In an experiment that would have certainly raised a hearty cheer on the Island of Laputa, a group of neuro-scientists took ten Republicans and ten Democrats and played them clips of Bush and Kerry last year. In the Independent, yesterday, one of the scientists, Joshua Freedman, summarized the results:
“In the eight months before the election, I was part of a group of political professionals and scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, who used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to scan the brains of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats. We measured brain activity while subjects looked at political ads and the candidates' images. While viewing their own candidate, both Democrats and Republicans showed activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, an area associated with strong instinctive feelings of emotional connection. Viewing the opposing candidate, however, activated the anterior cingulate cortex, which indicates cognitive and emotional conflict. It also lighted up the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area that acts to suppress or shape emotional reactions. These patterns of brain activity, made visible on the fMRIs, suggest that both Bush and Kerry voters were mentally battling their attraction to the other side.”
For Freedman, this means that there is really a suppressed but real political middle ground. LI’s group of Nietzschian scientists, however, detect in this evidence for the deep servility of the American booboisie – the inability to resist any call to follow any leader seems to almost overwhelm the chemistry of the brains of those who’ve received a more thorough training in ‘doing it on the paper’ – signing contracts, signing the backs of credit cards, putting their little fingerprints down in utmost docility for driver’s licences, never questioning a best seller, a block buster, a top ten hit, a holy text, a slogan, a talk radio host, a speech, a banker, a boss, the structure of their language, a first impression, a dollar bill, or their own motives since that first cute little toilet seat they sat on and went bomb’s away to Mommy’s approval. A nation of swaddled infants with nuclear weapons, always ready for another children’s crusade -- as long as the children who are going to die have dark skin and live somewhere far away on the tv set.
Well, we did expect at least one inauguration story focusing on the one man who put Bush firmly on his throne in the last election – Osama Bin. However, there was no interview in the NYT. Odd, that. Being the head of a terrorist group that has, on occasion, acted as an impromptu Einsatzgruppe in the killing of Shi’ites (down memory hole is the pre-9/11 story of how Iran, a Shiite nation, fought against the Taleban and its ally Osama – now of course the news has to be about the unlikely alliance of the two, a disinformation meme which has had a much more successful launch than any of the U.S.’s other anti-Osama projects since Tora Bora). Osama must be pleased that the man who failed to dent his power (what other power has ever forced an American ally to back down – as, according to the Right, al qaeda did to Spain?) or fulfill his promise about killing or capturing him, the man whose outstanding inability to comprehend terrorism moved him to vacation heartily when the topic of Al Qaeda attack was gingerly broached in the merrie old tax cuttin’ days of 2001, is back for a second shot – aiming for those Iranian nuclear facilities while piously ignoring our ally Israel’s illegal nuclear build up. Another Shiite power targeted, and of course scored to the approving bandmusic of such notorious ‘liberal’ hawks as Tom Friedman, whose op ed piece on this inauguration day informs us, absurdly, of Bush’s popularity in Iran – flowers and sweets, anyone?
So, here is our suggestion for Bush’s inaugural speech theme: “Onward, children of the night.” It would underscore his administration’s one outstanding success in the past four years: hiring the undead. Descrimination against whom has been dealt a solid blow by the hiring and support given to Donald Rumsfeld and his Pentagon crew. Never let it be said that the GOP is against every minority!