Friday, March 12, 2010

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

I was reading a post over at New Paltz Journal which referenced Chris Hedges. Now, Hedges is one of those people whose name rings a bell, but whose oeuvre and my regular reading don't make for much of a Venn Diagram. So I Googled him. And was instantly transported to Bizarro World...
Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as “liberals.” They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy.

I wonder what color the sky is in his world?

Is there something seductive about feeling persecuted? I remember sitting in the Baptist church I attended in my youth, listening to Chick Tract "Last Generation" stuff and feeling all righteously persecuted, and never stopping to think that there was hardly a place on this planet where I was less likely to be persecuted for Christianity than the northern 'burbs of Atlanta.


Will Brown said...

I wonder what color the sky is in his world?

Hard to tell through all the flames reflecting off the low overcast all the time. Still, it all makes for superior mood lighting during those intimate moments he spends alone, doncha' know?

Stranger said...

Sky color? Black. And his quoted comment is identical to the conceits of the most regressive of the self styled "progressives."

Since his history includes stints at Columbia, NYU, and Princeton, along with some incomprehensible drivel for NPR and the Monitor, I expect he is among the most regressive of those self styled "progressives."

Hedges would probably be the wiser should he leave the academic asylum and circulate among normal people. However, that would expose him both to "le rastaquoère" and to the possibility of real learning. Both things to be avoided at all costs.


Ed Foster said...

If it does fall apart, call it a 20+% chance, I'm certain this fearless warrior of the left would sit down and cry, then beg for scraps, then cry some more, until he lapsed into a self-pitying coma.

Don't waste time or eyeball juice on the pathetic, whining loser.

Remember when the left had some militarism attached to it's philosophy? The New Soviet Man, the Internationalist Duty?

All simplistic and foolish 12 year old mindlessness, like all collectivism, but at least it had a little testosterone.

But the hungry beast ate a lot of hippies in the 60's and 70's, and they poisoned it.

Since then it has dined on every kind of moonbeam breathing idiot, and would be laughable if it weren't for the media's compliance and the creation of an entire class of cretins who think there is some substance under the bubbling rhetoric.

Joanna said...

"I remember sitting in the Baptist church I attended in my youth, listening to Chick Tract "Last Generation" stuff and feeling all righteously persecuted, and never stopping to think that there was hardly a place on this planet where I was less likely to be persecuted for Christianity than the northern 'burbs of Atlanta."

Holla back. That right there -- I haven't been to church in like a year, and that's part of why. That and the whole "worship band" thing they've got going on now. Give me a break.

kahr40 said...

I wonder what color the sky is in his world?

Whatever color the nonexistent voice yammering in his ear tells him it is.

Chick Tracts. Even at nine I knew those things were about as in touch with reality as Jack Kirby's Third World but hey they were comic books and I could read em in church. Man was seriously BFN.

og said...

sky? I doubt he can see beyond his own out-of-joint nose.

Ah, yes, Jack Chick. Most religions are rife with nutbags, and there are some religions who are composed of practically 99-44/100 nutbaggery, but to really see the simple message of Christianity twisted you have to talk to jack Chick.

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard that same speech the last time I gave a dose of ivermectin to my dog.


Comrade Misfit said...

Change a few of the words around and he would sound like one of the loonier of the Tea-Baggers or that clown who shot a few cops in Pittsburgh last year. Or those guys who blew up the Murrah Building.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tam! thanks for that link, it's a porthole into comedy gold. Pathetic comedy to be sure. Who can read things like the following and not -er - react?

I am a doctoral student at a prestigious University. I could cry when I realized that the brilliance and penetrating visions that I sought, are no where to be found in this place. It is deeply, deeply conservative.


theirritablearchitect said...

"...there was hardly a place on this planet where I was less likely to be persecuted for Christianity than the northern 'burbs of Atlanta."

I think you are correct, but it's a matter of perspective (or in some cases, how bat-shit crazy you may be - see yer Hedges dude), however, I think I know of a place where the paradigm is decidedly skewed in the opposite direction.

It's pretty bad to be considered as a sort of infidel within one's own family. Thankfully, they don't live all that close to me.

Sean said...

Sounds to me like the guy has been watching "V for Vendetta" a bit much lately.

Anonymous said...

'dunno. I'd guess that if TEOTWAWKI happens, he will find that there are a bunch of people who prepped and had useful skills (the persecutors), and a bunch who did not and don't. (his buddies). Then when the latter come to the former for sustenance, a significant proportion of the preppers will reply "sod off, swampy", and THAT constitutes persecution.

Will Brown said...


Is there something seductive about feeling persecuted?

Abso-freakin'lutely! Operating from within the context of being the victim of persecution permits one to justify literally any decision or action one might consider. Since denial is one of the most common conditions persecutors impose (ask any jail inmate or 14 yo generally), anything done in response is permissable under the "self-defense" rubric. I think it pertinent that Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all charged their victims as being persecutors in some ideologically acceptable fashion. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that Leonidas and Darius both ran the identical banner up their respective flag poles too.

A universally recognisable condition that excuses whatever you want it to? Hard to deny the seductive nature of the emotions in play there, I think.

monkeyfan said...

Sky color?

Green with pink fluffy clouds for the unicorns to alight upon when they aren't shitting skittles on rock candy mountain.

WV: imatio - I'm an uncle?

Kristophr said...

Anon12:08 ;

The monkeys always consider being deprived of the "right" to steal from others as persecution.

RevGreg said...

"And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police."

I nearly laughed out loud at this one. Having attended protests…somewhat lefty liberal ones back in my youth and more conservative ones as I got older and smarter AND also having spent a day as a tourist in East Berlin in 1983…I think I have a more educated opinion on this subject than Mr. Hedges.

I have never been hassled in the LEAST for any of my protest activities in this country. Of course, I suck at protesting and usually do so within the boundaries of the law: no trespassing, no obstruction, we get any permits required and are courteous to any police/security who happen to be doing their jobs and obeying their orders…in my experience they have been no happier about having to tell us to do things than we were about doing so. The ONLY time I've seen tension is when some jackass forgets that protesting and screaming at the cops when they are generally making reasonable requests are two different things…usually it's some wannabe revolutionary trying to impress his date and get laid that starts the trouble.

Well, when in East Berlin I did the same. I didn't take a camera in, I didn't try to smuggle currency out, we stayed within the areas we were instructed were open for visitation…and it earned us a near constant brace of submachinegun carrying "tour guides" and a few tense seconds in their sights when one of my fellow tourists dared to complain a bit too vocally about the watered-down drinks we had purchased. The papers in West Berlin the morning before we crossed Checkpoint Charlie were full of pictures of two persons who were gunned down trying to cross the border the previous evening…I've NEVER even remotely experienced the dread feeling of fear I had at that moment on this side of the pond.

Joseph said...

He's also the former New York Times Mideast Bureau chief. So it you wondered why the NY Times is covering some planet other than this one...

NotClauswitz said...

I'm guessing it wasn't an American Baptist church but a Southern Baptist one. ;-) You might get persecuted for being a Christian here on Teh Bay Area Peninsula, most likely an agnostical sneer at best - unless you went to a cool church where they drank wine and played guitar and smoked pot and stuff like everybody else. I got high with our youth minister a few times - or I should say he wanted me to roll him a joint from what I had. Tres Liberal muchacho.

Ed Foster said...

RevGreg by a full point.

NotClauswitz said...

I took a camera into East Berlin in '76 when I was a callow youth of 18. I went mainly to see the bust of Nefertiti, mainly because they had her and nobody else did. Gorgeous imperfection, I had been smitten early.
I took some pictures of Russian or eastern European tourists, whatever they were, literally FOB as they were getting off the bus in weird colored suits and clothes - nuclear electric-rug colors and fabric, like a shag carpet - on holiday in the Workers Paradise. One of my early blog posts, on the anniversary of the fall of the Wall.
I also used a whole bunch of old Danish and Swedish Kroner coins at some kind of "International Comrade" cafeteria they had that accepted foreign currency and didn't really know (or care) of its value. The border guards at Checkpoint Charlie counted all my money coming in AND on departure were sure glad to see I left with little (I was forced to convert about $50 US to "pay" for my visit), but the locals didn't give a shit. A couple 100 Kroner coins was good for a large stein, and I drink a mess of beer and had to pee a lot, the wurst was only ok. Watched the Guards goose-step at the shrine of their fallen - civilian or soldier it was the same as far as I could tell - but the damn goose-stepping was a sign of pure unadulterated stupidity and gross ineptitude, continuing that shit was idiotic. It was a weird and sickly place of ugly and stained concrete blockhouse apartments, miles of them.
If someone followed me around they must have had an interesting and lazy day. I would have bought them a beer, but nobody would talk to me. Maybe I should post more pictures of that afternoon.