Carry On Blogage
I’ve been on the rove for the last couple of weeks assessing the growing threat to America from what we once revered as Christendom but now increasingly fear as Europe. My ominous forebodings will be offered in coming days. In the meanwhile, current events of various import have earned my two cents’ worth. Let’s start with the latest.
Never Too White or Too Young
The 19th century steel baron Andrew Carnegie is famous for being both brute and benefactor. He was ruthless at keeping his workers in penury but generous to education and culture with the millions that his meanness earned.
Carnegie believed that if he paid decent wages to ordinary Americans they would waste it on rum and ribaldry. Better, he thought, to build colleges and libraries for those open to knowledge.
The old Scotchman would not have been surprised by Michael Jackson, a working class kid from the steel town of Gary who, bubbling with talent and creativity, went wacky when he came into the big bucks.
Since his success at show biz was stupendous, Jackson's failure at life biz could be no less stunning. We provided an eager audience for both. We adored watching him in an arena or at an arraignment--or, even better, imagining his weird nursery games at the palace of puerility he built in the hills outside Santa Barbara.
Our rulers discovered long ago that an infantilized society is more easily fooled and ruled than an adult one. Jacko was the personification of this insight. He helped to turn growing up in America from an upper to a downer. He went from brown boy to golden youth to ghostly white to apparition. His life was all smart steps and wrong moves. We cry for him, like babies.
Watch Your Language
Though some of you may guffaw, I try to make this blog accurate and amusing as well as alliterative. In other words I use words carefully because I know what damage careless ones can do. Consider the sad case of Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina. People mistook him to say he was going on the Appalachian Trail when in fact he said he was going for Argentinian tail.* Though none of us are perfect, I make every effort to avoid such confusion.
(Credit to Stephanie Miller and the Mooks for that perfect line)
Our ire over Iran, now overchadored by Sanford and Jacko, should be familiar to those knowledgeable of the M&M formula.
Rigged elections with riotous aftermaths repressed by reactionary regimes are standard practice from Fiji to Florida. We ordinary Americans are advised by our government and media to simply ignore the vast majority of these foreign franchise fracases.
However, there are some that take precedence among our pixels. They fall into two categories. There are election riots that break out in countries with U.S. military bases and McDonald’s outlets. These are the M&M nations that we favor. Demonstrators are portrayed as terrorist hooligan anarchist commies out to foment chaos.
Then there are those in countries that have opted to defend themselves with their own armies and feed themselves their own chopped meat specialties. When locals angrily take to the streets in these countries, we celebrate them as virtuous idealists striving for the freedoms that we Americans enjoy.
This inconsistency gives foreigners the idea that we’re more interested in spreading bases and burgers than in promoting democracy. I’m afraid they’re right. If the evil Iranians welcomed David Petraeus and Ronald McDonald to open for business in Teheran tomorrow, Ahmadinejad and the mullahs would soon be schmoozing on The View with Whoopi and Joy.