Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wonderland Redux

     There were two critical events at the RNC Convention that made sitting through those three days of  Down the Rabbit Hole hideosity worthwhile. 
     First, I'm so glad I was present in real time, in full context, to see Clint Eastwood's bizarre performance of the Cranky Old White Guy Yelling At An Empty Chair.  It was priceless and if you want a brilliant explication of the meaning and subtext of that odd comic bit in the context of the Republican "message" over the last 3 years, please watch Jon Stewart's take on his August 31, Daily Show clip on his website:  (most recent show)
     But second, and most important was the eye opening moment when Mitt Romney, the Presidential nominee, the newly minted leader of the RNC, the standard bearer of all things Republican, snidely said, "President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. . . . "  (eye-roll, who does he think he is, anyway, King Canute? Snicker, snicker) AT THE EXACT MOMENT when thousands of Americans were up to their necks in the . . . RISING OCEAN . . .  of the gulf coast.
     Every American who lives near any coast or near any river or river bottom or floodplain or downstream from any dam or anywhere near the Mississippi River valleys needs to pay attention.  To Republicans, those rising seas are a joke.  But to millions who are in growing danger of losing their homes and communities, those same rising seas  are a glimpse of the future bearing down on all of us, hard.
     Remember that.  


TCG said...

Always risky to present a more centrist viewpoint in this blog, but here goes. Ann, given the fact that different speakers at the convention spoke specifically of the disaster and the clergy led the audience in prayer for the victims, I did not take Governor Romney's comment about the rising ocean to mean anything other than a global warming reference. To me, he was simply making the point that President Obama's efforts on world-wide initiatives could be better spent focusing on the people who need more specific and immediate help in the USA. If I felt differently, like you do, I would say so.

Also, I see that the Governor interrupted his campaign tour so he and his wife could visit the disaster sight and draw more attention to the plight of the victims.

This is a nasty campaign, and some supporters on both sides do a lot to unfairly disparage the candidates. There is much for us to sift through.

In that regard, I just finished an interesting book,"The Communist" by Paul Kengor, Ph.D. I appreciated the hundreds of referenced footnotes and declassified documents (many photocopied), and would recommend this book to anyone who would like more insight into our President and his formative influences. No, this author is not a "birther" type. He has written similar introspectives on other well known politicians such as Hilary Clinton, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

This will be a very interesting next 2 1/2 months for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Well, from what I took from the convention is this. The GOP has a platform that I'd like to call a "throwback" to the 1950s: a time when the United States was a country that had no flaws, only polish. It was unrealistic. They seemed disconnected from modern times and societal evolution.

As far as Romney "interrupting his campaign tour" so he and his wife would assess the damage of Hurricane Isaac, his visit was a part of the campaign. Take, for example, Robert Redford's 1972 film "The Candidate." In that movie, Redford's character arrives at the scene of a disaster, and Redford's opponent arrives to speak to reporters after flying in on his campaign helicopter.

Also, while he was there, Romney did tell a homeless woman who was displaced as a result of the hurricane to "go home and call 211."


Kengor's book also contains factual inaccuracies and wild presumptions about the President that showcase an intense hatred. There are footnotes and declassified documents that referred primarily to Frank Marshall Davis, and there's this prevailing presumption that Obama is in lockstep with the mentor, that there is some telepathic link between him and Davis.

It's also ridiculous to say that we, as human beings, completely absorb the political ideologies and opinions of our friends, colleagues and acquaintances. The "guilt by association" card is similar to the race card when it comes to political irrelevance. If we spend more time talking about who we're associated with than the policies that we support and put on the table, we're contributing to a society that votes based on hearsay more than material fact.

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

This article explains a lot:

Churadogs said...

TCG, point taken except Romney had a bully pulpit, all eyes on him in that moment and he used a threat to both American security and human survival to take a cheap shot at his opponent. Too bad. Lost opportunity. Unless you are a climate change denier, you have to understand the profound economic (if nothing else is important to Republicans but money)disruption this will bring (has already brought) to every country. And since the world is now so linked, weather change impacts across the globe will affect us here at home, including efforts to protect "you and your family." And we have no time to lose on this. None.

Regarding "communist." I'm of an age that I remember the McCarthy era well and the fear and real life damage done to real people as well as the body politic. It was a disgraceful chapter in American history (so much for Republican nostalgia for the picket-fence '50s -- their memories are so oddly selective.) I also am very aware of how language and subtext works. "Communist" is one of those presumptively pejorative words that are bandied about with little understanding. "Socialist," too. Using those words without accurate precision, because of the ugly legacy McCarthy left us, should always cause a red flag to hit the ground.It is a word used for heat but not light. It is a word used to shut down the brain, not open it up. It is a knee-jerk term, more often than not, short on accuracy, long on bomb-throwing fake rhetoric. (Remember Gingrich's over the top list of perjoratives (radical socialist) he tossed at Obama, none of which could possibly stick in the light of day, or in the face of honest scrutiny. Or Palin's "palling around with terrorists?" That's not illumination or even accuracy, it's just fake inflamation and so must be approached with EXTREME caution and a huge dose of salt.

Alon Perlman said...

I receive this second hand, only watching a fragment and of course via this blog
To be fair to Romney (Why-what has he ever done for me or will?) the marketing of a candidate is what drives this phenomenon, not the “what will actually happen” after inaugural day.
So even if there was an actual plan that is executable and result in “an America of the next century” it would not be presented in detail. The Handlers would not allow it, too boring.
To me watching the convention would be like going to a circus to learn about animal behavior.
Thanks for watching and describing Ann. Also for the wisdom in Churadog’s comment.
As for watching it; Better you than me.
Someone watching day one of the convention relayed to me her surprise that she saw a lady in the crowd with tea bags hanging from the brim. Imagine those tea bags as defining a circle. In the center of that circle is a point. That point is smack dab in the middle of the midbrain. And that midbrain receives messages of a very narrow frequency and only of high amplitude. Behavior based marketing.
This convention exists to deliver those messages. Mom and Apple pie. Rinse repeat.
The Sahara was once an ocean, now only the leg bones of extinct transitional whale forms bask there in the sun. The sea rise estimates presented in 2007 didn’t account for ice shelf calving. The report’s ( draft was completed in May ’07, Two thousand and seven had the record ice melt until?
2012 arctic sea ice record low and the year isn’t over. So the melt is progressing faster than the official predictions.
If there are ostriches in the Sahara in 50 years, they could keep their heads in the ground without fear of drowning. And Tempe with its highest point at 48 feet above current sea level would not be completely under water, however it may be an island, and it will experience increases in hurricanes.
YET, as for every thing else (globally interdependent economy affected by unpredictable changes as in Ann’s comment, to which I’ll add contamination of the worlds fresh water supplies with a large pinch of salt) for every thing else all bets are off.
And if all bets are off, there can’t be an economy, can there?

Anonymous said...

Just a lot of hot air expelled on this blog.

Nothing real other than perceived fear, angst, and distrust of other with different plumage.

Churadogs said...

Alon: That's the weird thing about the Republicans: they pretend to be concerned about the economy and money matters. A climate-changed world is gonna cost big time. BIG TIME. Yet not a peep out of them. Strange.

Alon Perlman said...

Sarcastically strange? and "costs who?"The wisest man selleth his land before the flood" Sure, but it has to be that way. Are we on the wrong side of the imaginary white picket fence? The step separating the preacher and the choir? Denial is a very normal human experience. So is anger, then…. (then… I had to go to Wikipedia- the first thing that happened after “denial” and “anger” were typed, was that a “denial anger acceptance” option showed –so I clicked on that, and it took me episode 3, season 1, of The Soprano’s –Fuhgeddaboutit.
If it follows the Big Lie Doctrine then it has to be BIG. It’s about gaining the minds and hearts of the audience, and if it is a critically sized audience, the power to control the world. The message isn’t written for the people who can’t be fooled all the time. Sometimes it is written to make them look the fools for not accepting it, sometime the math and timing leaves them entirely out of the equation. Let the message be written for enough of those who are fooled part of the time to join in with the all time fools, and you have a world changing event.
Absolute power? Relative power. The kind of power that prevents others from having that kind of power. All that in order to do what? Save the world? If Obama is the biggest threat to America then that is a low bar to set – “mission accomplished” can be on November 7 (or is it 6th ? now I’m confused).
The big lie can’t deliver a relief from global weather change. It can’t even really convincingly focus on the economy. So there is a big bang and a puff of smoke and the man is fired from the Cannon and lands on/misses the net and the show goes on. And only the Carnies know and the professor cares that it’s a spring loaded catapult with a simultaneously triggered flash – pop firework and talcum powder for effect.
Democracy permits consensus errors. Not so “Nature”. If the apex predator consumes it’s habitat, it goes extinct. But first it has to eat up all the pray that it had once grown too big to consume. (You eat the same carrion on the way down as…) The earth as such abides. A different greenish planet. Not even a string of John Kennedys or Ikes or Roosevelts or Mechano-Ben-Franklinzilla can affect that reversal. Not even Baberaham Lincoln, Vampire Killer.
Kübler-Ross added that these stages are not meant to be complete or chronological. Her hypothesis also holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-altering event feels all five of the responses nor will everyone who does experience them do so in any particular order. The hypothesis is that the reactions to illness, death, and loss are as unique as the person experiencing them. so adding “Bargaining”, “Depression”, and the order DABDA, here is not out of context. I always have a problem with this description of “Grief” not that there are five distinguishable stages. Just that this great notion so transcends the rather mundane word “grief”. The five stages of planetary mass extinction? What are the five stages of “Happiness”? I know “contentment” is one, is “Acceptance” the first?
I suppose that by Alon’s fairness (aloofness?) doctrine I should completely avoid the Donkey’s circus, but I did catch a part about “a car without floorboards”, and that “success is measured not in money but by how much you have helped others”. It didn’t sound trite to me, so I must be biased. But I’d rather watch “A game of thrones” then either DNC or RNC. The unknown/unexpected factor is there and the plotlines are easier to unravel. And I don’t know how that one ends. So again- thanks for going there.