Now Playing: "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy with Bruno Mars
As another election season approaches, I'm starting to feel like the one townsperson in the zombie movie that isn't infected with the undead brain-eating virus. All around me, people are intoning "Must...vote...for...bat-guano....crazy.....politicians..." and putting signs in their yard in support of candidates from the planet Xkzlatoltl.
It isn't just Maine, although we're about to elect a governor who wants to teach creationism in schools, "eliminate literacy", and last week announced his intention to punch a PBS reporter. Nationwide, we've been overrun by Tea Party candidates espousing the sort of lunatic paranoia that you'd normally see stapled to lampposts, or yelling to itself in the park. For example:
* Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, who believes scientists have created hybrid mice with functioning human brains, has admitted to dabbling in witchcraft, and is an outspoken opponent of masturbation. (Yes, America, that's your biggest problem right now. It's not global warming, Afghanistan, or the recession. It's the fact that you can't stop tickling the pickle.) According to her, "It is not enough to be abstinent with other people. You have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that committing lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can't masturbate without lust."
So apparently, even daydreaming is off-limits, and all of you who saw 300 are going straight to hell. My question is, isn't adultery only possible with real people? Does it still count if your fantasies are populated with generic archetypes? Like, the one about the fireman. Or the one about the priest. Or the one about the Brawny Paper Towel Man. Can adultery be said to have been committed if the other party is a completely fictional, cardboard character with sensational biceps and no name, who exists only in the depths of your filthy, filthy gutter mind long enough to see you through a boring wait at the dentists' office?
My other question is, who cares?
*Tim D'Annunzio of North Carolina, who claimed to be the Messiah, tried to raise his stepfather from the dead, believed God would drop a 1,000 mile high pyramid as the New Jerusalem on Greenland, and found the Ark of the Covenant in Arizona. Not to mention heroin dependency and jail time, but those are just trifling details. Next to this guy, Johnny Spitieri looks like a Rhodes scholar.
*Art Robinson of Oregon, an ardent proponent of something called hormesis (the belief that low levels of radiation are good for you). He believes radioactive drinking water from California should be used to "enhance" Oregon's water, that public schools should be abolished, and that government regulations caused the BP oil spill.
In other words: Eddie Harnovey's worst nightmare.
* Glenn Urquhart of Delaware: "The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler's mouth, that's where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State, ASK THEM WHY THEY'RE NAZIS."
...Hey, you know who else used poorly fact-checked, eliminationist hyperbole? ADOLF HITLER, THAT'S WHO!!
* Trent Franks of Arizona: "[Obama] has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an ENEMY OF HUMANITY."
*Sharron Angle of Nevada, who at one time subscribed to the notion that HIV could be spread through water, wants to abolish the Department of Education, and bring back Prohibition.
*Carl Paladino of New York, who proposes to eliminate Medicare and has suggested that welfare recipients be placed in prison, "where they will learn hygiene".
* Louis Gohmert of Texas on hate crime legislation: "You'd have to strike any laws against bestiality, if you're oriented toward corpses, toward children, you know, there are all kinds of perversions."
* Some guy I heard on the radio running for state senate in New Hampshire, ranting in ugly language against immigrants who come into this country to have "anchor babies". I never know that was a problem around here, but yes, it seems millions of Canadians are sneaking over the Quebec border at night, lured by lucrative potato-picking jobs, for the express purpose of dropping babies and overrunning our native culture. Next thing you know we'll all be laughing with a French accent ("honh-honh-honh") and saluting the maple leaf.
I, for one, welcome our new Tea Party overlords, and agree with them completely that fzxg glorn fleeble blurm SCARY SCARY PEOPLE WITH MORE MELANIN THAN ME dinklefwat bleeble SCARY GAYZ ffnord glapple glopple OBAMA WAS BORN IN A UFO zfx fxfzffx xfzfx.
It's easy to poke fun, but it's actually not that funny...these are all symptoms of a growing movement dedicated to turning us into a more brutal, less informed, less caring society. The anger of average middle-class taxpayers is being misdirected against minorities and the poor, instead of against politicians who sell off our resources, our health, and our future to the highest corporate bidder. The problem isn't big government; it's owned government. Like Oz behind the curtain, it takes increasing amounts of twisted logic, inflammatory rhetoric, and campaign funding to keep people distracted from the genuine issues facing this country. Meanwhile, corporations and billionaires quietly go on awarding themselves hefty tax breaks, dismantling regulation, stifling competition, shipping jobs overseas, and amassing obscene piles of wealth. Thus, the recent proliferation of nutty-as-a-fruitcake candidates railing against masturbation and evolution, backed by millions of dollars from undisclosed donors and foreign corporations. Without any common consensus regarding facts, history, or rationality, we are on the verge of becoming an ungovernable nation.
And now that our overseas readers are thanking their lucky stars not to be living in the U.S. at this moment in history, let's link to some cheerful, factual, reality-based, sciencey news:
Ginger cavemen - how cool is that? I should think they would have been worshipped as minor deities.