Red states. Blue states. Red states. Altered States. I’m so confused I can’t even remember whether the Blues are the right wing or whether the Reds are right. Or is it the Blues are right and the Reds are simply wrong? Or, have I got that bass ackwards again?
No matter how you slice it, I have the Blues. It seems to be my natural state after the death of my mother. Does that make me a
What has made me so Blue other than planting my Mom?
Seriously. I spent the past 35 years to the country to the north of this one. How many of you Americans can name it? Should I be teaching to the test?
I always seem to be in a state of befuddlement since my return to the United Snakes. I always feel out of step. I have odd conversations with Americans, filled with oblique misunderstandings that puzzle me, like this one:
Rushing into a gas station with a full bladder, I ask the clerk, “Can I use the washroom?”
She looks at me like I am from another planet. “Huh?”
“Can I use the washroom?”
“You need to wash?”
“No! I need to piss!” I must sound frantic by now since my need was great before this little speed bump.
“Oh! The restroom!”
As I dash to where she’s pointed, I realize that I don’t have to rest either.
I simply can’t seem to find the rhythm of life here. It feels like I’m moving to Reggae and all around me people are waltzing to Lawrence Welk. In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening because I’m living with my Dad in his retirement community. Suffice to say my days are full of misunderstandings, some compounded by the hard of hearing. Others are compounded by Americans whose myopic world view is only matched by their unblinking jingoism. Where is The All-American Value System™ I was taught in my Civics class?
Nothing illustrates this lack of –let’s just call it civility, shall we?—as the run-up to a vote in
I can’t imagine what Vix’s generation is learning about political discourse from her elders. To her and her peeps, as the kids saying, elections must look like some kind of sleazy Leisure Suit Larry computer game played on YouTube, where the highest bidder buys all the influence and all dialogue is reduced to the level of a Jerry Springer episode. It has become lowest-common-denominator, at-the-top-of-one’s-lungs, shoot-the-messenger-and-forget-the-message electioneering. This is guaranteed to produce an end product not dissimilar to President George W. Bush.
When I asked Vickie “Whatever happened to political discourse?” she snorted, “Doncha mean ‘political intercourse,’ Aunty Em? Because we’re the one’s getting fucked.”
My brother allows her to talk that way. But, she’s right. Otherwise I might have said something.
I did ask her to elaborate and here’s my translation, with all the Vix patois removed: “Issues may have been good enough for my parents, and even my parents’ parents, but there’s no time for that in the new millennium. Just throw it all out there: conjecture, suspicion, speculation, conspiracy theories, lies, half-truths and, of course, ad hominem attacks. All of it drowns out the truth, which is the point. What sticks becomes truth, whether there’s any reality to it or not. If opinion polls suggest Americans believe that WMDs were found in
And my reply? “No! That’s not all that matters!! Facts matter!!! I sure wish I had a Swift Boat Captain to back me up on this one.”
Nevermind. It’s clear that Blue States are just plain dumb. Or is that Red States?
Red. Blue. Donkeys. Elephants. Democrats. Republicans. What’s the fucking difference anymore? This entire sideshow is designed to keep us from seeing the bigger picture.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
I’ll admit my liberal bias upfront. I believe those rich white Right guys like the current sitch-eee-ay-shun and government just fine. In fact, they wouldn’t mind government stepping back even further for even less regulation, leading to even higher concentrations. But that’s another argument for another time.
IN THE BIGGER PICTURE
What is the bouncing ball that the redbluedonkeyelephantRepublicanDemocrat hopes you cannot, or simply will not, follow? Who is bouncing the ball? What colour is the ball? Is anyone there to catch the ball? These are all very important questions. But the sad truth is that no one is bouncing the ball. That’s because this is more like a juggling act, to juggle the analogy on you one more time. The real trick, as anyone who ever watched Ed Sullivan knows, is for the juggler is to keep all those balls in the air at the same time.
KEEPING THE BALLS IN THE AIRHere’s the main point I’m trying to make, and please stick with me until the very end (if you’ve stayed this long, dear reader): Look again at our Bigger Picture, which is the MSM. I mentioned a bouncing ball. Let’s also label it MSM. Our recently introduced juggler, working frantically to keep all the balls in the air, is also named MSM. And, still, none of that matters because behind the juggler, is the heretofore unmentioned Magician, also named MSM.
THE MAGICIAN BEHIND THE JUGGLERAfter you’ve memorized your card, put it back into the deck. At no time, ladies and gentlemen, did my hands ever leave my wrists.
See? It’s all about deflection. Presto Chango! Just a wee bit of legerdemain. Some Hocus Pocus to smoke us. A spell-weaving incantation of words and images creating the sleight of hand necessary to distract from the Bad Mojo we have already witnessed with its own eyes!! Abracadabra!!! Now you see it. Now you don’t. This incantatory black art turns
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. That’s just Jack Abramoff. But I digress.
Which is exactly what the MSM does: digress, digress, and digress. Especially the 24-hour news channels, and most especially Fox News Channel (yet another topic for another day). While you’re distracted trying to find the magician (Bush or Congress or Activist Judges, choose your poison) operating behind the juggler (the Left/Right divide, raised security threats, trans fat, it never really matters), who in turn is keeping the balls in the air (Foley, Iraq, Cut & Run), you can’t ask the magician to answer the really important question: Does the MSM even have any balls, both literally and figuratively?It’s a fair question. If the MSM weren’t a neutered lap dog, how else to explain it keeping these facts from The American Public™:
1). Both the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen and those holding high office are not entitled to their monogrammed cufflinks.
2). In both elections huge groups of minority voters were systematically and illegally prevented from voting, in numbers greater than ever occurred during the bad old days in the bad old south before the Voter Acts of 1965.
As I say, these are documented facts. In my mind these are the biggest scandals since Watergate and may even eclipse that “third rate burglary.” It may very well be that Nixon isn’t the biggest Republican crook to order young men and women into combat.
Then, why haven’t most Americans heard of them? Simple. Our attention was deflected by the MSM. In the 2000 election the sideshow was about all those pregnant chads in
And, fate help us all when they replace all voting machines with those touch-screen monstrosities that do not provide a paper trail. Something else the MSM won’t tell you: the companies that manufacture, program, and promote these Democracy ATMs™ are big contributors to the Republican coffers. Democrats would get righteously indignant about that if they weren’t also lining their pockets from the same sources, just not as deep.
And so, dear reader, we have finally arrived at my main point –REALLY!—which is that the MSM is supposed to keep its collective eyes on all those balls on our behalf. The MSM media has—dare I say it?—dropped the ball. I find this ironic because if the MSM was in the grips of one ideology or another, they would have been all over this story like white on the Senate after reconstruction. However, the American MSM ignored these stories, even tho’ the facts were known and reputable journalists were trying to get the MSM to report on them—and while there was still time to have done something about it!
Something else you don’t hear from the MSM is how Ken Lay, the House of Saud, Enron, Manuel Noriega, Halliburton, the Contras, Saddam, Scooter Libby, the CIA, Vice President Cheney, George Bush the First, Rumsfeld, The Carlysle Group, Iran, Osama bin Laden’s family, and ObL himself, have been in business together at one time or another. Did I leave anyone out?
Before you come back to debate me on the last several paragraphs, I suggest you read Greg Palast’s two fine books: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texas, No Child's Behind Left and Other Tales of Class Combat in a Dying Regime. I read them at the behest of
Let’s try something novel instead. Let’s debate the thesis of his books.
I say that because I know well in advance that some people are going to say things about Greg Palast and ignore his facts. Just as I know that some people are going to say things about Aunty Em. I know my patriotism and/or parentage will be questioned. I know that EVENTUALLY I’ll be told, “If you don’t like it here, you can go back where you came from.” I also know that I will be accused of not supporting the troops, even tho’ my heart goes out to every one of those brave men and women. [Really, they’re mostly just boys and girls.] I hope they all get home safely.
What I can’t figure out is what the hell they are doing over there in the first place. Still another topic for another day. There’s no shortage of what to write about, is there?
How can an opinion be unpatriotic?
What I am trying to say, in my long-winded Aunty Em way, is that the 1st Amendment is barely operative these days. However, in all fairness to the MSM, I guess a Free Press is also free to ignore news. And, as for Free Speech? It seems to be more “Freedom of Speech Provided You Agree With Me, Otherwise Shut The Fuck Up” because as soon as someone starts to colour outside the lines, the Right Wing –are they Blue or Red?—begins a search and destroy mission.
We’ve seen it time and time again. The Right Wing Echo Chamber Orchestra (featuring the Karl Rove Chorale) sets out vilify anyone whose worst crime is having independent thought of mind. Or: the stupidity to express it in public. Those Shoot the Messenger tactics finally –FINALLY!—backfired last week when Rush Limbaugh went too far and attacked a Fox. That would be the actor Michael J. and not the unfair and possibly imbalanced Fox News Channel.
Showing a total lack of class, empathy, and common sense the pill-popping, pontificating, erection-challenged blowhard went after both Alex P. Keaton and Marty McFly in one felled swoop. In the bargain, he also made fun of a man’s infirmity, fer crise sakes. As
The reason this is a bittersweet irony for me is that I find myself missing those simple Canadian values more, the longer I am in Amerikkka. In
I now realize I was not just wearing rose-tinted glasses, but I was decked out in fun-house mirrored shades, which distorted a picture that didn’t exist at all and probably never had. I simply had no idea how cruel and mean
Now that I have traveled upriver into the heart of darkness, I’m shocked at how selfish and spiteful Americans can be. Where is Conrad when we really need him?
And, nothing has opened my eyes about Kurtz more than this current election cycle.
Let’s face it: It’s nothing but invective. The MSM reports who’s leading, but not what the platforms may be. They tell us what the candidates say, but not whether it’s the truth. Is tit-for-tat-news, when the MSM simply parrots what both sides say, supposed to stand-in for informative reportage? The 24-hour tee vee news channels have gone one step better. They deliver their nothingness in a rat-tat-tat tit-for-tat™, in which diametrically opposed factoids defy physics by trying to occupy the same space at the same time. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong, but do you think the Punditocracy™ is going to tell us?
The MSM simply doesn’t have the gonads to delve any more than scrotum-deep into the news, because that might lead to actual journalism. Actual journalism might lead to actual work. It’s just easier to shove a mic in front of a talking head than to do some research. Man, that research stuff takes time. I spent literally hours reading those books by Mr. Palast and I’m sure Katie Couric doesn’t have that kind of time on her hands.
Meanwhile, I cannot wait to read Greg Palast’s next series of missives about how the 2006 mid-term elections were stolen and which group of voters was disenfranchised this time around.
One last irony: A lot of what I read in Greg Palast’s books I already knew the broad outlines of because it had been reported in the various media in
With all my love,