I’ll be a guest (resident reactionary, I call it) this week at the blog of Seattle’s progressive free weekly The Stranger. I have no connection to the blog; the week was a Christmas gift, auctioned off for charity. Here’s my first post, excerpted below, which recycles my post last August on Omar Thornton as a resentment-driven lunatic appropriating the standard American race narrative. And on MLK day no less! If you do visit there, please be civil, regardless of the tone set by the readership. At the moment they are apoplectic, but mostly about my long-windedness and mere presence in their lair. This might get a little weird.
kinesis, n a movement that is a response to a stimulus but is not oriented with respect to the source of stimulation
Ten days ago a madman, having legally acquired a handgun, killed six unsuspecting innocents. The Democratic Party, assisted by the braver elements of the national media, sprung into action, quickly wrestling the First Amendment to the ground and disarming it before it could do more damage. Alas, the culprit has escaped, spirited away by his longtime associates Hate and Intolerance, no doubt. Fear not; speech posses are combing the hinterlands even now in search of malicious metaphors and savage similes. Needless to say, these suspects should be considered armed and dangerous. In the event that you come into contact with one, make no attempt to engage it, avoid ear contact and back away slowly before fleeing to your nearest progressive cable news outlet or blog, where you can report the encounter. Don’t be a hero. That’s what we put Keith Olbermann in pancake make-up for.
But above all, just as Fox News and the DHS dutifully advise regarding the terrorist threat of such criminal masterminds as the Liberty Seven and donkey-borne Taliban in the Pashtun hinterlands: be afraid, be very afraid. Always. And trust in the government. Always. Just as in those heady days following 9-11, we are advised to “watch what we say”. The parallels between this and that panic make a handy and instructive analog for the confused citizen. Meanwhile, working with heroic speed, experts have already fashioned a new standard for acceptable public rhetoric–if it’s capable of provoking a raving lunatic it is illicit. Make a note of it.
This has been necessarily expanded from the original focus on white male Republicans, who nonetheless retain their place atop the hierarchy of hysteria. This all will take some getting used to, I know, but one can always observe Mom’s advice–if you don’t have anything nice to say, drown your hatemongering words and yourself in your acidic spittle, you fascist bigot. And if you’re incapable of recognizing what might set off a lunatic, you are the lunatic.
Above all remain calm; our enlightened betters are valiantly fighting to will into being this “new reality” that will have “changed everything”. They know what they’re talking about. Recall the media’s uncanny prophesy that AIDS “changed everything”, delivering us from our libertine sexual ways; that 9/11 “changed everything”, bringing the nation together finally; and of course the post-partisan transformation of Barack Obama’s presidency ushering in a new era of domestic tranquility and world peace. These are the people who saved you from Saddam Hussein’s killer drones and WMD labs, remember. Despar not of their wisdom and sobriety.