RANGER AGAINST WAR: Republic of Gilead, Redux <

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Republic of Gilead, Redux

Your love keeps liftin’ me higher
Than I’ve ever been lifted before

So keep it up, yeah, quench my desire

And I’ll be at your side forevermore

--Your Love Lifted Me Higher
Auto Adrenaline

I'm looking for a miracle man

That tells me no lies

--Miracle Man
, Ozzy Osbourne

I can really do wonders, I can,

If you've got the misery,

Bring your misery to me,

I'm that Hi-De-Ho Miracle Man!

--The Miracle Man
, Cab Calloway

I am the way, the truth, and the life

--John 14:6


["Republic of Gilead" is a re-post from 28 Feb '08, relevant as ever. We told you Ms. Clinton was not gonna get it eight years ago; said it again, last year. Like the Man in Black sang, "we've got our eyes wide open all the time".

Like de Tocqueville to America or Mead to Papua New Guinea, Lisa will soon commence a series on post-election U.S. Ranger has a few thoughts up his sleeve, too.]

Luuu-ceee! Remember Ricky's plaintively imploring yet reprimanding calls to his wife, Lucy? And how Lucille Ball managed to wend her way into getting whatever it was she wanted anyway, by pumping up Ricky's ego?

Flash-forward 50 years and I find myself lost in any I Love Lucy script. Obama cuts a retro figure, reminiscent of the well-spoken Malcolm X in dress and manner. And the women who flock to him serve in a behind-the-scenes way, which is also very retro, sans the aprons. 

Women have been abandoning Hillary for The Man, but why?

[1] Their desire for romance.
 Edward Kennedy suggests in Obama a recrudescence of Camelot. Forget that Camelot never was really Camelot; that is its beauty. 
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg says he reminds her of her father. Michelle Obama, Oprah, Maria Shiver and Caroline Kennedy "put on the best campaign rally" Andrew Rosenthal has seen "in 20 years of covering presidential politics ("Michelle, Maria, Caroline and Oprah on the Hustings in California.")

Yes We Can campaign for a man.

Three more little ladies advocated for Obama in the 
Wall Street Journal ("The Obama Opportunity") -- "Ms. Napolitano (Governor of Arizona), Ms. Sebelius (Governor of Kansas) and Ms. McCaskill (D-Missouri)." (See how far we've come -- Ms. Steinem's honorific certainly has taken hold, even in a conservative paper.)

The trio say we need to end "political polarization," "divisive politics" and "bitter partisanship." But Hillary is nothing if not a conciliator. So how can their stated desire tap Obama and not Hillary?

 Below romance is just wanting to feel better.

Author/blogger Micki McGee says her book, Self Help, Inc., "looks at the rise of self-improvement culture as Americans have seen their economic circumstances decline." Books about feeling good are good business. If people actually did good and got better, the market would dry up.

When it comes to just feeling better on a Friday night, you are more likely to curl up with an Oprah guru, like Peter Walsh's 
Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More than the current issue of The Economist

Before psychotherapy went pop, there were lurid Gothic romances 
fronting the impossible Fabio which secretaries would hide in their desks. This escapism has now gone mainstream via programs like Desperate Housewives and Nip and Tuck. You can escape to a desert island and feel your potentiality spread out before you, and of course, this impulse to escape extends to men, as well.

With Obama, the ticket to escape is your vote. He says follow him, "we will do it; we will change." He is your own personal life coach, to help you work off all the bon-bons you ate while watching the latest installment of Lost.

What's more, he'll tell you what to do so you won't be lost anymore.

[3] The desire for direction, wh
ich is an equal opportunity impulse.

Once coronated by Oprah, Obama had all but won the election. As goes Oprah, so goes the nation. Oprah ministers to all that may befall a human being, and has assured us that we are all o.k. just by virtue of being here. That is some powerful validation, gained just by virtue of sitting in front of the tube.

After Oprah midwifes you in your walk through the fire of your particular dysfunctions and your subsequent shower, Obama is presented as the man to lift you higher. It is all done for you, like those wonderful prewashed, precut veggies Oprah introduced to her audience.

Her acolytes are on a conveyor belt, and happy to be shown the way. As in Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, women are mobilized to serve the Commander.

Obama is their miracle man, mouthing platitudes cribbed from Ghandi, and Krishnamurti, and MLK. Obama is like a good DJ sampling for his mix, but he gives no credit in his mash-ups ("Finding political strength in the power of words.")

It is blatant plagiarism, but I suppose he does it because he knows his demographic so well. They apparently are unfamiliar with the sources of his many platitudes, and this general ignorance saddens me as much as Obama's disingenuousness.

[4] The media has it in for her ("Rendell: The Media Does Not Like the Clintons.")

It is glaringly obvious that any move Clinton makes will be chastised. She can never win. Slate wondered if she'd "Come Undone, 2/13/08". Since then other major outlets have asked why she doesn't concede in a ladylike fashion, even though the candidates are in fact running neck and neck.

Presumably, the only safe stance for her is one of silent deference, in a corner, admitting that she has been bested by a man. It is cyclical American history: black men got the vote before women. A black man will occupy the White House before a woman will.

If a women were to come out with the vacuous platitudes which fire 'em up at Obama rallies, she'd be roundly laughed out of the room as a pollyannaish airhead.

Hillary has been painted as passe, someone who thinks "going viral" means coming down with pneumonia. If she could only play the sax, like Bill -- do something to hook into the national pulse in a visceral way. But that is not a privilege allowed to a woman of a certain age.

I am thinking of a recent ad which showed a fit 50-ish, silver-haired woman in overalls and Doc Martens, smiling. The ad recognized the revolutionary nature of her posture vis-a vis a culture which severely slots women via age. I think the only way the model got away with it was that she was identified as an artist, and we grant them their flakiness.

Hillary has forsaken her younger revolutionary rhetoric, but if you want to hear an actual and authentic challenge to be new, read Hillary's 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley, where she challenges her listeners 
"to practice with all the skill of our being/The art of making possible."

I'm no feminist, but the vitriolic coverage of Clinton vs. the glowing coverage of Obama speaks volumes. The candidate's platforms simply do not differ that much, and where they do, Hillary's bests Obama's.

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Anonymous Nikolay Levin said...

While Obama was technically the more appealing warmonger for voting against "dumb wars" like Iraq unlike Clinton, the establishment liberal media ended up discrediting their own future candidate playing their own small part in digging their own graves.

What a country.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...


The one moment at which the mainstream punditry was consistently pro-Trump since January?

The day after he bombed Syria.

Nothing like a good war to bring all the elite family back together again.

This did not escape me and I am sure you noticed it as well.

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 3:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

I never understood the reference to Gilead. Neither here nor in Atwood's book.

I thought the term was just a biblical mention of an area in Jordan that produced perfumes. Can you help me out here Lisa? How does that equate to modern day American politics - or to a fictional religious coup? Please excuse my density, but what am I missing?

Friday, May 5, 2017 at 11:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I can't speak to Lisa but if memory serves Jacob lived in Gilead with his wives after fleeing his father-in-law, so it would be in keeping with the religious right society imagined by Atwood.

Plus she really wanted the "bomb in Gilead" pun probably.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 11:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Thanks David. I should have payed more attention in Sunday School. Although it is doubtful that Old Miss Alice would have told us anything about multiple wives or proxy sex partners. And wasn't some incest involved there also? Or maybe that was Abraham, not Jacob?

Great pun!

Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 10:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Yes, for some reason Sunday school was very sanitized.

Abraham slept with Sarah's handmaiden before God helped her conceive. This was obviously before God decided to test Abraham's faith by ordering him to kill Isaac. Fun stuff.

Jacob was Abraham's grandson via Isaac. He married two sisters, who competed with each other to have more kids by him and, in the process, both had him sleep with their slaves.

His children were the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel.

At least, that is how the story goes. You can decide for yourself what that is worth.

Monday, May 8, 2017 at 9:10:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger NaRong said...

I can't speak to Lisa but if memory serves Jacob lived in Gilead with his wives after fleeing his father-in-law, so it would be in keeping with the religious right society imagined by Atwood.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:48:00 AM GMT-5  

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