For the Sheer Fuck-offness Of It[I posted this at S,N! for about 3 minutes then thought better of it. Too personal.]
There’s so much to write about, but I’m just not up to it. So many deserving targets, yet I can’t turn a phrase well enough right now to mete them justice.
And it’s not that I’m angry — hell, I’m always angry in this context; there’s a lot to be angry about. There’s something wrong with me (tumor? dain brammage? burn out?) that prevents me from executing my job. But there’s something else that prevents me from going ahead and slogging through it anyway (because, after all, it’s not like I haven’t written utter crap before, just to get through the phase and hope something better turns up).
I think I know what it is: I’m annoyed — which is a lot more of a debilitating thing for me than generic anger, outrage, ranting from an offended sense of justice. Indeed, these three things usually give me energy; annoyance just makes me fatigued, confused, withdrawn.
I felt like this often in 2003: an overwhelming annoyance with appoximately half of those who are allegedly on my side. The feeling’s back; and I’m sure it’ll only get worse as we drift to the primary season. Centrists, Sensible Liberals, those hideously overinvested in Identity Politics, speech police, bandwagon-jumpers, self-revisionists, hacks, cliquetards…. BLARGH!!!
Have you stopped reading? Good. Cuz I’m thinking maybe disjointed, semi-coherent venting might help the phase pass:
Lord knows there’s no accountability in journalism — after all, if there were no professional wingnut would still be employed. But I’d always hoped the blogosphere would be more meritocratic. Oh, don’t worry — I’m not saying I’ve earned any merit. I suck and I know it, thank you very much. As a writer and comedian, that is. But my political judgement is fuckin’ sound. The Iraq War was an easy one, yet so many flunked it. I do not understand how anyone could take any pundit seriously who was for the Iraq War. Ever again. Ever. If you fell for it, you’re a fucking moron, you should never be allowed to forget it, you should be taken with the hugest grain of salt for the rest of your career, your foriegn policy pronouncements ever forth should be subject to ridicule and contempt.
This isn’t vindictiveness; it’s applying a standard. Ironically, it’s the PC warriors who do this sort of application right, but in the wrong context. Offend their identity politics unrepentantly and they shun you forever, consider you unenlightened and equivalent to a wingnut, blah blah blah. Yeah, well ours is a sectarian society and all, but shit. Yet for the ground zero of political issues of our time, it seems to me that no one is willing to be so judicious. I trust a repentant, formerly pro-Iraq War wingnut more than I trust a lifelong liberal who abetted the sorry fucking disaster with his support. Which is to say, the difference between a tiny tiny bit, based on humanist principles of redemption for the honestly misguided and fucking zero, based on the principle that the latter should have known better to begin with. This stuff matters, not for keeping score but for the future: if they were fooled once they’ll be fooled again. Maybe not by Bush, but by the next wingnut, or by the next…
President, Democratic president. The primaries are gonna suck. Already when a Democratic candidate says something stupid and wingnutty, the hacks and spin doctors are coming out in force — and they aren’t even the professionals! No, the hacks are volunteers, random commenters (not here, thank god, but then we have the best commenters ever), bloggers. And the hacks aren’t even the worst lot: hacks do what they do because of personal gain, but the True Believers — those convinced of a candidate’s vision, swooned by a candidate’s charm — are the real menaces to the movement’s health. There are worse things than to be than an ideologue — like, say, one who joins a Cult of Personality. We need (in order of importance) ideologues and partisans now, unaffiliated with (or, at least, open-minded about) any particular candidate. Instead, what we have — or to be scrupulous, what I percieve that we have — are people who care way too fucking much about their candidate. We should steer all the candidates Left, bust them when they ’speak wingnut’ or whore themselves out to the unsavory. …and that’s quite enough.
Want to prevent another Iraq? Think big. We don’t need a fucking uniter, and we don’t need to just win. We need to wipe wingnuttery from the political map. Already I see some people squirming in their seats, waiting to get back to business as usual with ‘normal Republicans’ (as if Bushies aren’t normal Republicans). The coming crest to our wave is the closest chance we’ll have maybe ever to getting social democracy, to re-establishing the New Deal mentality in our culture and society, to effecting Left-Populist policies. We’d better seize it. Wingnuts need to be confined to the fringes of the polity, as were their John Birch Society ancestors; there’s no need to compromise with wingnuttery or with the ‘centrists’ who are objectively right-wing — the ‘centrists’ can swim with us or sink with the wingnuts, their choice but they can’t be allowed to call our shots anymore. Triangulation is as dead as fried chicken, but many a ‘centrist’ Sensible Liberal Dr. Frankenstein slaves away on a monster fryer. Beware the scary.
But, I know, since we are Americans and therefore tragic fuck-ups, that a great reformation won’t happen, not because it couldn’t or due to (the usual cause) apathy but because of strategic error caused by idiots our mushy-headed ‘inclusive’ Liberalism demanded we let into management positions.
The same idiots and idiocy — maybe not the same individuals in all cases but the same mentality — will fuck it all up just as with Iraq.
An anecdote about Chomsky: His wife noticed that on certain nights, Chomsky would grind his teeth in his sleep. Why only some times and not others? Finally, they traced the cause: it only happened on evenings after Chomsky had read that day’s New York Times. Stimulus, response. When I read self-identified non-wingnuts proselytize for interventionism, endorse free trade, bemoan the lack of ‘decent Republicans’ to compromise with, take Niall Ferguson and Max Boot seriously as historians, offer nasty opinions on Steyn-Pantload-Bobo-et al that directly contradict the glowing compliments they stupidly and roundmouthingly bestowed a few years prior, consign all Lefty (even fucking socialist!!!) white males to the wingnut heap, go batshit over a photoshopped sandwich, slag the grand old people of our movement (did a kitten rejoice somewhere last week at news of Vonnegut’s death? I bet it did), take up for Michelle Malkin, express the desire to form a coalition with Propertarians, make excuses for geopolitical wingnuttery if it’s for Israel’s alleged benefit, take what should be regarded as culturally-sealed Continental social theories and apply them here where they were not intended and cannot be ‘translated’*, etc., I… well, I don’t grind my teeth in my sleep, but I do begin to sympathize with postal workers.
Maybe this makes sense, maybe it doesn’t. I dunno. But I don’t feel renewed, just more exhausted. Anyway, I’m just a frustrated Dirty Fucking Hippie. Probably no one read this far anyway (plainly, those who didn’t are the smart ones). Who gives a shit? Anybody got any Percocets?
*The wholesale application of Foucault’s extremely French philosophy to other societies is less historically profound than the universal application, by Paul, of Jesus’ extremely Hebrew theology to ‘heathen’ societies, but every bit as misguided. French intellectual culture values digression and taking arguments to their most extreme conclusion (not necessarily because the French are congenital radicals; rather, perhaps because it often takes a beautiful creativity to get to those extremes; art for art’s sake in philosophy, too). Likewise, Christ’s message was meant for Jewish ears. Much value can be got from their work, but attempts at application of the whole on alien cultures are disastrous.