Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TGIHD (Thank God It's Hump Day)

The U.K. can be forgiven for going overboard on the Plutocratic Parturition, a.k.a. the birth of the Royal Heir (the proper pronunciation of which, I learned from watching the CNN coverage, is Aaah: an elongated short "a" spoken directly through the nose.) After all, the birth is expected to pump tons of money -- an estimated £250m -- into the sputtering British economy. That is even more than the Olympics brought in.

But why the fascination on this side of the pond?

Like the Brits, we are absolutely desperate for some good news, some good vicarious escapism as an antidote to the misery, caused by increasing wealth disparity, in our lives. Our own American Boy King, Barry, just doesn't do it for us any more. Although, even as I write this, his larynx is about eight centimeters dilated, ready to gush out another afterbirth of populist propaganda, this one called Middle-Out Economic Growth. Somebody actually needs to call the midwife to give us all a hit of the laughing gas they still use in the U.K. for labor pains.

The first event that briefly tore CNN from Blessed Event coverage was an airplane accident Monday at New York's La Guardia Airport. (If it bleeds, it leads. No exceptions.)  Only hours after the Queen's Aaah landed headfirst in hospital, a passenger jet landed headfirst -- sort of -- in Queens. It swooped in normally enough, but then collapsed right on its nose, without warning, as its front wheels fell off. There wasn't even time for a "Brace Yourself!" let alone an epidural. Ouch.

As if that painful imagery were not enough, the domestic media bliss of Will and Kate and Baby Aaah was rudely interrupted yet again -- the very next day!-- by their counterparts from hell. Again, no time to brace ourselves. Anthony and Huma , at least, didn't show up on TV with their adorable kid in tow to give them cover. Mrs. Weiner succeeded in giving a whole new meaning to the term Deer in the Headlights, and not much else. The New York Times is now huffily demanding that the Sexster drop out of the mayoral race, only months after they crowned him the Boy King of New York in a magazine puff piece. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Or not. There are as many rebirths in politics as there are gullible people willing to celebrate them and wallow in them.  

And here we are, still wondering why we are so enamored of British royalty. It's just one more fleeting distraction among many. A relentless barrage of media infotainment has served to deaden our pain, mute our outrage and stifle our dissent. Brace for impact. God Save Us.

4 comments:

Jay - Ottawa said...

OK, this is a stretch way off topic from the princely birth, but there is another surprise aborning today (Wednesday) in the House of Representatives. I believe it’s the same issue Fred was referring to at the bottom of the previous post.

The Times today has a story about Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, rushing up to the Hill yesterday to strangle an amendment by Rep Justin Amash (R-Mich) before it’s even born.

Then Obama got into the act: “Later on Tuesday, the White House issued a statement praising the idea of a debate about surveillance but denouncing ‘the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle’ the call tracking program, urging lawmakers to vote down the legislation and instead conduct a ‘reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.’” Pathetic, as usual.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/us/politics/nsa-director-lobbies-house-on-eve-of-critical-vote.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130724&_r=0

Amish wants to clip the wings of the NSA by cutting back on the specific funding that allows the NSA to keep right on spying on everybody’s communications all the time everywhere forever. If the Amish amendment succeeds today in stopping Gen. Alexander’s “collect everything” program, then the work of Snowden, Greenwald, and the Guardian will not have been in vain. Today’s vote in the House may indeed be something to follow closely, a turning point.

Should we bother one more time to send our own congressional reps a letter similar to Fred’s?

As I recall, the Vietnam War finally ground to a halt when Congress simply refused to fund it any longer. Money is the Pentagon’s best ammunition. Withhold it and the generals are forced to retreat. We’ll soon know whether this event is more Washington Kabuki or a real tug-of-war between Stassi and democracy.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Spelling Correction: Rep. Justin AMASH.

annenigma said...

The Obama administration opposes the Amash/Conyers amendment because it is a 'blunt approach, not open or deliberative'. In other words, a lot like NSA blanket surveillance. Such hypocrites.

I contacted my Congressman. I wonder if all those NSA secrets are going to be used to sway this important vote. We'll soon know by the results.

Zee said...

@Karen--

I've already sent my e-mails to Udall, Heinrich and Lujan-Grisham.

Fat lot of good it will do.

"Obama libruls" all, meaning that they have no respect for either my Second or Fourth Amendment rights, and probably would burn the whole Bill of Rights if they thought no one was looking!