Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nightmare on I-476.

It's been a long time since I've blogged just to blog. (That doesn't count my ongoing series on the folly of modern medicine, which is really in a different category, at least to my eye.) And I'd be the first to admit, it's not like there's been this mass outcry for me to resume my regular SHAMblog activities. ("Oh Steve, oh Steve, please come back and enlighten us once more...!")

But this evening, as I was making the hour-plus commute home from where I'm working these days, something I heard on the radio so shook me that it almost sent me over the divider on the northbound turnpike extension and into oncoming traffic. Actually, it was a couple of somethings, which I heard in succession as my radio scanned from station to station. First I heard theater critic-cum-conservative talk-show host Michael Medved say of former president George W. Bush, without apparent irony, this:

"I think history will look back on Bush as a fine president...even near-great."

Not long thereafter I heard former Reagan political functionary-cum-blowhard Mark Levin (he pronounces it Lev-IN) describe Barack Obama as an "idiot."

Somehow I righted the car and made it home safely.

Dubya and "near-great" in the same sentence? Medved is saying this of the man whose greatest accomplishment while in office was managing not to get his tongue stuck in one of the White House drawers? The man who got pissed off over 9/11 and promptly invaded a country that had nothing to do with it, thereby incurring trillion-dollar costs that may haunt us for generations to come? The man who turned government into an oligarchical ATM for his country club pals? The man who ultimately sundered the U.S. economy? The man who wasn't even a conservative's conservative? NEAR-GREAT??

Then we have Obama/"idiot." I realize that Levin was being figurative; he wasn't factually implying that Barack Obama's IQ is below the generally accepted "idiot threshold" of 30. He was using the term to derogate the policies espoused by the current occupant of the Oval Office. Still...these people lined up behind the aforementioned Dubya, then went that one better by getting all gooey over Sarah Palin (and later Christine O'Donnell, a candidate who launched her campaign by denying that she's a witch)...and Barack is an idiot?

This made me realize that there's no true hope for meaningful engagement or even mere dialogue anymore. Not when people who support a given ideology can become so myopic and rabid about The Cause that they say things like I heard on the way home tonight.

Maybe the world is indeed ending this Saturday. And you know, maybe I'm OK with that.


a/good/lysstener said...

Oh Steve, Oh Steve, I'm so glad to see you blogging again. ;-)

Cosmic Connie said...

What Alyssa said. And I agree with you 100% on this post.

Marc Alan Di Martino said...

I just got your book SHAM after hearing your interview on the SGU podcast from a few years ago. Looking forward to digging in...

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your sentiments!!!


Steve Salerno said...

Marc: Thanks. I'm looking forward to being...dug.