Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bizarro Birmingham

All this cogitating about changing patterns is apparently having an affect.  Not on the world at large, of course, unless getting worse by the minute is a change.  I'm pretty sure the world at large has been getting worse by the minute ever since human DNA first mutated into existence back in the primordial goo - so no change there.  The speed at which we are careening toward Idiocracy has certainly increased, but in my mind that's just the Same Old Shit only faster.

This item in the New York Times came across my radar last week:  Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on the Right (Feb 16, 2010).

The article describes the political awakening of a little grandma in Idaho named Pam Stout:
She was happily retired, and had never been active politically. But last April, she went to her first Tea Party rally, then to a meeting of the Sandpoint Tea Party Patriots. She did not know a soul, yet when they began electing board members, she stood up, swallowed hard, and nominated herself for president. “I was like, ‘Did I really just do that?’ ” she recalled.
Then she went even further.
Worried about hyperinflation, social unrest or even martial law, she and her Tea Party members joined a coalition, Friends for Liberty, that includes representatives from Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project, the John Birch Society, and Oath Keepers, a new player in a resurgent militia movement.
When Friends for Liberty held its first public event, Mrs. Stout listened as Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff, brought 1,400 people to their feet with a speech about confronting a despotic federal government. Mrs. Stout said she felt as if she had been handed a road map to rebellion. Members of her family, she said, think she has disappeared down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. But Mrs. Stout said she has never felt so engaged.
“I can’t go on being the shy, quiet me,” she said. “I need to stand up.”
You could say that we all need to stand up and shout about the Bull Shit that passes for Political Reality in America - except that The Tea Party Rebellion is liable to get as ridiculous as it is potentially dangerous since these people tote firearms around as if they were as necessary to social interaction as breath mints.

What intrigued me most about this passage is the idea of Barack Obama calling for martial law to suppress the Rebellion on the Right, fueled by the John Birchers and Glenn Beck, et al.  The photo illustration from the story provides a glimpse at the demographic profile of the Movement:

Here's another:

If I'm not mistaken, when the Hippies were protesting the Vietnam war years ago, Old White People insisted clothing like the patriotic shirt proudly worn by the Veteran above was as disrespectful to America as burning the flag.  Now, maybe no actual American Flags were harmed in the making of that short sleeved button down, but it just goes to show you that Teabaggers are incapable of recognizing the contradictions inherent in their passionately stated positions.  This inability is no surprise since a high percentage of Teabaggers are Conservative Christians, and Conservative Christians are notoriously obtuse when it comes to recognizing the inherent contradictions in their passionately held beliefs.

If the Teabaggers' dreams come true, their patriotic militia will storm Washington DC and make such a commotion that Barack Obama calls out the National Guard.  Then we will be treated to the spectacle of a Black Man so educated, sophisticated and well groomed that he could have stepped out of an advertisement in GQ ordering hundreds of Guardsmen and women to toss tear gas and shoot fire hoses at a bunch of White People.  While the Heritage Foundation insists that minorities and poor folks are not overrepresented in the military - I'm going to bet that at least half the National Guardsmen hosing down Honkies would be Dark Skinned.

Kind of like Bizarro Birmingham, Nixon's Silent Majority has taken to the streets to revolt against Negroes and Communists.

This is one national spectacle I'd like to see.  In fact, if the Teabaggers storm DC, I'd most likely have to fix up the Menopausal Stoners Herb Tea cart and find a safe perch on the mall so that Hippies old and young can smoke out under a shade tree and watch this unfold like Saturday morning cartoons or an episode of Star Trek with a parallel universe.


Blogger MRMacrum said...

Absolutely made my day. Wonderful post. Thanks.

February 25, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Hosing down the honkies! Priceless!

February 25, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Gail said...


My goodness - this is such a wonderful article. One has to be VERY intelligent and well informed to write such a piece. Wow!!

You outdid yourself here.

save me a front row seat!

Love you girl


February 25, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Kulkuri said...

My first thought when I saw the second picture is what you said under it. Problem is there are still people fighting the "Dirty Fucking Hippies" even tho there is only a handful of hippies left. The irony is that a lot of those that are fighting the hippies today were once hippies themselves.

I just hope the Tea-Baggers tear apart the Republic Party, and maybe,maybe I'll see my fondest dream come true. That the Republic Party will become the Whigs of the 21st century.

February 25, 2010 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger VV said...

I have no problem with people standing up to their government and saying "enough!" I also am angry with politicians lying to get elected and then passing laws to help the rich get richer and corporate America to continue its rape and pillage of the general public. (Here comes that "however") What bothers me about groups like this is their seeming lack of education and insight into what the problems are, how to go about solving them and making this a better world for all of us, not just some of us. I don't subscribe to the their version of an ideal America. I don't want to live how they think I should. I don't want to go after my government through violence, open rebellion or coup d'etat. I think that would only breed more violence and chaos. I think there has to be a better way. I think if we all stand up together, take responsibility for the mess we've inherited and the mess we've contributed to, get new people in all these offices and actually hold them accountable, change the laws to protect the public, we might get somewhere. Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against us. Corruption and their supporters are firmly entrenched. We've got to find a way to outsmart them. Don't fall for the slick campaign ads that tell you what to think and worse, get you to vote against your own interests. Do the hard work, find out everything you can about a cause, a politicians, the supporters and financial backers before getting in the voting booth. Change might come slowly, but it will come. I don't think the Teabaggers way is the way for me.

February 25, 2010 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

I too had the immediate response to the second photo as a flashback to outrage at "hippy" clothing that resembled the U.S. Flag. Hypocritical asshat teabaggers.

As to experiencing a possible parallel universe...hell, we're already there. Name the tree, I'll be there.

February 25, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

V.V., that's why I smoke weed.
MRMacrum, Woody, Gail - glad you liked it. The whole idea of a black man setting the dogs on the teabaggers makes me smile.
Kilkuri, your mouth to G*d's ears (or the Dog's, if you're not into The Diety)
JadedJ, I'll be letting our freak flag fly, but you can probably follow your nose ;)

February 25, 2010 at 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

From my end, the whole teabaggers thing is really weird. The weird part is the attention they get. Because they're not the sharpest pencils in the box, you know?

You're right, it's not-so-thinly veiled racism. Bizarro Birmingham indeed.

Yesterday Roger Ebert tweeted: "Memo to TeePees: A loud movement is not the same thing as a mass movement."

February 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

Between the pic of Barack ObamaSpock and Jennifer's mention of Roger Ebert's tweet, I am falling out of my chair laughing ... The hilarity's a sweet relief ... a great antidote to the teabaggery ... xo

February 26, 2010 at 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a public option for health care in the Bizarro world?

I remember those same old farts calling the peace sign "the footprint of the American chicken".

My brother has a saying "any damn fool can wave a flag".

I guess they can wear them, too!

February 26, 2010 at 3:32 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

I expect there would be universal health care - is that what they have in Canada, Jaliya and Jen?
Seems like lots of Americans cross the border for Health Care - to Mexico, too, from what I heard on The Colbert Report.

Jaliya, always nice to see you.
Jen - TeePees? Love it. I'm also loving your posts in the 30 days of Beauty project

February 26, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Larena said...

I'm with you watching this from under a shade tree sound idealic..

February 28, 2010 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Oso said...

Hi PENolan
Followed over from Teeluck's.
Good post, scary and really frustrating at the same time. I'd seen something about that granny before.

The easy thing is to dismiss her as a racist moron-which she is-but before her innate sickness came out she was probably the type most people would see as a lovable granny. help people out, watch your kids, bake cookies.But there had to be something wrong there already.

Falling for fearmongers over hyperinflation is one thing-if you don't understand the economy it could seem likely.

But the rest of the paranoid stuff and the fact that there is nothing but old racist White people there on her side-a thinking person would see the divide and question it. Research the issues.

I'm almost 60 so I'm not some young kid but if somebody tells me the President of the US is gonna order martial law I wouldn't just accept something like that without looking into it, and trying to be objective. Sorry I'm trying to keep from cussing so starting to ramble. That type of hypocritical racist simple-minded idiot who's deep down fulla hate is just hard to stomach.

I usually express myself a lot better. Maybe next visit. Take care.

February 28, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Don't worry Pat, at least not yet. It won't be the Teabaggers who bring forth armed resurection. Look at them, they're all too old. They're just pissed and scared and don't know why. No, it's the younger, middle-aged people like the guy who flew the plane into the IRS building who are going to take to the streets violently. And it won't be because of racisim and the like, it will be because they are finally waking up to how they're being raped by the powers-that-be. Capitalism is a self-corrupting system and bound to fail.

March 2, 2010 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Mr C - I'm not a bit worried. I'm learning how to shoot. Those teabaggers make a serious mistake if they think progressives won't return fire.

Lerena, Oso: glad you stopped by

March 2, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger jadedj said...

PE, with you on that one. Qualified as Expert on the M16 and 45 cal pistol. Serious ass mistake if they come my way.

March 2, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Oso said...

Penolan and jadedj,
12 gauge here. Hope it stays in a corner forever though.

March 2, 2010 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Karlo said...

Ah, the logic of it all is beautiful.

March 3, 2010 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous JD said...

"these people tote firearms around as if they were as necessary to social interaction as breath mints...."

In Bizzaro Birmingham, I'd expect these things to be sold side-by-side at the neighborhood Stop N Go.

March 4, 2010 at 10:49 AM  

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