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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 32,790

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"Antichrist" you say? As God as my witness, I'll never pass up a chance to repost this

From http://www.dumbingofage.com/2016/blog/antichrist/

A little context: the cartoonist, Dave Willis, grew up in a strict conservative evangelical household, and Joyce, the little kid/older kid/young woman in this progression is something of an alter-ego of his about how that bubble bursts for some people, and of some of the hypocrisies that manifest in the people that never leave it.

Oh, plenty of people know about it...

...although less so among Americans, because it was before we got involved.

Virtual shots of Chinaco Anejo for everyone!

Gotta see if the real thing is available anywhere near me.

So which one will take off one shoe and bang it on the podium?

They "surrendered" to it because all their success rides on a cushion of rabid foam

The policies of the Movement Conservatives who took over the party, and their wealthy backers/allies, aren't popular and couldn't get passed on their own merit. They want to restore the Gilded Age, where wealthy men had few if any impediments to doing whatever they wanted, and they liked the government they bought. They want to wipe out every law and policy put in place since the late 19th century that works for ordinary people.

How many votes would they get running on that?

Not many, so instead they promote rage and foam, but tried to keep it under control. Buckley gets a lot of credit for sidelining the Bircher leadership, but he and his crowd were hardly less extreme. They were just better at strategy. There was no hope of splitting, say, conservative Jewish voters away from the Democrats if the face of conservatism were people who reflexively spout anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

They still encouraged bile and foam from the general public. In the 70s they used early forms of data mining to identify hot-button issues that could be used to split New Deal-era voting blocks, foremost among them abortion and guns.

By the 80s they were driving the Rockefeller Republicans, who they considered quislings, to political extinction. They'd gotten the numbers they needed to not bother compromising.

All through the late 70s, 80s, and 90s they encouraged axe-grinding and played footsie with RW crusades in order to get votes. Newt Gingich and Frank Luntz tested and compiled radicalizing language and promoted its use by Republican candidates.

They scare-mongered and scandal-mongered and played to all the bigotries and pet peeves, and called it "playing hardball". They wanted to get conservative Republicans elected, and there was no part of that job that involved "dialing it back." They painted Democrats as supervillains: utterly-corrupt, moral degenerates out to destroy the nation and all that's good and holy to get their voters all hot-blooded and into the voting booth.

Their entire success has been built on not compromising. The closest they come is when they act to blunt or stall actions by Democrats until Republicans are back in the driver's seat again.

But the drawback is: When you paint the story that way, it's supposed to end with you bringing the bad guys to justice. They rot in jail, or better yet get hanged or fried. Blow up the Death Star. Drop the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. The Enemy surrenders unconditionally and their symbols get blown up.

They turned the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Salome. Salome is the base, and she grew increasingly pissed that the establishment Herods weren't bringing her the heads she'd asked for.

They turned the Party of Abe into the Party of Ahab. Ahab is the base, who if their chests were cannons they'd shoot their hearts out like cannonballs to trigger the libs.

The built a base that wants this:

But never gets it.

When you tell that story for decades, continually amping it up to keep the audience's blood at a rolling boil, you create an expectation that you can never really deliver on. You can justify decades of investigations and re-investigations and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-investigations, but that's not going turn up anything that will hold up in court. So you put yourself into the position of portraying the other side as unbearably evil and an active threat, and then don't do anything about it. The base still has their hot buttons pushed, still believes every word of it, they just start thinking you're ineffectual at best, or more likely are part of the problem.

Real "cancel culture": For Better Or For Worse, 1993

In one of my captions for today's TOON post, I repeat a question I've asked a lot lately: "Does anybody actually use 'woke' and 'cancel culture' anymore except right-wing assholes?" They're the new favorite chew toys, only partially at the expense of the quarter-century favorite, "political correctness."

They seem to just latch onto these things to vomit bile into, long after the original contexts and people who used them in those contexts have discarded them like worn-out underwear. They were useful at the time, but reasonable people move on.

In this frame of mind, while checking on non-political cartoons that are sometimes worth including, such as Non Sequitur and Pearls Before Swine, my eyes fell on Lynn Johnston's slice-of-family-life For Better Or For Worse (now ended but in perpetual reruns). And boy, did I remember a rock-solid example of "cancel culture" in action. Real cancel culture, the right-wing kind.

In 1993, she was contemplating why one of the regular supporting characters had drifted out of use, and getting a handle on the character (Lawrence, one of the neighbor kids and childhood friend to Patterson family's son Micheal) to better include him. As she put it, "After 'being' with him for some time, I realized the reason he was having so much trouble communicating with Michael and his friends was because Lawrence, now in his late teens, was different. Lawrence was gay."

So, she came up with a four-week story where he comes out to his friend, and his mother and step-dad.

And that was simply beyond the pale for some people.

From https://www.fborfw.com/features/lawrence/index.php
A Major Controversy
Within one week, nineteen papers had cancelled For Better or For Worse outright. Editors who decided to run the series were attacked for having the gall to do so. Those who chose not to run it were accused of "censorship." Editors and publishers were damned if they did, and damned if they didn't. They called the syndicate. Editors at Universal Press worked overtime, diffusing the anger, answering questions, calming, and reassuring these people who were being harassed, picketed, and were in the eye of a storm generated by ignorance. Those editors who wished to confront me personally were given my phone number. My phone rang constantly from 7 am to 10 pm every day. I answered all my calls. I spoke with everyone who needed to know why, what was I trying to do? Did I realize what I had done?

Editors, particularly from smaller communities, were in a most uncomfortable position. In rural areas, where everybody knows everyone else, they were singled out, their children were harassed at school. One editor confessed to me that his brother was gay. He was 100 percent supportive, but if anyone in his area knew that he was in favor of running the story, he would lose his job.

The "No" Mail
It was mostly from the United States that the sound was heard. Canadian papers carried the pro and con letters on the editorial pages. There were two cancellations and a few letters came to me, but by and large, it was a southern and very religious population that responded first and loudest and with a clenched, unyielding fist.

I cannot deny that it was upsetting. When 1,000 people organized to cancel their subscriptions to a Memphis paper, one editor's bitterness came through loud and clear. I had no right to "do this" to people. This subject was best left alone. I think the letter that hurt the most, was one of the first I received. It was from a woman who said she had loved my work for years but I was now no longer welcome in her home. She enclosed about a dozen yellowed strips she had kept on her refrigerator. That made me cry.

All of this, we called the "no" mail.

But also:
As the mail arrived, my assistant and I sorted the letters into boxes marked "Yes", "No" and "Articles" (we had many, many newspaper clippings!). Altogether, over 2,500 personal letters were counted, and, of these responses, over 70 percent were positive.

Our Funeral Home is Overwhelmed With Bodies

Caitlin Doughty is a Los Angeles-area funeral home owner and is host of the YouTube channel Caitlin Doughty Ask A Mortician

She's fine with "big government" and thinks we need a lot more of certain kinds of it, really fast.



Dammit, champaign cork! Cooperate!

on edit: Whew! Moment-spoiling crisis averted.

I don't think they're going to be able to afford a place on the Black Sea...

...but I'm sure Vlad will let them set up shop in a suitable location.

(Severny Island, above the Arctic Circle. Site of the biggest bomb in human history. It doesn't get more suitable for a Trump than that.)
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