b Papa Dog's Blog: Wacky Thoughts About the Nature of Evil

Papa Dog's Blog

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Wacky Thoughts About the Nature of Evil

Just a bit more about the ongoing meeting of the Injustice Society of America down New York way. Nothing as incisive as Charles’ comment on the last post, but I had a few random thoughts.

You might have noticed that I refer to that gang of bigots, zealots, embezzlers, and war criminals as the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” That’s because it’s really started to irritate me that the supposedly liberal media routinely refers to these villains as the “GOP.” Leaving aside for the moment the purely factual inappropriateness of the acronym (it’s neither Grander nor Older than the Democratic Party), it strikes me that its use amounts to a tacit endorsement. Can you imagine the howls of protest on Fox “News” if the New York Times ever ran a headline referring to the Democrats as the Benevolent Voteworthy Party? Still, I know what this comes down to is the available column width – “GOP” is a lot shorter than “Party of the War Upon the Poor” – so I decided that I’d come up with other more accurately descriptive words those letters could represent. “Greedy Old Plutocrats” was my favourite, but here are some of the other contenders:

Grotty Oil Polluters
Gougers Of the Poor
Gelatinous Oleaginous Philistines
Generals, Oilbarons, and Pitchmen
Generally Outrageous Prevaricators

And so forth. It’s fun! Make a few of your own!

That “Pitchmen” bit seems like a minor point, but really, it’s key. The thing that makes me nuts about the Greedy Old Plutocrats is the monumental snow job they’ve perpetrated on the very segments of America they exist to exploit and oppress. Briefly, there are only two reasons to vote Republican: if you’re a nut hoping to have your religious beliefs made law by constitutional amendment or if you have a multi-multi-million-dollar annual income and never want to pay any taxes. If you don’t fall into either of these categories, they’re out to screw you (and, confidentially, if you fall into the first category, they’re just using you for your votes). But during the Reagan years, the Ministry of Truth started selling the idea that economic concessions to the rich will somehow benefit every segment of the economy and, incredibly, significant portions of the middle class bought it. Or seemed to. My guess is that they don’t really believe it…that nobody, particularly not the trained performing wonks who came up with this bullshit, believes it. I think the brilliance of this particular snow job is a subtle exploitation of class envy and simple psychology. Middle class Republicans don’t really believe that the gains of the wealthy will trickle down to them…how can they, as the gap between rich and poor yawns ever wider each year? I think what middle class Republicans believe, in a heart-of-hearts, “I can fly because I’m Peter Pan” kind of way is that they are in fact (or, gosh darn it, soon will be!) upper class Republicans, and that against all evidence to the contrary, they are benefiting directly from economic policies favouring the wealthy.

Oh, yeah, and Charles, I think you’re being a little hard on Michael Moore. He deserves credit for raising public awareness about the utter scumbaggery of the Bush Regime. His movie penetrated heretofore inaccessible spheres of consciousness…even my parents heard of it! And I think you’re at least slightly off the mark in suggesting a greater effectiveness had it been released Sept. 11. Had he done so, he would have been greeted with the exact same “exploiting tragedy” criticisms that the Bad Guys are receiving for holding their gang meeting in NYC…and, in both cases rightly so. In fact, I think the criticism of Moore would be a lot louder and more persistent, because that’s just the way those people operate. I think that sort of brouhaha would have diluted the impact of the movie in a way we didn’t see during the summer release. Also, bear in mind that the US release was following on an avalanche of publicity coming from Disney’s attempt to bury the movie and its subsequent rapturous reception at Cannes. Moore didn’t exactly pick the timing of any of that, but he couldn’t ignore it either. He released it when the greatest number of people would see it, including hundreds of thousands of people who hadn’t exactly been doing a lot of thinking on this subject before. Will those people’s memories be too short to affect their votes? Probably, but they probably wouldn’t have seen the movie anyway had he waited until September.


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