by RIP RENSE
(Dec. 19, 2007)
Here in teeny-tiny America, teeny-tiny things happen. Teeny-tiny
candidates run for office, and teeny-tiny talk show hosts endorse them.
People think teeny-tiny thoughts, exclaim teeny-tiny exclamations, and
engage in teeny-tiny chicaneries.
there is something called a caucus. A caucus is a sort of teeny-tiny
election, or well, it’s supposed to teeny-tiny be. It’s meant to be a
kind of semi-organized thingy where people get into small groups and pick a
pack of pickled peppers, or a pose, or a person. There’s not much
In teeny-tiny Iowa,
though, the caucus is a strange and expensive war in which fatuously monied
humans spend bankfulls of bills on media, hawking themselves like Depends
and Lite Days. This is known as a “campaign for the presidency,” the
presidency being a fairly grand office before the last five or six
presidents made it teeny-tiny.
But back to media. Media
are thunderstrikingly miraculous means of transferring
information---television, the Internet, Oprah’s
mouth---that are almost always used in teeny-tiny fashion. Humans love
to do this. They love to invent something really clever, genius-clever, and
then they like to use it for Britney Spears and Doo-Wop Reunion Concerts.
So in the teeny-tiny
Iowa caucus, candidates are trying to manipulate seratonin levels in the
heads of voters, using these media miracles. Once upon a time this was done
by giving housewives free laundry soap and nylon stockings. Now it is done
by making little Orwellian propaganda movies. That’s because, as all the
demographers and pundits and “political advisors” love to say, today’s
audiences are sophisticated. They need million-dollar commercials
about how Hillary is a good little daughter and
Mommy, and Barack is a (milk)
chocolate version of Kennedy---in order to become informed.
Which brings me to Lewis
Carroll never lived to
witness a modern Iowa caucus, but he didn’t have to. He knew it was barmy,
chapter three of “Alice in Wonderland,” which is a much more sensible
and important document than The Bible, the Dodo decides that all the various
denizens of Wonderland should have a “Caucus-Race,” the rules of which are
to run around in a circle. (Har.) In the end, Alice gives them all little
prizes, and the Dodo presents her with a token of appreciation: a thimble.
Then Alice somehow upsets everyone, and is left on her own again. You know,
Carroll loved and
venerated absurdity, correctly realizing that it is the starting point in
human affairs, yet it is a vexing question as to whether he could have
anticipated teeny-tiny America. For here, absurdity is much too mild and
quaint a descriptor. Absurdity in teeny-tiny America would be an
improvement, as it would at least offer a bit of irony, amusement. But no.
Things here have evolved well beyond absurdity and into a great big hanging,
slavering tongue of stupid impossibility. A slack-jawed fat-lipped giant-earlobed
droopy eyelidded puddle of dumb.
To witless: the major
issues in the Repugnican “Caucus Race” seem to be: 1) Is the earth 6,000
years old? 2) Is Darwin’s theory of evolution blasphemy? 3) Should the Bible
be part of biology class? 4) Does Constitutionally guaranteed freedom extend
to those who do not join organized religions? 5) Is Jesus Christ the son of
To quote Frank Zappa, as you all know I love to do, “You need an
ark to survive the
drool.” I mean, big psychedelic day-glow Hendrix-guitar-backed “HUH?”
This makes the Democraps---the cokehead, the Clinton, and the cracker---look
elevated. So I turn to another American philosopher, Chubby Checker,
who asks this salient question, in his deceptively profound 1962 hit
song, “The Limbo Rock:"
“How lowwww can you
Crazed Jesus Jokers are
running for president---and getting huge crazed Jesus Joker support---at a
moment when the country is bankrupt, hated the world over, engaged in
permanent occupation of the Middle East, outsourced nearly to the point of
Depression, full of sick people who can’t afford medicine (and others whose
HMO’s deny them medicine because it is not FDA-approved), in the grips of
fear and paranoia over: terrorism, corporate tyranny, Paris Hilton, and the
Hollywood writers’ strike.
"What is a caucus-race?" said Alice.
Teeny-tiny Mitt “The
Mormon” Romney, evidently named for a baseball glove, has the jaw of a
bear trap and the black eyes of a rat. His speech cadence gives him an
inside shot at a career as a Disney audio-animatronic. His religion actually
succeeds in being crazier, if (so far)
less lethal, than
radical Islam, and religion, folky-wolkies, is the centerpiece of his
campaign for prezboy. The assertion that Jesus and Satan were brothers is
actually one of the more thought-provoking and poetic notions of Mitt’s
“faith,” if hardly deliberately so.
believes that there were millions o’ gods at one time, playing croquet
with the planets, or something, and somehow or another they wound up with
just one, a white-bearded god named Eloise or something like that, and he
has more wives than Rudy Giuliani and Larry King combined, see, and they
screw like bunny rabbits on Viagra and have billions of “spirit children,”
and. . .
Guess where these spirit
children end up? That’s right---in human bodies, in their very own home
built specially for them by Eloise:
And people laugh at
Scientology. The big difference between the two is that Scientology founder
L. Ron Hubbard wrote better science-fiction. I mean, hell’s bells, people,
Mormonism could have been written by Lewis Carroll.
It gets teenier.
Mitt The Mormon made a
little speech last week that all the teeny-tiny American press dutifully
covered as if it were Kennedy’s “Ask Not. . .” invocation, and as near as I
can tell, nobody but Frank Rich in the NYT pointed out that Mitt has
declared war on The Rip Post. See, the RP is “secular.” This means
that the RP editorial bored, er, board, does not allow its religious
ideologies, or lack of same, to color the tone and content of The Rip
Post. (Except, that is, to absolutely denounce and excoriate most
organized religions for the grief and death they have wrought for centuries,
beginning with Christianity, whenever possible.) Get this: Mitty
not only exempted from
“freedom” Americans who do not practice a religion, but he said there
is a conspiracy out there that is. . .
“. . .intent on
establishing a new religion in America---the religion of secularism.”
Hello, is Alice there?
I have a message for the Dodo. The Unitashtase (Bush pronunciation) was
founded on secularism. Thass raht, boss, separation o’ church ‘n’
state. Freedom o’ religion. No imposition by the guvment of any particular
religious science-fiction on any citizen. This is secularism, or less
ominously, secularity. Mitt prefers the “ism” version, of course,
‘cause it sounds like good ol’ communism. My, how the right wing misses the
commies. Run fer yer wives! Them commies---I mean, secularies---is a-comin’,
with fluoride fer the water and godless hedonism fer yer kids!
Give that man a thimble.
Funny that the commie-fearin’
Amerryguns have never figured out that the “godless hedonism” they feared
was spread by capitalism---or, as I’m fond of putting it, capitalism amok,
capitalism without conscience. When godless Reaganomics found a strange
bedfellow in the form of lowest-common denominator dumbed-down TeeVee, that
was all she wrote. Which takes us down a little tangential path, kiddies, to
the home, or homes, of one Henry Kravis. Ever hear of Henry? Probably not.
Well, he owns four or five spreads that Louis the Fourteenth would have
found tres bien, some in locations that would have stopped Ansel
Adams in his tracks. Vasco de Gama could have circum-navigated the grounds
of these estates in no less than a year.
Kravis is one of the teeniest-tiniest
of Americans. He is so teeny-tiny that his humanity is no longer detectable
by modern science. He is a founder of KKR, one of these “private equity”
companies, “private equity” being a confusing way of saying “steal your
underwear right off your ass.” The U.S. Steal Corporation. He's Robin Hood,
backwards. He’s a hypertrophic version of one of these bubbas who “makes a
killing in real estate” by buying up foreclosures. You know how it works:
KKR takes over public companies using fairy-tale amounts of borrowed cash,
pays it off by: selling the company assets, firing most of the employees,
and cutting the benefits for those left. Today, in teeny-tiny America, this
is called “capitalism” and “free market economy” and “just doing business.”
Kravis is one of the many
reasons, along with Diebold’s touch-screen voting, that “representative
democracy” in this country---never exactly a textbook reality---is now all
but a ghost. He is an earl in the Corporatocracy, which is now almost the
sole influence and determiner of government and media policies.
Of course, Kravis and his ilk are part of the reason for
the Night of the Jesus Dead that is sweeping our grate nashum. Mitty
et. al, see, are out to “restore morality” to the country (as if, yawn,
there is any consensus on morality) by getting everyone to wear Ten
Commandments T-shirts (or, if Mitty gets in,
Underpants) and maybe putting statues of Jesus in every McDonald’s,
school, and courthouse. But uh. . .didn’t Bush say he was going to do
that---restore morality, I mean? After Wild Bill offended Jesus by
seed on Monica’s dress? Hmmm. . .guess wiping out a million Iraqis
didn’t cut it on the morality scale. Never mind that Moral Mitty is nearly
as rich as Kravis (he just bought Clear Channel Radio!) while schoolteachers
can’t get paid in L.A.. . .
But enough about these guys. They're no fun. Let's instead
examine the teeniest-tiniest of the candidates for presidunce, and that
would be the man who was recently the biggest-hugest, before he dropped a
Mike Huckabee looks like
something drawn by the late great Mad Magazine artist
Don Martin. The inside
of his head is low-rent Dali, American-style. Imagine the things floating
around there, pinballing from convolution to convolution, drifting, zinging,
melting: giant turkey dinners, pies, Jesus, Keith Richards, Grand Funk
Railroad, Jesus, illegal latino aliens, Satan, rape victims seeking
abortions, Jesus, Carl’s portabello mushroom burgers, marathons,
bass-guitars, stray dogs hanged by the neck till dead, Jesus, monkeys,
Gordita Supremes, Metamucil, the White House, Jesus. . .
Huck is a
Stone-lovin’, bass-playin’, marathon-runnin’ man o’ Christ who gets
his back up at the suggestion that humans are related to
damned dirty apes,
and believes that the earth was
whipped up 6,000 years
ago by “God” because this couldn’t have happened by accident.
Huck claims that his religion will have nothing to do with the way he
governs, yet once
blocked an abortion for a retarded rape victim (nice, secular
thing to do, there, Mikey.) He also happens to think that declaring war on
“Islamic extremism” is the top priority of the next prez, which leaves me
thinking that Armageddon outta here if he’s elected. Oh, but Huck speaks
ever-so-gently, just the way you want your undertaker to sound when you are
handling the difficult task of arranging for the final resting place of a
loved one. On top of all that, the man used to be a thieving con
playing upon human weakness and fear for big money, which is to say, a
televangelist. Let us prey.
That’s right, the
Unitashtase just might elect a former televangelist as prez. (Zappa warned
you!) The Huckster is riding high in the polls, hit the covers of Time,
Newsweek (which has the article about how he once fired an aide for not
helping to cover up the fact that Huck's Boy Scout son
hanged a stray dog, just for
fun) and the New York Times Sunday Magazine (which, astoundingly, gave him a
free-ride puff piece.)
And the voters set their
teeny-tiny jaws and scratch their teeny-tiny chins, and think with their
teeny-tiny brains, hmmm. . .he seems like a good, Godly man. . .and just
because I disagree with him on one issue, like oh, that the earth wasn’t
created 6,000 years ago, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t vote for him. . .and
well, how do we know when the earth was created---these scientists think
they’re God. . .and like Huck says, I’ll take God over science every time. .
.and he says he’ll keep religion out of governance, and I take him at his
word because he’s a Godly man of God. . .And we need a Godly man of God. . .
And the teeny-tiny media pundits and players straighten their trendy pink or
lime-green ties, and weigh in about the Huckabee “surge,” and “how it plays
with Christian and non-Christian voters,” ignoring---ignoring---the 72-point
bold banner headline: MAD PREACHER TO BECOME PREZ?
Can you imagine if it
came out in the 1960 election that JFK did not believe in evolution? Can
you imagine the drunken parties at Nixon’s house? How fast would the
Democraps have dropped JFK? Faster than Huckabee disappears a slice of Baked
Alaska. Faster than Hillary says “cocaine” in reference to Obama.
But that was long ago,
back before America became teeny-tiny.
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