Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Foul Air of Cable Television

I remember when I went to California in 1965 after being discharged from the military. It was before the clean air act and on days when there was a temperature inversion the air was so dirty and foul that your eyes ran tears, your chest burned and you had to drive with the headlights on; head-on accidents were commonplace. When I watch cable TV I am reminded of those days.

I won't abide TV commercials so I'm an inveterate surfer, skimming the channels for something fresh. I used to watch the 24-hour news channels but after CNN's always-fawning coverage of Israel (and its non-coverage genocide in Gaza), Keith Obermann and Chris Matthews’ smart but slavering commentary and the accelerating boobery of the Fox network I now skim those too. The air there now smells like the San Fernando Valley’s in the 60s—foul, putrid. Today is the anniversary of the Tate and La Bianca slaughters and I was living in Beverly Hills then so I know the rotten miasma that hung in the air then. I am not going too far when I say that the same, fearful stink is hovering over this country after years and years of hateful political antagonism originating in Washington D.C. and purposely focused white-hot by cable television.

To my mind, the present health care issue may have little to do with health care after all. The hate being drummed up by the Fox network, especially, and the far right of the Republican party over the health care issue couldn't find the traction is has except as a stalking horse issue for deepest racism over the fact that Obama is black. I make no apologies for that statement because I'm as white and working class as they get. So are almost all my friends and they hate the president mostly for the fact that he is black. No, they hate him because he's a "nigger" and, by extension, most of them call him a "dumb nigger". When I point out that he has a juris doctor degree and taught constitutional law at Harvard they hesitate. I know better than to point out that, in contrast, GWB was a C-minus student at Yale they come to a full stop, then accuse me of Bush bashing. Their inherent, inherited, racism is being played very deftly by masters of that particularly pernicious art.

The reason GWB is a hero to my working class buddies, and to the Fox network they watch exclusively, is because they are high school graduates, perhaps went to a trade school, and that is Fox's target audience. To them, Sean Hannity is their Aristotle and Rush Limbaugh might be orating at the Athenian senate to loud applause. Another reason he is a hero is that he is white and, despite the fact that he was also born with a silver foot in his mouth, he is obviously a Texas 'neck and someone they can relate to, or bond with. Obama is someone they would gladly drag down a Texas country backroad if Rush Limbaugh hinted at it. But then, he does. Daily.

Glenn Beck is a high school graduate, no more, and an ex-disc jockey who is glib indeed. However, I have heard him confuse, and meld, the historical issues that fomented the American and Russian revolutions because he doesn't know the difference. He rants about socialism but he is absolutely clueless to the fact that his church, the Mormons, started off as one of the (small "c") communistic churches in the mid-1800s, like the Amana Community and several others of the time. His church is still a profoundly socialist organization that runs farms, ranches, and other organizations like Deseret Industries to support their welfare programs for church members only. They dictate that all good Mormons stock two years' food supplies and are vigilant about tithes of 10% of all incomes, and the church has run the state of Utah as a virtual theocracy since 1847 in the spirit of other rigidly idealistic shadow governments. This baby-faced ranter, Beck, is a fixture on the conservative talk circuit and, nice guy that he may be in private life, because of his passion and the limited intellect of both him and his audiences, he stirs up enough hate at his overflowing speaking engagements to remind one of mini-Nuremburgs.

MSNBC has taken the “high road” only in the tenor of their rhetoric. Mr. Obermann and Mr. Matthews like to cast themselves in the roles of raising intellectual bulwarks against the Luddites and Vandals at Fox but their intent is the same: keep the pot boiling. That serves no good purpose; in fact it serves the Devil’s own ends and if there’s a Hell they’re all going to be hopping on hot coals with giddy imps happily prodding their bare butts with red hot pokers for eternity. I certainly hope so; and they should have a bunch of company. The roster will surely read: Pelosi, Bohner, Reid, Lieberman, etc, etc, etc . . .

And that's my rant for the day. Thank you for your support.

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