Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Forever Fools

My pals jim and Lisa over at Ranger Against War have a nice vituperative little post up discussing the bizarre success of Newt Gingrich (or, as Charlie Pierce likes to tag him: "N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization's Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of the Civilizing Forces") in portraying his 1%-wealthy-Beltway-insider, perpetual-staff-banging-serial-adulterer self as a good ol' Christian Boy to the good people of the great State of Florida.

My friends speculate that:
"...(t)hese are not fit people and would in fact do well to walk, but have bought into a society which has effectively rendered them hostage to Big Pharma and Big Agra. They feel impotent -- often are -- and out of frustration will vote on seeming kinship alone, so disenfranchised are they from the system. Maybe someone who looks like he has to take the same statin drugs or eats the same fast food will feel their pain."
It's a great post, and well worth the reading.

But, in the tradition of how many words is the worth of a single picture, all I can say is:Do we really need to know more about the U.S., circa 2012, than that people are willing to both purchase, and, worse, leave the house, in something like that?

For this, men and women gave their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to wrest independence from Great Britain? For this, whole families suffered in the coal mines, men died builing the intercontinental railroads, sacrificed and bled to win the terrible World Wars?

For this?


Update 1/31 PM: Speaking of Chas, here he is in brilliant form, discussing Santorum, the - excuse the expression - hindmost ass in the GOP Florida donkeyshow:
"He had the right to expect better than to be reduced to being the undercard in the low-class donkeyshow into which the "fight" between Romney and Gingrich has devolved. Two colossal fakes, one with more money, gulling the rubes by pretending in many cases to be what Rick Santorum has been his entire career, for good and ill. Meanwhile, Santorum is the purest product out there of what the conservative movement transformed the Republican party to produce. It may, in fact, be true that Rick Santorum is too much of a modern Republican for the modern Republican party to nominate. He may be the mirror into which his party is afraid to gaze."
Hard not to wince in recognition.

Yep. We truly are well on the road to being irrecoverably fucked; having a third of the electorate harking after clowns, fools, charlatans, and grifters is the broad, smooth road to Hell and there is no disguising that.


Lisa said...

Thanks, Chief. The body blanket picture was a lovely accompaniment, and does say it all.

I am truly in awe of the slate fronted by the Republican party; surely there was someone better. It seems Huntsman might have had something to say, I dunno. But it wasn't always so dismal for the Republicans.

Ditto the Democrats.

FDChief said...

Lisa: I think the difference is that the Dems are still talking the talk and have been a teensy bit less willing to just chuck the small-r republican baby out to make room for more corporate bathwater.

The GOP is just fucking crazy evil effed-up, and I say that with the kindest thoughts in my heart.

So while it's dire for the Dems, the GOP is past that. It's a rabid dog, and the only way past now is to shoot it in the head.

Lisa said...

Agreed with your kindly-emanated thoughts -- the Republican bloc has jumped the shark.

Ael said...

Sorry Chief,

I don't understand the problem with the picture. Is it the psuedo-pajamas?

You clearly don't have older teenagers in your house. Don't like puka shells and tie dyed shirts either?

Leon said...

Chief, if all you 'murican's say "I'm sorry" I'm sure we Canadians can find it in our hearts to take you back as the 11th province. Then we'll solve that nasty problem with those right-wing nutbars (by deporting them to Nunavut).

Oh and Hockey will become your official sport and religion.

rangeragainstwar said...

check out the website-PEOPLE OF WALMART when you have time.
this trip will make the mad shitter look like GO material.

FDChief said...

Ael: C'mon, man - would YOU go outside in that? Some sort of gawdawful oversized diaper sack with a drop-flap butthole?

The mere fact that the maker can actually sell the thing tells me that there is a critical mass of human beings that have neither shame nor sense.

I'm fine with tie-dye, puka shells, ass-grabbing shorts, and idiotic-slogan-T-shirts. Amused, irked, but fine; at least those items are designed, notionally, for outdoor wear. I'm not going to kid myself that the U.S. is going to go back to the dress standards of pre-1965.

But this thing? Jesus, show some pride. I feel the same when I see women (and, sadly, it IS usually women) slopping around in pajama bottoms and slippers. You're not in your own bathroom - put some damn pants on! 10,000 years of civilization didn't pass so you can drag your droopy ass in public wearing your nightclothes.

It's just sad and pathetic.

FDChief said...

Leon: Someone, I think Rob Farley at "Lawyers, Guns & Money", had a nice little post about "What Happens If We Lose the Revolution" and his answer was "We're Canada" - meaning that we have single payer health care, slavery gets 86ed in 1833 by order of Parliament instead of disastrous civil war, predatory crony-capitalism of the late 19th and 20th Centuries gets reined in...

Don't get me wrong - there's lots of good stuff here in the U.S. But there's a lot of toxicity, and after a long period of tranquility post-1945 we're seeing it seep out again. Turbulent politics makes the opportunity for greatness but also a lot of misery, and right now we're getting a lot of the latter without the former...

Ael said...


Your kids are still too young to choose their own clothing (and make it stick). You ain't seen nuthin yet.

When I raised an eyebrow at my pajama clad son (4th year computing science) as he exited the house. He stopped, looked at me with pity in his eyes and said: "Dad, they are really really comfortable and they cover all the parts of me that are legally supposed to be covered (and more), what exactly is your problem?"

I realized then that the only answer I could make would be a reprise of the fashion debates of my youth with me returning as the dad.

I wisely went back to reading my book.

FDChief said...

My reply would be "Because as your instructor your appearance would prejudice me to assume that you are either a) too lazy to bother to put pants on, suggesting that your work is likely to be as slack and incompetent as your appearance, or b) too ignorant to FIND your pants, suggesting something even less attractive. And it would be with that attitude that I would approach grading your work."

That was my attitude towards my students. I took the time to dress carefully when I stood up in front of them, assuming that they deserved the respect of appearing like a put-together scholar. And I expected the same respect from them.

I wouldn't have appeared in front of my First Sergeant, my teacher, my congressman, or my professors in my bathrobe and skivvies, even though they cover me quite "decently". It's a simple issue of "respect"

I'll be the first to agree that comfort has a style of its own. But ISTM that, as with sex and mixed drinks, there IS a lower limit, and these couch-pouches transcend it.

Lisa said...


Chief has covered much of the problem with the body blanket.

Beyond that, the symbolic implications are profound. One is confined to the seat upon which they sit. One such model is naught but a zippered bag with arms, presumable to allow one to project the food particles to the face. It is worse than a onesie.

It renders one utterly helpless -- baby-like, sans the ability to even crawl well. It is a cocoon in which to withdraw from the world. Though there is something excellent to be said for down time, why hamstring oneself in the process? It is the degree and the style which escapes me.

(Likewise, the imposition of p.j.-chic into the public sphere. Have people no shame? Could this trend have arisen form the mid-level motels which have great public spaces around a fireplace and allow the patrons to shamble in in bathrobes, as though they are at home?)

It all seems very chav, something to which we should not aspire, IMHO.

Leon said...

Sad when only a few years ago we thought the "snuggie" the nadir of human development (for people too lazy or stupid to use a blanket).

Ael said...


Your argument is almost exactly the same line of reasoning my Father gave when he was discussing me going to school in a tie-dyed t-shirt and plaid pants.

Welcome to the back side of the curve.

FDChief said...

In all honesty, I neer left; even as a kid I was pretty conservative in my dress. My parents were kids of the Thirties and Forties and hammered into us kids that it was our responsibility to dress "for going out" when we went outside. They couldn't get us back into suits and dresses but they did insist that we wear some sort of "exterior clothes". A bathing suit, for example, was for the pool, not the mall...

So I'm afraid my kiddos will get the same sarcastic comment from me that I got from my father - the apple doesn't even leave the branch, in this case...

Leon said...

I never paid attention to fashion growing up, just knew enough what not to wear to avoid getting picked on.

But my parents were conservative enough that if I tried walking out in my PJ's I'd a stern-buttwhupping.

Then I grew up and learned to love the business suit. Elegant, crisp, and you never have to wonder about what to wear in the morning.

Podunk Paul said...

I agree, Chief. Dignity, even if put on in the morning as clothing,is critical. Looked at the Walmart site -- pitiful, the degradation, the decadence. We blame economics, bankers and MBA's for our problems, and much of the blame is justified. But working-class Americans also have something to answer for.

Lisa said...


An amazing site, no? Dignity is an important trait to cultivate. No one hands it down from on high.

When one is degraded and has lost hope, one is vulnerable to all manner of exploitation, IMHO.

Podunk Paul said...

Yes, it's an amazing site. Seems to me that something terrible has happened to working, or used-to-work and mostly rural Americans. So many wander about, glazed-eyed, slack in every sense of the word. Hell, I see it in some of my grandchildren -- the profound lack of engagement, the sense of victimhood.

Anyway, Lisa, you and Ranger keep up the good work. And where do you find all those quotes?

Lisa said...

Hi Paul,

I remember you from Lt. Nixon's site, no?

I appreciate your honest perceptions of the slackness out there. It has prompted me to write about recent thoughts on the matter -- they may seem unkind, but they are not untrue.

Thanks for the kind words. The quotes? We're pretty eclectic, if nothing else. Between the two of us, we cover a lot of bases ;)

Lisa said...

p.s. to Paul,

I also keep a notebook of quotations I like. I think it's a good discipline. (Now, I often just cut-and-paste to Notebook.)

Podunk Paul said...

Lisa, that's a good idea -- keeping what the Elizabethans called a chap book.

I've pretty well restricted comments to your site and MilPub. Did comment once or twice on Joe Bageant's site. Old Joe, gone now, bounced around in Belize and Mexico, and wrote like an angel.

Lisa said...

I'm glad you're here, Paul. Is Joe's site still up?