Jon Schwarz draws nearer to my heart by noting that fascism becomes largely impracticable in a nation where a normal diet is just an insulin shot a day away. And by normal diet, Jon means something like 4,000 daily calories from food and another 2K from the Big Gulps of sugar water that everyone totes around like supplemental oxygen:
You need lots of people in good shape for fascism. When you're chasing the Armenian/Jew/Commie/Tutsi/Kulak down the street, you can't be distracted by your pants chafing against your chubby thighs. That leaves the miscreant time to get away and continue their plotting to destroy humanity.This, I think, is essentially true. Sure, Ersnt Rohm was a chubby bugger, but he was vigorous and maintained a range of motion. Your average Americano is not so inclined to hiking and marching. Americans do not march. Can you imagine the listenership of Sean Hannity goose-stepping down Main Street? I can. It looks like A Chorus Like recoreographed by the trainers at Sea World. Can you imagine yourself pursued by such creatures--say, down a dark alley? A gang of vicious manatees, almost incapable of moving on dry land. What have we ultimately to fear from people who must stop to catch their breath after a single flight of stairs?
I can't say I take much comfort, though. I mock American stupidity, but if ever Americans showed ingenuity it was in our startling conversion to a militarist, command-economy surveillance state without any of the traditional way-stations. No revolutions. No gangs. No brownshirts. No purges. No transports. It was done almost entirely through cooptation. Our government subsidized it. It borrowed in order that we spend, gave us low interest rates and easy credit. It's hard not to feel free when you have hundreds of channels to choose from on a 1'000" TV with no interest and no payments until 2012. Did our prisons expand, and do we incarcerate more people than any other nation? Sure, but it happened slowly.
Do you doubt this diagnosis? Consider the Times. It's the nation's preeminent daily newspaper. Here it is, solemnly editorializing in favor of more and better homeland security. "Galvanizing the department with effective leadership should be high on the national agenda for the roaming throng of presidential candidates." Fortunately for you, Reader, I work in management, and I'm able to translate this babble into plain English. The paper is trying to explain that we need a better state security apparatus, and instead of some nasal fag, we should properly get someone who looks better in a long leather coat and an airman's cap. To, you know, motivate "the department."
For crimes against language, I've rarely seen a purer specimen than this:
Homeland security is a vital but amorphous concept that demands dedicated experts, not patronage loyalists.The Times editorial board doesn't know what Homeland security is, but they know they want more of it. It's vital before it's amorphous, after all. Then again, it's only a concept. Yet it's a concept that "demands dedicated experts." To what are they dedicated if Homeland Security is amporphous? Who knows? More power to the experts, though. Who can fail to respect men and women who've acquired expertise in the absence of a discipline of study or field of inquiry? It's like having a degree in just chillin'. Fuck fucking yeah, dude.
Everyone knows that the Department of Homeland Security was a boondoggle to begin with. Certainly the Times knows it. This vitally amporphous idea is so goddamn amorphous that it has no inherent attributes. It exists beyond the realm of pure ideas. It exists on an ethereal plane of post-liberal Western unthink. Tens of thousands of government employees go to work and disappear entirely from our universe except for the few who occasionally emerge into our dimension for a liesurely smoke in the Designated Non-Smoking Area that curiously enough has an ashtray, surely a sign that management really wants you to smoke there. This displeases the Times, media guardian of our freedoms and our discourses, which wants a more traditional organization for the defense of the fatherland. I, for one, think it's totally unnecessary when we have so far degenrated as a country that two ranch hands and a sheepdog could keep us all in line. Except, of course, for what we call "the troubled African-American youth," who to these tired eyes appear to be the only people in this bullshit country who aren't getting fooled, and for whom, therefore, all the jails were built.