Gold Card Teabagging

On Wednesday evening, Al Gore appeared at the Keller Auditorium to promote his new book and raise funds for gubernatorial candidate Bill Bradbury, and I didn’t go, having just attended another event the previous evening, and not thinking it would be particularly newsy.  Well, it was.  The night before, the auditorium was vandalized by teabaggers who neatly and unartistically spray-painted slogans about the climate “hoax” on the building.  Well, twenty years ago I used to scale the catwalks of what was then the Civic Auditorium, and I never failed to marvel at its monumental Jetsons-classical red-carpeted grandeur, and such disgusting behavior really pisses me off.  Fuck you, Dick Armey, and the many horses you rode in on.

Naturally it turns out that the “opposition” to Gore’s appearance was a wholly-funded operation of “Americans for Prosperity,” Koch Industries’ fake civil disobedience arm, which went to great expense to set up an elaborate stage on recently-deceased Lawrence Halprin’s famous Forecourt Fountain across from the auditorium, where 200 nincompoops could be corralled to listen to a sound system so extravagant that I could hear the whole thing quite clearly from the Hag veranda, four blocks away.  Thus the civic monument where three generations of Portland high school graduates, including myself, collected our diplomas and had our pictures taken afterward was expensively co-opted for the evening by the oil industry for a beer hall putsch-style fake populist revolt, and some slack-jawed redneck even vandalized the place, a cowardly and repulsive civic affront which has never happened before.  Ever.  Not just since the Auditorium was rededicated after extensive modernization in the 1960′s, but since the damn thing was built in 1917.  The graffiti  was cleaned up before Gore arrived, but the stench lingers.

What bothers me about all this is that vandalism, protest, and, let’s call it what it is, terrorism, now has the backing of enormously powerful industries and people, those to whom larger war is always an option, and yet out of sheer cheapness or upon the advice of their PR firms, choose this course.  Revolution, from the bottom up, has a long and noble past of moving human progress forward even when its tactics are so distasteful;  top down revolutions like this one end only one way: despotism.  Does the lady from Vancouver in the polar bear costume carrying a sign that says, “I’m not in danger, our freedom is,” see this?  And how did she find parking?  Nearly 2400 paying audience members attended the actual event, but a couple hundred teabaggers were heard and seen all over the city, thanks to the cash and logistic assistance of a few corporate scofflaws.  Democracy in action, Baby.

Fortunately, the Oregonian caught on to the scheme, most likely since like CHNN they are only a few blocks away from it all. In their editorial today, entitled “Sliding Backward on Climate Change,” they fully acknowledged that there “isn’t any real dispute in the scientific community about global warming,” and denounced the auditorium vandalism as “… nothing less than shocking.  Truly shameful.”  In an uncustomary leap of logic, they also said that the bizarre and outsized attention of a national pro-pollution group to our little town showed that they rightly perceived climate legislation as a “serious threat” to their current plans to go ahead and boil us all like Glenn Beck’s “frogs.”

They may run Rich Lowry, but sometimes the Oregonian can see the forest for the trees.

20 Comments

  1. retzilian says:

    None of the writers at ASW* can write worth a damn, and I think that bugs me even more than their opinion. At least with Buckley and Safire could turn a phrase and compose a decent paragraph, despite their opinions. Safire lost his touch (and became a rotted sort of Jabba the Hut until he croaked), but his old columns “On Writing” were lots of fun.

    Lowry, Pantload, KLo, Andy McCarthy, I mean…puhleeze. Just shoot me. I honestly cannot believe they get paid for the garbage they write. Hell, they don’t even proof read. In my worst day as a blogger, I proofed my work and edited and rewrote until I published and even then some eagle-eyed reader would catch a mistake and email me. I never let misspellings, bad grammar, incorrect names or things like that linger on my blog and I wasn’t even getting paid.

    This is not to say librul Blobbers always write well or perfectly, either, but the “Corner” kids are getting paid for that swill, and I haven’t seen any librul blobbers (outside Kos, which is manned by amateurs) write as badly.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The utter lack of talent, much less ethics, does rankle sometimes, doesn’t it? Sheesh.

      • skeptic says:

        Not to mention the lack of simply literary style… something I consider of the highest importance, and one of the reasons why I read you, ‘Hag.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Aw, shucks, thanks. I think the reason righty writing is so poor is A) It lacks originality because it’s all prepackaged talking points. B) It’s incapable of real humor because humor must contain a grain of truth. C) Righties aren’t very bright.

  2. dirigo says:

    Slightly OT but not much, reports this afternoon indicate the Sarah Palin book tour ground to a halt yesterday somewhere in Indiana.

    More upcoming on the CHNN Late Report.

  3. Casual Observer says:

    Hag, this is slightly off topic, but I have to say your writing chops are in top form here. A pleasure to read, even if maddening at the same time. You are good.

  4. nailheadtom says:

    Jeez, CH, using sock puppets to laud your pathetic attempts at intelligible keyboard abuse. What next, a phony comment from Nancy Pelosi?

    • Nancy Pelosi says:

      Oh, Tom! How I’ve missed you!
      Come back and visit my blog again.
      All is forgiven; we’ll un-block the comments for you.

      yours,
      Nancy

    • cocktailhag says:

      Actually, Tom, my friend The Heel thought YOU must be a sock puppet… I had to go to some effort to convince him otherwise.

      • The Heel says:

        Little Serena here just came running to me and asked “What’s funny Daddy?” when I laughed out loud. Too bad two year old toddlers can’t quite follow the humor in this.
        I was reading through the comments and said to myself “I miss nailhead, where did he go?”, when suddenly the wished for popped up.
        Then Nancy on top. How much nicer can a day start :) Thanks.

        Although I suspect tartonyan intervention and would have to conclude that you are the puppet master….

  5. Casual Observer says:

    Nancy,

    I think we need to talk. Ever since this health care thing, it just hasn’t been right between us.