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
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.
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.