Comic Radicals on the Left

I give the right a lot of shit on this blog.  I don’t feel guilty about it as the new right is batshit crazy.  However, there are those on the left that are figures of fun as well.  Even those that I agree with politically can often feel like another species when confronted with face to face.

One time when I was looking for a part time job to supplement my music career, I applied at Green Peace. (I want to say that I have no problem with Green Peace.  This story focuses on one particular office, although that office was typical of some other left wing organizations I have been to.)  First of all I wore a suit and tie to the interview, because it was an INTERVIEW.  I am someone that only wears ties to interviews, weddings, and funerals.  Most of the people looked at me like I was in the FBI when I walked through the door.  I instantly felt like I was in the Man in the presence of a bunch of radicals, even though my politics are in many ways as far left as Green Peace.  But these were very comical radicals as they all looked like they were trying to outdo each other in the how poorly they were dressed category.  I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy 99% of the time.  But they looked like they were having a contest to show how much they did not live by societies standards.  I’m talking sweaters with holes in them and jeans that were more ill-fitting than the jeans I have seen on homeless people.

The boss was the same, and yet somehow different.  He looked like a coffee house communist intellectual.  High and tight haircut, ratty sweater, thick 1950’s looking glasses, and an overly serious expression on his face.  In fact I don’t remember him smiling the whole time.  And this was a group interview, so even if he didn’t like my shit, he should have liked someone!

We were interviewed in a circle.  Questions that I had mentally prepared for, like why I would be good at this job, were never asked.  (If I had been asked I could have told them that I grew up with an environmentalist Dad talking over those issues nightly, I believed in Green Peace’s policies, and I had experience raising money, which is what the job was for.)  But we were asked who our political heroes were.  Not expecting that question I said Robert Kennedy off the top of my head, as most of my political heroes are people that are writers or artists.  I said this not because I am not aware of some of the earlier ill informed policies that Kennedy had supported, but because he was someone that was smart enough to evolve and change and become more progressive as he grew older.  Wrong answer!  I should have said Gandhi like the office boss.  Is there any more easy typical self-righteous answer that you could give than Gandhi?  Plus, Gandhi, for however great he was on so many things, had some pretty backwards ideas about women.  So clearly this intellectual wasn’t as smart as he thought.  His answer was no less complicated than mine, he just didn’t know it.

Anyway, I didn’t get the job as I clearly didn’t pass the holier-than-thou interrogation.  The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.  It was like a contest between people to show how righteous they were.  Even worse than this righteousness was a complete lack of any humor.  If you are going to take a hard look at the injustice of the world you need a sense of humor.  Not only because you need it as a shield against the insanity that is out there, not only because it will endear you to people that otherwise might turn away from your beliefs, but because there is so much absurdity out there, that the horrible is often outright funny.  These people, clearly without knowing it, were the exact kind of people that give the left a bad name.  Someone like that office boss was going to turn as many people off to his cause as he was going to turn on, if he ever interacted with the public at large.

George Orwell, who believed in socialism, spent a great deal of his time criticizing the left, exactly because of people like this person.  Orwell believed in the ideas of the left, but he was highly critical of how people went about trying to implement them.

That day was dispiriting.  We both wanted to “save the planet”, but if we succeeded, I was glad it was big enough that I would never have to see that fool again.

 

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You Are Not What You Own

Growing up I had friends that would always take the piss out of you if your ego got too big.  One was never allowed to take themselves too seriously.  I’m glad that I had the friends I had.  It was good training for the real world.  If you’re not too hung up on yourself you can bounce back from small everyday defeats pretty easily.  I’ve seen so many males out at a bar that look like they are role playing, because they are afraid of being laughed at.  It must suck to be in a self-imposed prison.  You can just see some of these guys that feel that they have to have that car, or they have to have that suit, or they aren’t worth a shit.  I feel for them, but I can’t relate.  If there is one thing certain in this world, it is that it will make you feel like a fool sooner or later.  Having friends that keep your ego in check when you are young is good for you.

As I write this blog I want to make it clear to you that although I try to get pretty deep at times, into the nature of things, I don’t feel any sense of intellectual or moral superiority over anyone.  I am simply trying to lay things down as best I can.  In real life I have often been caught saying things like, “Where the fuck is my car?”  Or I might find myself walking out of the movies with nacho cheese on my shirt.  Time makes monkeys of us all.

I’d rather be friends with the cool janitor than the dickhead millionaire.  You are not what you own.  You are not what you do.  The only thing that matters in this world is if you try to be good to other people.  Sometimes, maybe often, you will fail.  It helps if you can laugh about it.

We Are Being Fleeced

We have the great state of Oklahoma to thank for Senators Coburn and Inhofe, two wizards that deny that man made climate change is under foot.  97% of all scientists working on this issue believe in man made climate change.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which includes countries like Saudi Arabia that have most of their wealth based in fossil fuels, have come to a unanimous consensus time and time again that mankind is contributing to climate change.  The U.S. Military is doing studies and planning based on their fears about the social unrest that will come from climate change.

Where are Inhofe and Coburn getting their secret knowledge from?  It is clear that they are listening to the corporations that have interests in keeping climate change on the back burner.  It’s also clear that one of two things is true.  Either they are stupid and generally believe the gibberish that they are being sold.  Or they know better and are making cynical calculations based upon their own personal self interests.  Neither scenario speaks well of our Senate.

When I read an article, like I just did, where Senator Coburn claims that he is a climate denier, I feel my brain collapsing in upon itself.  Watching someone as high up in our society as Senator Coburn embarrass himself with such ignorance, is like watching a monkey jacking off in a zoo.  Wowowowowow!

I never fault the average person for not knowing what is going on with this issue.  Most people, once they have worked one or two jobs and have spent time with their kids, only have so much time to devote to paying attention to what is going on.  There is so much misinformation and propaganda out there on this issue from the right wing corporations that it is easy to be duped.

Someone that is a U.S. Senator has access to plenty of information.  So it makes me think at this point they are either fools or conmen.  We are being fleeced.   Rolled over like a bunch of high school kids that got oregano instead of dope.  Are we going to go down so easily, helpless and full of shame?  I sure hope not.