Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down

“Candidate on the Edge of Forever”


This week, with every actual issue – economy, war, health care, natural disaster -- being kicked to the curb in favor of the quick sugar-high of an Assassination Tango based on Senator Ready-At-Three A.M. saying some remarkably stupid and tactless things (Sorry, already had that for breakfast every day for seven fucking years, thanks), and a steady diet of empty carbs from campaign strategists and barking pundits, it feels like time to abuse a little Hamlet:

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the Mouses of the Circus!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.

And tell a little story.

Once upon a time, when I was going through a break-up, there came a day when I noticed that nothing hurt anymore. Which was unnerving, because until then everything seemed to hurt all the time. Hurting had gotten to seem normal.

This tipping point crept up slowly, through months freighted with Technicolor nightmares that, on any given day, made reality feel wan and ridiculous. But there came a time when the booming from below decks could no longer be denied. She had sunk the ship.

The end was ordained.

And when I finally got it through my head that there was no "us" left to save came the moment when I stopped fighting to save us.

Or, rather, I stopped letting myself being baited into fights that were now meaningless. Like arguing over some trivial debt at a funeral, or shrieking on and on about the feng shui of the chairs in a burning house, the ridiculousness of it suddenly lifted me up and out of myself. And after that, regardless of the size and throw-weight of the ragebombs being fired in my direction, they no longer affected me. The words being shrieked at me with such calculated venom and the constantly furious person out of whom they flew began to feel surreal, preposterous and very far away.

It felt a little

like this.

Because those slings and arrows stop connecting when what you care about is no longer hostage to someone who is drunk on their own fury.

Of course, before that blessedly numb fatalism comes a lot of crazy…

The saying of ugly, stupid things:

On “Fox News Sunday” McAulliffe and Wallace went back and forth.

McAulliffe: The Obama people jumped on these innocent comments.

Wallace: No they didn’t.

Wallace: Does Senator Clinton understand how tasteless and ghoulish her comments were.

McAulliffe: They were about the timeline.

Wallace: Yeah but does Senator Clinton understand how tasteless and ghoulish her comments were.

McAuliffe: She said if anyone was offended, then, well, sorry.

Wallace: Actually she said “regretted”. She didn’t apologize.

The terrible moment when you are looked straight in the eye and lied to, and you realize that what makes the moment terrible isn't the lie, but that she damn well knows its a lie, damn well knows that you know, and just doesn't give a shit anymore.

From the FoxNews transcript:

WALLACE: But wait a minute. The Democratic Party — the Democratic Party — voted last year to strip Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates if they moved up.


WALLACE: And Hillary Clinton agreed to that. Let's take a look at what she said to New Hampshire public radio last October. "I signed the DNC pledge not to campaign, not to spend money in any of the states that did not comply with the rules established by the DNC. It's clear this election they're having is not going to count for anything."
Mr. McAuliffe, why was it clear last October that Florida and Michigan were not going to count, and now she wants to count them?

MCAULIFFE: Well, she wanted to support the DNC, who was trying to hold back all these states who wanted to move in front of February 5th, move up in the calendar. And I will tell you today it worked. We didn't have other states move up.

But we're past that.

Inventing absurd and/or wildly improbably scenarios in which indefensible behavior is somehow vindicated.

Even noble.

Not from the FoxNews transcript:

McAuliffe: Now that we have access to the “Guardian of Forever”, this thing is not over. In fact, it hasn’t even started yet!

Wallace: Meaning what…?

McAuliffe: Meaning that we’re Inevitable again! We’re gonna travel back in time to before Iowa, and dump 20 million dollars into that fucking state. If that doesn’t work, we’ll go back further and rewrite the party rules about caucuses and proportional representation.

Wallace: But that’s insane.

McAuliffe: You mean insanely…brilliant. We’ll stop ourselves from ever signing that stupid pledge about Florida and Michigan. If we have to, we’ll ring the god damned Bosnia airport with snipers ourselves! We’ll go back and suffocate that floozy Lewinski in her cradle!

Wallace: But that will destroy everything.

McAuliffe: Says who?

Wallace: Every physicist ever. Real and fictional. What you’re proposing would create an unsupportable temporal paradox that would collapse the time/space continuum and obliterate the Universe.

McAuliffe: Well, we feel that it would be worth it to insure that Every Vote Counts.

Wallace: Did you even hear what I just said?

McAuliffe: Well what do you expect from a bunch of elitist, woman-hating “scientists” who live only to thwart Our Gal's rightful destiny as the apotheosis of feminism!

Because nobody is a villain in their own movie.

In their own movie they’re the hero, or a soldier in a heroic cause. So if things are falling apart – in a campaign or in a marriage – to preserve one’s status as hero, a villain must be found.

And where there is no villain, one must be created, and imbued with motives sinister enough and powers wicked enough to explain why the hero is losing.

To be Beowulf, your opponent – who has run a very good campaign and with whom you have what amounts to minor policy differences – must be ginned up into a Grendel.

A few shady acquaintances must be inflated into the tale of a man who “out Herods Herod!”, with dark hints at more and viler scandals to come.

“Rosemary’s Baby” (Nice, white lady – presumably hard working -- who is impregnated by Satan)

becomes a documentary…about Barack Obama!

A man who, one hears, dines on baby’s feet.

Drinks liberal lattes made with Cuban Commie Coffee, the steamed tears of True Patriots, the sweat of honest, hard working white people, and a bump of Sambuca.

Lines his shoes with pages from the Bible just so he can defile Sweet Baby Jebus with every step.

Intentionally bowled a 37 in seven frames in order to send Sekrit Mulim Code to his followers that, as it says in the 37th verse of the seventh book of the Qur’an,
“Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or rejects His communications? (As for) those, their portion of the Book shall reach them, until when Our messengers come to them causing them to die, they shall say: Where is that which you used to call upon besides Allah? They would say: They are gone away from us; and they shall bear witness against themselves that they were unbelievers.”

In other words, he plans to kill us all!

Was voted “Mostly Likely to be the Destroyer of Worlds” in his Secret Illuminati Class of 1988 Yearbook for his part in the Vast International somethingsomething Conspiracy somethingsomething overthrowAmerica and enslave us to somethingsomething by duping us into somethingsomething.

With Zbigniew Brzezinski!

And the Trilateral Commission!

And you know that’s true, ‘cause it's

In A Book!

By a “noted authority” whose longtime association with Lyndon LaRouche should in no way be construed as diminishing the importance of his Vital Message!

Because before the denouement comes the Climactic Shouting of The Crazy Shit, and the only thing you can do about it is decide if you are going to rise to the bait or not.

As for myself, while I may continue to swat at it from time to time, I can hear the bulkheads shattering beneath the Clinton campaign and see the water fountaining up the stairwells.

She is dramaturging her way through the longest death scene since David Caruso and Joan Collins ate 7,000 square miles of chipboard scenery in “Romeo and Juliet” (OK, that never actually happened, but it damn well should have), and I say let her.

Because there are millions of Americans who have voted for and supported Senator Clinton, who are now sustaining themselves on a very thin soup of impossible scenarios spun out of irrational numbers. They will be as disappointed as any Edwards supporter, Kucinichite, Dodddoddist, Graveloid or Deaniac when she finally bows out -- that goes with the territory -- but some number of them will likely become permanently unhinged if there is any suggestion that she was pushed.

So if Senator Clinton wants to stay in until June...or July...or September, fine.

If she wants to continue to toss the sofa cushions of the Democratic Party in search of loose electoral change, fine.

If she wants to continue to say divisive things and then play victim when she is called out for being divisive, fine.

If she wants to continue to wildly oscillate her message between "I'm a Fighter" and "I'm a Martyr" depending on the venue, fine.

If her more strident followers want to daily climb ever higher up Mount Crazy and scream their lungs to pudding, fine.

The numbers -- in any configuration -- say that Senator Obama is going to be the Democratic candidate for President in 2008, and there is nothing on Earth Senator Clinton can do about it.


It's all over but the shouting, and knowing that makes it easier to shrug and smile and choose the soft answer which turneth away wrath.


Anonymous said...

HC's comments "explaining" what she "really meant" when she made her most recent astonishingly tasteless (and I'm being generous here) comments invoking the Kennedy name, brought to mind a scene from "V for Vendetta". When the news of Prothero's death is being covered on the late news, Evie tells V that the newswoman is lying. . she can tell because the reporter blinks a lot when she knows the story isn't true. Hillary blinked and blinked and blinked. I'm very thankful, Drifty, that you never blink. .NEVER. You look life and circumstances right in the eye and let the prose/truth flow.
Keep on keeping on.

Melina said...

Beautiful Drifty...just magnificent!

Jill said...

Another fantabulous "Why Do I Even Bother To Write When Drifty Does It So Much Better" post. Thanks for nothing, D-man. (Just kidding...you are spot on and I worship the ground you walk on, you know that, right?)

dmg said...

well, actually, to hear clinton tell it, it's all over but the shooting.

as always, great post.
we are not worthy.

Malacandra said...

Colin Meloy has Hillary nailed to rights:

"Here I was fated to reside.
And as I take my final bow,
Was there ever any doubt?
And as the spotlights fade away,
And you're escorted through the foyer,
You will resume your callow ways,
But I was meant for the stage.

The heavens at my birth
Intended me for stardom,
Rays of light shone down on me
And all my sins were pardoned.

I was meant for applause.
I was meant for derision.
Nothing short of fate itself
Has affected my decision.
Oh, oh.

And from the floorboards to the flys,
Here I was fated to reside.
And as I take my final bow,
Was there ever any doubt?
And as the spotlights fade away,
And you're escorted through the foyer,
You will resume your callow ways,
But I was meant for the stage."

The song ends, as is appropriate, with the sonic equivalent of a train wreck.

US Blues said...

or shrieking on and on about the feng shui of the chairs in a burning house

Dude, that is just the perfect image.


Shrink in SF said...

As always, your writing is the best thing about turning on my computer. I love the finality of this piece. It echoes.

Tell me, though, what do we do about our loved ones who are trapped under the fallen beams of the Clinton campaign? They are like lost miners and we have to get them out. I have a dear dear woman whose heart is a democratic tiger, that is of an age where Hilary's candidacy was the direct result of her march on washington and bra burning nearly forty years ago. How do I build her a bridge into this democratic party that she can cross safely?

She sees the way strewn with broken glass, which she no doubt will pick her way through with distaste and possible terror. I want some brlliant writer, like you, drifty, to line it with fur and feathers so that her bare feet can come over to the other side in safety.

I would wager we all have one or two friends trapped in a similar state. Help us find the right tools to rescue them and bring the enormous value only they have access too.

As we struggle to release the bathwater of democracy, how can we keep the baby?

tanbark said...

Well. THIS was worth waiting for. :o)

And Shrink; I hear you, loud and clear. But what I say will, I doubt, be any consolation:

At this point, their denial (along with Hillary's insanity) must needs put them in the same patient-queue with the bushCo warpimps.

If they do not want to admit that they have a problem, then "intervention" will not help.

And if the price of keeping them on board for this election, is tolerating and sliding Hillary Clinton's hateful dementia, then let them leave the ship, like so many plague-infested rats.

If we, and Obama, but have the spittle to speak truth to the power of the voters, as Driftglass speaks it so clearly, then, I swear we can, and will, do it without them.

I now gag on bullshit and distortions. I don't laugh at them any more, they make my stomach churn.

Accuracy is the most precious commodity in this campaign, and I think the american voters know it, almost instinctively.

And it is accuracy whether it's naming george bush's lunatic crusade for what it is, or whether it's naming Hillary Clinton's long-running support of it, AND her recent episode of plitical psychosis, for what IT was.

As Norman Mailer said, when he ran for Mayor of New York decades ago:

"No more bullshit!"

He lost, but, at least this year, those three words are more valuable than everything else he ever penned or said.

PhysioProf said...

If she wants to continue to toss the sofa cushions of the Democratic Party in search of loose electoral change, fine.

Hah! Good one!

Bradda said...

Very well said Drift, hopefully we can all concentrate on McCain soon and end this silly charade. Thanks for including her "apology" after the RFK comment. It was a classic Repubican half-hearted attend at saying sorry. "I regret that someone was offended."

Anonymous said...

you hit that nail solidly, driftglass.

well put.

arghous said...

C'mon! It's hard to run a campaign with stone knives and bearskins!

Myrtle June said...

Nailed it Driftglass.

This right here that she's doing, especially exploiting women like this, is some sick sick shit. Pack yer bags, we're going on a guilt trip.

It's exactly like breaking up with someone who won't go.

I think we're going to have a new 12step program: Clintons' Anonymous. This is some sick shit she's pulling here.

Anonymous said...

Back from 7 days in The Sierra's. 4 of them with fine stage music.

6 days of rain. Mid 30's at night camping out.
Mid 50's to mid 609's with mist and rain for hi's.

I missed a LOT of the main stage music. I picked LESS with others than I have in 6 years.

We sat in camp, all 30 or so of us, with our 5,000 OTHER friends a tent away, and we drank, cooked, and ate and talked and laughed at the rain for 4 days.

The two days pre and post fest me and mine did the same thing, with only the two of us.

And not till I read yer post Drifty, did I realize, I and mine, we have turned the cheek.

Let 'em rant. Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck.

It's over. Me and mine, we is happy.

The fuckin JIG is up, on the past 8 years, on the past 24 years. The jig is up on the Reagan Presidency, on Newt, and all the suck fucks.

Their jig is up, and they WILL pay.

For now, we just don't care, do we. *G*

What we DO care about, has been laid in advance.

Voting issues? Check.

Blue State Candidates for more Congress Progressivism? Check.

Total Destruction of the GOP, the Right Wing 23% Fundies? Almost check.

A plan to change things? Check.

Somewhere, Red Auerbach is lighting the cigar. *G*

Ralph Ellison said...

Great post.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid I'll have to sue your ass off.

Anonymous said...

I love Lt. Uhura.