"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Oct 26, 2010

Worse Than Ezra Klein

Until today I had the same attitude towards Robert Greenwald as I do Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and most other representatives of the well compensated Commentariat. Ambiguous contempt. I don't care enough about them to figure out why I disdain them. They take the bosses' money to point out that the bosses have small flaws. They spend hours of each day, and tens of thousands of words doing so,  making spectacle of these small flaws. In order to very deliberately ignore all the sucking chest wounds, to quote Oxtrot's apt phrase.

And they occasionally write or say something with which I agree. Even Olbermann, as sanctimonious a paid clown as telly has ever showcased, managed a sustained departure from suckitude, with his gay marriage special comment. Not that I believe Mississippi's state legislature will ever take that to heart and abandon Angry Christ long enough to stop caring that some men enjoy loving each other. Or to admit that lesbians even exist.

Today, though, Greenwald crossed over into Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias territory. I most likely would have discovered that he already wandered that desert of the awful, if I'd had a mind to pay attention to him before. I guess I just don't check in too often to read a guy who tags himself "filmmaker." Whassa fill-muh-ker? Some kind of cousin of the knish?

Anyway, Greenwald revealed himself as the sort of mendacious but quotidian monster who belongs lumped in with Klein, Yglesias, McArdle and Krauthammer. A real embodiment of the Compleat Suck.™  Someone I'd introduce to Guevara with the evidence in hand. If I had a time machine, I'd send him back to Guernica and make him watch over and over and over again. Forever:

"Drunken shootouts and debauchery, meaningless death and mayhem -- the "Wild West" atmosphere created by the Bush Administration's criminal initiation and execution of the Iraq War is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks in part to the rapacious greed injected into war-fighting by the liberal use of for-profit armed "security" companies, a brutal, unaccountable and unreliable swagger is increasingly the face of the U.S. in conflict zones around the world."

I kid you not, Robert Greenwald actually wrote those words. I cannot believe, five thousand years into the domination of the planet by organized warriors, Robert Greenwald has the absolute fucking gall to turn his lens on the latest invasion of Mesopotamia and muse about "unaccountable and unreliable swagger" as if George Bush alone unleashed the demon of profitable, deliberate mass murder managed and executed by licensed sociopaths.

Not content with mere windstorm hyperbole, Greenwald elevates his mendacity to the cyclonic:

"...people died, are still dying, because of these Humvee-chasing war tychoons' ineptitude and brutality, and the toll includes their own employees. Worse, even when we know that these Gordon Geeko's of the war industry oversee a machine that's killing and maiming innocent people (including U.S. soldiers!), our governments seem unwilling to do anything about it..."

Suffawinn succatash! Even the bwavey bwave soldyerboyz have died. Those innocents, they perished! The horror. The waste. All that innocent manhood lost.  Not because they took Uncle's dollar and got shipped half way around a planet in order to kill people they don't know in their own backyards, on their own doorsteps, in their own villages, wedding parties and funeral processions. Because of the "ineptitude" of  war industrialists. Yeah, that's it.

My unreal gods, Greenwald - do you really need it spelled out for you? These people knew their precise goals, the best means to achieve them, and the likely ends. They sought, exactly, chaos, you fucking maroon. Those of us with even a tenth of the requisite frontal lobe can see the point of war - of this war, of any war, of all wars. Boy George and his corporate paymasters didn't invent informed and compensated brutality, clown. Handing some of the functions of the death machine back to condottieri does not cause war to become, all suddenlike, more brutal. Our earthly masters wage war because they profit from it. They break whole cities, cracking them open to suck the marrow of life and livelihood from them, because it benefits their power. War, you fuckwit buffoon, is always about brutality in the service of profit. Every war creates the conditions of "the Wild West." War savages populations, intentionally. Governments "let that happen" because governments are protection rackets. More victims mean more subscribers. The ruination, intentional. Government won't stop it because government causes it. Would you ask a vulgar rapist to stop raping not because raped women suffer, but because other, less foulmouthed rapists might look bad, Greenwald?

Well, mayhap you would...

Still, you must know all this, don't you Bobby? Please tell us that you know that warriors take money to break things, kill people, burn villages, rape the women they encounter, murder the ones who yap about it, and generally do the awful things that governments and corporations teach them to do; evil, that they willingly learn and repeat.

Ah, never mind. I guess you don't actually know. Or you wouldn't write:

"Because the U.S. has utterly failed to reign in the hired guns under their authority in Iraq, the saloon-and-pistols atmosphere has spread unchecked to Afghanistan...I'm fed up with being humiliated -- of seeing our troops in combat zones humiliated! -- by the behavior of these unaccountable, brutal mercenary companies.." 

Would you, Bobby? Would you really write that private mercenary killing humiliates the government mercenary killers, if you actually knew better?


I think you would.

You have movies to sell...


Anonymous said...

Good one, Jack.

Some kind of cousin of the knish?

The laughter was audible.

Chemical word verification: ionsolv

Joe said...

Great post, Jack. This notion that these big, bad mercenary armies of Blackwater or whatever they're called now are somehow uniquely evil--because they're "unaccountable"!--has always annoyed the shit out of me. The entire US military is one giant mercenary army, and they're no more accountable than their comrades in the "private" security business.

Jack Crow said...

Much obliged.