Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I drove some distance to watch one of those "town hall" health care meetings which were going on all across the country this past summer into fall. I'm pretty sure I blogged about it. I wasn't in Eric Massa's district, but I was just across the line, and this was my nearest opportunity.
I remember being really really impressed by his skill at oration, to a crowd spilled out of doors and without a microphone. I was especially impressed with his patience, and with his ability actually to listen, even to those people - and there were plenty - who were planted there to provoke a fight; to heckle and to present absurdist distorted positions. I credit Massa himself with keeping the temperature cool. But maybe it was just the blue-blood of this particular ex-urban and very very Republican venue.
I've just learned that I have the opposite of blue blood (that hemophiliac disease remarked in the British royal lineage, which provoked some insights into genetic inheritance, and still gets used in high school to teach them), which is so often synecdoche for wealth and privilege. At least poetically, my blood's hyper-clotting factor is descended from the Mayflower, which sailed from that town in Holland - Leiden - where a clustering of this factor was found. For sure, these genes are now implicated in a surprising number of Americans' lives. If you do the math.
I never watch Glenn Beck - I only have rabbit ears for one thing, and for another, I find him incredibly distasteful. But when I've seen him, there's always something almost endearing. He speaks for that part in each of us which just basically knows the differences between right and wrong, and is tired of all the bullshit in the way of its clear presentation. He knows in his guts that the way "the system" works is corrupted to its core.
Which makes it at least a little bit ironic that here's this guy, willing to go on Beck's show, who is saying out loud and publicly that it's not exactly the corruption that made him crack. It's the incredible frustration of being locked into a system bent on deadlocking by invocation of party discipline. And Glenn Beck calls this a waste of time??!!!
That's really really confusing to me. It's as if Beck not only doesn't want to, but quite literally can't let go of his name calling. He must get precisely the same heroin rush to his ego by using the term "Progressive" as an epithet, that Bible readers get when they rote-recite without reading those passages which make them feel "saved."
This right there represents the depths of immorality. I don't give a fig what Massa's sexual proclivities might be, and it doesn't sound like he's ever coerced anyone into anything. If he made someone uncomfortable, then he should pay the price, which shouldn't be all that steep. But Beck's hanging on that tightly to his right to push buttons and make gobs of money off it - that should be punished handsomely. That's the core of sin.
Beck says he's sticking in the fight, knowing full well that he'll be taken down by the "establishment," mocking Massa for waving his white flag. While Massa confesses openly that he's "whipped." He can't do it any more.
If you'd watched the man in front of this manipulated and largely hostile crowd, you'd realize that he's not lying. He had truly taken on the hardest job on the planet only to discover that all the hard work is rendered as if for naught by a system bent on gridlock. Why would anyone want to do it unless they were making the millions Glenn Beck makes?
I celebrate the man for refusing to be our slave anymore. For placing himself in the jaws of Glenn Beck, where only a fool would think he might actually come through alive. This man's my hero for a day, perhaps for longer. Fuck you Beck, and the horse you rode in on. This is my country too, and I've got the bloodline to prove it. I'm an immigrant like nearly every single soul among this nation of interlopers. Not a single one of us has any right to judge another. Certainly not you with your lily-white tongue flapping.