Sunday, December 7, 2014

H'ostess With the Mo$test

For that special One Percent someone who has everything but still wants more, more, more: a complete set of gold-embossed cocktail napkins with a selection of original Hillary quotes (including one borrowed from Teddy Roosevelt). Only the best will do for the blotting of sensitive Dom Perignon-stained chops and the prevention of stains on antique mahogany coffee tables.

And if you order now, you will also receive a free Hillary magnet, reminding you not to forget to put on your movie star shades in the dead of night while texting before getting behind the wheel of your Mercedes.

If you choose to follow this link to the Ready for Hillary website, please be warned. They wouldn't let me in until I entered a name and zip (I picked "Hannah Bananah 90210") and an email address. (I used my real one.)  From there, I got sent to a donation page. I discovered that unless you fork over the cash, you can't go any further. You cannot be ready for Hillary unless you pay for Hillary. 

At that point, I quit in disgust. But, it turned out they were only kidding! Thank goodness I'd  supplied my correct email address, because a few hours later I got the official invite welcoming me to Ready for Hillary! or, more specifically, the Ready for Hillary Store! From this follow-up special offer, without even having to buy anything first, I got instant access to the entire site, complete with glowing blogs by Hillary fans, and even more Hillary stuff for sale.

The whole reason I wasted part of my Sunday on Hillary in the first place was yet another Frank Bruni column in the New York Times, obsessively and prematurely rhapsodizing over the ephemeral Hillary candidacy demanded by the elite punditocracy.  Bruni kindly provided a link to a now-viral country music video (he found it cringe-worthy only in its blue collar pandering) which extols her qualifications for the presidency, based solely upon the fact that she's a sexy-woman Granny. It is a must-miss, but like any highway wreck, it's a shady magnet for gawkers. And that, of course, includes most of us. Because admission is absolutely free!

Here's my published comment to Bruni:
Did you notice that the Hillary video contained a snippet of the trademark baseline bar from "We Will Rock You?" It's a song by Queen, in case you didn't get the subliminal message. It's a real disgrace, and Hillary should have egg all over her face. (The blood is on her hands, vis a vis her Iraq vote.)
At this point, the only reason I'm not in a deep depression is because throngs of people, the erstwhile Democratic "base," are taking democracy into their own hands and marching for social and economic justice. Whether Hillary gets this subliminal message remains to be seen. The day I see her mingling with the poor in Mississippi, or spending the night in a heatless, roach-infested slum dwelling in Bed-Stuy to show some solidarity with "the base" will be the day when my mind will possibly begin to change about her. And it can't be one of those one-off political stunts, either. She has to openly call for criminal indictments of banksters, and an end to wars and the surveillance state.
 Of course, I jest.
If it comes to a Hillary-Jeb contest, or even worse, a Hillary-Romney Neoliberal Death Match, don't be surprised by a mass de facto boycott of the polls come 2016. Watching a group of plutocrats at phony debates sponsored by Big Oil, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Goldman Sachs will make the Hillary video look like a Prix D'Or winner at Cannes. The "base," many of whom no longer can even afford cable because they have no jobs and no money, won't be watching anyway.
I got many replies to this comment from other readers, some of whom agreed with me and others that didn't. (It's that damned Clinton polarizing/triangulation effect!) The most popular commenter misinterpreted my forecast of a voter boycott as direct advocacy of a voter boycott. If the Republicans win, then I, fanciful questor after unicorns that I am, will personally be the direct cause of the destruction of America. The usual blaming and shaming stuff plagiarized from Obamaville, in other words.  Other commenters declared themselves also sick of the false choices offered to voters in our semi-pseudo-democracy.

 And, while I am used to being called an extremist nut by the usual suspects, today marked the very first time in my blogging career that a bona fide neuroscientist from the Cornell Weill Medical Center characterized my political criticism of Hillary as "psychoses" -- plural, no less, as in more than one disease. You can't get much more official than that, especially when you're conducting diagnoses-by-Internet. The good doctor was replying to a late follow-up comment, consisting entirely of a Hannah Arendt quote* on the "lesser evilism" meme historically used by totalitarian governments to control the residents of the Police State. (Remind me not to leave my brain to Cornell in my living will.)

Paradoxically, my neurophysicist respondent seemed to be buying into the "punitive psychiatry" method of stifling dissent common in the same totalitarian regimes that Arendt warned about half a century ago. Unfortunately, by the time I read my psych chart in the Times comment section, they'd closed the thread and I was unable to schedule a follow-up consultation. (I'd Googled his name, and was able to discern his profession through the magic of the Internet.)

 Maybe Dr. Moreau (not his real name) will get lucky and find some of those Hillary "H'ostess With the Mostest" cocktail napkins under the tree this year.  From morning to night, he can rev up his neurons over such pithy bon mots as:

I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime.”
“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”

“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.”

“America’s democracy is not a birthright...It must be earned and preserved by every generation.”

“In a democracy, citizens cannot sit on the sidelines. They have to get into the arena, as Teddy Roosevelt said, and participate.”

And in the highly likely event that these quotes don't quite do it for you, and you still "need help in framing your Ready for Hillary conversations" with your marks family and friends, you can order a special Ready for Hillary toolkit.

 One set of tools can be used for a house party and another for "tabling" -- as in, I suppose, the tabling of any dissent via the Stalinesque "public psychiatric shaming" method.

* "If we look at the techniques of totalitarian government, it is obvious that the argument of ‘the lesser evil’… is one of the mechanisms built into the machinery of terror and criminality. Acceptance of lesser evils is consciously used in conditioning the government officials as well as the population at large to acceptance of evil as such…. Politically,the weakness of the argument has always been that those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.” – Hannah Arendt, 1964.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I could only stomach about a dozen comments in response to yours. The Lesser of Two Evils meme seems to be prevailing - it seems to be the best anyone can come up with. Not an original argument to be had that brings up any legitimate reason why we should be voting for Hillary. The tragedy is the amount of money that will be spent on this election.

I am as disgusted with the Democratic base as I am with the Republicans. How much better were things under Bill Clinton (deregulations of the banks, NAFTA) and Obama (wars, wars, wars, the militarization of our police forces, the rise of the security state). Unless the Democratic party is prepared to put up someone like Liz Warren, I am not going to be part of the faux election. It is a false dilemma or fallacy of false choice and I appreciate that some people are calling it for what it is. I can't believe that people in America are so brain dead they actually think we have been given legitimate choices in the last handful of federal elections.

Valerie said...

I was browsing through your sidebar and came across the article in
Propaganda’s Triumph over Journalism
by John Pilger
It talked about how all our mainstream news is propaganda. Real investigative journalism that is so vital to a democracy is a thing of the past in the mainstream media. Basically, if we don't turn to the blogospere for our news we won't get any.

annenigma said...

Yes, Valerie. John Pilger is spot on, as usual.

And so is Karen Garcia. I recommend reading her latest comment to Charles Blow's 'A New Age of Activism' in the NYT.

voice-in-wilderness said...

I did some Googling to find the source of the Hannah Arendt quote, which is in the book "Responsibility and Judgment," edited by Jerome Kohn. It is in the chapter titled "Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship," on pp. 36-37

One thing to be aware of, the last sentence actually precedes the rest of the quote, does not follow it, in this book version. Evidently it was originally prepared for lecture or a speech and was printed in a shorter form in "The Listener" in 1964.

Quotes are so readily passed around on the Internet, that I've become somewhat obsessive in trying to verify them with the original source. Sometimes that produces clarity and sometimes it leaves ambiguity!

Mike V said...

Great post, Karen--I stand corrected!
I was one of those commenters who used the lesser of two evils approach, mentioned the Supreme Court nominations, climate change denial and other disasters to come if we elect a Republican.

But you make a great point, and the quote at the end is on the money.

We may disagree on some issues, but I always respect and appreciate your vital voice.
Mike Vogel

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Mike.

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