Walking To the ‘Barack Candy Mountain’

The election over, a page has turned.

As I have opined previously, a major crossroad has been encountered.  The partisan battle for control of the rudder of the ship of State has resulted in a hard turn to ‘port’.  This nautical ‘left turn’ is frightening  to half of us, and cause for celebration  to the half who were able to veer the ship to the left of the fiscal iceberg which loomed ominously ahead.

Perhaps it will not matter which direction we veered to avert the fiscal disaster before us.  After all, any (hopefully) school child knows that the greater part of any iceberg looms low and wide beneath the surface.  It may be that the inane bickering in Congress and on the airwaves has kept us from realizing that we have long since passed the point, some nautical miles behind us, where prudent diversion of course either way would have kept us from the danger that looms below.  If this is the case, a ruptured keel will soon doom us all, regardless of whether it is torn asunder on the  port-side  or starboard.

If it is not the case, though, and we steam on, unscathed, to a sunset on an uncertain horizon, it is obvious that things will be different in latitudes closer to Greece than they would have been in a veer to starboard, where the latitudes are closer to Lake Woebegone.

The direction has been chosen, though, and it is clear that the momentum of the administrative and bureaucratic tonnage that groans beneath us will change our cultural sensibilities for decades to come.

As I was driving home two days after the election from my menial position as a cashier at a gas-station/convenience store, I noticed not one, but three well-illuminated billboards within a span of about twelve miles, advertising ‘1-800’ phone numbers to call for quick and trusty service for those who have :   “Had your disability claim denied?  We can help get you what you deserve”.  My mind flashed back to sit-downs with insurance clients who were exercising their disability riders on life insurance policies so that the premiums would be paid by the company.  Filling out their paperwork, it was mandatory to ask for the nature of the disability.  In every case I experienced, the ‘disability’ was not physical, or even really mental.  Matter-of-factly, I was informed by the policy holder that “work is just pressure I cannot handle”.     The Doctors’ name and number were dutifully noted, and the forms were sent in.  I never received notice that any of these claims were denied.

The dozen or so patrons I meet daily who use EBT/food stamp cards over the last year have never bought a gallon of milk; a loaf of bread; or even lunch meat.  The purchases are predominately sodas; juices; potato chip products; candy bars; ice cream and, of course; slurpees.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder.

Two Slurpees in a car cupholder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m no judge here, don’t get me wrong.  I cannot help but notice, however, that these products, regardless of what can be said about their nutritional or caloric values, are in fact the products we vend which have the highest profit per unit.  (Ours is not to wonder why; ours is just to bag the pie).

Someone should make Michelle Obama hip to this.                                                   

On this same drive home, fretting about the maxing out of my hours  at twenty-nine since the election due to the Obama-care mandate, I happened upon a sound clip on the radio of Dennis Miller,  who now has his own conservative talk-radio show, (and who is, in my estimation, much more tolerable now that he has left sports commentating.)  His reaction to the election was not one of  bitterness; vitriol; or vindictiveness, but, rather one of resignation.   He noted that a guy with a family these days who makes a little over $50,000 a year can make about the same by going on the public dole.  Indeed, I know many at work who purposely cap their hours to less than twenty per week so as not to limit their eligibility for the free healthcare; food stamps; and income supplements they get by NOT working.  There are many small businesses today which cannot find needed help because they cannot match what ‘Big Brother’ pays them to be idle.

Once you latch onto an “Obama phone”; it is apparently difficult to give up those 4 or 5 hundred free minutes per month.

A switch of the radio station resulted in hearing an old “hobo” song from the twenties and thirties:  “The Big Rock-Candy Mountain”.  As I listened to its’ lyric describing the reverie of a perfect world from the point of view of  a hobo, I could not help but think of the similarity of that dream to what is unfolding today.

I’ve modified the lyric……the tune can be heard by clicking on the link below:

“The Barack Big Rock Candy Mountain”
(originally by Haywire Mac, 1928)

 

 

One evening as the polls shut down

And the pundits’ bile was churning,

Down the street came a vagrant hiking,

And he said, “Folks, I’m not turning

I’m headed for a land that’s far away

Besides the crystal fountains

So come with me, we’ll go and see

The Barack Candy Mountain”

 

“On the Barack Candy Mountain,

There’s a land that’s fair and bright,

Where the handouts grow on bushes

And you sleep warm every night.

Where the Swisher Sweets are plenty

And the sun shines every day

And the birds and the bees

And the cigarette trees

And the Red Bull springs

Where the bluebird sings

On the Barack Candy Mountain.”

 

“In the Barack Candy Mountains

The Obama phones are ‘smart’

And the TVs all are HD flat

And Republicans have hearts

Convenience stores are full of booze

Your Lotto picks win every day

Oh I’m bound to go

Where there ain’t no snow

Where the rain don’t fall

The winds don’t blow

In the Barack Candy Mountain.”

 

“In the Barack Candy Mountain,

All the churches give to you

And the little streams of Rolling Rock

Come trickling down so cool

The police have to tip their hats

And the store clerks all are blind

There’s a lake of brew

And of Slurpees too

You can paddle all around it

In a big canoe

In the Barack Candy Mountain.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In the Barack Candy Mountain,

Networks all are CNN

And there’ll be more reality shows,

In slots where Fox has been.

You stay on ‘disability’,

And your checks come EFT

I’m bound to stay

Where you sleep all day,

Where they hung the jerk

That invented work

In the Barack Candy Mountain.”

“On the Barack Candy Mountain

All the ballots are absentee

And the only lines to stand in

Are for RedBox DVD’s

On this mountain have no fear

Of Tea Parties or of work

To us it’s owed

A tattooed bar-code

small price to pay

To not have to pray

On the Barack Candy Mountain.”

 

experiment4

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Walking the Capitol Steps–(A Long, Tot Hummer in the Sting Swates)

The campaign for the 2012 presidential election is going along pretty much as I predicted.  It’s going to get much uglier.  Already overwhelmed by the plethora of ads both sides are buying, I find myself  jaded to the point of apathy.   But there is no escape.

sameoldI live in one of the handful of “swing states” that both campaigns are targeting with 40% of their campaign coffers.  Add to this the incessant yammering of the “talking heads” at CNN; Fox; MSNBC; etc., and it seems you are going to have to become more  familiar with your DVD collection, or, to at least become aware of the location of the nearest RedBox, if you are to enjoy any of your repose before your television between now and November.  

It is sad that the media has been successful in steering the emphasis away from the real issues at hand, and instead, substituted the “gaffe du jour“; the “YouTube moment”; and even the filleting of the CEO of Chick-fil-A. as the real “meat” of the contest.   It is even sadder that our indifference in this, our  “apathy”  stage of  this deteriorating empire, encourages the chicanery.   ‘Slogans’ have given way to ‘keywords’ and ‘tags’.  Party “platforms” have all but disappeared from public view, lest they become “trapdoors” unlatched by a random “live mike” or the fuzzy, (but remunerated) recollections of a high school acquaintance.

Indeed, the campaigns have become so comic; so surreal, that, were an alien  to peruse the media as he orbited prior to landing, he would be quite reasonably certain that the contest is between a Kenyan socialist from Hawaii and a hairdresser (since high school) from Michigan. He would note that unemployment compensation creates  jobs  (Who knew?);  that the most important laws and most comprehensive administrative regulations passed in Congress are actually passed before they are read,  and that a reasonable result of having produced 163,000 new jobs is an increased unemployment rate (8.3%).

Strange place, this USA.

Indeed, so strange, that I find it sadly pointless to debate any of the substantive issues, regardless of my political leanings, since it is these self same  issues which are pointedly ignored by the media due to the revenue magnetism of ‘reality” genre television, and by the candidates and their handlers out of simple convenience.   When I started this blog, I looked forward to using my education in political science; law; history and literature to writing essays and commentary which would do George Will or Mike Royko proud.  But, as apathy has become the grease by which we hasten our descent to a total state of dependence on governmental largesse merited not by individual worth, but by common demography,  it seems clear that it’s the sound-bites; the teleprompters: and the “fuzzy math” of  vote tabulation which will win the day for whichever side is victorious.

As such, in the interest of my sanity, I have deleted the many drafts I have started, on everything from ‘flat-taxes’, to media de-contextualization of sound-bites; to Wall Street coziness with Congress, and beyond.  I find that the only hope I can have to reach out to those still curious enough to look at the issues is by helping to convince them of the media’s high-jacking of the process by exposing the sheer silliness of its’ style and emphasis.  If we are serious about changing course, or serious about keeping the current course, we owe it to ourselves to look beyond the charlatans of the media and to look for the real beef in the issues.

As a “fair and balanced” observer of the political scene, I read and watch multiple sources of news:  Fox; CNN; RealClearPolitics; Politico‘ and PBS and NPR.  One of my favorite broadcasts on NPR is the semiannual presentation put on by a group called “The Capitol Steps“.  This comedy troupe is well accomplished in writing “send-ups” of all that is political,  and provides a merry mix of song; narrative and dramatic vignettes which spares no side or faction from its’  ‘lampoonery’.  My favorite part of the show is what I refer to as “Alliterative Dyslexia”, wherein the beginning consonants  or complete syllables of words in phrases and names, are switched for each other, mostly with hilarious results.  ( Some people refer to these as “Spoonerisms”….  I like my name better)

I present the following not to be cute; nor to supportive of one side or the other.  I present the following inanity to illustrate just how close the real world of the media is to a state of inanity; and to how little it still yet takes to see it for what it is:

It was a sot hummer.  Way HOO tot.  Ho sot he could stardly hand it anymore.  He bopped open a peer, and cat on the souch.  Rurfing away on the semote, he was coon sussing at all the comitical polercials.

“Ritt Momney” wants to Taise your raxes, middle America!”  (click)

“Obama now supports  “may garriage”…..but nat’s thot what he said in 2008.  He’ll do anything to vet your gote”.  (click)

“Ritt Momney exported jousands of thobs when he ran Cain Rapital.  Was one of those yobs jours?”  (click)

“Rarry Heid and Pancy Nelosi are bending us into spankruptcy.  And that’s bust the jeginning.”   (Click)

“Here at Fox, we’re bair and falanced……let’s look at this clip of Miss Chratthews talking about how, when he thinks about Barak Obama, it sends ‘lingles dunning rown his teg.’ “.   (click)

“Remocratic Depresentative Waxine Maters sez:  ‘The Pea Tarty can ho to gell!’  ”  (click)

“Obama, on tampaign crail , reminds business owners:  “You bidn’t duild that.  Hovernment gelped.”  “(click)

“Commander-in Chief’ cispronounces ‘more’ as ‘morpse” …. Taulty feleprompter blamed”  (click)

“Obama says some Pennsylvania voters prefer to ‘cling to their gaith  and their funs’.”‘   (click)

“Ritt quoted as promising 12 jillion new mobs in first term”     (click)

“Ritt bights fack at allegations of tullying as a been.”  (click)

“Obama bires fack at suggestion he is flanning the fames of ‘class warfare’ ”  (click)

“Justice Department sues states for voter I.D. laws which violate the Rill of Bights”  (click ‘off’)

He rossed the temote on the table and got another feer from the bridge.  He rolled the can across his brow, defreshed by its’  skoolness against his rin.  Opening it, he took a swong lig and tried to sake some mense out of what he had just seen.

He was underemployed at a jeager mob. The hortgage on his mouse was still underwater.  Gasoline was pushing four gollars a fallon, and it was harder this summer than ever before just to put tood on the fable.  None of what he had just seen provided a plogent  can for stump-jarting the economy.  All he could fook lorward to was  the coming deventions and the conbates.  There, spectacle would surely overcome  substance; rehearsal would trump refutation.

He thridled at the bought that campaigns had degenerated into a slicing and dicing of the electorate into ‘sting-swates’,  where bace-raiting and frass cliction would be used to vet out the gote in an all-out effort to take the wheel of the bus  leaving Dependence, Illinois in November, and arriving in Bondage, Georgia soon thereafter.

He sighed.  It moesn’t datter who is driving when you can’t range the choute.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” —Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816

The Decline of a Nation.  (Copyright (C) 1996-2012 Probe Ministries)

 The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.