Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Dangers Of "Nothing Really Matters"

The above allegation was made in that famous Queen song, and has been the stated position of one group or another probably since the invention of language. In practice, it turns out never to be literally true. Back in Vietnam during the unpleasantness of the late 1960s and early 1970s, GIs could be heard to comment, “don’t mean nothing,” when something terrible happened. Well actually, your friend is dead, and it does mean something. So maybe acting like something doesn’t really matter is often a protective mechanism. “If it doesn’t matter, it can’t hurt me.” Stranger things have happened.

Often people are just blowing smoke when they tell you that something doesn’t matter. Like the time I broke the news to my father that I was getting divorced from my wife of over forty years. I explained why it was necessary. The reasons were perfectly clear to me. The woman had kicked me out, instructed me multiple times for several years to stay out, and she expected me to take care of myself on my own resources for the rest of my life. Without, that is, messy details like a property settlement. No, she’d be keeping all of the property, she’d just be losing me. “So I guess we’re getting divorced,” I told my dad. He surprised me by taking a deep breathe and saying, “life is like that sometimes. You can’t sweat the small stuff. And then you realize that it’s all small stuff.”  I thanked him for his understanding. Prematurely, as it turned out.

In my case, my father changed his will within two weeks of hearing about the divorce being filed, leaving my share of the estate to my ex-wife. It had never been small stuff after all. It did matter to him.

Now we are treated to a daily blizzard of news items that beg to be described as, “amazing,” “unbelievable,” or “impossible.” People just let it all slide by. There is obviously some kind of cognitive fatigue in action, the mind just can’t hold all of these astonishing things, coming on each other’s heels so rapidly. The effect is to make it appear that nothing matters anymore.

Recall that it was only twenty years ago when it was a big deal that President Bill Clinton got a blow job or two from a consenting adult. From all indications, they were lousy blow jobs at that. The reaction? You’d think it was the end of the world or something. Now that it actually is the end of the world, every WTF moment seems to just glide by our collective heads without making any impression at all. Will we all wake up some day and realize that all of these things really had mattered? My hunch is “yes,” but only after the clampdown has completely taken control, like in some “Republic of Gilead” moment, a la the Handmaid’s Tale, the book I mean, I’ve never seen the video products. It will happen after the oceans have reclaimed the subways in lower Manhattan and the entire city of Miami, Florida.

Here’s a sample of today’s What the Fuck moments:

Mo Brooks: that would be Morris Jackson Brooks, Jr., a Republican member of the House of Representatives, for Alabama. He actually stood up in the Congress of the United States, in Washington D.C., on the Congressional Record, and quoted from the book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), by Adolf Hitler, yes, that Adolf Hitler, about how the Jews were the masters of the big lie, the greatest liars in history, until the Socialist Democrats came along, following in the footsteps of that Socialist Adolf Hitler, lying about poor innocent old baby President D.J.T. Mr. Brooks quoted at length from Mein Kampf, as though that were a totally normal thing to do. This was noted in at least one minor news site that I visited this morning, and does not seem to have made much of a splash. Should this matter? I believe so, but what do I know?

Michael Avenatti: Mr. Avenatti became part of the news landscape as the lawyer for some porn star that our afore mentioned president paid to keep her mouth shut about some pathetic sexual episode that they shared at some point. He was probably more concerned with concealing the pathos of it than the fact of its existence. He was running for president at the time, and he figured, in an uncharacteristic fit of common sense, that it would not reflect well on his judgment or his sexual habits. This thing happened soon after his then current wife gave birth to their son.

Mr. Avenatti was therefore involved with holding President what’s-his-name’s feet to the fire, therefore interfering with the workings of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Now, after a suitable cooling off period, the Executive Branch, in the persons of the United States Attorneys for Los Angeles and New York, are coming after Mr. Avenatti. The L.A. branch want to nail him for wire fraud and bank fraud, based on the testimony of a former client to the effect that Mr. Avenatti “diverted funds.”  They claim to have him dead-to-rights for charges that add up to fifty years, which these days isn’t really that much. By the time charges are actually filed, they’ll have him for a couple of hundred years, you watch.  

The New York branch alleges that he tried to extort money from the Nike Corporation, to the tune of $20 million. I don’t know the facts, but for all of you gentle readers who may not be well versed in the machinations of the law, let me gently tell you that part and parcel of the daily labor of a plaintiff’s attorney is threatening potential defendants with terrible things and then offering to spare them the financial devastation at considerable discounts. This all happens before any case is filed. I’m wondering if Mr. Avenatti just lined up a few plaintiffs and let Nike know that he was planning to file a case against them, based upon some vague information in the letter, but that he would be willing to recommend that his clients forget the entire thing for a certain amount of money. This is not extortion; it is business as usual in our legal system. We’ll see how this goes. For all I know, Avenatti is the greatest criminal master-mind since Willie Sutton. (“So Willie, why do you rob banks?” says the reporter. “Well,” says Willie, “that’s where the money is, ain’t it?”)  Does this matter? You’d better believe it. Consider an America where the entire weight of the federal bureaucracy is brought to bear on any American citizens who have offended some snowflake elected official. Let’s see how it plays out, but I smell fish.  

The Army funding the Wall: the news today included multiple stories about the Army diverting one billion dollars from its budget to wall building projects along our border with Mexico. So what, you say? Well they don’t have the power to do that. The Constitution gives the power to make such decisions to the Congress. This should have raised an immediate alarm in congress, and someone with standing should be petitioning the Supreme Court for an opinion. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m thinking that it’ll be another big, “meh.” 

Sandy Hook and Parkland: In the last week, two of the student survivors of the Parkland school mass shooting committed suicide. Today it was reported that the father of one of the children killed in the earlier Sandy Hook school mass shooting has committed suicide. It appears that this is being treated like any other three minute “thoughts and prayers” moment.  

I hate to break it to you, but this is another red-flag. The Parkland kids have been roughly handled on social media since the event for having the nerve to speak out about their situation and to demand that something, or some things, be done to avoid the constant parade of mass shootings that plague us. They were demanding that people take the problem seriously. They were pointing out that things like that matter.

That Sandy Hook dad had it even worse than the Parkland kids! Many of the geniuses on social media suffered from the mass-delusion that the Sandy Hook killings had never actually happened. They were seized with the burning desire to expose this terrible false-flag attack. This is the world that we live in now! You couldn’t make up shit like this. This rich vein of paranoid stupidity has given us a steady stream of such delusions, from Pizzagate to Q-anon. He had been bombarded for over a year by strangers calling him a liar and claiming, amidst peals of laughter, that his daughter was actually alive somewhere. Try to imagine that for a moment. Finally, the poor man just broke, unable to take one more day.

May the three of them rest in peace. And may the Twitter geniuses who attacked and tormented them from the anonymity of their on-line avatars rot in hell.

Oh, there’s so much more. Day after day, it all just piles up. Attorney General of the United States, Bill Barr, handpicked by the con-man president as a hack who can be trusted to protect any sitting president who is nice to him, receives a special prosecutor’s report and hides it, delivering to congress instead a summary of his own invention. Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, raves about the end times and how God or maybe Jesus sent the con-man president to save the Jews. The mid-west is under water and I haven’t seen any indications of federal assistance being provided. Where’s FEMA? The farmers, already reeling from the con-man president’s ill-advised trade war with China, are on their last legs. Russian bots are already crowding our Facebook feeds with horrible hit-memes about those socialists/terrorists Beto and Bernie, and Pocahontas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with cartoonish propaganda praising the con-man president. A surprising number of people seem to think that all of these things are proof that everything is going perfectly well, and a really disturbing number of people are quietly going on with their lives as though nothing was wrong. As though none of this mattered.

Well it does matter. And it cannot be avoided or ignored.  

Now if you will excuse me, I must return to my bathroom mirror and continue practicing how to make a nice little smile, and say in a soft, pleasant voice, “I love Big Brother!” 

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