Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Now More Than Ever!

When discussing American politics over the last three years I’ve often simply framed things this way: “America is a fictional country.” But the U.S. of A. didn’t just turn into a big ol’ Grand Fenwick in 2016. I’d say we took a turn for the fictional when Ronald Reagan became Pres in 1980. The period before that had some resounding reality to it — after the star of Bedtime for Bonzo became president (hear him say it was a great comedy here), all bets on the country being a serious real-world, present-day entity were off.

The year he was elected was considered the last year of the “Me Decade” — but we all know that Tom Wolfe got it wrong, and that the Seventies were only the beginning of the self-involvement, which further made the country an even more bizarre place where basically anything could happen (but what always did happen made for scenarios that would’ve been thrown out in any good Creative Writing class as being “unrealistic”). Every decade since has been the “Me Decade,” and there is no prospect of the crazed introspection and leisure-time fascinations ever turning back now that the Internet and handheld devices rule us all.

So, why *isn’t* it more than likely that the encounter below will happen again, albeit this time at a political rally, a convention, or a debate? At some point, it should’ve become evident to those of us who watch this clip on an annual basis — nay, who LIVE this clip on an annual basis  that we are all of us Robert Vaughns, and the clowns are ruling the roost. It wasn’t for nothing that this particular event occurred during Reagan’s second term in the White House (the one where he more than likely had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s and the country was indeed run by the VP, a creepy former head of the CIA)?

Remember that the oft-quoted statement by George Carlin was not two lines long  it was three. The third line is often lost on the Internet (which is oddly, completely appropriate).

“When you’re born in this world, you’re given a ticket to the freak show.

When you’re born in America, you’re given a front-row seat.

And some of us get to sit there with notebooks….”

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