand jacking."

Friday, March 20, 2009

National Conservatism

The blogger tristero has some harsh things to say about Russ Douthat, the douche-bag whippersnapper who replaced the douche-bag poseur Kristol on the Times editorial page. I'm inclined to agree with tristero here (though sometimes he's kinda full of it), and I think his provocative opening salvo ("Modern conservatism is a disease.") is a notion worth considering. Indeed, I only hesitate to endorse that notion completely because I'm afraid that this might be to wrongly medicalize moral considerations, as Thomas Szasz might say.

In any case "conservatism" today has as much to do with conservatism as National Socialism did with socialists -- this is to say; they are inimical. Conservatism properly construed recognizes the conservation of quanta -- the fact that nothing comes from nothing, nothing becomes nothing, and that when (and to the extent that) somebody is getting something for nothing, somebody else is getting nothing for something. Conservatism recalls the lessons of the past in this regard. Conservatism above all does not believe in myths, monsters, magic or miracles. Today's conservative is deeply proud of his faith in myths, monsters, magic and miracles -- it's pretty much what defines his world view.

Garret Keiser, in this month's Harper's does a good job of distinguishing old-style Republican conservatism, from today's Bizarroworld inversion:

Take for example that "arch-conservative" Ronald Reagan, who from the perspective of a hundred years will be seen as the last of the California hippes, a man who told us that if we just let the markets run wild and the Magic Bus of juggernaut capitalism go barrel-assing down the road with its freak flag flying all would be groovy and out of sight. What was his "Morning in America" but a cover of "Aquarius"; what was his presidencey but the last act of Hair -- preferable, I admit, to the helter-skelter criminality of Cheney and Bush. But to call either administration conservative is to hold up a picture of your brain on drugs.

Now that's the kind of thing that would be in the editorial pages of a New York Times that lived up to its august reputation, one that might survive, on its merits.

Friday, March 06, 2009

First we kill all the MBAs.

In many ways the question now boils down to this: Are we going to let the MBAs continue to rule America, or will we give power to people with actual knowledge, capabilities and principles?
It's that simple.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pig Wrasslin

Il Douche has challenged Obama to come on his show and "debate." I think Obama should respond directly, maybe something like, "Perhaps if Limbaugh had ever done any service for this country, instead of using an ingrown ass-hair to keep himself out of the draft, or perhaps if he didn't have such a rich history of racist comments, and perhaps if he hadn't, while himself abusing illegal drugs advocated harsh prison penalties for illegal drug users, and perhaps if he hadn't gotten detained for illegal possession of Viagra on his way back from a child-fucking junket to the Dominican Republic, perhaps, in short, if he wasn't a drug-addicted, thrice-divorced, lying, hypocritical hatemonger whose sponsors every decent American should boycott then I might speak wiht him seriously. As it is I'll just abide by the old adage: 'Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.'"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Il Douche

Recently I was watching Olberman, waiting for the secret signal that will cause all us cryptosocialists to rise up and redistribute the wealth made by our betters on all those trillion-dollar credit-swap instruments -- when I happened to notice that Rush (who sure hasn't missed a meal lately) was wearing an honest-to-god (as Umberto Eco says) black shirt as he jiggled around in front of the cheering CPAC Hitlerjugend recently. The moral here: those who cannot remember history will soon swallow its vomit.

I doubt seriously if these people really know what they are about, but I'm fairly sure that they sense in their sociopathic brain lobes, dimly understand that if they can only sufficiently derange a certain violent and highly motivated minority they can foment real Götterdämmerung carnage, and they will have their chance to go out for a reason, heroes in their own minds, and no longer be troubled by all those impure thoughts about little "butt boys". As Eco puts it:

In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

Then again, who knows, maybe these cretins could get hold of real power after the economy finally, truly craters and the Dolchstosslegende resonates a little louder up the emptiness of the cable tunnels . After all, who will stand up to them, the shopkeepers, Mister Moms and and soccer moms of America, the Daschles, the Reids, the Pelosis?

It seems to me that there might be some prophylactic measures the enlightened citizenry could put in place. Some actual leader might organzie a boycott of hate speech, maybe invent a Fox-Free, or Fascism-Free label you could put on your product certifying that you didn't advertise on Rush, Fox, Micahel Savage, et cetera. In these recessionary times such a boycott might really have traction. (Nothing scares more easily than a billion dollars.) And how could the right wing complain about such an operation of the free market?