Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lest We Forget our Mitts

Before I get to my main point, I'd just like to point out that someone pulled a "Godwin's Law" on the U.S. Senate floor. Forget the rest of the idiotic context of that masterful, Demosthenes-like moment for Cruz, leader of men. I only passively, eagerly await the next logical misstep, an all-out "yo momma so fat" contest.

However, some glorified lobbyist calling Obama Hitler for trying to kiss the underclass' boo-boos better, hilariously "WTF!?" as it may be, is not originally why I fired up my Blogger account today.

Back during the last U.S. presidential campaign I said some harsh words concerning the honorable Republican candidate. And I gladly stand by those words and would further apply them to many other candidates and elects - as are they all, honorable men. And yet today, in a conversation with my dear old mother I couldn't remember the name of "you know, that guy, from the last election, Mormon guy, big business, from Massachusetts..." To which she replied "yeah, I know, whatwashisname... McCain? no, wait... damnit..."

This is a problem.

It may seem hypocritical of me to rail against the "Godwin's Law" angle when I myself dramatized ole' Mitt into a Bond villain. Yet the point against the "Hitler" comparison is not just artistic license but the sheer nonsense of the association. There are many historical figures commonly viewed as negative, counterproductive, inefficient, destructive or just outright villainous. In fact, corporations have constantly and successfully pushed against anything even remotely resembling socialism in the U.S. on the basis of a comparison with Soviet communism. They've been doing it for so long that you'd think their Senile spokespuppets would have endless Stalin jokes on tap for these kinds of speeches. But no. The villains get rolled into one. Why would you ever need any boogeymen but Hitler?

And the problem is that the real villains really do blur together. Maybe it's just one more effect of our mass-media-appeal-murder-production society, but there are certain "types" who make it up the hierarchy in representative government, and we have come to expect their presence as natural law.

My rant against the Romney campaign revolved around an attack on the Romney persona itself, on the cheapness and poor fabrication of the figurehead product being pushed on the public.
"a humorless scheister they [voters] wouldn't buy snake-oil from under normal circumstances. It's not so much that he doesn't laugh; the man cannot even fake a laugh, he actually says 'heh heh heh' like some cackling cartoon supervillain."

I am not a great fan of Hunter S. Thompson, so it was only in recent months that I ran across one of his quotes about his old target, Tricky Dick Nixon.
"a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. The Nixon I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn't imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn't quite reach the lever on the voting machine."

Albeit more artfully penned than my own diatribe, this appears a description of the same power-hungry, power-mad alpha type. Decades and perspectives don't seem to matter. We are viewing the same man, the same persona, the same product. A decade ago it would've been Dick Cheney, the guy who shot a man in the head then made him publicly apologize for getting shot. Across the sea, it's Putin the former headsman. When villainy is so prevalent even at the highest levels of government that it no longer draws attention, when names become irrelevant because the same sadist succeeds himself across the generations, then no, it doesn't really matter in any practical sense that we only have one name for them.

Yet I would prefer another name for such manifestations to the inappropriate, haunted, rather spastic Adolf. An older description for an even older name. Perhaps it is only my bookworm conceit speaking, but it seems not only decades but centuries do not matter. The type never changes.

"He loves no plays [...] He hears no music. Seldom he smiles and smiles in such a sort as if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit that could be moved to smile at anything."

It won't do to become so jaded that we ignore the nature behind such a figure, even if we forget its current name. Our own names are indeed liable to fear.

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