NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE OTHER! A millionaire preacher saw Beelzebub when Mike Pence engaged in vile conduct: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011
Bono remembers: Is it just us, or was this tribute to Sargent Shriver semi-disrespectful?
The tribute was penned by Bono, the greatest known person on earth. As he starts, the self-adoring singing star recalls the scenes of his youth:
Really? Bono remembers Jacks jutted jaw? Bono was born in May 1960, just three years before Jack was murdered.
The New York Times worships celebrity! How strangeto eulogize Shriver, a very good man, through the memories of a celebrity who seems to have met the subject in the late 90s (Bonos words)a man who seems to have few real recollections to share:
Really? Sargent Shriver and his wife were the same team that gazed over J.F.K.s shoulder? Question: Does this column exist to lionize Shriveror does it exist to lionize Bono? To imagine him right at JFKs side? To praise his own vast greatness?
Sadly but plainly, the New York Times defers to celebrities and to billionaires. (Can you believe that they gave this much op-ed space to the foolish Steve Martin, on Sunday, December 4?) That said, this may be the strangest eulogy we have ever read. Meanwhile, right next door, the Lady Collins was wasting her time with her latest silly column, a column about Joseph Lieberman. Depending on your political judgments, theres a lot to criticize about Lieberman. But Collins effort is basically sillyher latest burning of time.
Its great to see that nothing is wrong with the world! That would be the judgment we reach, scanning Collins personality-driven piece, right next to a very strange piece in which the Times uses its space to kiss the hem of one of the worlds biggest stars.
Bono is ushered to help us recall a man he doesnt seem to have known very well. This newspapers judgments can be deeply strangeexcept as expressions of upper-class culture, which is of course eating the world.
INSISTING ON THE OTHER (permalink): A civility variant was running amok as the ladies and gentlemen of the House debated repeal of the health care law.
On last evenings Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow played tape of Rep. George Miller (D-CA) arguing against repeal. Maddow didnt comment on Millers language, but the veteran congressman was rather plainly watching his Ps and his Qs:
In fact, the traditional language famously says that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet. Presumably, everyone Millers age would be familiar with this language. Presumably, Miller chose to adjust this language, removing imagery which could evoke, provoke, suggest or cause us to think about acts of violence.
Theres nothing wrong with what Miller did. Indeed, the late Abe Pollina good, decent manchanged the name of his Washington Bullets in 1995, for this same reason. But your nations tribal wars continued last night as cable hosts explored the extreme bad faith of the other tribeas they insisted on warning their viewers about the vile, gruesome Other.
As they insisted on dumbing us downas they kept inventing The Other. Just consider something we read in todays New York Times.
In this news report, Jennifer Steinhauer considers the civility factor in yesterdays House debate. Early on, she makes a subjective judgment: The exceptions and the more openly provocative statements came mostly from the Democratic side. In fairness, a standard Goebbels comparison by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) helps justify this conclusionand later, Steinhauer balances off her subjective judgment with an especially silly description of the dynamics surrounding a statement by a freshman Republican.
On balance, Steinhauer says that both sides for the most part avoided personal attacks of the sort that was condemned after the Arizona shootings. In support of her judgment about good Republican conduct, she has already offered this subjective assessment:
Really? Republicans largely avoided phrases like job killing? We were surprised by this assessment because of the presentation we saw Maddow make last night.
Maddow has been monitoring these language choices all week. Last night, she offered an assessment that differed from Steinhauers view by 180 degrees:
Before we show you what Pence said, lets ponder that assessment by Maddow.
Steinhauer says in this mornings Times that Republicans largely avoided phrases like job-killing. But according to Maddow, Republicans used that specific phrase all the time. We cant find a transcript of the House debate to let us quantify this dispute. But to support her sweeping claim, Maddow presented three exampleswhich doesnt mean that there may not have been many more, ofcourse.
So who do you trust in this disputethe lady or the tiger? Forgive us if were somewhat skeptical about Maddows sweeping assessment. As she continued, she grew a bit histrionic, letting us know how vastly wrong it was when Pence said the vile thing he said. Well supply the stage directions as liberals are turned into fools:
Maddow helped us see how horrid it was that Pence said this bad, awful thing.
For ourselves, we werent troubled by Pences conduct, but we think Maddows conduct was sad. Should Pence have cleaned that figure of speech from his statement? Did it even occur to him that this was a type of gun reference? We have no idea what went through his head, but Maddows insistence on playing Church Lady struck us as utterly sillyand as borderline evil. In our view, Maddow was teaching viewers how to hateand how to be massively dumb.
We humans love inventing The Other. We love inventing Demon Zona; we love to scold vile figures like Pence, drumming our fingers on our tables as we display our mock anger. Barack Obama recently said that we should expand our moral imaginationsbut imagination was working in other ways as we liberals were handed our demons last night. Olbermann has once again dropped his Worst Persons segment, possibly so he cant be (unfairly) blamed if the next person to pick up a gun is someone who has been watching his overwrought conduct. But he was riled up last night too. He was angry at Vile Demon Joeslamming him, among other things, for supporting the Bush tax cuts:
Except that Lieberman voted against Bushs 2001 tax cutsand against Bushs 2003 tax cuts. This year, he initially favored extending the upper-end tax rates for one year, while saying he wouldnt filibuster a bill which extended the Bush tax rates at the lower levels. (In November, he said this to the Washington Post: "I think there's a reality here, which is that while it might be best to continue the middle-class tax cuts and raise taxes on higher-income people, the votes are not there to do that.)
Theres more. In 2005, Lieberman opposed Bushs proposal for private accounts in Social Security. (In March of that year, he joined 42 Democratic senators in a letter urging the president ''to publicly and unambiguously announce that you reject privatized accounts funded with Social Security dollars. The proposal never came to a vote.)
More questions: Did Lieberman oppose the Democratic Party on gay marriage? We dont really know what that means; to this day, President Obama doesnt support gay marriage, like all presidential-level Democrats before him. Earlier, Olbermann, employing his best angry voice, trashed Lieberman for his un-JFK-like stands on civil rights for Muslimsfailing to note that Obama is un-JFK-like here too.
For the purpose of last nights demon fest, Olbermann even pretended to care about school vouchers. Manifestly, he doesntbut the gent has a job to perform.
There are many things to criticize when it comes to Lieberman, but KO decided to gambol and playwhile feigning anger, of course. But then, a great deal of clowning could be observed on this news channel last evening. This clowning makes liberals and Democrats dumber. It burns up time which could be used for seeking winning approaches.
Does it teach us liberals to hate?
Was Maddow teaching her tribe to hate? We humans love inventing the demon. Verily, a millionaire preacher saw Beelzebub when Mike Pence emitted some very vile words on the floor of the House, in debate.