Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Today In Both Sides Do It: American Gods

Gods can do anything. They fear nothing: they are gods. But there is one rule, one Seal of Solomon that can confound a god, and to which all gods pay service, to the letter:
When belief in a god dies, the god dies.
When the last acolyte renounces his faith and turns to another deity, the god ceases to be.
They know the terrible simplicity of that truth, the mightiest and the mingiest of gods. They have seen their fellow gods go down to obscurity and banishment for lack of believers...

As the time passes for men and women, so does it pass for gods, for they are made viable and substantial only through the massed beliefs of masses of men and women. And when puny mortals no longer worship at their altars, the gods die.

To be replaced by newer, more relevant gods...

-- From Harlan Ellison's forward to
Deathbird Stories: A Pantheon of Modern Gods (1975)
With "American Gods" set to drop at the end of this month --

-- I thought it would be helpful to step out of the whipsaw torrent of minute-to-minute Republican fuckery and take look at a wider picture though a different lens.

Because we're not in a conventional political fight.  We're in the middle of a Holy War.

And to quote Mr. Wednesday, we're losing.

Of course, we can still win if we choose to -- if we marshal and deploy our energies wisely and effectively -- but we will never win if we refuse to understand the basic nature of the war itself.

So consider the Right.  The Conservatives.  The Republicans.  The "whateverthefuck they're calling themselves this week".

Ignore their talking points and their spin and focus on what they do and how they act.

Depraved.  Mindless.  Gibbering nonsense.  Sure, a lot of money has been spent tarted their lunacy up for public consumption with pious indignation and Gish Galloped lies pitched by men and women in expensive threads, but underneath...nothing.  Hollow.  Anti-life.

Which means there is no defeating them in any conventional political or cultural sense because it is a mania, not a movement.  It is a folie √† plusieurs wedded to a blood-drunk, primeval will-to-power, not an ideology.  It can't be defeated because it does not recognize the concept of "losing".  And it does not recognize the concept of "losing" because it no longer recognizes the concept of "being wrong".

If an election doesn't go their way, it must have been rigged.  If the consensus of every reputable scientist on Earth flies in the face of one on their idiotic dogmas, it must be a vast and sinister conspiracy.  If their own history -- their very own lies from yesterday -- contradicts the lies they're trying to peddle today...well the past doesn't count.  It never happened.  It does not exist.

And if the mainstream media will not run daily, screaming headlines on those "rigged" elections, or phantom Obama wiretaps, or secret Benghaaaazi stand-down orders, or the secret Planned Parenthood baby-murdering-for-profit syndicate that your tax dollars are paying for or any of the hundreds of other, utterly batshit lies these scuttlefish take as gospel?

Well obviously the media is part of that vast and sinister conspiracy.

The GOP -- after decades of diligent effort and billions of dollars spent to build their base a detailed and immersive fake "reality" that they never have to leave -- has harnessed the collective horsepower of virtually every bigot, imbecile and lunatic in America to serve their despicable agenda and has used the scum of the Earth to elect the lying DayGlo fascist madman of their dreams.

It is not that they have well-worked-out policies for, well, anything or even a coherent governing philosophy, because they are not a governing party.  They are a cult. with a head-full of crazy that has been shit into their skulls decade after decade by Fox News and Hate Radio .  They are a cult that worships an entire pantheon of wild, bloodthirsty gods.  Gods of Guns and Gods of Lies. A God of White Supremacy.  A God of Hate.  A God of Liberals are The Devil.  And slipped into the mix. a God of Tax Cuts Uber Alles, because they need plutocrats to foot the bill for the maintenance and upkeep of the temple.

Which is more or less what we on the Left have been saying all along.  That there is no salvation for these people.  No cure for what ails them. The best we can hope for is to identify them for who and what they are and work together to contain them before they break the world beyond repair.  As their numbers shrink, their fanaticism will grow, but eventually their gods will not have enough acolytes to sustain themselves and they will collapse.

But there is another, equally toxic but more presentable and profitable cult that we could actually destroy with a little effort.  A parasite-cult that empowers the Right by deflecting and diffusing its opponents. and without which the demise of the Right would be greatly accelerated.

I am speaking, of course, of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism.

The God of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism has ruled the American political media for most of our lives, and its deacons and cardinals and popes have made themselves wealthy and influential by spreading it doctrine everywhere.  It has smothered every honest attempt at healing what is broken in our culture, and provided the Right with a permanent alibi for every atrocity they commit. Like the Matrix, it is everywhere,  all around us. You can see it when you turn on your television.  You can hear it on the radio and read it in the paper. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes.

It is the comforting, asphyxiating fairy tale that has been pulled over our eyes to blind us to the truth.

Unlike the Gods of the Right which demand absolute fealty to a thick catechism of warped and wicked beliefs, the God of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism only asks its adherents to believe nothing.  To render no judgement of any kind on any act of Conservative barbarism...because out there somewhere there is probably some Dirty Hippie doing something equally terrible.   To affix "No Label" to anything, because the worst profanity against the God of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism is the partisan wish to distinguish between apple juice and battery acid.  Between Liberals and Conservatives.

The God of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism demands only that its acolytes sit on the sidelines and bitch incessantly about everyone equally -- to face the Beltway and whine five times a day about how equally awful and equally partisan and equally steeped in sin Both Sides are.

It is a God of the lazy and the cowardly and meretricious, all of which suits the depraved, anti-life agenda of the Right just fine, because every single time they burn down another democratic institution, they can rely on the deacons of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism to be first on the scene. blaming the arsonists and the fire department equally.

But unlike the pantheon of the Gods of the Right, The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism has a fatal flaw, because The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism cannot exist on it' own.  It can only exist as a mathematical function -- a point midway between two extremes, one of which is wholly fictional and one of which is lethally real.

As I wrote all the way back in 2005, for the administrators of The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism, the political cosmos must always remain fixed, constant and...
...carefully divided into Conservatives – who are wrong – and Liberals – who are somehow, mysteriously and equally wrong all the time and in equal numbers on every issue. And only Captain Obvious, frolicking across the few lonely yards of sand on his Isle of Reasonableness, can see the truth.

It does not matter how many millions of miles the Shining Path Republicans drag the “middle ground” to the Right.

It doesn’t matter that the Party of Lincoln is now infested crotch-to-crown with maggoty Segregationists.

It doesn’t matter that Nixon looks like a fucking Socialist compared to the positions now being advocated by the GOP today.

However far into the Armageddonist Abyss the wingnuts charge, Captain Obvious will dutifully pace off half that distance back towards where the Left (the band formerly know as “Rockefeller Republicans”) happen to be that day, drive his little stake into that shifting ground and declare that THIS is where the treasure of Comity and Reasonableness is buried. And that everyone on either side of his little islet is equally and oppositely wrong...
And this is the Thermal Exhaust Port in their Death Star.  Because while the Gods of the Right believe simple dogmas anchored in the deranged Id of the Right itself, The High and Holy Church of Both Siderism is a parasite-cult which can only exist as long as it continues to straddle the (Imaginary) Left and the (Actual) Right.  Which means that while Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity need never interact with Reality at any level,  David Brooks and Matthew Dowd and Ron Fourier and the rest of the Beltway's pernicious Both Siderist peddlers must do their filthy business within sight of some recognizable version of Reality.

They do not have the luxury to pretending that the Trump Administration is not rotten to the core with traitors and mountebanks and imbeciles and demagogues.  To appease their god and and keep their jobs they must instead resort to tossing out more and more ludicrously false equivalents.

Which brings us, at last, the Mr. Ron Fournier -- America's Sad Clown of Centrism -- who told a mighty lie on Twitter...

...and then immediately made an even bigger public laughingstock of himself by showing what an utterly clueless hack he really is:

At this point I am so tired of these people and my respect for the American political media is already so bottomed-out that I can't really work up a big mad at Fournier being Fournier.  

Honestly, all I see when I look at a clown like Fournier is another political eunuch, making empty, ritual sacrifices and keeping the lamps lit in the crumbling temple of a dying god.

A temple we really can knock down and a grubby little god we really can depose if we put our backs into it.  

(FYI, I'm still fundraising, so if you can I'd appreciate it.  Also I'm way backed up on "Thank You" notes, but they are coming.  Really.  Would I lie to you? :-)

Behold, a Tip Jar!


ChicagoPat said...

I still hold hope I'll see you in the Bigs some day: here's something that could've come straight from this blog:

Q said...

Fuckin A, you are good. I mean...shit. If only you were in the club. The world would be different.

Robt said...

Invoking Solomon is an ideal touch.
Ideals can be most difficult to eradicate. Take Freedom. It is an ideal that served to provide a relentlessness and sacrificing spirit that withstood the largest rise of Fascism we know of. Unlike today, Janis Joplin sang of "Freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose", held a sorrowful truth of how freedom (the ideal) had been imprisoned and institutionalized. To this day it (the ideal) remains a captive to those it defeated and now employ the redefined subservient version for that same fascist cause who survived.

Being accustomed to a level of dignity, respect because it was established by sacrifice that those after may enjoy is completely inconsistent with the notion of believing it is there for only those deserving..
And "Believe" is a word that has been corrupted as salt water on iron.

"Believe" is used in many a self introduction. The lure to submit as well as the the belief which silences critical examinations of anything other than the indoctrinated original position or better known as willing desire to assure (self worship) superior when nature and physics dictate otherwise.

There were even those within the Biblical history tried to establish the acceptable level of IDEALs. The 10 Commandments is the political correctness of moral standards to abide.
I emphasize the corruption of words as "Belief" by pied pipers like Frank Luntz who for coin would reincarnate the poisoned words to kill a butterfly.

You hear every republican use these words of disguised destruction. Paul Ryan during the recent health care tax cut to the wealthy bill. "I believe this health plan will lower prices, and cure cancer. It is so common place even the Rushbo, hannity, Alex jones all utilize this "I believe" as they speak aloud of lying character assassinations. Trump used "believe me" like taking a breath.
But my thoughts here can be in question and that is fine. So let me provide you with an expert in the profitable art use of "belief" . Perhaps he can convince you.

---- "the Truth is Whatever people will believe".
Roger Ailes, President of FOX News.

Ans sure, using it to confine people with both-siderism. If they will believe it I am sure he said.

Jon Rifkin said...

Thank you. You really packaged that up nice, bow and everything.

We're in the middle of a Holy War.

Yes. Truth is War's first casualty. Conversely, if they lie to us all the time, then they must be at war with us.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Robt, did Jabba Hemophiliac Ailes say that before or after Brother Charlie Pierce enumerated the Three Great Premises of Idiot America?

1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.

And so here we are. You can, to quote the only conservative pundit who was ever worth listening to, look it up in your gut.

Robt said...

"look it up in your gut".

Problem , my gut has no search engine. It will require one of 3 things,

Exact chapter, page and paragraph to reference my vast intestine.

The dietary feeding to reinstate plausible justification to override ones own self awareness of any individual thought. Induced selective hearing and comprehension, is a symptom/ not the disease.

A current insertion of anal suppository providing recent cognizant recall for the short term memories to find their truth reinforced. Absence of yesterday leaves only today's occurrence to draw today's truth from. Without the baseline of the past it is short clinical video procedure to allow the conjuring of today is that of yesterday. This condition is primary for Both-siderism stalemate rash to persist.

There is no lotion or medication to relieve the itch when you continually expose yourself to the poison Ivy contently.
It might be possible to combat it with a sort of mental Rehab. A de- programming. Yet what operating system is going to be rebooted?

Jimbo said...

Fournier is really quite stupid. "Investigate" he says. He really doesn't understand the whole masking/unmasking thing. 1. FBI gets a FISA warrant because it has enough evidence of a possible crime/national security offense(s) underway to warrant the electronic surveillance. The surveillance is of a foreign entity (in this case almost certainly Russian). 2. The surveillance picks up one or more conversations that appear to the FBI to be criminal/conspiratorial in nature and so the FBI brings these incidental collections to the NSC Adviser. 3. The adviser does not know who is speaking because the identities are masked but because the nature of the conversation is so alarming from a criminal conspiracy standpoint, she asks that they be unmasked. And that's how she finds out that it is someone from the Trump Transition Team (not the campaign btw). 4. And this is what Fournier would find would be publicly revealed in any investigation: Rice doing her job responsibly. What a stupid troll he is. It probably was Flynn and the Turks or Flynn and the Russians or any of the other criminals that make up the Trump White House and Cabinet conspiring with the Russians.

drbopperthp said...

It's time for Da Doctah to pay up drifty 'cause:

1) Currently reading Anansi Boys and willing to kill a muthafucka if it would speed up the premiere of Am'Gods
2) Before I found God Harlan Ellison WAS God - demoted to demigod
3) I love fucking with Fournier and actually got him pissed enough on twitville once that he caught vapors
4) I got wood reading this latest post by my Brotha By Another - I feel so ashamed - only a donation will cleanse me of the stench of immorality

The scrilla is in the pipeline. Kick in Bitches!!!

drbopperthp said...

Fuck Da Club Q - they would just try to make HIM different. Ask 50cent.

MJ said...

Ron Fournier claims Susan Rice is asking us to believe her. Joy Reid calls it - Susan Rice is attempting to explain how government works, that part of it that caught an alarming conversation between foreign party being monitored and masked US person.
If we explain to Ron F that if a cop overhears a conversation where one party explains how they will commit a crime (let's say bank robbery) and asks if the other party wants a cut then the cops might want to know who is this guy planning the crime - do you think he would get it then?