Thursday, March 02, 2006

only the dead sleep well

Dear John,

I was going to write a Dear John letter. It would have made reference to the scene in Finnegans Wake in which the dead man, splashed with a bit of libation, awakes, and it takes all the persuading of all the assembled to get him to resume the appropriate attitude of death.

Instead, this:

Cut it out. Look, you sent this email to a few million of your closest disillusioned fellow citizens on Feb. 10. Yesterday you sent another urgent one about Tammy Duckworth and her missing legs. This shit doesn't work, ok? I am confident I will receive a whole bunch more of these, spaced out in your handlers' calibrated effort at randomized timing. They will all look the same, and carry the same contribution button. Other than that, each will automate some just-in-time news hook that appears to desperately need the collective immediate attention of the entire Blue State populace to turn the tide, buck the system, drop a dime, give 'em what for, whatever.

It's all of a piece with the cadaverous animatronic way you talk. You, John. Not that your talking is bad. You can for instance actually compose sentences, paragraphs, mini-essays, entire tomes on the fly. You have a way of ordering and contextualizing arguments that says "Senator from Massachussetts." And it's not just that Massachussetts comes after Tobago on the list of places that have mastered the USian vernacular. What's appalling-er is that in your campaign, your clear communicative superiority over Mr. Bush made no difference. You may have permanently reduced the political attribute of public speaking, the whole communicational shebang of Aristotelian Rhetoric, to a non-essential item. If The Aphasia King could beat you, one reasons, who needs Reason?

Only, it's worst than that. Though dead, you persist in using some PR firm that has no idea of what support entails. If you were really het up about Cheney as your letter of 20 or so days ago intimated, why have we heard nothing more about it? Did The Menace to All Quail scare you with his marksmanship?

John, you probably even care. Your representation of caring is a tired, achingly dull routine. Care, packaged in method-acted messages cranked out by the numbers, is careless. Negligent of occasion, the contingencies, conditions and audiences attendant upon the moment of speaking. Maybe it used to work, and now it doesn't. The fact that you and your party haven't noticed is a sign of your political currency. A vital sign.

10 Comments:

Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

I saw him gesticulating and speechifying Cambridge-style on television during the debates, while Bush twitched, smirked and glared at things that weren't there. When Bush would start his response -- always inapposite, defiant, and designed only to impress people who were sticking it to the man -- Kerry would turn and regard him with a look that said, "I've been coached not to sigh or roll my eyes". Each had mastered his lessons and was very proud of that.

Kerry had the look of a prosecutor reluctantly bringing the case against someone whose boss had told him "he comes from a good family, okay?" It was all so regrettable, but the law is the law and deserves a sincere effort, even when the charges have been reduced from premeditation to negligence. At least he kept his sense of decorum and enough self-esteem to be able to offer comfort to the victim's family upon Bush's acquittal. He was genuinely baffled when they looked at him with stunned disbelief. The forms had been followed to a correctly dotted "i" and firmly crossed "t". What more did they want? But he got over their distress quickly and resolved to keep them updated as he built another case. It's the least a man in his shoes can do.

3/03/2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

"Hi! I'm JonBenetKerrie, and I'll be your prosecutor!"

3/03/2006 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Tutor said...

Would an ad involving, say, frogs and beer, created for the Superbowl and leading to a spike in sales be rhetoric suited to the ocassion?

But what dirge on the death of democracy?

3/03/2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Tutor, an ad such as the one you describe, or something very much like it, will be well suited to the occasion of the election of 2016, when the candidate for the Republicans will in fact be a frog, and the candidate for the sons of Kerry will be a can of bud. The populace will be challenged to discern which is more committed to our public weal.

3/04/2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger Juke said...

A stage-drunk frog with a pronounced distinct but purely generic ethnic accent who never appears anywhere but in a mise-en-scene of painted scrims of idealized and obviously artificial jungle.
Running against a can of Bud-So-Lite whose media spokesperson is a virtual human configured precisely at the node-vertex of age and gender and ethnic median, impossible to determine but squarely central - neither young nor old, male nor female first nor third world, asian nor european nor african nor brown nor white.
The apotheosis of the common denominator made flesh, only without the flesh - even though it's the beer that's running for election.
Against an amphibian whose archetypes have vanished from the world.

3/04/2006 5:36 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Juke: pretty much like 2004 with a slight modality tune-up. Has it been your observation that clairvoyance sometimes works this way?

3/05/2006 9:27 AM  
Blogger Juke said...

Clairvoyance?
We know nothing of this subject.
Clairvoyant trompe l'oeil how bout that?
The passively arrogant reliance on perceptual mechanics that follows along like a trusting pet with us as we follow along at the side of whatever it is that leads us forward.
We get fooled.
And attain a new way of seeing that pierces that veil - and get fooled again - and get a new prescription, and...
My experience of clairvoyance is it's not that different than visual reception. You're still there soloing with more info than
you can process while the floodwaters rise to the top of the porch steps.
Tradition offers the same comfort and urgency it offers the traditional norm - alignment, compromise, toadyisms, dogma,
scrambled nomenclatures, books that purport to be all you need to win big, armies of pseudo-illuminati protecting
second-level pseudo-illuminati who function as cut-outs for still deeper camouflaged versions of what may or may not be
heirs of the big hairy eyeball.
Increasingly well-calibrated instrumentation can decrease paranoia - up to a point.
This is the main noise of Dennett and his erstwhile David-and-Goliath opponents.
We know this, therefore that makes a good conjecture.
Seeing everything all at once would put you in the position of having to have an opinion about all of that at once wouldn't it? Kind of the ultimate clairvoyant experience know what I mean?
But the message was and continues to be that that passive receptivity is itself a kind of active complicity - the anthropologists
creating rituals with the jungle men as they film them dancing around the fire, standing around the fire and the dancing with their cameras.
And out of the cloud of that temporal cyclonic the Very Large Radio Personality intones his opinions - thanx to L.Frank Baum for the image.
Elections from one four-year get to the next are to the millenarianists' expectations as paragraph to novel. Without the little there can be no great.
This dimension is hell for some, near-heaven for others.
It would be heaven entire but for the presence of those sufferers; though there are they who take great comfort in the knowledge of others fallen below them, for many of us it is a sad thing.
The Franciscan bodhisattva analog.
Movement through seems to have been the idea. And there's a kind of transfer of intent, flow from the spirit side through the unlocked membrane opened by the protein-mask of reality-TV cynicism.
Just like with the video game rhesus-teens transitioning into cockpits and tank command, and CCTV snitch-baskets.
Secondary divinities getting what they want seem more divine than the frustrated almost not. Like rich kids relaxing by the pool versus rich kids on camping trips that have gone unexpectedly sour. Thrown back into the mix and upheaval of scrambling biological imperative and exigency.
Each dimension exists surrounded by the next, in this linear context. In order for clairvoyance, or electro-magnetic radiation, or son et lumiere, or anything, to be what you work with, you have to be able to fit it inside your head.
That may be the real problem of this world.
Or it may be that the next step is to trust something outside the self. So that cognition alone isn't it.
Types of clairvoyance:
Crowleyan satanic manipulative gratification.
Mossad strategic.
SRI DoD R&D weapons-grade.
Vatican penumbral extension.
Grass-skirt indigenous.
Gaelic elfin.
Nahuatl mushroom Aztec panavision.
Trailer-trash psychedelic.
Red-shield economic.
Haight-Ashbury free-lance.
Clairvoyance being the input to cognition's process, and in that no different than sight or hearing except in degree and volume and category, we're still left with being the soloists of our own knowledge. With goals projected according to our ethic.
Surrounded by exploding viral imperatives that don't share our humble curiosity, or even gravity.
Pressured by inexorable time and the immediate demands of carnality.
So it's really about applied knowledge isn't it?
It always was about that, wasn't it?
Work, for the night is coming.

3/05/2006 3:07 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

One more for the catalog: Pentagonal analytic

3/06/2006 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

I wonder how many more Mora could-have-beens there are in the US Administration ?

You'd think there would be at least several decent people somewhere in the various DC-and-adjacent zip codes.

3/08/2006 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously! Thanks for posting this - it's a rant I've been meaning to rant for a while now too. John Kerry, stop spamming me. Yes, I stay on your list in the vain hope that someday, you'll write to me about an issue that I haven't already heard about with greater sincerity from MoveOn, or the rest of the blogosphere, or colleagues, or my mother. John Kerry, you have no cred left. To speak with authority you need to have action behind your bluster. Shut up and let the politicians who know how to be - or at least hire - real organizers do the work of changing America.

-Erica George

3/09/2006 6:38 PM  

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