Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The only good cow is a kow kow

Maybe we're making too much of this thing, but it's worth noting that the majority of conservative commentators seem to be either ignoring or mocking Clive Bundy.

Granted, Steve Benson is hardly a conservative, but if this the only style of cartooning on the topic that seems to be out there, then ol' Clive hasn't got one leg -- never mind four -- to stand on.

Well, wait. He has one, and a fairly predictable one.

The whole matter would be better off ignored, as the ridiculous non-event of the Million Trucker March was, except that dangerous anarchist screwballs with guns did actually show up for this and apparently Sean Hannity was promoting it as something admirable or something.

I say "apparently" because I rely on second-hand reports about the activities of people like Miley Cyrus and Sean Hannity.

But other people do not ignore Hannity, which means that Clive Bundy has the ability to become our next Joe the Plumber, only with dangerous armed wackos in his corner rather than just shameful, fact-resistant propagandists.

That is, Joe the Plumber told the president-to-be that he ran his own plumbing company that had a net income in excess of a quarter million dollars, but it turned out his name wasn't Joe, he was not actually a licensed plumber, he didn't own his own business and his income was not only less than a quarter-million net, or even a quarter-million gross, but he was, in fact, not making enough to be able to be current on his child support.

So now we've got Clive Bundy, who says his family has been grazing their cattle on that land in Nevada since 1877, only it turns out that, not only are his views of grazing rights and states' rights completely flawed, but he wasn't even born on the property, given that his family moved to Nevada when he was two, well after the whole matter of grazing rights on federal land had been established.

As they say, "that ol' dog won't hunt."

But once the armed crazies show up, facts and logic have to give way to other considerations. As Samuel Johnson noted, “If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards.”

The madmen are here and they have sticks. But there appears to be very little appetite for knocking them down and even less for pitying the state of their minds.

Tom Tomorrow suggests we apply a combination of logic and ridicule, and I'm all in favor of that.

But we should also demand a little bit of history. I heard some clown on the air the other day noting that it was the anniversary of both the Waco standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing, as if that were a coincidence.

Whether or not you feel armed, right-wing anarchists are a threat, you should at least know enough basic history to understand why McVeigh chose that particular day to exercise his First Amendment rights to free speech and mass murder.

If you're going to play the fool, "play" it in the sense of knowing you aren't passing along facts. At least Joe the Plumber and Cliven the Bundy have obvious motivations to say things that don't check out (whether or not they believe the things they say being a separate issue). 

And Sean Hannity has obvious motivations to uncritically repeat the things they say. But if Roger Ailes isn't signing your paycheck, you don't have that excuse.

Though taking money does excuse promoting reprehensible movements. There used to be a joke the punchline of which was, "We've established what you are -- Now we're just haggling over the price."

Apparently, that's no longer an issue, as long as you hold your nose while cashing the check.

Well, misery seeks its own company ...

 ... Kow Kow had heard it said


Mark Jackson said...

Especially good with Nicky Hopkins on piano.

-blessed holy socks said...

God blessa youse
- Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL
When they had morality and bawls