Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Rambling Post About Nothing In Particular At All

I learned something new today. Bufonophobia is a fear of toads, and bolshephobia is a fear of Bolsheviks. Venustrophobia is a fear of beautiful women, which I used to suffer from but don’t anymore, and dipsophobia is a fear of drinking, which I most definitely have never had (unfortunately). I discovered these and lots more at the Phobia List, which isn’t a bad way to kill a few minutes on a slow Saturday morning, particularly when, due to my pronounced lack of dipsophobia, I had a hangover. “But I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drunk,” to quote a funny old tippler I once knew. “Alcoholics go to meetings.” I was going to write something about politics, but I’m sick and damn tired of being angry and depressed. Is there a phobia for that?

Indeed there is, angrophobia.

But the best one, in my opinion, is defecaloesiophobia, which is a fear of painful bowel movements. Yet another possible side effect of paying too close attention to politics.

I don’t have much to say these days (as you can see, ha ha), because I’ve been sort of media fasting. There are times when I burn out and just have to turn it all off. The relentless barrage of noise, advertisements, celebrity gossip and general insipidity is damaging to one’s mental health. It’s all just uninteresting people doing uninteresting things uninterestingly, particularly those witless clods running for president, all of whom, with the exception of Ron Paul, can be described as either crazy, stupid, or evil.

But you just can’t escape it. I can’t even check my email without headlines popping up about some person named Amanda Knox. I do not know who this person is. I do not want to know who this person is. I do not give a fuck who this person is. But for some strange reason, influential media outlets insist that I do. Worse, they want me to care. So bits and pieces of information get electronically pipelined into my brain, a snatch here, a smidgen there. Vague impressions form, and the intended narrative gradually penetrates the fog of my hungover mind: Innocent American abused by wicked foreigners!

Well, at least the Italians rectified their error; we just ignore our mistakes. We resolve our legal ambiguities with a lethal injection (or, here in California, gas pellets).The American judicial system can’t trouble itself with sane and humane ideas like, uh, a shadow of a doubt. That kind of fastidiousness might trick people into thinking we’re civilized. The Supreme Court, which regards corporations as individuals, can’t be troubled to review the case of a very real individual who was probably unjustly convicted of murder and executed. I can clearly see that wicked bully “Nino” Scalia and the self-loathing Clarence Thomas shrugging their shoulders over lunch at the country club and saying, “Aw, fuck it. The nigger had to have been guilty of something.”

The conservatives on the Supreme Court would have been right at home in eighteenth century England, when a judge ruled that it was okay to beat your wife with a stick provided it was no thicker around than your thumb, which is where the phrase “rule of thumb” comes from.

I often used to speculate about what the long term effects of constant advertising would be on the American psyche, or our national character or whatever, but, of course, the evidence is already in. One need only take a look around. While we were busy wasting our essence on mindless consumption, driving SUVs, staring at our iPhones, gaping at celebrities, marveling at athlete’s salaries, and engaging in two of the most deplorable activities of our gadget-ridden era — tweeting and texting — our country morphed into a full-fledged plutocracy that is constantly at war.

And guess what, there isn’t a goddamn thing you or I can do about it. They’ve got us by the balls and they know it. Just how tightly do they have our ball sacks? This tightly: people are ordering food for the Wall Street protesters with their credit cards. The banks are making a profit off the people who are protesting their greed!

Fuck it. I’m taking the dog for walk.

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