Sunday cynicism

>> Sunday, August 15, 2010

Over at Deus Ex Malcontent, Chez has a post featuring a video clip of U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, going batshit crazy on Anderson Cooper's show. It's a sight to behold, much like a catastrophic plane crash or a mudslide destroying a village.

I used to think about how we would look in a hundred years, thanks to people like Gohmert. I used to imagine that a century hence, people would look back on this era and shake their heads in wonderment at the ridiculous spectacle we make of ourselves. Paranoia, ignorance, insanity.

But, increasingly, I worry that they won't shake their heads.

I don't mean that there's anything to Gohmert's nutball rantings and ravings. I mean that it's not clear to me that Americans, at least, are getting any smarter.

I mean, put it this way: in less than a generation, I've seen the biggest question about Ronald Reagan change from "Was Reagan telling the truth when he claimed he couldn't remember being briefed about a criminal enterprise involving the sale of weapons to a hostile power?" to "Which forms of currency should be emblazoned with the fine features of this great American patriot?" We've gone from wondering if Reagan whether Reagan was a crook or just senile in office (I have to say--"crook" actually seems the less frightening of those possibilities) to arguing over the naming of airports. Along the way, idiotic revisionisms like the contention that Reagan single-handedly ended the Cold War with a speech have seemingly been embraced as a sort of common knowledge (not that the Soviet Union was already flailing around in a slow, decades-long economic collapse exacerbated by years of mismanagement and what had become a tradition of corruption had anything to do with it). As I've said before, Americans don't have history, we have folklore.

What worries me far more than the idea that Gohmert will be vindicated by a baby with a bomb is the idea that he'll be vindicated by mass amnesia, that a future generation of Americans will be so wretchedly ignorant, historically illiterate and just plain stupid that Gohmert's-Great-Grandson will be spewing the same delusional, retarded rhetoric and some future jackass will think it sounds sensible; just as I must assume contemporary jackasses do, at least in Texas' 1st Congressional District (unless Gohmert's only recently started acting batshit crazy, in which case I hope his family drags him to get an MRI done--spontaneous aberrant behavior like this can be a sign of a brain tumor pressing against the nerves, I hear).

Someone once said history replays itself, first as tragedy, later as farce. I honestly don't know that that's right. Sometimes it's just a tragic farce coming and going.

Hey, happy Sunday though! Right, kids?



4 comments:

Seth Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 1:18:00 AM EDT  

Well, if it makes you feel any better, Steve Kornacki of Salon has been running some pretty good columns on Reagan lately, mostly on the mythologizing of his supposed massive popularity.

Kornacki argues that Reagan's supposed charisma and personal connection with Teh People didn't mean much; his popularity waxed and waned with the economy.

Nathan Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 8:15:00 PM EDT  

I watch that guy and I realize I'd really like some way to figure out who are the true believers (demented as they may be), and the, merely cynical and opportunistic.

On the one hand, Gohmert would be scary, but I don't see him actually gaining any position of influence. Palin, on the other hand, I just don't think is that stupid. I don't think she actually believes half the shit she spouts, but people listen to her.

Which one do you think actually stands a chance of giving Joe McCarthy a run for his money?

BD,  Monday, August 16, 2010 at 5:27:00 PM EDT  

Eric, I am afraid that you have besmirched a great American. His selfless courage in allowing himself to appear to be a complete moron, for the good of his country is unmatched since Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress. What Gohmert was doing was planting the seeds that will eventually grow into the mighty tree that wiil eventually win the war on terror.
How, you might ask, will this happen? Of course the terrorists haven't yet thought about coming to America to have Terror Babies,but now that he has planted the idea, they will have to. You still don't think so? That's where the true genius of his plan lies. Rememember the challange that he threw down to Anderson Cooper? "... do you think that the terrorists are stupider than the Chinese?..." Now there is no way that that the terrorists can ignore that, so they will have to come to the USA to have some Terror Babies! And this is the beginning of The Plan. (By this I mean our plan.) The terrorists will return home with their American citizen Terror Babies to raise them to return as terrorists, but what they won't realise is that the kids will be American Kids. And American Kids are destined to grow up and disappoint their parents!!! Therefore, whatever they grow up to be, it won't be terrorists. When the parents realise that they've wasted decades on the brats, the jihad will implode.
I hesitated to write this because I was afraid that by revealing The Plan, I would undo it, but then I realised that probably no one reads this Blog anyway, so, what the hell.

Eric Monday, August 16, 2010 at 6:37:00 PM EDT  

And American Kids are destined to grow up and disappoint their parents!!!

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Gee, Dad....

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I'm sorry.

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