(June 10, 2004)
We live in Nasty Nation. All the speeches about how wonderful and forgiving the American people are---bunk. This is a society of smartasses. The Snide States of America. Snickering, sneering, snarling are the sine qua non.
First Enron trader: "...All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California?"
Second Enron trader: "Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to f------ vote on the butterfly ballot."
And. . .
"He just f--s California," one Enron trader says in a celebratory tone. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
Those tapes of Enron employees chortling over the defrauding of ordinary citizens in California are as American as Snapple Lite.
Sen. Barbara Boxer doesn't think so, though. She said she doesn't know anyone who speaks like those naughty Enron traders! Hey, Senator, who are your friends? I'd like to meet them. I don't know enough nice people. You really aren't acquainted with a single soul who speaks Enron-ese? Who churlishly laughs and makes dull-witted, profanity-ridden sarcastic remarks about the criminal mistreatment of fellow citizens? I submit, Sen. Boxer, that you are out of touch with American Reality. Don't you read your e-mail?
I foolishly wrote a rather sane column for a right-wing website a few years ago, only to be inundated weekly by Real American e-mail. Suggestions that I "go f--- myself" were standard; the more "Christian" readers offered that I would soon be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Well, they were close; I 'm stuck in L.A..) I got a lesson in Real American 101, and realized what a misfit I am. For starters, I'm polite, and I have all my front teeth.
Whoops! See, they've even gotten me speaking stinko lingo.
Real Americans are self-centered, cigarette-sucking, Diet Coke-swilling, "you're in my way" louts with hamburger-puffed hinds and refined sugar in their guts. Derision is their vision. Real Americans don't say please and thankyou, they say "What's your f---ing problem?" and "F--- off!" or, often as not, they just grunt. Real Americans are xenophobe champs, treating the rest of the world as their playground (at best.) They carry on merrily about "frogs" and "krauts" and "wops" and "slopes" and "sand niggers."
A lyrical bunch!
He was Dr. Frankenstein, and the Real American populace his monster with the bad brain.
Real Americans adore mayhem and carnage, especially in their news and entertainment, and they just love movie characters who make snide, snickering, snarly little jokes (just like the Enron traders!). From Eddie Murphy's manic jackass in "Shrek 2" to the ass jokes jacking up "Soul Plane" to the carnal cattiness of "Extreme Dating" and the back-stabbing bitchiness of "Survivor," Real America is hypertrophically pissy, scatalogical, profanity-laden, and mean, mean, mean.
Other than that, they're fine.
Real Americans also enjoy radio. They listen to Rush Limbaugh, O'Reilly and other poisonous personalities pushing vicious propaganda with a smarmy smugness, and they eat it up. As a result, Real Americans think "liberals" (anyone with a humanitarian impulse) should be executed for treason, just like one of the Real American heroes, Ann Coulter, has said to great applause.
And Real Americans have trouble with grammar and syntax. They say "I seen," "There's lots," "I got mine." "Cool," "awesome," and "f---ed-up" are their only adjectives; they have no idea what apostrophes are for, and they spell like Dennis the Menace. They are open-minded, though, every bit as much as Britney Spears is modest; and their charity begins at home. . .and ends there. Real Amerians live for "buttcrack" quips in sitcoms, believe that NPR is "commie," and think the torture at Abu Ghraib was funny.
In fact, the dumb beasts who sexually degraded prisoners in Abu Ghraib are perfect examples of Real Americans! The well-fed lummoxes who rode on the back of the old Iraqi woman, pretending she was a donkey; the women who played with the genitals of the male prisoners, and fiendishly forced them to masturbate; the bosses who sanctioned this stuff (right up to the White House)---they all have every bit as much integrity and high style as those Enron traders.
Yes, we even have a Real American commander-in-chief. Remember what President Bush said as governor of Texas, when recounting how convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker pleaded for her life? By all accounts, the woman had been rehabilitated in prison, and wished to spend the rest of her days there ministering to others. But Bush screwed up his face, raised his voice to a falsetto, and smirked, "please don't kill me!"
Haw, haw! That's purdy funnee, George. Yes, Real Americans think that death is a real scream!
FDR gave us the New Deal, Reagan gave us the New Venal.
The "butterfly ballot" remark in the Enron traders' comment was the tipoff that this was not just good ol' traditional nastiness. Remember all the knee-slapping about how stupid those Florida voters were because they couldn't figure out that ballot? Well, I looked at the ballot, and the names did not line up with the holes. Simple.You could not tell for sure which name went with which hole. That's the truth of it. That it would confuse elderly voters is more than understandable.
But the Real Americans---who think empathy is for chumps---howled and doubled over and sucked their cigarettes and guffawed great clouds of smoke! Sniggering cyber-remarks filled computer screens like Oprah fills a dress. Of course, a lot of those remarks included references to the Florida voters being Jews. Because real Americans are also anti-Semitic as hell, though they're careful about displaying it too openly, now that the commie Jew ACLU and commie Jew Anti- Defamation League are gunning for them.
Oh, I hear you. It's just a "few rotten apples," like Bush said about Abu Ghraib. Really? Is that why people on cell phones driving $40,000 SUVs as big as locomotives give you the finger if you so much as say "careful!" when they nearly mow you down in crosswalks? Is that why "customer service" has become an oxymoron? Is that why billboards say "you can rest when you die"? Is that why the woman art gallery owner in San Francisco was beaten and terrorized for displaying a painting depicting Abu Ghraib torture?
Rotten apples? Nah, the whole Real American barrel was poisoned, beginning in the '80s, when the late President Ronald "Deregulation" Reagan villified "big government" (read: liberals), assaulted organized labor, cut taxes for the upper classes, and slashed social programs. FDR gave us the New Deal, Reagan the New Venal. Remember "greed is good" and "the Me Generation?" That didn't happen under Reagan by accident. Rush Limbaugh came along a few years later and cemented the whole deal.
Limbaugh, of course, is the kingpin Real American. Rush not only tapped hatred, he fed it and brought it to life. He was Dr. Frankenstein, and the Real American populace the monster with the bad brain. Limbaugh said "feminazi," and the monster growled at any woman seeking equal protection under the law. Rush said "Hillary," and the Monster rampaged. Limbaugh galvanized the snickerers, sneerers, and snarlers, and made millions from it, turning them into one of the ugliest political forces since H. Ross Perot. And credit Real Rush with all-but-destroying Wild Bill Clinton, whose "scandals" are to Bush's what William Hung's voice is to Placido Domingo's.
Of course, Limbaugh had lots of help in juicing up the Real American Monster. Especially from his fellow Real American entertainer, Howard Stern, who made his millions by lampooning retards, carminating on the air (look it up, Real Americans), "butt bongo," and being nothing if not consistently crass and derisive regarding, well, just about everything.
Factor in an avaricious, amoral, prurient, puerile corporate media looking to tittillate behind the pretext of "giving the people what they want," and you get the whole glorious Real American picture.
Oh, not quite. I forgot the Internet! Egged on by Limbaugh, Real Americans found a way to share their hatred, coast to coast. They surfed the 'Net, reading only websites that reinforced their Real American prejudices, then snarled, and sneered and snickered right on-line! Made all the "buttcrack" and "butterfly ballot" jokes they wanted---not to mention nigger and spic and chink and kike jokes---from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico to Intercourse, Pennsylvania.
Yes, the Internet gave voice to the "heart and soul" of America, and the Enron Traders brought it out of the cyber-closet, revealing it as a shrunken, puny, wretched thing..
"Now, you can see into the heart and soul of the scandal," Senators Boxer and Dianne Feinstein said of the Enron traders' comments in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Now you can see into the heart and soul of Real Americans.
And if you disagree, well, you know what you and Grandma Millie can do.
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