Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For the Catfood Commission

For the Catfood Commission and its goal of eviscerating Social Security and Medicare:

Today is Bastille Day. This is a fine time to reminisce about the usefulness of making policy recommendations that basically boil down to, "let them (the elderly) eat catfood". Old people don't move fast, but they have a lot of time on planet and plenty of cunning ways to punish those who would say, "let them eat catfood". For some reason old people like being on this planet and don't want to die, and will not voluntarily die just because assholes like Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles want them to die and quit taking up space on this planet.

Sadly, Simpson and Bowles would never understand why they were having their heads cut off for saying "let them eat catfood". They are part of a privileged class which would be exempt from the recommendations of the Catfood Commission, so it wouldn't hurt them. If it doesn't hurt them personally, what's the problem? Austerity for others, not for themselves. Gosh, what a surprise...

-- Badtux the History Penguin


  1. Well, amigo, there's another problem.

    There hasn't been any left-wing populism in this country since the 60's - and that was (more-or-less) my ass-hat generation, who went from being hippies, dippies and yippies to fuck-you-I-got-mine yuppies.

    One of the most depressing observations of my life-span was seeing energized young liberals turn into ossified middle-aged conservatives. And it happened decades ago as they moved into middle management positions and mainlined the Reaganite corporate Koolaide.

    In the 30's there were marches on Washington, and that's how Soc. Sec. got started.

    Today, the populism is abysmally ignorant, vicious, and right-wing. I'm looking at you, tea-baggers.
    Remember what happened in the 30's: left-wing populism --> the New Deal; right-wing populism --> fascism.

    This is where we're headed, and it scares the hell out of me.


  2. One other thing missing is any kind of music that stirs people. Whether it is a tune that brings you to your feet crying for aristos' blood like the French anthem or just that good old bring folks together DFH music that put ideas into peoples heads, there isn't anything that can highlight the common cause we have. And the lack of anyone with a lick of leadership skilz doesn't help either.

  3. montag -

    I was kinda thinking that, too. In the 60's there were protest songe (beyond "Universal Soldier" I can't remember any - which is probably just as well.)

    Then my lovely wife steered me toward this.

    Still, WASF

  4. Jazz, we can pretty much just recycle the same songs from the 60's and they're still as topical today. No need for new ones, even though they're out there. As for marches on Washington, we've done'em, they just aren't getting any news coverage from Pravda on the Hudson or Izvestia on the Potomac, so most folks don't know about'em. The deal being that the modern police state has become *very* efficient at shutting these things down, and their corporate branch owns the press. Which of course was somewhat true in the 60's too (see: Cointelpro), but we had not yet arrived at the kind of technology back then which allowed suppressing demonstrations without horrifying pictures of dead youngsters.

    What we need is a mixed economy with some aspects of socialism and some of capitalism, in order to arrive at the greatest good for the greatest number (which, of course, is the whole purpose of government in a democracy). But that is a concept that doesn't lead to successful sloganeering, unlike, say, "Hell no we won't go" (to Vietnam) or things of that nature. "Like Norway, except with warmer weather" doesn't exactly lend itself to bumper stickers... unlike fascist slogans, which are short, brutal, and effective at creating a majority of irate people who are easily swayed towards whatever policies the fascist rulers desire. Which aren't likely to be good for us, nosiree...

    - Badtux the Pessimistic Penguin

  5. I'm with Tux on the point that there are all sorts of good social protest, anti-war, what-have-you agitation songs out there. Look at Michael Franti and Spearhead from San Francisco, for instance. Look at Neil Young's "Living With War" album from 2006. Look at Iris Dement and Steve Earle and a bazillion singer-songwriters from the country/folk side of the tracks. Punk music is all about how shitty life is and how we should destroy it (or just kill ourselves with excess.) Even hip-hop has political groups like NWA, not just gangstablingers. To paraphrase The X-Files, "the music is out there."

    But just like large protests don't get any attention from the corpomedia, protest songs don't get any promotion from the music industry. Industry is part of the power structure, and even if they could make money with catchy anti-establishment songs, major music companies, radio stations, music video channels and concert promoters aren't going to be pushing that genre. You don't challenge the hand that pulls your puppet strings.

    When the breakdown comes, the popular songslogans are likely to be something as inane as Snoop Dogg's "got my mind on my money and my money on my mind." Only, it will be a catchy chant about getting even, or getting paid, or getting what you "deserve" to be sung in groups as they ramp up their courage for a night of looting and burning. Because when the fascists stomp their boots in the faces of an angry mob of stupid, deprived people, that's the inevitable equal and opposite reaction.


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