Going Totally ******* Insane is not usually considered an option for rational sane people, so when an adult cracks under the strain of living, it is usually others who notice the change.  Initially a member of society can qualify for the use of adjectives such as madcap, eccentric, or edgy, but then there comes a day when a man sees his wife dive into the fountain near a famous New York City Hotel and he has to begin thinking of getting help for her with or without her consent.

Back during the Clinton era, the New York Times published a column (by William Safire?) that framed the challenge in the Middle East as a need to “out crazy the crazies.”  The premise was that if folks like Saddam Hussein were crazy, it would take a totally nuts United States foreign policy to get their attention and instill a measure of fear in them. 

If you listen to Mike Malloy’s radio program regularly, he makes it sound like the Republican Party’s agenda for the new Congress has been scripted by Andre Breton or Anton LaVey.

Teabaggers, beauty queens, and war criminals have become ingredients in the contemporary American Political scene and the chance to turn back to a more normal course may be as impossible to contemplate as is a chance for Charlie Manson to be freed on parole.

Der Stern and Der Spiegel weekly news magazines watched Germany slide into madness many years ago.  Their colleagues at Time and Newsweek tried to provide a more fair and balanced approach to assessing the Third Reich’s Foreign Policy but the news magazines being published in Germany were too close to the source to see the overall picture clearly. 

Recently Der Spiegel has asserted that the United States may be <a href =http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,726447,00.html>in decline</a>.  Time and Newsweek don’t seem to be very ready to second the motion.  Is it time to use the “turnabout is fair play” axiom? 

Some of the best examples of the film noir genre use amnesia as a way to tell a story about an innocent man who has to convince the world that he didn’t commit some heinous crime.  Could it be that the United States is facing a similar situation regarding the implications being made by Julian Assange?  Maybe while seeing portions of this year’s Noir City Film Festival, in San Francisco, this columnist will be able to produce a column which proves to the world that Bush was a good ole boy and that Assange is a fiend plotting to besmirch the Bush family’s reputation?

When Senator Ed Muskie cried during a quest to become the Democratic Presidential Candidate, it proved he was emotionally unstable and disqualified him from running.  When the orange man, who is after the Vice President in the line of succession, cries it just shows his softer side. 

In a country where people are hungry, how much food is thrown away every day?

In a country full of empty foreclosed homes, how many people are homeless?

Have you seen the news item reporting that South Carolina is considering selling special auto license plates for Coon Hunters?

What Republican recently said that the poor are spoiling America for the Rich?

In a country that features separate branches of government, the Conservative majority Supreme Court decided to hand the Presidency to a Republican.

Doesn’t American exceptionalism really mean that everyone should pay taxes, except the very rich.

When a small group that included 15 Saudi citizens attacked the World Trade Center, the US retaliated by invading Afghanistan and Iraq.

Germany was guilty of war crimes for using waterboarding.  The Supreme Court of Germany rejected electronic voting machines because they were too vulnerable to unscrupulous manipulation.  In the US those voting machines are in wide use and no one has been indicted for a single war crime.

In a country where Fox News personalities are paid substantial wages and citizen journalists write for free, isn’t the ultimate outcome obvious?  Isn’t it like hypothetically sending your high school’s baseball team to play the 1927 Yankees roster?  Aren’t the volunteer propagandists going to run out of energy and enthusiasm long before Rupert Murdock runs out of funds to pay his hacks?

Here’s an example of the challenge that lefties face:  a columnist who has only a barely discernable amount of enthusiasm for the incumbent and who has been grinding out criticism of the political and military agenda of George W. Bush’s administration for a decade can continue to do what he has been doing (hoping for a different result) or he can apply for a grant from the Gonzo Journalism Foundation and use the money to pay for the expenses incurred by becoming an online amateur Automobile Museum critic with, perhaps, a side trip to the next installment of the Le Mans car race.  (Is a political commentator eligible to be issued a press pass to that annual automotive event?)

Either way, it seems like JEB is being groomed (by Karl Rove?) to be America’s last hope for fiscal responsibility and a Christian defense of the overtaxed wealthy.  The fact that he might be the Republican who finally manages to privatize Social Security will be sufficient credentials to win the election.  The opportunity for JEB to complete the total dismantling of the New Deal would assure that he will be ranked by Conservatives as the Greatest President of all times and thus inspire them to <I>do whatever it takes</I> to see him sworn into office in January of 2013.

Some stalwarts will assert that the fatigued writer should continue: cranking out columns that restate facts already mentioned, recycling some of the best snappy headlines, and wearing out some quotes and song titles by repeated use (remember when that would happen with the 78 rpm records?); and that he should (if he tries hard enough) expect different results in the 2012 Presidential Election, so that he can feel a tiny bit of satisfaction.  Isn’t that a variation of one of the folk definitions of insanity?

With a writing grant from the Gonzo Journalism Foundation in our wallet, we could (dare I say it?) comb streets of Paris, Prague, and Berlin gathering column material for stories  that are not being covered by the patriotic wolf pack of journalists in the United States.  When Hitler was ruling Germany, it seemed that the number of American Journalists doing “local color” in Europe was legions.  These days what happens in Europe, stays in Europe. 

Speaking of the Gonzo Journalism Foundation, fans of Hunter S. Thompson will find that the graphic novel “Transmetropolitan:  Back on the Street,” makes fictional journalist Spider Jerusalem look and sound very much like the beloved Uncle Duke.  When Jerusalem says “If anyone in this ******** city gave *** **** of a dead dog’s **** about Truth, this wouldn’t be happening;” doesn’t that remind you of something the author of Kingdom of Fear would be saying these days if he were still alive today?

If the Republicans are so fanatical in their commitment to the Constitution, does that mean that they endorse the concept that slaves are to be regarded as three fifths of a person?  Do Republicans endorse the founding fathers’ compromises regarding slavery?

For uberskeptics, the conclusive proof that America has gone mad will be the Inauguration, in January 2013, of JEB as the 45th President.  Some, of course, will watch that news event and respond that the Democrats will have to work even harder to win the 2016 election and only conspiracy theory crazies, who are “too Liberal for Berkeley,”  would be discourage by the task. 

Could anyone in the midst of the “Jazz Age” have accurately predicted the Republicans attitude during the first decade of the next century?  In the opening lines of “Save Me the Waltz,” Zelda Fitzgerald wrote:  “Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbridges from emotional reactions, and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes.”

Wait!  Didn’t Louis G. Carroll (AKA Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) say it better?  In the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” he wrote: 

“‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,

‘To talk of many things:

Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax –

Of cabbages – and kings –

And why the sea is boiling hot-

And whether pigs have wings.’”

Now the disk jockey will play “Mrs. Robinson,” Charlie Manson’s “Oh Garbage Dump!,” and Marianne Faithfull’s “The Ballad of Lucy Jordon.”  We have to go see the film “Blue Valentine,” because some scenes were filmed in Scranton Pa.  Have an “adequate” type week.

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