In my absence from these pages I visited a new city, new for me, the Monkey City, Lopburi. I taught a class, for which I will be richly rewarded, and afterwards I stayed in a lovely, cheap hotel with huge golden monkeys outside the door. I was assured that the hotel had cable with channels in English, but it turned out to consist of one-half of the Deutsche-Welle and Fox News.
The Fox News was very exciting, everyone was very excited all the time. Weirdly overexcited, in fact. All of the anchors and so-called experts seemed to be hyperventilating, their very metabolisms seemed to be dangerously overheated. I cannot say whether this was due to natural enthusiasm for the universal object of their devotion, Corporate-Fascism, or just a general tendency to chaos. Who knows, maybe they just have a great warm-up act, boot-camp-screaming mindbenders who get all of the air talent chewing rubber balls and crying out for Liberal blood. Or maybe it’s some kind of “Vitamin Shots.”
But make no mistake, their purpose was always very clear, their hearts were on their sleeves at all times, the flag of State-Socialism was flying high. There was a lot of political news, and all of it existed for one purpose: the victory of John McCain, whom Fox News roundly hated until very recently, if I recall from my days in America. It is very important to Fox News that America continue to suck at the trough of horrors that the Republicans have held our collective heads in for the last eight years. Lots of time was devoted to propagandistic warnings of the consequences of a Democratic victory in the November election. When it came to Mr. Barack Husein Obama it was all brutally obvious, vicious Halloween Agit-Prop, lies cut from whole cloth, a seamless garment of blind hatred. Twenty-First Century Journalism at it’s finest. Mr. Obama is the enemy of their actual and their sub-rosa sponsors; their current mission is to insure his defeat.
We have only recently been introduced to this style of TV “news.” One of my favorite movies is “Starship Troopers,” which was made by a mad Dutchman in 1997 or so. In it the TV news consists of wide-eyed, bizarrely dressed talking-heads shouting single-minded arguments that accept nothing of contradiction, presented in a fast-cut style and computerifically interactive. At the time it appeared kind of funny, in an impossibly stupid kind of way. Fox News has adapted the style lock, stock and barrel.
The anchors have obviously been instructed to appear cheerfully uninformed and kind of stupid, to put the general public at ease, no doubt. Many of them are beautiful women; I appreciate that as much as the next man, some of them are gorgeous. For them or for the men involved, if they have received any education in their lives it has had no effect on their juvenile personas.
It’s comically one-sided. All of the “Business News” exists to inform us of the benefits of the Corporate Agenda: wise oil men explain to us that more drilling will lower prices at the pumps and that not to drill everywhere imaginable is unimaginably stupid.
Many of the presenters, the “experts,” are discredited political hacks. Like Carl Rove, who looks like he’s melting, poor man, maybe it was the make-up. Everyone’s favorite psephologist appears frequently to explain to us that “Dunkin Doughnuts” Democrats are abandoning Mr. Obama in droves because he is a “Latte Liberal,” he is inexperienced, he changes positions on every issue almost daily, he favors radical tax increases and has radical friends, he doesn’t like to wear American flag lapel pins, he is the most Liberal Senator, his wife hates America, and he is a closet Communist (“we’ve heard this all before, ‘from each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.’”) I bet that if we split Carl Rove open we’d find a lizard from Mars in there. We should try it.
John McCain can obviously say or do any stupid thing that he wants these days and no one seems to notice or care. Confronted with issues of first impression (birth control v. Viagra) he turns into Popeye; on a good day he sounds like Mr. Magoo. No one seems to notice these things, so if he manages to stay alive until November 11th we’re all in big trouble, people, because he has all of the ducks that matter lined straight up his ass.