Monday, September 13, 2010

Let's Play a Game of Political Literati

I am reading Brendan Koerner's great book Now the Hell will Start about the building of The Ledo Road during World War 2 by African American soldiers and the hellish challenges they overcame--both natural (the jungle) and man made (Jim Crow era white supremacy). There I came upon a particularly sharp bit of prose that while detailing the struggles of the book's protagonist(s) also pithily sums up the Glenn Beck, Palin, Tea Party crowd and their hold on the American body politic.

On page 94 of his book, Koerner beautifully describes a horrid situation where:

The leeches had a particular affinity for the body's most sensitive areas: eyelids, nostrils, and especially privates. A man defecating in the jungle might later discover that a leech had crawled from grass to buttock during the process, and made itself a home deep within a particularly vulnerable orifice. An Army captain wrote of one comrade's wince-inducing encounter with a sneaky bloodsucker: One Night while he was sleeping one of these leeches had gotten into the tube of Red's penis. When he awakened it was swollen to the point he could not urinate. It was becoming extremely painful and there seemed to be nothing they could do to remove the leech. When the pain became most excruciating, he was actually thinking of gouging it out with a knife. Lieutenant Quinn finally suggested making a forceps-shaped tool out of bamboo. It worked fine and they were able to get a hold on the leech and pull it out.


Yikes. But in the case of the New Right I would suggest that amputation and not delicate self-surgery is the best way of removing the fecal impaction that is the New Right.

So let's play a game if you would. Do you have any passages from books (present or past; Left or Right; fiction or non-fiction) that unintentionally capture the country's political mood in the Age of Obama?


Twin said...

Eee god. I can't believe you made me read that.

But it does pretty effectively capture the sensation of a living in America in 2010!

CareyCarey said...

I'll take the challenge. Well, you did say any book. So, I think the following says it all.

This piece begins with a chicken who believed the world was coming to an end. Henny Penny thought the sky was falling down when an acorn fell on her head. She decided to tell the king and solicited a few of her friends to join her in her journey. They included Cocky Locky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey and Ducky Lucky.

Along the way they encounter Foxy Loxy who had other plans. Since he is an old fox, he convinced them he had a secret way to the king’s castle. Well, in short, they never arrived at their destination, he ate them all.

That fable is understood to mean do not believe everything you are told. The dark children’s story is used as an allegory for the idea that fear-mongering weakens the spirit of a man.

So now we have a black man as The President of The United States (Oh no, the sky is falling down!), So Henny Penny, Cocky Locky and the rest (Palin & Beck & The tea party) are off to tell the king (every racist in the world). On the way they pick-up another blind fool, Goosey Loosey (Alveda King). Turket Lurkey is there (the media). But Foxy Loxy has other plans. Fox Loxy (Republican Party) has no use for any of them, but they're too stupid to know they are being led to their ultimate demise.

Solomon said...

You have the best stories in the whole world Carey. They are sooo good because you are always about the real talk.

I will never ever in all my days, even if I lived to be 100, understand what in the hell all these fools out there are thinking.

I mean anyone with even a little sense knows the devil is a liar. And sense there is no difference between the devil and the republican party as far as I could ever tell, that would make it a no brainer if approached by somebody named Foxy Loxy, that there would only be one option.

When did it start becoming fashionable to make decisions concerning life and death without doing the research that would allow you to make an educated decision.

Sometimes I just wonder how some people are even still on top of anything at all. Because I have never ever been one to just close my eyes and reach out to grab an item at random, having many in front of me to choose from, but only knowing what I will get after it is too late.

I like your analogy about the blind fool Carey, but the reason it seems to jump out is because this whole mess is a blind leading the blind stuck on stupid extravaganza.

I mean I am being kind in my words in referring to the entire circus troop, Beck, Palin, Tea Party wing nuts, even Ms. King (The Blind) as the stuck on stupid in the center ring clown posse.

I am of the opinion that the Republican party does not need to be called out for such madness only because this is what they do. Why would I be shocked at someone telling me the Republican party was responsible for the demise of all those mentioned above and that even though everyone was thinking Henny Penny was just so rock damn dumb that she lead the others to their death the truth is Henny Penny was actually on to something.

But Henny Penny made the wrong decisions along with some poor choices and even worse planning for something that was not to be expected.

If Henny Penny would have done her homework she would have indeed realized that the sky was falling, but that an alternate route would have been the ticket. She then would have steered those that wanted to follow along over to the other party. and when the Republican Party ship was taking on water they would have all been laughin' instead of being laughed at after the feast by the hater party fools that are so stuck on driving the bus right off the cliff rather than admit they are not of sound mind and able to make excellent decisions to pull the entire county up and out of the complete meltdown that was started by the decisions and policies set down by them in the first place.

chaunceydevega said...

@Twin--I am evil. But, please read the damn, awesome, book.

@Carey--That was priceless. I guess we are the few literati who get the joke. Do others read books not in the context of the moment?

@Solomon. Very appreciated and considerate. You must have a literati observation?

Urs said...

"When did it start becoming fashionable to make decisions concerning life and death without doing the research that would allow you to make an educated decision."

My family has had a front row seat to the story behind why this came to be, and it all starts with AM Talk Radio. At first, it was basic, police-scanner-news, then politically based, "entertainment" like Rush Limbaugh took hold. My father, up in central Wisconsin, would listen through incredible static to Chicago-based stations back in the early 90's, just to hear a little bit. Then stations in his area picked it up.

These shows preached "common sense" - that you didn't need "experts" to tell you things, and if what they did say did not mesh well with your "common sense", then it was crap. People, like my dad, who spend their life as independent, physical laborers with no education ate that shit up. They also ate up any other shit that these shows preached.

The chaos we are facing now is the result of two to three decades of this pandering to uneducated, proud people.

chaunceydevega said...

@Urs--It must be comforting for them to have an idiot box telling them what to believe and reinforcing their priors. I will never forget a trip I took to Vegas a few years back. The morning following my debauched night, I took a cab to the airport. The driver was blaring Limbaugh's confused position on the Bill of Rights. I politely asked the driver to turn it down or off--as is my right as a passenger.

This working class white guy went ballistic and lost his damn mind. He went into a tirade about big city liberals, people like me from Chicago, and how hard working Americans like him were being screwed by the liberals.

It ended with me writing down his cab number and him screaming at me outside the airport.

These false right wing brown shirts are sick folks, very ill...and they don't seem to know it.