The past couple of days I’ve been trying to come down off the high of new-fatherhood (and sleeplessness) as well as come out of the fog of way-too-much-back-log-at-work and read the news, catch up with some of the blogs I (used to) frequent, and generally gear up to remember that I love writing and love keeping this blog- but let me tell you, with the clarity of fresh eyes (things get blurry when you stare at them too long, don’t forget) the so-called American “left” looks fucking ridiculous.  One of my favorite sites to check daily, for instance (not necessarily for the superb nature of their content as much as the thoroughness of it, mind you) is commondreams.org.  But I popped over there last night and got this face-full of B.S. thrown at me in the guise of “headlines” and “journalism” (I’ve added my immediate thoughts when reading each headline, for your entertainment and my sanity alike).  Mind you, I didn’t even click to read any of these and arguably I should before I sarcastically or hopelessly comment on them; but still:

“Iran Nuclear Threat ‘Hyped'”– Really?  None of us have thought that over the past 10 years…

“What If Rush Limbaugh’s House Was On Fire?”–  You mean from wildfires?  Rich people can afford to have their individual house’s covered in a flame-retardant foam if they’re in danger of wildfires in the West.  Often it’s provided by insurance company’s (for huge bucks, of course).  Oh, wait, is that a reference to our “socialized” fire department system?  OK, that’s clever.

Katrina: Media Mostly Negligent In Ongoing Disaster”– The media being negligent?  On issues of racial and economic exploitation and malfeasance by the State?  Guess there’s a first for everything…

“Why Doesn’t Hilary Clinton Fire Blackwater?”- Um, because he’s one of them.

“Can Europe Pop The U.S. CEO Pay Bubble?”-No.  Er… what do you even mean?  What does “Europe” mean in American political discourse anymore?  Earlier today while driving I momentarily clued-in on a program on NPR about- well, who cares what it was about but they were playing audio clips of the Hilary Clinton-bashing film that’s being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court and one of the Conservatives quotes said something like “she’s the closest thing in America to a European-style socialist”.  This comment, of course, was meant as an attack on her and in a slanderous, vilifying way; that was the context.  So the biggest problem I have with the American mainstream press- and political discourse in this country in general- are the inherent assumptions of the terms we accept as part of the conversation.  Nevermind the fact that even in mainstream, electoral-democracy terms that’s not true of Clinton (VT’s Senator Bernie Sanders, the famous “Socialist Senator” wins the title of “closest thing in America to a ‘European-style socialist”).  But I take it that “Europe” means France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the U.K., Netherlands, Sweden…(etc) in general termsand that the “socialism” they throw at us like a dirty, filthy, unspeakable horror- generally speaking- means lower infant mortality rates, higher life expectancy rates, multi-lingualism, higher educational standards and better test scores for the youth, lower rates of alcoholism and drug use, higher percents of participation in elections and the political sphere, 35 hour work weeks, strong social safety nets for the weakest and most vulnerable of our neighbors, a strong regional sense of culture and history and identity, and higher rates of personal contentment and a stronger sense of ‘happiness’ with ones own life….. yeah, jeez, that “European-style socialism” does sound shitty.  Now, it is in fact not all perfect on the other side of the pond, and is not worth seeing as an end-point of perfected society; still, no one in their right mind should prefer what we’ve got here to what they’re doing over there.

Advertisements