The Teabaggers

15 August 2012

This morning I received an email from an old friend.  He wanted my thoughts and comments on the Tea Party.  Here is my reply.

I watched the rise of the TP.  I listened to Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin and the rest.  I thought the TP sounded like a drunken father raging at his kid for something kid couldn’t help doing.  Or more accurately, raging at his kid for something the father did himself.

I also got a strong whiff of nihilism.  In its rage and frustration at the effects of the 2000s, the TP just wants to destroy anything and everything it can find — including its own economic well-being.  The mentality of the TP is that of a shopping mall shooter who kills everyone he can see, then blows out his own brains.
The only thing I ever hear from the TP is its knee-jerk cry to “cut taxes and spending”.  I haven’t heard the TP propose anything new.  All the TP wants is the same old same old, but the same old doesn’t work anymore and that’s why we are where we are.
As to their special demon, regulation, the TP has forgotten, if indeed it ever knew, that regulations exist to stop us from ripping out each others’ throats.  For example: Company X is not regulated so it dumps all manner of crud and corruption into the local water supply.  So then, what is the poor little shopkeeper downstream to do when the crud and corruption poisons his child?  Answer?  The only one possible: Kill the son of a bitch and burn his place down,
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Here’s another example: Congress did away with the old Glass-Stegal act, “unshackling Wall Street” from its regulation, and look what happened.
There’s a monstrous cruelty at play too.  The TP foams at the mouth about Medicaid/Medicare, programs whose exenteration will jam-up people who are powerless to object, much less able to resist.  It’s like kicking small dogs.  I wish Paul Ryan could have ridden with me on the bus for a few days.
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Then there’s the homeless vet standing on the corner with his little cardboard sign.  He’s broken in mind and body by war but because we must mind the deficit, he can’t get a decent meal, a warm place to sleep or help exorcising the goblins.
Now about that deficit: Has the TP proposed reducing it by, say, killing the oil depletion allowance?  Or ending agricultural subsidies?  Not that I’ve ever heard.
Bottom line, the TP is negative, resentful, paranoid, inwardly focused and smacks of sociopathy.
Fortunately, holding all this TP stuff inside gets painful and most people eventually tire of the pain.  When they do, they drop all the TP’s unpleasantness and become the people they once were.  This is demonstrated by the noticeable fall-off in TP membership and sympathy.  Oh, it will sputter on no doubt, but it won’t be the hotbed of incivility and buffoonery it was in 2010.

-Merlin-


The New Human Being

13 August 2012

Last night, I read on AlJezzera a dreadful prognostication.  Thanks to the failure of this year’s corn crop, we can look for even more food riots than took place a couple of years ago.  Egypt, for example, survives only because it gets its vittles from The Great Satan.  If we have nothing to give the Egyptians, what then?  Part of the unrest which spawned the Arab Spring came from this very kind of food scarcity.  Not enough to eat, and what there was cost like sin.  The people got ugly and that was that.  People do strange things to eat.

A few posts back I wrote of a world cleansed of our surplus numbers by famine and pestilence.  I imagined our new, smaller, population would milder sorts of creatures and we’d enter an era of peace and tranquility.  I’ve changed my mind.

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One afternoon, in some gawd-awful pest-hole of a country there is a barren heath, lifeless save for a few desiccated  plants.  Standing under a broiling sun is a man we’ll call Gnut.  He’s standing just outside his hovel, a heap of packed dirt and weeds.  Inside lay his wife, freshly dead from Ebola.  At his feet, bloated from starvation, sobs his toddler in mortal distress.  It’s beseeching its father for something, please god, to eat.  Gnut, nothing but a bag of sticks himself, is ready to collapse in resigned apathy.

Then, off on the left, Gnut spys his neighbor eating an insect and something turgid in Gnut’s soul comes to life.  Picking up a rock, Gnut saunters over and smashes in his neighbor’s head.  Gnut proceeds to hack off  one of the dead man’s legs and takes it back to his child.  A fire is laid and the two dine on their hideous repast.

Slaked with human blood and sated with human meat, Gnut and his child live to see another day.

But we notice, do we not, that no one else in Gnut’s community was committing murder and cannibalism.  His neighbors, who were in equally bad straits, simply drifted off, casting away their dead babies as they went.  When enervation finally overtook them, they simply sat down on their keesters and died.  Not a peep.

Of course, all around the ruined earth there were some others carrying the same genetic anomaly as Gnut; before they even thought of starving, they’d happily eat their kith and kin.  Because of this gruesome trait, these people survived.  As the earth endured its tribulation, those like Gnut and his child became an ever-greater portion of humanity and they thrived, for they were — there is no other word for it — Fit.

As in survival of the fittest.  Fittest for the new conditions that obtained.

These Gnut-like humans have a gene buried deep in their DNA; a gene that wouldn’t cavil at murder and cannibalism to survive.  Indeed, in the face of lethal threat, this gene demanded action.  In a few generations, these people will have eaten everyone else and they’ll have become the dominant (if not only) species of human left.  Enter Homo Cannibalis.

As Gregor Mendel pointed out, a gene once expressed will continue to improve itself until reaching a point of diminishing returns.  As Homo Cannibalis kills and eats its own kind, there will be a point of diminishing returns and a runaway spiral downward will take over.  Within 4-5 generations, Gnut’s descendants will have eaten themselves out of existence; the last human on earth will die while eating the second-to-last human on earth.  Then the cockroaches will take over.

Straight out of a Lovecraft story.

-Merlin-