Thursday, May 06, 2010

I Used To Be Disgusted

I am slightly surprised by my continuing capacity to be appalled these days, but as Elvis Costello says, I try to be amused. Still the thing that gets me right now is how very seriously my credulous countrymen take the obvious buffoons of the Right. It stikes me, that besides being dishonest, self-deluded, and inauthentic, conservatives are above all pretentious. It's not so much that that they put on airs of aristocracy or scholarship, though many do that too, it's that they credit themselves with the traditional wisdom, moderation, morality of the Conservative, while whirling about in a tizzy of hypcritical judgment. Not that we need any fresh proofs of this, but we're getting them anyway recently, in two blatant assclowns of the Reich.

One is Elizabeth Hasselbeck, giving blondes everywhere a bad name, ragging on a fellow mannekin for her immodest dress on Dancing with the Stars, then crying about it when people called her an asshole. This of course is utterly trivial, real Lady Booby sort of stuff, but it actually captures the gravitas of Conservatism perfecly.

The other example is George Alan Rekers, quack and homophobe, recently filmed returning from a ten-day vaction with a fellw who literally advertises himself as a rent-boy.

God is a bad novelist, otherwise he'd make at least some of these moralizing pricks fundamentally decent, just misguided. Alas, in reality they are invariably monsters who, if there were any justice should be put down by horse doctors or dog catchers.

A good novelist, Henry Fielding, had this to say about their ilk:

The only source of the true Ridiculous (as it appears to me) is affectation. But tho’ it arises from one spring only, when we consider the infinite streams into which this one branches, we shall presently cease to admire at the copious field it affords to an observer. Now affectation proceeds from one of these two causes; vanity, or hypocrisy: for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavour to avoid censure by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues. and tho’ these two causes are often confounded, (for they require some distinguishing;) yet, as they proceed from very different motives, so they are as clearly distinct in their operations: for indeed, the affectation which arises from vanity is nearer to truth than the other; as it hath not that violent repugnancy of nature to struggle with, which that of the hypocrite hath


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