Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Oh, happy day!

Fall of the house of kitsch |
The cultural style of the Bush warriors is the latest wrinkle in one of the most enduring modes of antimodern aesthetic expression. "Kitsch is mechanical and operates by formulas," wrote art critic Clement Greenberg in his seminal essay, "Avant-Garde and Kitsch," in 1939. "Kitsch is vicarious experience and faked sensations. Kitsch changes according to style, but remains always the same. Kitsch is the epitome of all that is spurious in the life of our times."

Kitsch is imitative, cheap, sentimental, mawkish and incoherent, and derives its appeal by demeaning and degrading genuine standards and values, especially those of modernity. While the proponents of the faux retro style claim to uphold tradition, they are inherently reactive and parasitic, their words and products a tawdry patchwork, hastily assembled as declarations against authentic complexity and ambiguity, which they stigmatize as threats to the sanctity of an imaginary harmonious order of the past that they insist they and their works represent. Kitsch presumes to be based on old rules, but constantly traduces them.

The Bush kitsch warriors have created a cultural iconography that attempts to inspire deference to the radical making of an authoritarian presidency. These warriors pose as populists, fighting a condescending liberal elite. Wealthy, celebrated and influential, their faux populism demands that they be seen however as victims. Having risen solely by association with sheer political power and economic force (News Corp., etc.), the cultural charlatans become the arbiters of social standing.

Yes, Jesus, yes! Alleluia!!! What a good election day! Here we have the tumblers falling into place, the cadence resolved, the other shoe dropped, the end of a good proof: these stinking shit bags have been given a kick up the ass.

Fair and square: after bawling about gridlock and complaining that their policies were failing because they didn't have free hand to pursue them whole hog, they got what they wanted--and failed. These Republicans had 9/11, goodwill and a consensus that should have carried for a decade, and squandered it. After 9/11 the Great Ayatolla or Grand Poo-Bah of Iran sent his condolances. Within two years we were in there slugging away at the Axis of Evil.

Maybe Americans have finally got it. You got the whole thing. You got the retrogressive, superstitious pseudo-redneck jackass of your dreams. You got a $300 check in the mail as "tax relief." You got a jolly war to show the world just how tough we were. Are we having fun yet?

Maybe this is the tipping point. Also, today I beat a major rap at traffic court: no fine, no fee, no traffic school--case dismissed! A good day!

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