Friday, August 7, 2009

a modest rant

Crow here. Sorry for my recent absence but I had to take a bottle of Remy Martin to Matt Taibbi who's been taking a lot of flack from financial reporters for describing Goldman Sachs tricks to the general public. They don't like it that a non-expert would clarify a subject kept out of general consciousness because essentially they enjoy the benefits of such game playing too. Matt Taibbi writing for Rolling Stone reminded me of someone else who got famous working for them so I thought I'd drop by here, pop my claws and do a little typing.

susan has talked about her favorite artists a few times, mostly 19th century illustrators like Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham, Maxfield Parrish, Kay Nielson and their ilk. You know, those namby-pamby Romanticists and Orientalists. She actually likes that stuff but everybody seems to need some form of escapism and that's hers when it comes to sources of inspiration. Go for whatever makes you feel better as long as it hurts nobody else has always been my philosophy.

I also have a favorite artist - Ralph Steadman. You may remember Ralph and the fabulous journeys where he accompanied our old and now departed friend, Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. It's impossible to talk about one of them without the other since their individual genius was multiply enhanced by their association. They first met in 1970 at the Kentucky Derby when Ralph had been hired to illustrate Thompson's article for Scanlan's Monthly:

'Looking down from the press box, I pointed to the huge grassy meadow enclosed by the track. “That whole thing,” I said, “will be jammed with people; fifty thousand or so, and most of them staggering drunk. It’s a fantastic scene–thousands of people fainting, crying, copulating, trampling each other and fighting with broken whiskey bottles. We’ll have to spend some time out there, but it’s hard to move around, too many bodies.”

“Is it safe out there?” Will we ever come back?”

Poor Ralph. The United States was quite a shock to his system at first.

Less an article about racing and more about public debauchery and greed the story and illustrations led to a long partnership where they examined the end results of following the American Dream™ to its logical conclusion. The most famous of their collaborations into the heart of darkness that is the American Empire™ was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. After Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail Ralph had seen enough of Gonzo America for a while so stayed safely in England and waited for the Vegas notes before commencing his drawings. (If you haven't read the book the movie is pretty good.)

Here we are decades on recalling that just a year ago everybody was taking the imminent death of the Republican party for granted but look at it now. With the help of Rush Limbaugh and associates in the MSM™ the crazies have erupted into vile and inexcusable displays of hatred and ignorance. Birthers and tea baggers are attacking health care reform even as they head to car lots to exchange their clunkers for cash. The cars they'd owned will be destroyed and they'll still owe thousands for the new ones. What sort of insanity is it when people seethe about the idea of a moderate heath care package while showing no awareness of the monstrous theft perpetrated by the financial industry? No wonder the smart boys over at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and the Federal Reserve figure they at least know what to do with the money they've stolen. Have you seen the yachts they're selling these days?

The media is broken but Dr. Gonzo told us that years ago. I'm not one for recommending movies to people but it was fun hanging out with some old birds in the branches of an oak grove watching Breakfast With Hunter a couple of years ago. I'd give it two pinfeathers up but maybe you should put the children to bed before watching it.


Seraphine said...

oh yes, nationalized healthcare will bankrupt america.
but but but but wait! we spend more on healthare than any country on earth! we spend 16% of gdp (compared to about 11% in the rest of the world) on medical, and yet something like 50 million people don't have insurance and millions more are underinsured.
so who pays for the uninsured when they tromp to the emergency rooms (which are legally obligated to take them) for basic treatment?
ummm. take your time. this is important rush. tick tock, tic toc ding! time is up!
*you* pay for the uninsured. i do and rush does too, and everyone who pays $322 for a box of hospital tissue you could buy at rite aid for 89 cents.
it's more than silly that people in this country lose their houses because they can't afford to buy kleenex at mercy medical. it's retarded that people who have pre-existing conditions that get laid off from their jobs can't get healthcare insurance.
so lets do something to make universal health availale to anyone who wants it. let the government buy some hospitals and compete with private hospitals. you'll see the cost of healthcare come down by billions.
it can work. we can fix this thing into a system the entire world will envy. canadians will come to detroit for healthcare instead of india and thailand.

Randal Graves said...

If it wasn't for mamby-pamby romanticism, I might have, well, probably have done nothing violent against the oligarchy because I'd only end up in one of their for-profit slammers and be stuck with the Bible as my only literature. Plus no pretty lady ogling or CDs. That, and I'm lazy. Well played, masters of the world.

Crow said...

sera - One of these days perhaps I'll convince susan to talk about her day job at the local teaching hospital where she's responsible for getting insurance authorizations for people to have expensive medical treatments. She's also in charge of the hospital billing for the department and has told me things are much worse than what you've mentioned here. It makes her so sad she probably won't agree to discuss it at all. You're right.

randal - You do more to benefit society doing what you do outside those prison walls. Besides, you'd probably look awful in an orange jumpsuit.

Spadoman said...

Susan seems to think that I might not pay much attention to politics and problems like our economy and health care, at least she suggested that in her response to a comment I made on the post previous to this one, but it just ain't so. I'm just as dumb as a tack and I don't "get it" all the time.
I will admit that I never paid a lot of attention to Hunter S. Thompson, but I knew who he was and that he was a radical. I did some research after seeing the clip and now I know more than I did before. Thanks for turning me on to one of the important chapters I missed the first time through.
You've also prompted a forthcoming post by yours truly in the near future. A political one, which I rarely do these days, where I'll point out the troubles of the world and make sense to everyone.


susan said...

spadoman - My answer got so long I just turned it into a post. Peace :-)