Friday, November 03, 2006

Back to reality

I'm willing to bet that the right Rev. Ted Haggard, who has stepped down as head of the National Association of Evangelicals after allegedly paying a man for gay sex for three years, will admit, at least at first, just to scoring meth with this guy, as apparently there are voice mails with him referring to getting more of the stuff, in various dollar amounts. Though I'm willing to further bet that won't wash for very long, as the sordid truth will always work its way out.


I am guardedly pessimistic about Tuesday's elections. I would not classify myself as a Democrat but I know that I am not a Republican, not this current brand of vicious dullards. Outside of party allegiances, I really don't care whether your political ideas are conservative or liberal; I think both are equally valid perspectives on governing. That said, the culture of Republicanism inaugurated by Newt Gingrich, and extended by his bloated successors, has been one of a ruthlessness that's almost admirable: they're a formidable machine.

But if for no other reason I would hope people will vote against them for their disregard and contempt of language. A minor concern, really, but the ways in which they poison the well of speech makes me nuts. Within minutes of Kerry's ever wooden gaffe about education, Bush, being stuck in Iraq, there were prepared statements flying all over the place, erupting with faux indignation and empty contempt.

And all of them know what they do. At every turn, they know. Both parties are guilty of it, but only Republicans are so sickeningly skilled at it. It's a great part of why they've been so successful.

Look at Bob Corker who is, in most every way, a decent guy, it would appear. Did great things for this city. But his campaign has been undeniably sleazy. His commercials continually hammer home these assinine points: Bob went to the University of Tennessee, Harold Ford went to the University of Pennsylvania, which is said with such a sneer that it comes off like he's this bumpkin talking about those damn Yankees. They sure do talk funny, after all. It comes off like that. He's lived a Tennessee life, whatever that is.

Agh. It's a pet peeve, I guess.


I'm all for seeing Borat. Meanwhile, from Netflix it's volume 1 of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, which is hysterical, so weirdly percussive with its rhythms, but disturbing to revisit the animated world of Hanna Barbera and how completely they colonized my young brain. Over and over again, I say to myself, Oh my God, I remember that character. Sort of. Barely. For example, what the hell cartoon had the cartoon band with Jabber Jaws, the, uh, talking shark with the Curly from the Three Stooges voice, as its drummer?

O an elegy for my misspent youth.


Anonymous said...

You've described my lament. It kills me--KILLS ME-- when these politicians turn language into something useless and empty. The Kerry flap has me in a freak...they (Bush & his thugs) KNOW what he meant, but meaning has no meaning for this band of souless, unpoetic menaces. Seriously, just last night I was fantasizing for way too long about beating Dick Cheney for his smug contempt...If the Christian hell these radicals believe in exists, how can they not be going there? And if they're NOT going there, then all bets are off, yes?

--Matt G. (the whipped cream on your pudding)

poethussy said...

I've thought about wording a lot as well in terms of how Bush uses it. The first mistake is having a war on terror. How do you fight a war on an enemy that is undefinable? Or an enemy that can be so broadly defined as to include one's own countrymen? It is also an unwinnable war, with no way to truly ever eradicate the idea behind the war. The rhetoric is instantly confusing and boo to both sides for embracing this war - which may as well be called the war on something, but we aren't telling you what! (But it'll be expensive, kill lots of people, and create jobs during reconstruction.)

Melanie said...

You've heard my interminable ranting about Republicans and their use of language. Frank Luntz is the most brilliant, insidious man -- as a phrasesmith, he is brilliant but ghastly. Sell, sell, sell --and make everything sound like what it isn't but what you want. Blah. *indecipherable griping*

MisanthropicAnthropoid said...

Regarding Mr. William Hannah and Joseph Barbera, et al, this site was a godsend when I had just those thoughts; I remember that character back when the Television educatin' me: