July 22nd, 2004

The Logic of Middle America

The worst thing progressives can do right now is condescend to the world's Wal-Mart shoppers. We need to be building bridges, not blowing them up. But it sure is hard to resist the urge.

Take this story on a recent poll in Missouri. While I'm heartened to see that the race is still shaping up to be a dead heat, the specifics depress me:
Kerry did better than Bush among the respondents on the issues of protecting the middle class, improving health care, keeping America prosperous, improving education, holding down federal spending, strengthening Social Security and creating jobs.

Bush was favored for sharing the values of the respondents, holding the line on taxes, keeping the country safe from terrorists and handling the situation in Iraq.
I imagine that respondents would also favor Bush's handling of the situation in Iran. Because that's shaping up to be the next situation, isn't it?

I suppose it doesn't matter that the Bush Administration created the situation in Iraq and will likely do the same in Iran. You have to admire the wit of a foreign policy dedicated to getting the United States into trouble that inspires ordinary Americans to close ranks beyond the troublemakers. How can we argue with this sort of logic?:
James Adams, a retired international consultant who lives in Forsyth, favored Bush because of his experience.

"You don't change horses in the middle of a stream," he said. "We need to get out of Iraq, and he has plans for doing that."
He has plans? I should darned well hope so.

What if the horse has no intention of making it to the opposite bank?
  • Current Music
    September 11, 2001 Speech - George W. Bush

Show Me Something Good

Here I am writing about Missouri and the always-interesting themonkeybear, who actually lives in Missouri, describes a visit he received from a woman, Jeanne Kirkton, going door to door to promote her campaign for the state Senate. Her website directs readers to a site for the state's Democratic party which contains a political blog. And the blog, in turn, links to Eric Alterman, which almost completes the circle, since Alterman linked to that Believer piece yesterday, a fact noted by cpratt yesterday. I'm not sure that qualifies as "articulation" in the sense that Stuart Hall and other post-Gramscians intended, but every coupling counts.
  • Current Music
    Hickory Wind - Gillian Welch - Return Of The Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons


I've been thinking a lot about evolution lately. I wonder, for example, whether the use and abuse of drugs might be considered a form of evolutionary test, a way to make up, however imperfectly, for the absence of immediate threats to survival among the privileged people of the developed world. I doubt whether there's a scientific basis for this hypothesis. But I am nonetheless taken with with idea that something deep within us cries out for near-death experiences. Perhaps the fondness for fast food could be explained with the same logic.

Anyway, all that contemplation of the human brain frying over easy in a vintage Lodge skillet came to mind when I read this story about a monkey that has, at least temporarily, "evolved" into bipedality:

Could brain damage unlock the doors to a brave new world?

  • Current Music
    Cardigans vs Destiny's Child - My Favorite Name - Go Home Productions - Mash-Ups Vol. 1