Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yesterday's hero

I may have to give up writing about politics. I'm not ruthless enough for these times. Yesterday I found myself feeling a twinge of pity for Rudolph Giuliani.

I was glad the Yankees invited him to ride in their parade up Broadway, because he has had an unfortunate year. His pal Bernie Kerik is headed to prison. Glenn Beck has hijacked all the juicy aspects of 9/11 -- the fear, the rage, the paranoia. That federal judgeship is unlikely to happen, no matter how suicidally bipartisan the Obama Administration becomes. Best he could hope is a daytime syndicated show, Judge Rudy dispensing justice to neighbors quarreling over dog poop and broken iPods. Even the glamorous opera stars he married nine years ago onstage at the Met, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, have filed for divorce.

Today Giuliani announced he will not run for governor of New York next year, but may consider running for the Senate. Nobody wants to be one senator among a hundred if he has a shot at becoming the Big Baccala. And I'm not even sure he could win. The special election in the New York 23rd is particularly ominous. While Giuliani's credentials as a racist are impeccable, he has never been convincingly homophobic or anti-choice. Suppose he won the nomination, only to have Jabba the Rush brand him a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and demand the party bring in another Doug Hoffman, maybe from Texas where they raise USDA prime crackpots. America's Mayor could lose to someone called Gillibrand, as anonymous now as the day she was appointed.

I'm sorry, I have to stop now. It's too sad.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Faith-based initiative

When a psychiatrist (that's a shrink who's been to medical school) becomes so unhinged that he can see no alternative to mass murder, everyone wants to know why. The last I heard, Nadal Hasan was still in the ICU, but everyone already seems to know why. Apparently he had been in communication with a radical cleric.

Which radical cleric? Could it be Fred Phelps, who, along with his posse, has lately been picketing the school attended by the Obama girls? (Apparently the Quakers are among those who don't measure up to his standard for Christian hate.) Perhaps it's the Pope, who is threatening to withdraw funding for homeless services in Washington if the District recognizes same-sex marriage. Or a new candidate, the Rev. Flip Benham, who has announced that the cure for breast cancer is childbearing. (I knew my mother shouldn't have stopped after three kids.)

Then I checked the latest edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, which reminded me that the phrase "radical cleric" applies only to Muslims. I should have known. No Christian pastor would encourage mass murder. Only mass suicide. And by "encourage" I mean have his goons shoot anyone who refused to line up for the Kool Aid.

Wolf Blitzer knows. He was incensed that Major Hasan will be represented by counsel if and when he comes to trial. This is, if I may use the word, a radical shift for the Wolfman. Back when the O.J. Simpson murder trial was a daily ratings bonanza for CNN, I don't remember Blitzer getting his whiskers in a twist because Simpson hired half the lawyers in America to defend him. Could his objection stem from the probability that Hasan's court martial will not be televised? Or is Blitzer positioning himself to replace Lou Dobbs as the network's drive-time demagogue?

As one, it seems, the right is enraged that three accused terrorists from Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, will be tried at all, and tried in New York City, only a mile from the former World Trade Center. I have my own problems with this -- the clumsy timing of Eric Holder's announcement just a few days after the Ft. Hood shootings, the improbability of finding twelve New Yorkers with the ability to keep an open mind, the likelihood of more teabigot rioting like last summer's -- but if we start making distinctions between defendants worthy and unworthy of the forms and processes of justice, we are finished. These guys need lawyers, too, good ones. And appeals. And reviews. And then, if the government's case is as good as it appears, they can claim their virgins.

I hope somebody finds the brain lesion that makes people believe in gods, before it's too late.

Pogue mahone

I wish I had nine dollars. Or a car. With every fill-up, the local service station is giving away a copy of Going Pogue, Sarah Palin's memoir of her years as a groupie with the Irish band. I believe. I haven't read it, or heard a thing about it. Has it been released? Books are no longer published, I've noticed, they're released, like movies and CDs, if there are still CDs. I understand that the ex-governor has embarked on a publicity tour, appearing with someone called Oprah and also at a cable news channel called Fox, too. I am just dying to hear what she has to say about Shane MacGowan. It must be pretty racy, because Newsweek put Sarah on the cover in a very suggestive type running outfit, and she is very angry. Naturally she wants to leave all that groupie business behind and get ready to run for president, in spite of elitist people making her look stupid by quoting from her book, and publishing pictures she once posed for, and blah blah blah.

Also two people from The Nation have chosen this very moment to bring out a book called Going Rouge, obviously hoping with such a similar title to fool people who are inexperienced at buying books. This is typical of the unfairness and hate that everybody directs at Sarah just because she used to sexually service a certain very good band. At least she was never filmed while doing so, which is more than I can say for some authors who are also promoting their books right now, also.

I sure hope the library has a copy. I sure hope there's still a library.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bloomsday USA

What did I take? Advil? Probably too many. OTC crap, always double dosage if you want to get any effect. Mouth is dry. Computer making noises. Just like my old PC before it died. Motherboard went to smash. Why no fatherboards? Never mind. Turn on TV news. Everybody on same story. Can't be good. Shooting at Fort Hood. In Texas? Damn, they were serious about secession. Fired on Fort Hood. Fine with me. Goodbye, don't let New Mexico hit you in the ass on the way out. Not official, some soldier. Jeez, shot a bunch of soldiers. Nine dead. Maybe more. Shooting on army base. "Gentlemen! Fighting in the War Room?" Peter Sellers.

Shooter was a major. And a psychiatrist. Oh, perfect. Treated soldiers with PTSD. Who said "If you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss will stare into you"? Ray Nitschky? Can't be right. A real major, or like Frank Burns? Oh, he has a Middle Eastern name. We'll hear about this for days. They say he's dead. Went to Virginia Tech. Where the Korean kid killed 32 people. Another talking point leading nowhere. Just keep talking, right? Twenty-four hours to fill, every goddam day. Post-racial America reflected in a more varied cast of sociopaths. Black serial killer in Cleveland. Eleven bodies in his house. Nobody dumps them in the lake any more? Maybe had no car. I need some water. And a No-Doz.

The cables are all over the story. Already brought out the music that tells you to grieve. Yuck. Atrocities should take place over the weekend, when MSNBC has a full schedule of true crime and prison docs. Hard to take them seriously. "The news goes on twenty-four hours a day." Charles Foster Kane. I can close my eyes and imagine how this will be covered. At least dead soldiers means the late-night buffoons will leave it alone. More time for Ferguson's fag jokes. Wonder how Jack Price is doing. Every sniggering comic should have to spend time changing his Foley bag.

Oh, picture of the major. Nadal Malik Hasan. Probably doesn't use Malik, but every killer gets the tripartite name treatment. James Earl Ray. John Wayne Gacy. Dates back to John Wilkes Booth. Nobody is going to say it, so I will: This guy looks like Beldar Conehead. Is that disrespectful to his victims? Blame caffeine. I'm not the one politicizing it. Rick "Secesh" Perry competing with Kay Bailey Herbert Walker Terwilliger McClure Hutchison for camera time. Probable primary rivals next year. Perry trying to prove he has bigger balls. Good luck, Ricky. Nothing else to see but ambulances rolling along Texas freeways. More and more opinion, little of it supported by facts at this point.

Funny how one story squeezes out everything else. No newspaper could survive on one topic a day, but these people, with hours to fill, go all-Fort Hood as they went all-Michael Jackson. Great story from Boondock, New York, 23rd CD elects a Democrat after being Republican since 1872. I remember it well, the big Grant landslide. Republicans at this point more a cult than a party. Hoffman brought in Big Guns with actual guns (Palin, Beck, Armey) to ensure his defeat. Another great story: Bernie Kerik allowed to plead guilty to one of the many charges against him. No longer head of Integrity Division at Giuliani, Inc. From Secretary-designate of Homeland Security to federal inmate. O Fortuna.

Back at Fort Hood, death count rising. More than thirty wounded. Base locked down, and surrounding schools for good measure. Why? Surely Texas, of all places, has a plan in place for gun violence. Luby's, Waco, last spring in Houston. Cheney attempt on life of elderly lawyer. I believe it involves arming everybody. Major Hasan did not want to be deployed to Afghanistan. Could have hired Orly Taitz to file a lawsuit claiming commander-in-chief is not native-born, but decided this was less insane. Probably a Freudian. I need to eat something.

E-mail from one of those organizations I subscribed to last year and can't shake off. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Neptune) blocking S. 1963, "Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009." Excellent timing, Tom. You're an MD, let's see if you can pull your head out of your own ass without a full surgical team. I have no idea what liverwurst is even made from, but it's good. Almost time for BBC news. A little perspective, a lot of Europe, and way too much about cricket. Oh, somebody has given H1N1 flu to a cat.

Breaking news: Major Hasan shot four times but still alive. Likely to recover. Which is good, because nobody else knows exactly why. Death toll up to twelve. Uh-oh, teabigots are back. Spread out, look like a crowd. More excellent timing: The always hilarious Michelle Bachmann says she wants her people "armed and dangerous" on health care issue. Please let ex-Governor Dingbat have her assault rifle with her. No? Damned TSA. 1872, knuckleheads. Keep it up. If I type "Fort Hood Obama" into Google right now, will I get a hundred right-wing blogs explaining how it's All Obama's Fault, like the Cleveland serial killer and the military coup in Honduras and the embarrassing tape of Carrie Prejean and her born-again boobs? Unlike victory for hate forces in Maine, which is kind of his fault, really.

Insurance lobby seems distracted. Running scare commercials about health care bill during Olbermann and Maddow shows. Really want to hit that audience. For all I know running them on male impersonator Glenn Beck, too. Does he still have sponsors? Companies that buy gold jewelry, penis enlargement pills, Girls Gone Wild? Don't know if the last two work, but I don't think I'd put gold in a mailer marked "Gold Jewelry" and drop it in a mailbox. That's just me. Distrustful. Any more liverwurst? Sorry, all-day TV dulls the sensibilities. Tomorrow I'll know that mass murder happened. Nothing will have changed. I'll read instead. Yes, I will, yes. Yes.


Thursday school

The Buttermilk Sky organization is calling for a moratorium on "douche" and related terms, including "douche bag" and "douche nozzle." We recognize that it is fun to say and was never included in the FCC's list of proscribed words, but, hey, enough. It is, after all, just French for "shower," and it refers to an antiquated form of feminine hygiene unknown to any woman under the age of fifty. Are douche bags still made and sold? We suspect they have gone the way of the red rubber enema bag and the linen baby diaper. We also detect an overtone of sexism in calling everyone who behaves in a sleazy or idiotic manner a "douche." And frankly, we're just tired of hearing it.

Here is a list of suggested alternatives:

  • herring-sniffer
  • sneeze guard
  • flatulist
  • mugwump
  • schlafly
  • teabigot
  • fleashit
  • clonehead

Thank you for your cooperation.