Well, the hee-haw circus that defines American public life continues.
And although it’s hard to stay afloat in the crushing cascade of quackery, treachery, and goofiness, a couple of recent items should go into the time capsule.
First, we witnessed the blistering kerfuffle over Hollywood’s Oscar “snub” of the film Selma--a lèse-majesté of unbearable ruffle for those of the always-and-forever-offended class. No chance that it might just be a mediocre film, with a tendentious script and unbrilliant acting and directing. Nope, it’s gotta be racism. And no doubt sexist racism since the director is a woman of color.
The only bright spot in this tedious replay of the daily whine was the rich spectacle of the bigotry brigade, Big Hollywood, and LBJ cultists engaged in a circular firing squad of accusations and breast-beating over the film.
And poor Big Hollywood. Weren’t some white Sony film executives only recently squeezed through gargoyle-activist Al Sharpton’s moral and money shakedown-wringer over some leaked e-mails that made jest of a certain president’s racial tastes in movies?
You would think we’d be fatigued to death of the relentless national Inquisition, whether probing offenses of race, gender, orientations, clownphobia, or general pigment-privilege mongering.
But it continues at a dizzying howl. “Isms” and “phobes" everywhere. And the social justice warriors promise to wield their pitchforks until all forms of hate crimes are rooted from the land. So much rooting, so little thinking. Such are the building blocks of totalitarianism.
Meanwhile, on the foreign desk, we had the hilarious footage of water sports enthusiast who plays a Secretary of State on TV, John Kerry, arriving in Paris a week late for the world leaders’ Charlie Hebdo show of unity and hypocrisy march.
He was sorry for not being at the march with all the other country leaders, he told them. He was in India instead.
But he was here now, and he was speaking French, and he was offering “a hug.” And not only a hug, the sensitive Sec brought squeaky, creaky 70s folk-rock hero, James Taylor, to render a geriatric, but absolutely meaningful, version of his 40-year old hit, You’ve Got a Friend.
Like all good baby-boomers, I have great affection for James Taylor (even remember him hanging and dancing at the Lamp Post Cafe in Oak Bluffs in the early 70s).
But that was then. To task those bittersweet charms of James into the service of modern diplomacy suggests a level of frivolous governance that I don’t even want to think about.
Sadly, these fleeting stories reveal much about what grips our current Land of the Free and Home of the Brave — viz., a snarling race hustle and grievance industry teamed with a foreign policy establishment so barren of impact and ideas that it must drag out failing-voice vestiges to show that it still counts on the world stage.
Meanwhile, there is no joy in Foxborough. Mighty Brady has shrunk his balls.
When exactly did we become so silly?