The Tangled Web

As I’ve noted before, one of the neatest things about righty discourse is the way it so perfectly packages every fear and hatred, albeit haphazardly, into a baroquely  nefarious conspiracy that, lo and behold, turns out to be diabolically connected.  To normal people, it might seem a little on the insane side for Glenn Beck to connect Woodrow Wilson and ACORN, or Sarah Palin to aggrievedly re-brand her spectacularly dysfunctional family into godly, innocent victims of (literally) murderous lefty slanderers, but the sheer improbability of it all is the only glue that still holds these deeply damaged and discredited people together.  (Well, that and Clark Hoyt at the New York Times, but I digress…)

After all, if you spend all of your time ruminating over the imagined depredations wreaked upon the land by everyone from gays to granola-eaters,  it does help a bit to have some of these tiny, powerless groups seemingly acting in concert, since they’re risibly insignificant and powerless on their own.  Thus, no connection is too tenuous (or ludicrous) to be hauled out, and  spoon-fed resentments are stacked upon hoary and reliable bogeymen, and a complete paranoid narrative is eventually and conveniently formed.  But like a poorly-woven garment, pulling just one thread unravels the whole fantasy, so even the the most implausible and contradictory parts must be carefully guarded to preserve the whole.

This creates the kind of suspension of disbelief for which the greenest fiction writer could only hope, as long as it supports the flimsy structure of lies and obfuscations that the audience has been plainly shown to swallow, hook, line, and sinker.  The more absurd and outrageous the falsehoods that propped up the last hysteria-inducing propaganda rollout, the more eye-poppingly improbable the next set of cover stories must be, and the more fervently they will be adopted.

In the kaleidoscopic world of the righty belief system, nothing ever happens by accident.  Therefore, Hollywood liberals promote, with equal eagerness and alacrity, the “myth” of global warming, the “special rights” of teh ghey , and the handing over of our American system to the Islamofascists, that is merely when they’re too busy on the red carpet to simply Blame America First and be done with it.  And then there’s those uppity darkies who want not only reparations, but they also want to subvert the electoral process, throw whiteys in concentration camps, and indoctrinate our youth into Socio- Fascio- Islamo subversion and criminality, just as soon as they get out of jail and  put a whuppin’ on their ho’s.

In this hothouse environment, former evolution skeptics quickly become “young earth” creationists and build “museums” devoted to the proposition the Adam and Eve employed dinosaurs in the manner that the Flintstones did, Medicare beneficiaries proudly decry the socialism inherent in government-funded health care, and fair-weather adherents of ordinary religions serially convert to more extreme sects whenever they pop up.

At the root of it all is an almost touchingly desperate need to believe, particularly as evidence piles up that what you believe is complete hogwash.  It amounts to a collective ear-plugging while singing Frere Jacques to a world that has simply moved on.  Ann Coulter goes on TV to declare that liberals must have planted the racist signs at the teabagger rallies and Sean Hannity asserts that ACORN eats half of the federal budget not because they’re stupid or crazy, but because they know their audience is, and that audience won’t settle for less.  And no claim is too absurd to be trotted out for this bunch.  ”See, Clem, I always tol’ ya that them terrists hate us for our freedom….”  What freedom would that be, Junior?

No answer is ever forthcoming, but when the cuckoo clock tolls, it tolls for thee.


  1. bystander says:

    a world that has simply moved on

    Has it? Will it? Can it?

    Some days I think it simply must, until I boot up my computer and look at the newz. And, it seems like it’s deja vu all over again, and I wonder if I haven’t seen all the same headlines before, with the same people, expounding the same positions, with the same rationale they offered the last time. There are days I feel like I’m trapped in a time warp, and the world might advance a bit, before the warp slings me backwards and I get to live some aspect of our geo-political history all over again, yet one more time.

    I separate my realities into the physical and the social/political to stay sane. The physical world is clearly moving ahead, with us or without us; don’t matter. But, socially, I wonder if we’ve advanced even a step in the last half century. In truth, I often feel as though I’m being dragged in reverse. Swimming against the tide of the willfully ignorant takes a lot of energy.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The most frustrating part is that dealing with facts requires less certainty; dealing with lies means you are always right. What got me thinking about this was hearing my brother tell me about how my dad, who gets Medicare and VA, railed on to him about Socialized Medicine. He’s listened to so much FOX and talk radio that he wouldn’t know the truth if it dropped on his head. I just wrote a new post along a similar vein…..

  2. retzilian says:

    I don’t feel as though I’m trapped in a time warp as much as I feel trapped in a really bad movie. I mean, the typical reviewer at “Rotten Tomatoes” wouldn’t give a plot like Beck’s anything but the green smash. This stuff wouldn’t even play in a bad B horror flick. We have all watched movies that within 15 minutes lose us because of the impossible scenarios or ridiculous dialogue. It’s amazing to me that people walk out on movies that are vastly better than Beck’s rants or Fox News’s nightly fiction.