Monday, August 30, 2010


I suppose it's just not possible in this day and age to get through a summer without a massive display of insanity and idiocy in Washington, DC. Last year it was the Voter Values Summit, a surreal circus parade of the worst of trailer-trash culture, who proudly displayed their complete disregard for personal grooming and acceptable clothing styles, and demented, confused senior citizens, carrying signs that showed they are blissfully unencumbered by arcane, elitist notions like grammar, logic and spelling.

This year did not disappoint, as we were treated to a comprehensive exhibition of just about every kind of psychological disorder there is, led by obviously-mentally-ill, right-wing jaybird Glenn Beck. Now, I can't stand to watch Glenn Beck for more than three seconds. Part evangelical preacher, part Ronald McDonald on bad acid, and part Freddie Kruger in clean clothes, Beck seems to have cornered the media market on histrionic, embarrassing rhetoric, punctuated by episodes of blubbering, over-wrought emotionalism that would be deemed too over-the-top for even a dinner-theater production of Steel Magnolias. Very skilled in the use of wide, sweeping, and ultimately meaningless generalizations and evidence-free predictions of dire consequences if people don't straighten up and listen to him, Beck has understandably found a huge audience in the millions of Americans who choose to let Fixed News, I mean, Fox News do their thinking for them and provide them with their opinions and talking-points served pablum-style, in easily-digestible dollops.

It seems to be an indictment of the failure of the political system that so many people feel so detached and disenfranchised from it that they think their only reasonable alternative is in feel-good, us-against-them, hate-mongering, racist political organizations such as the Tea Party. That's like if someone sets your house on fire or murders your spouse you decide to go to the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus for help. Everything that Beck says is designed to wrap his mindless followers in the mantle of righteousness and religious infallibility, since they take every opportunity to remind everyone that God is on their side, and all who disagree with them are dirty, bearded Islamic terrorists who are ready to fly a squadron of jet aircraft into buildings in every major city in the U.S. Beck even went to so far as to say at his rally something like "Today is the day that America turns back to God!"

Really, Glenn? Just because you say so? Did you bother to ask God if He goes along with that? Oh excuse me, I forgot: you and your followers have regular conversations with God and He most definitely is on your side. How did you get the power to make that statement for an entire nation? Did you bother to ask the Muslims and Buddhists and atheists and Jews and Hindus and all the millions of devout non-Christian believers who make America their home? Don't you think that was just a teeny bit presumptuous of you to speak for an entire nation? Personally I don't think you're qualified to speak for a Rotary Club in rural Nebraska, but that's just me. Now I know your followers aren't exactly the most inclusive group in the world, and I wonder just how many African-Americans or Asian-Americans or gay/lesbian Americans are welcome in your lily-white masses? Or is it that only your fundamentalist, Republican, Caucasian "sheeple" (more on that word later) are the ones who feel they have to "turn back to God." Do you think maybe it's God that has turned away from you since you embarrass Him so?

But this was not a "political" rally, according to Beck. Of course not, despite the fact that it was held in the most political city in the United States and - what a surprise! - on the 47th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington that gave the world the transcendent "I Have A Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. What an absolute abomination and desecration of King's memory and legacy to have a puffy-faced, cartoonish buffoon like Glenn Beck prancing and parading around on the steps of the monument where King once stood and changed the world with the power of his simple words and heartfelt ideas. Forty-seven years later, people are still inspired and thrilled by King's powerful statements. Twenty-four hours later, no one really remembers or cares what was said at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday. And that's the way it should be.

And, not that there weren't enough annoying, embarrassing and pathetic creeps already in attendance yesterday, but the loathsome, vile and execrable Sarah Palin had to be hauled down from the meth-infused garbage dumps of Wasilla, Alaska to bleat out another round of moronic ramblings and faux-populist drivel. It just took seeing a video clip of her dragging her bony, scrawny ass across the stage to nearly make me have a second look at the dinner I had an hour before. She apparently left 15 minutes after finishing her speech - and presumably after collecting her six-figure fee - but she still had the nerve to get onto Twitter (the pre-eminent Theatre of the Damned for the Internet Age) and blather about how the "sheeple" (presumably a homemade contraction of "sheep" and "people", now that "refudiation" has been thoroughly discredited) of the "main stream media" underestimated the crowd size and downplayed their coverage. Oh, would these "sheeple," as you derisively call them, be the same media people who for some reason follow you around and give your special brand of inbred ignorance a national platform wildly out of proportion to its value? And how without them you would be a nobody - a shrill, brittle harpy trapped in a loveless marriage with poorly-raised children who can't stand the sight of you - with absolutely no hope that tomorrow will be any less wretched and meaningless for you than today. Without them, Palin would be a dollar-store Ann Coulter whom everyone would ignore and dismiss as a crazy, crack-addicted skank.

How did it happen in this once-proud nation that we have come to celebrate, elevate and in fact encourage stupidity, idiocy and mediocrity in our political system? How is it that pathetic, miserable pieces of crap such as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and at least 100 other cultural cesspits still manage to pollute the airwaves and intellectual discourse in this country? That's one of the drawbacks of a free society - you have to put up with the profoundly stupid people that invariably make up the population, as well as the profoundly inspiring ones. The problem is, in this cruel, mixed-up and hateful universe in which we live, the good really do die young and the evil, psychopathic people seem to live on, and on, and on.

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