"...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

Nov 3, 2010

In Response to Scolding Breathlessness

I won't type for all anarchists, non-cooperators, opt-outers, Orlovians, dirty hippies and apathetic nihilists. But, I do feel the need to scratch a peculiar itch.

It seems that a representative sample of liberals have a gripe with the rest of us. Let's start with one of the cats who got it going, and then get our grubbies on a few more tasty treats.

Take it away Tbogg:

"Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

You don’t live there.

Grow the fuck up."

Tell us how you really feel, Anthony McCarthy:

"I'm certainly disappointed at the weakness of Barack Obama's first two years and the disgrace of the Senate. I think we all have ample reason to feel betrayed, to some extent and exasperated at their political ineptitude. But they aren't violently attacking us. I certainly don't want a Republican controlled Senate to be in a position to block the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and any other Supreme Court justices who might leave the bench in the next two years. That's just one of the important reasons to vote against them. There are a multitude of other ones. This election isn't about Barack Obama, it's about us."

Come on now, Landru, don't hold back: 

"If you're not voting for some sophist reasons related to class struggle, fuck you. If you're not voting because you think there's some value in letting curbstompers be elected to teach Democrats a lesson, fuck you. If you're not voting because you're an anarchist, you're too fucking stupid for me to waste my time on. If you think that The Kind will win over curbstompers, you're not only too fucking stupid for me to waste my time on, you should go line up at the nearest House O' Curbstomping for your turn."  

Let it all hang out, Driftglass:

"Grow The Fuck Up.

And get out and vote."

Jesus' General, slap that photo on us:

Tengrain, scare us into submission, please:

There’s plenty of reasons to vote the rascals in Congress out. But, from a strictly left perspective I also suggest that what ever significant progress we’ve made these past 18 months or so has been thanks to Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, not President Carebear’s leadership (which strictly speaking has been lacking from day 1). Pelosi has been very effective at getting votes to pass significant bills and move them into the Senate where they become watered down or killed.

You want someone to blame, start with the Senate.

Here’s the deal, as I see it: any vote for the GOP (literally any) is a vote against yourself and a vote against democracy. If you think that the Huns and the Visigoths were dreamy, then you will love the 2010 GOP. They will sell you out to the highest bidder in a heartbeat; they are wholly-owned by the corporations; in a word, the GOP are fascists."

Texas Betsy, show us your failure to grasp the deliciosity of irony by quoting the official Democratic organ:

Vote a Straight Democratic Ticket:
  • If you don’t want rightwing billionaires to own our government, vote Democratic.
  • If you want billionaires and corporations to pay taxes, vote Democratic.
  • If you want a decent job with decent wages – not corporate slavery – vote Democratic.
  • If you want Social Security, Medicare, public education, and environmental protection to survive, vote Democratic.
  • If you don’t want rightwing thugs to stomp on your head at a political rally, vote Democratic.
  • If you don’t want a woman’s body to become the property of the Republican Paty, vote Democratic.
  • If you want campaign finance reform that gets billionaires and corporations out of politics altogether, vote Democratic.
  • If you want Truth, Justice, and the American Way, don’t wait for Superman – vote Democratic.


So, what gives? Why this breathlessness?

I think a short answer will do.

Seems some folks fail to grasp entirely that political democracy is a sham when all the economic relations are organized, with violence and the threat of violence, into hierarchies, where the end result of an election is still the status quo ante. Without economic democracy (I hate that word, but a thirty paragraph explanation is so not a propos, at this point), political democracy just gives sanction to capitalists. All this scolding mouthbreathing does is betray that ignorance, revealing a failure to comprehend that voting for oligarchs won't get you any actual democracy. 

The Democrats are the fucking oligarchs, too. Get it?

As I typed yon Landru's place - changing the baby's diaper doesn't make it stop shitting.


And in addition: I wouldn't recommend cutting, but I understand why people do it. I had a coworker who cut herself, and she was pretty sure she'd have killed herself if she hadn't had "that phase." I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that she believed it to be true, which was good enough for me. Cutting, whilst rather obviously and literally self-destructive, let her feel herself and her own pain (though she didn't feel it as pain, when she was doing it, she said) in a way that allowed her to overcome her own alienation, for a time.

This is how I see voting. As a kind of cutting. None of the self-harm actually changes the world around you, but it does give you control over your reaction to it. In the short term...


mike flugennock said...

Is it just me, or does that first passage sound like an old Monty Python sketch?

(my verification word: mudger.)

mike flugennock said...

Oh, and that second passage is a laugher, too. They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel to think they can still pull that crusty old Supreme Court bit on us.


Jack Crow said...

Mike, embarrass myself though I must, I have to confess only passing acquaintance with the Pythons, enough to put "Life of Brian" up there near the top of my awesome movies list, but not enough to be able quote them at any length.

Have I written something which smacks too closely of proprietary Pythonism? If so, let me know so I can change it, please.

And you gotta love that veri word, eh?

Jack Crow said...

Jack Crow is a stupid man: I see what you mean now.

mike flugennock said...

Jesus H. Bicycle-Riding CHRIST.

I've never seen so much hissy-fitting, little-foot stomping in all my goddamn' life. It's so sad it's fucking hilarious.

Somebody needs to grow the fuck up around here, but it's not me.

Jack Crow said...

Thing is, Mike - come autumn 2011, it'll start all over again, and the same sorts will insist that this - no really, this! - is the truly important election that will make or break the future of our chilluns...

...and immediately afterward, GM, Ford, Disney, NewsCorps, Microsoft, ExxonMobile and GE will post record profits...



mike flugennock said...

The Python sketch in question is a parody of a childrens' storytime program. Eric Idle plays the chilrens' storytime host; he's reading a story from a book in which the stories start out with the typical cutesy-wutesy childrens' storybook prose which suddenly veers into trashy porn fiction. One of my favorite old Monty Python bits:

One day, Ricky The Magic Pixie went to visit Daisy Bumble in her tumbledown cottage. He found her in the bedroom. Roughly, he grabbed her heavy shoulders, pulling her down onto the bed and ripping off her...


Justin said...

I especially like the juxtaposition of TBogg's fantasy bit with Texas Betsy's list of things the Democrats will do. Which of the two passages is more detached from reality? Hard to decide.

mike flugennock said...

Jack Crow writes:
Thing is, Mike - come autumn 2011, it'll start all over again, and the same sorts will insist that this - no really, this! - is the truly important election that will make or break the future of our chilluns...

Oh, yeah... it seems that 'round about 2000, the Democrats were telling us that this election was the most super-duper extra-specially importantest, crucialest election ever -- such as this last one, which was The Most Important Election Since The Earth Accreted Enough Material For Gravity To Compress It Into A Sphere, -- even more super-duper important than the '08 election, which was only The Most Important Election Since The Earth Cooled To A Temperature That Could Support Life, which, in turn, was even more important than the '06 midterms, which was The Most Important Election Since The First Strands Of DNA Replicated Themselves In A Small Briny Tidepool, but, of course, nowhere near as important as the '04 Presidential election, which was The Most Important Election Since The Last Mass Extinction Event.

Then, of course, was the great-granddaddy of them all, the '00 Presidential election, which was The Most Important Election Since The First Humans Appeared At Olduvai Gorge.

Jack Crow said...

Nifty bookends to a range of thought, Justin. I think the latter is more detached. Tbogg often manages to know better, even if he (like the rest of the Hamsters) really, really believes in mo'betta progs.



Jack Crow said...


I think that's a cartoon strip you could do. I can almost see it myself, and I have no visual skills whatsoever.



Joe said...

Unbelievable stuff. I especially liked your comment over at Driftglass, about the stage clowns.

And speaking of apt metafers (as the guy on BBC world news pronounced it this morning), I also like the cutting one. I voted for the first time in my life, at 33, in '04, having bought into the anybody but Bush hysteria, and I voted again in '06 and '08. More or less straight D the first two times and then mostly third parties in '08. The experience (if you can call it that) pretty much confirmed my previoius, apathetic self's suspicion that the whole thing is a ridiculous charade. I sat this one out, without a trace of regret.

Jack Crow said...


Was wary of adding the "cutting" reference. Held it out, at first. Worried that I'd trivialize it by comparing it to something actually trivial.

No regrets, here, either. And I got to disappoint a Beckian family member who called to gloat and had no reference for my refusal to take the bait except "apathy."



BDR said...

I need thank TBogg for his contributions in helping me move to where I'm at, the assclown. I'd stopped reading him before he took his chair at FDL, and even though I didn't read him there, he helped me stop reading the blogs who kept linking to him.

Evan Bayh in this morning's NYT says the only conclusion Democrats can draw is be more like Republicans. He's totally unaware of the irony of his conclusion.

Jack Crow said...


I hope the effort to "primary" Obama ends up putting Evan Bayh in play. That would be the true awesometasticness.



PS - I'm sorry I dragged bff in to this. It was too perfect, to not pass it up. I'll take my lumps...

BDR said...

Heh, I'm *glad* you dragged Landru into this. He's a big boy.

Landru said...

Erm, if you're apologizing to me, Jack, thanks, but it's really not necessary. I don't think you're owed lumps. We disagree. That doesn't make you an asshole, and even if it did, I bet we could both live with that.

And if you're not apologizing to me, fuck you. Uhm, no, what I mean is that if you're not apologizing to me, sorry to be so self-absorbed.

Jack Crow said...


We can still cooperate on "The Punch A Motherfucker Party," n'est-ce pas?



Anonymous said...

I can remember first reading The Famous TBogg many years ago.

He's even more clueless now. Probably because he's so desperate to cling to a fantasy that's so obviously a fantasy... like a 15-year-old who persists in believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Great Pumpkin.

"But I'm so cool, I belong to such a cool kids crowd... how could they NOT be the cool kids? That would make me a... urrr... ahhh... well, it would make me a... ummm... y'know... some kind of something!"

Jack Crow said...


Fantasies make a man strong in the lord, no?

Caveat - I'm sure I have mine, without even knowing it.



Randal Graves said...

Honestly, I can't comment on the life & death importance of any election, whether yesterday or eons ago, because I've been on a Kwai Chang Caine quest for the perfect politician & now that I've stopped by to say hello, once more unto the breach. Strawman, ho!

davidly said...

I just love the "but they aren't violently attacking us" bit. I guess that depends on what the meaning of "us" is.

I do have to admit that I find the whining, "Whiners!" accusation and the hissy-fit classic, "Grow up!" to be real mood lifters.

Nice work, JC.

fish said...

That TBogg post burned my ass when I first read it a few years ago and it burns my ass now when I read it again. His pot-shot joke about free mumia t-shirts is charming as he pokes fun at a man that could be executed for a crime where there are still questions surrounding his guilt.

In short he is a total asshat.

Landru said...

If I'm not mistaken, we are the spiritual core of the Punch A Motherfucker Party, and proudly so. It's good to be able to define some common principles.

I now have all the proof I need that Blooger makes these words up just to fuck with us: "suctessi".

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

No regrets, here, either. And I got to disappoint a Beckian family member who called to gloat and had no reference for my refusal to take the bait except "apathy."

Their triumphalism is weird- what the hell did this guy (or any of them) win?

Two more lost years, rounding out a lost decade.

Jack Crow said...


Have you ever read "A Winter's Tale," by Mark Helprin? It features a city as a character - the "City of Perfect Justice." Reminds me of this object of your quest, and the burden of the geas under which you've placed yourself...


Nice catch. It adds to something Monsieur wrote the other day, about progressive always assuming that the world divides into teams, and that we disconsolate jacques ought to realize what side we're on...


I really hadn't given much thought to Mumia recently - but following a video link of a Malcolm X speech, couple weeks back, I cam across his radio addresses. Got me looking into his case, beyond the occasional Counterpunch article. Sure seems like he was railroaded to me. And it's good to know that Tbogg belongs grouped with Smerconish (sic?)...


I'm chewing over some Punch A Motherfucker platform points. I have it in mind to replay the Utah Phillips/Ani DiFranco piece, "Class Heroes" a dozen or so times, for inspiration. Plus, Donovan McNabb really ought to Punch A Motherfucker, already...


That triumphalism is really what intrigues me. Kim Stanley Robinson caught it so well, across his three Mars Trilogy books and following his sufic track, I came across the translation of Soviet, Orthodox and Catholic maximalism onto American big box protestant theology, especially among Restorationists. It's maximalist first, I think - and from that vantage they can only assume that they are ordained to rule...

Respect to each and all,


mike flugennock said...

Jack Crow writes:
I'm chewing over some Punch A Motherfucker platform points. I have it in mind to replay the Utah Phillips/Ani DiFranco piece, "Class Heroes" a dozen or so times, for inspiration. Plus, Donovan McNabb really ought to Punch A Motherfucker, already...

I'd replace the Utah Phillips piece with either John Lennon's Working Class Hero or the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen, given that just before his death, Utah totally caved and joined the Vote For Barack Obama No Matter What Club.

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there's no future
How can there be sin
We're the flowers in the dustbin
We're the poison in your human machine
We're the future, your future!

AlanSmithee said...

Jayzuz-Key-rist-on-a-jumped-up-sidecar what a pathetic weasel-faced copycat Tbogg is!