I don’t know about you, but a little thrill goes through me every time the fates dangle the possibility that one or more Trumps or Trump followers or Trump clones or just all-around fascists might come in for some suffering.
So just imagine my giddy ecstasy watching the opening ceremonies of the January 6 Insurrection Hearings. I know it’s cheap entertainment. I know in the larger scheme it won’t change things for most people harassed by the whims of capital, but you should know I also like movies about giant monsters smashing miniature cities. And porn, I like myself some porn now and then, as a reminder that sex still happens somewhere, although evidence of it in my personal life seems to have been expunged as though from a crime scene cleaned by a brilliant, obsessive-compulsive serial killer.
And let me assure you, I’m done feeling even a twinge of envy that the fascists got so close to staging a coup d’etat by storming the nation’s capitol. I mean, these folks were operating under a delusion that their fat fascist Orange Julius was a rightful… something. Had the left done anything like this it would have at least been for a legitimate reason. The right has been building power over the last half-century by feeding a gullible, misdirected base lie after lie, each more inane and insane than the last.
This is not to say the left hasn’t aided in the project with certain clownish antics, but blaming the clownish faction of the left for the right’s success in peddling conspiracies is like blaming clowns for your uncle’s phobia of creme pies. And that your uncle organized a rabid, armed militia of vigilantes against anyone suspected of potential pie-throwing is, of course, not the responsibility of the hero who put a hateful Anita Bryant in her place back in the day with a well-aimed dessert. Face it, your uncle’s a basic a-hole, and that’s a condition he’s aspired to. He's taken his personal paranoia and whipped it into a mob movement.
Meanwhile, the left is accomplishing the unionization of Starbucks baristas in a growing number of cities, and that’s no small achievement. The labor movement seems to be back on its grassroots feet again, thanks to the Overton Window expanding to allow in general anti-corporate discourse, in part aided by the same crisis of capitalism that is the only root of the rightwing forest of delusions grounded in any sort of reality.
The left can win back workers and other precarious demographics the Democratic Party seems to have been intent on losing since the early 90s. An astutely organized left can build power from here, community and workplace power as well as electoral, political power, assuming it avoids too many casualties from secret police infiltration and the circular firing squad doctrine it’s so often succumbed to in the past.
So, I’m not jealous of the right run amok. Many of them are people of decent means, and all were intoxicated by the opium of the conservative movement: fascism. Anyone, even Fat Fascist Orange Julius, or Pocked Poxy Loaf Of Head Cheese Steve Bannon, can get a mob drunk enough with fascism to do damage. It takes real, legitimate anger at an institution, rage inspired by video of any number of lynchings, to get a great mass of people out in the streets standing up to police violence – police violence against those protesting police violence, yet. Talk about adding fuel to the fire.
Not jealous, not experiencing any FOMO, just ready to eat my popcorn and enjoy these chumps getting exposed and spanked by reality once again. Fox News is so butt-hurt they won’t even air the hearings. Which is weird, since they’ve said so often that it was BLM and antifa doing it all. You’d think they’d want to take advantage of the occasion to show some proof of that obvious pathetic bubbe-meise. But no, they decided to have their number one fascist mouthpiece, Cucker Carlson, take up the time telling stories about bad people undermining American values, which in his simple mind is anyone to the left of the dictator of Hungary.
I was jolly watching that opening salvo of the massive ammunition storehouse the January 6 Committee has been sitting on. I love the straightforward subtext beneath every iota of proof that the insurrection was an attempt to stage a coup, incited by Donald J. Trump, and aided by some of the most disgusting people alive, in and out of government. I was heartened and delighted to hear the amoral Ivanka testify against her father. I was gripped by the testimony of that sexy blond cop and that smirking British documentary journalist. By the way, when he was talking about breaking for lunch, he said they broke “for tuckers,” as in tuck, as in eat, not for “tacos,” as one DC Twitter account misheard it.
What good will it do? Maybe none. But what good does it do when Godzilla demolishes a skyscraper? What good does it do when, at the end of Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, the basterds machine gun the leadership of the Third Reich? What good does it do for me to shower all the earth with my seed?
It makes me feel good. It contributes to my, what they call, “self-care.” And you’ve got a duty to care for yourself, because if you’re not in decent condition, you can’t help anyone else. You certainly can’t help in the people’s fight if you’re moping all the time, which is a condition to which I fall prey too often.
Government is a resource that should by rights belong to the people. It's a tool for achieving collective goals. No wonder Buckley and Reagan and all haters before and after them constantly peddle the "shrink government till it can be drowned in a bathtub and throw that dead baby out with the bathwater" philosophy. Let's not be fooled. We have to take all our resources back. It all belongs to us, regardless of what legal and rhetorical fictions they contrive to try to sway the populi otherwise.
And, as pyrrhic as the victory is when the lesser fascist beats the greater in a multi-hundred-billion-dollar election, fighting the notion that the people don’t deserve any voice but the voice most deluded and vile is a worthy cause. Whether we can transform a tool founded by bougie colonial would-be aristocrats is an open question. But even if we can’t, we need to solidly instill the right of the people to advocate for themselves under any regime. Any rhetoric designed to contradict that right is ripe for trashing. Any person who actively attempts to manipulate, negate, or steal our plebiscites and people’s power is ripe for burning, in effigy or otherwise.
And, yeah, nothing may come of these hearings. But, as I said last week, fiction and reality tend to shapeshift these days, wearing masks that not only resemble one another but move from and transform the faces they disguise. The cosmos is an eternal dance of masks, when you get down to it. Each thing is a mere fragment of the entire masquerade.
What good are these hearings? As Mary Tyler Moore, George Peppard, and a toucan once asked, “What’s so bad about feeling good?” You might as well ask, “What good is dessert? What good is watching whales? What good is Mardi Gras?”
No good and all good.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!