Monday, September 24, 2012

Wanted: A Class Act

Following this election, I suspect we are going to see a gentrification of the Republican party.  Particularly if the wingnuts in the House and Senate turn out to be losers.

Way back, when I was a girl from New York, the boys I dated mostly went to Ivy League schools and belonged to the Young Republicans Club where we went to cocktail parties, not political rallies.

To me, it was a social thing, not political. Nice boys from nice families with enough cash to do dinner and a movie - or take me dancing at the yacht club. 

Today, Republicans seem to be mobs carrying signs that generally contain misspelled epithets, or pictures of bloody fetuses or insults to Muslims.

Or middle-aged, fat-bellied white men wearing cowboy hats, toting guns and threatening the overturn of the government.

Or sharp-tongued old women with sneering expressions and teabags dangling from their hats.

Or young women wearing big crosses on their breasts - all claiming to be filled with God's love but spewing enough hate to fill the bathtub Grover Nosetwist wants to drown our government in.

The funniest thing about these lower and middle class Neanderthal types is they are agitating for the election of the upper class snob of the century.

All the whores and whore hounds on Fox News - and I don't ascribe these references to their sexual mores (necessarily) - are following along the well worn path of denigrating and insulting the "democrat" party and jeering at what they call its failures.

But in the background, steadily but quietly coming forward, there are less fevered views emanating from some of the deeper thinkers of the party.

Lincoln, unaware of how much he sold himself short, said at Gettysburg:  "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here but it can never forget what they did here."

It's a reference that I am misapplying here because I think the same can be said for the vulgar conversation this country is having with itself.

I hope when Obama wins, when education once again gains stature, when the dust settles and what was once the "Party of Lincoln" can retrieve its reputation and its sanity with a re-gentrification of its principles. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Southern Fried Stupid

A friend of mine, not known for dealing in smut, just posted a link on Face Book. He was recording his amusement after having seen a pair of outsize testicles hanging from the bumper of a truck plying the highways of Arkansas.
He, as I, was ignorant of the popularity of these phenomena, but we were both thoroughly disabused of our innocence - he in the flesh - which, hopefully, was not a literal description  - and I after viewing this site:
Judging from the comments to his revelation, these cuties are very popular in certain parts of the country. Namely, those states that are colored red and pink on the maps that daily mark the political poll results.
Sure, those who dwell in those states will say I am making an unfair generalization but, unfortunately, statistics are clear.
There is a class of people who seem to favor all the same things. NASCAR, fundamental religion, fervent and frequent  displays of the flag, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, scouring voter registrations of Dems, overturning laws favorable to gays and abortion and "truck nutz." And they all live in what is called the bible belt and its extensions.
And the odd thing is that they, the so-called "conservatives" of the country, appear to be residents of the states with the lowest educational scores and the highest numbers of welfare recipients.
A few (very few)  of my friends are from the South and have an accent to  prove  it...but they are among the few who don't fit the mold. It pains me to criticize their origins (but not much). 
My view is to live and let live, but it is maddening that these kinds of people seem always to have so much of the entire country by its testicles.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Wordy Gurdy Plays On

I have always been fond of words. They were my best friends when I was a latchkey kid with a library next door.

My hearing is acute when one of my "friends" gains currency - particularly in the world of politics, which also interests me.

What brought this to mind was realizing that the phrase "writ large" has been springing to the lips of many commentators with unusual frequency. It's a colorful term only in that it wears the hoary coat of time long gone. Isn't this the vocabulary of the 18th century, at the latest?  What brings it back into modish use? Apparently, someone  resurrected it or simply adopted it from lawyerly language and it caught on.

I first noticed this coattail effect in the 80's. I was working for a weekly newspaper and became aware that no one I quoted or interviewed had conversations anymore. They were all having "dialogues." Nothing wrong with that except it became so universal as to be risible.

Now "risible" is a good word that, in the misty dim past, I  found used frequently in Taylor Caldwell's early works, and rarely anywhere else. But it, too, is making a comeback and I am reluctant to credit her since her books are dusty with time.

Who then?

"Redound" is a perfectly fine word but not one that rushes to everyone's mouth. It's one I have always liked and was pleased to hear Rachel Maddow use it. It is now circulating with a degree of enthusiasm.

Was it Rachel?

Probably the word that seemed to gain its highest degree of popularity among the goppers around the time of George the Better's single term was "demagogue."  When I first noticed it I have to admit I had to look up the definition. Naively, I thought that is what  people do when they don't know the meaning of something. However, I was mistaken.

In an interview just after her husband's defeat, Barbara Bush kept referring to the "bad effects" of all the "demagoguery" being the cause of his loss. She spoke with disarmingly candid certainty.

Amazingly, the interviewer (a newsman whose identity is lost to me) asked Barbara what "demagoguery" meant. I credit her with honesty but I am still blown away by her answer. "Well, I don't know," she admitted.

There is a lesson here but I don't have a word for it.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Sunday Missile

Can the American electorate recognize ersatz anything? Or have entities like Monsanto and Fox News and Citizens United   succeeded in supplanting not only Mother Nature, but every other thing we consume,  including information? 

You have to be comatose not to recognize the insincerity of these slugs who want to manage your soul, your reproductive organs, your diet, your vote and all your household goods, and then agitate for the defeat of a man whose main concern is our access to good health.

I just turned on MSNBC's "Up" and am watching a clip of Paul Ryan, the goppers' VP candidate who sounds like a sophomore running for class president. Please deliver us from these opportunists who likely got an  "A"  in high school public speaking and acquired their morals from an unholy and archaic priesthood.

It may be overly-optimistic to think that we have had the good fortune to see Romney and Ryan slip and slide and that voters will recognize their brand could be bad for the country.

There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, but I am going to pin my hopes on a measure of perspicacity summoning from and to the general public.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Little Things Mean a Lot

Has anyone noticed that Romney and Ryan have bloodless lips that seem to signify all the passion of  lemons, the souls of snakes and the hearts of artichokes?

Look closely at those tight, compressed lines across the bottom of both their faces after every lie or exaggeration. The mouths must be telling us something above and  beyond the words that come out of them.

Do you think this an unfair observation? Well, it could be - if it were not part and parcel of a bigger package.

Leslie Savan in The Nation  ( gave us an interesting portrait of Mitt by using his body language to tell us things he probably would prefer we not  know:

"...[d]uring a photo op in Israel earlier this week, as the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States stood next to the relaxed and voluble Benjamin Netanyahu like an animatronic prop".

"...[c]heck out Mitt’s arms: they’re held stiffly at his sides, hands below the belt; no gestures for him and no self-assertion at all. Maybe the problem was that, even though Romney was trying to talk “tough” about Iran, his body knew that simply parroting whatever Bibi (and Sheldon Adelson) want him to say is anything but tough. So his body tried to shout, “Weak!” Just look at the symbolism of the old chums’ relative body language: Bibi grabs the mic, Bibi grabs Mitt’s hand for the shake; Romney, meanwhile, is all deference and obedient schoolboy, and about as commanding as one." 

A scary assessment of a potential leader of the free world.

And even Dan Ackroyd noticed his "funny walk," suggesting he might be wearing a girdle.

Are we being unfair? I don't think so.

Think of the lives that might have been saved if, before we allowed the Supremes to choose Bush the Lesser, we had noted the swagger, the beady little eyes and the fact that he dropped everything he touched.

Even animals understand body language. We ignore these revelations at our peril.