12/09/2012

Breeding Contempt

A guy I knew back in the 60's stumbled on to one of my other blogs this week. Since that blog used to be attached to a business I ran for several years, he found my phone number. My wife has never been able to tell my work from her television watching, so she stumbled up the stairs with phone in hand and interrupted my work flow with my all time least favorite thing; a telephone.

If I were able to go back in time, I don't know who I'd want to eliminate first:: Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Richard Nixon, Joe McCarthy, the asshole who invented the subwoofer, or Alex G. Bell. Of all of the technological devices I've suffered in my life, I think the telephone is the most obnoxious, least civilized, most useless device in history. Yeah, maybe someday I'll desperately need to call 911 and I'll wish I had a cell phone with me in my dying moments, but I doubt it. I'd just as soon die and get it over with in my dying moments than be bothered by the usual sort of EMT who will insist on torturing me with his/her lame attempts at inserting an IV in the vicinity of a vein. Been there, done that, won't do it again.

The upside of the long, tortured conversation was that I finally installed a lock on the door to my studio. Next week, I'll work on soundproofing the door so that I won't be able to hear her knocking at the door when the damn telephone rings and she feels compelled to answer it but isn't willing to suffer the consequences of that foolish decision.

The motivation for adding a lock to the studio came at about 3AM after a night of restless reliving of that miserable conversation. I should know better. I had these same conversations with my father for 45 years. The call started innocently enough, as the caller wanted to tell me his history of western Kansas R&R bands. Again, been there, done that, won't do it again. I listened for a while, hoping for a moment to cut off the call and end the conversation before I actually began to relive some of my miserable years in Kansas. I was almost there when he made a really stupid comment about how he'd been living on federally subsidized AT&T pension and Social Security for thirty years and was worried that "that commie Obama" was going to drive the country into the ground and leave him penniless.

Like most Kansans, this is a guy who worked for a federally protected monopoly for his whole "career" and has lived off of a pension for more years than he worked. Listening to him change Faux News "history" was about all I could take and, again, I should have cut off the call. But I'm an idiot. Usually, I can keep a grip on my optimism ("'Pessimist' is what an optimist calls a realist."), but sometimes I pointlessly hope that I can get through to people who are clearly uninterested in hearing anything outside of their narrow world. This conversation will, hopefully, help remind me that is fuckin' stupid.

What I learned from this pointless "conversation" was that Glen Beck and Bill O'Reilly are "intellectuals," socialism and fascism are the same philosophy/economic system/politics (based on the overwhelming evidence that Hitler's political party was "National Socialist") and that Hitler hung out with "Bohemian liberals" before rounding up his "old friends" and incinerating them, and the rest of the mindless propaganda has congealed into a muddy goo that I can not penetrate, decipher, or purge from my memory. If I weren't worried about the effects of combining heart medications with alcohol, I'd down a bottle of Jack Daniels and try to forget about the whole thing.

His knowledge of anything outside of small town Kansas was embarrassing as was his knowledge of world and American history. His rambling defense of Faux News reminded me of the recent poll that found FN viewers would be better informed if they never pulled their heads out of their asses to get their Newspeak fix. I probably made his day by saying that I didn't believe that China has a chance in hell of becoming democratic, that 8,000 years of taking two steps back for every step forward has condemned the mainland Chinese to being what they are until the blessed asteroid eliminates the genetic stain of humanity from the earth. In the usual pseudo-concerned voice of pseudo-conservativism, he called that statement "racist." He understood me to be saying that "orientals can't be democratic." Now that is, in fact, racist, but it's what he said, not me.

Like the Chinese state, I don't think Kansans or Nebraskans or Texans or Okies can be democratic, either. Those once great populist, progressive places have purged themselves of intellectuals and creative people and what they are left with is the result of nearly a century of unintentional down-breeding. For decades, every smart kid born in those places is run out of town efficiently and completely. All of those states are single party governments and they are all Republican. I would be willing to be some of my very own money that will not change in my lifetime or my kids' lifetimes.

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