Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Current Comedy, 4/20/09: A New Hussein

Larry King wants to eats my brain. He aims to have it melt out of my ears like some flashback R. Crumb cartoon. It’s all about the Twitter these days with Larry King. He’s like some 100 year old vampire feasting on our stupidity. Absolute poison, if you ingest it you will die. It’s the new crack—one hit, you’re done and here’s comes old Larry with a straw.
Translation: As I type this, I am of the impression Mainstream Media, er, at least CNN, is consciously trying to Twitter-fy my brain, fully well knowing, as I do because I saw it on their channel, that Twitter destroys all it touches, or so say the smart folks at the National Academy of Sciences. Straightforwardly, in an advanced publication, these scientists are warning America, and the rest of the world for that matter, that Twitter desensitizes you, demagnetizes your moral compass, destroys your ability to feel empathy, along with creating several other zombie-like moral effects on a person that will make them all the more easy to control and to tolerate outrageous violence.
So, just to clarify, on April 14th , both on that evening’s scroll and in the expanded headlines, and still available on their website, CNN quite clearly reports, with scientists they present as credible, that Twitter can be more dangerous to our country than a whole host of Osamas,. In unambiguous language they report that Twitter is bad for your moral compass on the one hand, then--as expected in a comedy--they market the crap to death with a whopping 129 different articles about Twitter in their online archive, including some artificially manufactured business involving Larry King as a comically rendered full-blown Twitter-holic. CNN loves Twitter the way Fox loves its Tea Parties. These days, catching Larry King pitching Twitter on his show has become as common as catching Wilford Brimley hawking adult home health care and about as phony.
What is the message behind posting as news an article that condemns a product, then essentially providing it with free ad time, as Larry King’s shows have recently become, 129 times? Twitter: it’s bad for your brain, why don’t cha try it kiddies?
Sunday April 19th King sank to his new low regarding this naked marketeering of the magic Tweetie- Tweet- Tweet with guests Ashton Kutcher (that is the first time in my life I’ve typed that I swear), Sean Piddly-Puff Coombs, Oprah herself, Jimmy J-Dawg Fallon failing to seem sincere and Ryan Seacrest literally phoning it in. All of them shilling for Twitter. That many celebrities pushing a drug and it becomes a new cocaine. Like gangster rap, like chatrooms, Goth fashion, like punk, hippies rock in roll itself, like TV, like the next new drug we’re always not supposed to like even as we’re being taught to, mainstream media has always made a fat dollar selling us stuff they tell us we should be ashamed of ourselves for enjoying. Even AlterNet is in on the game, following the fad with well over 120 articles of their own on the subject. This is just the latest step in our culture-makers ongoing efforts to keep us lazy and stupid, at least dumb enough to be their adherents. They are hoping we will stay stupid long enough so they can get the next war set-up.
Word on the street is they’re resuming casting for the next Hussein.
Right about now, Barack Obama could sure use some Hussein. And no, I’m not talking about his middle name. The purpose of this column is not to make lame jokes about our president’s middle name. Besides that one I mean. No, you remember Hussein, right? Saddam Hussein?
I ask if you remember because we Americans aren’t so good at remembering history which is why we have to spend so much of the time repeating it. For example, when I went looking for my earliest reference to Hussein I found one in a piece called “I Go to War” from the second year of this then-fledgling column, back in January of 1991. I was dreading the impending war.
"Is the real reason we're at war with Hussein that he didn't buy American when we gave him money for guns?"
He sniggered, "No, the real reason is that you TV generations are stupid. You can't remember any of the lessons that sneak out through the networks unless they're talking about cool new ways to consume or not consume whichever is the current fashion. You don't even know how to think and don’t have the patience to learn. The war is breaking you into three camps-- those who find war wrong, those who find war right and those who find war boring. Once the majority of a population finds mass murder and systematic destruction of a culture too boring to consider and just wish they could find another channel to watch, no one will care if we wage continuous war with one stooge or another for the rest of all time. Of course, even if they figure it out, I can always just stop the current war and start a new one. Long as our economy is so based on military issues, it doesn't matter what the people might think, the national budget is going to require wars on a regular basis to keep itself afloat. People are so pissed off with current conditions it isn't hard to make them want to fight somebody.

And so on, same as it ever was. Just change out a name or two and that same passage could’ve been written about either Bush or, more and more lately it seems, Obama. If we’re unlucky, it could be written next month or next year, if the dogs on the right and those blue dogs that trail them for scraps actually start to catch a little skin one these days while nipping at his heels.
Is there a Saddam in your future? For longer than I’d like to remember Saddam Hussein served as America’s favorite bad-guy love/hate relationship. He was so easy to hate. Back in the 80s, what could be more natural for Americans to hate, White Americans that is, than a stocky ethnic –looking guy with a heavy mustache? Yet for 25 years it was like we dated the guy.
For the first ten years he was a bastard. But doggone it, he was our bastard in the Middle East. So when he did bad things we forgave him, like passing gas. Despite the fact that during our 21st Century Iraq Occupation we would help make sure he was put to death for it, back in the day successive US governments forgave him for gassing his own people. Turns out it was our gas in the first place and Saddam only knew how to use it because we taught him how.
Then when Bush I needed an enemy in the way that any floundering president needs a good enemy, Saddam became our favorite Boogey Man. They sold more pictures of Saddam than Satan for awhile there. It got to the point Trey Parker and Matt Stone could poke fun of his absolute demonization in South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, four years before Bush Jr. would recycle our hatred of the guy to sell his phony war. Junior managed to get himself another five years of kicking around Saddam before we accidentally let the Iraqis kill him. Good ol’ Saddam, the kind of guy you’d love to hate.
But so with Saddam so dead, Obama is in the market for a new international whipping boy. Luckily this recent news cycle brought two applicants: another South Park alumnus Kim Jong-Il, of late tossing around war threats and the ever detestable Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, perhaps the one person in the world who could make Israel look sympathetic.
One thing’s for sure, if things begin to get rough for the current admin, as they once did for Bush, as they did for Clinton, as they did for Bush I, and on and on, you can bet Barack Obama will find his very own Hussein. And the rest of America will be too Twitter-fied to care. But Larry King is not going to slurp up my brains. I have no time for Twitter.
Excuse me now I have to check my Facebook—

--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.

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