Posted by: lecubiste | September 6, 2008

Palin Fascination!

What is it about FASCINATION that causes us to suspend our brains, our reason, our critical faculties.  I saw a picture of Sarah Palin in a red, white, and blue bikini holding a rifle.  Of course it was a doctored photo, but the juxtaposition of images cuts to the core of the so called culture wars in our country.

Why do we find such fascination with her image.  Her figure is somewhat attractive, a former beauty pageant participant, Miss Congeniality, like Sandra Bullock in the film by the same name, the gun toting FBI agent.  Have we forgotten that American soldiers are dying halfway round the world, that the foreclosure rate is at a record, that the federal debt ceiling must be raised again as we depend on Asian central banks to underwrite our economy?

It is said nowadays that Americans have a short memory.  No wonder with all the information technology that FASCINATES us, that stops our critical mind and draws in our attention like a master hypnotist: “You will remember nothing, …nothing… your memory will obliterate the images of Bush and company telling us that Sadaam Hussein worked with Al-Queda, that Iraq had these terrible weapons, that gasoline is up to 4$/gallon, that Hurricanes are up in frequency and power, that species are going extinct due to global warming,… you will forget that Karl Rove was implicated in the exposure of an American CIA agent because her husband criticised the Bush Administration for its falsification of the uranium-Niger story,…That Congressman Foley was driven out of office for having sex with young male pages,… that Ted Haggard, the evangelical leader was exposed by his male prostitute for buying methamphetamine...

The only way to fight this menace is with history, with memory, with a sense of priorities that puts practical values and competence uppermost in our minds. The real crime of this administration is that they have gutted competence from the federal executive branch as much as possible and replaced it with a weird blend of fools and liars.  The problem of course is that fools don’t know they’re foolish, and liars won’t tell you that they’re lying.

But we are fascinated – with the imagery of Death Race and Tropic Thunder- of x-boxes and HDTV.  But behind this spate of high tech fascination is the power drain, and we have not even begun to see the first glimmer of our paying the price.  Behind this fascination machine is a strategy that is destroying the American economy.

Unemployment is up as the Big Three have shrunk. Why?  Because they ignored thirty-five years of warnings that fuel economy was important.  But why would they when the oil companies fought conservation every step of the way, controlling presidents and politics as needed?  

The War in Iraq has resulted in higher oil prices, to their benefit. And McCain, drags onto his ticket the ultimate image of carnal life, Sarah Barracuda, who attempted to ban books as mayor in Wasilla, Alaska, and fired the uncooperative librarian in their small town.  Folks, this is the image of unrepentant fascism.  This is looking at the future of environment and global relations and declaring war on caution and care.

But none of this can happen without the complicity of the American people, the press, and the politicians who cannot resist the fascination of the Rupert Murdock entrained, tabloid entranced soap opera now unraveling in front of us.  We can talk about Ms Palin all we want, but meanwhile what of the substance of the last eight years?  Where is the laundry list of misdeeds of the current administration?

If this Obama-Biden team is serious about changing the current direction of American society, they need to fight fascination with history, images with facts, soap opera with the reality of policy differences and their impact on the public.  Otherwise this election will revert to a popularity contest and reality will fly out the window, replaced by the pivotal election issue of whether Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome baby is cute enough.

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