Thursday, October 26, 2006
Fooled by Economics and Politics of the Day
One of the problems with societies driven solely by markets is that the social - norms, decency, shared beliefs, the stuff that binds us together - dies.
And so stuff like this - Rush Limbaugh attacking Michael J Fox for having Parkinsons's (check the video to be truly disgusted) - happens.
In the discourse of the market, anything goes. When the discourse of the market comes to dominate the public sphere, it is transformed from a space for conversation, to a space for power, discipline, and domination.
OK, you know all that.
It would almost be funny - if the American right wasn't so eminently racist, sexist, in love with violence, just plain sleazy - and is there even a word for something as loathsome as making fun of someone with a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder?
I'm not a Democrat - but I find it hard to describe just how much I want to the American right's ass get absolutely, totally kicked.
Remember my Fox news anecdote - where the speaker at a small conf, actually a very nice guy, kept referring to brown people as "child molesters"?
How different is this? Not different at all. It's the same poisoning of discourse that the right has perfected throughout the 20th century.
NB - For all those who've been sending me emails telling me "I love your work, I hate your politics" - you're more than welcome to stop reading any time you like; subsidizing people who are still die-hard Republicans at this point, despite Katrina, Iraq, cronyism/corruption, Rumsfeld, debt explosion, etc, is something I can live without (yes, even you, Chuck).
(I mean, you don't have to agree with what I say - but you could try and understand why a young brown guy like me feels compelled to write about politics in the first place).
NB (2) - That Chuck Norris thread (ie, Chuck Norris is now writing an anti-evolution column for a wingnut website) is hilarious. Check it, highly recommended, this should be all over the intarweb:
"...i heard chuck norris decapitated himself when he heard himself say something that stupid.
...An evolution denier can’t be the world’s biggest badass. World’s biggest dumbass, maybe."
Umair, I agree with your politics and I am a Democrat. I'm just curious to know why you aren't.
This is a symptom of the American governance system. Without compulsory voting the people in power will tend to be on the far left or far right. The republicans and the democrats are more representative of the fringes than of the middle.
This comes down the people who are most likely to vote are those whom are active or have a special interest.
The democracies with compulsory voting (i.e. Australia) tend to have parties that are more representative of the views of the populace. Appealing to just the fringes doesn't work as you need to convince the much larger number of voters that sit in the middle.
You have been owned by mainstream media.
The video is a selection of the larger show which, if you cared to find, puts it all in context.
What IS disgusting is Michael J Fox using his disease (which IS tragic) to make an ad that is patently false and political. He has admitted that he stops taking his medicine at times to make a point with his disease - on national TV in 2001 with Diane Sawyer after his appeal to congress. He performs fine in his recent TV appearances without an appreciable level of parkinsons symptoms. On top of that, one of the races this ad was targeted at has a Democrat who has voted explicitly against feotal stem cell research while the Republican has voted for it. Hmmm.
I have done the research, found the original ads and full segments from Rush's show both on the day of your video and the day after where he faces down the liars on the left with the facts of what he said and did.
Your first paragraph is correct - but not the way you think.
You have been owned by the mainstream media and you don't even know it.
Because the Dems don't exactly stand for reason either.
That's a very interesting point...
1) It's reprehensible to make fun of someone whose life is being taken away from them *whatever they might do*.
2) I don't think stem cell research is a "political" point.
I think it's a point of reason. If you think a smear of *inert cells* today is worth more than multiple lives tomorrow, you're clearly irrational.
The only way to sustain this irrationality is to believe in heaven/suffer a shorter life for a payoff later.
That's fine - you're entitled to believe what you like. Just don't impose the costs of your irrationality on me (and Fox).
3) So I could care less about the minutiae of Diane Sawyer, media, etc.
3.5) Having studied neuro in depth, and worked with Parkinson's patients, I can assure you: Parkinsonian tremors aren't constant, like the rattle of an engine. They come and go, depending on an enormous number of factors - and they take energy from sufferers to suppress and control.
4) QED - The so-called "research" you've done misses my point entirely.
Umair - keep up the good work, and keep speaking up when most others don't have the balls to.
Fair enough, but it does depend to some degree on the Democrat. Check out these words from a pretty successful one:
"We believe in a politics...dominated by evidence and argument. There is a big difference between a philosophy and an ideology on the right or the left. If you have a philosophy, it generally pushes you in a certain direction or another. But like all philosophers, you want to engage in discussion and argument. You are open to evidence, to new learning. And you are certainly open to debate the practical applications of your philosophy."
"The problem with ideology is if you got an ideology, you already got your mind made up, you know all the answers, and that makes evidence irrelevant and argument a waste of time, so you tend to govern by assertion and attack. The problem with that is that discourages thinking and gives you bad results."
Sounds pretty reasonable to me!