Nothing behaves as irrationally as a cornered beast. Believe me, I know. At the moment, I am one of them.
There are few things as dangerous as a mammal that has lost all other options and is faced with no choice other than the grim and vaguely disturbing idea of fanatically hopping a four-hour train along the coast of New England at two in the morning. To do so after twenty hours of no sleep and going the next 72 on less than three — well, there are people that would say that’s just plain stupid. And I would agree with them, if there had been any element of choice in the matter whatsoever.
It was one of those calls that you hate to get, especially late in the day after ten or twelve of those very focused hours of work where you get up and are dizzy just from rejoining reality and feeling almost human again.
I need you need to be in the office in New York at two in the morning so we can get started here in Europe on time.
Fuck. I was still in Boston at the time.
And after the four-hour train ride, and after another full bore, ten-hour work day, I still had to catch a flight to Europe.
I am now completely out of my mind. To make matters worse, the drink cart on the flight across the Atlantic has just rolled down the aisle. The New York red-eye to Amsterdam is normally packed with Dutch men and grungy boys, which means they overload on Heineken and almost nothing else. Tonight, for some inexplicable reason it’s been filled to the brim with noisy Italians and free scotch. You can see where this might go, right?
Italian men are noisy on their own, and love nothing more than to fucking talk. Pair them up with the gambit of Slovenian women that were going to Amsterdam and the place goes all to pieces. The Italian man in the seat in front of me was singing on about what must have been futbol to the pretty blond next to him. A dude, I think, but Italians are all very pretty.
At the rate that Michelangelo or whatever was talking, the other guy might have litterally had an anyurisim had he not been Italian himself. His eyes might have swollen up with the build-up of blood from the ruptured vessel in his brain, just behind the sockets, and the veins in his neck would’ve started sinking in, pulling the skin tight around the adam’s apple and exposing the grainy texture of the malnourished cartilage. Other things happen too, and I’ve even heard of bursting capilaries at the fingertips and in and around the oral cavity. Had he been of any other nationality, things might have gotten that ugly, but thankfully Italians can ingest quite the wordcount per minute.
On the other side of the plane, about five rows back, seven or eight hollering whoops exploded when the drink cart rattled by. They went crazy on the whiskey, begging the flight attendant for more. When she tried to tell them they could only have one each they went berzerk, climbing over seats, taking the microwaved ziti marinara from the other passengers, screaming about their mothers and proposing marriage in sonnet form to random Slovenian women right in front of their husbands. It was awful. When one of the younger kids went for his football I watched as the flight attendant scurried down the aisle towards first class, covering her head and neck with her arms and screaming for mercy from the degenerates. The Slovenian girl at the window seat next to them, who couldn’t have been older than fifteen, had her feet up on the seet, her arms clutching her knees at her chest in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and mumbling something no one could hear.
Things didn’t quiet down until we passed the tropical storm we were flying over, and then they all seemed to run out of electricity and pass out. I can only stipulate that the electrical disturbances below the plane had something to do with it but that’s not based on anything other than highly skewed empirical evidence.
I missed more than half of what the Italians said, of course, but not even the blind deaf can miss the sheer volume of word output these guys produce. The levels of noise pollution alone are cause for local statutes to be put in place where severe noise disturbances can have drastic consequences. I bet no Italian man has ever heard the little safety schpiel early in the flight, which probably explains the alarmingly high statistic put out earlier this year by the FAA, wherein it was shown that 48% of deaths in airline accidents are Italian men, or men of Italian decendancy. It went on to say that the majority of Italian men who perish on flights are found in positions that suggest they were desperately trying to undue their seat-belt buckle or else leaning over to the seat next to them with their own oxygen mask in hand, either asking to put it on or else discussing the latest fashion show in Milan.
Thaese numbers are true. I absolutely did NOT make them up*. Would I lie to you?
And, yeah, I had plenty of scotch too, but that’s not what I’m getting at or why I’m out of my mind. I wish my craziness was due to something fun like the electrical problems of the Italians, endorphins, philosophical astrophysics, rum, or mescaline. Even scotch. But alas, it’s just rage. Pure, disgusting, over-the-top, angry, furious, unreasonable rage.
Bear with me — I started this whole thing meaning to get political but like the Italians, things got a little out of hand. Trust me, it’s better than many of the alternatives. House bill 3200: allow me — ‘cause, you know, I’ve read it…
What? It was a long flight and I felt like reading some law…
First it was the town hall meetings, those already ridiculous stages wherein members or the ruling class, with the media’s help, get to look like they give two hoots of a damn about what YOU think. More on this later.
Then the town halls started getting nuts. And not, you know, normal nuts like Michelle Bachman or Orin Hatch nuts. Not Sarah Palin nuts or even Robert Bork nuts. I’m talking about people showing up at Presidential rallies armed with automatic assault weapons with shirts that indicated quite clearly what their intentions might have been and the secret service just standing there as if they had been cupcakes on parade. I’m talking about people showing up at meetings where the agenda is health care while brandishing their second amendment rights like that’s what was at stake. I’m talking about a new path being walked by the insane, the uneducated, the misinformed and the stupid of this country, and they’re being led by the same evil jerks that keep trying to bring you such debocles as the flat tax and the privatization of social security.
Now we’re seeing that there is little coincedence in all of this madness. Indeed, there is little chance of chance at all, seeing as unreasonableness has been the plan all along. Thanks to reporters and journalists who are doing real work instead of catering to the American portrait of the stupid and the lazy jackass in an easy chair listening to Fox News trash, we’ve now had painted for us a chart connecting the dots, laying the truth out in front of us as graphically as it gets. Never mind that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman ask questions that cater to their leftist agenda using the same formula that Bill O’Reilly uses to show his condescending and insane version of reality. Never mind that their network is indeed the left-leaning MSNBC, responsible for their own sets of idiotic stunts and ventures.
They’re still right.
See, we’re now finally dealing with FACTS, and it’ll come out in the public’s eye soon enough. It better, or the way things are going someone might get shot first. But for the first time since I can remember, it’s not just obvious — it’s provable that our society is not having a discussion about differing opinions but rather one of differing realities. Facts themselves are being debated right in front of philosophers’ eyes as they stare on in disbelief.
This is not Newtonian physics. At least half of this debate is WRONG.
And that’s important to remember when the shit hits the fan, because someone’s going to be responsible. And I don’t want to have to fish out records saying it wasn’t me, or I told you so or anything else that crass.
Speaking of crass, what’s her name, Betsy McCaughey, that ideology pimp who started the whole Death Panels discussion with a flick of her inarticulate tongue and a nod of her ugly face, finally found a wide-reaching audience. Again, never mind that it took a host guaranteed to be making fun of her, that was the only venue she could find that wouldn’t already be packed full of crazies and unthinking, guilt-plagued jackasses. It was all she could get at this stage in the game. On the Daily Show, trying desperately to convince anyone in the studio audience who would look at her that she had a point, Jon Stewart litterally tore her evidence from her as he tore up the rest of her argument as sheer nonsense to the applause of millions. That must have been a good day to get those free tickets, eh?
But the people in the studio didn’t have to watch the ironic Yoplait commercial at the break, the one where strawberries are dropped into the thick splash of the creamy yogurt substance, and then bounce off of it when it’s frozen. The sexy voice comes on to say their new (new? really?) yogurt can be had both ways: in the fridge as a mousse, or in the freezer as a…frozen treat. They didn’t know, I guess, what to call it. Frankly, I don’t either.
And then I realized why the whole debate is so aggrevating. Anyone who reasons at a five-year-old level can see the obvious; you just have to be paying attention in order to see it.
And now again, as always, the Democrats seem desperate once more because the brain tumor that took Ted Kennedy’s life might make the sixty seat majority irrelevant for another 5 months. Assuming they don’t do what the Republicans want and make it an 85 vote requirement just because, you know, they want it that way now that they’re not a barely-fifty-one majority. Not that any news outlet still making a profit even remembers the health care debate, spending a third of the day covering the location of Ted Kennedy’s body, much like Michael Jackson’s a few weeks ago. Maybe they’ll make a diamond out of his hair too, though I bet someone will find a way to make something more fitting out of Ted Kennedy. Maybe they can regrow Winston Churchill from his pubes.
What? None of that now, eh? It’s way too soon for something that ugly and I’d hate to see it derail the very thing that the old Lion stood most for, besides booze and sailing, which, as a matter of record and disclosure, I’m all for. I mean, talk about conflicting agendas, right? Here you have MSNBC, dying to promote universal health care in any way possible, going to such lenghts as actually investigating and actually reporting the evil conflicts of interest in the parties rallying against the most common-sense initiative since they repealled prohibition with the 21st amendment. And the man that fought most ardently for it, whose whole 47-year-career revolved around it, the guy whose last efforts as a senator a few days before his death included an attempt to immediately replace himself with an appointment by the Democratic Governor in order to ensure action on health care while it still has a dying breath left in it…
But, well, they’ve got to have their ratings, so forget the forged letters to government from Insurance and Coal companies purporting to be from average citizens. Never mind hidden and private funding into anti-health care initiatives coming from the very people who would lose power and wealth were such an initiative to pass…
It’s off to the hearse we go. Talk about pulling the plug on grandma, eh?
Christ. I still haven’t really gotten to the point of mentioning how Olberman and Maddow are right. I really did start this thing meaning to get there, to discuss the recent study done on viewership of major news stations. Fox News, whose viewers are over 90% republican and can’t find Iraq on a map or hear the insanity coming out of their own asses came in at more than MSNBC and CNN combined.
Shit. No wonder we’re in such a… ah, you finish it.
* I might have made that up.