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Fatwah / Gloats / August 25, 2008

I just flew back to the U.S., just in time to watch the Democratic Convention’s opening night. I’m amazed by how Soviet my country has become, or always was. We love these hokey big ceremonies just as much as any totalitarian country. I flipped the channel away from the Convention coverage and wound up on the opening day of the US Open, and there it was again—more ceremony, with all the hokey Soviet nostalgia that comes with it. Jesus, even the US Open has succumbed, trotting out stars from our Soviet past: Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Ilie Nastase—I could only hold out long enough to hear John Newcombe’s depressing name called out, before immediately flipping the channel, which put me right back on the other, bigger Soviet ceremony, the one in Denver. I always assumed the Russians were the world’s worst ceremony-monkeys, because all you saw on their shitty state-controlled TV were endless hokey ceremonies, and tributes to crusty old pigs. I guess we’re just as hokey as they are, only with marginally slicker production values, although the slickness-gap is narrowing fast.

The most idiotic moment from my brief Convention surfing came from MSNBC, the so-called liberal network. Their commentator team includes Pat Buchanan on the right, and a liberal lesbian topper named Rachel Maddow, an up-and-coming star who looks more and more like Keith Olbermann every day—the only thing Maddow needs to do now in order to replicate Olbermann’s head is to paint some gray streaks in her hair-shell, and Olbermann will vanish forever.

In the brief segment I saw, Maddow was ripping into Hillary’s stubborn followers for still refusing to support Obama: “It makes no sense—Hillary has asked them to back Obama, and yet they are still holding out…supposedly because they back Hillary, who backs Obama. It’s just post rational. You know? It doesn’t make any sense, which is why I call it post-rational.” Maddow really thought she’d hit the intellectual-zinger jackpot with that idiotic neologism, because over and over, she kept repeating this line, “it’s post-rational,” like some kind of product jingle, as if we needed to hear it fifty times before we could possibly get it.

Then they cut to Chris Matthews, who laughed in amazement: “Post-rational. Wow! Tom, whattaya think?”

Then they cut to Tom Brokaw, who was sitting with Kathleen Sebelius, the Democrat governor of Kansas:

Brokaw: “Post-rational, wow. But that’s what you get—Rachel Maddow went to Stanford and was a Rhodes Scholar. Governor Sebelius?”

Governor Sebelius: “Well, she’s a very smart woman.”

I shut the TV off, repeating to myself, “Don’t hate, don’t hate, don’t hate…remember, they’re just idiots, but they’re not the bad guys…Just idiots, that’s all…nothing to get excited about…”

As it turns out, Maddow has been trying to get mileage out of this “post-rational” line of hers for months, as evidenced in a gushing Obama blog I just found.

This living-in-America thing is not going to be easy, I tell ya.

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