Being Right And Being Wrong On The Big Issues

Until he issues a Sherman statement, I will be for Gore. Why? Because he’s right on the two biggest issues of our time, of this decade. He was right about Iraq before almost anyone of his stature was. And he is the premier spokesman for global warming, the issue of the 21st century.

Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Biden, and Richardson are all late comers to the anti-Iraq party, with Hillary, Biden, and Edwards actually having voted for the war. I don’t think I’ve heard much from any of them (except Richardson) about climate issues.

There will be things I vehemently disagree with Gore on, and other things I agree with the others on. But on the big issues–those that have consequences for generations–Gore is batting 1.000.

You don’t need a fancy education to see how history treats presidents and presidential candidates who were right on the most pressing issues of their time. Reagan was right about the Cold War. He will be remembered as a good president for that, despite the fact that his administration was corrupt, and his domestic policies were about as enlightened as Hammurabi. LBJ skates on signing Kennedy’s civil rights bill, even though he is responsible for the (now) second biggest farce in American history. Truman left office with his approval rating in the shitter, but he was there when America won World War II, the defining moment of at least two generations.

History does not judge presidents on a punchlist of their achievements. Even though Clinton dismantled the last relics of the New Deal and forced through NAFTA and other such Gilded Age policies such as the Telecom Act of 1996, he will be remembered for his political prowess and his steadfast dedication to world peace, even though he was impeached.

Let’s face it: some of our most hallowed presidents committed some stupid missteps. Lincoln may have been good with civil rights, but he was a mess with civil liberties, attempting to suspend habeas corpus. Washington didn’t really do a damn thing, but he was the figurehead of the Revolution. Jackson was as genocidal as Hitler, but he was the hero of New Orleans and created a calmed political atmosphere.

And the converse is true. Much good came from some of our lesser presidents. Nixon was good on the environment, for example. (I still can’t think of one for Bush II.)

I get the feeling that Hillary will be an effective president, but effective as to her agenda of pushing whatever pseudo-centrist agenda helps her the most. I don’t expect her to put a man on Mars, cure cancer, or solve the global warming crisis.

President Obama would have at least one speech that’s up there with “Ask not what your country can do for you” and “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” but for all his soaring rhetoric, I have no idea if my grandkids will say President Obama was the first black president and he brought peace to the Middle East, or if he signed the McDermott-Boehner Tax Reform Act of 2009.

Edwards? Well, we might see universal healthcare and some real progress for working people. But if he was hoodwinked on Iraq, what else will he miss?

That said, all of these show more promise than the ludicrous assortment of douchebags on the other side. Is their bench really that shallow?

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UN Climate Report: We're Fucked!

I started believing in global warming the first time I heard about it, in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, in a chapter entitled “Heaven and Hell” in 1980, which made the eminently reasonable assertion that if Venus turned into a lead-melting furnace due to greenhouse gases, that Earth could too.

Because of that, the barrage of news about it shouldn’t shock me, right? Wrong. Every time I read about it, I’m shocked more. I used to figure that a climate-9/11 would finally snap us into focus on this issue, but it didn’t. Hurricane Katrina’s connection to global warming requires a subtle mind, and in media sound bites all people hear is “indirect” or “inconclusive.”

But all of the effects of global warming are going to be like that. No one is going to die from heat stroke because the weather is 3 degrees warmer. They will die from their homes being inundated by the ocean, or the destruction of their crops, or the spread of tropical diseases, or some unseen consequence we haven’t divined yet.

Me too.

Apropos of the post below about Idiocracy, I must admit that last night, I watched American Idol instead of the SOTU.

I figured, if I want to see an idiot spouting a bunch of bullshit, I might as well throw in some entertainment. Watching the incipient downfall of Paula Abdul into the depths of a painkiller addiction pleasingly flavors the shootdowns of the failed karaoke bobbleheads that provide the only real joy in this show.

Plus, Paula is just hotter than Nancy Pelosi, and TokenBlackGuy is more real, dawg, than Dick Cheney.

Besides, I already know the State of the Union: slowly waking from the schizoid coma induced by 9/11 on our pussy-ass collective psyche that can barely deal with losing out on a parking place, let alone confront the kinds of mass death that we inflict on the rest of the world.

IDIOCRACY

In Mike Judge’s dystopian comedy two average Americans in 2005 are Rip Van Winkled 500 years into the future via a military experiment gone awry. They awaken in a society so dumb downed by generations of morons rutting and corporate brainwashing that they find themselves, by far, the smartest people on earth.

The most interesting aspect of futuristic movies is the details. It is the colors and shapes of the vistas and the make and use of everyday objects that bridge the future world to our own. Judge’s future America is a land of newborn passive mental numbness and neglect. A land of primary colors and dirt, where everything seems to be made out of Play Skool blocks yet is falling over aside mountains of garbage.

Judge’s film may be the harshest indictment of contemporary society of any dystopian film. The most indelible image of the movie is of a future average Joe sitting in his big easy chair facing a huge screen with too many whirring, buzzing boxes of multi-colored programming for the eye to possibly keep track of. He is mindlessly sucking on a long medical-IV-tube-like straw that connects to a clear white handle and ends in a pacifier-like nipple.

We’ve all kinda’ been there or seen other people there, even if no one was watching the Masturbation Network as the subject in the film is.

This sort of creepy familiarity paces the film. An insensate almost drooling woman diagnoses the protagonist’s medical condition by (barely) choosing one of several large buttons with a picture of a malady on it. Even the Police State, that fixture of dystopia, is automated for slowskies. Ubiquitous scanners occasionally read the barcode that has been tattooed onto our hero’s wrist thereby alerting the Keystone Lite Kops to his location.

These themes are punctuated by moments of vicious satire. “Welcome to Costco,” one thick skulled “greeter” from the future intones, “I love you. Welcome to Costco. I love you. Welcome to Costco….”

What makes Judge’s polemic different from other films in the dystopia genre is that we never meet the conspirators. While the film indicates that corporate advertising’s forging and fluxing of hominid minds has created a world of Retards blubbering “I like money” while stumbling to Starbucks for hand jobs The Man is as invisible as whatever it is that dude is sucking out of the nipple-IV-straw. Like so many of the subtleties in “Idiocracy” this reveals a larger point: corporations may have facilitated Judge’s dystopia, but it is still a dystopia of choice.

“Idiocracy” is more idea-driven than character driven; it is a nasty film and will therefore never be beloved-adored like “Office Space.” Where “Office Space” made light of the comedy of manners in the forced shared place of work, “Idiocracy” lands its punches in the personal submissive sensation of the “choice” of consumption. “Idiocracy” is a more important movie than “Office Space” and offers more rewards for repetitive viewing. The workweek always ends; the Tyranny of the Stupids only becomes normal: “Idiocracy” never got a chance in the theaters, according to Bill Maher, because the 18-34 year old male target audiences could not understand it. And after all, we sorta’ elected Generalissimo Bush. Twice!

Clinton???

Can it really be that of all the announced candidates, I dislike Hillary the least?

Obama is green. Richardson fucks too many women for a fat hispanic to have any hope to survive the Leno/Letterman gauntlet. Biden is a joke. Vilsack is a joke…. Edwards is like face from the A team, and also too green. I’m not sure Gore will get in with Obama in.

Oy. Yep.

Three Weeks In And The Loons Are Getting Emboldened

Oy.

The loony left must be feeling a little cocksure. Here it comes. A law banning spanking in California… Suggestions that global warming can be stopped by veganism (PSYCHE! Free range meat uses no diesel… but…) and, bringing back the fairness doctrine that many on the left opposed as providing a bogus free mouthpiece to whacko conservatives in the first place. Not to mention its First Amendment implications.

God.

This kind of shit is why we have a war in Iraq, why there’s nothing for the homeless, why our jobs are being exported… because we lose control of our agenda to these crunchy fucks the minute we’re not all consolidated in the emergency of winning an election.

Can we please stop the war in Iraq before we try to turn America into a Food Co-op in Novato?