14. September 2009 · Comments Off on Clouds of Illusion · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Politics, Rant, Tea Time, That's Entertainment!

I am amused to note a lot of amusing new and old media fall-out, after the massive Tea-party inspired rally on the Mall on Saturday – which, depending on which media outlet and which political orientation you read – may have been as many as two million people or just one or two of them walking a million times around the Capitol Building. They were all carrying Nazi symbols, and Confederate banners and getting their hate on, according to some of the more … ahem … outspoken commentators, such as this one, whose illustration for his post takes the absolute cake for condescension and arrogance … although apparently, the Tea Partiers did pick up the trash when they were done, for which I think they ought to get some credit. And no, I didn’t read much past the ‘teabagger’ reference in the linked column. That’s according to my new principle of considering that as akin to the n-word. This Daggatt person is supposed to be “a meticulous political blogger” according to David Brin’s blog at Open Salon, and offer a “ a truly excellent appraisal.” Yeah, that David Brin. Guess he doesn’t get out all that much.

Quite honestly, I am left shaking my head in weary disbelief, reading the picture that is painted of the Tea Party and conservatives/libertarians in general on the leftist blogs and media – in a similar way that I used to be shaking my head at the portrayal of the military, in similar venues. People would write the most astonishing things, insist that every word was true, and the most horrible things were going on in the military – and couldn’t accept that what they were saying wasn’t anything like the military that I actually lived in. You’d think that a military veteran and someone active in the Tea Party would have some credibility with them, for … you know, actually being there, and being able to speak with authority regarding their particular concern … but no. Their minds were already made up – and who should I believe, them or my lying eyes?

Coincidentally, there is another ruckus brewing – fortunately this involves Hollywood and it’s not Kanye West, so it’s fairly minor, rating only a long and amusing thread at John Scalzi’s Whatever. Apparently the pearls are being clutched, over the inability of this film to find an American distributor because – get this! Those fundamentalist American yahoos are just so anti-the-teaching-of evolution that no one will touch a costume drama about Charles Darwin with a ten-foot pole. Oh, spare me the attack of the vapors, people – the grownups in this country who eschew Michael Bay and all his works and his ways eat up this high-toned, historical costume-drama Merchant Ivory stuff as if it were a quart of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, and don’t you even try telling me otherwise.

See, both these parties appear to have something in common – besides a stratospherically high estimation of their own superiority – and that is, they think they know something, and everything they read, hear on TV, and at cocktail party chit-chat with their friends all reinforces that thing that they think they know. The producers of “Creation” – or more likely, the marketing guru who they have hired to gin up some controversy, attract some attention, and with luck, snag an American distribution deal, all know that Americans (to quote the acerbic Mr. Scalzi) are knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Creationists. All nice, creative, brilliant and witty Brits know this, and they know this because they read it in their newspapers and hear it on the BBC, and all their nice, creative, brilliant and witty friends say so.

And so it is also with our very own dear media and intellectual elite: they just know that the Tea Party folks are ignorant, racist, knuckle-dragging hicks, who are puppets of (pick one or all) Fox TV, the Republican Party, or the insurance industry, because all the very best people say so, and really … the New York Times say so, and so does NPR. Well, there you go. I think that what these people have done is to create a simulacrum in their own minds of what an American is, or a semi-libertarian conservative Constitutionalist is, which has some tiny and almost coincidental resemblance to what they are, really … and for one reason or another, it’s just easier, or more comforting to believe in the simulacrum.

Well, it’s kinder than thinking they are all just nucking futs, which was my first reaction. Hey, I at least did the courtesy of at least trying to be understanding. I live to serve, people.

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