What I Heard From Sanity and/or Fear Rally

31 10 2010

An echo.

“When we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” Llike an echo of my own refrain as a new blogger at Culture Kitchen five years ago, urging (in a quite civil indoor voice!) some well-modulated post-partisan Sam Waterston Unity ’08 thinking and talking: Amplifying Our Differences

Amplified sound, in effect, may diminish rather than amplify our individualism, our audience, even our own ability to pay attention or care about all we’ve lost. . .

Should we care, if the heavy bass and deafening levels of powerful modern difference-amplifiers blow out everybody’s eardrums along with our will to live, and thus our chances for ever building any majority audience able to appreciate artistic, nuanced and truly innovative political theatre?

. . .Does it matter if we the people learn to prefer politics to problem-solving, screaming to singing, mass media to personal passion?

I wish the ralliers more luck with being heard now than I had then. America’s appetite and audience seem bigger now for subtle, intelligently designed sounds of sanity, so that’s something.

Maybe as usual I just peaked too soon? I’ve been straining to hear and understand for many years while guns were blazing and sirens shrieking, tuning in earnestly to years of FOX and right-rant radio, trying to figure it out.

It’s insidious. Amplification deafens you to the wrong thing! — by trying so hard to be intellectually curious, fair-minded, engaged and reasoning, I’ve been systematically deafened BY the loudest and craziest, FOR the loudest and craziest, TO all but the loudest and craziest! It feels like a lifetime ago that I could comfortably hear (or speak) real hope about America’s chances of restoring sanity.

So could my personal power of story be that I’ve paid a hubris price for going it alone without publisher or party, hoping I could individually trade off small damage to myself in return for contributing to the common good but failing miserably, like Dr. Jekyll experimenting on himself for good cause but becoming Mr. Hyde?

Halloween two days before a momentous election, is a better time than most, I guess, for ghostly fears to echo. I won’t scream it, but please. Vote.

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22 responses

2 11 2010
JJ

Diane (DK) Roberts is a homegrown treasure, author of the true and truly funny political and cultural history, Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and Other Florida Wildlife.

I just found out she’s written a breezy yet incisive voter’s guide for our capital city/county’s insane choices this cycle. Here’s how she sizes up the statewide race for attorney general, for example:

Attorney General
Democrats: Dan Gelber will drop the stupid lawsuit against healthcare reform currently being pursued by Republican AG McCollum. He will stop resisting gay adoption. He thinks it might be a fine idea to sue the state in order to force it to provide our constitutionally-mandated “excellent education” system. Gelber is a super-bright guy who wants to concentrate on consumer protection, civil rights and other important crimes against citizens.

His Republican opponent, Pam Bondi, is a former Fox “News” analyst and pal of Sarah Palin who thinks “Obamacare” is socialism. Nevertheless, the Tallahassee Democrat has endorsed her. Psych! as we used to say back in the sorority house. She’s a little goose-stepper, obsessed with entitlement fraud.

Note about that horrendous anti-public interest endorsement btw, which I only just learned about from DK’s guide. I quit subscribing to our capital city newspaper of record (the Tallahassee Democrat) which recently went behind a paywall. On principle I’ve been protesting their gating off of local public citizenship news and community conversation, as a cynical abdication of the role real journalism is responsible for in our free-press system. Editorial boards were a significant part of that, before newspapers became just another Big Business extracting maximum money from the people, for minimum value in return.

So what used to be a real newspaper is seriously endorsing FOX talking pageant-hair heads now. I guess the folks inside their paywall no longer see any need to even pretend?

2 11 2010
JJ

More about blonde Pam Bondi, who seems to have won as my new attorney general:
Pam Bondi Stole My Dog and Bitterness Over Dog Lingers

There’s art, guys!

3 11 2010
JJ

Well, it’s two AM and I’m going to bed. The question is, what will there be to get up for tomorrow morning?

Providing few details on the campaign trail, [apparent next governor Rick] Scott has promised to slash taxes and parts of the state budget, push more changes to the education system, reform state-worker pensions and scale back regulations.

. . .And Republicans will have more power than ever: State House and Senate leaders say they now have veto proof majorities. So even if [Democrat Alex] Sink were to win, it’ll be tough for her to wield her veto pen.

Incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos said this will be the most conservative Legislature in Florida history.

3 11 2010
Nance Confer

Depressing all around.

3 11 2010
JJ

Advice for progressives

Advice for “Centrist” Democrats

Advice about what’s sane and insane:

They’re tapping into a deeply-rooted American fear of government power, one that would be immediately recognizable to Calvin Coolidge or Strom Thurmond. And in the process, they’re conjuring, once again, the myth that America was born free, and surrenders a smidgen of liberty every time Washington imposes another tax or establishes another government agency. (The Tea Partiers may not be racists, but it’s hardly surprising that this idealized image of 19th Century America doesn’t impress African-Americans).

The Tea Partiers, in other words, are making a serious argument, which the left too often tries to dismiss by calling them nuts. . . . there’s a profound debate underway not just about how to right our economy but about the relationship between capitalism and freedom. Pretending it’s not a real debate is a great way for the left to lose.

Maybe it’s not fair to blame Jon Stewart for all this. He’s a comedian, after all. But he’s the left’s closest equivalent to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. And while they’re busy struggling to recreate the America of William McKinley, he’s acting as if our biggest problem is that people shout at each other on the tube. For a guy as talented as Stewart, that’s insane.

3 11 2010
JJ

This sure isn’t sanity but it seems to be actual news (in column form?)

” . . .the only thing worse than the Scott-Sink campaign would be the prospect of a Scott-Sink recount.

3 11 2010
JJ

This OTOH does sound like sanity to what’s left of my hearing:

Mike Allen recounts a section from last night’s victory speech by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), a heavily targeted D who won:

“I almost wish there were another podium here tonight, because I feel like Nancy Pelosi has been in this campaign the whole time. And Nancy ought to take a victory lap with me. And maybe President Obama as well. The disservice and disrespect that has been leveled on them has been so outrageous and so unjustified that it makes me really fear for this country. When you have two people who work every day to make life better for every American and they put up with the nonsense. … [I]t’s not only unjustified, it’s un-American. I voted with Nancy Pelosi a lot of the time.”

3 11 2010
Lynn

[Groaning at “the most conservative Legislature in Florida history.”] I see lots of 2011 church-state blog posts tagged “Florida” in my future. 😦

3 11 2010
JJ<

And more warmongering from America’s “news analysts”, does that sound sane in any possible sense?

What Broder is calling for is so insane, and so potentially destructive, that the personal disgrace he ought to feel for having suggested it is nearly beside the point. . .

Do you think my references to insanity are too much? I use them deliberately. Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Have another look at Devine’s and Broder’s pieces, and tell me these men are other than by definition insane.

3 11 2010
JJ

Lynn, I almost wish that would be the real problem but it’s just bread and circus to get the old folks out to supposedly “vote their interest.”

The real power of story in unchecked GOP power has been massive, callous cash corruption, has been for decades and this should finish us off. They will proceed with the “privatizing” (which means exploiting for profit and would more accurately be referred to as strip-mining) — schools and prisons and of course medical care if you can get it, in addition to literal environmental pillage like offshore oil drilling.

Their entrenched sense of entitlement to take everything the people have all for themselves and call it the American Way, is ironic or at least oxymoronic, considering how viciously their words oppose “entitlement.”

3 11 2010
JJ

Hey, shall we collaborate to flesh out the theme of Church as bread and circuses? 😉

5 11 2010
JJ

White southern Democrats Nearly Extinct, “Culturally Unacceptable”:

When the new Congress convenes in January, there will be at most 16 white Southern Democratic House members out of 105 seats in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky . . . [which] continues a four-decade decline for Democrats in the South, where they once dominated.

The slide began after the civil rights movement, when Republicans under President Richard Nixon began employing a Southern strategy to retake the region by appealing to white anger over desegregation. The GOP later highlighted liberal Democratic positions on social and welfare issues.

And more marching backward:

Since most women in Congress are Democrats, the party’s problem this week became theirs. That means there will likely be fewer women in Congress for the first time since the 1970s, said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

. . .Women make up a mere 17 percent of Congress.

. . .Kathleen Dolan, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin:

“The Republican Party structure has never been as open or as inclusive to women as have the Democrats, and Republican primary voters are less disposed to vote for women candidates,” Dolan said.

But don’t tell that to Palin. On Thursday, she released a victory video filled with shots of the winners she endorsed — with a closing shot of a real Mama Grizzly standing tall.

5 11 2010
Lynn

Hey, shall we collaborate to flesh out the theme of Church as bread and circuses?

Actually, I was hoping you could give me directions to bread and circuses. I need them this week or this month or the rest of my life.

Maybe I’m a lousy feminist but I don’t see the defeat of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Palin-style mama grizzlies as “marching backward,” but forward. Whitman and Fiorina are inept, corrupt, heartless business women. Good riddance. Although some backward-marching women (like Jan Brewer) survived, others like Angle and McDonnell were soundly rejected: a single ray of sunlight peaking through the thick, dark gloom. Please, you can’t take that away from me, JJ. 😀 It’s all I have left!

5 11 2010
Lynn

Um, that should be peeking.

5 11 2010
JJ

Let’s hope that wasn’t the “peak” of our sunlight! 😉

5 11 2010
Lynn

lol – I was thinking about doing that, too. 🙂

By the way and while I’m thinking about it, the ewes at Susan B. Anthony List are crediting their “Abortion is NOT Health Care” tour for election results:

Votes Have Consequences:

An historic election day has left us with a most promising pro-life majority in the House of Representatives.

The bellwether health care bill separated the sheep from the goats and gave the best legislative indication of real pro-life heroes — and those who gave lip service but betrayed their constituents.

They can’t say we didn’t warn them; votes have consequences.

5 11 2010
JJ

Lynn: I don’t see the defeat of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Palin-style mama grizzlies as “marching backward,” but forward.

Heck, neither do I (or should I say me too!)

I mourn the loss of the first woman Speaker who was character-assassinated by those other women, to the extent that it’s even about sex which it shouldn’t be except now it will be again, sigh.

Remember that I come from public policy and service myself. I had a great ride and thought it was progress but that was decades ago. I was kidding myself, I guess. I meant what has happened to everything from the economy and our standing in the world, to the intelligence of our public and our passions, to our politics and policy, to our formerly larger-than-life giants on the Supreme Court and yes, to the rightful progress of women as the true majority of the American citizenry.

But mostly what I meant by marching backward was the fact of these women as major party candidates in the first place, with so much corporate cash pushing them on us, and the retrograde effect of their shameful and therefore shameless campaigns — not that they lost, for which I am grateful. And I’m glad they lost not because they were women but because they were backward, self-involved and unworthy as real public servants.

I meant what has happened by cynical if not anti-American design, ever since I came of age in the Nixon era (I started to say “I came of age under Nixon”, shudder!)

5 11 2010
Lynn
5 11 2010
Lynn

JJ: Heck, neither do I!

Oh, I know. Lately, I’ve been hearing (from the right and left) a lot of the timeless “If only women ran the world… ” idea, which I’ve always rejected – now more than ever.

Regarding character assasination and sex appeal, if I had to make sense of our (California) female candidates based only on the stuff I hear from conservatives that I know, I’d explain it this way:

“Nancy Pelosi has had too much Botox and Barbara Boxer (like Hillary) hasn’t had enough. The only reason they keep getting elected is that liberals are stupid and superficial.”

Yep. That’s my world. Please pray for me. 😀

7 11 2010
Dream or Nightmare? Is Nothing Left of What’s Right on Left or Right? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Left of What’s Right on Left or Right? 7 11 2010 Maher went on to poke holes in Jon’s arguments, saying “Martin Luther King spoke on that Mall in the capital and he didn’t say, […]

8 11 2010
JJ

The very definition of insanity just broke in Colorado news:

A Morgan Stanley wealth manager will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because Colorado prosecutors don’t want him to lose his job.

Martin Joel Erzinger, who manages more than $1 billion in assets for Morgan Stanley in Denver, is being accused only of a misdemeanor for allegedly driving his Mercedes into a cyclist and then fleeing the scene, Colorado’s Vail Daily reports.

The victim, Dr. Steven Milo, whom Erzinger allegedly hit in July, suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and, according to his lawyer Harold Haddon, “lifetime pain.”

But District Attorney Mark Hurlbert says it wouldn’t be wise to prosecute Erzinger — doing so might hurt his source of income. . . .

9 11 2010
JJ

Is Jon Stewart any saner than the rest of our public figures and news entertainers, then?

Seems like now he too is using the cable media business and his own celebrity to distort American political reality into just another funhouse mirror —

Jon Stewart Responds To The ‘False Equivalency’ Critique Of The Rally To Restore Sanity
. . .the authentic critique of the rally — that the singular excess of the modern media is the way they reflect American life in a distorted funhouse mirror

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