EVERYTHING BUT AN ORGAN GRINDER

Posted in Rants on March 9th, 2014 by Ed

Every media outlet aimed at either an educated, NPR-type audience or irony-loving hipsters runs an annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" story at this point. Despite the fact that nearly everyone in America is familiar with the decade-plus old festival at this point, the blogs and freelancers and even the Old Media can't help themselves from writing "Will you look at this shit?" pieces about the human circus. Look, they're all fat white trash! They like terrible music! There's a thing called "The Drug Bridge"! There's "Little People" wrestling! It cracks me up as much as the next guy who enjoys feeling superior to a group of people of whom it is fish-in-barrel easy to make fun, but it feels pretty 2005 at this point. There's nothing left to say.

For their part, the Juggalos understand that they are being mocked. They have a tacit agreement with the media. The Juggalos behave Hilariously Trashy. The media, who came specifically to see such behavior, act appropriately outraged. Everyone goes home happy. It has become so formulaic that it is hardly worth writing about anymore.

This is the part where I compare The Gathering of the Juggalos to CPAC.

About ten years ago it was worth getting outraged about CPAC. About five years ago it was no longer worth taking seriously but it was still good as Theater of the Absurd. Today I have to say I'm just bored with it. The "coverage" that every left-leaning media outlet is obligated to provide is predictable and uninspired; worse yet, the attendees and speakers appear to be in on the joke now. It's getting to be uncomfortably tongue-in-cheek, the speakers spouting all the same nonsense but with an implied wink-and-nudge. Yes, every attendee at CPAC is nuts. Yes, the speakers are opportunistic parasites shamelessly taking wingnut welfare checks from the billionaire backers who are so divorced from reality that they take people like Michele Bachmann seriously. But even most of the people involved with CPAC realize it is a three-ring circus at this point, so the media coverage falls flat.

That is, unless you're Charles Pierce. You guys know how I feel about Charles Pierce (and I think he has visited us here a few times) and frankly I was disappointed to see that even he could not make the ritual mocking of CPAC interesting over the past few days. It turns out he was just saving it for the Closing Act, the Idiot Queen of Wasilla herself. This is…a thing you should read.

By now, and by god, it should have settled permanently in the consciousness of the nation what a huge and untoward gamble with the country John McCain and his campaign took in 2008 when they elevated Sarah Palin from her rightful place on the tundra to the political celebrity she currently enjoys. McCain should pay a heavy price for unleashing this ignorant, two-wheeled bilewagon on the country's politics. If you think she's a legitimate political leader, you're an idiot and a sucker and I feel sorry for you.

Yesterday she gave a wildly received speech to ring down the curtain at CPAC. The applause, as far as I know, may still be going on. It was as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered. It was a disgrace to politics, to rhetoric, to the English language, and to seventh-grade slam books everywhere.

This ambulatiory bag of rank resentment pulled out all the tricks. The cheap shots; "Aw, John, why the long face?" to the Secretary of State. The sneering, wheedling playground taunting — "You can't make a phone call without Michelle Obama knowing, 'This is the third time this week you dialed Pizza Hut Delivery'" — and a full panoply of funny voices that are the trademark of dipshit comics in every two-drink minimum club in America. We got "hope and channng-ey," and how "some members" of the GOP establishment are saying to us, "Hush, America. Go to sleep, little lambs." And, in what is being celebrated as the piece de resistance , she turned Green Eggs And Ham into an extended taunt.

"I do not like this spyin' man, I do not like ‘Oh, yes we can,' I do not like this kind of hope, and we won't take it nope, nope, nope." (Dr. Seuss, a noted progressive, was having dry heaves in the Void.)

If you laughed, you're an idiot and I feel sorry for you.

It gets better.

A friend bailed on the speech, making the very plausible case that Palin is simply another political celebrity freakshow, like Donald Trump. I can see the point there but, with Palin, and watching the hysterical reception her puerile screed received, there is something more serious going on. She is the living representation of the infantilization of American politics, a poisonous Grimm Sister telling toxic fairy tales to audiences drunk on fear, and hate and nonsense. She respects no standards but her own. She is in perpetual tantrum, railing against her betters, which is practically everyone, and volunteering for the job of avatar to the country's reckless vandal of a political Id. It was the address of a malignant child delivered to an audience of malignant children. If you applauded, you're an idiot and I feel sorry for you.

I need a cigarette.