Hi. This is the 18th Issue of the Weekly Tendown, my look at all the very most important cultural happenings from the previous 7 days - last week, I discussed reconciliation, my superfungame Moratorium, that my lady type friend has never seen the Karate Kid, and an atheist's plan to take care of pets following the rapture.
I spent the majority of Tuesday in a waiting area; the television was turned to Fox News - so I got the full taste of their morning programming; and despite this allegedly being the "Fair and Balanced" portion of the Fox News day, it was easy to see the plutocratic propaganda bombarding a captive public. I'll be looking at a few of the stories covered that morning here - but it was actually mid-Tuesday that brought us the very best thing that happened last week...
First: The Rapture Generation
Here's Limbaugh talking health care on Tuesday: I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.
I've never played the "if this happens, I'll leave the country" card (I think Alec Baldwin's threatened to walk a half dozen times) its a low percentage play; like the religious leaders who build their careers on the world ending at a particular time; it makes that subsequent Sunday service a little bit tricky. Lots of people trying to buy back appliances on craigslist, I'm guessing. Some sheepish "why did I have last day on earth sex with that" glances across the hymnals. Last week there was an end of the world conference in Columbus, Ohio (hopefully one of the speakers strongly encouraged the flock to spend some of their final days on earth anywhere besides Columbus, Ohio). Here's conference host Rod Parlsley:
"The last pages of your Bible read like the front pages of your paper." "You are here because you've been chosen to live in this final hour."
Another speaker, Grant Jeffrey, with whom I'm fortunately unfamiliar was similarly on message:
This is the most exciting generation to live since Jesus walked the earth. We are living in the rapture generation."
I'm gonna use that phrase going forward, The Rapture Generation. Because it's not just about the people hiring atheists to take care of their pets, it's one of the motivating issues underlying policy debate. Here's Jeffrey about global warming:
Global warming has a hidden agenda. It's a pretext to achieve a socialist global agenda where America will no longer be the America you grew up in.
Running out of oil is nonsense. They have found hidden oil 1,000 feet down-in the U.S.-enough to fuel the whole world for centuries. America and Canada are absolutely oil independent if they want to be.
That's the nexus - that connection between the ideology of the true believing evangelical and the corporate interests that use the passion of the faithful as rhetorical cover for their profit driven agenda - that drives so much of modern politics. The same interests that have spent millions lobbying against climate change legislation have dropped millions in the effort to stop the inclusion of a public option (like, for example, the kind that Costa Rica has, sorry Rush - but I'm uncertain where it is he'd like to go with a lesser level of socialized medicine than the United States - and more broadly, where it is he thinks he'll find a government more dedicated to protecting the interests of the powerful at the expense of the citizenry) - but its not protection of corporate profits that are part of the debate - if you spend a morning listening to Fox News, you won't get a discussion of CEO pay or the increased disparity between the wealthy and everyone else, or the profits earned by health insurance companies in 2009:
WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Cigna Corp., Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. posted combined profits of $12.2 billion, a 56% increase over calendar year 2008.
During the same period of time, the big five insurers covered 2.7 million fewer Americans.
Instead the discussion is about socialism. And big government coming between doctors and patients.
And, of course, how universal health care is anti-Christian. Suck up some crazy and let the juices drip down your chin:
Some may ask what does God have to do with our health care system. For one, He’s created the government as an institution in society to do certain things. When we reject His design for government, in a sense, we’re rejecting Him.
In Obama’s worldview, our trust is in government not in God. A denial of how God designed and created our economic and social systems to actually work in the real world. The result? The abysmal failure of government control of health care in socialist models. From the USSR which takeover [sic] everything, including health care, to our neighbors to the north, Canada and European countries such as the UK where rationing and massive waiting periods are the order of the day.
There's a picture I found this week that, even more than Limbaugh leaving the country, is really the best thing that happened this week:
That's the message I got as I sat and watched Fox News for 4 hours. It's the subtext of every story; it's the essence of the worldview. Don't think. It can only hurt the ballclub.
After the jump - the rest of the Tendown: