Feb
9

The Beast is Red, Chapter 12: Show Us Your Twits




Posted at 20:29 by Mister Leonard Pierce

Saturday noon. Recollection of the last 24 hours is excruciatingly difficult; I have taken every remaining pill in my kit bag, and yet somehow, despite the presence of enough chemicals in my system to transform me into the Joker, I have developed a raging cold. My throat is nearly sealed shut, which may work to my advantage since I’m reaching the point at which the rude answers which bubble up in my skull every time someone speaks to me are threatening to spill over into actual vocalization. Ever since Wednesday I have been asking myself in re my pharmacopia: how many is too many? Crashing into every sharp corner in my hotel room, I know the answer: however many I took when I woke up this morning.

Last night was the Ronald Reagan Banquet, a dinner which was for and unfortunately not of Ronald Reagan. Eating a dehydrated teriyaki jerky chunk of the old fraud might have given me some of his strength. I’ve heard the words “Ronald Reagan” and “tax cuts” so many times now they’re beginning to lose whatever meaning they might have once had, and Will, that payola-stuffed bloviator of manifest destiny, will say them another three dozen times while I tuck into my mashed potatoes. After the ghouls-gone-wild reception given to Ann Coulter a few hours ago, the crowd receives him politely and respectfully, and even considering the fact that this is an older crowd, made up largely of the parents of the rich kids hooting and snarling at Ann’s anti-McCain jeremiad, it still has the tone of someone forced to hear their grandpa read cowboy poetry just after they’ve come back from yelling “SHOW US YOUR TITS!” to drunken frat girls. Will himself is perfunctory at best, showing his chipper cheerleader side only when discussing Old Mother Reagan; the rest of the time, he’s just there to pick up a check. He even senses the hostility in the room when called upon to mention the Supplicant McCain: urging the crowd to be “happy warriors” for the default candidate, he sounds like a bored Sunday school teacher leading his tenth consecutive round of “I’ve Got the Joy” for a group of sugared-up fourth-graders.

At some point I sneak into a screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a Michael Mooreian abortion by Watergate apologist/novelty actor Ben Stein. An exciting tour through a number of major logical fallacies, Expelled features the wooden-souled Stein attempting to illustrate how the Stalinist mandarins of academia have systematically excluded the teaching of intelligent design from our universities just because it’s completely unscientific nonsense. Stein soft-peddles this idea, of course, choosing instead to focus on the fact that Richard Dawkins is kind of a jerk (and who among us would not be, if we were constantly being pestered by game show hosts about why voodoo isn’t taught in school?). Dawkin’s quasi-aristocratic hostility makes him look bad, to be sure, which would be relevant if atheism had anything whatsoever to do with the fact that ID is not science. Which it doesn’t. The fact that ID is not science has everything to do with the fact that it is not taught in university science classes, however, a point that seems not to have occurred to anyone in the crowd who hisses when those evil poindexters of academia won’t answer Ben’s questions about how come why for no they teach it. Ben would have gotten the same snippy, defensive answers if he had asked why Lawsonomy is not taught in physics classes, or why the teachings of Trofim Lysenko are not the focus of biology classes, but those questions remained unasked: Ben’s concept of “academic freedom” requires only that his favored brand of buncombe gets equal time. I attempt to wrap my thoughts around the notion that a movement that considers itself the only sane and reasonable guide to the challenges of the post-modern world is gleeful about the idea of demanding academic equal time for ideologically driven pseudoscience, but there isn’t time.

Radio next. Two shows: an Air America appearance and a Pacifica player to be named later. It’s hard to gather my senses because at this point I’ve learned of the existence of a liquor store across the street from the hotel and am coping with the last day of this non-stop death-worship of Reagan the same way I dealt with the last few years of his presidency: by soaking my every cell in CnH2n+1OH. Sam Seder (who I can’t stop thinking of as Fenton Muley) brings up an important point about Reagan that I’m too unfocused to remember myself: the Reagan around which this conservative circle is jerking is a myth, a fabrication, a fiction. The real Reagan raised taxes (or rather engaged in “revenue enhancements”), presided over a massive recession, cut and ran when faced with bloody terror attacks, talked constantly about a balanced budget and a line-item veto but did nothing about them, and “won” the Cold War by spending nonexistent money that would be handed down to his heirs, never to be paid off, as if this were somehow more fiscally conservative than the tax-and-spend model with which he vilified Democrats. Reagan’s strength as a paragon of conservativism is identical to Christopher Reeve’s strength as Superman, a pleasant fiction propped up with special effects and made believable by the empty shell upon which it was impressed. This is, by no means incidentally, the reason the CPAC crowd loves Romney so much: he is their new Ulrich, their man without qualities, upon whom they can press the rubber mask of Reagan.

But it’s too late, too late: the mashed potatoes go down with a sour wince, and the cash bar is only serving off-brand Scotch. Unless the few desperate rumors that the failed revolutionary and fourth-rate historical novelist Newt Gingrich will announce his candidacy tomorrow are true, the cretins of conservativism are stuck with McCain, a man who inspires them as much as did George H.W. Bush (a man who, himself, inspired them as much as a leaky, pebbly bowel movement in the middle of the night). In the bars, on the streets, in the lobby, in their rooms screaming obscenities at Chinese hookers, the CPAC crowd is frustrated and cross, angry at their own partisans for their failure to be as rabidly ideological as they wanted, for their failure to open wide enough when they snapped “Bend over!”. They’re looking around for a dog to kick, but the only dogs are running…

46 Comments »

  1. Gary Ruppert said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:40

    The fact is, these are all liberal lies about Reagan, who was almost as good a president as Bush is.

  2. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:41

    The phrase starting w/

  3. owlbear1 said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:41

    In about 3 months they won’t even fucking remember who Romney was…

  4. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:42

    The phrase starting w/ “Reagan’s strength as a paragon of conservatism” is perfect & priceless. It needs to be reprinted everywhere, maybe hundreds of times a day, every day until election day.

  5. Mary Ruppert said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:45

    The Reagan Cult is positively North Korean.

  6. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:45

    “Almost as good as Bush” in the sense that Bush’s incompetence, corruption, massive deficits passed to our unborn grandchildren, and delusions surpasses Reagan’s–but Ronnie is a close second!

  7. Vin Scully said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:45

    A Fenton reference? Gaw-dam! I thought I was the only person who watched that show!

  8. Greg T. said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:47

    …is identical to Christopher Reeve’s strength as Superman, a pleasant fiction propped up with special effects and made believable by the empty shell upon which it was impressed.

    Ooh Superman, where are you now?

  9. anangryoldbroad said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:49

    So,Leonard,would you say the crowd there is mostly young or older,or a good mix of both?

    Bless you for doing this,I would have been in jail for smacking the crap out of someone about 15 minutes in.

  10. Chairman Meow said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:52

    Hm, come to think of it “Romney” does sound suspiciously like “Ronnie.”

    Pavlovian near-miss?

  11. Arky the Blasphemer said,

    February 9, 2008 at 20:52

    I think this is the best blog title thus far.

    Maybe I shouldn’t bring this up but you don’t want to think about what the kitchen staff has been doing in your mashed potatoes. If you can’t get down to Adams Morgan go eat at the Indian restaurant across the way. If anyone spots you say you wanted to see what the “outsourcers” eat and complain about the inferiority of brown people fare.

  12. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:03

    & I echo the thanks. If I had to live among the twits/rupperts, the sheer stupid would have been more that I could take. Aaangryold broad & I would probably have ended up being arrested.

  13. The Kenosha Kid said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:04

    Pharyngula has had some good posts about that Ben Stein movie.

    PS. Don’t mix pharmaceuticals with alcohol.

  14. Fozzetti said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:04

    Are there classes on Atheism taught in HighSchools or Universities?

  15. Tim (the other one) said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:08

    This is a great bit of writing. I

    have a special request that MLP (with digital camera in tow) crash a party or two tonight. It’s Sat. night after all and there have to be some “raves” somewhere.

    I want to see these folks gettin’ down to “Proud Mary” or “Play That Funky Music, White Boy”.

    THAT would be golden !

  16. gbear said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:14

    Was Catsup the vegetable at the dinner? THAT would have been a tribute to Reagan.

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ket2.htm

  17. gbear said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:18

    Reagan and Fascism; together forever in having lost whatever meaning they might have once had.

  18. dadanarchist said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:19

    thank you thank you thank you….

    these posts have been an endless sources of amusement….

    i do fear for your sanity, however….

  19. Jennifer said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:20

    Ok, this is bad but…

    …when Reagan died, I lost a favorite joke, which went like this…

    “Reagan thought ketchup was a vegetable, and now he is one.”

    Like I said, bad.

  20. gbear said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:36

    “This is, by no means incidentally, the reason the CPAC crowd loves Romney so much: he is their new Ulrich eunuch, their man without qualities, upon whom they can press the rubber mask of Reagan.”

    one little tweak to a text which has otherwise been properly and wonderfully marinated in all the right chemicals.

  21. leaky, pebbly bowel movement said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:40

    Hey! I can be very inspirational.

  22. gbear said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:40

    PS: Don’t kill yourself over this. Start thinking of the nice long Spa visit afterwards.

  23. mightygodking said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:49

    Reagan’s strength as a paragon of conservativism is identical to Christopher Reeve’s strength as Superman, a pleasant fiction propped up with special effects and made believable by the empty shell upon which it was impressed.

    This is actually kind of unfair to Christopher Reeve, who, rather than wear a Super-suit with foam muscles, worked himself into top physical shape over the course of six months to play Superman.

  24. random idiot said,

    February 9, 2008 at 21:52

    … He’s pushing up the ketchup plants now.

  25. Nimrod Gently said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:00

    Ben Stein is a disgrace. No-one with that much awesome in his CV (Duckman, Fairly OddParents etc) should be a fucking wingnut. Pat Boone they can have.

  26. Fozzetti said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:00

    My sister & I used to say Regan looked like a California Raisin. Ugly.

  27. Smut Clyde said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:01

    Will subscripts work in our sandbox? Testing:
    by soaking my every cell in CnH2n+1OH.
    Lay off the isopropanol, MLP — it really is best saved for cleaning your DVDs.

  28. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:01

    Just got back from an errand & saw my new favorite bumper sticker:
    BUSH: LIKE A ROCK
    (only dumber)

  29. Robert Musil said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:05

    he is their new eunuch Ulrich, their man without qualities,
    Ignore gbear and keep the original.

  30. noen said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:05

    Yeah Jennifer, bad. Reagan was fully senile while he was president but his people kept that from the public. He should have been removed for mental incompetence (he had Alzheimers) but I guess that goes to show how much of a sock puppet he and most GOP presidents are.

  31. tom said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:10

    When Ronnie was Prez, didn’t he dedicate a new postage stamp @ Notre Dame by saying “Win one for the Gibbet?

  32. mikey said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:22

    Don’t listen to these pansies, Mr. Pierce. You stay in the field until the op’s completed, because the only other way out is to get dusted off. Keep all your partsnpieces attached, and walk off the field when the battles over. We will accept nothing less than utter defeat with survival.

    That’s my inspirational wisdom for today…

    mikey

  33. NutellaonToast said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:24

    Dear lord, I hope n =2 and only 2, or you’re in for a longer stay down there than you bargained for ;)

  34. Jim said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:24

    …when Reagan died, I lost a favorite joke, which went like this…

    “Reagan thought ketchup was a vegetable, and now he is one.”

    Like I said, bad.

    Take heart – you can always say that now he’s contributing to global warming by fertilizing the trees.

  35. (Lex) Skink Tyree (Azagthoth) said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:37

    You’re rocking the PAC Mr. Pierce.

    Virtual hugs & kisses to all from the sickly one, I hope everyone’s having fun!! (Even if not at CPAC)

  36. zsa said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:45

    By all means, let the conservatives tie themselves to the boat anchor of “intelligent design”.

    It’s the modern-day equivalent of the flat earth theory.

  37. Jennifer said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:50

    I’m curious. Does a truly horrid and hateful joke become more excusable when the person making it acknowledges, upfront, that it is horrid and hateful? Because sometimes I just can’t stop myself, but I don’t want people thinking I don’t know better or that my parents didn’t teach me better.

  38. atheist said,

    February 9, 2008 at 22:59

    Jennifer:

    Not really, but don’t worry because the joke was not really horrible, it was more wiseass.

  39. Brandi said,

    February 9, 2008 at 23:18

    Apropos of nothing, I’m amused and surprised that you used the spelling “buncombe” rather than the more popular “bunkum.”

  40. allium said,

    February 9, 2008 at 23:57

    Don’t be dissing Lawsonomy now. The man invented the airliner, for Pete’s sake!

    Zig-Zag and Swirl ftw!

  41. OneMan said,

    February 10, 2008 at 2:19

    I always liked my personal joke:

    “Reagan got alzheimers but nobody noticed!”

  42. Arky the Blasphemer said,

    February 10, 2008 at 3:24

    Jennifer:

    Depends.

    [Snicker, snort, chortle!]

  43. g said,

    February 10, 2008 at 4:01

    Leonard, I heard Sam Seder announce your appearance and I was very worried you’d be outed! Did anyone blow your cover?

  44. jerkvision.com » The Real Reagan said,

    February 10, 2008 at 4:51

    [...] Sadly, No! » The Beast is Red, Chapter 12: Show Us Your Twits …the Reagan around which this conservative circle is jerking is a myth, a fabrication, a fiction. The real Reagan raised taxes (or rather engaged in “revenue enhancements”), presided over a massive recession, cut and ran when faced with bloody terror attacks, talked constantly about a balanced budget and a line-item veto but did nothing about them, and “won” the Cold War by spending nonexistent money that would be handed down to his heirs, never to be paid off, as if this were somehow more fiscally conservative than the tax-and-spend model with which he vilified Democrats. Reagan’s strength as a paragon of conservativism is identical to Christopher Reeve’s strength as Superman, a pleasant fiction propped up with special effects and made believable by the empty shell upon which it was impressed. This is, by no means incidentally, the reason the CPAC crowd loves Romney so much: he is their new Ulrich, their man without qualities, upon whom they can press the rubber mask of Reagan. [...]

  45. wagonjak said,

    February 11, 2008 at 0:43

    Hi Leonard-
    I see you didn’t post my comment about your drug in system/Joker connection with the death of Heath Ledger. If you didn’t realize it I guess it was just a classic case of Synchronicity…

    Apparently, the strain of playing an evil genius like the Joker didn’t help his drug problem.

    I HAVE read your whole CPAC series, and can’t remember getting such laughs since the post about the phony progressive “retread” who toured the opening of the Creationist Museum, or of course the old Rolling Stone articles by Hunter Thompson and his drugged tour of Las Vegas.

    Thanks!

  46. Redleg said,

    February 11, 2008 at 6:25

    Cheap motherfuckers drinking off-brand scotch.

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