Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's been a day

I was dragged to a park in Dundalk, my absolute favorite place in all of Maryland, where an aging minstrel named Dennis DeYoung (previously unknown to me) played various ditties, some of which I vaguely recalled from some Reagan-era nightmare. The temp reached 105, the humidity factor was enough to turn mashed potato flakes into mashed potatoes right in the box, amplified music from the unbeloved 80s reached ear-splitting levels, and I was surrounded Dundalkians.

I'm trying to think of a way the situation could have been more hellish.

Maybe if I had been manacled to a Randroid. Yeah. That would have been worse. A Randroid who kept insisting that Mistress Ayn's philosophy was the quintessence of morality because something something initiation of force something something John Galt something something this city is afraid of me I have seen its true face the streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown...

Where was I? Oh yes. Dundalk.

A street fair. In a park. With music. I did some sketches to pass the time.

At one of the stands, someone was giving away these strange, rectangular objects which the Dundalkians (much like the apes in 2001) regarded as alien artifacts. These artifacts were, in fact, books.

I picked up a copy of Gore Vidal's The Golden Age, the finale to his American history series. This volume covers the era from 1939 to the 1950s -- and goddam right that was a golden age. Vidal probably uses the term ironically, but I would apply it, with neither blush nor smirk, to entire era of "New Deal normal," 1933 to 1980. We were all Keynesians then, which meant that our many problems were reparable.

Before the fucking libertarians and neo-liberals and neo-conservatives commandeered America's discourse, we had hope. There was war, there was racism, there was madness and corruption -- but there was also prosperity, international prestige and a respect for education. Now, we've whelped up a generation of dimwits capable of the hilarity documented here.

Apparently, there are scads of right-wingers so outraged by the Supreme Court's ACA decision that they are tweeting threats to move to Canada. Yes, Canada. Examples:
I'm moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist.
#SCOTUS holds up free healthcare for everyone?! Screw this commie country, I'm moving to #Canada #whoswithme
Anyone who thinks that the ACA equals "free healthcare for everyone" has achieved a truly Dundalkian level of doltishness. I like this response:

By the way, don't let anyone lie to you about Canada's health care system: It's great. I've seen it up close and personal. Next time a libertarian spreads falsehoods about the way those damned bolshevik northerners doctor you up, ask if he or she has ever actually spent time in a Canadian hospital.

If libertarian ex-pats overrun the place, they'll turn it into a terrifying corporate wasteland. The national anthem will need new lyrics:

O Canada
Belongs to Saint Ayn Rand
Never expect
to get a helping hand
With Nietzschean will we say the rich
must always live tax-free
And if you're poor then just lie down
and take the rich man's pee.
Sick folks should just
die quietly
Oh Canada
Upon the poor we pee!
Oh Canada
Upon the poor we pee!

And on an unrelated topic: Pepsi is now adorning cans of pop with images of Michael Jackson. I hope his heirs got paid in advance. The company burnt him once before.
Keynsianism continued under Reagan to fuel the economy out of the '82 recession but with a very cynical wrinkle--it was military Keynsianism, a program no administration has had the courage to shrink. It's still here, just in a monstrously mutated form.
Cans of "pop"? Wow, you really are becoming an east coaster.
"I'm trying to think of a way the situation could have been more hellish."

... And you came home to an evening of monsters storms and power outages?
Paul, you shame me. It is indeed true that many people had it much, much worse on that evening. In my defense, though, the piece I wrote was intended to be amusing; my complaints weren't serious.

The monster storm hit my part of town suddenly. In a short while, it was just a memory. Yet not far away, people suffered outages which may be ongoing.
This piece (and sketch!) is highly amusing, even tho, yes, some of us are facing continuing outages. In fact, I'm bringing my mom to Baltimore tomorrow to escape the outages here in Northern VA. I managed to get her to sit a while in my AC'd car while I recharged the phone, but none of us "kids" could get her or my aunt to leave their darkened, overheated homes this evening. Her #1 concern is that we caught the deer eating out of her birdfeeder.

Regarding the ongoing Libertarian nightmare, was it you or Reclusive Leftist who linked to the Wonkette piece about Rand Paul trying to insert a "life begins at conception" amendment to a flood bill? It boggles the brain more than heat exhaustion...
I am a Dundalkian, born and raised in a town that broke its back producing the cars and steel that built America. It is unfortunate that children are ashamed to say they come from this once great town, not because it is a terrible place to live (people are actually quite friendly here, probably why you felt uncomfotable), but because people like you insult the entire town every chance that you get.

It is true that there are some unsavory and unglamourous people in this town. That's true of many small towns, especially towns where all of the major industry folded up, leaving so many without their earned careers or pensions. There are a lot of people who are still struggling to recover from losing high paying jobs that they held for 25 years. There are poor and there are wealthy here. There are professionals, educators, and investors here. Kevin plank has recently taken quite an interest in this town, as well. It needs support and a chance to rebuild itself. It needs people like you to stop shaming generations of people, based on what you've seen at the Heritage Fair. Loads of people, much like yourself, travel to that fair. Lots of people would have looked at you, much like you looked at those around you, as a Dundalkian. I can't judge by your looks, but by your writing, you sounds like a real douche.
A real douche who is afraid to allow people to freely comment on his writing , it seems.
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