Archive for Satire
The New Age movement was in full flower when I arrived in what was then touted as “a New Age Mecca.” It seemed every other person I met was a seeker — seeking ways to monetize their spiritual journey. I theorized that there was actually only $50 in circulation, and it went from massage therapist to jewelry maker to energy healer and back. I marveled at all the “internationally recognized” healers sporting an alphabet soup of certifications for this and that who put up workshop flyers at health food stores around town. Having only university degrees myself, being out of work, and with time on my hands, just for grins I created and posted a few flyers of my own. See the modest example above. The first, actually, was for a transformational trepanation workshop offered by Dr. Berndt Synapse. The collection eventually found its way into an unpublished, faux New Age business magazine I titled Mantra-preneur from Barnum Was Right! productions.
“Let the record reflect: the American people are a bunch of suckers,” author Ben Fountain begins this morning in the Guardian. He looks at Americans’ propensity to fall for hucksters of the political kind. He offers a few not-so-exemplary specimens, writing:
Like Jerry Springer without the hair pulling.
News reports of the annually banal pardoning of the White House turkey triggered memories of that video where Sarah Palin blathers on about whatever Sarah Palin was blathering on about, word-salad-wise, while behind her a workman looks on while he slaughters a turkey.
Several of our current GOP presidential candidates thought it might look more dignified if the turkey they were mock-pardoning was in black tie:
Gotta say the hands visibly holding the turkey’s legs from underneath a velvet cushion are bit of a distraction, if not quite as Palinesque as a workman holding a turkey’s legs while bleeding it out into a trough.
When challenged, Trump doubles down, citing vague sources he fails to name. He has a “pretty good source.” He is “hearing … from other people” something no one else has heard. Trump got “hundreds of calls” from people who imagined they saw what he imagined he saw. James Downie writes at the Washington Post:
It’s all eerily similar to a claim made by a U.S. senator in Wheeling, W.Va., 65 years ago: “I have here a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party.” Sen. Joe McCarthy never revealed where he got that list; the number changed from 205 all the way down to seven, and he never provided any concrete evidence. But, as Trump knows, McCarthy’s lack of evidence was no hindrance to tapping into the fears of a portion of the U.S. electorate. In those days, communists were coming for you; now, Muslims and immigrants are, and in both cases, the U.S. government won’t stop them. The message remains: Be afraid. The more that people buy into the message, the worse off America is.
While some college students are being introduced to Nietzsche, Freud, and organic chemistry, Charles and David Koch want to introduce them to the Kochification Church, bless their hearts. The Koch Brothers (shouldn’t they just stick to cough drops?) are spending more than ever to “evangelize their gospel of economic freedom” on campuses, reports Al Jazeera.
“The [Koch] network is fully integrated,” Kevin Gentry told the annual Koch network meeting last summer. And not only with students, but also in “building state-based capabilities and election capabilities” into a “talent pipeline.” Sounds as if the cult of Ayn Rand has branched out into multi-level marketing. Oh, glory!
We knew their acolytes have been introducing students to the Randian gospel by bribing colleges endowing chairs in economic departments that will agree to teach “Atlas Shrugged” and instill a philosophy of “wealth maximization.” But as Charles ages, he seems to have redoubled his efforts, hoping to see the fruit of his evangelism in his lifetime.
Have you accepted Ayn Rand as your personal savior?