Sunday, January 04, 2009

Good Enough, Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Him

Looks like Al Franken, author of Lies, and the Lying Liars who Tell Them: a Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, is going to win the long contested Minnesota senate race. I'm sure Norm Coleman will raise a stink but, gods, please let this stick.

Now, I don't necessarily hate Republicans. I just think their social, political, and economic philosophies are inherently destructive as they proceed from fundamental misunderstandings of human nature and the human condition, whether they come to their political viewpoint from poverty, like Joe the Plumber who complains of taxation from Obama that he will not receive interfering with his purchasing of a company he can't afford, or from wealth, like the automobile industry executives who took private jets to Washington to beg for a no strings attached bailout for their companies dying under their mismanagement (or the congressmen who didn't grant a conditional bailout and allowed conditions for thousands of people to lose their jobs, for that matter). But that doesn't mean I think Republicans are always wrong. Just out of touch.

Kind of like the fairy lady in the new Sirenia Digest vignette, "Murder Ballad No. 5", a story Caitlin says she wrote as a reaction to the culture of happy-fairy-healing within the modern magic/pagan community. I was uncertain, at first, about the relevance of the first part of the story, concerning a frightened young girl's realisation she's a fairy, to the later part of the story concerning the psychopathic fairy woman the girl eventually became, until I remembered Caitlin's stated motive for writing the story and I remembered that the young girl's life had been described as "easy and kind" before she learned she was a fairy. The point being that as the girl moved from a world that treated her kindly to a world where she enjoyed incredible magical power, she never actually learned the inherent value of human life. The message is old, but clear and important; absolute power corrupts absolutely. When you've been raised to expect everything you want just to come to you, it can make you kind of a dick.

I've been catching up on Amanda Palmer's blog to-day, and she posted this video of Bill Hicks;

For a long time, I just didn't get Bill Hicks. Sure, I agreed with just about everything he said, but I didn't quite understand the value of him saying it--it didn't seem to me he put things in an exceptionally funny or clever manner. But watching this video, it occurred to me that sometimes things need to be said as plainly as possible.

As for whether or not I think New Kids on the Block style boy bands resemble Nazi youths, while it may sound exactly like the hyperbole Fox News might use to describe the Left, I think there is an inherent danger in teaching children to love things that are not given in love. A machine designed to make money off aesthetic and sexual seduction while giving as little as possible in return creates a sort of fundamental inequality. It preps people to follow instructions without questioning because they've trained themselves to avoid trying to take full account of their objects of worship.

I should also mention I thought the second Sirenia Digest story was rather pretty, despite the fact that I can't think of anything else to say about it, since, once again, the Digest doesn't seem to be drawing many comments (please, people, if you read it and liked it at all, go comment). I'm not as irritated by the lack of comments this month, though, since I thought to myself it is pretty absurd to expect an artist's friends to read every little thing she publishes, and maybe Caitlin's just attracted more people who are interested in being her friends than in being readers of her fiction. Nothing wrong with that.

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