Wednesday, April 08, 2015

10 Years After: 2011 -- Sunday Morning Comin' Down

The 10th blogiversary fundraiser continues with 2011:  Trench Warfare.

In 2011 I changed, I changed the name of my regular "Sunday Morning Comin' Down" feature to "Voice of Empire" for awhile.

No particular reason, although it was probably ennui and frustration.  I was still out there, banging away at Sunday Gasbag Cavalcade largely alone, and they just kept getting worse.  Ever more rote. Ever more stagnant.  A painfully ritualized routine which everyone involved phoned in because everyone involved knew it was just Both Siderist kabuki for the rubes.

Then one Sunday David Brooks used his permanent seat on "Meet the Press" to pin the rap for the Penn State rape case on the 1960s and I was suddenly very interested again.  

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

"David Brooks is one despicable motherfucker" Edition.

This morning, over on basic cable, the best GOP candidate you've never heard of -- Gary Johnson -- was on the best show you've never seen -- "Up, With Chris Hayes". And I'm not saying this just because the awesome sweeping-the-planet internet meme Mr. Hayes highlighted

(Oprah Running Away From Stuff) was conceived of and launched by the mighty Blue Gal but also because Mr. Hayes' show was, as always, substantive, packed with vitamins and generally built strong civic awareness 12 ways.

In fact, Mr. Hayes' efforts were so sui generis good that it would be nice to think that my revulsive, biting-into-an-aluminum-hoagie reaction to the rest of the Mouse Circus was merely the whiplash resulting from leaving Mr. Hayes' flavorful political boit and immediately sinking my teething into the stale Fluffernutter of everything else.

Sadly that is not the case: the Mouse Circus was genuinely vile in its own right and on its own terms -- and I'll post more on the Consensual National Hallucination that the GOP has become (h/t William Gibson) later on -- but right this moment the very ippy-tippy-top of my shit list is reserved for Mr. David Brooks, who used his inexplicably irrevocable backstage pass to "Meet the Press" to lay the blame for the Penn State Child Rape Cult squarely and entirely at the Birkenstock-shod feet of America's libertine, "If it feels good, do it" morality.

Translation: those Dirty Fucking Hippies have polluted our precious bodily fluids and destroyed our capacity to recognize and confront Evil.

For "proof" of his sweeping, categorical and all-but-explicit indictment of Godless Liberal Heathenism, Mr. Brooks cited the following:
  1. Some murder that took place in his neighborhood in Bethesda,

  2. The case of Catherine Susan "Kitty" Genovese who was murdered in 1964, four full years (according to the Authorized Conservative History of America) before Abbie Hoffman and Jane Fonda conspired with Bill Ayers and Fred Hampton to destroy America at the Battle of Woodstock, and,

  3. A "ton of research".
Of course, seeing this kind of loathsome demagoguery spewing from the pie-holes of bland, moon-faced "respectable" wingnuts on "Meet the Press" is nothing new. After all, frequent "Meet the Press" guest and racist bomb-thrower Newt Gingrich (from Alternet, April, 2000):
Gingrich & The Susan Smith Case

Newt Gingrich has gotten away with it.

Newt Gingrich has gotten away with it. Again.

Even after a South Carolina jury declared Susan Smith guilty of murdering her two sons, reporters are not pressing Gingrich about the Smith case. Many seem to have forgotten that nine months ago, he loudly proclaimed the infanticide to be a campaign issue. Back in early November, the motor-mouthed Gingrich had much to say about the case -- offering a treatise so wrong-headed that it's almost laughable. Except there's nothing funny about the Susan Smith tragedy...or Gingrich's attempt to exploit it for election-eve advantage. Here's what Gingrich said three days before last November's election -- in response to an Associated Press reporter who asked him how the campaign was going:
"Slightly more moving our way. I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things."
Gingrich concluded,
"The only way you get change is to vote Republican. That's the message for the last three days."
Two days later, less than 24 hours before the polls opened, Gingrich defended his comments on the Smith case as no different than what he'd been saying for years -- that violence and related ills arise from a Democratic-controlled political system: "We need very deep change if we're going to turn this country around." Asked if the change he was offering the country would stop killings like those in South Carolina, he replied, "Yes. In my judgment, there's no question."
has been making a fucking cottage industry out of it

for years.

A cottage industry which is only possible due to the complicity of Villager gate-keepers

like David Gregory.

Of course, as reported, the Penn State Child Rape Cult had little or nothing to do with the so-called "Bystander Effect" -- random strangers reacting with cowardice to a random crime -- and everything to do with Power.

With corrupt, institutional Power.

With powerful people at the top of a corrupt hierarchy lying about matters of life and death...and people further down the food chain who depend on those at the top for their livelihoods and professional identities going along with those lies because that's how corrupt hierarchies work:

But of course, powerful people lying about matters of life and death is not material about which Our Mr. Brooks "reports", but instead is the contaminated water in which he swims.

From his full-throated support of the Operation Iraqi Clusterfuck and contempt for the filthy hippies who opposed his full-throated support of the Scooter Libby and contempt for the filthy Lefties who opposed his full-throated support of the Oligarchs and his contempt for the filthy Occupiers who opposed his full-throated support of Paul Wolfowitz and his contempt for the filthy anti-Semites who questioned him...Mr. Brooks' career has had one, utterly consistent and very profitable theme: Afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable.

And so when any powerful, depraved institution anywhere -- from the Bush Administration to Wall Street to Penn State football -- splits wide open long enough to spill the rot in its belly out into the sunlight...well-fed Kowakian monkey-lizards like David Brooks are always on hand to scuttle into the breach where they immediately begin to deflect and diffuse away from Power (and towards the imaginary sins of imaginary Liberals) --
MR. BROOKS: I don't think it was just a Penn State problem. You know, you spend 30 or 40 years muddying the moral waters here. We have lost our clear sense of what evil is, what sin is; and so, when people see things like that, they don't have categories to put it into. They vaguely know it's wrong, but they've been raised in a morality that says, "If it feels all right for you, it's probably OK." And so that waters everything down. The second thing is a lot of the judgment is based on the supposition that if we were there, we would have intervened.

MR. DIONNE: Right.

MR. BROOKS: And that's just not true.

MR. GREGORY: But I have to challenge you on that point.


MR. GREGORY: Is it really that we don't know right from wrong? Is there anybody who doesn't know that sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in a shower by another man is wrong?

MR. BROOKS: But if you...

MR. DIONNE: Exactly.

MR. BROOKS: If you're alert to the sense of what evil is, what the evil is within yourself and what evil is in society, you have a script to follow. It's not a vague sense. You have a script to follow. And this is necessary because people do not intervene.
-- any blame for the deeply-rooted depravity that had clearly been putrefying at the heart of those institutions for years (by Mr. Brooks' logic, the child rape cult at the heart of the Catholic Church could only have been the product of the free-wheeling, godless, anything-goes attitude for which Catholicism has so long been famous.)

On any other day I would have said that Michele Bachmann's complete, on-camera psychotic break from reality was the most astonishing freak-show on display at the Mouse Circus, but not today.

Today the sight of Mr. Books -- a man who has grown rich and powerful as the craven "Reasonable Conservative" apologist for the incompetence, corruption and outright malevolence of other rich and powerful men -- staring mildly into the camera and lecturing America on evil and "taking personal responsibility, regardless of what the rules are" left me literally speechless with astonishment.

Today Mr. Brooks walked off with the prize.

And no one intervened.

Update: Mr. Brooks decided to re-plow this ground in the New York Times on Monday.

No comments: