Friday, July 10, 2009

All over again

I was walking down the corridor of the place where I work today when I was hit with a powerful sense of the ole déjà vu. I stopped for a moment, as I always do, to see if I could muster forth a premonition of what would happen next, but I was unsuccessful, as usual. I admit that it’s a fairly childish piece of behavior on my part, a bit like crossing my fingers and making a wish whenever I see a white horse, which I still also do, despite my abysmal success record in that area as well. Although you never know. Someday I might still marry David Cassidy.

I read a really interesting explanation for déjà vu somewhere. Basically, it postulated that the feeling could be chalked up to a small, momentary brain malfunction; that a neural misfire could cause a new experience to be routed through the brain on a pathway normally reserved for memory, thus making the present “feel” like the past.

I like that explanation. Now it makes sense to me to that feelings of déjà vu never come at significant moments, but always come at the most mundane of times, e.g., when I am pulling a long string of cheese off a piece of pizza and dropping it into my mouth, or sitting at the interminable red arrow traffic light near my house, or lounging in my backyard on a summer’s eve, plotting the violent death of the guy.

Amazingly, I don’t believe I have ever experienced an episode of déjà vu while learning that some right wing ideologue is actually a miserable lying hypocrite, which just seems like a stupendous defying of the odds, doesn’t it? I mean, I don’t know about you, but it seems like, if I were to estimate the time I spend each day learning of the real-life hypocrisies of the holier-than-thou, it would have to be about 9 waking hours, plus also about 40 minutes of sleep time a day during which I am hitting the snooze button on the clock radio whilst subconsciously absorbing news from our nation’s capital delivered by the soothing tones of Morning Edition’s Renee Montagne. So…call it 10 hours of hypocrite revelations a day, give or take.

So, no, when I hear that another one of the congressmen who stood at our nation’s seat of government and condemned President Clinton to the damnation of eternal hellfire for cheating on his wife, has in fact actually cheated on his wife, I don’t think “Wow. Déjà vu.” I maybe think, “Another brick in the wall, huh?” or “What a huge fucking surprise,” or sometimes even “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU EXPECT FROM THESE PEOPLE? HONESTY? INTEGRITY? THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THOSE WORDS MEAN.”

Similarly, when I find out that the $1.9 million (she referred to it as “millions,” but we’ll let that one pass) that Sarah Palin’s office estimated the state of Alaska has spent on defending her against scandals, was comprised mainly of the salaried hours of state attorneys who would’ve had to draw a paycheck anyway, and did not, as she so emphatically assured us, divert money from state troopers or education, I do not feel a sense of déjà vu, even though it is yet another Sarah Palin convenient lie in a veritable avalanche of convenient lies from Ms. Alaska. What did divert money from education was Palin herself, as it turns out. Also, just for the record, she didn’t sell the jet on eBay, she did campaign for the “bridge to nowhere,” she and Todd actually did have health insurance during that time that she said they didn’t even though it was pointed out to her by Todd himself that they did, they were involved in the Alaska separatist group, she did fire that librarian and that police chief, she never met with Russian trade officials, her teleprompter did not break, the Branchflower Report did state unethical activity, holy fucking Christ on a cross I could go on, y’all, but I think probably the recitation of Palin’s prevarications have already caused enough of you to drift away from this post and onto less predictable fare.

The thing is, with Palin and Sanford and Ensign and loonies like Bachman and Santorum and all the others is, they know that they can sell their fucked-up agendas to a certain portion of the public. They know that there are people out there who, for reasons past all sensible understanding, think that their wages are shitty because of Mexicans, and not because of Wall Street, and that gay people are disgusting sinners who do not deserve to live like “normal” people, and that the world was a better place before blacks got all uppity, and that if the government offered them health insurance, then our health care system would be in worse shape than it is now, as if that were possible, readers. As it that were even remotely fucking possible. And they sell themselves to those people as champions of their misguided ideals, and they repeat those ideals, and they tell them that those are the only real ideals, the only truly American ideals, and they enable those people, who, by the way, know in their heart of hearts that they are bitter, and they do embrace guns and religion as a way to comfort their own powerlessness; they enable the ignorance of the people who support them, and those people continue to support them, and it all goes on and on as a part of the huge cyclone of shit that American politics ever has been and probably ever will be, amen.

No, there’s no déjà vu here, folks, because that would suggest that the exposure of right-wing hypocrites is some kind of aberration, some kind of fluke, or trick of the mind. No, there is no such luck for us – as long as politicians make their living selling lies, there will be those who eventually become exposed as liars. What frustrates me is that generally, no one yet seems willing to infer that maybe, maybe they’re all liars.

Well, let me put forth, then, that if you are selling a lie, you’re a liar. And let me suggest to CNN and MSNBC and NBC and CBS and ABC and even Fox – let me suggest that if you pretend to us that you believe that the way to present an issue is to balance every truth with a lie, and let the viewers figure it out, then you’re liars as well. Every time you bring out an Ann Coulter or a Michelle Malkin or Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity to represent “the other side,” you’re a big, fat, stinking, soul-stealing, will-to-live-crushing liar, and if there is a punishment meted out after this mortal life to those who sin against humanity, then yours will surely be colossal, but, hey, there’s nothing new about that.


Michael said...

No better way to spend a cup of coffee than that right there. That's one fine ass-kickin'.

SkylersDad said...

I think that sometimes when one point of view is correct, and the other side is just so damn wrong, you really don't need that other mouthpiece taking up airtime.

And my favorite theory on Deju Vu is that there are an infinite number of realities taking place at any moment, and Deju Vu is when one that has already played bumps up against our version of reality.

Whoa... Dude, I have to go lay down now...

Boldly Serving Up Wheat Grass said...

My all-time fave explanation is that déjà vu is just a glitch in the Matrix.

Liberality said...

if you pretend to us that you believe that the way to present an issue is to balance every truth with a lie, and let the viewers figure it out, then you’re liars as well

And NPR don't forget about them! You know, that radio station that pretends to give unbiased news to educated middle-class Americans but are too chickenshit to call torture torture.

vikkitikkitavi said...

@Lib - Yeah, I happen to think the current ombudsman for NPR is full of shit. The previous one, Jeffrey Dvorkin, who chastised Terry Gross for her "unfair" interview of Bill O'Reilly, was full of shit, too.

Dad E said...

You can add Bill Kristal to the list also. I remember John Stewart having on his show and even though he nailed him on a couple of thing in a polite way, I hated that Kristal was given some legitimacy by being on the show.

Kristal, btw, was instrumental in getting interest started for Palin --

vikkitikkitavi said...

RE: Yes, DadE, you can add Palin to the list of things Kristol was wrongity-wrong-wrong about.

Anonymous said...

That last paragraph really sums it up, doesn't it? Balancing truth with lies just doesn't cut it.

SFNative said...

I bow to both your content and your style.

Are you at all working to get published?

Distributorcap said...

i will take the Crosby STills and Nash vesion of Deja Vu

The thing is, with Palin and Sanford and Ensign and loonies like Bachman and Santorum and all the others is, they know that they can sell their fucked-up agendas to a certain portion of the public.

and they also sell it to the media, which you so adroitly cover in your post

sarah palin exists because of CNN's desire to push soap and potato chips and viagra

no other reason

mary catherine said...

can we please do some sort of 'Cyrano'-type-thing when my dad comes to visit? i get too flustered to say it well--but THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO SAY!!

dguzman said...


I've been wondering about this new "Two Way" blog that NPR has been pushing--is that supposed to be a reflection of their new "fair and balanced" approach wherein they present the truth AND a liar who lies?

I can't even watch or listen to the right-wing media anymore. I just stick to newspapers and even then, I have to avoid morons like Brooks on the editorial pages.

Moi said...

what is it when you feel like you're having deja vu, then realize that what you're "remembering" is an "experience" you had in a dream?

You know, it kind of hurts me that Jon Stewart (who I adore!) is probably the most hard-hitting, probing, complex interviewer in the big media these days. I recently re-viewed that clip from a few years back, when he was on cnn, and took tucker carlson to task for being a shit reporter. it was a moment i'd been waiting for a long time, and it seems to have passed like a tiny ship in the night.

sanford kills me. every word out of his mouth in the aftermath of the revelation was like something a teenager would write in their Harlequin novel manuscript.

why is he still in office? he DISAPPEARED from his job for several days without leaving anyone in charge, and without telling anyone where he was going. MOST people would get fired for that kind of transgression....