Summary: Understanding our time requires information, which the info superhighway delivers in excess, but also the much rarer perspective. Here are excerpts from four essays by keen observers that reveal much about today’s America. One from the Right, one from the Left, a Liberal, and a Conservative. Each tells us something. Perhaps most important, that Liberals and Conservatives have grown tired and stagnant. So new ideas and leaders Left and Right have begun to emerge, a familiar pattern in US history.
- Matt Taibbi sees the humor in the far-Right’s rebels.
- Mark Steyn sees Trump as a strange song in our farcical elections.
- Heather Patton sneers. She doesn’t look, let alone see.
- Another observer well-worth reading: P.J. O’Rourke.
- For More Information.
These deserve to be read in full.
(1) Matt Taibbi sees the humor in the far-Right’s rebels
“The Dumb and the Restless” by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, 7 January 2016 — “Ammon Bundy and his band of weeping, self-pitying, gun-toting, wannabe-terrorist metrosexuals are America’s most ridiculous people.”
The opening is fantastic (no spoilers, read the essay). He follows this with some powerful insights.
First of all, when did it become OK for cowboys to cry in public? The coolest thing about the Gary Cooper-Clint Eastwood-James Coburn-Yul Brynner-style cowboys is that they never said a damned thing. They walked slow, asses sore from all that riding, and kept things to a syllable or two if they could manage it: “Whiskey.” “Bath.” “Draw.”
… Every time these people open their mouths, it’s comedy. Earlier this week Bundy gave an interview to CNN in which he tried to play up the “We come in peace” meme they’ve been pushing from the start. Like the “nobody’s wearing camo except the camo I’m wearing” line, “It’s a peaceful protest, except for the rifles which we won’t use unless we have to” is also high comedy, although not a single person in the group seems to realize it.
Bundy seems not to get this, however. He’s convinced that this will all get worked out, as soon as the federal government releases the Hammonds from prison (what is this, a list of demands from Hezbollah?) and hands over a healthy swath of federal land to private ranchers.
… these people are dangerous, but their ridiculousness is a huge part of who they are. … their boundless self-pity, their outrageous sense of entitlement and their slapstick incompetence as rebels and terrorists are absolutely ridiculous. Sure, it may not help, but how can we not laugh?