Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Current Not-Quite Comedy, 5/27/09: Knee Injuries Aren’t Funny, but this was--

(Except of course, that they are uproariously funny, at least in their creation because they tend to involve pratfalls and other clumsy behavior that is often associated with comedy.)

Dear weekly readers (albeit, an imaginary group, though one that might have actual members),

This is not a “current comedy” piece. This is actually a disclaimer that I will not be submitting a fresh piece of political comedy this week and am blaming it on a knee injury. What great fun it was to stroll around the streets of LA-LA-land this last Memorial Day Weekend with my wife, daughters and granddaughter, even though I had been sportin’ a sore knee for a couple of weeks. Ultimately, it was the Memorial Monday waves at Santa Monica that finally got me, a slight sideways motion, a little ‘click,’ and next thing you know, you can’t walk back to the car.
Wow. It is amazing how much of one’s world can involve walking.
That was Monday afternoon and thus far the majority of my world since then has been either pain or painkillers. With everyone from Rush to Eminem milking that route, I figure I’ll just cop to the pain making me too skuzzy to rig together a usual caliber “current comedy” piece and call it a day. This is a non-profit column anyway. Viva la gente!
If I were to write about news this week, I’d say look at the North Korean Missile Launch and ignore Sotomayor. Sotomayor is bullet-proof and the Republicans that challenge are guaranteed smear-bait. The North Korea story is compelling in that it is so pathetic, that to address each other, the countries of the world have to gamble with nuclear annihilation to be taken seriously. Sotomayor is a brilliant choice, and her nomination will only make clatter, not disruption. It is a far better choice than Blagojevich’s choice of Roland Burris, who is showing that state level ineptitude in lying is no match for federal investigators. Sotomayor is so calculated to be a “mission statement case in proof” that the legend of Obama is not just an isolated incident that there is no real meaning in her rise other than more deceptive inclusionist propaganda.
That’s the direction I would’ve written if I were actually writing, but I am not convinced that Vicodin or Oxycotin are good directions for a writer to head if he actually wants to do good for America. Hat’s off to Marshall Mathers who had the good taste to drop out of sight while he went through his death spiral and still more props for coming out, though still in his typical “shocking beyond theatrical” way. So I’m not going to play like I know what I’m doing when I can refer back to something relevant anyway.
In trade I submit this archive bit from 1993. The column was then called “News of the TV Generations” and ran in the Sangamon State News, a college which was soon to become the University of Illinois at Springfield on a weekly basis, but each month I summarized the monthly pieces into a 1500 word essay for Anthony Moyer’s Unlimited Possibilities ‘zine. The piece is actually from June 1993, one of a couple of months each a year that I wrote original stuff for Tony’s mag’. This is one of those pieces:


Personally I am still doing my Summer's best to boycott media. I did however fail often enough to know that the big media event this last month was all too emblematic of the ongoing American situation: Bull verus Sun, Bull wins. Happens every time. Or in this year's case four out of six times, with ninety seconds of commercials for every fifteen seconds of game time. How else to explain making a three hour television event out of a forty-eight minute game. But this wasn't the only time last month where bull conquered sun. A few examples.
At the White House after being continually bitten by the press for the past five months, Clinton begins to snarl a little and now we are expected to be indignant at our mad dog president. To punish him appropriately the networks refused to cover his first prime time press conference where he attempted to address the American public concerning his deficit reduction plan and perhaps rally some support back from the American public who as recently as eight months ago considered the man worthy enough to vote him as their leader. Bob Dole then followed the president and performed his old standard "Tax and Spend" without addressing the fact that Clinton's new taxes are designed to undo a deficit created by twelve years of Republican spending. As could be expected, the Dole song and dance was both well covered and soundly approved by the media.
On the world scene: Somalia continues it all too predicable turn into an African Vietnam and our leader keep saying if we'd only step up our involvement … . OR this: after dooming thousands to death by refusing to accept its refugees, the US begins the process of officially condemning the Haitian government as inhumane. Here at home Reagan's assistant secretary of Housing pleas guilty to influence peddling and while the head of the FBI still refuses to step down despite mounting charges of ethical misconduct; meanwhile in Japan, the prime minister and the entire parliament have been dismissed in the hopes of reducing government corruption. You can bet that is one export no one in our government will complain about balancing. Incidentally, in Japan there is no NRA crying about the infringement of civil liberties concerning the second amendment and assault rifles and only 76 Japanese citizens were killed by guns last year --67 of those being organized crime figures-- as opposed to America's 34,000 annual deaths by guns.
Here at home: AIDS takes the lead as the leading killer of young adults (excepting blacks, whose leading cause of death is still the aforementioned bullet). Incidentally this past month AIDS was also found to be the leading cause of winning Tony awards. Nationwide Pepsi appeared to be offering free needles to combat the nation's Coke habit. A CBS probe reveals suggestions that the USAF has again been smuggling cocaine into the US to sell to intercity youth to raise money to by guns to smuggle to Central American factions. Is this another effort in the War on Drugs? And in Pennsylvania it is revealed that the years of madness that have come out of Arlen Specter's mouth particularly in the investigations JFK's physical and Anita Hill's character assassinations can be explained by the single tumor theory.
Across our state, a super train began its public relations run trying to convince Illinoisans that the 155mph train can improve transportation by shutting down hundreds of roads arrogant enough to cross its path and requiring hundreds of millions of dollars of rail improvements. Here in our own spring field law makers and wheeler-dealers (supposedly there is a difference) plot out ways to maintain the moral character of our citizens by keeping gambling illegal, except on waterways even when you have to dredge up two city parks to fit a boat on said waterway. That is, of course, excluding the state's own gambling operation; available in almost any retail outlet or Bingo available in any church (again, supposedly, there is a difference). Boy, just makes you want to sing, doesn't it? I was thinking of the old Hank Williams tune, "Bored With News." You remember it don't you?
I'm bored with news I've watched my whole life long.
I'm bored with news something's always going wrong.
Things never change you can't expect them to
I'm bored with news but what am I to do?
Fads come and go
But the facts they stay the same
them folks that gots
keep keeping it out of range
we live and die
and news goes on and on
hope for the best
but things keep going wrong
… And so on. It also reminds me of a verse from one of my own old songs, "We Already Know The Truth" :
They want you to watch their television,
to stay at home and sleep
they've made so many promises that you've got to keep
got to keep you from living
got to keep you in line
they know that you could change their world
that's why they waste your time…
Maybe this would be a good time to explain how it all works. Four Score and Seven years ago, (plus 130) our forefathers came upon this continent with a new depravation and conceived that liberty could be marketed if you could convince the people that all men were created equal despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The trick in this marketing was that, at that time there was indeed an entire continent available for the raping after, of course, wiping out the 30,000,000 indigenous inhabitants and hundreds of lesser species. And so, unlike Europe, where the powers that be simply said we are the powers that be because our parents were and if you don't like it leave, the American powers that be said don't worry about all that we are raping, go find some virgin land and rape some yourself. This marketing ploy worked until about one hundred years ago when there was no longer any frontier left. Without new land to consume Americans had to have something to placate themselves and thus came the rise of consumerism.
Before I go on there are two basic facts to remember: one we as living creatures are a lot like a fire: without new fuel to consume we burn out and fade. Every camper knows the simple rule: when your fire flags add more fuel. As living spending furnaces we can adapt this to an even simpler (though less poetic) maxim: when you lack enthusiasm consume something. The second thing to remember is that one hundred years ago, partially because our rich and our government were far more tyrannical than today, partially because technology was less advanced, life was a whole lot more miserable. Poor transportation and communication, no refrigeration, hardly any electricification and little plumbing. It was no wonder the concept of consumerism took such a strong hold.
Don't get me wrong, it has been said that if Daniel Boone was alive today he would be towing an electric generator behind him to power his microwave oven and I am the guy whose been saying it; BUT after about fifty years of technical advances and a war economy everyone had all the basics and what had once been undreamed of luxuries were now expected to be basic necessities. The American people were in a pretty good position which was bad for marketing. Happy people don't need aspirins, antacids disposable douches or Disneyworld. They don't want to trade in their functional old cars because they're not new enough. Happy people don't need to watch TV to dream of all the things they don't have and adventures the don't live and especially don't need to watch TV to remind them they are supposed to be miserable and needing … something.
The press wants you to be unhappy. Which is why the press continues to bite Clinton: if we got to thinking he was doing a good job we wouldn't want to watch them. We wouldn't need to. Which is why we are treated to heavily commercialized half hours of national and local miseries each night and two hour each morning because between the miseries making us feel worse we might see something we could buy to make it a little better. Which is why Summer is such a wonderful time because when you need to add more heat to your flame or tire of the on-going battle with the bull you can just step outside and into the sun.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Current Comedy, 5/18/09: Tortured Pros

Primetime on Monday, May 18, we were faced with yet an example of the strange time-lapsed alternate universe that is the world of Mainstream Media, wherein CNN’s Anderson Cooper, though supposedly at the center of one of the largest, most important news gathering agencies on the planet, appears to be about four months behind the times, having at last discovered that Barack Obama, like Bush before him, is not afraid to abandon the support of those who voted for him to pursue his true agenda. As could be predicted, when confronted with the revelation Copper cocked an eyebrow and fired off a scowl.
In Bush’s case that base had been the millions of deluded mainstream, other-wise moderate, Christians who were shamed by their rabid evangelical brethren into voting for Bush because, no matter what else, the man kept saying he believed in the sanctity of life. W, of course, went on to prove this sentiment by blocking stem cell research and killing one point three million Iraqis.
In Obama’s case, it means, as it has since the Rev. Wright days, jettisoning any and all whose press begins to compete with his own. Lately gays have been making too much noise, somehow believing that as Americans they had a right to draw attention to injustices, but Obama has been steadily distancing himself from gays ever since he decided the demographic that follows Rick Warren looked sexier in a voting booth.
While the GOP supposed “big tent” turns out to barely big enough to be a bathing suit for Rush Limbaugh, the coalition that put Barack Obama in the Whitehouse was even a greater mix of elements than the man himself. Basically last fall Obama was supported by everyone who felt the GOP and Bushco had betrayed them, in other words the clear electoral majority of the American public. But bit by bit, Obama has tossed away the various special interests groups who gave their hopes to him. At the time it seemed like the man had won himself a mountain of hard-earned political capital. Nowadays it seems like he’s at a roulette wheel staking it all on the banks will come up in the black, but so far the only numbers we’re seeing are “00.”
Bush had once started out claiming to be a “uniter,” then quickly opted for the far easier “you’re either with us or against us” routine, narrowing his message till eventually even most Americans began to realize why the rest of the world detested him. Once upon a time we endured Obama’s tortured prose about how great everything would be if we would only put him in office. Now we’re expected to put up with it as that office stealthily prepares to exonerate all of the Bush era torture pros.
It seems to be a trend that won’t stop continuing until one day we’ll turn on our TVs to Obama awarding W himself a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s hoping Obama doesn’t feel the need to take it quite that far, but after his 1st hundred days of evolution who can tell where Obama will wind up. I heard Cheney is looking for a running mate.
Reversing himself on taxing the rich, on the environment, on ending the war quickly, on tightening the screws on executive compensations, on releasing info on Bush era prisoner abuses, now he’s even bringing back Bush-era military tribunals and again turning his back on gays. The man has changed sides more often than the serve at a tennis match. As each passing day of these second hundred days further defines him, it is beginning to look like the only kind of liberal Obama is really aiming to work for are the neo- kind.
Not that Congress, the Democratically controlled Congress that is, have helped him much. After making sure they forced the public to sacrifice to keep billionaire bankers in their cushy penthouse offices, they then turned their back on American homeowners, all the while taking care to make sure bank execs didn’t get their feathers ruffled by too much scrutiny of the bailout spending. Now this week Congress has watered down the credit card protections bill AND refused to close Guantanamo Bay, or technically, is refusing to fund the 80 million dollar plan to allow the inmates housed there to be imprisoned on US soil; so yet another Obama promise turns into a mouth full of dust.
Cowing to one of the most obscenely outrageous, “Not-In-My-Back-Yard” campaigns in recent memory, your government has decided our US prison system is not secure enough to jail criminals. While this begs the question, “well then what about the other two point three million some odd others already housed in US prisons.
Of course Cooper is probably unaware of the conditions in US prisons. Cooper is just now finally learning that Nancy Pelosi knew and tacitly abided by Bush era torture policies. As could be predicted the revelation is causing Cooper to flex his patented scowl muscles. Of course judging by the content of a fistful of recent CNN primetime segments it appears Cooper just now discovered pot. Poor Anderson Cooper, who knows what sudden shockers tomorrow’s headlines will bring, or how long it will take Anderson Cooper to find out.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Current Comedy 5/11/09: Your Miss Teen California, Joe the Plumber

For years left-wing pundits, such as myself for example, have been lambasting the startlingly ham-handed Republican tendency to pick the lamest shills, ghastly clich├ęs which embarrass all concerned with their bald phoniness and tin voices. This ineptitude has in fact grown to be one of the few endearing qualities for the party that also brought us Cambodian bombings, Co-In-Tel-Pro, Enron, Tom DeLay, Iran-Contra, Contract on America, SEC de-regulations and Extraordinary Rendition.
The consolation was that at least we got to laugh at the perpetual parade of fools and fakers occasional GOP banner wavers turn out to be on closer inspection. Like Michael Moore, I also enjoyed the pre-rehab road-wreck Brittney Spears who was still America’s darling back in ’03 when her president needed her and, as documented in Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, on cue Bush’s favorite Barbie Doll encouraged the youth of America to stay steadfast with our president in everything he did. It was a speech so phony it made you wonder if her Catholic school girl outfits had been approved by the rectory.
But the examples just start there. Consider Dan Quayle for example, so false he didn’t even know how to correctly spell his own last name, or “potato” for that matter. Oliver North who continues to parade himself as if he were a patriot instead someone who would plot to sell drugs to American inner city youth and sell weapons to our enemies and still expect a medal for it. Or the famed Family Values guy William Bennet, caught gambling the night away, or maybe Colin Powell lying his ass off in front of the UN trying to sell Bush’s war for him and trading away what was left of his credibility.
But this year’s wind-up toy of an “‘authentic’ man in the street” accidental party spokes stooge, is a boob that is showing signs of being a figure well inflated beyond ordinary human dimension, yes ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about your Miss Teen California, Joe the Plumber.
While it is true most journalists prefer to refer to Carrie Prejean as the Miss America contestant who got herself caught in a faux controversy over gay marriage when she lost in the pageant because her speaking skills didn‘t measure up, a slightly close look at before and after photos on loan from her plastic surgeon reveal quite clearly that “Ms Prejean,” as most Americans have come to know her, is actually just the latest attempt to cash in by the once ubiquitous Samuel Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. "Joe the Plumber, “ last seen being booed as an idiot as fundraisers for losing candidates.
After the book deal and the singing contract I had given up on the boy, but this latest re-branding is a stroke genius. Well, almost. I had actually already given up on paying attention to Prejean a couple of weeks ago when she was simply a sore loser. But now that I know that she is a fake-boob-jobbed job jeopardized due to topless photos pre-programmed pod people for the religious right who has face to face talks with the Christian god and his Satan, I’ve evolved to a position that Prejean is entitled to a bit of my prejudice.
Probably what first caught my attention to the fact that Prejean is actually just the latest incarnation of “Joe the Plumber” was when it turned out the purported spokesperson could barely speak. Even the best boob job couldn’t conceal the fact that Prejean was so vapid she even, briefly, made Dana Perino look intelligent, a feat most folks thought impossible without long denied stem cell research. It is as if the GOP had purchased themselves their own grown up sized JonBenet doll, but forgot to engage the mind-mouth program interface.
Maybe if we are lucky we won’t have to give this one a full fifteen minutes worth of fame. Perez Hilton, you perforated the right right-wing windbag that time, man, you are the man!
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Current Comedy, 5/04/09: This is Only a Test

This is a test of your emergency autonomic system. This is only a test. Your media networks have set up this emergency warning system so that if there were ever an actual crisis in America, your media could be used to protect the citizenry by warning them of trouble spots or outbreaks, so the duly informed citizenry could then take action to protect themselves. Sounds great on paper, unless, as it turned out with the H1N1 virus, the media were by far the most virulent of carriers.
So I propose this test instead. This is a test of our neural connectedness to the world around us to see whether we as individuals possess sufficient instinctual survival skills to bail water out of our leaky lifeboat. This week I think the leaks are winning.
Sometimes in television-land, a soap opera or a situation comedy will get stuck in a recurring theme long after all the entertainment value has been beaten out of it. Thus it is in the current week of the comedy that passes for TV news.
At least that is the way it reads with this week’s installment of the now continuing series “Gun-Toting Rednecks for Jesus.” As you may recall of late, cranky rank and file “Joe Six-pack,” er, excuse me, I mean “Joe Six-Shooter” right-wingers have been growing more paranoid and militia-style scary. And our “fair and balanced” media has been lapping it up and egging them on.
Fearing the Black Man and the Big Bad Government in equal measure, the average GOP mouth-breather on the street has become more frighteningly rabid each time some shock-jock tweaks their strings. This week, the same week that CNN once again takes the time to urgently reassure us that there is a plan to rebuild the Republican Party, as if it were something the majority of Americans were missing, the network starts running primetime rifle ads. No connection, no.
Later on the website, I find an “I wish it were funny” article on the latest trend: gun stores are running out of ammo as gun owners, falsely feeling threatened by the bogus anti-Obama rhetoric whipped up by the right-wing pundits, are now hording bullets in case the big bad government comes after them like Uncle Rush and Cousin Glenny keeps saying.
Of course all those bullets are American citizens’ patriotic right to horde. Men have fought and died for those rights, died, btw, killed by bullets. But one has to wonder, since bullets are made for shooting and handguns ain’t good for nothing else, what or whom do those gun-toting bullet hoarding right-wingers for Jesus aim to be shooting at, that they might need to horde such big old bunches of bullets? Has Bambi become that much of badass that NRA members are gonna have to cap her with their Nine several thousand times to make sure that that Jane Doe stays down?
Would it be too much of an obvious pun to note how much the word “overkill” relates to this news item? No, no, my apologies, we are only supposed to talk about this issue as a matter of rights. So Americans, of course, can have guns and own bullets, and those same people also have a right to talk about armed insurrection and hating the rest of us, and the GOP have the right to mine their votes and the MSM has the right to make a killing off of buying and selling the various forms of advertising it takes to broker such a deal; but again one must wonder, how far will the GOP and the MSM take this dangerous dance with inciting riot?
So far they are only testing the waters, seeing if we are paying attention. Chances are we weren’t. If this had been an actual emergency you would have been screwed. And so as the gun crowd, drunk on the attention they’ve gained thus far, continue to become ever more belligerent and ever more scary, you can rest assured CNN will be there to feed this beast of a political movement its favorite drug: airtime.
(And btw, speaking of what we are learning about them from all this airtime, if nothing else all the ugly rancor coming off of the right-wing shows the rest of us that Robert Heinlein had it wrong (as did those who send out emails that wrongly attribute the much misquoted quote to Jefferson), a gun owning society is NOT a polite society.)
Thanks again Main Stream Media for watching this growing epidemic closely enough and in such a way as to promote our general safety. We couldn’t’ve made it to this edge of disaster without your help. If this were a test you’d have failed. Too bad it’s only real life and death instead.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Current Comedy, 4/27/08: Manifest Destiny

“Paging Mr. Pestilence, paging Mr. Pestilence, will the driver of the white horse currently waiting in the parking lot proceed to the paddock now and meet your party?” Yes ladies and gentlemen, that background sound heard around the world in news stories about the swine flu (H1N1) outbreak coming out of Mexico was the collective swishing sound of Revelationists world over pissing their pants.
Now a week into the crisis and still no raging widespread suffering yet. Yet. But we know based on the comedy they call news shows that they’ve been feeding us for years that something is going to happen and it’s going to be big. Entertainment requires action. We want to be scared. With all the entertainment mayhem we’ve been fed since the days of Coliseum, it’s small wonder that Christians in particular love to scare themselves to death. With a potential plague waiting in the wings, our government may soon have pretext to do almost anything to almost one and call it national security. Millions are hoping to call it the Rapture.
I am calling it Manifest Destiny.
In case you haven’t kept up with the latest favorite fringe fundamentalist freakout, Obama has apparently been officially labeled the anti-Christ and Armageddon’s any day. Or so the right wing noise machine has been saying on for the last couple of years. The story had gotten to be so wide spread during the campaign last year, had to debunk the viral e-mail that raced around the Internet with full-strength at length quotes of chapters of Revelation and sections of John I & II.
You’d think that might’ve ended it, but for some the words Obama and Revelation go together like the words “cyanide pellet” and “sulfuric acid.”
Type in the words “Revelation” and Obama” in a Google search and you get about 2.2 million hits. For Christ sakes, You Tube alone has 4880 “Obama Anti-Christ” videos. The Google search for “Apocalypse” and “Obama” and you get another couple of million hits. Currently the number one ranked on Google is the all caps banner “ELECTION ’08: WHY OBAMAWILL TRIGGER THE APOCALYPSE.” Which starts with the words “LOOK INTO THE MIND OF OBAMA - IF YOU DARE!” and just gets sillier from there. Please forgive me as I quote, for it may appear I am shouting, due to the frequent all caps.
The webpage is only one of many at the website of Pastor Harry from the Church of Philadelphia’s “SATANSRAPTURE.COM The Official Site For E S C A P E 666 Bible Prophecy Revealed .” Even when reduced to twelve point font, the text of that one page of the multi-page site still ran 14 pages and over three thousand words. Festooned with American flags (and an occasional swastika), animated flames, the odd recurring scroll of Biden’s warning about an upcoming test Obama will appear to fail and occasional bold red 36 point all cap block print, the stark white and vertigo inducing orange, yellow, and green texts on the night sky black breathlessly call Obama every variation of biblical boogeyman from alien to zombie.
The opening gambit seems to be a theory built out of the once rampant viral myth that Obama is a secret Muslim whose rein will be disastrous and short: “If Obama wins, his ultra-liberal and reckless policies will plunge the world into global chaos and war, then OBAMA is ASSASSINATED.” Luckily the ancient prophets who organized the bible’s secret codes knew John McCain’s medical records would matter so much to the American public that those 1st century Hebrews tried to warn us through a specially devised cryptogram: “The Bible Code warned "JOHN McCAIN NOT PRESIDENT" & "HEART PROBLEMS".”
As they say, you can’t make this stuff up. Well, I can’t anyway.
Obviously picking apart this guy’s argument is facile: if you believe in this sort of thing then his over-the-top rantings come off tolerable but extreme. If you don’t believe in it then Pastor Harry comes off as a terrorist inciting cleric after too many magic mushrooms. Unfortunately for the rest of us, pastor Harry is hardly a voice in the wilderness. As the MSM further morphs to Radio Rwanda the of the world are coming out of the woodwork with their Bible in one hand and a .45 in the other, ready to do their part to bring on judgment day.
And there is a reason the book of Revelations have attracted so many people through so many years, just as there was a reason the Y2K scare was way too cool for millions to not get sucked into: secretly or not so secretly we Americans love disasters. We like to be excited by their whiff of violence, titillated by their mystery, hungry for the predictable video of destruction. And there is a reason for the rest of us to be more scared of Armageddon now than before. Thanks to all our modern technology it actually is possible to end life as we know it. For those locked into a cosmic war, there is no other point in existence.
Irwin Allen wasn’t a millionaire for nothing. We Americans crave to watch stuff fall apart on a grand scale. And when it comes to disaster it doesn’t get better than Armageddon. No, not the BS Bruce Willis flick, I’m talking about the real Armageddon, the end of the world as we know it, with all the special effects + every Born-Again’s ultimate fantasy--a grand finale of punishing the wicked replete with lakes of fire and whores of Babylon. Some American Christians’ sense of brotherly love means they long for the day when most of their friends and neighbors are “cast into the fiery pit” while they pluck harps and scarf Dove bars up on Cloud Nine, or at the right hand of god, whichever is available. Throw 49 virgins and you’ve got a Muslim paradise worth suicide bombing yourself into.
Worse still: the kind of Americans that enjoy this stuff are the kind of people who are dangerous in the first place. It was not by accident Janet Napolitano had Homeland Security investigate the extremists on the right who are trying to demonize Obama. They are scary. As far as these people are concerned what makes the H1N1 flu particularly handy, it gives them a new reason to wish for the end of mankind, hate Obama, AND hate Mexicans all at the same time.
That hatred is the engine of our great American tradition, Manifest Destiny. Hating and when possible destroying a brown skinned “other” is a part of the “American” culture since Columbus, through those beloved religious fanatics excused away as the Puritans, through Jackson, Sheridan, Wilson. When a drug craze wasn’t enough to demonize Mexico, conveniently this disease shows up and across America, so called “patriots” are reassuring themselves of their loyalty to the flag by hating Mexicans.
This hating Mexicans has been a favorite topic among some Americans since the 1840s when the James K. Polk decided he wanted to move the border between Texas and Mexico. As America was joining the union after being a somewhat surly, fundamentally floundering independent republic for nine years, Polk decided he preferred the Rio Grande be the border between Mexico and our then newest state Texas, who had just cratered under economic pressure trying to run a republic with corrupt officials and begged America to take them in. Polk sent Old Rough and Ready, Zachary Taylor, down to the Nueces river, (near modern day Corpus Christi) to march the new international border one hundred and fifty miles south at the point of a gun. America was ready to go to war to take that extra hundred miles and go to war we did.
Some Americans have been hating Latinos every since, using every excuse and even making some up when nothing else was handy. Right wing race-baiting of Hispanics has been allowed to gain credibility once more with the whole drug war just in time to set the stage for the Mexican swine flu to turn Latinos into untouchables as far as the right wing is concerned.
Since the MSM is becoming more and more tolerant of racism and conservatism the point of openly promoting animosity and revolt we can expect many more pundits trying to erect a wall across the Americas, though one knows the real wall they are trying to erect is in our hearts. Manifest Destiny, god’s will that we should do what we want.
I want this flu to go by the wayside, dribble down to nothing before the real killing starts. See, Bible thumpers love a good plague to incite the masses. And the masses rarely like what happens next.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.