October 17, 2008

 

Plungin' like stones from a slingshot on Mars

.
That would be the force effects of the following screed from John Perry Barlow, a true maverick (a wave of that flag to the impassioned Aiko Annie):

Ten years ago when I was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School, I was on a panel with Senator Ted Kennedy and my tragically late sidekick John Kennedy, Jr. The focus of our discussion was determining when the Internet would likely have the pivotal role in shaping a presidential campaign that television had assumed in the 1960 election of their brother and father. Oddly, for a couple of guys who were deeply suspicious of Cyberspace, they both thought this would happen much sooner than I did, possibly as early as 2000. I said it would be a decade at least. It has now been a decade. And this will now be that election.

Among the many lines of division at contest here - between the 50's and the 60's, between football and frisbee, between a high regard for education and a contempt for it, between weed and whiskey, between Monotheism and Pantheism, between love and fear, between greed and responsibility - is the contest between the highly cybergenic Obama and the apoplectic old race-bating, fraudulently heroic, tail-hook gunning, womanizing, pathologically gambling, unindicted Keating 5 co-conspirator who is literally treasonous enough to possibly entrust the American republic during its darkest hour to a woman who has great legs and cheekbones, combined SAT scores lower than either one of mine, and who, with her "First Dude" were helping lead, until recently, the Alaskan Independence Party, a powerful pro-secession movement. (Imagine Lincoln choosing Jefferson Davis as his first running mate and you get the idea.)

McCain, that disgraceful curdle-brain, that grimacing little tantrum of spoiled Naval nepotism whose greatest military accomplishment (if you don't count crashing three multi-million jets while on joyrides, and contributing to a deck fire that almost sank the Forrestal} was getting in getting shot down and breaking under torture, spent the first part of the debate whining about Obama's low blows and then informed the women and children of America that his opponent had promoted an Illinois law that now legally requires doctors to refuse medical treatment to any child who somehow survives an abortion attempt. Given the abortion methods I'm familiar with, I'm inclined to think such a child would also survive the flame-throwers they'd be using against him toward the end of the movie.

But among his other qualifications for being a 21st Century President , Senator McCain remains proud that, like both Bushes before him, he is computer-illiterate and that he makes his wife Cindy deal with all that.

I thought George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had made me ashamed to be a Republican. But McCain and Palin have pretty well completed the job.

However, since God is merciful, McCain probably doesn't know what I'm talking about. He's watching the campaign on television where he's presented with an edit of reality that is far less damning to him and his campaign than the one I've been watching on the Internet. John McCain is blessed indeed to be spared the online version of himself.

On the Internet, he would see the "people's edits" immediately, like the YouTube condensation of all 3143 of his eye-blinks during last night's debate into a thirty second segment, or the highlighting of his reference to Obama's "eloquence" in a fashion that left no doubt that this was his painfully polite euphemism for the vile effluent one can squeeze out of an fast-talking sack of lying shit when he talks about the "health" - a word McCain enclosed in finger quotes - of the baby murdering "mother", who is unable to accept that a child is the natural punishment for her coozing around in fornication, which is pretty much all these black Muslim terrorist baby mamas do, if you know what I mean.

If he watched the much more elaborate coverage of the campaign on the Internet, even McCain would have to be in awe of the fact that Senator Obama has shown almost superhuman dignity, humor (as opposed to sarcasm), and that quality that Hemingway defined as courage, "grace under pressure" even while being carpet-bombed, first by the Clintons and now the McCain/Palin Golem, with six months of sucker punches, lies, trivialities, the guilt of distant or even non-existent associations (often involving black people behaving ungracefully), and now, finally, the direct incitement of murderous intent in crowds spiked with many people who are insane with racial hatred, well-armed, and trained by their government in the accurate use of long-range weapons.

He would have seen the look of enlightened acceptance on Obama's face tonight when McCain fiercely declared his pride in the people who attended his rallies, including, presumably, the ones who shout "kill him" and "off with his head." As he pronounced his appreciation for these unmasked Klansmen, someone like me who doesn't have an abused wife he can use as a computer interface could, with a slight enhancement of certain frequencies, make clearly audible the dry, cold wind that was whistling through McCain's dentures.

At this point, I must pause and ask any other digeratum who zoomed into the Senator's forehead pulse at such moments: Who do you want answering the phone at 3:00 am in the White House: someone with unassailable poise and courage or someone whose rage-readiness and blood pressure make him a fine candidate to pop a valve, thus creating the scenario in which the more blink-resistant President Palin returns the call at 3:45 am?

Who do you want salvaging the economy, someone who believes that if the government is going to recover what Bush's and McCain's cronies looted from the public treasury, the very rich will have to pay some taxes, or someone who believes that we can spend extravagantly on war, greed, weapon systems we don't need, and subsidies for our friends, while taxing only the middle class and the poor?

Finally, if McCain were watch this on the Internet, he would have known better than to make a certain Joe the Plumber the unanimous winner of tonight's debate. Apparently, Senator McCain caught a short network soundbyte of Senator Obama's exchange with Joe Wurzelbacher in Ohio last week. Whatever it was, it allowed McCain to think he could get away with claiming that Senator Obama would deny Joe the fruits of the American Dream, since Joe would have to give his money to Senator Obama who would then "spread the wealth around" presumably to other people of his own shiftless kind. Kind of like Washington Hussein Stalin.

However, if you click on the link I've attached to Joe Wurzelbacker's name above, you will see the full 6 minute discourse between Obama and the supposed target of his communist exploitation, as McCain characterized the hapless Joe.

In fact, what you will see will make you proud to be an American.

You will see a presidential candidate stop and take the time to explain more and in more respectful detail about his tax program to a single plumber from Ohio than McCain has ever explained anything - besides misrepresentations of Obama's resume - to the entire American public during the length of this campaign.

(Thanks to McCain, we know more about Obama's perfidious porkpie of a 3 mil planetarium projector - which McCain still thinks is an overhead slide projector - than we know about McCain's entire economic recovery plan. And certainly more that the payments and favors he took from Charles Keating to keep the regulators off Keating's Arizona S and L which, by some estimates exceeded $3 million and kept them at bay just long enough for the Lincoln Savings and Loan to eat the life savings of many retired investors before requiring the Federal Government to bail it out with $3 billion.)

But I digress. I come to praise Obama, not bury McCain (who is doing a fine job already). Anyway, If you watch the whole "Joe the Plumber" segment, you will see Mr. Wurzelbacker listening skeptically but with equal respect to Obama and providing his own knowledgeable addenda. It is the kind of conversation you can't imagine a president being willing or able to have with a citizen in public. This president will, and in so doing, he will encourage the existence the citizens as worthy of that critical role as Mr. Wurzelbacker appears to be.

Unless, of course, one of those supporters in whom Senator McCain takes such pride leaves one of those rallies just amped enough by their "tough" campaign style, a pint of Jim Beam, a terror of terrorists, and his abusive daddy's fury at all things brown that he'll haul out his "Elk-erator": that .270 Weatherby Magnum which, when he's using his own hand-loaded rounds with the 130 grain bullets and the extended casing length generates a 3200 fps muzzle velocity quite sufficient to drop a trophy bull at 400 yards, or, for that matter, to blow ol' Hussein Obama's nappy smart-ass head right off his skinny-ass Armani-wearin' body.

If that moment comes, hope will really die in America, I think, and hope for America will die in the rest of the world.

But right now hope is alive and well and winning. While fear, hate-mongering, and war-lust look moribund, querulous, profoundly mean-spirited, and almost blind with blinking.

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in "Democracy in America," a book more timely now that when he wrote it in 1835, "America is great because she is good. If she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." This is the moment when we get to choose which she will be. Watch the whole YouTube exchange between Obama and Joe the Plumber and you will know that we are still good.

Then watch the clip on the Internet from four days ago when a Christian pastor named Arnold Conrad opened a McCain/Palin rally with this little invocation that fails to inspire a thoughtful patriot or a true Christian or anyone like me with a degree in comparative religion, but which was, nonetheless, well-received by the crowd and the principal speakers. Rev. Conrad said, "There are millions of people around this world praying to their God -- whether it's Hindu [not a God], Buddha [also not a God], Allah [Arabic for God] -- that [Obama] wins for a variety of reasons. And, Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because, if that happens, they're going to think that their God is bigger than you." Then you see how fragile and stupid our goodness has become.

Personally, I pray to God and Allah and Atman and Jaweh and the Great Spirit and the Holy Who Knows and whatever else you want to call That For Which All Names and Assumptions Fall Short that goodness will survive this moment and that, in 30 years, we will look back on the next three weeks and know that, at a dark time, the American people, sick of fear, war, greed, bigotry, torture, wastefulness, and a diseased fixation on the past, rose up and voted for hope and love and the future. They voted for Barack Hussein Obama and Joe the Plumber's true American dream. Which started to become real for the first time.

And nobody got shot except maybe the very, very few who had it coming. Most of who are presently in the mountains of Afghanistan getting in the American heroin crop.

I truly believe America is at a fork in the road as Barlow illustrates. So even though I had/have issues with BHO, and even though I know my vote won't likely mean shit in terms of Georgia's contribution to the Electoral College, I just can't, after reading this most excellent memo, pass up the opportunity to lend a hand to history.

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Comments:
O'TIM: It's natural but I definitely ID way more with Barack Hussein Obama than I do with John Perry Barlow. Obama's my age. I knew a couple of guys on HLR with him and in his graduating class. He's a city guy like me and that community organizing thing that Palin hates so much is pretty familiar to me growing up in ILG territory. And my mom was a social worker when I was really little.

I liked the kind of Southern Gothic songs Barlow wrote for the Dead. I liked The Well and the EFF. I like parts of libertarian thought but I like the Ron Paul version which focuses on fiscal and monetary policy, money and markets more than the White Separatisty kind which is very much about guns and bear meat and that stuff. Barlow post Dead always struck me as kind of Palin guy, actually.
 
actually, barlow was far more right- leaning a couple of decades back, in fact, he helped to elect cheney in wyoming, back when. his views have changed drastically, since dubya.

i have a great story about jpb that i will share one day. it involves spilt mustard and post new years eve 89-90. :)

thanks for sharing the screed, o'tim. you're awesome.
 
I like the Weir-Barlow cowboy stuff okay, but I think their best work was in the poignant "Cassidy," the fun hallucination of "The Music Never Stopped," and "Estimated Prophet," the tongue-in-cheek homage to all Deadheads who were determined to out-hippie everyone else.

Barlow aligned with Cheney on Wyoming environmental issues, but had a major split when Dick hopped on the neo-con bus and got all foamy over the U.S.S.R., pushing for the MX missile base in their state. The situation was the impetus for Barlow's penning of "Throwing Stones," IMO one of the best protest songs ever written.
"I owe Dick a lot for that song," he once said of the man who he now considers one of the most dangerous persons in American politics.
 
It seems that a lot of the more thoughtful Republicans are seeing the light and jumping off the train on the Democrat side of the tracks. The endorsements that BHO has picked up in the last week are fairly astounding.
 
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