“The Media” Or A Mirror To Hide Behind

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Sometimes a podcast can motivate. For example. Last night while listening to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour and the show Google is God, the last few minutes contained an interview with a guy named Michael G. Merhige. He was promoting his new book: Thoughtful Pauses – A Political Philosophy. According to Nader, Merhige is a former servant of the grand $hitshow. That is, he’s a former military guy who, among many other achievements, served in Vietnam and then worked for the CIA. I’m guessing that he’s now retired and living the good life in front of his TV probably somewhere in Florida and all the while trying NOT to be crushed by a lazy-boy–that is somehow induced to flip his channels to the right and beyond.

Or maybe not.

Michael Merhige is–obviously–part of the generation of $hitbags that have given the world my beloved & missed #Americant. You know what I’m referring to, right dear worst-reader? He’s either of The Greatest Generation or he’s their off-spring The Boomer Generation. And what does this extreme generational servant do with his time? I’m not really sure but if I were to guess based on reading this very short book, he sits around and jots down random but driven thoughts and is then able to put them all together and get a weary publisher to publish them.

Oh, and let’s not forget he’s also able to get Ralph Nader’s attention. And before I forget, I specifically use the word driven (previous paragraph) and NOT agenda to describe what Merhige jots down because, well, it’s obvious that he too is doing his best–like so many of his generation–to not fall into the trap of being labelled. Being labelled, by-the-buy, is one of the new #Americant consume-to-survive past-times and is the only way to open any door or window of opportunity to have a living standard. At the least, for Merhige, it worked with an opportunity to get on Nader’s show and sell his book (to me).

And so.

It’s more then who you know to get ahead in life in these trying times. It’s now who you know and does who you know like/approve your label? Yeah, labels are the things two horrendous generations have given the world among so many other really, really, krappy, ugly things.

But on that note I digress.

I have been curious about the origins of my beloved & missed #American’t for some time now. I suppose that’s what motivated me while listening to Nader (naively) interview the author of this book–and then subsequently buying it in the middle of the night and finishing by 6am. My curiosity has brought about a few questions. You know, how did the show that was America turn into the $hitshow that is now #Americant? Did it happen one day or did it happen overnight? Was there one event or one person that lead to the $hitshow? Is there anyone out there even capable of grasping the $hitshow if all there is… is the $hitshow?

Unfortunately I’ve not been successful in answering most of the above questions. I am an expatriate, don’t you know. I live far far far away–from the #Homeland–and my research capability is limited. (Or is it?) And even though there is quite a bit of literature out there that deals with the nature of a superpower or even human history, there is very little out there that reveals the truth about the innards of the people that make up the $hitshow. Rest assured, dear worst-reader, Merhige doesn’t come close to revealing anything about what’s wrong back home–although you’d think based on the first few chapters of this odd and strange manifesto that he might be trying to do just that. This cute little book of sayings and one-liners in the form of a pseudo-political manifesto stuck in the drunken shadow of Thomas Paine might convince a few readers out there that Merhige has something worthwhile to say. But once I got past the first few pages, something familiar began to click in my worst-mind.

Oh my, I thought. This sounds so so so so so familiar. It’s like reading snippets of *faux newz* galore.

So here’s the trigger about Merhige and his f’n generation of $hitbags that brought us the $hitshow: While nothing original or even inventive comes out of his writing, it does become clear through his choice of words that he too is nothing more than a shill for a system that no one–AND I MEAN NO ONE!–in my bloved & missed #Americant is able to see through. At least no one that is capable of publishing a book. Except maybe Ralph Nader. With that in mind, I can forgive Ralph for this awful book recommendation. Ralph was fooled, I’m sure. But let me not get too far off subject.

What’s the first sign that can indicate you’re reading something produced by a shill? Of the highlights I made in this odd and strange book, the word that stands out the most is “media” or The Media. The tablet version of this book that I read in about two hours–on account it’s only seventy pages long–has the word media printed hundreds of times. You know, as in, blame the media. The next word(s) that is constantly and overly used is: “politically correct”. After that comes Government, The Press, TV, Entertainment, blah, blah, blah. Or should I say: blame blame blame someone or something else.

Come on. Seriously? I jumped all over this book because Ralph Nader recommended it. It even started out pretty good. I really don’t mind a well written manifesto here or there. (Big fan of Thomas Paine, btw!) But then the book simply goes on and on and on with one-liners describing what the author thinks is wrong with everything and everyone but never really addresses any truth about the actual problem–and how things got the way they are. In other words. Same old same old from complainers and whiners–i.e. two generations of greed mongers that are #Americant.

Yeah, words through me off big time in this little book. It’s as though the author has had some tube inserted into his skull and faux newz is feeding him everything to say, think, do. Of course, he might be a faux newz hater and perhaps doesn’t even watch it. But at this point in #Americant history, that doesn’t matter. Faux newz, including the grand master of bigotry Rush Limbaugh, are the manifestation of a voice that controls not only the national narrative that has been broadcast daily for the past thirty-plus years throughout #Americant but it also represents the mindset of the/a people. Particularly conservative people. And let’s face it: conservative is #Americant, #Americant is conservatism. Of course, the worst part about this voice is that it so easily transcends conservatism. In fact, in #Americant, there is no escaping it–especially considering the neo-liberal movement owned by so-called Liberals. Merhige proves with gusto, like so many #Americants on a daily basis, that his mind is trapped. He’s trying desperately to find a way to express what is wrong with everything and yet, even after writing this pamphlet-like book, he’s still probably never sat in front of a mirror and said a few of the thousands of one-liners he wrote down that ultimately just complains about everything. On the other hand, I wonder how many times in his life he actually voted for republicans because of taxes, family values, his bank account, etc., never realising how he’s been so brilliantly duped. Yeah, write a book about being duped, dude.

Suckers galore that know how to write and publish a book about how things should or could be? Indeed. Much ado about nothing, baby.

Another word Merhige misuses in his book is Truth. Using the word or writing it down or saying it isn’t as powerful as living it or being an example of it. He should come around to worst-writer-ville, don’t you know. But then again, we all have our mirrors to hide behind.

-Rant on

-T

What Happens When You Cross Dorian Gray With The Devil Wears Prada? Worst-Writer’s Thoughts On Emma Tennant’s Faustine.

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The only problem worst-writer has with this wonderfully imaginative novel about The Feminine is how, if it were a quilt, it would be sewn together with a single thread. That thread, unfortunately, is the opposite of The Feminine. I suppose, if pushed to answer what that opposite (thread) is, I’d have to say this book is not exactly about women. Ironically–or not, very few men play a role in this book, except, of course, the antagonist–who only appears at the very end. In other words, this might just be a book about questioning womanhood post ca. the 1950s. But don’t quote me on that. Wait. Hold a sec.

Women and The Feminine are two different things. Right?

According to her Wiki post, Emma Tennant uses magic and mystery in her work. I was disappointed how neither really played a roll in this book. Even though Tennant brilliantly integrates the Faustian bargain into the story, instead it is really written with a quilt in mind. And that is rather confusing to me. Feminising Faust just doesn’t seem like a worthwhile endeavour–even though Tennant writes with excellent craftsmanship. I’m saddened to say that this story tries to deliver something but in the end all there is–is all that’s ever been: predestined, self-perpetuating social norms and gender roles that so many have embraced since Biblical apples galore. Nor is this book very entertaining. And that’s why I love it and plan to hold it dear for the foreseeable future.

Indeed. The feminisation of Faust. Is that enough for a book of this sort? A chick selling her soul to the devil, in and of itself, could be a huge mystery–or even a great piece of magic. Yet there is only reference to a beauty farm that manages to change a grandmother into a rival for her daughter’s lover. Then there’s a TV repair shop with back room. Like so many other places where women choose to go in their world of wanton patriarchy, we get nothing from Tennant about it–or darkened backrooms. It is here that the author tears clear from magic and mystery and instead goes off on a soap-opera-like tangent–which is probably best palatable to the author’s taste. But then again, if asked whether or not she’s a feminist, this book would make me answer: she is not.

On the other hand, if, like me, you’re the least bit curious what goes on in the mind of a woman (and you’re a man) that has nothing to do with the act of procreation or porn-like good-fucking, this book might be for you. Also. I can’t help but feel that faith (or is it destiny) had this book waiting for me at exactly this moment in (my) life. The reason for that has something to do with the #MeToo movement, Harvey W., and desexualising everything to the point of it being so uninteresting that it’s interesting (again). But I digress.

The writing in this book is brilliant. That can’t be said enough. It is truly a work of art chiseled out of a raw piece of… dare I say… feminine granite. It also reminds me of a combination of Oscar Wild’s Dorian Gray and the film The Devil Wears Prada (or M. Streep in that movie). Even though it takes Tennant almost two-thirds of the book to get to the point she’s trying to make (about feminism), the thing that kept me reading it wasn’t what she was writing about but how she writes it. There is much to learn from Emma Tennant.

Rant (and read) on.

-T