Thursday was such a productive day, too. But in Missoula, as in all decent-hearted places, Thursday Night is Fun Night, and “fun” is a concept temporally bound. I totally had fun last night, and I’m still having fun now. It’s just that now “fun” means a headache and scrambled eggs with srirachi sauce and, bizarrely, feta cheese. This is how William Faulkner lived every day of his life, pretty much, and he wrote As I Lay Dying. I have yet to produce the great Southern gothic novel, but I’m sure that with a couple more nights like last night, everything I write will be filled with images of shame and decay. In the meantime, we’ll have to content ourselves with the actual, non-literary decay of American politics and culture, to prepare ourselves for a weekend spent eating pizza and watching Blade Runner. Behold!
For my money, nothing cures a hangover like schadenfreude. You know what’s coming next: some douchebag from the Tea Party saying something retarded. In this case, the douchebag is Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams, and the something retarded is his claim that Muslims worship “the terrorist monkey god.” Who knows what combination of string and empty pistachio perched atop his brain stem led him to this statement, but he made it in the course of his objection to a proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. It’s possible that Williams was thinking of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey deity, although it’s also possible that he’s a semi-professional racist who knows exactly which god Muslims worship and wanted to score still more points with angry white people.
Boy, are they are angry—so angry that several Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to repeal citizenship by birth. Currently, anyone born on US soil is automatically an American citizen, a sensible approach that prevents, among other problems, Nazi-style campaigns to force ethnic minorities to document their parentage or face disenfranchisement. “”Currently, if you have a child born to two alien parents, that person is believed to be a U.S. citizen,” says Randy Terrill, a Republican state representative in Oklahoma. “When taken to its logical extreme, that would produce the absurd result that children of invading armies would be considered citizens of the U.S.” Clearly, when invading armies occupy the United States long enough to have a statistically significant number of children, our biggest problem will be toddlers who have gotten backdoor citizenship.
Not surprisingly, Rand Paul likes it. In what is perhaps the mother of all dog whistles, he told a Russian TV interviewer that the United States shouldn’t provide an easy route to citizenship because of “demographics.” Translation: Mexicans. Rand Paul knows that as the children of immigrants become a larger portion of the American population, racist millionaires will have an increasingly hard time getting people to vote for harsh anti-immigration laws. He’s got a great solution, though: mass disenfranchisement to create a permanent second class. Dark Theory, anyone?
Meanwhile, in the world of white people, Sex and the City 2 has been released, despite our best efforts at prevention. [Ed.: I am not responsible for the subhead, or the typo contained therein.] If you harbor any remaining doubts that Roger Ebert is a total badass, I invite you to consider his scathing review of same. It’s a torrent of memorable sentences, but my personal favorite is his description of the main characters as looking “like the plugs you pound into a Playskool workbench.”
It’s still us against them, Ebert, and they’re winning. Maybe it’s because they’re so readily identifiable to one another. Chances are you’ve seen this already, but it gives me no end of joy. Here’s Dale Peterson, candidate for agriculture commissioner of Alabama, explaining why you should vote for him. Hint: it’s because of your subconscious recognition of identity signifiers: