I watch a lot of cable news. It’s a crummy job, but I have to endure it for professional reasons. During the week, my main sources are Fox and MSNBC, and on weekends I like to watch Book TV on CSPAN II. I watch CNN when I want to go to sleep.
Fox and MSNBC usually have a few good programs. There are times when I can find stories on either channel that are under reported or ignored by the rest of mainstream broadcasting. On the other hand, both are well known purveyors of propaganda for their respective ideologies. There’s enough bullshit spewing from their mouths to fertilize the Sahara Desert.
Today my pet peeve is with Sean Hannity, whose lopsided lie factory I rarely watch, but I wanted to see how he was going to handle the now-famous Obama handshake with Raul Castro. I must say his bile exceeded my expectations. He was nose-deep on the bullshit meter.
As he usually does, Hannity brought on some hapless Democrat hack to rip apart, repeatedly interrupting him to denounce the president as a traitor. Then he’d throw up images of Big O bowing before the Saudis and taking a book from the late Hugo Chavez, while jabbering like a spastic baboon about freedom and mom’s apple pie. I wanted to crawl into the TV and kick him in the nuts.
As anyone who is halfway aware of current events knows, the handshake took place at the funeral services for Nelson Mandela, the political prisoner who went on to become the president of South Africa. The Republican spinmeisters want to talk about anything but that sorry episode of their history, but I remember it well.
Back in 1977, I was watching the Reverend Pat Robertson’s 700 Club on the tube. Pat rolled out a big map of South Africa and pointed to areas where “strategic metals” were being mined. That was a good enough reason to support the apartheid white minority government, to keep those assets out of the hands of the black commies. It was a shocking thing to see, after the civil rights battles we in the US had concluded only ten years earlier.
It only got worse after Reagan got elected. The racist wing of the party was in full flower, and the biggest cheerleaders were Robertson and Jerry Falwell. To be sure, there were a few brave Republicans who remembered they were from the party of Lincoln, but there were too many others (including Dick Cheney and William F. Buckley) who perpetuated the notion that the natives were incapable of democracy. Congress had to override Dutch’s veto to get any sanctions against the Afrikaner Nationalists.
And as for shaking hands with criminal scum despots, Reagan’s hands would never come clean. I even clipped a photo of Ronnie and Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega out of the newspaper and pasted in thought balloons of what they really thought of each other. (Reagan: “Commie bastard!” Ortega: “Capitalist asshole!”) And while he was telling Mickey Gorbachev to “tear down that wall” he was still trying to prop up murderers like Ferdie Marcos and Gus Pinochet.
It’s an old wound that the current GOP is still trying to heal. The establishment knows how badly they need minority voters if they ever hope to become a working majority again, so you get Charlie Krauthammer comparing Mandela to George Washington. I’m sure that made some Tea Party hardliners climb the walls.
If you believe in Heaven, you can be sure that Saint Peter is swinging open the gates for Nelson Mandela, a man who had all the reason in this mortal world to hate his oppressors, and yet he rose above it.
And if you believe in hell, there is a special place there for creeps like Jerry Falwell, who is no doubt toiling in Ol’ Scratch’s diamond mines, located deep in the sewers of the underworld.
Mandela as George Washington isn’t that far off, RL, except GW’s terrorist acts didn’t land him in jail for a 27 year time out to think about it. Had he been caught, the King of England wouldn’t have put Washington in jail, he would have just been hung.
It might also be worthwhile to note the English invented the modern concentration camp as a place to put uppity Afrikaners and their children.
Hannity is too lazy to make selective use of the facts, like the other talking head on the left and right. He just lies, figuring his viewers are too ignorant to call him on it.
This is one reason I gave up the talking head networks. They just aren’t worth the time.
Even Neil Cavuto denounced the bashing of Obama’s handshake on Wednesday’s “Your World”. It would have been better if he had named Hannity as one of the worst offenders.
And here: http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e230/MeteorBlades/bush_noriega.jpg
And even more here: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-juYi36vbG5c/T1zcurcq4PI/AAAAAAAAAMk/sk8Wdd_2Evc/s1600/Eisenhower+y+Franco.jpg
And a personal favorite of the Internets: http://believeinreason.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Rumsfeld-Saddam.jpg
But here’s the big deal: people under 30 don’t give a crap about whose hand you shake. I mean there’s a high chance they might not even know how to shake a hand, but that’s besides the point. The Millennials are going to legalize dope, same-sex marriage and normalize relations with Cuba. As soon as the Boomers die off. Maybe sooner.
Yeah. One of my “Millie” in-laws once asked me how my generation managed to fuck up the world so bad? I told her not to worry, that she’d get her chance to finish the job, once all the unintended consequences of their agenda set in.
The Millennials may succeed by exercise their great power of doing nothing. I wish them all the luck in the world.
Having raised a “millie”, and seeing the world through her eyes; I completely agree with them. This world is FUBAR, and having the intelligence to recognize this, their reaction has been to create separate realities of their own, albeit not as drug-laden as ours was.
It was one thing to remember a time when things were better, and to work to regain that foothold of humanity, such as was our cause. It’s quite a different thing to be raised in a world never having seen a glimmer of that scenario, and have absolutely zero faith that a world you never saw is possible, given today’s feudal structure.
But never count out the limits our children will bare. There will come a time when rebellion against the machine will once again rise. It’s a historical pendulum that no power has ever been able to stop. It could even be that it’s near time to completely clear the board and start over from scratch.
Millennials are far more of a tinder box than they’re given credit for. They’re not idealists like we were, and they’re much more connected and aware of what’s going on around them, and why.
Millennials aren’t hung up on dumb and superficial pretenses like Obama shaking Castro’s hand or him bowing in front of world leaders. They simply appropriate and Photoshop the media photos onto their Tumblr pages with Obama handing Castro weed instead of shaking his hand.
These are the battles of an aging over-idealistic Boomer class (left and right wing boomers) who’s time, in their minds, is over. It seems to me that Millennials are on a kind of cultural, political and for some, employment strike.
I am with you Chris. Working with and talking to a lot of millennials I have to say they see the world as FUBAR and that has shifted their focus to narrowing on their part.
But I also see very encouraging signs from our mill’s short of igniting the tinder box. They are better educated than the Boom was, better connected, less tied to old cultural norms, and more prone to independent action. Because they don’t share the fantasy that feudal society will care for them they are starting their own gigs, often directed at economic models we could only dream of, like shared ownership of goods and services and for profit ventures that also address social good. They are also adjusting their expectations downward–they are happier than the X’s and Booms.
The poor X’ers are really caught in the middle–they thought they were going to be the idealistic and revolutionary generation but that passed them by–they are buying local food, driving Subarus, having 2 children, and working on fast connections, but not for themselves, thus not controlling their own destiny. I know more than a few X’ers that this really rankles. They have this kind of screwed up expression on their faces like ‘the Boomers FUBAR’d us but the next generation is going to get all the benefit of un-FUBARing it”.
Excellent insight and well put, Steve.
I think if one is talking a lot to college graduate Minnies who are having to accept internships at rent seeking non profits as an integral part of their career path, you will find a lot of discontent. as you should well expect.
I wish all the best to the Millennials. They are indeed inheriting a screwy world, and we boomers certainly did our share of screwing. But I wonder, for every one of these New Utopian Geniuses, how many are there that can’t even spell “Millennial”?
I remember when we wuz young’uns. We threw out every notion of what our parents accepted as normal societal behavior, grew our hair long and lived in communes. We embraced a hard left ideology, spurned the idea that you had to work hard within “the system” to make it in the world. We would end the concept of war, racism and poverty in our lifetime.
Looking back, how naive we were. We were going to change the way things work without any practical experience on how exactly to do that, and as a result we fell into the same trap that every generation eventually stumbles into. We became our parents, and even though we were more enlightened to some degree we made the same stupid mistakes our forefathers did.
The Millennials suffer the same delusion that we did; that you can change human nature if you throw enough money and regulations at it. Hopefully they’ll realize their error before some emerging superpower decides to help them put an end to American Exceptionalism once and for all.
Heard The Who’s “My Generation” today on SiriusXM 21 (that would be Little Steven’s Underground Garage with Kid Leo DJ’ing…brilliant station).
“Hope I die before I get old.”
What does that mean now?
When the surviving members of The Who played at the Superbowl, they changed the lyric to “Don’t wanna die before I get old.”
After Keith Moon, I guess the old version didn’t sound as appealing
“Hopefully they’ll realize their error before some emerging superpower decides to help them put an end to American Exceptionalism once and for all.”
That emerging superpower would have to write off all the money we owe them, but that might not stop them from eventually pulling the plug.
Just for the record doing an internship (or fellowship) at Sierra Business Council is a pretty good gig. In the last 6 years we have done about 30 internships. All of our interns are paid as roughly entry level market rates and all get health insurance coverage either through us or through the programs they are placed through. The vast majority of those interns (about 19) were placed with our energy program, were college graduates or post graduate students, and in their year they were trained in new energy economy job skill–most of them went on to full time employment in the field. Several of our interns were from the Americorps program and of the 5 Americorps participants we have had we hired 3 in full time positions. Right now we have two fellows from the ClimateCorps program (they are paid, insured and get a housing stipend). One fellow is on a temporary assignment from their university where they are doing post graduate work and completing a requirement for a PeaceCorps program. Two of our fellows in the last 3 years have been from the Encore Fellows program, both retiring C level executives from Fortune 500 tech companies preparing for a second career in the social sector. One of our interns was on a job training program, who we subsequently hired in a full time position. To the best of knowledge none have been “discontented”.
So, where are the Gen-Xers in all of this?
Working and being all middle class like. Carrying the burden of the tax load in this country, as the middle class always does. We also complain about Millennials. Sometime Boomers.
No time for outrage when you’re up to your armpits in Martians, to quote Bugs Bunny.
We’re all Bozos on this bus.
CLOSE B CLOTHES MODE ON Chris
(a little something else for Firesign Theater fans)
Jon Stewart nailed this false hysteria last night.