Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh are not the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of sacred and secular conservative thought has died, its bloated corpse can still be seen rotting publicly at the intersection of Misery and Despair. These twin towers of modern reactionary thought (covering the metaphysical graveyard of ossified theology and the more material realm of penile vasodilators) have long been twin forces, using their bully pulpits to condemn communities and peoples whose suffering is keenest, whose need is greatest and whose very lives are at the greatest peril. The Opinion was kept alive by means of hot air mixed with moonshine until it crapped on anyone and everyone who wandered anywhere near it, and now its as dead as the deadest thing you ever saw.

In the great tradition of conservative thought the poles that were Tweedledum and Tweedledee consisted of the contrapuntal rhythms of sacred and secular motifs: faith, as portrayed by fundamentalist Christians, was invoked in the public sphere at every opportunity lest anyone who disagreed get uppity, and free market idealism (as practiced by men who built monetary empires on the backs of exploited labor markets) was resoundingly trumpeted as the only thing standing between decent humanity and the squalor of socialism. This arrangement between the Sacred and Secular worked well for much of the (white male) nation for nearly two hundred years until the Reagan Revolution triumphantly destroyed the Middle Class in the War of Wage Suppression, a war that so far has lasted just over three decades.

No longer able to afford the useless products that they had been trained to consume, and no longer able to borrow their capital (bank lending rates had climbed to the level of usury) the Class Formerly Known as Middle began to fret and moan and stamp its feet. Limbaugh, a millionaire draft-eluding ex-junkie, developed a secret recipe for pouring poison into a radio microphone that fell into the greedy ears of his disenfranchised audience. He knew his followers very well: don't educate, agitate. Though he mentioned God from time to time, he left it to Pat Robertson (and his very ill ilk) to shake the Bones of Jesus, the better to rattle his core, conservative audience. If you didn't cotton to Limbaugh you might wiggle to Robertson, and vice versa. The Preacher and the Pedagogue harangued a world of skinheads, dittoheads, talking heads, turnip heads and Rapture Ready Balloon Heads, all for the conservative cause, and all for the glory of god-knows-what.

In recent days, with the tragedy of the events in Haiti to spur them on, both Limbaugh and Robertson have revealed a bilious callousness towards human suffering that is towering in its smallness, its meanness, the conjoined misanthropy of two gasbags floating joylessly in their own projected versions of hell. Tweedledum and Tweedledee will be remembered at last as just a couple of malevolent bastards who, for a time, made some ghastly noises in public, until that day came when they made their noises no more. Amen.

In lieu of flowers it is suggested that one make a donation to Doctors Without Borders or choose a charitable group (Digby has a list of organizations) to help a people in a time of suffering and pain. Whatsoever you do for the least of them you do for the core mystery of your own humanity. Peace.

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The Opinuary Column appears most Fridays at Jesus' General.

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