“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Saturday, October 01, 2005

hell and worse ahead

The NYT Mag has an admiring portrait of the ultimate horror that is Hillary. Oddly, the more hopeful article is about Buckley’s campaign for mayor in 1965. While Buckley exhibited the thinly sheathed bigot in that campaign – in one of those odd, convulsive spasms of coercive moralism to which conservatives are liable he even proposed that drug addicts be quarantined, one of those bizarre notions like tattooing people with AIDS that seem to emerge in the Buckley brain, and of course in the face of real civil morality, ie Martin Luther King, Jr, he was clueless -- he also campaigned to legalize drugs for adults. A simple measure that would have removed infinite misery in the last forty years, and probably even more in the next forty. In a strong sense, that move, if it had caught on, would have retrieved millions of black men from the clutches of the legal system, and would have put states like Alabama (where 30 percent of African American men can’t vote, due to felony convictions) and Florida (ditto) and all over the South into play for much more liberal politicians. Not only in the U.S. would the past forty years have been gentler, but all over the world – for instance, Mexico, where realistically, narco-trafficking is as it should be, an economically sound venture, the repression of which is insane, leading, naturally, to massive corruption, since the only way to produce and market drugs is outside of the law. And of course this diverts the flow of income that could be really be used by average Mexicans into the pockets of the most violent. One can’t say the same about the income flow generated by, say, viagra, which is legal due not for any moral or health reason – hell, viagra is no more safe and no more moral than a joint -- but simply because it was developed by big pharma and marketed by them. I do know that if joints gave you an automatic woody, that would be down on the black list of reasons why it must be banned. Since only in hell is rationality a product manufactured by corporations, and since rationality about drugs seems wholly manufactured by corporations, I think it is evident we live in Hell. I hope that is clear.

The other hopeful thing was Lindsay. An awful mayor, but still -- a genuine powerful liberal Republican. They once existed. They can exist again...

As for Hillary – she represents the worst instincts of the right and the worst instincts of punitive liberalism in a sort of corporate identity of all that is evil -- Newt Gingrich's feminine side. She is so bad that she seems almost destined to lead this Republic as it continues to fall apart. God’s curse is obviously on the land. Luckily, the NYT Magazine is almost always wrong about American politics. I trust my older sister, a feminist since the seventies who tells me, Hillary doesn’t feel right.


Patrick J. Mullins said...

Roger--I just read the article, and I can't see this. Even though there's not anything to actually 'like' about her and never was. That very puritanism she's got is some of what's needed after all the gluttony, just because she wouldn't know how to do the gluttony, knows nothing of laziness. That she got the $112 million for screening and treatment at Mt. Sinai for the 9/11 workers suffering mostly from lung disease finally said something to me. She wouldn't be interested in the 'sexy' things (by the way, you might be just the person to know when the word 'sexy' started being used regularly for things that have buzz to them but are not necessarily about sex. Because I can definitely remember when that was never done. My guess is early '90's.) Anyway, under the circumstances it seems at this point she's balancing out the realities that are there better than anybody else. She's stronger than her husband and Bush is essentially a weakling himself. I can't think of anyone else who is strong, McCain certainly not because he had plenty of opportunity to turn on Bush and didn't. Well, I agree about hell in general, but from your previous posts you seem to have found out something about both American and German Green parties and how they don't ever achieve their goals, but allow something worse to creep in if they get in the way. Nader didn't believe this, but his followers sure found out. How could there really be anything other than choosing 'lesser hells' for awhile? And one thing is sure: It was hell under Bill Clinton in a lot of ways too, but we've got far worse hell than we've ever had before--and it's making people hysterical.

roger said...

Patrick, you are right. I was exaggerating in this post. Hell is what children in Darfur are living in.

But another variety of hell is watching your rationality be manufactured for you by the governing class. This was my feeling after reading Bai's article. The article had two premises. One was that liberalism is such a spent force in America that it should be grateful to crawl to a charismatic figure who is prowar and pro missile defense. The contempt for liberals in the article was, to me, palpable. It went along with the second premise, that Robert Kennedy was the shaping force of Democratic party culture. I dont think so.
Since we aren't going to elect our god-king for another three years, I have no idea what chance HC has. Given the hurricane cycle and the Bush penchant for massive criminality, we might be two major cities short and have a couple of more unnecessary wars tucked under our belt by then.
I'm not dismissive of Bill Clinton's presidency -- god, to have that economy back. But I am dismissive of HC's presidential candidacy -- let's hope America is not going to zigzag from Bush to Clinton to Bush, world without end.
Hey, I'm glad you are able to comment now. I think you are right about the spam blocker -- you have to use IE 5 or 6 to get in here.

Patrick J. Mullins said...

I'm certainly no fan of hers, except that example I gave of the 9/11 workers--plenty of senators would not have bothered, since they would have known they could have gotten away with not doing nearly as much. I think that proved she actually does believe that governing involves at least some work for the citizens.

The one other thing is that, since both she and Kerry (not even mentioning other Democrats) both voted for the Iraq War, his 'well, I did, but half wish I didn't, and maybe I kind of really even didn't, but also I did' was worse--once it had been done--than her not backing down from the responsibility of doing it. It doesn't make her actual vote any better than his (or others), but it does show that she's not so chickenshit; and even though I am a total pessimist, it's hard to imagine that she would be so well-versed in 'how to be a good Republican' that she would really know how to imitate Cheney and Company(ies). I always want to believe Frank Rich's slight optimism as today, that all this Republican cronyism is truly unravelling--but even he thought Kerry had gained momentum enough to win toward the end. I refused to accept this until he actually did win (which he didn't, so I almost had a nervous breakdown anyway.)

Of course, if somebody usable could miraculously emerge, I'd love it to. However, I think Hillary would use her husband a lot too (he's no Dennis Thatcher). I don't think she'd use getting back into the White House as an 'I am a gay-Lesbian woman' moment, if only for fear of assassination! Your point about 'seeing your rationality manufactured' is quite true, of course, but it's worse than that--rather, can we still choose how our rationality will be manufactured slightly less badly. (Because I don't know.)