Saturday, July 04, 2009


Gov. Sarah Palin, channeling Gen. Douglas MacArthur, spun her fabulous fable in front of cameras, for her true believers. Resigning from the office of governor, with the blood of the world's most beloved moose on her hands, she behaved as if nothing had happened. Alaska would take care of itself; and in her view the sky was the limit, and she could free up her schedule to pursue the most powerful access to killing machines that presently exists, in Washington DC.

The bootheels of our civilizing force and the stamp of America on everything, is what Sarah is about; and the rest of the world is just a fresh kill, dressed out like poor Bullwinkle. Palin is worse than Boris Badenov and his sidekick Natasha, put together. Palin is the ammo queen, the absurd pinup for our shoot 'em up, militarized culture: a demon-banishing, burn-them-at-the-stake alternative; if President Obama should prove inadequate in his increasingly deceptive and secretive mission of "change you can believe in".

A dishonest leader will be exposed in good time. Before long the witnesses will strip him of his mask. Look at the struggle in Iran, where Iranians find themselves transfixed by the martyrs' blood; it's obvious that the spellbinding effect of their solidarity remains with us, as we are moved deeply; and these images stay with us long after the screen has gone dark. To witness the bravery of protesters in the streets, recalls the indignation that brings such strong resolve to the young. And when Iranians of all ages march in profound silence in their millions--even without words--they inspire us to understand something deeper in their history.

Bush, our former president, continually waged low level, covert war against that country; and his legacy builds on past interference in Iran's history, continuing the hope some have, of sowing social discord there. In America, those who take to the streets have been neatly blacked-out in the mass media; the parent corporations and their boards of directors, and their masters, control television and have drawn down a curtain, effectively screening off dissident behavior. We are so saturated as a nation with disinformation and propaganda, so dulled by a deadened, phony political life, that the minute we see something halfway real, it's not surprising that we feel somewhat more alive, as we watch these events unfold.

As a child, it was fun to watch The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. At the end of their comic escapades the two friends managed to frustrate the cranked-up scheming of the fumbling and somehow funny villains, Boris and Natasha. Usually at the end of the show the friends ("moose and squirrel") would reflect on what had happened, and sometimes would come up with an unexpectedly touching lesson, or moral of the story. So we're on our own. It just gets harder to explain the moral now that Bullwinkle is dead, so to speak. If you know what I mean.

I've been searching for what to say to Iranians for whom I feel great respect. I suspect there was foul play in Iran's election; others contest that I am naive. But repression is a language unto itself, and the exaggeration of violence, which is then added to the wearing down, the erosion of what sovereignty the people have, is expressed in the people's sense of loss and injustice. This is an indictment of any government that takes advantage of its people. Along with the issue of fraud is the politics of a cosmetic democracy.

The moral of the story is not just that a veneer of respectability covers some religious people, and a few of them are not worthy of that respect. Palin in our country represents people whose religious and ideological convictions confer rights to do the meanest things to those who are not like them, for as long as the believers can feel no remorse. This has been going on since the beginning of our country. They believe God blesses them when they look down on others, when they take without asking. The underlings are reduced to slavery and the slavemasters feel entitled to the forced labor.

No, my Iranian friends, the real moral is that we are fighting for the same things, under the eyes of those leaders who scowl at us, in our cosmetic democracies.

Happy 4th of July! I wish there were more ways to make Sarah Palin look funny.

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