August 15, 2011 - August 8, 2011
. I've made it pretty clear that I'm from New
Jersey, and love
that fact, which occasionally annoys my friend George, who knows that
I'm also from his home state of Ohio and thinks I forget those roots in
a riot of eastern chauvinism.
Truth is, I'm also half Ohio. My mother and her parents and ancestors? All Ohioans. In fact, all Ohio State alumns. I still root for them despite the scandal that would make my mother spin in her grave. What better time to proclaim my pride in this particular affiliation? Ohio is far more than the Buckeyes. I can, and will, make the case that it's the true capital of the America that thrives between the two moribund coasts, that its highs and lows are more important to who we really are as a people than the pretend aristocracies of Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
I was reminded of it this past weekend when I watched the induction ceremonies at the NFL Hall of Fame, located in Canton, Ohio. It's not an accident that Ohio owns the Hall of Fame. The clearest point of origin of the NFL as an outgrowth of college football is the ancient franchise of the Cleveland Browns, named after the legendary Ohio State head coach who jumped into the new pro league to command a team named after himself. Paul Brown. Whose team went on to feature the first immortal black superstar of the game, Jimmy Brown, maybe the best player who ever carried the ball.
Which got me to thinking. It's become a cliche of comedy that it's easy to poke fun at Ohio. Cleveland, also called "The Mistake on the Lake," butt of countless jokes because the "cl" sound is just somehow funny. But Cleveland is also the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which probably enshrines more history that kids actually pay attention to than the Smithsonian in Washington.
Then I remembered the most moving aeronautical museum I've ever been to, the one at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, In Dayton, Ohio, where I lived for seven years, and got to see my dad's first glimpse in 40 years of the plane he flew in WWII on the occasion of the dedication of a memorial to his Twelfth Air Force. Why Wright-Pat is better than the Smithsonian. Their exhibits aren't artifacts. They're touchstones of memory.
You see, powered flight is more closely linked with Ohio than any other state. Wilbur and Orville Wright were from, uh, Dayton, even if North Carolina license plates try to steal their accomplishment. But you can't steal an entire tradition. Ohio has always been in the forefront of American aviation. Does the name Eddie Rickenbacker ring a bell? And where did astronauts John Glenn and Neil Armstrong hail from? They helped us win the space race against the Soviets at an incredibly tense moment of U.S. history. Actually there are more astronauts from Ohio than from most other states put together. Something in that flyover blood maybe.
And did you enjoy the late lamented age of American automobiles? If you did, you were riding on tires from Ohio, Akron being the Rubber Capital of the World.
Admire Abraham Lincoln, do you? How far do you think he would have gotten in saving the union if he hadn't had Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman (not to mention Philip Sheridan) as his strong right arm? Sherman, ironically, being the closest we've ever had to the Roman hero Cincinnatus, who disdained political power and returned to his fields after a stupendous military victory. It was Sherman who said, "If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve." No indication that he said that in Cincinnati. He just faded away.
That's the thing about Ohio. It just keeps showing up in all the key moments of the American story. Mysteriously, Unassumingly. Where was Harriet Beecher Stowe from (speaking of bitter clinging to God)? One guess.
Which state has produced the most presidents, good or bad? Well, it's either Virginia or Ohio, depending on how you count. The tiebreaker would be William Henry Harrison, born in Virginia. But he moved to Ohio and was serving there when he was elected president. So why would anyone ever move to Ohio from the east coast?
Maybe because Ohio is, despite all the ridicule and sanctimony, a fine place to live. I found it so. I returned to New Jersey because my marsh-rat DNA could no longer survive without the smell of salt water.
But I love Ohio and I miss it. I've rarely seen anything as spectacular as the hot air balloons floating over the Miami Valley on a Sunday afternoon. And it's always been the case that Ohio is stuffed with giants in every discipline and avocation. Here's an edited list of people without whom the United States would not be the United States as we know it. As opposed to, say, Hawaii.
Go through the list. There are lots of people you think hail from
somewhere else, like New York and L.A. Do you really want to sneer at
the state that produced Clarence Darrow, Ambrose Bierce, And Thomas
The roots of many things American, quintessentially and gloriously American, are right here, including even Hollywood and (gasp) The New York Times.
As you go through, start subtracting from essentials of your own experience. No Clark Gable? No wicked witch of the west? No Jimmy Brown? No Steven Spielberg? No Star Trek classic scripts? No light bulb. No abolitionists like John Brown and Harriet Beecher Stowe. No Boy Scouts. No supply-side economics. No "Elements of Style." No Fox News. No Branch Rickey, no Cy Young, no Jesse Owens, No victory in the Civil War. Why I gave Obama excellent advice in the 2008 campaign he utterly ignored. Then come tell me your dumb Ohio jokes.
Why this is another sterling example of Brizoni's post on metaphor: The forehead-smackingly obvious thing you can't see because you've seen it your whole life.
Yup. I'm proud to be half Ohio. The more so because George and I both had Ohio forebears in the illustrious Rainbow Division that kicked ass across France in World War I. It's good to be a buckeye.
You better be okay with that too.
. Pop Quiz: Which minority group has suffered the most through the London riots?
"It's the rich people, the people who have got businesses, and that's why all of this has happened, because of rich people." Burn those words in your brain. Everyone who has a business is to blame. Anyone with enough of their shit together to enjoy some independent success is a target. As long as this remains OK to believe, London will keep happening. All over the world.
Yesterday, the LA Times was good enough to give us an object lesson in tricky media BS. The headline laments Bachmann "attends anti-gay service." Oh, no! Anti-gay? Like Westboro? What the hell was she thinking? Maybe she really is crazy after all!
Oh. So when you said "anti-gay," LA Times, you meant "disagrees with homosexuality. Kind of not the same thing, kids. But it is kind of the same thing, if you don't think about it. If you just compare the words of the concepts. Anti-gay... not down with gayness... eh. One's about... the gist of the other. Sort of. Ish.
The media doesn't just lie. They play what I call Conceptual Chinese Whispers. When I was in school, the game was called Telephone. It has a ton of different names. I'm going with Chinese Whispers, because it's more offensive.
Disagreeing with homosexuality becames "anti-gay," and "anti-gay"'s Westboroan connotations are allowed to stand without comment or clarification.
They pulled very similar crap a few weeks ago, accusing Bachmann of belonging to a crazy anti-Catholic sect who call the Pope "antichrist." You know. Lutherans.
those points were obscured. Duh! Otherwise, whence the cheap shot?
The stronger the media's contempt for the target, the worse the narrative distortion. Remember when Glenn Beck supposedly called those dead Norwegian teens Hitler Youth? The Telegraph's repetition of this fib exposed the Conceptual Chinese Whispers process. You can trace the narrative degradation as it travels from ear to ear, so to speak.
Paragraph 3 (the actual quote): Beck objects to political indoctrination of youth, citing a historical example. Paragraph 2 (first distillation of inconvenient fact): Beck compares Norwegian youth camp to Hitler Youth. Paragraph 1 (final refinement): Beck compares dead children to Hitler Youth. Purple monkey dishwasher.
Here's what I wonder. Do they do this on purpose? Do they even notice they're lying anymore? Or by now have they trained themselves to think in spin?
Yesterday, I went out of my way to offend absolutely everybody.
Way out of my way. Did I succeed? Are you madder at me or the
Democrats? I thought so.
Get used to it, kids. That's their whole agenda. To play us against one another.
Yeah, I'm mad. I'm mad at all the little covens I see on the right, among our own commenters. Tea partiers pissed at Republicans. Intellectual conservatives pissed at tea partiers. Moderates pissed off at weak educational credentials. Paulistas and Randians pissed off at the ideologically impure. Long ago, I did a piece about 24 and "The Mission."
My point is very simple. The Mission this time is the defeat of Barack Obama. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE THIS MAN REELECTED PRESIDENT.
So I'm asking you all to think. Not with your ideology but with your brains. Put aside all your fondest hopes and dreams. We have to get ready to make a huge bet. It's all or nothing. Red or black. Pass or Don't Pass. We win or we lose everything.
Everywhere we turn there are impossible tradeoffs. Romney may have the best chance of appealing to the middle, but he's a spineless mannequin. Palin is probably the best candidate we'd like to see in office, despite her non-Ivy education, but the MSM have absolutely succeeded in demonizing her as a boob with (Horrors!) boobs. Rick Perry is a dumber version of W, whom nobody wants to see back in office. I personally can't se Pawlenty standig up to anybody. Ron Paul is a hectoring, high-pitched old woman. And Christie won't run.
What are we to do?
Talk. Debate. Yell at one another. Yell at me. Work it out.
I've already proposed a radical alternative, which all of you completely ignored: Evan Bayh. Fiscal conservative Democrat from Indiana. I did that to attempt to penetrate the closed covens I see in the Comments.
We need ideas. We need prioritization of the most important objectives. The next election isn't going to be about gay marriage, abortions, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Confederate flag, or even TARP and who voted for it or didn't. It's going to be about the survival (or not) of the United States of America.
This isn't 1964, a Barry Goldwater defeat that leads eventually to Ronald Reagan. There are no moral victories that will mean squat. We have to win.
Or we lose everything.
It's called geezer wisdom if you have to blame it on something. The way everyone seems to have to blame everything on something. Why I'm, uh, this pissed off.
While you've all been
me on what Christianity really
means (or doesn't), I'll remind you that I'm more on record on these
matters than all of you put together. Doesn't mean I'm more right,
simply that when there's a claim I haven't explained my positions or my
comments, it's an error. The power of Christianity lies in the story, which is a story of who we
are and where we're going. To say, for example, that a key element of
the story like the betrayal of Judas is not necessary is absurd.
Betrayal of God by man is the oldest and most necessary part of the
story excepting the subsequent salvation delivered despite such betrayals, which date
all the way back to Adam. Denial is the passive sin, betrayal the
active one. To one degree or another, we are all guilty of both. Why
the experience of Christianity is about character and faith, not
Part of my proof of the primacy of story is that we're still -- despite all our (supposed) intellectual allegiance to rationalism -- replaying the same story with infinite variations all the time. In my Boomer Bible variation, which poses Harry (Willie.2.1-6) as a kind of secular Antichrist who urges living for today and forgetting tomorrow, who could doubt that Harry's 66th birthday might be significant? A time of reckoning that the young Harry airily postponed (in the Book of Willie) to an indefinite future:
2 And it doesn't really matter if you haven't,
3 Which I'll explain later,
4 I can sum it all up for you pretty neatly this way.
5 nThere isn't any God,
6 At least any God we would recognize as one,
7 oWhich means there isn't any good and evil either,
8 pWhich means that it's okay for Man to be the way he is already,
9 Without a lot of changes,
10 Unless he had a really good chance to survive a lot longer,
11 Which he doesn't anymore,
12 Thanks to qnuclear weapons and rhuman nature and all the slessons of history,
13 aWhich means that there's nothing we can or should try to do about it,
14 bWhich means that we're not responsible for anything at all,
15 Even if we could prove that anyone or anything else exists in the first place,
16 cWhich we can't,
17 Which means that we're all alone on the very brink of extinction,
18 But have the great good fortune to be living in the richest nation in the world,
19 Which is too bad for everyone else,
20 Including all the dOthers,
21 eBut great for us.
2 Because in a very rich nation like this one, things will run pretty much by themselves for a long long time,
3 And while they will fall apart eventually,
4 fIt will take a long long time for that to happen...
In fact, it's taken till now. I'm not preaching at you now. Just reminding you that false messiahs have been using the exact same story as the one that worked so well the first time. But if the initial story were somehow false, why would there still be mysterious symbolic synchronies in the histories of the fakers? I'm sure you all have your own answers, better in every way than mine. And I'm sure you'll let me know what they are.
As for the rest of you, the ones who don't know everything, turn to the Harriday section of your Boomer Bible Hymnals and sing along with the Stock Market today. I told the Missus last night I was expecting a 500 to 1000 point drop. Let's hope I'm not as good at financial prediction as I am at prophecy.
P.S. Speaking of prophecy, we're a month away from the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It's been said nobody predicted it. But maybe, just maybe, The Boomer Bible did. Take look at this. Yes, it was discovered after the fact. Kind of like The Bible Code, eh?.... (And if you take the link from "Letter to the Webmaster" in the first paragraph, you'll have a whole new world of 'splaining to do.)
. Yeah, I admit it. I hate them. I hate them. How are you supposed to
react to the adversaries who are willing to resort to every low,
dishonest, vicious, even obscene tactic imaginable in order to prevail
over a common sense their supposed intelligence should make them
I hate Obama's permanent sneer. His constant, indolent air of superiority while he does nothing and berates those who, in his opinion, aren't doing enough or "paying their fair share." All he has left of his vaunted likeability is tailored suits. I hate that he gets away with that. I hate the polls conducted by CBS and the New York Times. Skewed, fraudulent, and propagandistic. I hate the naked lying left-wing politicking of Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, all the Obama czars who systematically circumvent the legislative process, and all the Wall Street Obama cabinet members and advisers who pretend to be on the side of average Americans while they preside over the immolation of the American economy for purely ideological reasons. I hate "liberals' like Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder who pretend to defend the Constitution while they subvert the rule of law at every turn.
Worse than all this, I hate, hate, hate the mass media, including even supposedly conservative outlets like Fox News, Hotair, and the National Review, who keep pretending that the lefties are just somehow mistaken instead of corrupt, totalitarian, and specifically anti-constititional, if not actively evil, in their intent. I hate Chris Wallace, who's supposed to be a fine newsman but can't stop himself from seeing higher taxes as the only way out of the fiscal morass and tea partiers as ignorant slobs he'd never countenance at his wife's Sunday soupfests.
I hate Steve Doocy, the super-elevated weatherman, who has so over-interpreted his role on Fox & Friends that he gives himself permission to tell his betters -- this morning a fifty year Harvard professor -- that his views are "right," as if we were waiting for smug Steve to deliver such a judgment. I hate Roger Ailes for permitting the nepotism that makes Steve Doocy's son suddenly a foreign correspondent, a Washington correspondent, a Wall Street correspondent -- gah!!! -- as if any of us should take him seriously because he's an earnest young son of an established Fox weatherman. I hate, most of all, that we're not supposed to notice an eager papa's boy can hardly be "fair and balanced." Just how dumb and credulous are WE supposed to be? No. Don't tell me.
I hate George Will for not walking out on the ABC network show where Cokie Roberts described the problem as the Constitution itself. I hate everyone who does not rise and denounce the current administration as a shocking anomaly in the whole history of the U.S. presidency, as the first time the American electorate has been so duped as to propel an incompetent traitor into the most powerful office in the world. I hate business as usual on teevee and the internet. Only Charles Krauthammer shows the constant disgust we should all feel.
I hate all the mainstream Republican candidates who can't bring themselves to stand up and say, "This president is an incompetent phony who has to be driven from office even if I'm not the one who can do it." I hate that they are mousily silent while Obama commits his worst outrages of celebrity non-leadership. All over the airwaves, preening at his Hollywood fundraiders, and nowhere to be found when a decision is required.
I hate Romney and Pawlenty for that. "Comment? Us? We'll be in touch." I hate Bachmann and Palin for not being smart enough to study policy instead of tweeting their "wisdom" off the top of their pretty heads. I hate Rick Perry for being anyone's alternative, a dumb mush-mouthed Texas jock who thinks praying in public is some kind of answer that will appeal to a vast confused electorate. I hate the Republicans for having no one to offer in our time of ultimate need.
I hate the Paulistas and the tea partiers for being so damn fucking dumb that they can't recognize a winning hand but have to transform it into a Japanese act of Bushido. We can't win this moment; therefore, Hitler-like, we're prepared to destroy the entire country to prove that we were right. I hate them more for pretending that the Monroe doctrine is practicable in a post WWI/WWII world whose whole sense of justice, civilization, and financial stability is predicated upon the actions of the United States of America.
I hate the Ayn Rand faithful. Because they're all sixteen years old. Probably permanently.
I hate the fundamentalist Christians who can't put aside their unexamined convictions about the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer in schools and their abiding need to shout the name of Jee-Zus from the rooftops long enough to regain control of the country they claim to love, unless they secretly hate it and hope for its demise because of 3 million abortions.
I hate conservatives, libertarians, and everyone else on the right who insist on their ideological label as something superior to the actual survival of the nation they claim to love. They'd rather be right than alive. You know. The obverse of "Better red than dead."
I hate that we have no plausible candidates. Which means Obama could win a second term and the United States will fall permanently into ruin.
Yes. I hate. You kids think you're punks. You're nothing. You don't know what rage is. Don't start with me, Peter, Brizoni, and company. You're smart, smarmy, clever, and long-winded. I'm the one who cared about all this shit before you were born. Same goes for most of you commenters. Don't preach at me. I just said what most of you have NEVER had the guts to say. The way it will always be.
I don't want to win. I don't want to prove my point. I don't want to embarrass them or run a highly symbolic, ideologically pure campaign. I want to destroy their power forever. I hate everyone who's just posing and pretending that whining about the federal reserve and foreign entanglements will get the job done. I hate everyone who thinks politics is a game.
Are we clear? I am the disfigured man who served as my model for the ultimate rage of St. Nuke:
Why I thought I should
withdraw. Why I'm rethinking that decision now.
Is that "rill" enough for you, Tonto?