Thursday, April 16, 2009

No comment

I haven't really had a huge interest in making any remarks about this "tea-bagging" business (although I do feel a few political posts brewing, just because of all the crazy shit that is happening in general). Honestly, what can one say about it? The whole thing is so misguided and stupid.

It's funny, I get that. But it's also sad. And when one grows tired of laughing at it, and feeling sad about it, and then one notices that it is still there, like a canker sore that won't go away -- then the vibe starts to get a little scary, too.

I don't know, it just feels like the premise is too simple to support all of the jokes it has spawned (and believe me, I'm all for milking a good joke). I basically agree with this brief, effective summary from the Rude Pundit:

Ah, fuck this. Fuck the puns and the mocking. It's just too fucking depressing. Somewhere, Karl Marx is laughing his bearded ass off. Because what is this but classic exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie? It's a bunch of rich fucks, beginning with that tool Rick Santelli on CNBC and ending with the slavering profitmongers at Fox "news," making the poor idiots, who are desperate from fear of or actual job loss and heath insurance loss and home loss, do their bidding. Look at the people attending. Bedraggled Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin wannabes, clinging to the image of those who create the illusion of the working class without the work or the class. Ignorance is such bliss, man.


Of course, the sadist in me was disappointed that no one (as far as I know) bothered to undertake the only appropriate response to the various "parties" that were held around the nation today. To wit: hire some out-of-work porn actors to show up at a protest and start actually tea-bagging each other. (Important: the actors should appear confused and / or hurt when the bona fide protesters express outrage at said actual tea-bagging. "What's the matter? Isn't this what we all came here for?!")

But as I suggested, the joke is getting old.


Anonymous said...

I for one had to check urban dictionary on this.

Andrew Durkin... said...

Ha! Not sure what it says about me that I didn't!

Matt said...

Has anyone ever teabagged James Lipton while in the Actor's Studio? Just wondering.

Ray said...

Yes, we should all ignore the people who showed up to the tea parties. (Calling it teabagging is a conscious attempt to disenfranchise the message. If you want me to take you seriously, let's try to keep to the high road.)

While the idea may have started with the wealthy and the popular does that mean that every person who showed up should be ignored? Can these Joe and Jane Lunchpails have a point? No, let's ignore them and paint them all in the corner because we don't like their leadership. The message that is getting lost in the furor is that they don't like the government giving free handouts to the banks and major industry. CNN is running a story today about banks that lied to get some of that government money. And the residents of the White House may change, but the bureacrats remain. Just like with FEMA not knowing where the money went, the bailout funds are missing money too.

What part of the government giving away your money willy-nilly do you approve of? This isn't feeding hungry kids or housing the homeless, it's lining the pockets of the the wealthy and popular. The exact class of folks you railed against because their ties are red instead of blue.

I'm sorry, but I can't drink either group's kool aid. Maybe a bit more attention should have been paid to the messengers.

Andrew Durkin... said...

Hi Ray --

Thanks much for your thoughts. Alas, this being an IJG-related blog, we don't really do the "high road" all that much. But I'll make an attempt at same in my response (which I submit despite the fact that I titled this post "no comment").

For the record: I'm not sure exactly how you got the impression that I was in favor of the bailouts. Surely it is possible to be simultaneously irritated by the Wall Street culture that got us into our current situation, on the one hand, and by the truly cartoonish and absurd idea that the Obama administration is imposing a socialist/fascist police state, on the other? There is plenty of idiocy to go around; indeed, though some of the "tea-baggers" (sorry, I am unaware of any other name for the movement) may have their hearts in the right place and may want to believe they are protecting "the little guy," their willingness to throw in their lot with the loonier elements on the right suggests that maybe they haven't really thought their strategy through. They are being used, just like the religious folk were in 2004.

You say that the message that is getting lost here is that people don't like the bailouts. With all due respect, I can't imagine how it is remotely possible to think that that particular message is getting lost. The mainstream media has whipped up a veritable orgy of verbiage around the notion of "populist outrage." It has paid much less attention to more useful pursuits -- like, say, a measured, informed debate about whether the bailout(s) are the right thing to do, and if not, what is a viable alternative, etc. So what we're left with is this: the "tea-baggers" are trying to seize a mood of legitimate concern over the economic future of the country, and attempting to lash that to a more amorphous and dangerous hatred (maybe it's racism, maybe it's classism, maybe it's general ignorance, maybe it's partisanship, maybe it's something else) in the interest of someday returning to power. And that, it seems to me, is worthy of ridicule.

But as I said, "no comment"!

Andrew Durkin... said...

Matt --

Well, I thought the joke was getting old, but your riff on it cracked me up, so I guess I was wrong!