Scientists* estimate that approximately one out of every three people is crazy, yet we go about our daily business as if our governmental officials, beloved celebrities and attractive dinner dates were entirely sensible and calm. It’s not until they send us all pictures of their genitals that we begin to suspect the truth: pretty much everyone is a ticking time bomb, just waiting for the right traffic event or interview question to explode into ratfuck insanity. As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence this weekend, I thought we might celebrate those Americans who spontaneously shoot up in the air and make a terrible thunder/flash of light before falling to the ground a burnt stick. It’s Friday, several people previously believed to be reliable have gone all hoopy on us, and I am three deadlines away from a psychotic break with reality myself. Won’t you join me?
Is this the face of a machine politician who unquestioningly executes whatever obscure directives party apparatchiks give him? Um, yeah—now that you mention it, it kind of is. Especially if you mention it along with the news that Scott Walker appointed 27 year-old college dropout Brian Deschane to a $65,000-a-year supervisory position in the Wisconsin Bureau of Licensing and Regulation. Deschane has no management experience, only a short history of full-time employment and two drunk driving convictions, but he is the son of Jerry Deschane, head of the Wisconsin Builders Association, which sent Walker over $120,000 in contributions during the 2010 campaign. Two months after he was hired at L&R, Brian Deschane was promoted to a supervisory position in the Wisconsin Commerce Department, where he got a 24% pay raise. Then a bunch of articles came out about that, and Walker demoted Deschane to his earlier job. He’ll also be in charge of Walker’s exploratory team for the 1882 election.
Combat! blog has tended inexorably toward politics during the last year, since that is where the worst habits of the age are inflated to grotesques. In our fixation on all things governmental, it’s easy to forget that politics is only one subset of a larger world, and a subset whose lineaments exist only in our understanding, at that. In fact, politics and popular culture and bears and ethnomusicology are all names we have given to elements of one seamless, coherent whole, and that whole is just as stupid and baffling as everything else, which is nothing. This Friday’s linktacular is largely about popular culture, and if you think politics are dispiriting, have a look at those portions of society run by people who are too lazy to keep up with politics. It’s Friday; the week is almost end; up is down; wrong is right and things that should make us angry give us strange pleasure. Unbuckle your seat belt and rest your teeth gently on the dashboard, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Since August, when Sarah Palin was eaten by a Grue as a result of staying in a darkened area too long while studying foreign policy, a replicant version of her body has been operated by a funny snake. We know this. What you may not know is that the snake finally finished writing that book—which is currently being edited to remove numerous and baffling references to the warmth of field mice—and he is now free to pilot Sarah Palin’s body around the country, collecting multi-thousand dollar speaker fees and making his views known. Like most snakes, the one controlling Palin’s body is friendly and inquisitive, and spends most of his time scanning the ground in search of candy and coins, which he hopes to barter for social acceptance. In that capacity, he’s discovered a possible left-wing conspiracy and a change in our minting policy that may shock and disturb you.