DISPATCHES
The Age of the Stupids
by Rob Schultheis
Dec 11, 2011 | 6013 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You would have to resurrect Swift, Clemens or S.J. Perelman at the peak of their powers to outdo (in fictional form) the worst of this holiday season’s television ads, specifically the one for a luxury automobile that opens with the face of Martin Luther King, while a male voice intones something like “Some of us just won’t tolerate being second class,” while King morphs into the image of a glittering $45,000 luxury sedan. 

“Holy &$%ing #%&” was all I could think when I first saw this putrescent piece of product pandering.

What next?  How about, “What would Jesus do if he only had two dollars, and wanted a delicious satisfying meal” for McWacko’s Holiday Special, a triple-layer cheeseburger with jumbo fries and an extra large beverage?

It’s just the thing for trudging up Calvary carrying a cross the size of a telephone pole after you’ve been scourged, or rolling a giant boulder out of the way and hotfooting it out of a dreary cave one step ahead of a goon squad of Roman Centurions. And it’s only a buck ninety five all this month at participating McWacko’s!

Nothing is too degraded or tasteless for the beast that is the 21st century American businessman/banker, as long as it brings in more frogskins. The Man will trash our most sacred ideals, toss widows and disabled veterans out in the snow and snatch school lunches from the hands of poor 6-year-olds, ravage entire eco-systems, destroy ancient tribal civilizations and hijack the patrimony of future generations in order to add to fortunes that are already too huge to ever spend, in a world where, at the rate things are going, paper money will soon  be only useful for stoking campfires in the ruins of our deserted cities.

These flabby-brained neo-fascists aren’t even smart.  When for the first time in recorded history the Arctic icepack melted, clearing the way for undersea oil- and-gas exploration, energy corporations and industrial nations immediately began fighting for drilling rights. Painfully obvious problem: the pack ice disappeared because of higher temperatures in the Arctic; the same higher temperatures/melting ice are causing sea levels to inexorably rise; in time, most of mankind’s great urban centers will be drowned by those same rising seas  (New Orleans yesterday, Amsterdam, Bangkok, San Francisco, Karachi und so weiter tomorrow); the gas/oil sucked from the Arctic sea floor and burned in a thousand wasteful ways will destroy our cities along with our civilization that much faster.  Our planet is ruled by deluded half-wits.

And the United States, instead of being the only possible salvation for humanity, is leading the lemming stampede toward the nearest chasm, opposing population control, sabotaging global clean-air initiatives, continuing to consume five or ten times more of the world’s nonrenewable resources per capita than non-Americans.

“The bright and shining city on the hill?” When I was in Iraq, that’s what we used to jokingly call Camp Victory, which already encompassed the world’s largest trailer park, a monument to hopelessness and delusion. God knows what it looks like today, when most of our troops have left Iraq; the ideal location to film a feature length film adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, most likely. Wow!  Who coulda thunk it? 

Next week:  Where is Smedley Butler when we need him? And why is he completely ignored in American history textbooks?
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