Truth is a bitch. I know for a fact that truth is a bitch. I've faced truth numerous times in my useless-eating life. Truth has beat me to a pulp every fricking time I've faced it. There are also times where I haven't faced truth and I know each one of them by heart. I will carry around my lies, dress them up and make them presentable, perfume them, and know exactly when/how they squeeze by in this world without a care, without a concern, without remorse. For they are mine, these lies. And they too are miserable because I won't let them out. Let me have the simplistic beauty of my lies. Please.
-worstwriter's mantra to conservatism that has ruined everything
Nomatter what I prologue (text above), this post ain't about me and my silly politics. This post is about a book that some people really should consider reading. Well, you should consider reading it if you've ever questioned the how/why of republican politics in the Grand United Mistakes of Amerikan't post Ronald Reagan. The book is called Republican Gomorrah and it is a seething exposé of the darkest corners of the disgusting and abhorrent republican party. This party and its politics, btw, has literally ruined everything since Reagan. But that's not the worst of republican politics. The worst is that most Americans will never understand why things have gotten so bad. Indeed, truth is a bitch.
There are three things that I've always had difficulty dealing with in this lie-of-the-mind life of being (proudly) reared American. These things, these idears, these concepts are part of my upbringing, they are part of who I am. And I am afraid of them as much as I am afraid of anything else -- especially my weak mind, my ill-character, my skinless shadow and that wriggling thing on the pavement that resembles my spine that I'm always leaving behind.
The first thing I've had difficultly dealing with in this life is authority. Keep in mind that the word authority has replaced what used to be America's first choice of words: Freedom. The bleeding irony of life as preached by my home country is that the word "free" has absolutely no meaning whatsoever anymore. The word "free" has been relegated to being neither a noun or a verb (not unlike the word love, btw, but that's a whole 'nother post), and so something else has replaced it. Hence, Americans have turned to the live-in-fear, life-security, two-faced happiness of authority. America is awash with ersatz freedom in the form of authority and millions of minions adhere to it on a daily and religious-like basis. Indeed, there is a zombie nation at hand that gladly beckons the call of being told what to do.
The second thing I've never been able to deal with is behavior. Behavior is the first thing American'ts are taught when life begins. How convenient, eh. Like most western countries, people give little thought to the hoarding, prodding and burdening of children into inadequate and compromised baby-sitting systems (aka schools) in the hopes of churning out good little worker bees and/or every once-a-once an Einstein or Tim Berners-Lee. These school systems do fulfill one social need, though. Forget learning history, chemistry or grammar or, in some cases, good manners. No. Systematic and generalized schooling, I mean, baby-sitting, transcends education and pours over into daily life where people are thrown into a cesspool of having to cope with each other and every single individual, all struggling to survive (and not just live), and it all is manifested in behavior(ism).
The third thing worst-writer loves to fear is the human decease called religion. Put authority, behavior and religion together and it's no wonder that so many of the inept can be taken advantage of for political gain and hence turn a once great country into nickel platted smith & wesson with a pearl grip purchased with the left hand, locked, loaded and ready to fire in the forehead with the right hand.
Republican Gomorrah is about what has not only ruined a political party but also about what is ruining a great country. Max Blumenthal focuses on the republican party and also the disgusting inner workings of political conservatism, the life blood of republicans and the neo-cons. If you thought you knew anything about hypocrisy in politics then this book may make you think twice about what you know. For one, it tears open some of the disgusting inner workings of politics from the point-of-view of those who lay claim to wielding power and authority. It also provides some insight into the human psyche that enables the type of behavior that is being spewed in the name of morality, patriotism and honor. If you ever thought that Bush was stupid, this book won't change your mind, but it does show how stupid people that have power act and vote and support politicians that are even stupider.
For me, dear worst-reader, there was one moment right after George W. Bush was re-elected where I started to gather my wits. I was surprised and pleased that Blumenthal covered this issue in this book like a real journalist should. At the time it happened it was mostly covered by frat-boy humorist Jon Stewart, which also help project the story into the stratosphere. It was a moment during a presidential press briefing in Jan. 2005, where Turdblossom-Bush was thrown this softball question.
"How are you going to work with people in the democratic party who are so divorced from reality?"
"Continue to speak to the American people," Bush responded.
I had never heard a question like that asked before at a presidential press briefing. A lot of other people had never heard such question asked before either. Suddenly the Internets, the main-stream media, the whole news she-bang started to bloom with curiosity. I followed the situation for weeks via blogs and various news sites. What seemed like a grade-school and perhaps naive question, turned out to be one of many so-called softball questions that Dubya would be asked on a regular basis and all the questions were thrown by conservative organizations. That in itself isn't so bad, both sides of American't politics do it. The thing that made this particular question stand above others was the person that asked it.
Long story short. A "reporter" named Jeff Gannon was throwing softball questions at the President. As banal as the questions were, they weren't really the problem. It turns out that Gannon was a self-declared journalist working for an unknown media company that loved conservatism. Also, this pseudo-journalist and the story behind him was NSFW for the main stream media because, when not throwing the President softball questions, Gannon was a $200/night gay prostitute. When the story first broke I was shocked that a person with Gannon's non-credentials could so easily get access to the White House. Careers can be made by getting such access and in these days of be-like-me or be-not corporate American't AND high unemployment AND the main-stream media not doing its job, a lot of questions should be answered as to how a person like this can be handed a career. Of course, was a male prostitute, posing as a journalist and given access to the confused testosterone world republicanism doing anything else in the White House? Are the days of intern blow jobs and blue dresses so far behind us?
Max Blumenthal does a great job of breaking down not just the Gannon story but also the whole perverted and sexually oppressed foundation of conservatism and the republican party. Most of this oppression stems out of suburban-hell homophobic pentecostal religious fanaticism that is trying to occupy the country. What are the most common scandals that come out of this typically American't new & improved take on god and the universe? Obviously there are also gay democrats, but most of them are out of the closet and so democrat hypocrisy on homo and heterosexual issues isn't as prominent -- at least we have the Clinton blue dress thing long behind us. The irony of there being no (or very few) openly gay republicans, and yet so many of them are either under investigation for abusing boys (Mark Foley), playing tiddlywinks in the men's bathroom at an airport (Larry Craig) or being a so-called consultant to the president and at the same time skipping sermons from his mega-church in order to drive on his Harley to Denver to take methamphetimines and have sex with other men (Ted Haggard), is strange indeed.
Here a great quote from Blumenthal about republicans and their perverted mix of sexuality and politics: "many self-loathing homosexuals have confused authoritarianism with normality and have sought to transcend their tortured pasts by donning the cartoon-like costume of the Republican male social dominator--the political analogue of an "excellent top." But although they avoid the seedy lifestyles they once lead, the conformist solution that (these men) and countless other conflicted conservatives in crisis have chosen is always evanescent. The culture of the radical right may promise a resolution to unbiblical desires, but in the end, repressed homosexuals can only cover their supposed sins, not wash them away."
The road I have chosen as an expatriate American is probably the easy road. One of the reasons I chose to expatriate was because the more and more I travelled the more I saw how other people, other nations, other cultures dealt so much better with their fear of authority, behavior and religion. Indeed, figuring out who and what I am, what reared me, and what so angers me about my home country's politics is hard. And more importantly, it's sad, it's very sad.
Republican Gomorrah is a great read.
Rant (and read) on. -tgs-