Sunday, May 15, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Drama

Kabuki on the Potomac?

As you watch the video, below, it will be helpful if you think of the 'lady' puppet in the red kimono as "Sarah Palin" or "Michelle Bachmann"--or "Hillary Clinton," or "Madeleine Albright," or that gap-toothed horror, "Condaleeza Rice." The metaphor his informed my interpretation of the passing political parade to me with irrebuttable certainty and luminous clarity since about 1984, when I went back to school and started thinking "critically" again as a regular matter in a grad program in Journalism, at LSU, after almost a decade of being a carpenter and a surf bum.

Reagan was the first REALLY OBVIOUS "puppet" president; even the nominally "weak" presidents were actually pretty well qualified. Their "weak" reputations reflect the less dramatic character of events over which the yprsided. Ironically (oops, there I go again, forgetting irony's no longer possible, with BOTH ThePrez AND Kissinger owning a Nobel Peace Prize) George Bush was the guy with his fingers around ol' Ronnie's prostate, making the gestures by remote control, in much the same role Dick Cheney later played with the Chimperor Bush, after 2000.

As you watch, see if you don't see the metaphorical similarities. (The narration is in Japanese, I think, and I understood only a few scattered words, but mostly, for the purposes of illustration, you don't need to understand the explanation to get the amazing subtlety and skill of the manipulators. Which is the point, after all, nest paw?

(Thanks to my virtual pal Kthy McC. in El Paso for sending me the vid.)


A link on Zuckerberg's Folly this (Friday) pm led to a story about how recent elections in India have brought more women into key, powerful posts in Gummint, including Congress Party president, Sonia Gandhi, and new governors in several States.

This prompted a small flurry of discussion, mainly men commenting, about whether, and how to bring MORE "womens' influence" to bear on the frightening difficulties "progress" has gotten us into, and to which I was stimulated to comment:
At this point, such a strategy would resemble nothing so much as the retreat of the former colonial powers from the disasters they'd imposed on indigenous folks on whom they'd imposed 'civilization,' leaving them to struggle with the wreckage and remains within (and with only the tools of) the failed system.

Hillary Clinton, especially Mad Maddy Albright (she of the "It's worth it that 500,000 Iraqi kids die, if we bring down Saddam!": fame) seem not to me much different from Jeff Sessions (e.g.) in dresses...
For a much fuller, much richer articulation of that sentiment, through the eyes of the colonized, there exists a slender volume (I doubt it's a hundred pages) called "A Small Place," by Jamaica Kincaid (1988), which I taught in virtually ALL my classes.

Kincaid presents a different and understandably jaundiced interpretation of the post-colonial practices we've normalized into near-invisibility through the institution of "tourism" (with its ineradicable tinges of colonialism). Drawing upon her intimate understandings of the insider/outsider tropes of three civilizations--Antiguan/Caribbean, British, and US--she expertly peels back the layers of self-delusion that insulate the traveler in the former colonies from the conditions that permit their leisure and ease, while unpacking the contradictions which such activities imply for "natives."

Yeah, it'll be on the test...


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