Thursday, December 23, 1999

Pigasus, now

How shall I put this so it doesn’t sound patronizing …

Ah, fuck it. I'll just come out and say it.

The Republicans managed to draft God.


God is now a Republican.

What’s the Biblical evidence?

The Bible…what’s a nice way to say this? The Bible is basically horseshit--the ravings of various Middle Eastern paranoid psychotics that add up to whatever you want. It’s a Rorschach blot in leather binding. You can quote the Bible to set slaves free. You can quote the Bible to make slaves tote your cotton. As an intellectual exercise, it ain’t that hard. But the Democrats are lazy bastards. The Republicans beat ‘em to it.

Now it’s their Bible.

To put it another way, imagine that a network of Wobbly union camps existed from coast to coast. Folks meet in these camps and sing songs. When we all go into battle, which side are you on? Folks discuss strategy—then act. Joe Hill makes a speech. Then miners and truck drivers and machinists march—across the country!

That’s a left wing wet dream. It’s a right wing reality.


On the right wing, the equivalent network exists.

They’re called churches.

No fucking kidding.

Various pastors, priests and preachers within these churches steal their sermons from the bulletpoints of various rightwing think tanks. This started in the 1970s. It’s SOP now, but brilliant pioneering back then.

Here's what happened ...

In the late 1970s, Richard Scaife and his pals took a page from Jerry Rubin. “Community empowerment,” or whatever the fuck the yippies called it. The strategy was simple: Don’t go for the top. Don’t try to elect congressmen, mayors and senators. Thinks small. Elect dog catchers. Elect school board representatives. Create coalitions on the community/street level. Think local, then build from there.

That’s exactly what the American Right did.

Jerry Rubin played the media like a harp from hell. So did Richard Scaife, Richard Viguerie and friends. Rubin was a pioneer. So was Viguerie.

Like Rubin, Viguerie was an early adapter when it came to media. He wasn’t too proud to jump into stuff that was dirty, low-rent, cheap, unsexy. Viguerie pioneered direct mail marketing. Computer printers that fucking printed the preacher’s signature on a personal appeal for money to destroy some liberal politician – Viguerie invented that shit! The chump on the receiving end opens the letter and thinks, dang, Jim Bakker wrote this personal to me! I better send him a check to stop them goldurn secular humanists! Brilliant! Effective!

Thanks to these savvy media tactics, there was an explosion of right-wing Christian orgs in the late 1970s and early 1980s – the Christian Coalition, Jesus for America, Moral Majority, whatever. In a nutshell, these entities identified the agenda of America’s ruling class with the will of Jesus Christ. In the process, they shifted the debate.

Before: the rich bastards want to own you lock stock and barrel. Discuss.

Now: the secular humanists want to kick God out of public schools, put condoms on bananas, marry gay folks, euthanize grandma and abort fetuses. Discuss.

At the dawn of the 1980s, this tide of shit (born in direct mail marketing and mega-church, televangelist sermonizing) flowed into another media paradigm shift – TALK RADIO!

Yeah, FM killed the AM radio star. But it gave birth to lots of fucking yappers.

Predominantly right wing.

By the mid-1990s, Rush Limbaugh and pals were bloviating their blather over the airwaves everywhere. None of that pointy-head intellectual shit a la William F. Buckley. No fucking quotes from St. Thomas Aquinas. These cats distilled the bullet points of the Heritage Foundation and various other entities with slick, stand-up comic professionalism. Sucking cigars, coming back with one-liner smackdowns to idiot liberal callers. Smug. Secure. Tough. Powerful.

More than anyone else, Rush Limbaugh embodies (and what a fat fucking body) Jerry Rubin’s subversive vision of media mindfuck. He’s the medium and he’s the message. He’s an empty fucking suit, and proud of it. He’s a bantam in pine woods. He’s fat, fat, fat, fat, fat. Hear me now and believe me later.

Rush Limbaugh is Pigasus.


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