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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Moral values

The problem with the world ending is that you still have to get up in the morning and slop the pigs.

It is a little disheartening but not particularly shocking to learn that approximately 52 percent of Americans are so scared of the queers, heathens, towelheads, commie foreigners (ooo, those scary pinkos in Soviet Canuckistan!) and intellectuals that they're willing to put up with the rest of the Bush package to get somebody who comforts their fears.

This is far from the worst swing to the right that this country has weathered. Those who do not study history, etc--

--although I was hoping to stave off the fall of capitalism for another couple of decades, because I am intrinsically lazy, and revolutions are a pain in the ass to live through.

(Fall of Capitalism, The: inevitable since the collapse of the eastern bloc; it's my considered opinion that we broke our system driving theirs down, see under "Reaganomics" for details)

There's a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth going on, but it seems to me that the American system is a bit like a bobsled in a bobsled run. It careens around a bit, but generally swings back the other way. I figure we've still got a year, eighteen months before we hit really cheerful post-1953 levels of paranoia.

And this, boys and girls, is the reason why the system is set up to encourage stagnation. Because we don't want them to be able to fix stuff, and they don't want us to be able to fix stuff. Fixing stuff is bad.

We don't like final solutions. We don't like cultural revolutions. We like gridlock; gridlock is our friend. 1953 (and now, 2004) teach us what happens when middle America gets a little too scared of the commies and the queers. An end to gridlock; my worst nightmare.

On the other hand, you don't get Ginsberg without McCarthy. So, yanno. The revolution will be along momentarily

Looks like Harry's Senate minority leader. I suspected as much. Not sure yet how much I'll miss Daschle, though.

And now it's time for this queer, heathen, pinko (but not particularly towelheaded, except after showers) intellectual to go slop the pigs.

Comments

Not so much comfort their fears as pander to them.

---L.
Well, both, really; stir them up, and assure them that Only We Can Save You.

Hey Peoria: Booo!
Egg-zackle.

I'm with sartorias on this one.

---L.
Peoria's in a blue state. Go scare Dayton.

The revolution will be along momentarily

May have to steal and use phrasing here and there.

I am ready to stir things up, but I'm not awake enough yet to wield the spoon. Perhaps the hallmark of a good revolutionary leader is the capacity to use a spoon even after 2 hours of sleep and too many bottles of hard lemonade.

Re: The revolution will be along momentarily

May have to steal and use phrasing here and there.

What I am encouraged by, more than anything, is the vocal and well-connected network of commies, pinkos, queers, intellectuals, etc....

...but I do expect things to get much, much worse before they get better. Late-sixties worse at the minimum.
Actually, I think this is the worst "swing to the right" the country has undergone. Joseph McCarthy was a bad guy, but he was never elected President; indeed, not long into Eisenhower's first term is when McCarthy's power and influence came to an abrupt halt. The rest of Eisenhower's eight years were a time of relatively bipartisan moderation on most things. The Fifties were a far more progressive era than latter-day pop-culture portrayals would have us believe.

There will be no revolution "along momentarily" that we don't make. The pendulum is a myth; it is entirely possible for countries and cultures to go bad for centuries.
There will be no revolution "along momentarily" that we don't make.

That's actually more or less what I was driving at, WRT the pig slopping. I do believe quite firmly that people do not get off their asses and change things until they get scared and angry, which is why I'm encouraged that people *are* scared and angry.

And I dunno--McCarthy gave his name to the era, but the culture of fear did not begin and end with him. YMMV, of course.
They'll get what they voted for.

Jobs and benefits lost. Healthcare even less affordable. Children and relatives and friends and neighbors killed in unjust wars. Rights sacrificed to "National Security."

Thanks for the historical perspective. It's comforting, in its way. Because I'm afraid we've entered the Crazy Years.
Because I'm afraid we've entered the Crazy Years.

I'm convinced of it. I'm hoping if I'm a vocal enough asshole, somebody in the free world will notice when they come for me, and Amnesty International may forward my letters.

The sad thing is that I'm halfway serious.

On the other hand, the downticks (even the big ones) are usually followed by upticks, globally and historically speaking. The bad news is they can be on the order of generations, and generally a lot of martyrs get made and a lot of lives get broken before the cycle is over.

This is not a gentle process. You would think we would learn.
William Maxwell (a generally gentle man) in a letter to Sylvia Townsend Warner:

I was so angry at the election of Eisenhower in 1952 that I went to a party up the road and simulated drunkenness in order to behave badly. The hostess was a Democrat who had voted for that old goat, and that was what I couldn't bear. I used gross language, I believe I brought the children to the head of the stairs to listen, and I was treated with such forbearance that I eventually shut up, because, after all, when your heart is broken you might as well.
when your heart is broken you might as well.

Or, yanno. Slop the pigs. By which I mean, if I wasn't clear (and apparently I wasn't) demonstrate, argue, dissent. Do not go gentle.

I'm not entirely convinced that American hegemony being broken is a bad thing; what scares me is when I compare today's processes to those of the civil rights movement, or the labor movement, or--

Because yeah, that's the kind of pig-slopping I'm talking about. Pinkertons and labor riots. This is going to suck.
Sorry - I wasn't clear here. I was quoting Maxwell out of reflection (i.e. a glimpse of post-election angst from another era), not at all as a prescription. My own plans definitely, absolutely, positively run more along the lines of raising hell and bearing witness and firing +6 counterspells against the swamp-monsters of despair...
I'm remembering my teen-age years, and Richard Nixon. Nixon didn't manage a full eight years, and in the end, the Republicans of honor were ready to send him away, just as the Democrats had been. I don't think this crowd is quite as slick as Nixon when it comes to the dirty tricks department, and they certainly don't have his grasp of international affairs. It was even more unthinkable for most people that the President could have done anything bad in the 1970s, and we were pretty polarized then, too.
The right has organized their revolution, now let them feed upon each other, like the Bolsheviks in the 1920s and 30s, while we begin work on ours. Remember to welcome their refugees, and do not despise them for being fooled. Used car salesmen sell lemons every day to trusting souls.
I hope you're right; I fear it won't stay as civilized as the '70's.
The seventies ended with the demonization of Jimmy Carter, and the election of Ronald Reagan, so it could be "morning in America". It may not have looked so bad at the time, but the direction it headed was pretty ugly. I was of voting age in 1976, and got an earful of the campaign rhetoric then and in 1980. Gerald Ford was too decent to fight dirty, and was standing in the ruins of Watergate, so he had little leverage to attack Carter. Reagan set out with a great set of scriptwriters, and we suffer from them and their children unto this very day.
Great post.

It is a little disheartening but not particularly shocking to learn that approximately 52 percent of Americans are so scared of the queers, heathens, towelheads, commie foreigners (ooo, those scary pinkos in Soviet Canuckistan!) and intellectuals that they're willing to put up with the rest of the Bush package to get somebody who comforts their fears.

I'm pretty terrified myself -- but I'm afraid of the people who are afraid, not what they're afraid of. In fact, I'm more afraid of them than they are afraid of what they're afraid of.
I'm scared because I'm the person their mother warned them about... and really, I'm a decent sort, and pretty devoted to the constitution, and I wouldn't drag *them* off to prison for speaking their minds....

....and I have been painfully awakened to the fact that they're more scared of me than I am of them, and they plan to Do Something About It.

People who Fix Things scare the everloving fuck out of me.
It is a little disheartening but not particularly shocking to learn that approximately 52 percent of Americans are so scared of the queers, heathens, towelheads, commie foreigners (ooo, those scary pinkos in Soviet Canuckistan!) and intellectuals that they're willing to put up with the rest of the Bush package to get somebody who comforts their fears.

Painting the opposition as knee-jerk fearful and not, themselves, sincere and thoughtful is... also disheartening.
When their moral values infringe on my civil rights, I am content to judge harshly.
So rather than being intellectual and compassionate about it, you become what you fear? Prejudicial and spiteful? How does that solve anything? As an independent, left-leaning friend of mine has pointed out, all that does is alienate the people who might otherwise agree with you. When you denigrate someone for holding a different opinion, you sound no better than those who allegedly want to haul you off to prison for holding the opinions that you do. They want to silence you, you want to marginalize them. You offer no possible route for reconciliation, compromise, or national unity.

How is that democracy in action? How is that being in favor of the Constitution?
Not at all.

I concede that the election was fairly won; I stand on my constitutional right to disagree vociferously with anybody whose "moral values," (based on exit polls showing that was the chief reason that people voted for Bush) coincide with the President's.

I'm all for tolerance, and all voices being heard. In general, it is my personal experience that the body of the neoconservative movement does not wish all voices to be heard, and feeds off the fear of the other.

I do not offer a route to compromise, because neither does the socially conservative right wing. I draw a parallel to the labor rights movement or the civil rights movement or the women's rights movement: the other guys are fighting like a motherfucker for every last inch, and they have no intent to compromise. If I fight like a motherfucker for every last inch, we *may* get a compromise that leaves both of us unhappy--

--which is what democracy is all about. Nobody getting what they want. It's about the negotiated unhappiness of all parties. So Dan Quayle has to put up with unwed mothers on his television set, and I have to put up with institutional bigotry.

And that's why the Henry Clays of the world will always have work.

Reagan and the Soviet Union

I don't think the US brought down the Soviet Union; I think the Soviet Union did
it, and would have done it even if there had been no other major power in the world. (And the Russian Federation is continuing to mess up, I'm afraid.)

And I think the US has been suffering a decline in relative economic power since the end of WW II. Regardless of who was in power.