>I’m a Socialist and I Don’t Like Tea

>Posting From: My Bunker (Missoula, MT)
Listening To: John Doe and the Sadies — Country Club

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard about all this “tea party” stuff that led up to the big protests yesterday. Hell, I don’t even watch TV and I was up to speed, though I do get a healthy dose of some radio, online commentary, etc. I’m far from a political junkie, but I follow enough to keep reasonably informed. If I get any closer I tend to just get pissed.

I have mixed feelings about it. First off, I’m happy to see Americans exercising their rights to get pissed about the state of things in this country. There is plenty to protest given the state of our relationship with the Federal Government. It goes back even before BushCo, though it reached lofty new heights under those bastards . . . but there is a lot going on in the Obama Administration to push anyone’s buttons. The continuing bullshit regarding bailing out Wall Street and his horrible picks for his team of economics people. The escalation in Afghanistan. How his FISA vote has come back to bite us in the ass. His administration’s Bush-esque stance on habeus corpus. Yeah, he’s done some good things too, but for my money the balance is still tipped against him, regardless of how purdy he talks. Still, it’s only been 3 months, so the jury is still out. It should be an interesting 4 years.

It blows my mind how many people came out in protest. The Missoulian says there were “hundreds of protesters” here, and a crowd “far larger” than the predicted 100 in Hamilton. They’ll be ignored by the powers-that-be, just as were the huge worldwide crowds that protested the build-up to the Iraq war, but that’s beside the point. It will be interesting to see if this rabid crowd continues to froth, or if they just kind of twindle like the anti-war movement did. The difference here being that the anti-war folks never had the support and organizational arm of a major media corporation like Fox News. I find the rhetoric comparing these protests to what happened with the original Boston Tea Party laughable, and the comparisons to Thomas Paine by the likes of that asshole Glenn Beck display an embarassing lack of knowledge of American history that could only be produced by a country that places higher value on sports superstars more than they do the education of their children. Want to see Beck taken apart point by point? Check it out here. I love this:

Yes, it’s something new: Xenophobic dinner theater.

You don’t have to watch the whole thing. If you’re white, and have an older relative you wish was dead, you know where it’s going. A bore’s litany of harrumphing clichés. The greatest generation didn’t defend the Alamo just so a lot of special interests could overcrowd the emergency rooms. He’s going to say “We the people” a couple more times. If you’re waiting for “mad as hell,” it’s at 1:34 and 6:04.

You should check out his other videos. You’ve got to admire a guy who can say “the time for talk is over,” and then go on for six more minutes.

I wish I loved anything as much as this racist gasbag loves the sound of his own voice.

And now the scary part: This video has been viewed two-and-a-half million times on YouTube.

If there was any doubt about the lack of objectivity emanating from the den of morons at Fox News before all this, it should be blown away by recent events. The “news” part should be stripped from the name. It is reactionary “entertainment” for people lacking the intellectual curiosity to get their ideas from any source beyond what they already think in the first place, but amped up to 11. In particular, the outcry over “no taxation without representation” is ridiculous, because all of what is happening at the federal level is the result of the representation we all voted for. So either your candidate lost and the outcome pisses you off (“You lost,” Jon Stewart quipped, “It’s supposed to taste like a shit sandwich!”), or you won and your candidate is just as big an asshole as the one you were trying to kick to the curb. We pretty much have the government we deserve, folks, so getting huffy about it is kind of silly if you take a few deep breaths and really think about it. The bluster about socialism gets under my skin. Personally, I think this higgeldy piggeldy version of capitalism has proven how badly it sucks; we could use a little socialism.

Meanwhile Texas is huffing and puffing about possible secession. Yeah, that’s going to happen. Morons. I’d be curious to know how much federal money they’ve happily accepted for hurricane relief. I say let them leave if they want to, and I hope the bulletproof door hits them square in their lilly-white, barbeque-eating, collective ass when they go. The last time I was in Texas I dealt with a guy who went out of his way many times to make sure I knew how Christian he is, only to be the biggest asshole ever since when it comes to getting billed for the project we did for him. You think those people don’t want everything for free just like everyone else getting all huffy over “socialism”? Think again!

Of course, none of these people have ever let facts or the threat of hypocrisy get in the way of good TV (that goes for the Left too, the majority of whom are quite happy to turn blind eyes to Obama’s rising list of transgressions). Where was all this outrage when Bush was blowing up the government, generating trillions in deficit, and killing and imprisoning people illegally (the likelihood of Obama’s failure to go after any of these illegal acts pisses me off too)? The Left was certainly outraged by Bush, but they/we do a piss-poor job of organizing against it.

Long term, I don’t see any of this getting resolved. I’m afraid we are on a pendulum of one side wins it all, does a bunch of stuff, and the other side stirs up a shitstorm of outrage to swing favor back their way. It’s hard for me to imagine Progressives, even the small-p variety Obama represents, keeping the reins of power long, before all of this crazy rhetoric appropriates a majority of impressionable minds. Then the process will swing back again and repeat itself. It’s outrageous. It’s ludicrous. Meanwhile, the real pirates of the world — the ones cashing their bailout checks — will continue sticking it to the rest of us.

So what’s going to happen? Will it really lead to revolution? People fighting in the streets? Civil war? Who knows. Our society is exemplified by the families who are one or two paychecks away from homelessness. Our culture ain’t so far removed from those desperados jumping into rafts and holding up enormous cargo ships out on the lawless ocean. It reminds me of a scene from Watchmen. The Owl and the Comedian are out breaking up a riot; the Owl is distraught, the Comedian is having a blast. The Owl says, “What happened to us? What happened to the ‘American Dream’?!” The Comedian laughs, shooting a protestor with what looks like a smoke bomb cannister. “This is it!” he laughs. “It happened!”

Hard to disagree these days.

5 thoughts on “>I’m a Socialist and I Don’t Like Tea”

  1. >It blows my mind how many people came out in protest.Really? A few hundred people doesn’t seem like very much to me. You get that many in a crowded bar on Friday night. Eight thousand-plus showed up to see Obama in Missoula. I’ve heard the Washington tea bag protest referred to as “the fizzle in the drizzle.”I do have to wonder if these folks chose the term “tea bag” with its slang meaning in mind. Seems appropriate.

  2. >That’s the weird part — it’s hard to understand what legitimate issue they were really protesting. Everything you mentioned, and more, I guess.As for turnout, I’m comparing it to the various protests and rallies I’ve attended over the last couple years, where “hundreds” would have been a vast overestimation. Of course thousands will turn out to see a celebrity, but meaningful protest? Not usually, not these days, and certainly not around here. Unless it’s a beer-related festival, then people are out in droves.

  3. >Yeah, those protests were huge (I wasn’t in Missoula at the time). But they dried up in a hurry. Depending on how things go, it will be interesting to see how these current protests either build or go away. I think people write off the Republicans and the religious right at their peril, frankly. These folks are nothing if not persistent, which I don’t think can really be said of the left.

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