Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Just a Reminder To Myself

From myself about how little things some change from year-to-year.

Me, from September 2008:

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down

“Thrash The Vote” Edition

At the Mouse Circus on Sunday, you could flip to virtually any channel and watch some version of White Ladies Arguing over Palin.

It looked kinda like this:

The GOP is owned and operated by degenerates and monsters, and this whole drama had absolutely nothing to do with raising the standards of the debate.


The Republican strategy for the Fall was, is, and will continue to be to contaminate the public discourse with so many lies, bluster, faux outrage and irrelevant jetsam that the sheer avalanche of it will overwhelm the swing voters (on whom this election turns) and crush the media.

It is remarkably similar to a phenomenon dubbed “thrashing” in the Big Iron days of I.T; a state in which (according to my own, very loose and civilian-friendly definition) a CPU becomes overloaded with so many simultaneous and conflicting demands for system resources that the computer loses its ability to process information, priorities and instructions altogether and basically gives up and starts flailing around randomly.

When an ignorant or inattentive public perceives that the entire system is broken, they will punish everyone; the guilty and the (relatively) innocent alike: a cultural reflex that always redounds to the benefit of the most despicable. So, while survey after survey finds the public furious and frustrated by a do-nothing Congress, ask any ten outraged citizens and I guarantee you that eight of them have absolutely no idea that the reason Congress is deadlocked is that Republicans have spent the last two years using parliamentary napalm to carpet bomb every single fucking thing.

That the same party that screamed "Up Or Down Vote!" in the headlines every time Democrats even considered blocking a vote when they were in the Majority...has now broken all records for killing votes.

This is what happens when the majority of the citizens in a democracy have no fucking idea how their government works.

Which is why, far from being a sudden freak moment of honesty from Don Karleone, this Sunday was instead a careful experiment in finding the precise GOP mendacity price-point.

Finding the exact volume and intensity at which Rovian lies and smears will cause ignorant swing voters to "thrash" and shut down, but not so much that they will start to notice that both sides are NOT equally to blame, causing backlash against the GOP.

September 2008.

Coulda been September 2004.

Or 2012.



Anonymous said...

"a cultural reflex that always redounds to the benefit of the most despicable."

Yes, but why is it that the tragically thick American public is so incapable of distinguishing the truly despicable from the merely incompetent? How is it that our European counterparts are much less likely to be gulled by right-wing extremists, and much more likely to take to the streets when they are pissed upon by their government and told that it's raining.

Education is critical. Europe learned many bitter, hard lessons in the aftermath of WWII, while America built a million freeways, damns and skyscrapers, had a beer and took a nice nap.

And the government is only one of the many things which the majority of contemporary Americans have no idea of how it "works." They don't know what derivatives are. They don't know that banks have morphed into entirely different entities than they were a decade ago. They don't know that major media corporations have fundamentally shifted their business model from what it was 20 years ago.

Most Americans don't know where their breakfast comes from. They don't know how their computers or phones work. They don't know much of anything about scientific advances of the past century. Etc.



Anonymous said...

"Will (?) ... crush the media"?!?

Is this wishful thinking or simple grammatical error?

Get the tense correct and the reason will become evident why 8 of 10 justifiably furious public "have absolutely no idea that the reason Congress is deadlocked is that Republicans have spent the last two years using parliamentary napalm to carpet bomb every single fucking thing."

The "media" that 90% of the populace frequents is crushed, prone, obedient and gently (and oh, so lovingly) licking the tea bags of the powerful.

John Puma

Anonymous said...

"Education is critical."

This has been my whipping post for many, many years now. People are stupid, and worse, they don't care. People talk about a "post-literate" society. I think we are living in a "post-fact" or "post-intelligence" society. People don't have to know things. They can buy what their Glowing Rectangular God tells them they want, and when they become discontent, the Glowing Rectangular God can minister to them with Dancing with the Washed Up Stars or Jersey-licious. I work in I.T., so my life has been a lesson in how people handle ignorance. Short version: they don't. They don't care. Someone else is always obliged to fix it. Our society has become one were someone can just drop their pants and "make boom-boom" wherever they stand, after which they can just scream and throw a fit, and someone with some responsibility will come to clean up their turds. NO ONE *EVER* smacks them in the face with a newspaper and rubs their face in it shouting, "NO! BAD! WE DON'T CRAP IN THE GROCERY STORE!" No one bothers with intelligence or maturity because they require work and have no real benefit. If you're smart, then you're expected to clean turds.

KWillow said...

Americans don't know what is going on. They are fed a constant firehose-torrent of lies-lies-lies fear-fear-fear hate-hate-hate, spiced up with sleazoid gossip about the Palins.

Where can they find the truth?, other than the internet which requires time and good reading/comprehension skills that most Americans haven't been taught.

On your interview on "A Public Affair" a caller pointed out how politics, especially on the Right, is becoming more and more Cultish. That is a subject that needs more discussion. I wish you'd gotten the caller's name and blog if he had one. Very Interesting.

StringonaStick said...

To answer anonymous #1 upstairs, the reason you don't see as much of this crap in Europe is (1) robust publicly-sponsored media (BBC, etc), and (2) western Europeans are already quite nicely set up with national health service, subsidized education (through college), etc, and there is no smooth talking politician who could convince them to give any of that up. What we've never had here is something we don't miss, unfortunately.

Our corporate media makes damned sure we don't hear much about Europe other than Greeks rioting or Ireland collapsing. What teh Greeks were rioting about didn't get much attention, or how Iceland's economy got killed in the world-wide economic collapse, which they solved by telling all the international banks that screwed them to fuck off. Iceland is recovering better and faster than any other damaged country, but you'll never hear about that here because the rich took the haircut necessary to make that happen; can't have that now, can we?

Anonymous said...

...And that's what all this Constitution-reading, health care reform repealing, deficit ceiling bullshit is all about.

The Repubs have learned that it's not about actually GOVERNING a country anymore. It's about making up a lot of noise, gestures, and drama to make it LOOK LIKE you're "governing"...according to the purported "people's" wishes...then counting on the grown-ups to save the Repubs from themselves.... Oh, and going back to "business as usual," once the rubes have stopped paying attention.

It's a trick that worked well for them in this last election, when they screamed all through the health-care debate about the "lack of bipartisanship," while working overtime to make sure bipartisanship was never going to happen...voila, the voters got mad at the "hyperpartisan, logjammed" Congress--those dirty Dems--and rewarded the very people who created the mess in the first place.

And now we have Mitch McConnell actually BRAGGING about how he made sure health care reform was never going to be bipartisan...and no one noticed.

Dave McCarthy said...

"Is this wishful thinking or simple grammatical error?"

Neither. It's prescience. (Note the date of the original post.)