Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leave the transit...take the cannoli

So where's the party?

This has been a week of triumph for the Rightzis. They eliminated an activist judge, disabled a Democratic Congresswoman indefinitely, and prevented a nine-year-old from growing up to become one of Limbaugh's "feminazis." (She was a Little League ballplayer, it was only a matter of time.) I don't see any fireworks.

Instead, the infamous crosshairs map was hastily removed from Palin's website (why, if they were surveyor's marks?), a billboard of a gun-totin' Limbaugh vanished from a highway near Tucson, and a whole new volume was written in the history of damage control. We're not responsible for the effect our lock-and-load ranting may or may not have had on a delusional man, and besides, liberals are just as bad.

Just as bad? Well, someone who disagreed with Rep. Giffords's vote against Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader posted that she was "dead to me," a phrase it's hard to take seriously if you first heard it from Jerry's Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, a phrase that's impossible to interpret as a death threat. Palin's courtiers claim she has received threats, but courageously, they have chosen not to turn any of them over to the FBI or the Alaska state police -- come to think of it, Sarah has something of a fraught history with the troopers -- or even Wasilla's local force. And pointing out their repeated calls for violence is itself an incitement to violence, isn't it?

Jon Stewart, the most trusted name in fake news, says there is "no clear line" from Palin to Jared Loughner. Since the Sky was among the blue meanies who discerned one, we should probably apologize. Instead, we offer a quote from Eric Fuller, a disabled veteran who was shot by Loughner a week ago:

"It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target. Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled."

Maybe Mr. Fuller was a little too close to the action. Maybe he doesn't realize he was a supporting player in yet another nefarious plot against the Real Americans, who were at their keyboards within minutes of the memorial service to denounce everything from the Native American blessing to the "United We Thrive" shirts distributed by the university, but especially the President's disgraceful politicization of the event by just showing up. (Too bad he didn't have a political fundraiser to attend, like John Boehner.) The only point of bipartisan convergence was a law quickly passed by the Arizona legislature that forbids picketing at funerals, to prevent Fred Phelps and his clown posse from disrupting the Christina Taylor Green service. One side found the prospect disgusting, the other was worried about more bad press. You can guess which.

Yep, like the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, the shooting at Columbine High School, the killing at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh and the attack on Pearl Harbor, this was just another phase in the liberal plot to confiscate all the guns and make the citizenry eat salad and worship Satan. The Real Americans aren't even veiling their threats of insurrection, civil war and murder, unless we tone down the blogging and stop making Glenn Beck cry.

Meanwhile, the gun owners are buying more guns and ammo, the Right side of Blogenheim has rung with the sound of their armorers working into the night, and no one has even asked, "Was it something I said?" Instead, a Wall Street Journal editorial contributes to the spread of mind-numbing ignorance by accusing Palin's critics of perpetrating a "blood libel" against her, and she chimes in with a YouTube performance that Saturday Night Live had better not try to equal.

All I have are two great modernist poets:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. (Yeats)

I think we are in rats' alley
Where the dead men lost their bones. (Eliot)


Monday, January 10, 2011


"They're not crosshairs, they're surveyor's marks!"

I don't care if they're Norden bomb sights, Palin is as guilty of murder as if she had bought the gun, loaded it, and showed the psycho how to use it.


In a few days, it will be the thirtieth anniversary of John Hinckley, Jr.'s attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan, which also wounded two Secret Service agents and left James Brady disabled for life. For this despicable act, Hinckley has been confined at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for the Politically Inconvenient, the former home of Fascist collaborator and modernist poet Ezra Pound. Hinckley's stated reason for the shooting was a wish to make himself known to the actress Jody Foster. He admired her performance in the film Taxi Driver, which concerns an attempted political assassination. At the time, there was much debate over the role played by media, including fictional movies, in political violence -- in bringing out the inner Travis Bickel, so to speak, in disturbed individuals.

I have spent the evening scouring the Internet for reports of acts of violence committed against right-wing politicians and pundits in the past thirty years. (Acts, not words.) I found a picture of Pat Buchanan moments after someone hit him with a custard pie. Demonstrators hurled eggs at George W. Bush's car as he drove to his inauguration after his bitterly disputed and probably illegal election; it is not clear if the car was hit. An Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at Bush during a press conference, and missed. On a visit to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Dick Cheney had his feelings hurt when someone greeted him with the words he had addressed to Pat Leahy on the floor of the Senate: "Go fuck yourself." The terrorist was quickly arrested.

No guns. No bombs. No fatalities.

If I missed something, I apologize and await correction from the "followers" I think of as the Faithful Five.

Until then, I reject the lunatic notion that left-wing rhetoric is just as bad as that of the entity I think of as Limbeckitty, that "everybody is to blame" for the horror in Tucson, that the perpetrator is a liberal because he owned a copy of The Communist Manifesto as well as Mein Kampf. (No disconnect there, because as Jonah Goldberg has conclusively proved, Nazism and Socialism are one and the same.) I reject every lying, weaseling excuse the Rightzis trot out, and everything they say except "I'm sorry, I'll shut the hell up now."

As for ex-part-time Gov. Palin, I don't believe she needs to reinforce her perimeter fence or hire Blackwater thugs. Mama Grisly's personal arsenal should more than suffice to protect her young from the hordes of shoe-, egg- and pie-wielding liberals advancing on Wasilla. Also.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Gimme gimme gimme

"We used to hustle on over the border for health care...And I think, isn't that kind of ironic now."

That was Sarah Palin, acknowledging that she comes from a long line of grifters. "Ironic"? A better word would be "criminal." It is against the law to obtain fake ID and help yourself to free health care at the expense of Canadian taxpayers. The next time Nanookie of the North strays across the border while stalking an elk, I trust the Mounties will do their duty.

Who am I kidding? This overage adolescent leads a charmed life. She could carjack Stephen Harper and they'd give her the key to Ottawa and a coupon for a steak dinner. She flips off the Alaskans who elected her and is rewarded with a cable show. She displays her ignorance of basic English and then compares herself to Shakespeare. She buys thousands of dollars worth of clothes for herself and her lump of a daughter on the Republican National Committee's credit card and gets to keep the loot, a reward for ensuring the defeat of the ticket. It would be easier to get rid of Oprah, her only serious competition for America's admiration.

I give up.


Closing the books, with some relief, on 2010:

In Iceland, an island nation we never think about unless it is hosting a chess tournament or an international summit, a volcano (don't make me type it again) erupted, ruining the air travel plans of several hundred thousand people.

In Haiti, an island nation we never think about for any reason, an earthquake killed several hundred thousand people. Later, a cholera epidemic came back for the rest. This time, Pat Robertson had an explanation: the Haitian people worship Satan.

It was the centenary of the famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. BP marked the occasion by poisoning the Gulf of Mexico with millions of gallons of crude oil in order to save a few quid on deepwater drilling.

In Copiapo, Chile, 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days while a rescue shaft was sunk. They survived because the mine was equipped with a special disaster chamber. Had the cave-in occurred in West Virginia or Kentucky, there would have been no need for a rescue shaft.

Displaying a gift for words worthy of his great Irish namesake, American League umpire Jim Joyce observed, "I kicked the shit out of it." He was describing a call at first base which robbed White Sox pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game. Had he called it correctly, baseball would have recorded its third no-hitter in two weeks, which is just messed up.

Somebody named Larry King retired.

Israeli commandos swooped down on a Turkish vessel in time to prevent a cargo of dangerous food and building supplies from reaching the Gaza Strip.

There was another Harry Potter movie. Maybe more than one.

The war on terror blah blah ying tong iddle i po gabba gabba hey.

The pope approved condom use for Catholic rent boys.

The world was entertained by telephone tapes of Mel Gibson ranting drunkenly at his Russian baby-mama. Not one evangelical fan of The Passion of The Christ came to his defense.

Some politicians who had no problem with a seizure-inducing deficit and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security during the Cheney-Bush regime were elected to office by promising to balance the budget and shrink the federal government. Somewhere, Molly Ivins and H.L. Mencken are getting crazy drunk.

3-D became the new Smell-o-vision, a gimmick to save crap movies.

American airports moved a step closer to cavity-searching passengers.

Some parts of the world experienced cold temperatures and snow, which was taken as an excuse to deride global climate change by people who routinely deride global climate change.

More stuff was posted online than anybody could possibly look at. Of course, the same is true of book publishing, and has been for centuries.

The 2010 Census was completed, and nobody was sent to FEMA camps.

The Saints won the Superbowl, which means that New Orleans has officially recovered. If you are still living in a toxic trailer, or far from home, it's your own fault, cher.

Dick Cheney eluded the Death Panels and underwent yet another cardiac procedure.

Facebook something something movie something.

It could have been worse. It could have been a leap year.