Tuesday, December 12

Reasons I Generally Do Not Watch The Network News

#473) The actuaries say I have about twenty-five years left. There is apparently never going to be a guarantee that on any given night during that time Diana Spencer, late ex-wife of a participant in one of the world's most famous and last-remaining human inbreeding experiments, will not be a major story, no matter how dead she remains.

#474) There is an increasing likelihood that the news itself becomes stupider in an ever-downward spiral chasing the broadcasting of the aforementioned news. For example:

a) It was reported last night that George W. Bush, onetime President of the United States, is concerned about his legacy, and told someone or other that he saw himself as a latter-day Truman, unappreciated but finally justified fifty years hence.

1) This missed the point--which is only to be expected--that that isn't really what happened with Truman's reputation, but instead conflates what might be termed, on the one hand, reality with, on the other, the ad campaigns for a couple of Truman biographies, which is the sort of thing George W. Bush is a lot more likely to be familiar with.

2) It also misses the point that Truman had, even by the end of his life, begun to look better if only by comparison with what followed, and if that happens with George W. Bush (I'm not sure it's even theoretically possible) we'll all be dead and mercifully out of the reach of advertising.

b) This concern, coupled with the latest White House tactic of convening a new, ad hoc Iraq Study Group every seventy-two hours or so, led to further speculation about Bush's relationship with his father, known in common parlance as "Bush 41" the way that Spencer dame is known as "Princess Diana". [Is that just me? Doesn't the boarding-school-locker-room towel-snapping faux conviviality of "41" and "43" make one want to stick one's finger as far down one's throat as it will go? It's a constant reminder, at one and the same time, of the depths to which the public discourse has sunk into sitcom blather and of the fact that these two Bozos of Brahmatude are on our Permanent Record whether we personally deserve them or no, smothered in the rancid gravy of the attendant knowledge that Barbara Bush's sex life is now part of our national treasure. ]

1) It doesn't seem to strike any of the news hairdos that it may be the oddest, and possibly the saddest thing ever, at least since the invention of the vacuum tube, that the President of the United States can be spoken about--with as much seriousness as can be mustered in this comic age--in pop-psychological clinical terms which were, prior to his ascent to the national stage, the exclusive province of early adolescence. To my knowledge, "He's trying to outdo his father" has never before been uttered to explain the actions of anyone old enough to have a driver's license.

2) Which made me wonder, however briefly and insincerely, just what it might be like for the theoretical mentally-balanced wingnut who'd voted for the guy twice and now learns that on top of everything going to hell it has happened, basically, because his boy has the testicles of a hamster.


Anonymous said...

"To my knowledge, 'He's trying to outdo his father' has never before been uttered to explain the actions of anyone old enough to have a driver's license."
Rest assured this kind of behavior is quite common amongst adults at the trailer park.
That's right: George & Barbara Bush, the Cletus & Brandine Spuckler of Kennebunkport.

D. Sidhe said...

Point 2a slays me. 2b makes me ill.

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, Doghouse! You can't go around blithely generating constructs such as "Barbara Bush's sex life" without posting some sort of "Warning! Soul-sucking vortex dead ahead!" alert. I think my brain and my gall bladder just fused in an attempted organ-level coup d'etat/seppuku.

Anonymous said...

What I hope you're saying here is that there will NOT be a pop song thirty years hence that goes "America needs you, George W. Bush..."

Jennifer said...

I think it'll be more like "Song for Richard and his Friends"...

Anonymous said...

Oh gack: the attendant knowledge that Barbara Bush's sex life is now part of our national treasure

That just fucking creeps me out!

You struck a cord of dismay in all who read here.

Anonymous said...

If anything, a more apt historic parallel is between GWB and Douglas MacArthur in Korea. Viz. MacArthur boldly boasting the Chinese would not cross the Yalu River if he moved toward Pyongyang, and then, directly causing the debacle at Chosin Reservoir, which the Marines had to clean up for themselves at a tremendous loss of wasted life.

Mr. Hubris meet Mr. Hubris.

And since Harry Truman fired MacArthur for becoming an incompetent, dangerous, unlistening megalomaniac, is it not more correct to ask who is the modern day HST who will strip Mr. Chimp of his command?

spaghetti happens said...

One problem with comparing George W. Bush with either McArthur or Truman is that both men, despite whatever failings or popular repudiations they might have experienced, were successful at what they had been doing before they (a) fucked up the Korean War, or (b) committed a great war crime.

McArthur, of course, was the giant who led American forces to victory in the Pacific in WW2. Truman, on a much smaller scale, had been a successful businessman, military leader, and politician.

As we all know, the only thing Bush has ever been successful at is ruining businesses and scamming investors, public agencies, etc. We may now add "being president" to his endless catalog of failures.

It's the success--to say nothing about the honesty and integrity--that divides Bush from pretty much everybody else.

Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel said...

I gave up television news during the era of the Lorena Bobbitt saga. Switching on the set in an effort to catch the weather report, we got Bobbitt instead.

My eldest screamed, "She cut off his WHAT?"

The middle boy added, "She threw it WHERE?"

Haven't missed a thing by avoiding television news since then...