Friday, July 29, 2016

Sister Redacted And The Baseball Bat

I Don't Live Today

Supporter Of Senator Sanders Outside DNC, 7/28/16 (Photo: Patrick T Fallon / AFP)

Answer:  Yes, but I came in after She had started. I listened. After seven minutes and forty seconds I couldn't stomach it any further, muttered Fuck This, shut off the teevee, and put on the Are You Experienced? album.  America has its own political and cultural Manic Depression going on, my man, and a Purple Haze has been hanging over Philadelphia this week in a soul-draining miasma.

The woman on that podium reminded me of a past next-door neighbor -- portly, draped in a tentish Mu-Mu made out of a fabric that had once been blue, who always started our neighbor-to-neighbor conversations with complaints about physical ailments and slowly moved on to, well, anything; the topic didn't matter. Always, it was delivered in a flat, mildly sarcastic tone.

As my neighbor spoke, she didn't talk with you; she told you. She was angry in that free-floating, Bill O'Reilly You-don't-ever-push-the-Factor way some people have. They're a box 'o crazy which will pop open at the least provocation, leaving you covered in bile, thinking All I said was, 'How're you doing?'.  

At first, you agreed with whatever silly nonsense she was spouting, in the spirit of politeness and self-preservation. But that was no protection: if you allowed her to really get going, she might begin to include you in whatever high dudgeon she worked herself into -- from sciatica, to the goddamn idiots who cut her off in traffic all the time, to her daughter-in-law, that ungrateful, spiteful bitch. Finally you were frozen, hands in pockets, saying Uh-huh Uh-huh, and hoping for the detached wheel door from any stray 747 to drop on her and allow you an exit.

I continued to listen. During my 7:40 of Philadelphia, the voice of She on the podium also reminded me of my mother's voice, when, disgusted with Some Thing Or Other, she would say meaningfully to either my brother or myself, "Wait 'till your father gets home".  It also reminded me of my Second Grade teacher, Sister [Redacted]. Before she had that breakdown and locked me in our classroom's tiny broom closet (true story), Sister Redacted was famous for That Tone Of Voice when publicly correcting a student's wrong answer.

 She Did Not Fly; She Did Not Sing; She Only Knows How To Swing That Thing

The Rules Of Engagement were that if you spoke at all, you were required to stand up, next to your desk, when reciting or providing an answer. Sister Redacted, arms folded, would listen.  If you got it wrong, she would regard you with a distasteful expression. "That is wrong, and you should already know this," she would say in a flat, contemptuous tone of voice (and that Voice on the Podium brought the Sister's back with a surprising clarity. It connected as straight and solid as a baseball bat), followed with, "But since you don't seem to know -- can anyone here show him his error more clearly?"

(Expressing some unspecified displeasure was Sister Redacted's default expression, as if she had just eaten a mouthful of fish with bones in it. You were, after all, the squalling product of Original Sin, and it was a tossup whether Holy Mary would deign to give your sorry ass an assist on the Via Dolorosa of Life so that you might avoid the eternal punishments shown in Dante's vacation guide. Or, you know, not.)

As I watched She delivering her address, her voice projected that same flat, exasperated, lecturing, reproving tone. It was my mother warning us You're gonna get it; it was my neighbor, explaining how the world had been specifically bent to torment her; it was Sister Redacted's baseball bat: Are you that stupid? 

There was no warmth in the delivery, no sign of compassion that wasn't included as a requirement in Her speech. Of all the personas she could have chosen to convince America that She is Our Hope, what She presented (at least for one Dog in the West) made her momentarily channel the character of an Irish Dominican nun with a bad attitude.

America: The Land Of Choices (Original Photo: TomClarkBlog)

Oh, I heard the 'America is threatened by powerful forces, threatening to tear us apart'. I heard the 'we' and 'together' as opposed to Trumps 'I alone can fix things'.  But I heard more references to business and to  "our great entrepreneurs" than I did financial oversight, or trade treaties which do not make it simpler to Screw The Peasantry worldwide. She spent an hour convincing people that She was precisely the person her handlers and flacks were saying we would not see. She's misunderstood. You'll see a different Hillary tonight. She will be warm and kind and good.

And if she had been, would I feel differently?  No. I can't ignore how Clinton behaves, who She represents, or that Her nomination means those running the Democratic National Committee will define Progressivism in America as technocentric neoliberalism: Nothing Essential About The Structure Of Power Will Change. She Will Ensure Business As Usual.

Both She and Il Duce (no matter how much he bad-boys it for the cameras) will Fluff the same Powers That Be.  Both major parties are being purchased by the same banking and finance / oil / pharma / Tech money. The only difference is the Koch Brothers, and a handful of other decrepit old Bundist billionaires are lined up to support the Right, and a similar number of so-called Progressive billionaires on the Left. 

The People? We don't figure in this equation. We're almost superfluous in the game of power and influence these people play. It's ultimately about power. It isn't about compassion, or altruism, or human rights: God forbid humans should have greater rights than corporations, or their Owners, or The Right Sort. 

This is what "The Fix Is In" is all about, and We know it -- one reason, which I keep barking about, why Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren gave so many Democrats and Independents a focus: their campaigns seemed rooted in their values, which they enunciated clearly. She? Not so much.  At the other end of the spectrum, the Tea Partei and their backers over the past decade have forced the traditional Republican party further to the right (a process Herr Gingrich began in 1993, amply assisted by Lil' Rupert, Lard Boy, Mikey Wiener and Glamorous Glenny, among others). They're one primary reason that Trump is the Right's official candidate today.
I could only take 7:40 of it all before I gave up.  She's a Megalomaniac, running against another Megalomaniac, and She will be the winner; and Yep; We're Boned.

Sorry if this lacks the nuanced political analysis These Times deserve, but that's how it is out here in the Forward Area, peeps.


 Two persons I went to high school with were discussing the Trumpo vs. She topic.We're all familiar with it -- Trump = Evil; She = Less Evil.  

One of them said, "Hillary is all things to all people. When she talks to the mining industry, she's all about developing coal as an energy source. When she talks to environmentalists, she's against coal. Who the hell knows what she's promised Goldman-Sachs and the rest of the banks. But she wants to be leader so badly she'll lie her ass off -- so we don't know what her policies will be once she's elected.  Trump, on the other hand, will do things we already know about because he's been up front about it. And we know none of that is good; in fact, it's downright frightening"  They would vote for She on that basis, they said.  

I responded Well, I can't shake the feeling that this election isn't about us. It's about these two titanic egos, these two win-at-any-price, world-class assholes. They claim to represent two opposing political philosophies. This contest is about them. But it isn't about The People.

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