Monday, April 1, 2013

Nature has not gone berserk; it’s politics as usual in a capitalist republic

Say what you will about the hell that is US election campaigns, they’re still the greatest circus sideshow anywhere--taking the place of freak shows. Last seasons jokers have moved on to oblivion but the US is more than capable of providing a whole new batch even more repulsive than the last. What is it about extreme wealth that produces so many halfwits?

Wouldn’t you know, freak shows originated in the royal courts of Egypt, Rome, & Europe where little people, conjoined twins, those disabled or deformed were held in royal menageries & used for entertainment. They reached commercial zenith in England & the US where racism became a feature & the overweight joined the menagerie.

Partly as a consequence of the US Civil Rights Movement & certainly the disability rights movement, freak shows came into disrepute & are seldom seen at circuses today. But they took on a new incarnation in dozens of daytime talk shows, including Oprah, throughout the 1980s. Jerry Springer & popular TV reality shows continue the tradition of treating human beings who are “different” as objects of ridicule & pity.

Apparently US politicians have studied this phenomenon & concluded freakiness is their ticket to ride. And they ride it like a bronco! The favorite has to be Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congressperson, who combines demagoguery with idiocy with grandstanding. She even takes out Joe Biden & Paul Ryan for all that. She has been likened to the Rosanne Rosannadanna of US politics.

You’d think conservatives would be embarrassed by her but they love her, she speaks to them & they echo her idiocies. Glenn Beck says Bachmann is under investigation for campaign finance violations because a faction of radical Islam embedded in the US government is out to get her. To explain her inflammatory style, one conservative blogger says her generation of Baby Boomers are factional fighters because we were torn between supporters & opponents of the Vietnam war. How torn was a generation where most youth stood against their elders & actively opposed the war? A professor of no repute & less insight says the Baby Boomer generation lack a sense of irony & for some reason identifies us with Fox news. He says Hannity is “pure smarm”--& he’s got that right--but then he adds, “Preachy, soap-box hollering is the stuff of Baby Boomer politics." So much for conservative theoretics! No wonder Obama looks good in comparison.

Some may find repugnance at freak shows incompatible with ridiculing politicians but it’s really a case of history reversing itself & exposing the truth. Where plebeians were once held in menageries for royal entertainment, the tables are turned & we get to see who the real freaks are. So lighten up because the election sideshow is coming soon. Samantha the spider girl has nothing on Bachmann or Biden. And no, nature has not gone berserk; it’s politics as usual in a capitalist republic.

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