The thing is, I enjoy reading Al Franken. If you think that makes me a Liberal Weenie, so be it. He’s a funny author to read, and I especially like his titles, such as “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations” because I tend to agree with them. I mean, if Rush isn’t a Big Fat Idiot, I don’t know who is. And drug addled, too, but I guess prescription drugs don’t count. Anyway, a few years ago Al wrote a book called “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.” More recently he put out “The Truth, With Jokes.” The “Lies” book was pretty funny, so I opened “The Truth” with some anticipation. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that funny.
Oh, he tries to be funny, puttting in bogus statistics and made-up reviews of his own prowress, but mostly he does put in the truth, and all it does is make me mad. For example, he quotes Cheney, Rice, Powell and Bush prior to 9-11 talking about how the best thing that needed to be done was that “Star Wars” initiative, or missile shield defense. Also all of those except Bush said prior to 9-11, in so many words, that Hussein was pretty much neutralized as a threat to his region, much less to the rest of the world. That is the truth.
Then he quotes the same bunch post 9-11 as they whipped up support for going into Iraq to liberate the country. They claimed that there was a positive and clear link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin. I was one of a tiny minority who knew, and said so at the time, that that was pure fantasy (I used a different term with my (ex) friends, but I’ll keep it clean here.) But that isn’t what makes me mad. Later, each one of them claimed that they had not said exactly what they in fact most clearly had said. But even that isn’t what makes me mad. Heck, it’s a free country, they can say what they like. What makes me really mad is that all of the media, and not just Fox Cable News here, but the Washington Post, the New York Times, everybody except the Village Voice, apparently, boosted and supported that entire set of lying BS for months, years even. Why? What in heck is a press for if not to ask the obvious questions? Now that makes me mad as hell, but I’ll probably keep on taking it, because I don’t see a lot of alternatives. I did, as I aid, point out the error of the information at the time, not that anyone was listening.
Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have put my criticism in articles like See Those Students Run, which were intended to be funny. Subtlety isn’t a great way to get your point across, after all.
Al also tells about something called Terror Management Techniques, an area of research that demonstrates, actually scientifically (a viewpoint foreign to the idealists in charge of the administration, by the way) that getting people to visualize their own death is a great way to get them to give up essential freedoms, follow stupid but firm-sounding leaders, and believe any type of horse hockey those leaders dish out. That’s the truth, also. Guess what the entire administration devoted years to? Yep, getting people to think about their own death. Michael Moore was right on that point: those guys were using fear to control the American people. Of course, they used that same fear to get people to hate Michael Moore almost as much as they hated Bill Clinton, but that’s the way it is when you don’t have truth on your side: you lie in a way that gets people to vote against their own interest. And that really makes me mad, too.
I wish it were as simple as saying “Look people, everybody dies, there’s no getting around it, so how about concentrating on living while you’ve got the chance?” Unfortunately, that doesn’t appeal to any emotion other than that same old fear of death, so ultimately it defeats itself. Nice, huh? It’s true, for what that’s worth. But, here’s a guideline, one more time: If an explanation seems simple and easy to understand and feels really good to believe, it’s probably a bill of goods, false, a pack of lies, and simply not true. That’s harsh and hard, I know, but it’s true. That doesn’t come from Al Franken, it comes from me. But I do worry about something.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I am apparently immune to those techniques that use fear to bring people in line? Am I wise and mature or somehow emotionally damaged? It could go either way, you know. Huh. Maybe I am a Liberal Weenie. Tough Caca. I don’t expect politicians to always be honest in the way I expect a grocer to be honest, but I expect a poliltician to be honest enough to support and defend that which he or she swears to support and defend. In the case of national officers, that would be the Constitution of the United States of America. You can bet that the next time some jerk in a position to do us real damage starts lying just to control people I won’t be making funny articles about it. Thanks to Al, I’m mad as hell, and I really am not going to take it any more.
On the other hand, I still like writing humor, so check the Funny Page next Sunday and see what’s changed.
Later, Dudes and Dudettes . . .