Civil Discourse? If So, the End is Nigh

Fuck you, Morgan Spurlock. If you genuinely believe that a war fought on flimsy pretext, the erosion of our civil liberties, the wholesale inability of the assclown posse at 1600 Penn to understand the ramifications of our actions (much less listening to anyone with an opposing viewpoint), the oil crisis, the water crisis, the energy crisis, our insouciant approach to torture, the rampant criminalization of brown-skinned people without due process, wiretapping, the authoritarian impulses of the Department of Justice and their flyboy accomplices, and, most recently, Congress granting the President more freedom to declare martial law are actions that we can be civil about, as if they amount to some idyllic summer picnic rather than genuine affronts to human decency, then I really can’t fathom how the fuck you function. If Kerry’s defeat in 2004 proved anything, it was this: Who’s going to listen to some spineless fucktard (and, in Spurlock’s case, a two-bit filmmaker who struck it rich with a stunt more suited to a reality TV show than a documentary proper) describing something as grotesque as the deaths of our soldiers, the deaths of innocent civilians, and the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay with a flatline timbre? What kind of human being do you have to be not to be angry about all this? What kind of orifice do you have to lodge your head into not to be pissed off? I realize that my anger is partisan, but I’d really like to know.

Who’s really going to believe some callow “liberal” with a stick up his smug anus talking about the realities that are unfolding around us?

It disheartens me in the extreme that so much of America would rather ignore the wholesale erosion of civil liberties and the deaths and the ancillary clusterfucks that ensure our role as the Alfred E. Neuman of the world, keeping their heads in the sand rather than trying to understand this once promising and now detestable working theory known as the American Empire. The United States of America is at the lowest point I’ve observed in my thirty-two years, and I don’t want it to be this way.

On the flip side, if I receive another fucking MoveOn email, I’m going to destroy something. How the fuck does some MoveOn party make a fucking difference? So I meet with my fellow liberals and we exchange delusions of grandeur. Wow! Such remarkable time management! Let’s not kid ourselves. We are at a point where only rigorous person-to-person contact, particularly with our apparent opponents, is going to work. We are at a point where we must get our asses into these so-called red states and find out why these folks think the way they do and what their concerns are and how we might work together. But I cannot see this happening.

Is there nobody out there who can speak with conviction, honesty, a rationale discernible to the layman, a daring quality to fight dirty when necessary, spitting in the face of authoritarian blackguards, and to convey some undeniable sense that we so-called liberals know what the hell we’re doing? In a country of 300 million people, I think not. Probability dictates otherwise.

Civility? Oh, I think any liberal knows deep down in her heart that we’re well beyond that point. These bastards want to fight dirty. And if we don’t fight dirty, if we don’t fight back as if our lives depended on it, then the midterm elections will be lost. And we will deserve the madness and the tyranny, even more augmented than the present scenario, that will come not long thereafter.


  1. Right on, Ed. And the fact that CBS, those pusillanimous pussies, are calling that segment “Free Speech” is really just laughable. Supposedly they gave Bill Maher a list of things that could or couldn’t be said when he was on the show, and ultimately disallowed him to talk about religion. What a bunch of nervous, axe-grinding bastards in shiny suits! And as for Spurlock, I wholeheartedly agree that it’s smug complacent douche bags like him that don’t allow “liberals” any progress these days. Sigh.

  2. I was right with you until the last paragraph. Fight dirty, Ed? Doesn’t that make us just like them? Should we resort to name-calling, cheating, race-baiting, and lying to win elections like they always do? I hate Republicans as much as anyone, but I cannnot and will not comprimise my values and integrity. I am a liberal and won’t stoop to conquer.

  3. You’re not alone in being frustrated – check out this tirade from philosopher Brian Leiter, which strikes me as sort of an ivory-tower version of your post.

  4. It’s not about ‘fighting dirty’ so much as it is about fighting back. Look at Keith Olberman. Is he ‘fighting dirty’? No, he’s just mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more. How about that guy dogging Senator Felix Maccawicz about whether or not he spit on his wife? Dirty? Unfair? Hell no – Felix has a police record he’s unwilling to discuss, and a history of being a thug. It stinks. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it, and should he lose (polls showing Webb ahead by just barely the margin of error), it will be in good part due to the fact that the opposition didn’t bend over and take it this time. My precious liberal principles are not compromised by this. It’s not an NPR world.

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