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December 31, 2004

America Is Getting Truly Creepy

One thing I noticed during my recent Vacation In America's Airports is that many of them now show Fox News, rather than CNN. Thank god we have broken the back of the Liberal Airports.

And on Wednesday, Fox was going berserk about some UN official calling the US "stingy" with relief funds. Neil Cavuto had two guests on so they could all wet their pants together. Meanwhile, little graphics ran underneath, trying to demonstrate how un-stingy we are.

Now, there would be nothing wrong in my book with calling the US "stingy." We are. But nobody did. As Joshua Holland points out, the "stingy" reference in question by the UN official was to "western nations" generally. The US was never singled out.

Why would Fox News and their pants-wetting brethren pick a fight like this? You can make some elaborate argument about how they hate the UN, and this fabrication gives them another opportunity to attack them, etc. But I believe it goes deeper than that. These people ABSOLUTELY MUST be constantly fighting with someone. It doesn't matter who, just that the fight continues. The never-ending battle serves some deep psychological need for them.

As Matt "Jesus" Taibbi puts it,

...permanent war isn't a policy imposed from above; it's an emotional imperative that rises from the bottom. In a way, it actually helps if the fact is dubious or untrue (like the Swift-boat business), because that guarantees an argument. You're arguing the particulars, where you're right, while they're arguing the underlying generalities, where they are.

Once you grasp this fact, you're a long way to understanding what the Hannitys and Limbaughs figured out long ago: These people will swallow anything you feed them, so long as it leaves them with a demon to wrestle with in their dreams.

UPDATE: Via Atrios, Raw Print notes that Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps is celebrating the death of 2,000 vacationing Swedes in the tsunami. You see, God killed them because Sweden is a damned land of faggot-dykes.

This is a difference in degree, but not in kind, from the bizarre Fox stingy-palooza. Both are instances of people with a pathological need to always be persecuted, to always be fighting someone.

Posted at December 31, 2004 06:55 AM | TrackBack

setty brings up an interesting point, which is that many of the right-wing conservative types I know (via family or friends) are some of the nicest, most generous people you could meet. These are the people you want fixing your car, watching your house while you're on vacation, and cooking you dinner. Which is why it blows my mind that they turn their brains off when it comes to politics. It seems as though anyone who is not actually in front of them is part of some vast conspiracy of lazy brown people who want to steal their hard-earned money. After talking with them, it's clear that these otherwise intelligent, hardworking folks are among the most frighteningly uninformed people on the planet.

Of course, I'm not talking about fuckheads like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, who really are assholes in real life as well, and hypocrites to boot.

Posted by: Ted at December 31, 2004 10:35 PM

Only about ten percent of the people in this country have a coherent set of political views. The rest vote on the basis of emotion. Most voters are ignorant. 1/3 of the Kerry voters had no idea what he stood for and 2/3 of the Bush voters were living in a fantasy. Politics is made arcane and vicious deliberately by dedicated sociopaths. No sane person wants anything to do with it other beyond fulfilling a biennial obligation; that's if they can even be bothered.

We, who are mad, damned, angry and left wing, base our policy proposals on the concept that what materially benefits all is good. The wingnut right wants to change people to fit a warped fantasy driven by morbid constipation and sexual hang ups. Everyone else has to be whipped into a frenzy to get active.

Posted by: Harry at January 1, 2005 08:24 AM