Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Prospect Before Us

I recently discovered a very interesting blogger, David Seaton. His view of our situation and future is bracingly bleak and brilliantly articulated.

Nobody will be surprised that I agree with his assessment that fascism isn't really our future, it's basically happened already -- we're just too busy watching the lobotomy box to figure it out.
It is through Seaton that I came upon Robert Paxton's excellent definition of fascism. It should be tattooed on everybody who ever works at the White House:
Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."[

Roid Rage Among the Donut Mucnhers

Down in BOrlando a cop took it upon himself to faceplant an 84-year-old man who was a bit irate that his car had been towed. The cop claims to have been very afraid of the geezer, and his twit boss picks up on this alibi. Too bad about the old dude's broken neck.

Yet another instance in an epidemic of wacky cop violence aganst citizens, which I propose has two causes: one, the worship of armed authority in today's copsucking Amerika, and two, what must surely be widespread use of steroids in the very beefy ranks of our constabulary. If we cared at all about police brutality, all cops would be randomly drug tested for said drugs, and immediately tested after any use of force, no matter what the alleged justification. The chances of this happening are nil. But it's a thought.
Always remember boys and girls: your average cop is just a gym teacher with a gun.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wankers of the World Unite!

So Ms. O'Donnell claims to dabbled in witchcraft for awhile, back in her college-slut days. I don't really believe her story, but still I wouldn't be surprised if she did dabble a bit. Anybody who can believe in Tea Party bullshit could also believe that Satan will trade her superpowers for her soul. But a more amusing take on the candidate is here. Don't miss the musical interlewd embedded at the bottom.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moore and Moron

So last night Michael Moore was on my teevee as I was fixing dinner, talking (God only knows why) to Wolf Douchebag Blitzer. Now, Michael Moore's heart is in the right place and he works hard and he's done some really good and funny things, but he gets a lot wrong too, which somewhat undercuts the force of the stuff he gets right -- unlike the rest of us who are infallible.

Anyway, last night Moore was raving to Wolf Blitzen about how the Democrats are wimps who lack the courage of their convictions -- and in this he is precisely right -- but he went on to say thats what he's "always admired" about Republicans is they believe in what they say, and get up early and bang away to engforce these beliefs no matter how wrong or stupid they are. Here Moore errs on several points. First off, all it's not clear that the professional Republican believes anything consistently. It seems much more likely that most are just bundles of sociopathic reflexes held together by a Caesarean sense of their own entitlement to everything in the world you can possibly imagine, and otherwise consistent only in their soiopthically contrarian impulse to manipulate people destructively, a subset of which is their unfailing, unreflective desire to piss liberals off.

Second, insofar as the Republican does believe something it is likely to be not merely wrong, in the sense of erroneous, or merely stupid, but it is quite likely to be actually evil - that is to say, it is a shibboleth of bigotry or a facile rationalization for past, present and intended wrongdoing. Nobody is to be admired for their belief in something for nothing ('Cutting taxes raises revenue... the ar will pay for itself etc') the core fallacy of the American Right. Nor should they be admired for the notion that war is good for economic ills, or for the idea that white Christians are the Master Race, with God-given dominion over all others and tough-love dispensation from all ethical reflection on the plight or treatment of brown people. It is wrong, criminally negligent at least, to believe most of the bullshit the Republicans swallow and regurgitate endlessly, and it is stupid to "admire" them for it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dance of the Flaming Assholes

Apparently the Tea Partiers won big in the primaries yesterday, despite being truly moronic, nauseating and despicable people. There's Christine O'Donnell, a onetime television crusader against masturbation, now Delaware's Republican candidate for Senate. There's Carl Paladino who out-bigotted Rick Lazio for the GOP gubernatorial slot; this is is a guy who sends out Klan-mail and bestiality-porn over the internet, a landlord to the New York government in Albany, a guy getting rich on tax dollars who nonetheless thinks he's a paragon of free enterprise. And then of course, we already had Dr. Ron Paul and Joe Miller. Esq. both disgraces to their respective professions.

The Democrats are overjoyed with the latest nominees. They think it means they have a chance to hold onto the Senate. Personally I learned from W. not to root for the big loser to be nominated. The American people will probably love the guy, or girl. Plus, the lower the Reublicans sink, the lower is the bar the Democrats set for themselves. We must always remember, the if the Republicans are -100 on the moral quotient scale, the Democrats won't dare be any better that -99. The success of the Tea Party creeps is a very bad sign, a sign of mass psychosis. Millions of people won't repudiate this madness unless and until it clearly costs them everything they value. Think Nazis in the ruins of Berlin.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Prelude to a Book Burning

I dragged the Lobbyist to see the Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Smithsonian over the holdiay weekend, not becuase I'm a big Rockwell fan, but because I was interested in a particular image which I'd seen in the promotions. Still, I must admit I was very interested by the show, though perhaps not in the way the painter or the curators intended. As an exercise in Highest Kitsch it would be hard to top, and it was full to bursting with the kind of Wonderbred white folks likely to make Glen Beck pop a woodie.

It's not that Rockwell didn't have talent, he clearly did. But why he chose to exercise it in such a subervient and Bowdlerized fashion is hard to say. Certainly there was money in it, and maybe middle class comfort was as much as his sensibility could aspire to. But he sure does celebrate American complacency like crazy. It's very white and healthy, nary a hint of sex, disease, death, or sin. He makes Mother Goose look like Stephen King. Everybody is lit up with virtue, good intention or, at worst, the kind of minor foible which can be fully captured by joshing. At most, men leer impotently at glamorous gals, who don't return the slightest visible interest.

It strikes me that Rockwell's castrated attitude to his art is nicely encapsulated by the picture above, a fisherman hauling a mermaid in a lobster pot. She seems to be bound at the wrists, but is not at all distressed by this -- au contraire. And the fishmernan himself is just hauling dead weight -- note the down-pointing handle on the marker float. There's infinite weird, wonderful narrative possibility in the capture of a mermaid, but Rockwell's picture closes all of it off completely (It's a sort of anti-storyboard) with a type of humanity that has nothing naughty below the waist.
It's not that art has to dwell on or foreground dark or forbidden things to be good, but the relentless exclusion of anything even pleasantly troubling invariably deforms expression. And this, many white Americans are quite sure, is the quintessense of American Art.