the greatest weapon of mass destruction
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline
--The End of the World As We Know It,
I saw the sign and it opened up my mind
And I am happy now living without you
I've left you
Ace of Base
Lisa's post-inaugural reflections:
I spectated, agog, this political season. It was all so clear, and for speaking my truth, I was given no quarter by the erstwhile victors.
Some people once close are still angry with me. Still I am not sure why, for I was just the camera.
I saw my society in decline, born of a toxic blend of technological savvy, arrogance and entitlement. No party had a monopoly on these traits, but the party which had historically laid claim to be the protectors of the downtrodden (the Democrats) came across as impossibly smug and dismissive of those downtrodden with whom they felt no kinship.
It was hypocrisy of the highest order, and their tone-deafness lost them the election. The sorry inability of the entitled, erstwhile thinking, people in the Democratic camp to engage in a dialog about the phenomenon unfolding before them in plain sight was shocking.
My observations of the deracinated in our midst was met with horror by those supposedly in the know. Except, they did not know. They engaged in a robust cognitive dissonance because the plight of some did not fit in with their perceptions of "neediest cases" -- their personal tokens.
Now-President Trump revealed us to ourselves. We are angry, clannish, disputatious, and worse. We think well of ourselves when we shed crocodile tears for the right minority, and belittle and dismiss those who do not further our insular paradigm, one which is usually constructed for and received by us fairly early in life.
Over the course of the election season, I began to feel shamed for thinking myself a liberal. These were not my people, and I was now one of the deracinated.
An edition of the New Yorker magazine filled with only Trump-derision cartoons (poor ones, at that) came from a place of audacious triumphalism and hauteur, as Ms. Clinton would surely -- simply had to -- win. Given.
Mrs. Clinton in her workaday Xanthippe shroud now infamously goaded Trump in a debate, "Will you accept the results of the election?" with the affect of a gladiator entering the arena. We had seen this posture before in her "veni, vedi, vici" speech in her capacity as stateswoman following the brutal assassination of Libyan President and former Time coverboy Muommer Gaddafy.
In retrospect, it was a marvel of ineptitude, like bringing tomato aspic to a 2nd grade Valentine's Day party.
It was shame-faced strong-arming, straight from the Mayor Daley or Boss Tweed Machine playbook. Just like in a banana republic, she had a token opponent (Jewish socialist Uncle Bernie) . . . but, not really. Just like them, she was the presumptive shoo-in.
Pity for the (literally) poor sops who donated their often meager holdings to his campaign coffers and who still refuse to remove their "Bernie" bumper stickers (all while the machinations of the Clinton campaign moved to discredit him, another bit of soul rot for which she, and they, will have to atone.)
My marveling continues as I read the discredited New York Times daily trying to beat its swords into plowshares.
The NYT calls their advertising spiel ("50% off new subscriptions!") their "Inauguration campaign". A few, for your amusement, with following RAW editorial comment:
"True, original, independent, always" [well, not exactly "always".]
"The truth is what we do better" [and, we do lies even better!]
"Searching out truth is What We Do" [But, it is a "search and destroy" mission.]
"Discover the truth with us" [if you enjoy solipsism, we will make it up as we go.]
"Read news that values the truth" [Tautology. Shouldn't "the news" = "the truth"?]
"Truth: it's vital to our democracy" [Maybe so, but we won't deliver it.]
"Finding truth matters" [But even if we find it, we will not give it to you.]
"Eager for the Facts?" [Then go someplace else to get them.]
"Original"? Yeah, in terms of being divorced from reality, much in the same way that a kindergartener's lollipop drawing is an original imaging of a tree.
"Independent"? Ditto. Actually, blandly following the party line in their construction of reality is more to the truth. Writing with egg all over their face is the fact.
Our salvation as a nation may come (hopefully) when people don't feel so comfortable in Plato's cave anymore. However, the comfort and addiction of one's personal social media ego feed make this increasingly unlikely.
Readers of The Times and other badly skewed outlets have the temerity to laugh at Rupert Murdoch, but the lot of 'em are no better. They are just crusaders for their particular brand of lie. This writer will scan it to keep current with The Agenda, but for the news? Nevermore.
There was a time when tabloids were tabloids, and newspapers delivered facts (yes, yes -- albeit, with a slant.) No more. Election season 2016 stuck a fork in that beast.
Many years ago, as crime began to take up its cruel residency in our neighborhood, my family (like many others) took flight from the D.C. suburbs to Florida. My father left the now-defunct Washington Star (D.C.'s then conservative answer to The Post) and needed a job in a poor hiring climate, so he interviewed with the National Enquirer (the wicked pleasure of conspiracy-theorists, pre-Internet.)
He was offered the job, but warned that the burnout rate for creating outrageously false "news" was usually two years for bona fide newsmen. It seems that caveat no longer applies. The nuttier, the better.
Barnum and Bailey Circus recently reported that they were closing shop. As co-founder P.T. Barnum presciently said, "there's a sucker born every minute." Someone will have to take up their torch for amusing that public, and that someone may as well be fake and painfully based media outlets like the once-trusted Times.
Who wants to be told he is a bastard every day of his life? And yet, that is the average liberal's posture towards the new President. Unremitting, arrogant and entitled, as ever.
If the "Not My President" crowd could see their project with the benefit of perspective, they would know that their stance is sort of adversarial, sort of disrespectful, of the schoolyard bully variety. Adult behavior, it's not. Reaching across the aisle, it is not.
The nasty behavior is, at best, explainable as "tit for tat". But the liberals should be better than that.
They have lost the moral high ground.
It does not bode well for a healthy democracy.