Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Tuesday Jukebox: Prisoners of Starvation Edition

From the Croatian Slovene group Laibach, whose work is either the most ingeniously subtle neogothic-neofascist neo-prog rock I've ever encountered or the most ingeniously subtle send-up of neogothic-neofascist neo-prog rock I've ever encountered (not so much this one but their cover of Opus' 1980s hit Life is Life).

As The Donald would say, youuuuuuuuuge extra credit for the Internationale. I loves me some Internationale.

Remember when I said a year or so back that I just had nothing more to say about the U.S. political process? That the entire maguffin was so thoroughly riddled with ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision, that the money had so thoroughly corrupted the whole shithouse, that the ginormous elephant-in-the-room-problem was that somewhere between a quarter and a third of U.S. citizens identified as Republicans and that the sorts of people who were still Republicans were clearly the sort of human dross that intelligent civilizations would find too credulous to be made into citizens, too stupid to be made into subjects, and too vicious to be made into slaves?

Well, that hasn't changed. I still have nothing worth saying that hasn't been said better elsewhere, and my opinion of the nation in general hasn't changed, either: We. Are. So. Fucked.

Fortunately for you Paul Bibeau still does, and he's tearing up the Trumpster. This post alone is worth the price of admission and the admission is free.

You really need to buy a copy of his book, too.

Oh, and those of you in need of more bloggage from this shebeen?

In about a month I am going to have my hip resocketed, borescoped, and pulled over. I will be completely bedridden for weeks and then housebound for months. So, be warned. Idle hands are a devil's playground, and I suspect that there is a devil in me, yet.

A youuuuuge devil, full of barbed spite and ire.

But we'll see.


Ael said...

I *love* the music.

However, I am less impressed with Mr. Bibeau.

He heaped easy scorn on the Donald and then was surprised Trump's staying power, completely failing to think about what is going on. Instead, he declares that everyone in sight are racists, thus allowing himself to not do any actual thinking about why Mr. Trump continues to appeal to large segments of the population.

He should go visit the Dilbert website and read Scott Adam's blog.

FDChief said...

De gustibus, then, tho the primary appeal of Trump IS to the racist and stupid; hard to come up with any other real explanation the doesn't involve sudden brain death. Delbert I know, but who is Adams?

FDChief said...

Ah. Found it. Adams is the Dilbert guy.

Unconvincing. Sorry, Ael, but his stuff reads like someone who is trying to find a way to explain the bombastic fucker's success without saying "wow, it's amazing how many Americans are greedy, stupid, racist fucknozzles!" Which is pretty much just a description of any crowd of human beings but one that we've desperately tried to convince ourselves can't possibly be true, since it means that almost any experiment with self-government will unravel when enough greedy, stupid, racist fucknozzles are freed from social or political constraints long enough to elect one of their own.

I'm afraid I'm with Bibeau on this one; Trump is the something nasty in the woodshed that our debased political press and forty years of Republican pandering to American greed, hubris, proud ignorance, and anger has produced.

Adams talks of how Trump "systems guy" is gonna wow the goals people with his awesome immigration plan made of 100% awesome. Um, yeah. He's gonna identify and deport 11 million people without turning the U.S. Into an immigration police state and bankrupting the treasury. That's not "system thinking". That's idiocy.

Ael said...

It seems unlikely that the proportion of the population who are greedy, stupid, racist fucknozzles has increased dramatically in the last hundred years. Therefore, if there was a political ecosystem there to be exploited, we would have seen many Donald Trump clones in the past (just like we have consistently seen many similar polticos of various stripes in the last hundred years).

No, Mr. Trumps success needs to be explained by his behaviour, rather than writing it off as a side effect of the great unwashed. And you need to compare his behaviour versus his political opponents to see why things play out the way they do.
Mr. Adams is the *only* commentator I have seen who is watching Mr. Trumps tradecraft rather than being dazzled by his verbal light and music show.

Finally, I expect that The Donald has about as much intention of keeping any campaign promise as any other politician. Which is to say, none at all unless forced into it by later circumstances.

FDChief said...

You missed this critical element: "...when enough greedy, stupid, racist fucknozzles are freed from social or political constraints long enough to elect one of their own."

Self-government pretty much sucks. It requires the average citizen to be well-informed, often on issues that he or she could give a fuck about. It requires them to be patient, examine multiple opinions and viewpoints and assess the validity and utility of them all, and, worse, to decide between multiple less-than-optimum courses of action to try and settle on the better-than-completely-awful one.

Basically it requires people to think and act like intelligent grown-ups which for most of us some of the time and some of us all of the time is about as much fun and compelling as sitting inside on a sunny day reading something boring.

Which, by the way, explains a lot of American history; a lot of the time a lot of We the People act politically as we often do economically and socially; as greedy, stupid fucknozzles.

But...for much of American history our social and political norms were to at least pretend we were those thoughtful, deliberate self-governing people. We couldn't just let our political freak flags fly or our neighbors and the public press would label us tinfoil hat nutters.

The "genius" of Trump, the only "tradecraft" he's shown so far (and the utter failure of the political press and punditry) is that he is happy to shout his greed, his bullying, thoughtless self-indulgent stupidity at the top of his voice and, rather than uniformly condemning this as the thoughtless self-indulgent stupidity it is, the political media act like he's just another candidate. That, in turn, allows all the other greedy, stupid, racist fucknozzles to jump on his bandwagon like it was just another platform instead of the dumpster fire it is.

Perfect example, Trumps "plan" to deport all 11 million illegals. Trump himself hasn't done anything particularly cunning. The success his rhetoric has nothing to do with his "behavior". It's not his "tradecraft". His "plan" is bullshit, smoke an mirrors. He can't make it happen without turning the U.S. into an anti-Hispanic police state, where anyone who looks faintly Mexican has to have proof of citizenship on them at all times. He can't do it without breaking the Treasury, and his threat/bluster to "make Mexico pay" for a Berlin border wall is utter nonsense.

It IS the enthusiastic response of the Great Unwashed and the cravenness of the political press that is the story here, the willingness of his supporters and many Americans in general to leap on this moronic, racist notion as if it really was a "plan" and the fear that he will bully and ignore them that prevents the press from forcing him to answer the hard questions, or, rather, show that by having no answer that his "plan" is the ridiculous nonsense that it is.

So IMO Adams is trying to be a smart guy and figure out Trump's 12-dimension chess when there's really nothing there but a moron bellowing moronities and the resultant willingness of the morons tired of trying to pretend to be thoughtful echoing his bellowing at full cry. It's sad, but that's relly all there is to it.

Brian Train said...

Laibach are SLOVENIAN, not Croatian; the distinction is important, especially to a Croatian.

Laibach is a tremendously clever and sophisticated exploration of post-modern culture, music and politics.
It's a never-ending source of amusement to see how many people get them wrong, who cannot get past the "oooh, fascisty" surface projection, which is itself an important part of the critique.

For a start, they are from the area near Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, but they adopted the name "Laibach", which was the city's German name while it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - which used German as its official language - but reverted after 1918 and the collapse of the Empire.
An important part of their message is, "All empires fall".
And it goes from there.

(and yes, I've been a fan for almost 30 years!)

FDChief said...

Yike! Boy, did I get that wrong..! (and, yes, by that I mean I get the importance of the distinction between Croat and Slovak or Slovene...and so on. I'm in the field until Saturday but will correct as soon as I get in.

And what caught me was the incredibly complex imagery and its' ambiguity. I meant what I said I wasn't sure whether they were riffing on neofascism, kidding hell out of it, both...or doing something else entirely . I won't claim to be a fan...but I'm intrigued.

FDChief said...

As a final observation on the Trump fiasco I would be remiss if I failed to point you all to Pierce's post on today's anti-Iran-deal revival meeting and Trump's vastly cynical part in it. Again, the real story here isn't Trump or his cunning or "tradecraft"; there's nothing there that's any more clever than what any grifter does to fleece the rubes.

What's impressive, rather, is how blatant the grift is, and how utterly self-deluded and lazy the rubes have to be to want to be fooled by this gomer. If we elect this oxygen thief we will have only ourselves to blame...

Leon said...

Wow Chief, you can't tell Slovak from Croat - you need brain surgery as well as hip surgery, I mean it's just so obvious!

Good luck on your hip thing, but modern medicine is pretty fantastic - I had an aunt go for heart surgery recently and she was walking a couple of days afterwards, it was kinda nuts. However we will be expecting daily 'Decisive Battles' from you during your downtime.

Ael said...

I respectfully disagree, Chief.

The Donald has been dominating the mediasphere for the last several months.
And he has been doing it despite media attempts to crush him like a bug.

Instead, he has made Roger Ailes kiss his ass twice! in a month.

Once might be luck, but twice takes skill!

And he isn't just a single trick immigration/racist pony. He has used the word "immigrant" exactly once in his twitter feed in the last couple of weeks.
But he does talk about raising taxes on the hedge fund guys, and he keeps reiterating that his campaign is "self funding" (whatever that means).
This means he isn't beholden to the "bosses" and "owners". (the fact that he *is* a boss and an owner is tactfully glossed over).

No, Mr Trump is far more than a racist angry bellower.

mike said...

My father had that hip surgery. Everything went extremely well. Unfortunately, after recuperation he refused to do physical therapy, cursed at the therapists, and got surly in his rights to let himself degenerate. So pls make sure you 'use it or lose it' post op.

BTW - Slovenes are not Slovaks. Laibach, the Slovene veterans of the 1991 'Ten Day War' against Milosevic, and the Slovene-Americans of the Cleveland area would have steam coming out of their ears if they heard that comparison.

FDChief said...

Ael: all your points do a terrific job of highlighting how much of the Trump freakshow is pushed along by the truly awful national media, which loves the racist moron so long as he continues to bellow freakish nonsense. His purported fiscal schemes are nonsense that would by 86ed within seconds of his actual nomination...but the press reports them as if they were serious. That's kind of my point here; in a healthy republic this idiot wouldn't be handed a phone to make robocalls at a state GOP phone bank...he's no more than a bog-standard self-serving plutocrat with delusions of grandeur. But a courtier press helps empower a lazy, foolish electorate and here we are.

FDChief said...

I hear you Mike and Leon, and my.plan is to rehab as aggressively as possible. The whole point of the exercise is to get some sort of activity level back, as the hip has suddenly gone really bad and I am having great difficulty walking.

That said, the surgery is now off until midwinter. Insurance issues.

And Slovenes SO not Slovak! The ethnic divisions in southern Europe make the Prods vs Catholics in Ireland look like a kid's game. I'll change the error in the post as soon as possible

Ael said...

You are both right and wrong, Chief. Yes, he does bellow freakish nonsense, but so does everyone else in politics. However he bellows in a much more entertaining fashion.

Next, the courtier press does not serve The Donald, they are held in thrall to him.
If they had their desires, they would crush him like a bug.
Recall when the national media had written him off when he said nasty things about John McCain? And what about Megyn what's her name? Remember her? I don't either.

No, what Mr. Trump knows is that a freak show trumps (ahem) everything in modern media. As long as he supplies the circus, the media can't help but be captive. Furthermore, as long as he moves fast enough to the next ring, the media can't organize itself fast enough to crush him on his last performance. He is inside their OODA loop.

No, Mr. Trump is anything but a bog standard plutocrat. Compare him to the other 15 GOP entrants They are bog standard, he sparkles in comparison.

Now, can he keep jumping to the next ring in the media circus before the GOP organizational hammer blow smashes him? Can he do it for the next 14 months? I don't know, but I have a bucket of popcorn and a nice easy chair and get to watch a revolution in the political game.

FDChief said...

"GOP organizational hammer"???
Stop, you're killin' me here.

The Donald is grotesque combed-over proof that not only is there no hammer, there's no "GOP organization" worth the name. Welcome to U.S. politics post-Citizens-United.

The media is "enthralled" only because the clown brings in the rubes, and the rubes are so eager to be fleeced. The moment the clown stops being entertaining and the rubes turn on him suddenly the courtier press will remember all the dumbass things he's said that until then they've reported as "some people say the Earth is flattish..."

This joker is no more a "revolution" than George Wallace was. The only difference is that when he was running the press covered Wallace as a loopy racist. If the press - and the politics - of 2015 were those of 1968 Trump would have gotten the same treatment.

The revolution isn't in him. It's in us. We are unashamed to be proudly ignorant, unashamed to be openly stupid. Forty years of appeals to the sort of rude, brutal nationalism and open greed have made us the perfect marks for Trump's crude appeal. We have gazed into the abyss to find a thick-fingered real-estate shyster gazing back...

Anonymous said...

Ael: "Yes, he does bellow freakish nonsense, but so does everyone else in politics. "

'Both sides do it'.

Bullsh*t. I'll happily compare the two parties, and see what their current front-runners are saying.


Ael said...


I suggest you look at a careful analysis of one of Ms Clinton's signature speeches .

It is absent of actual content, but full of fuzz pleasing to her target audience.

Just like the GOP candidates emit pleasing fuzz targeted towards their audience.

It is part of the job and both sides do indeed do it because it is the nature of the beast. Once can't be a successful politician otherwise.

Podunk Paul said...

Sorry to hear that you will be in for such a debilitating operation, Chief. But as Mike says, be sure to follow through with the therapy. With time on your hands, you might want to look into the 1928–1935 Chaco War, sparked by the discovery of oil in the Gran Chaco. Or the 1879-1883 Pacific War between Bolivia and Chile, which hardly anyone writes about in English.
As for Trump, I fail to see that he has much of a plan, other than to stay on the offensive. Like the practiced bully he is, he aims his attacks at things his victims are ashamed of, such as being physically unattractive or lacking the energy to compete. The victim colludes, unable to make effective response, since shame leaves one speechless. And as Mussolini understood, the winning combination is to mix contempt for your enemies with a bit of showpiece populism, a willingness to break laws, nostalgia for an idealized past, and the promise of grand projects.

Big Daddy said...

Catching up here, first I really like Laibach's take on "Life is Life" and "Warm Leatherette" but they can't top Magma's Mechanik Destructiw Komandoh as a masterpiece of weirdness.
Regarding The Donald, I stand by my contention that his candidacy is a pure expression of the Teatard id and his success is directly attributable to stroking the pleasure centers of those useful idiots.
On the fun side, is combinedfleet.com any help with Japanese ship movements? If you are laid up you battle posts are the best way to stimulate the mind without roiling the stomach. For oddness I like the War of Jenkins' Ear for its weird name and eponymous casus belli

FDChief said...

Note the southeast European ethnic group mistake fixed. Sorry for my lack of care in the original post.

I tend to agree with BD on The Donald. For forty years the sorts of white shut-ins and low-information voters cultivated by the Rovian GOP have been told to ignore the stuff that the "lamestream media" tells them, that pesky libtards who warn them that things like oligarchy, corporatism, and starting land wars in Asia are bad ideas, way, way worse for them than sending a couple of tax bucks to Negroes or worrying about women's sexytime. They've been sent, instead, to Rush and Beck and Coulter and Malkin, to the hate-radio shouters and the rabble-rousers.

Their devotion to the economic gimmicks of the plutocrats is an inch deep, but their hatred of the Others - darkies, uppity wimmens, lib'ruls - goes all the way to the bone. After someone like Rick Perry or "Bobby" Jindal - or Hillary - spouting the methadone platitudes that the 1% want them to spout - The Donald is like a shot of pure black tar heroin, a jolt of perfect bliss for the teatard hindbrain. He's gonna make America Great Again, dude! I mean, it's ON THE HAT!!!

But it's actually worse than that. See today's post for the number of fucking idiots that think a military coup would be better than what we have.


Brian Train said...

+1 for a piece by you on the Chaco War, if you're so inclined!

Turner Classic Movies has been running "A Face in the Crowd" more often lately... a rare dramatic role for Andy Griffith. He has a piece late in the film where he talks about his appeal to "...Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers - everybody that's got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don't know it yet, but they're all gonna be 'Fighters for Fuller'. They're mine! I own 'em! They think like I do. Only they're even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for 'em. Marcia, you just wait and see. I'm gonna be the power behind the president - and you'll be the power behind me!"

FDChief said...

Brian: I will look into doing a Chaco piece. Typically I try and limit myself to a particular engagement in a campaign or war, so I might look at writing up the December 1933 engagement at Campo Via, the so-called "Win or Die" (Vencer o Morir) that pretty much destroyed much of the Bolivian Army.

And, yes, the "Face in the Crowd" parallel has occurred to me. In this case I think the additional layer is the unlike the Griffith character the Trump character sprang into public consciousness as a rich man. His "appeal" is, therefore, like a sort of white rapper; sporting his bling in yo' face, boasting and vaunting of his material wealth and the power it gives him over men and sexual success with women...you hear how Victor Hansen is "a stupid person's idea of a smart person? Well, Trump is like a poor person's idea of a rich person; how Joe and Mary Lunchpail imagine their lives would be like if they suddenly won the Powerball.

This sort of envious greed just adds to his armor. The rubes are too busy admiring his rich richness to bother to notice that he's talking nonsense. But...IMO the media are the critical failing. Piece has a good column up today noting that this blowhard is as thin-skinned as a prom queen, and that if the news organs would start noticing what idiotic bullshit he's saying rather than reporting on the richy-rich-rich way he says it that he'd probably explode. But they don't want to; they love his spectacle. And so the Republic goes...

Brian Train said...

I would look forward to a piece on that battle.
Thanks in advance!

I thought Newt Gingrich was a "stupid person's idea of a smart person"?
Never mind, there are plenty of examples.

The media failed us along ago, both in my country and yours.