The Weekly Tendown November 21-27 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Internet:

Tendown 53 is maybe when I pull the bus over to the side of the road, 'cause if I have to spend another second working this week I'm gonna start crying.  And as long as they pay me to teach classes and I can't earn any money via these ramblings, this is where the cut gets made.

So - let's do some Tendown.

1. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...In Jail.
Probably not Tom Delay; I'm gonna guess they let him stay out on bond during the appeal, but that dude got found guilty this week.  Interesting that ABC had no problem sticking him on Dancing With the Stars even though he was under indictment, but Barry Bonds has had to vanish the past several years while waiting for the government to finally put him on trial.  That dancing show loves them some right wing - right?  Tucker Carlson, Delay, then the Family Palin; I'm glad that of the largely nutrition free programming that I watch, that show is not among the list; I might start shooting televisions too.

2. Maybe the Mayans Were Right
The left is of two minds about the possibility of Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee in 2012; one is gleeful, of the belief (not unwarranted, she polls really badly; her negatives are high) that she's not electable - I tend toward the more pessimistic, like this piece. I dislike her act enough that I wouldn't watch her reality show even to write about it, but were I guiding her campaign, I'd look to mainstream her as a celebrity while continuing to keep her right wing bonafides  through churches, Fox News, closed speaking engagements and facebook.  That combination - of going true believer batshit while being treated as mainstream through celebrity culture might be enough two years from now.  I'm not sure we fully appreciate the Fox+Citizens United calculus; the midterm results...not the results, but the conversation, really - that in complete defiance of facts, our response to the destruction of the economy, proximately caused by 30 years of right wing dogma, is to elect more Republicans - I am more convinced than have I ever been in the futility of the American future.  It is more likely that we become China - with a heated economy propped up by squashing labor, than that we ever get back to 1970 America.  I don't know that Palin is particularly less qualified than was Bush; she'd be just a mouthpiece for Wall St, only worse than Obama on the cultural margins.  If there was any chance for the left to galvanize a popular movement against the three decade wealth suck from the working and middle class it would have been now, after the complete, naked exposure of the bankruptcy of right wing economics.  But the Democrats largely just worked to prop up business, and the media machine of the right was able to sell the story that somehow the Democrats were communists - and in the absence of a real left wing popular movement - a right wing popular movement rose in its place.  Instead of burning down the plutocracy, we curb stomped volunteers.   Its the authoritarians with all the passion, the fervor; I don't know that I see a scenario away from that.

3. The First Thanksgiving
Until this week, I missed the right wing meme that the real message of Thanksgiving was that socialism doesn't work.  My favorite part, I mean, aside from that it's entirely made up and a couple hundred years before socialism existed - is the Republican congressman in the clip, saying that socialism was "unbiblical."

I think, as I'm likely to mention in my next point, that if Christians want to wrap themselves in hatred of gays, they're allowed - they at least have a textual argument that hating gays is commanded by their god.  But the attempts to shoehorn Jesus into the anti big government rhetoric since Obama was elected seems as transparent to me as faith healing.  Somehow, legislation that would make insurance companies provide coverage for pre-existing conditions is sold as an abomination to Jesus.  It's not my text, so my tendency is to say those who claim it can claim it anyway they want, but it's Benny Hinn level nonsense from where I sit.

4. Hate Groups
The Southern Povery Law Center labeled the Family Research Council a hate group this week.

About time.  Here's the current issue of the SPLC journal, discussing that gays are the most targeted group for hate crimes.  It always interests me, just in my own classrooms, quarter after quarter, the ease with which, under the cover of religion, students feel free to express their hatred for gays in the kinds of terms that you would never hear discussed openly for any other group.  There are mainstream religious services going on today in this country that in preaching about gays have no greater moral standing than Klan meetings.  And mainstream media (and maybe all of mainstream society, such as in classrooms like mine) in allowing, under the banner of remaining neutral during a debate, gives host to hateful rhetoric against gays that it would not allow against blacks or Jews.

5. 1.66 trillion
US corporations were at their most ever profitable last quarter.  And why not?  Low taxes, low labor costs - it's the gilded age and our only protests are about imaginary communism.  We didn't extend unemployment benefits, the right wing is arguing to continue tax breaks for billionaires, I'm guessing those record corporate profits haven't "trickled down" to getting you a raise (me either) and it certainly hasn't led to a round of massive hiring.  The right wants our economic lives to be as precarious as they can be - they want our health care tied up in our jobs, so we take whatever we are given by our corporate masters - and make sure we stay in line and not criticize the system.  Remember - when the left criticizes the government - when the left protests a war or civil liberties violations - it's called treason - but when the right criticizes the government - say when the government enacts financial reform or tries to stop insurance companies from letting their customers die and the right explodes in anger - it's called patriotism.

6. $5850 per tweet
That's how much Punky Brewster gets paid.  Almost 6 grand a tweet.

I'll do it for ten bucks.  Someone wants to pay me 10 bucks a tweet, I'll tweet ten times a day. About whatever you'd like.

7. H-O-R
The mathematics of horse. 

8. I Might Have Gone with Broder
Salon's Hack 30.

9. Oh, it's okay.

I saw Marisa Miller on Conan this week, referring to the Giants as "we."  Presumably, this picture in a Cubs jersey was a paid gig, and she quickly regretted the transgression.

I'm entirely for hot girls hopping aboard the Giants bandwagon.  Or even not so hot girls.  What the hell. There's only a bandwagon when you win; it's a minor inconvenience.

10. Wait, Those Are the World Champion Giants I'm Talking About

That's Willie Mays.  In case you were wondering.

I'll see you next time, if there is a next time....

Your pal,


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