“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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

the prophet jonah and his pet raven watch fox news

Readers of the Genealogy of Morals will remember Nietzsche’s quotes from Tertullian to the effect that one of the supreme pleasures of heaven will lie in watching the torments of the damned. In the first essay, Nietzsche introduces the concept of ressentiment as the key to the slave uprising in morals:

"The slave uprising in morals begins with that fact that Ressentiment itself become creative and gives birth to values: Ressentiment is natural to those to whom real reaction, that of the act, is forbidden, and who can only keep themselves guiltless through an imaginary revenge."

Well, darlin’, isn’t that just LI? whose reactions have to be swallowed – along with blood and shit and poverty – in a truly indigestible bolus, caught as we are like one of nature's most unlucky passengers - a passenger pigeon, a bison - in a nation that seems hell bent on mass murder and the mortal fouling of the planet as it careens here and there, throwing unparalleled pelf in the way of unimaginably vulgar plutocrats. Our only the power is that of writing stuff – a power compounded of vocables and saliva, and not much different in kind than a Bronx cheer.

So it was a great pleasure to see the governing class given a great slap last night. I watched the returns at a friend’s house, and got to see names on actual tv, live. Now I know what Katie Couric and Ken Olberman sound like. I finally got to see a Colbert routine. And I got to see Fox election central, with the puzzling succession of news hosts – each looking more Martian than the other. Was it just the reception on that particular tv set, or has Fox discovered a whole new breed of Caucasion male - with a skin color like some outer space alloy and the eyes of a Manga nightmare?

I was pretty bummed about the Texas Governor’s race, which essentially dooms hundreds of thousands of kids to further misery as the testing shibboleth rolls over their organisms, and all for squat. But besides that result, which was pretty much a strangling foretold, the night went well.

When I got back home, I decided to follow Tertullian’s advice and my own deep slavish instincts, last night I made the rounds of the conservative blogs, wanting to hear the shrieks of the justly punished, the gnashing of teeth, the moans. But though I longed to rejoice in the pain of mine enemies – hey, give me his head and I’ll scrape the skin off to make a drinking cup of his fucking skull – I couldn’t, for some reason, warm myself here. LI would have made up exactly the same excuses, and have exactly the same idea that really, really my friends all my ideas are agreed to by a vast majority of Americans.

Well, of course they aren’t. Tough titty for the vast majority of Americans.

I can only hope that the Senate falls, and that finally some real oversight kicks in – although it is about 500 billion dollars late. If, as I suspect, next year will contain the impact from the end of the real estate bubble, the discontent with Iraq and the Bush ideology, with its caste system veneration of the wealthy, might suffer for it. I’m going to entertain a hope (why not?) that a sense of reality will actually dawn among the D.C. dregs, that talks with Iran will lead to recognition of Iran, that the U.S. will encourage all Iraqi factions to negotiate while withdrawing American troops, and that the trillion dollars earmarked for the military this year marks the crescendo of the atrocity orgy.

16 comments:

Brian said...

How did the ruling class get slapped, roger? Diane Feinstein won handily, as did Nancy Peloso. In my county, the land speculators ("farmers") basically won a disingenuous campaign to open up the still rural county to development.

I think the "ruling class" won rather handily, just that it was the slightly less bloddthirsty insane side. But, the basic meme of God, Empire, and American Exceptionalism remains intact.

Still-a particularly odious troll of a Congressman lost (Richard Pombo). Proposition 90 has apparantly lost (basically would have required the government to pay money anytime a regulation costs anyone any profit)-so, I am feeling somewhat sanguine.

roger said...

Brian, I wrote you a long answer, and of course it was all wiped out by the Haloscan. So much for the life of the mind.

Anyway, I disagree with you.
a. The ruling class is the House. The House is not going to be overturned by an election. I’m not even a particularly election-o-centric guy – I definitely believe politics operates outside our legislatures and parties and shit. However, I can only read this election in terms of a collective disgust with Bush. On a more specific note, if this election had gone Republican, I expected a repetition of 2004 – as soon as Bush was elected, Fallujah was razed. If the Republicans had done well, I imagine Ramadi would be razed. In terms of Iraqi lives saved, this was a good election. In terms of a far reaching dent made in the plute-war culture synergy, well – the Dems are in a bind as far as doing anything. The money can’t come from new taxes – at the moment. So the money has to come from somewhere, and who is spending more than the War Department? I expect that we have reached the high end of war spending. Unless, of course, the utterly incompetent Bush administration presides over another huge attack on the Mutterland.
b. Then there are a buncha old line things. To people who make 15 to 20 thou a year and below, the minimum wage is a huge thing. Being in that class, I am totally and selfishly happy that it is going to be raised, without being tied to the Death Tax. And I expect that the stupid pill legislation passed in 2004 is going to be changed for the better – which is again a good thing. However, in more meta terms, the one thing this election does is it strengthens one faction in our court society – the Dems. This is the kind of thing that will embolden the press – which is always the hind leg of the dog. Up until now, we’ve gotten our news three years late – every scandal taking that long to journey up the ladder of the press universe, which measure pretty exactly how far it can go with the powers that be. Now one of the powers that be is going to favor that information flow. The logic of the factions means that we can likely get our scandals on a better schedule, besides finding out what has really been happening in the last six years. All of which is to the good.

Myself, I think that the U.S. has reached the limits of its power in the Middle East in Iraq – which is why I’ve been saying for a year that the U.S. was not going to attack Iran. And I think the whole bombing thing is much less likely now that Russia has sold Iran a very expensive and sophisticated anti-aircraft system – a news item that has puzzlingly not been given a lot of play. Given this squeeze, I expect some Dems will demagogue against Iran, thinking that they won’t have to pay the piper. That’s the real down side, to me. All I heard on TV last night was comic chatter from all sides about how we are going to win in Iraq. Under cover of that chatter, will the U.S. be able to manage the fact that U.S. power in the Middle East has shifted to a dramatically lower state? I think not. And what is true in the Middle East is true, globally. The U.S. is still positioned in a ridiculous fight against reality – especially environmental reality. This is ground zero of the structures created by the war culture and the treadmill of production. I think the threshold has been crossed there, and that there are disasters coming that are simply unavoidable. No election is going to reflect that fact at the moment – elections are backward looking. However, the Bush era’s notion that reality comes out of an oligarch’s asshole is, I think, doomed by this election. We will see, eh?

At the moment, I am lavishing irrational hope on Eliot Spitzer. He's going to be my favorite delusion for a while, until I am disappointed by him. Then I'll cry beery tears!

new york pervert said...

And Rumsfeld just resigned. Now how about that for a Republican rolling over. Record time.

new york pervert said...

'if this election had gone Republican, I expected a repetition of 2004 – as soon as Bush was elected, Fallujah was razed. If the Republicans had done well, I imagine Ramadi would be razed.'

I agree with everything in this comment except that: It would not have been a repeat, if anything the Absolute Power would have become even more overweening, infinitely more so. If only because the Democratic victory, which is much more impressive than was being predicted in the last jittery minutes, was much more likely than Kerry's momentary rescucitation from his High School Debate Win. If, after that much prediction of Democratic victory, the Republicans had won anyway, there'd have been hardly any check on Bush's Bible School and Cheney's trigger-happiness--and the bastards have actually been gagged. It is not pointed out enough that 2001-2004, however horrible, was not anywhere NEAR as blatant as 2004-2006, which count as the ugliest political climate of my entire life. I cannot even believe that it actually is over, and I'm not talking about anything perfect, just that 2004-2006 was TOO scary, there was the sensation that the Bushies absolutely could not be stopped. No matter what else is thought, they have been stopped, even if they try to do some fast ones. With them taking it up the ass the very next day with Rumsfeld going, they've already had their stride broken.

Brian said...

Good points, all, Mr. Pervert and roger. I have to admit to falling for the good ol' Trotskyite approach-but said approach doesn't always work. I can't deny I am happy with some results (Rumsfeld will dodder off to some well-paid foundation pasture). For my profession, the failure of Proposition 90 is a godsend. I know there have been abuses of eminent domain, but this poison pill would have required taxpayer compensation for any regulation of any type that impacted property values or economic profits. (No more minimum wage increases?). And, certainly, Pelosi is objectively better than DeLay or Hastert.

We'll wait and see. My negativity leads me towards the position of Mr. Paine (pinky) and Mr. Scruggs, but still, Lesser Evilism is a tiny step away from the abyss. Is it enough? I don't know.

roger said...

I'm not for evil, period, Brian. I am a wee little pee, but I like the idea of setting the conditions. As part of setting the conditions to really overthrow the war culture, I think dissidents to the whole network -like Mr. Scruggs - are irreplaceable, but I simply don't agree with the locus of their complaint. That is, I don't think the problem is the Republican or Democratic party, but the fact that politics flows into the parties as the only viable means to get things done. This, ironically, is an effect of the success of the right. By destroying labor based movements (which to my mind are at the center of all movements) that are exterior to the state, the right has narrowed the space of action so that one depends on the state for, say, raising the minimum wage - instead of seeing that raise derive naturally from a huge and aggressive labor sector, free to organize, to sit in, to blockade and to otherwise battle capital. In the market of countervailing powers, the state has gradually assumed a monopoly position.

Well, such is life at the moment. And at the moment, I'm more interested in what is happening at the local level - in the states - as a liberal opportunity than on the national level, which is where I hope to see a lot of obstruction, retrenchment from imperialism, etc., etc. I think there is a good chance for the latter insofar as I think the plute class, having gotten what it wanted from Bush and letting him have his little mission accomplished party, is now getting seriously concerned about the costs of it, plus the disaffection it is causing. If the Dems are the instrument to do this, fine with me.

roger said...

PS - oh, and let's be emotionally honest. I would pay cash money (as a Flannery O'Connor character might put it) to see the smirk wiped from GWB's face. And today the show is free.

Smashing one's enemies is a frightening pleasure - but you better indulge it at some point, otherwise it will grow cancerous. Election times are harmless enough occasions for practicing the shark's grin.

new york pervert said...

Bush's smirk is horrible, but Cheney's condescending menopause- look is maybe even worse. They are probably not conceding Virginia because that would mean the loss of this shit's vote. Probably some heads will role either way, how else would Old Fart get his jollies?

roger said...

I'm bummed about one thing. I predicted that when Bush let Rumsfeld go, he'd lard his speech with his favorite word, mission.

Alas, I have let my readers down. The speech only has one mission in it:

"As the secretary of defense, he has been dedicated to his mission, loyal to his president, and devoted to the courageous men and women of our armed forces."

Perhaps the night truly shocked GWB so much that even saying, and thinking about, mission, the word mission, the phrase mission impossible, him in a mission impossible uniform, performing highly dangerous and secret tasks for the country, and then coming back, and then getting like a neat medal for the mission, and the guy giving him the medal saying mission accomplished, and how he'd have to hide it in a safe box but then he'd swear Laura to secrecy and then they'd go down and open the safe box and tears would fill her eyes and she'd say, your my man on a mission , and then hot hot hotness and who can blame a guy under such stresses for a shot or two, not Jesus Christ himself who had his own mission impossible ... this totally neat fantasy got interrupted, somehow, by a buncha proles.

So, just one mission mention. Sometimes, even when you are the decider, life so sucks.

Brian Miller said...

Roger, your description of the Long Night of the Soul of George W. Bush just brought tears to my eyes and my heart.

Or, as "ohioWfan" on Free Republic states: "A sweep of evil tonight has descended upon our country."

(How does "Free Republic" describe itself as "libertarian" with a straight face anymore? Is there no sense of shame?

new york pervert said...

Oh my gawd, I guess brian was being facetious, although at first I thought it's just that we're all so different--because I burst out laughing when I got to the fucking right after I knew it was coming. I mean there is just no real movie without a fuck scene anymore, just doesn't exist. Although I imagine George and Laura might have done well to consult Ruth Westheimer...

But then I've been getting called 'dickhead' an awful lot lately.

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

Aw, shucks. Roger, there are few people more replaceable than me and my friends, and that's exactly the point of this kind of dissidence. As far as the parties go, why I agree with you. My focus on them, and the Democrats in particular, is based on the laziness of presenting people with a big fat target, like Jonah Goldberg's buttocks, and showing them how much fun it can be to give them a kick, with no more effort than it takes to buy a milkshake. My Canadian friends describe the proper form of kicking as a good bootfucking. Isn't that a happy thought, and a wonderful turn of phrase? I'm sure Nietzsche would agree. . . (snark, snark).

It's a step on the way to convincing people that anyone whose job can be terminated or made into a living hell by the decision of one person is a member of the edible class. Cthulhu hungers, and so do his beloved children, Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton.

roger said...

Mr. Scruggs, there is politics and then there is holiday politics.

I appreciate that you don't see the reason to bomb the easy targets. I don't fill this blog with attacks on, say, Whatsername Malkin or the rest of that gang either - partly because I figure there's a division of labor that works here. Somebody else can attack those people. Just as it is important to remind people that the parties are farces - except on holidays. You don't get popular as a kid telling other kids there is no Santa Claus on Christmas. On the other hand, you can accrue a lot of popularity by revealing the true story of how babies are made. The latter is the dissenting position I favor.

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

"On the other hand, you can accrue a lot of popularity by revealing the true story of how babies are made. The latter is the dissenting position I favor."

That's why I'm a faithful reader.

roger said...

Mr. Scruggs, and here I was, thinking it was the chance to get that free, pesticide coated Crofton dinnerware from the Limited Inc Sweepstakes. MMM MMM Crofton - when you care enough to get rid of that pesky aunt, uncle or parent keeping you from your well deserved inheritance!

However, I still suspect that you think that you will someday trick me into dressing up in an enormous squirrel costume equipped with stink bomb device and parachuting me into a DLC conference. But I aint gonna do it. I'm afraid of heights. I don't care how many of those Limbaugh pills or tabs of acid you give me, I'm not stepping off the plane. And if I do, I am not allowing you to fold the parachute. No way Jose. I know that the headline, Senator Biden injured in bizarre giant squirrel stunt, will leap like a sugarplum through your thoughts, and there I will be, halfway down, holding on to a cut pull chord and my dick. So okay, maybe I will do it if I am certain that I get enough of those Limbaugh beauties, some ecstasy, that new Li'l Kim CD, plus I get to watch the parachute being folded, just to make sure. Hey, and not after I take the drugs, but before. And okay, if I take the drugs before, you have to promise that you will not pull any funny stuff. And that I will be equipped with the parachute when I do step out the door. And that means strapped on my back, not you handing it to me. And it doesn't matter what I agree to at that point, what counts is what I agree to before any of this event happens, ie before said limbaugh pills, ecstasy, a bottle of scotch, and the Li'l Kim thing. And... what does Biden look like, anyways?

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

My fondest hope for an outcome to our correspondence is giving the squirrel suits and parachutes a miss, sparing poor Senator Cretin, leaving the airplane on the ground and doing the right thing with the drugs, ourselves, in a setting that offers little scope for causing others grief. And when the suits get back from the cleaners, you'll be able to try yours on confidently, knowing that nothing more than friends sharing a good time together is on the agenda.