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fictoid: trophy exchange

1/12/2016

heimrich-kley-gator-and-gal-2“This was my dad’s.”

“What is it, a snake?”

“No, an alligator.”

“Where are the legs?”

“The rest of it got away.”

“How did your dad get this?
I thought he only had one hand.”

“Well, the alligator got a trophy, too.”

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.

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art by Heinrich Kley
text © Buzz Dixon

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THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964)

28/11/2016

the-americanization-of-emily-1964One film that everyone should see — especially Americans — and especially Americans in positions of life and death authority such as peace officers and service personnel — is The Americanization Of Emily (1964), directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Paddy Chayefsky (going very far afield from William Bradford Huie’s novel). Set in England before and during the invasion of Normandy, this dark comedy stars James Garner in one of his patented cynical-roué-with-a-heart-of-gold roles and Julie Andrews as a military driver about as far as imaginable from her wholesome turns as Mary Poppins and in The Sound Of Music (respectively released before and after this film).

taoe-6e8Emily also features James Coburn as Garner’s somewhat treacherous pal, Melvyn Douglas as the admiral they work for, and Keenan Wynn as a drunken sailor with the best line in the picture (“We ain’t that stoned!”).

taoe-coburn-and-garnerIt’s a very literate and philosophical film (as was everything Chayefsky wrote) with a lot to think about in it, but there’s one crucial sub-plot that we all need to focus on.

Douglas’ admiral is responsible for the naval logistics behind the invasion of Normandy, and the mental strain weighs heavily on the man. As he starts to lose his grasp on reality, he develops an obsession that “the first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor”.

taoe-admiralThis sends Garner and Coburn off on a fool’s errand to film a documentary of the Navy’s combat engineers blowing up mines and other obstacles in advance of the actual invasion force. Garner drags his feet for obvious common sense reasons of not wanting to get killed, but Coburn becomes gung-ho about the project.

Douglas then suffers a full a full blown nervous breakdown, a psychotic fugue that temporarily incapacitates him but his orders, once put in motion, can now no longer be amended, changed, rescinded, or sidetracked. Suffice it to say Garner finds himself in the unenviable position of being “the first dead man on Omaha Beach”.

taoe-emily-stillAs soon as the admiral’s mind clears, he is horrified to find his underlings acted on what should have been obviously ignored as the product of a stressed mind reaching its breaking point. Garner’s documentary served no real purpose, dozens of lives were needlessly risked, and in the end Douglas is wracked with guilt that his psychotic obsession sent a valued and trusted aide to his meaningless death. (There is, of course, a nice double-twist reverse to end the movie on a high note, so don’t worry about this one being a downer; it’s tons o’fun.)

I want to focus on Coburn’s insistence of following through with Douglas’ orders despite the fact he acknowledges such orders are nonsensical! He tells Garner:   “You…nearly got yourself court-martialed, stripped of your commission, sent to the Arctic Circle to do polar research. Man, you don’t tell two-star admirals you don’t approve of their orders. Now you’re on the Admiral’s brig list.”

Coburn’s method of handling things is to cut orders that let Garner delay the inevitable by a few days instead of bringing the real problem — “The service takes a dim view of lieutenant commanders who call the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy a nut” — to anyone’s attention.

Sometimes, dammit, ya just gotta run that risk.

Though Emily doesn’t hang a lantern on this point, the facts are after WWII we executed Germans and Japanese who did exactly what Coburn’s character did: Just followed orders.

They surrendered their integrity and their humanity by never questioning or challenging the orders handed down from above. They followed through on them, even when they thought they were stupid and evil and self-destructive, because they thought they could escape moral and ethical responsibility by handing such decisions over to others.

No.

It doesn’t work that way.

The person on the other end of your club or your pepper spray or your gun or your drone targeting system will be hurt by your actions.

There is no escaping that.

It may well be that your actions can be justified — you stop a deranged spouse from killing their family by shooting the attacker — but it will nonetheless be your responsibility.

And you may find yourself in situations where you will agree wholeheartedly with those above you that a specific group needs to be attacked, and if so then you must own your moral and ethical choice: You share credit or blame, honor or guilt for something you did willfully.

There will come other times, however, when you will have your doubts, and perhaps even times beyond that when you will know what is being asked of you is wrong.

You must resist at those times.

You will not be held blameless for any harm that befalls someone unjustly on your watch.

You may escape legal responsibility for a time, but your actions will follow you, and whether the debt is paid directly or indirectly, it will be paid.

The Americanization Of Emily is a funny comedy, using dark humor to get its points across.

It can afford its cynicism:
At the end of the day its actors removed their make-up, returned their costumes to wardrobe, and went home.

People in the real world aren’t
afforded such luxuries.

 

 

 

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THUNDARR THE MOVIE or How I Almost Created Kickstarter

27/11/2016

Well, this is a blast from the past!

thundarr-the-movie-presentation

Patrick Sullivan, over on Facebook’s Charlton Arrow page, found in the archives of Charlton Comics a copy of the old and long since forgotten Thundarr The Barbarian movie treatment I wrote for Ruby-Spears, one of the last things I did for them as a salaried employee (though I came back for a couple of freelance gigs).

How it wound up at Charlton I have no clue, but I suspect somebody was trying to make a comic book deal as Charlton was well known at the time for publishing TV tie-ins.

Thundarr The Movie is an interesting bracket to the Thundarr TV series because it was intended to be a prequel, telling the origin of the Sunsword, how Thundarr came to possess it, and how he teamed up with Ookla and Arial to fight wizardry and super science and evil mutants on the ruined Earth of the far, far future (i.e., post 1990).

On the other side of the actual Thundarr TV series, a proposed follow-up series.

Let me back up a bit and set the stage and context…

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears are the guys who created Scooby-doo. This set a lot of dominos in motion until they ended up in charge of their own animation studio.[1]

They had some success with weekend and afternoon specials, but their first — and arguably biggest — post-Scooby hit was Thundarr The Barbarian.

I’ve posted elsewhere on my involvement with Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby and Mark Evanier and Marty Pasko and a host of other well known and not so well known creative geniuses[2] who shaped Thundarr.

Thundarr lasted a paltry two seasons, and when the series was taken out behind the barn and shot put to pasture, Joe Ruby had us explore options to keep the basic idea going.

IIRC John Dorman created a canine version called Thundogg The Barkbarian while Jack Kirby conjured up Eric The Rude, an intelligent barbarian kangaroo in Thundarr’s world.

None of these saw light of day beyond some preliminary art.

One possibility Joe wanted to explore was turning Thundarr into a feature film.

If memory serves correctly, Steve Gerber was already strapping on his parachute to bail on Ruby-Spears so Joe handed the development task over to me.

Let be back up a bit further and talk about Ruby-Spears’ feature film ambitions:  They always had a desire to do an animated feature but could never get any traction. Steve Gerber and Jack Kirby (along with numerous other R-S staff artists) developed an idea called Ripoff which was to have been the ultimate mash-up funny animal parody of all 1980s movie genres featuring a Burt Reynolds-like dog and a Sally Field and / or Dolly Parton-esque canine counterpart (another idea called Animal Hospital, art by Jack, started as a TV series pitch but ended up being incorporated into the Ripoff presentation).

Joe asked me to develop a sci-fi detective series derived from inspired by Blade Runner and I came up with an idea called Numan, the last private eye in the world of the future (2020, IIRC). The idea quickly proved itself too edgy for TV at the time and so it was ported over as a feature development.[3]

Another couple of stray ideas may have been briefly considered for theatrical film development but for the most part that was it before Thundarr The Movie.

Thundarr was a frustrating situation for us. It was by all rights a popular show and character and we should have secured any number of marketing deals, but nobody could ever make a go of it.

This was before the big syndication boom of the mid-1980s[4] and so the last chance for Thundarr before disappearing into the mists of TV history was to get a feature film off the ground.

I suggested a prequel to the series, one that would be grittier and grimmer[5] than the TV version, with a little more oomf! to the violence and a whole lot more boomba-boomba-boomba if you know what I mean and I think you do.

The problem was finding financing and distribution for a film.

You’d think that in Hollywood that would be easy:
Somebody would cough up a few million bucks to make the movie and others the millions needed to distribute it.

Well…no.

Numer-o uno:
Nobody was making independent animated features at the time — especially straight forward action-adventure science-fantasy — so there was no marketing model any distributor could follow to success.

Numer-o two-o:
The rights situation at Ruby-Spears was already starting to grow messy. One reason there has been virtually no authorized merchandising off the show is that Ruby-Spears eventually was subsumed by Hanna-Barbera, their chief rival, and H-B in turn was absorbed into Turner Broadcasting (or Media or Pictures or Studios or whatever the hell they were calling themselves that minute) and soon after that Turner hizzownsef was bought out by the Brothers Warner and today there’s virtually no one at Warner Bros animation who knows about, much less gives a rip, for Thundarr The Barbarian. The feature film threatened to become even messier rights-wise.

Still, we were determined to give it the old college try.

My premise altered the backstory a bit:
Instead of a comet nearly destroying the Earth, it would be the Sunsword itself that wreaked the havoc.

An indestructible alien weapon of immense power, it was lost millennia ago in an epic space battle between two alien species. The inert hilt fell towards Earth, shattering our moon when it hit but slowing down enough as it passed through so as not to utterly destroy the Earth when it landed here.

As best I recall (we went through several drafts and kicked a lot of ideas around) the story proper would pick up with Thundarr and Ookla enslaved by Arial’s wizard father. Arial is not a wholly virtuous character though she is demonstrably better than her father. When they learn of the existence of the Sunsword from advanced alien scouts, she sets off to find it first. Thundarr and Ookla either escape and kidnap her in order to find the Sunsword first so as to keep it from falling into evil hands, or (depending on which draft it was) she drags them along to do the grunt work.

In any case, the story reaches a climax in which our three protagonists plus her evil father plus both still-warring alien species plus the local mutants actually in possession of the Sunsword all go for the weapon at the same time.

All hell breaks loose but Thundarr eventually prevails and Arial comes to realize there may be something to this goodness thing after all, and we end at a point sometime before the very first regular episode.

As hard as it may be for some of you die hard Thundarr fans to fathom, nobody wanted to give us a few tens of millions of dollars to do this.

Two things I do recall vividly:
First, Joe was really opposed to my idea about the mutants who possessed the Sunsword until our protagonists show up. My idea was that the hilt would have crashed into the middle of a championship football game so that thousands of years later a religious cult was grown up around the Sunsword, one in which the priests wear religious garments patterned after football uniforms, the high priests would be dressed as referees, the temple choir would sing football cheers in the manner of Gregorian chants (“Rah, rah, sis, boom, bah…”), etc., etc., and of course, etc.

‘Cuz my approach to the material has always been “embrace the absurdity”.

There are plot holes and logic gaps in Thundarr big enough to fly a fleet of Airbuses through wingtip-to-wingtip so if you’re going to have a future where indestructible handheld weapons shatter moons and wipe out civilizations as the result of an unintended impact, you might as well go all the way and pile the wild ideas on top of each other.

I seem to recall Joe allowed me to keep the basic idea but insisted we water it down considerably.

The second thing I recall was that I came up with the idea of funding the film by pre-selling tickets.

Now, that’s not a big thing in these Kickstarter / Patreon days, but at the time it was a pretty radical idea.

I know Ken Spears chuckled at the idea when I suggested it, asking how we were going to sell tickets before the movie had even been filmed.

I had an answer for him, an idea stolen from Kenner’s Star Wars Christmas gift coupons:  We’d sell certificates that could be redeemed at theaters for admission when the film was released; theaters would be encouraged to participate because since those members of the audience had already long paid for their ticket, they’d have money to buy popcorn and candy and soft drinks[6].

Ken eventually came around to my way of thinking insofar as he agreed it was possible, but wasn’t convinced enough to want to make the effort to find out if we could actually pull it off.

So that idea — and Thundarr The Movie — died aborning.

It’s a pity, since if we had done the movie and the follow up TV series we proposed — Thundarr The King — then we could have had a really nice animated epic that would have spanned our hero’s life from young adulthood to a (physically) mature man and father of twins.

What? You never heard of Thundarr The King before?

Well, let me tell you that story…

…some other time.

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[1] How they met, teamed up, came to create Scooby-doo, and the aftermath leading up to the creation of Ruby-Spears Productions is a fascinating story in and unto itself but one for another time.

[2] Plus some insane maniacs; R.I.P. John Dorman.

[3] Joe disliked the name (a nod to New Wave musician Gary Numan) so we changed it to Skanner (a nod to David Cronenberg’s Scanners). I know I spent a lot of time world building for the show, but aside from a few stray details I have nothing substantial to share. I did create a futuristic patois and cadence for the characters to speak, but can’t recall much more of it than his introductory tagline: “Dub me Numan; I peep.”

[4] Not that the syndication boom would have done us much good as it was almost entirely focused on other people’s toys and almost never on new and / or original characters.

[5] Hey, those words weren’t hackneyed back then!

[6] And theaters don’t have to share any concession sales with the distributors or producers.

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the sweet science

25/11/2016

boxing
has this odd
moment of tenderness
when a fighter
is pummeled to
the canvas
and the ref counts over him
but his eyes
have no fight left
and his legs
won’t work
properly
and before
finishing his 10-count
the ref waves his arms
and the fight ends
and then
after all that
brutality
the ref
cradles
the defeated boxer
and hugs him
as if to say
“it’s okay
you did your best
you did your best”

ref-comforts-boxer

© Buzz Dixon

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The American Monomyth: A Mug’s Game

24/11/2016

Brave pioneers, yearning for the freedom to create a new nation for themselves, set forth across the Atlantic to colonize a howling wilderness inhabited only by primitive savages. With a musket in one hand, an axe in another, a Bible in yet a third, they ventured forth on a pristine continent in search of religious and political freedom. The noble red man, with the exception of a few bloodthirsty hostiles, graciously faded from view to let the new settlers claim the land and build an empire. And while a few slaves were imported from Africa, by and large they were the lucky ones, saved from lives of danger and deprivation, to be educated in the white man’s ways and to be civilized and Christianized so as to be model servants. Onward the settlers surged, claiming new territories, building new communities, creating a great nation dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of wealth — but for white males only. As it should be. And we’d be enjoying this golden age to this very day if it wasn’t for those Goddamned radicals, the progressives, the unionists who want to steal the livelihoods of hard working real Americans and give it to a bunch of crybaby welfare queens so they can buy Cadillacs and drugs while birthing legions of illegitimate bastards and opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants and terrorists.

put-thy-stuff-by-the-dead-indians Read the rest of this article »

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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Slickee Boiz?

13/11/2016

A person is wheeled into an emergency room with a blistering temperature of 103-degrees. They’re barely conscious, their skin is hot and red and dry. The fever is the result of an opportunistic infection to a compromised immune system.

They will die if the fever is not treated.
They will die if the opportunistic infection is not treated.
They will die if the compromised immune system is not treated.

Which do you treat?

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.

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All of them, of course.
Why wouldn’t you?

You douse them with cold water, you drive that temperature down so it doesn’t cook their brains and internal organs —

You clobber the opportunistic infection with medicine to kill it —

You beef up their immune system so they can fight these things off —

Why wouldn’t you do that?

It’s not an either / or proposition.

Welcome to Trump’s America.

We have just elected the single most unfit person ever to the office of president.

We elected him because for the last 40 years none of the people fit for the office have done enough to help the American people.

Yes, I know Congress is equally at fault; we’re talking about the presidency here, the big enchilada, the brass ring, the capo di tutti capo.

Both parties have failed to help the American people while lining their own pockets.

We’re cool with them lining their own pockets, we just want them to do something that benefits the country while lining their pockets.

The one common theme among Trump voters is that the GOP and Democratic mainstream never did enough for them.

They knew what the problems were and they didn’t address them.

They often made things worse, and quite deliberately so. (Looking at you, Reagan Republicans.)

So we now have a country with a highly pissed electorate.

Enough of them were so pissed they voted a gibbon with a ball peen hammer into office on the theory what whatever happens next, it sure as fnck won’t be the same as what happened before.

A lot of the rest of us are horrified by this.

We know what the gibbon is like and we know what the gibbon has said and the gibbon has validated and emboldened a lot of deplorable — yeah, I’m using that word; if the shoe fits, lace that pup up and wear it proudly — people and as a result a lot of innocent folks are going to suffer and more than a few will die.

But the bulk of the people who voted for Trump were not sheet wearing / cross burning bigots. They could afford to vote for a person spewing hate because by and large that hate was not directed at them.

Are they evil for having done so?

It’s tempting to slap a label on, but if we do, then we’re just playing the same game as the deplorables.

The majority of people who voted for Trump are not hate mongers.

They’re not greedy slickee boiz.

They’re not filed with rage.

They’re filled with anxiety.

They were brought up with the promise that if they worked hard they would find a place in America and they would lead good, comfortable, productive lives and they would eventually be able to retire with dignity and live out their lives securely.

The corporations and their shills have pretty much dynamited that idea.

Their wages and salaries stagnated.

A trillion dollars in cash, savings, and real estate was transferred from them to the 1%.

The 1% was protected and shielded by congress from having to pay their fair share of taxes or being held accountable for financial crimes and shenanigans or shipping jobs overseas.

The 1% don’t live here.

They’re not part of America.

They live in their own private universe, and while their physical forms may occupy the physical space of America, they don’t care about the country or its citizens one iota.

If they did they wouldn’t be decimating business by sending manufacturing and tech support jobs overseas, they wouldn’t be stonewalling unions and demanding workers take cuts in pay and benefits, they wouldn’t be turning to automation without regard for the impact it has on the people who live in this country.

They only care about making money.

For them.

And despite their claims to the contrary, the slickee boi 1% Is Not That Smart.

Henry Ford was as far from a bleeding heart liberal as you could hope to find, but Ford was smart enough to know he needed to pay his workers enough for them to be able to buy the products them made.

See, that’s how the engines of industry turn:
Company pays workers to make something, workers buy something from company. The more they get paid, the more they spend; the more they spend, the more the company makes.

The slickee boiz don’t see it that way, which is why we keep having these problems.

The slickee boiz know if they cut costs they can make more profits.

At first they try doing things more efficiently, but at a certain point you’re just running things as efficiently as you can.

You’re making millions — billions! — but it’s Still Not Enough.

So you squeeze the work force.

You cut pay and benefits.

You give jobs to robots or send them overseas.

You make a shipload of money…

…this quarter.

But in the next quarter, you take a hit because your unemployed ex-workers can’t buy what you’re making.

So you lend them money through credit card companies, taking the money you stole from them and lending it out at usurious rates so you can make twice as much off it.

…and you advertise the crap outta your crap, telling people they are worthless and will be tragically unhip if they don’t buy your (now) substandard product (substandard because quality control is one of the many things you jettisoned to make that extra couple of billion).

Is anyone surprised this results in an anxious population, fearful for their own security, their own survival?

Is anyone surprised that this population keeps voting again and again and again for change, growing only more fretful and anxious as change does not arrive for them, but only for the slickee boi 1% who exploit them?

Anyone?

Bueller?

Bueller?

So we are now at a point where normally decent and compassionate people are willing to vote a probable rapist / known bigot / proven con-man into the White House because they just don’t have any hope for the two established parties to do anything to help them.

They will be fncked over seven ways from sundown anyway, so what have they got to lose? Might as well make it an entertaining spectacle, eh?

I am absolutely 100% in favor of applying the cold compress to the fevered brow of hatred and bigotry currently flaring up here in the United States, to cool it down, to stop it before it does irreparable damage. I don’t want women or African-Americans or Latinos or non-Christians or gays & lesbians or transgender or disabled people or anybody to be singled out for hate and violence.

I will stand up against that.

I will call out against it.

I expect you to do so as well.

But I can also see that cooling off the immediate fever doesn’t do us a lot of good if we don’t address the underlying cause.

And the underlying cause is found among a tiny handful of huge corporations that steal from us.

They steal from us because we built this country for all Americans to enjoy, and however imperfect we have been in seeing that to fruition in the past, that was at least the goal.

The slickee boiz want to rob us of our legal and social protections then bill us for the privilege.

I call that theft,
and I say to hell with it.

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Wot Hoppen?

10/11/2016

There is no simple thread, no single cause to explain Trump’s victory. There are many, many factors, some operating alone, some overlapping with others like a Venn diagram.

There’s a great temptation to view all this as one vast interlocking conspiracy but it’s not. It’s more like a core illness that allows other opportunistic infections to settle in. Treat the main illness and the smaller ones will fade away on their own; deny the reality of the main illness and the problems will never go away. Read the rest of this article »

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fictoid: I know we are but what are you

3/11/2016

nightmare-inducers-150203

The circus parade came to a full stop when Oscar halted his giraffe unicycle to peer in through a second story window.  “Holy cow, wouldja look at this!”

Margot, the nimble tightrope walker, ran up a telephone pole guy line then walked along the phone line to peer in as well.  “Now there is something you don’t see every day!”  She yelled down to the lead clown:  “Ferdinand!  Come up and take a look at this.”

Ferdinand’s head shot up on his accordion neck.  “Well, I’ll be damned.  Last time I saw anything approaching that was in a Barnes & Noble in Bangkok.  Spring of ’87 — no, ’86.”

By now the spectators on the sidewalks were yelling and hollering:  “Stop peeking in windows!  Respect their privacy!”

“Oh, yeah, like you don’t gawk at us,” said Margot.

“Well, it’s your job for us to look at you, to gaze on you superciliously with mockery and contempt for our own amusement,” one of the philosophers in the crowd said.

“And it’s your job for us to look at you with mockery and contempt for our own amusement,” Ferdinand said.  “The only difference is, we know it.”

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.

.

text © Buzz Dixon

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Jim Crow: From Dixiecrats to Alt-Right

21/10/2016

same circus
different clowns

 

Marx (either Groucho or Karl, can’t remember which brother) famously observed that history repeats itself, playing out the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, ACs and DCs, meet the Alt-Right nee Dixiecrats.

Historically, the one great strength of the Democratic Party is the obverse of its equally great weakness: It is a party of diverse factions, some diametrically opposed to one another, yet it manages to find a way to compromise and agree on certain key issues that directly or indirectly benefit the party as a whole.

Jim Crow white Protestant southern segregationists had to find ways to compromise with urban labor and Catholics and non-Christians and various minorities in order to get things done.

After World War One, the Democrats realized the political power base of the country was moving into the big cities and adjusted their political strategies and tactics accordingly.

In 1948 the Democratic Party suffered a major defection by the Dixiecrats (formal name: States’ Rights Democratic Party, then as now “states’ rights” being Orwellian doublespeak for “what white people want”).

The Dixiecrats almost cost Truman re-election and though they soon formally disbanded, certainly bolstered the Republicans fortunes after WWII and through the 1950s and early 1960s.

In the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson used the country’s sense of loss to speed passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Without Kennedy’s death, it might have been the early 1970s before such a comprehensive act would have been passed.

The Jim Crow segregationists by and large bolted the Democratic Party and, in the 1968 election, either rallied around former Alabama governor George Wallace or responded to the “dog whistle” of Nixon’s infamous southern strategy.

The Democratic Party lost the White House and, in the wake of the political and social turmoil of the late 1960s / early 1970s, lost even more decisively to Nixon in 1972.

While Nixon today would fall on the progressive / liberal side of the aisle, he provided conservative Republicans with a game plan for political cultural dominance that focused on recruiting Jim Crow segregationists and turning middle and working class whites against their own self interests by demonizing and denigrating everyone who wasn’t part of their self-proclaimed “silent majority”.

Supported by the coded racism of people like William F. Buckley Jr., the political opportunism of religious leaders like Billy Graham, and the grandstanding pseudo-punditry of entertainers like Rush Limbaugh, the Republicans quietly recreated a duplicate of the Dixiecrats white supremacists social pyramid, with conservative white Protestant males at the apex of the social structure.

The further away an American citizen fell from that four-fold test for political orthodoxy — conservative and/or white and/or Protestant and/or male — the less important you were to those on the top (though one could advance on the scale somewhat if one supported those on top enthusiastically enough; see Uncle Toms, Phyllis Schlafly, Log Cabin Republicans, etc., etc., and of course, etc.).

This political orthodoxy was subverted by far right big money interests who bankrolled the various tea party factions. It created a base that focused almost exclusively on protecting and enabling those big money interests by appealing overtly and covertly to middle and working class fears of dropping down in social status.

And in the GOP worldview, that meant dropping down to non-white, non-male, non-Christian (“Christian” having become coded language for “evangelical and / or fundamentalist Protestants” to the exclusion of mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, and other Christian denominations) status.

Only by staying conservative, claimed the Republicans, can you avoid falling down to…”their” level.

The result is what we now refer to as the Alt-Right, a foul turd stew of white supremacists (ranging from country club racists to outright neo-Nazis and Klansmen), religious bigots (which is what the whole anti-LGBT movement is about as well as hatred of Muslims, atheists, and any other non-Christians), and toxic masculinity (be it disguised with sickening patronization or overt misogyny).

The Democrats, whatever problems they’ll face in the decades to come, at least don’t have this ball and chain around their necks.

So what does this portend for the Republican Party in the aftermath of the upcoming Trump loss?

The GOP will probably split into two groups, with the question being if the genuine conservatives or the Alt-Right end up in possession of the name.

If the genuine conservatives keep the GOP brand, then the Alt-Right will probably suffer a fate similar to the Dixiecrats of 1948: Spoilers or potential spoilers for the GOP, directly siphoning off Republican influence, indirectly benefiting the Democrats in doing so.

However, the surviving Republicans then get to make significant course corrections that will make their political brand more appealing to minority voters. They can and will plausibly denounce the Alt-Right and will use that to attract voters who historically leaned Democrat.

It gives the GOP the chance to survive as a viable party and rebuild for the future.

On the other hand, if the Alt-Right wins, then it’s pretty much the end of the Republican Party.

Genuine conservatives will migrate to something else, and what that new party may be, I can only hazard a guess: It will be comprised of principled Republicans angry over what their leadership allowed to happen to their party, pragmatic Libertarians tired of spinning their wheels, and conservative-leaning Democrats who will find a more comfortable home for their views and opinions.

As opposed to other third party efforts in the past, this new conservative party can start with elected officials already in place as they will doubtlessly pick up a lot of seated defectors.

Regardless of which version plays out, the Alt-Right is soon to find itself fncked and far from home.

If angry white males couldn’t elect John McCain…
If angry white males couldn’t elect Mitt Romney…
If angry white males can’t elect Donald Fncking Trump…

…they’re impotent.

Mind you, they’re not going away quietly:
Like rabid howler monkeys in a zoo, they’re going to be screaming and rubbing feces in their hair for the rest of our lives.

But they’re impotent and weak, and if the country needs scapegoats to demonize for the rest of Century 21, then they’re volunteering for the job.

animated nightmare trump

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There Is A Great Wheel

17/10/2016

call it destiny / fate / history / justice / karma
it rolls forward in only one direction
and though it may move slowly at times
or appear to hesitate
it never fully
stops

the wheel
has an inside
and an outside
inside the wheel
are spokes
and if you are
clever enough
quick enough
you can climb around
the inside on those spokes
and avoid being crushed
as the great wheel turns

the thing is
you have to share the spokes
with other people
but that’s all right
there’s plenty of room
just realize we’re all
in the same great wheel
and enjoy the ride

outside the wheel
you don’t see others
you only see you and yours

some people
have been crushed under the great wheel
held down by its terrible weight
and now as the wheel turns
the terrible weight is lifted
and they scramble
to free others
and get inside
the safety of the wheel

there are others
who as the wheel turned
and raised the spoke they clung to
decided to climb outside the wheel
and ride it to the top
to do this
they had to ignore
everyone else in the wheel
and focus only on themselves

the great wheel turns

those riding on the top
feel their formerly secure perch
starting to shift beneath them
they see the dizzying vertigo ahead of them
see all the previous riders on the outside
either fell off or disappeared
and see that fate awaits them
the savvy ones
the quick ones
scurry back inside
and cling to the spokes
with the rest of us
the others cry “Hold! Enough!”
and demand the wheel not merely stop.
but roll back to the spot
where they felt most comfortable

the wheel turns
and these riders either wise up
and get inside
with the rest of us
or they cling on
the outside of the wheel
and take their turn
on the bottom

’twas ever thus

jean-deville-the-wheel-of-the-worldJean DeVille – The Wheel Of The World

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