Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, November 05, 2004

A Baby Blog's First Fisking

I'll warn ya right up front, this is gonna get ugly. Ye of thin skin and delicate constitutions ought to hit the "Next Blog" button right now.

For you brave folks that stay on, it's time I complete my first fisking of an Idiotarian screed posted on Slate today. Today's fiskee is Jane Smiley, a novelist by trade. While there are some that find her works full of nuance and empathy, I found A Thousand Acres (which in all fairness did win a Pulitzer) to be a dreadful whinefest. I tried again with Moo, which was just dull beyond belief. So, let's just make it clear, I wasn't a fan even before I read this particular load of twaddle.

Ms. Smiley's article already had the RCOB in motion just by her subtitle. "The unteachable ignorance of the red states." This might be a good method to rally her fellow Socialistas in Academia, but it's a sure-fire way to ensure that anyone on the right side of the political spectrum will never treat her seriously again.

Well, without further ado, let's jump right in, shall we?

I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush, so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry.

Oh, please. Like the Dems haven't been brainwashing minorities for the past 50 years about how oppressed and powerless they are to "The Man" in order to keep them beholden to the government system of handouts and favors. Look, it's 2004 now, sweetie. While I don't deny there are a few redneck racists here and there, we no longer have wholesale discrimination. It just wouldn't be tolerated.

I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)

Ye gods. No one comes close to the condescension of a liberal. From Carville to Begala to any latte-sipping member of 'intelligentsia', the routine is the same when they hear a conservative's position. The bowed head, coupled with the slow headshake and wry smile, the low chuckle as if they're overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of the other person's statement. This is followed by a comment about how the other side "just doesn't get it" and how they'd be happy to explain it again, only slower so the conservative can understand it. Look, we DO get it. We just don't choose to accept that position, for exactly the same reasons libs don't follow the conservative reasoning.

Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states.

Guess we're just gonna ignore all the violence dealt out by union members in Blue States over the years to force their ideals on others? Howzabout all the bloodshed caused by blue-staters against blacks in the scattered race riots up north?

The worst civilian massacre in American history took place in Lawrence, Kan., in 1862—Quantrill's raid. The red forces, known then as the slave-power, pulled 265 unarmed men from their beds on a Sunday morning and slaughtered them in front of their wives and children.

Bzzzt! Bad analogy! Sorry, dear. You can't compare Quantrill's deeds with those of modern conservatives. It's an apples & oranges kind of deal. There are also plenty of red states north of the Mason-Dixon line. Be a little more careful where you swing that 'red state=slavery supporter' tar brush.

The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America. Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are—they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence. The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind.

No, actually, I think you underestimate the depth of people's moral clarity and commitment. Just because you don't subscribe to the belief structure, that's not prima facie evidence that it's wrong. You actually got one part right here, though. As long as you blue-state Idiotarians keep assuming everyone in the world will love you right back as long as you "feel their pain" you'll never notice when they move in, take over, and put you in manacles and your kids in reeeducation camps. Look at Europe. They've been all touchy-feely multi-culti for 40 years now, and most projections put Europe with a Muslim majority before the end of this century. Say goodbye to your beloved Eurocultures, Jane. While you were 'validating their experiences' they had a long term plan to take over. Wake the fuck up!

Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell.

No, HERE is how ignorance works. First, you assume that everyone who votes conservative blindly follows the most extreme examples of the Xtian podium-pounders. FYI, Smiley... I quit going to church 'cause I couldn't stand the inconsistencies of a Disciples of Christ church, and they're about as doctrinaire as a Dadaist art show. Believe me, I get a belly laugh out of watching the fire & brimstone types foam at the mouth, and so do many, many others here in the red states. We're not all mindless automatons, no matter how much relief it gives your blue-tinted brain to think so.

Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question.

Again, you're painting with a broad brush here. There's a significant percentage of Red staters that have learned the hard way to question EVERYTHING someone purporting to be an authority tells you. Why do you think there's so many armed militia compounds scattered around? Shit, we don't trust the church down the road, those heretical bastards! What makes you think we all tread the same evangelical path?

Next, they tell you that you are the best of a bad lot (humans, that is) and that as bad as you are, if you stick with them, you are among the chosen.

And this differs from the Democrat party line of "Stick with us and we'll keep you attached to the Guv'mint Secure-O-Nipple from cradle to grave" in what regard, exactly?

The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

Well, you're partially right. We sure as hell don't wanna be told what to do, but you just couldn't resist tossing in that wonderful example of liberal condescension again, could you? It's not virtually unteachable, it's virtually UNPROGRAMMABLE, you patronizing, egotistical twat! (and I mean that in the most polite way possible from a man who's desperately trying to avoid calling you a rank, diseased CUNT, cause, y'know, that would be rude...)

Third, and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don't need much encouragement—you've put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won't even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others.

This paragraph doesn't even need fisking. She's already done it to herself. Just put these words in the mouth of Limbaugh or Savage or Malkin or Coulter, and they sum up the conservative regard for liberals exactly.

The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now—Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?

Hmmm... this needs rewording... give me just a sec... OK!

The reason the Republicans have WON five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: 2 generations ago, the big socialists, who have no firm, non-poll generated beliefs as far as we know, decided to make use of the minorities in their class war against the middle class & productive class and also against the moral belief structures that were protecting those whom just wanted a better life —workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of class envy, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now— Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know the boundaries and rules allowed in a free-market economy and are proud members of a nation that has voted for a bit more conservative morality. They are ambitious and responsible, moral, unshakeable, and yes, even a bit arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, know EXACTLY which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Nope. Do they want to? The Republicans have their belief structures that give them a firm base of support. Must everyone?

Well, it might be nice if they did, Jane...

Progressives have only one course of action now: React quickly to every outrage—red state types love to cheat and intimidate,

Y'know, I'd mention the Chicago or Detroit or Philadelphia Democrat political machines, but I'm getting tired of typing, and really need a Maalox right now...

so we have to assume the worst and call them on it every time.

Please feel free to do so. So far, the only substantiated accounts of voter fraud or intimidation I'm aware of have been perpetrated by your Blue buddies.

We have to give them more to think about than they can handle—to always appeal to reason and common sense, and the law, even when they can't understand it


and don't respond. They cannot be allowed to keep any secrets.

Better rent out Deep Blue for that, Jane. Most of your academic buddies have extensive expertise in very narrow fields. Most of the polymaths I know tend to be conservative. As far as secrets are concerned... When's Kerry gonna release his discharge papers? What REALLY happend to Vince Foster? What payoff did Susan McDougal get? Inquiring minds wanna know...

Tens of millions of people didn't vote—they are watching, too, and have to be shown

Uh-oh! Your condescension is showing again, Smiley.

that we are ready and willing to fight,

With what exactly? Harsh language? Hackysacks? Rolled-up copies of Mother Jones?

and that the battle is worth fighting. And in addition, we have to remember that threats to democracy from the right always collapse.

From the left, too, Jane. I would be remiss to let you omit threats to democracy like the USSR and all her scattered satellites. Cuba's not too far away from returning to Democracy, either.

Whatever their short-term appeal, they are borne of hubris and hatred, and will destroy their purveyors in the end.

So far, the only hatred that has manifested lately has come from the left, Smiley. Most Americans want to raise families, worship as they please, and get rich along the way. Seems to me that the ones posing the greatest threat to that goal are... well, your Blue Brigade.

Better luck next time, Jane.

BTW, your books sucked.