Last week, big chunks of America were caught up in two enormous soap operas. The first was Ken Burns’ documentary, “The War,” that was pulling in network-type ratings. It reminded us of World War II, which I, as a child of the ‘fifties, grew up with omnipresent and memory fading, to the point that they could put “The War” on TeeVee as a weekly drama, “Combat,” and a sitcom about Stalag 13, “Hogan’s Heroes.”
And then, the first straight-up barfight of the New Media left and right: the controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s “Phony Soldiers” comments.
Now, I recused myself from that one, having infamously stated in print that when Rush and his buds sow the wind with hating — “liberals,” “feminazis,” (the FRENCH, fer gawd’ssakes!) — and reap the whirlwind, war, and, according to the rules of war, Rush is an enemy combatant, I got dibs on shooting him. I pray fervently that day never comes. But if it does, we know where the nexis of evil is, it’s Limbaugh.
We’re being herded down the famed paved road to hell by The Hatest Generation.
Because that’s where it’s headed. Domestic arguments never START with a shotgun. No: they escalate to a shotgun and a tragedy, and a senseless waste of time, lives, civic resources, jail time, lawyer time, court time, lost work time, stress, anger, recrimination, screwed-up kids, etc. And the ripples spread out through all of our lives.
So, too, you don’t call your fellow citizens traitors for not supporting your illegal war. Got it?
The entire “Hatest Generation” jumped into the pool to defend Limbaugh from saying the kind of crap that nobody’s called him on in the 21 years since he figured out how to exploit Reagan’s summary execution of the Fairness Doctrine.
And I think we can see what that’s gotten us.
Today, my wife was looking for the Oregon Ducks game on the radio. “Honey?” she called up the stairs. “KUGN, 590,” I called back. “The Alleged Voice of the Ducks.”
KUGN used to be one of those local stations that went back in the community almost to the days of THREE letter radio station call letters. It had been news, sportstalk, etc. But then Cumulus bought it, kept the football and radio commentators and pretty much turned the venerable old Eugene institution into another robot station … just pick up the satellite feeds and push the buttons. (All the radio personalities in this market of a quarter million are starving to death. Too many good radio people. Too few jobs from too few owners.)
So the Ducks turned out be having a ‘bye week.’ No game. My wife left to head down to the office, but forgot to turn the kitchen radio off. I sat down to write something, and tweak some web things, and was half-listening to some cookie-cutter Rightie Hate Jockey, as he displayed all the monkey-tossing-feces nuances that Rush gifted the Hatest Generation with. And, of course, the piece de resistance: Debating with one’s self — a debate that’s nearly impossible to lose, although I have, in all fairness, seen it done.
Mocking voices, making fun of names — all the subtle nuance and complex interpersonal dynamics of that part of the kindergarten playground that the teachers couldn’t see. Pretty standard fare here in the Hatest Generation’s playground.
[* I remember a time when “Reds” and “Red States” had a completely different meaning, but then, I remember a time when things actually had regular meanings, and weren’t daily parsed into their opposites, alternates and antonyms by a very loud 24/7 hate machine.]
I listened to a weekend broadcast of some goon named … hold on … Rusty Humphries. He’s got that pissed-off white-guy-with-a-lawnmower and a mini-van voice and delivery. And he’s smearing Media Matters as a tool of Hillary Clinton — and the rest of the Dittohead coding that they’re all Pavlovian droolers for when not barking it back on Left wing talk shows and CSPAN. And … GASP … people who work for Media Matters had worked on Democratic campaigns!! Etcetera. Slimiest ad hominems possible, and the obligatory smear of George Soros, because, as we know, George Soros is the ONLY millionaire attempting to influence the political dialogue in America.
Er … for the people, perhaps. Do you suppose that the endless smears and slurs on Soros are the Billionaires’ Club’s way of getting back at him for being a “scab” billionaire? A “traitor to his class,” as they called Teddy Roosevelt?
Humphries was one of those sorts of assholes you normally throw out of your house or party or bar after he’s decided to launch into a drunken tirade about how we oughta kill those … [insert racial or ethnic or religious epithet here]. All guilt-by-association to automatically discredit Media Matters — whom he accused for a good hour (until I turned the radio off to keep it from vomiting on the kitchen floor) of REEDITING Rush’s tapes to make Limbaugh say things Limbaugh didn’t say.
Because, of course, that’s what LIBERALS do!
It’s Limbaugh that created, fostered and nurtured the culture of hate that led to this editorial in the New York Times this morning. “Limbaugh values” are ascendant.
OK. I’ve only vaguely heard of this asshole — Humphries, not Limbaugh. (And I apologize to assholes everywhere for the implicit slur of tossing Rusty Humphries into the mix, so don’t send any letters). But “Rusty” is so much of the common clay, the coin of the realm that Limbaugh built for his anonymous masters that I don’t NEED to know anything about Humphries. He’s as predictable as the tides, and quite a bit less interesting:
- Controls all conversation on his show? Check.
- Stages phony debates with himself that he wins? Check.
- Only talks to pre-screened callers — including plants, shills and stooges? Check.
- Spouts the same talking points that ALL of them spout, no matter how illogical or dumb, uses the Official GOP™ Soundbite of the Day? Check.
- Wouldn’t know a logical proposition if it bit him in the (in Humphries’ case, ample and abundant) ass? Check.
- Relies exclusively on fallacies, most often ad hominem, non sequitur and ‘guilt by association’? Check.
- If all else fails, invokes “Clinton”? Bizarrely, yes. Specifically, the impeachment.
- Consistently adopts a mode of discourse formely confined to middle school boy’s restroom stalls? Check.
- Should roll his shit in little balls? Check*. (*Frequent readers of bathroom walls will recall the remainder of the Classic Grafittum.)
But Rusty Humphries isn’t the issue, except that this fat putz is syndicated on over 200 radio stations, coast to coast. The most prominent leftie radio host — Ed Schultz — is only on about 100 stations. But the also-ran rightie Humphries, whom I’ve never heard before — and I make it a point to listen to some of each Hate Jockey — has double the stations that the MOST prominent leftie radio host has. There’s a thousand like him that you and I have never heard of, whose hate spews in every corner of the land.
That’s a real problem. The righties still have a virtual monopoly of the radio airwaves, and the Hate Machine has never been so effective at selling the minimalist message of the day, each and every day.
But, this week, inadvertently, the right wing hate machine revealed just how beholden they are to, and necessarily protective OF Limbaugh. Look at this snapshot from Memeorandum, 12:40 AM, Oct 3rd, as the Lefties attack Rush’s insupportable statements, lies about what he’d ACTUALLY said, edited tapes and transcripts, etc. HERE. (Most blogs are progressives.)
And now look at THIS snapshot, as the evil rightie Empire Strikes Back exactly 11 hours later, at 11:40 AM Oct 3rd. THe majority of blogs are now conservative blogs. They defend Rush speciously in virtually EVERY case: It never happened. Media Matters are all liars. You can’t trust tape recorders, Leftists and HILLARY are out to “get” Rush, etc. etc.
And that’s just a little piece of the battlefield. The fight raged over countless blogs, on newspaper editorial pages, on tv stations, on news stations and through TV commentators, on Fox News, and in the massive AM radio market where Rush is worshipped as a prince of the airwaves, even though he can’t defend himself in a fair fight of any sort, as has been proven time and time again.
Which is why Rush’s methods were used to defend Rush: the rigidly controlled microphone, the scripted, predetermined ‘debate,’ and the childhood bully’s savaging of anyone or anything that incurs the imperial displeasure of the enfant terrible of Right Wing Media.
To defend Rush, you have to behave like Rush. And that means being mean.
Yes, this is The Hatest Generation. (Here is its poster boy.)
And, here’s the maraschino cherry on top of this Satanic Sunday(sic):
Announcing the 2007 League of the South National Conference
Posted under The South & Press Release
2007 LEAGUE OF THE SOUTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE
5-6 OCTOBER AT THE CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, CONVENTION CENTER
The League of the South will hold its 14th annual National Conference on 5-6 October 2007 at the Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Southern Secession: Antidote to Empire and Tyranny.”
Speakers include Dr. Thomas Fleming (keynote), Rev. Franklin Sanders, Walter D. “Donnie” Kennedy, Rev. Eugene Case, and Dr. Michael Hill. Workshop topics, as well as additional speakers, will be announced later this summer.
… You don’t want to miss this conference. In addition to the speakers announced above, we plan on having a few surprises in store for our attendees. Also, the 2007 League conference comes hard on the heels of the Second North American Secession Convention (3-4 October) in Chattanooga. Thus, the atmosphere ought to be electric.
Please mark you (sic) calendar and make plans to join us in beautiful Chattanooga for this exciting gathering of Southern nationalists.
I’m not making this crap up. The “League of the South” was founded in the MID-1990s, not the 1920s. Here’s from their stated aims:
As a means of making real our vision of a Southern Republic, we must first revitalise our largely Anglo-Celtic culture. Without a strong cultural base, political independence will be difficult to attain. But to strengthen Southern culture, we must overcome the mis-education of our people by undertaking a campaign to properly educate them about the history of the South in particular and America in general. […]
Once we have planted the seeds of cultural, social, and economic renewal, then (and only then), should we begin to look to the South’s political renewal. Political independence will come only when we have convinced the Southern people that they are indeed a nation in the organic, historical, and Biblical sense of the word, namely, that they are a distinct people with a language, mores, and folkways that separate them from the rest of the world.
We don’t want to hear just HOW extremist Rightie Talk Radio is, because it makes us sick in our stomachs. Understood.
And, for the same reason, everyone can yabble about James Dobson, the crazed ex-psychological counselor who’s decided to anoint himself as some sort of “Pope of Colorado Springs,” but we won’t talk about the extremist millionaires and extremist views of a secret religious enclave so powerful that the Vice President of the United States and one GOP presidential candidate fly to Salt Lake City, Utah to speak secretly to this secret group. (We know that people like, say, Phyllis Schlafly, were in attendance. A woman whose claim to fame is that she managed to kill the Equal Rights Amendment, and whose son created the Bizarro World™ Alternate Info-Universe known as “Conservapedia” last year.)
But when these fringies openly renew the old Southern call for secession (neatly sanitizing the old racist terms in code) as I’ve reported, well, we’ve gone from the Summer of Love to the Winter of Hate — in many cases, as I’ve reported, from the same generation.
You know, that generation we used to call the Boomers, but which, really, ought, increasingly, to be called by a more accurately descriptive nomenclature:
This is the Hatest Generation.