Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday January 25, 2012 05:31 PM

I may have mentioned that I've been having some very vexing conversations lately with my liberal friends. I fear the nearing Presidential charade has got their hormones flowing.

Years ago, as a lad, I had a fine old Kentucky hound dog, unimaginatively named Mutt. Now Mutt was by nature a very gentlemanly dog, who had the good grace to look sheepish when he had done something stupid; as Diogenes remarked, a blush is the color of good breeding. Or something like that. Not that dogs blush, exactly. But their body language is very eloquent, and they generally have better breeding than their masters. In my experience.

Mutt had his limits, though. There was a very coquettish and un-fixed collie bitch -- I use the term in its technical, not pejorative sense -- who dwelt about a quarter mile down the little road we lived on, and whenever she went into heat, and the wind blew from that quarter, Mutt simply had to be confined. It was a case of Jekyll and Hyde. The usually companionable, sportive and humorous pal I thought I knew disappeared, to be replaced by a slavering -- literally slavering -- insensate sex fiend.

We locked him up in the shed and closed our heartless ears to his piteous, long-drawn melismatic howls -- so expressive; no two alike. If we had understood Doggish as well as Mutt understood English, we would have been amazed by his Pindaric eloquence, I feel sure.

Three or four times a day I would take him out on a leash -- a leash, forsooth; like putting a human in a strait jacket -- to scombre. He was like a lodestone. The collie's bower of bliss lay due east of us, and our house was foursquare to the cardinal points. So on the west side of the house, Mutt's quivering nose and drooling jowls were pointed directly at the walls of the house -- as if he could charge right through the brick to achieve the consummation so longed-for.

We walked clockwise -- very bad luck to do the contrary, where I grew up -- and on the north side of the house he nearly dragged me off my feet behind him. On the east side I had to assume a 45-degree list to starboard and the leash was taut as a fiddlestring. On the south side I had to put the leash over my shoulder and drag the poor horndog backwards, claws grubbing up the crabgrass; he knew that leg was taking him fifty feet farther from his heart's desire.

Well, okay, wrong organ.

I had a lot of sympathy for Mutt, though it would be some years yet before I would find myself in exactly his situation. So I should be more sympathetic to my liberal friends. The bitch is in heat, and the limbic system has taken over. Here's a recent message from an old old friend of mine, in response to some aspersions I cast upon Obama the God-Emperor:

It is not uncommon to underestimate the stimulus bill--the sheer billions that went into such progressive causes as alternative energy, health care, unemployment and infrastructure. Not to mention saving the domestic automotive industry. This was not the work of a neoliberal CEO.

But it generated such a tremendous backlash in the form of the Tea Party (which the voters bought into in the 2010 elections), that gridlock has been the consequence.

At least we are out of Iraq, whereas our presence there could have been infinitely prolonged.

It was Congress, responding to the Republican scream machine, that refused to supply the funding to close down Guantanamo, and which has refused to transfer prisoners to the mainland, after Obama announced that it would be closed.

The citizen detention component of the NDAA is grotesque, but it is so clearly unconstitutional that I have no doubt that the courts will strike it down in short order.

In the meantime, bills can be paid... After several years of being excruciatingly diplomatic, Obama seems to have found his voice again, and is calling out the Republicans as the real "job-killers."

Stopping Keystone arrested a fossil fuel extravaganza that authoritative voices said would have meant "game over" as far as climate change.

I will leave it to y'all to dissect the full craziness of this apologia. It's sheer Muttlike madness from start to finish, of course; but I've been cruel and mean-spirited enough just by reproducing it.

Comments (27)

My memory is, no doubt mercifully, not reliable on this question: can you think of any major policy area where BHO (my iPad suggests BHOPAL) stands to the left of RMN?


Not only was RMN well to the left of BHO, he was also human, all too human:

Richard Nixon's best friend was a sharp dressing and charming Cuban-American businessman named Bebe Rebozo. Rebozo lived alone for much of his life in a well-decorated Key Biscayne home (Nixon eventually moved next door), once worked as a flight attendant, enjoyed show tunes, and after an early marriage that was, according to gossip, never consummated, finally married his lawyer's secretary later in life...the same profile details Rebozo's impeccable sense of dress, his love of white suits (with lightened loafters to match?), the fact that he often picked out Nixon's clothing, and the pair's shared love of show tunes.

I'll bet, even HST—had he lived longer—would have taken a less jaundiced view of his favorite "pervert".


the mutt narative is excellently rendered

why spoil it with the stilted muckery of your friend's vomit like gruel


Because my friend is after all a friend and I want to place her madness in a context I can understand.

MJS, this was fantastic. And I love your line to OP re her being your friend. I too would like to know the source of such entrenched and active obliviousness as I am engulfed in it myself.

I think though that unlike Mutt, her motivation, like many others, is something quite other than the overwhelming feeling of desire that is fueled by the aroma of some siren's snatch promising sexual pleasures. Rather it's the stench of confusion and fear intertwined with the fear of losing one's identity should they allow your no doubt sound arguments through their defense systems. Essentially it's the equivalent of someone putting their hands over their ears and saying, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you" as loudly as possible, only with citations and quotes.

The cure to such madness? Indirect persuasion. You have to back door them, trick them into coming to the conclusions themselves. And when you hear them utter something that sounds like they're starting allow something in, you have to change the subject immediately and not let on that you noticed. The worst thing to do is to immediately jump in and do the I-told-you-so dance.

Please tell me that I'm responding correctly to whatever was said previously, otherwise I just wasted time that could have been spent sleeping.

Do you think she'll be pleased to click through and find it here?

It leaves one in frighteningly small company to remove the garments of either Democrat or Republican. Your own kindred spirits then may be a few blog authors who decry elite political manipulation, and there are no TV or radio programs, or published media, to turn to for validation. It doesn't matter that your friend is "wrong"; it matters that she knows how to intelligently recite what she is told, and she will receive an "B- with special marks in liberalism," and be allowed to play in the schoolyard later with everyone who got a "C+ with emphasis in conservatism."

It's enough of an enislement to reject the two parties; it's even harder to go beyond the standard elite manipulation narrative. The best way to encourage the friend is probably to make her feel good enough about herself, and the rest of humanity, that she begins believing there can be a better way. It's often people's belief that nothing else better is possible that keeps them from expressing the conclusions about, say, Obama, that they already inherently understand. Inspire her with humankind, until she no longer finds it acceptable to murder X quantity of small dark children to accomplish an end. Teach her the priceless value of an incalculable one.

It has the final stench of carrion declined by even the vultures, Mr. Smith. Left to rot too long in the highest of noon day heat, the dead body at the heart of the stink has convinced itself that it no longer produces an offal odor, and has instead been transformed, or transubstantiated, into the perfume of a desert bloom.

If you smell the fetor and can call it by its true name, more for the better. But for those who cannot, sadly I think, it is a sign that senses, and sense, have decayed beyond recovery.


i think PA has it right

most liberal goo gos aren't in heat

though confused strikes me as off too

the soul's active parts seek within
for availible more or less habitual
conflict resolution devices

despite implicit contradictions
inherent to all real thought
that remain self- convincingly coherent
they are not the flailings of some one
in a mad scramble not to drown

one's sense of an other's self
sinking in a sea of chaotic blues making
evil otherness
strikes me as too "healthy " a response
for most liberals

calling him ohbummer is "first light"
or better
the sudden insight of the suddenly struck blind
to their darkness would be a welcome despair
not customary to the functional liberal
and the disfunctional liberal
is really off the board already
into a citizen implosion process

for example
i see no panic cries of

"this is not my large american system "

in father S's good hearted correspondent's power points

i wish i did

i see just the standard liberal rationalizers
busy making cookies out of crap
busy as the keebler elves

and as to the cry of the lefty

"he's killing innocent foreign souls "

sensible clued in liberals not only
take no personal responsibility for that
anymore then a car accident they pass by

they hardly blame ohbummer

he's like the innocent driver
of the " victim car "!

the accidents of history
have perps and victims
but neither meant the accident to happen

its an accident

the conscience liberal wants to act responsibly
and yet with a display of realism that is not simply an alibi

the going can get rough

another alibi might just jump out from behind
any oncealing factoid......so have a certain sympathy

"okay so ohbummer was driving 90 not 55 ...and now we know it ...but still "

to continue the analogy

they see the collisions
they call for broad measures of reformation

lower the speed limit
put in a street light
make cars passively safer

one thinks of the Church reforms ....post nam

just as post september 08'
we have a vague liberal
push for financial reforms

" of course the process needs improvement
and ohbummer wants the outcomes improved ..."

"these sadly are the realistic options b4 us "

"look at the constraints he has
...go ahead now
you play ohbummer
what more can he really be expected to do ...?

he's a decent man

okay maybe some one could do better
but how much better after all ...
and the only alternative will do much worse "

they cling to the possible dawn
that can not rise from that horizon
because they know no other
they can "believe in "

is that so surprising

in my estimation
the single greatest scandal
is the liberal goo goos near total
and largely self concealed ignorance
of the actual dynamic workings and possibilities
of a contemporary
advanced national market economy

like the car owner/ operator after a break down on the highway
that doesn't know the basics
of their car's motoring system

what's under the hood is terra incognita

the ariving mechanic at the break down scene
sez...with great chagrin ...
"this is going to require some parts i gotts buy and prolly 8 hours of labor time and ...so best
i tow you to my garage and you come back thursday...you got a ride home ?"

the responses will vary

but your basic merit class goo goo
despite a nice helping of irritated scepticism
just has to say out loud
" okay ...you're the mechanic "

and even if for whatever reason
the liberal driver tries to conceal his/her ignorance
that'll only add anxiety to the ugly draft
to be swallowed

now of course the problem here is more like traffic jams at commute time
then an individual break down
or even a dangerous intersection

but the science of macronautics provide
remedies much like traffic science provides remedies
or pollution control science provides remedies

your average liberal knows a great deal more about greening then about fuller employment

they may even see the dangers of browning as more important to "fix"
then chronic high unemployment


Doesn't really matter what liberals, or conservatives, think, nor does it matter what they say to each other, and us, during yet another quadrennial festival of mindless mass delusion.

The only thing that will ever matter will be defeat of the whole enterprise. What form that defeat will take, I have no idea: from without? within? who the fuck knows?

Defeat is all that will matter. The rest is, as they say, conversation.


Related to my above comment, this quote from the article in today's NYT on the gruesome conditions in Chinese factories that make our iphone and pads:

"until consumers demand better conditions in overseas factories... or regulators act, there is little impetus for radical change."

Well, this will never happen. "Consumers" will never do anything of the sort. Radical change will probably have to come from direct action in those factories themselves. Such direct action seems to me the only hope of defeating, or even fucking inconveniencing, the sociopathic desire for our toys to get better, cooler, faster every goddamn 6 months.



The group suicides by jumping were a perverse form of direct action. "If you're gonna kill us eventually through super-exploitation and exposure to deadly toxins, then we're gonna kill ourselves now so you can't have our blood, sweat, and labor-power." This advertisement was not brought to you by James C. Scott (or George C. Scott for that matter).


I don't see your friend as insane or delusional, just misinformed. Her narrative is coherent and well-constructed, is it not? Her "facts" are carefully noted. The question is who constructed this lie she believes in and why is she not being exposed to a more realistic view? If you listened to nothing but the mainstream "liberal" media on Obama, why would you not believe these things? People cannot be expected to make rational deductions about reality if they are not presented with contrary evidence.

I recognize that people have a strong need to believe and will selectively filter out the evidence that doesn't support their existing world view. But if you've spent years being brainwashed by the MSM, I doubt you can change your view overnight no matter how open-minded you are. It may take continual effort to by others to break through the wall of deceit your brainwashing has created. This is not just a problem with liberals and Obama.

Look at the total refusal by so many on the Left to consider an alternative view of the events of 9-11 to that presented by the government, which is a ludicrous fairy tale on its face. Yet for some reason, people just can't bring themselves to examine the arguments offered by 9-11 critics and skeptics. It is officially "uncool" and the mark of a looney-toon "conpiracist" to question 9-11. Cockburn and Chomsky have spoken. What more needs to be said? I suspect a similar dynamic at play as with your liberal friend.

Seeing people as crazy and hopelessly deluded is a defeatist mindset. My brother works in a union shop with what was erstwhile a group of die-hard, Sean-Hannity watching dittoheads who thoughtlessly bought into the whole Fox News agenda. In time he managed to transform at least half of them into radical lefties who question everything. My brother gets through to people because he knows how to speak their language, and sorry friend, it isn't Greek. All people have the capacity to think critically. They just need help waking up.


Don't underestimate the very powerful, and very human, need for belonging.

And don't underestimate the (perhaps natural, tribal) inclination to privilege closer-to-home concerns over the suffering of faraway people of different hues.

Neither are excuses; just explanations.

Also, Lesser Evilism is pretty much what's on offer. SMBIVA is the only viable alternative, though for those who just can't go cold turkey, I suppose voting for (or writing in) the furthest left option is acceptable, even as an empty ritual.


Who painted the illustration?


" My brother works in a union shop with what was erstwhile a group of die-hard, Sean-Hannity watching dittoheads who thoughtlessly bought into the whole Fox News agenda. "

more details like
size of shop
rough location
age of brother
are u saying they are reagan democrats ?

"in time he managed to transform at least half of them into radical lefties who question everything."
quite a claim
how much time did it take ?

"My brother gets through to people because he knows how to speak their language,

why not record some of this rap
i'd like a transcript
guy's amazing

" and sorry friend, it isn't Greek."

who fucking claims it is

your chip is showing sean

"All people have the capacity to think critically. They just need help waking up."

waking up job class amerika in it's milions

is that about a social earth quake
or finding/building/co ordinating
one hundred thousand clones
of sean's brother ?


more details like
size of shop
rough location
age of brother
are u saying they are reagan democrats ?

What could that possibly have to do with anything?

quite a claim
how much time did it take ?

No idea.

why not record some of this rap
i'd like a transcript
guy's amazing

He is pretty amazing. Glad you concur.

" and sorry friend, it isn't Greek."

who fucking claims it is

The title of this post is in Greek. Obviously someone thinks this is an effective way to communicate.

your chip is showing sean

What chip is that, op?

"All people have the capacity to think critically. They just need help waking up."

is that about a social earth quake
or finding/building/co ordinating
one hundred thousand clones
of sean's brother ?

I have no idea what it takes to wake up millions of Americans, but I am reasonably sure that putting people down and talking over their heads is one approach guaranteed to fail.

Paco Picopiedra:

My brother gets through to people because he knows how to speak their language, and sorry friend, it isn't Greek. All people have the capacity to think critically. They just need help waking up.

"But how else will I display my powerfully eidetic memory?," asked the blogging sage. "My social cachet depends on occasionally dropping points of total irrelevance, buried in the hoary cobwebs of now-dead-language status."

Paco Picopiedra:

I am reasonably sure that putting people down and talking over their heads is one approach guaranteed to fail.

Ouchy Pain's point IS talking over their heads and using denigrating perspectives.

It's what makes him so cool (in his own mind).

That, and the self-conscious fragmented sentences with intentional mis-spellings.

"Look, I'm a savant with human flaws! Worship me!"

That ain't a chip on Ouchy's shoulder. It's a god-damned monolith the size of Gibraltar.

He's quite a character, that Ouchy!


Painting is by Bruegel the Elder. Supposed to show John the Baptist; see if you can find him. It's like Where's Waldo.


Couldn't find Waldo, but there's a lot of good stuff in there. I like the kid eating ice cream and the guy with the dog on sitting on his robe, but most of all the character with the hat made of old NYT's.


That's ole Bruegel for ya. You see one of these things, you think, Hey, I could live there!


If you click on it, and then do "view image", you get a higher-res version. It's a murky photo of the painting, but even so, there's a lot of quite beautiful detail -- very very painterly but at the same time narratorial. What a guy. The original is in Munich, I think, and there are lots of Web images, all looking startlingly different from each other.


Heh. The Greek *always* drives 'em crazy.


Heh. The Greek *always* drives 'em crazy

What's Matthew Arnold to us or we to Arnold? Actually, he meant a lot to me at one time.

Not that I claim to more than I know. Small Latin and less Greek.

A movie played a few months ago in a local theater:


Bruegel is the main character. The film is made so that the characters seem to move in and out of the paintings. If you have a chance to see it on the big screen, I'd recommend it.

This is all a wonderful romp, but doesn't the same old unsexy lesser-evilism sort of cover it? No big mystery here.

For example, my world's scope has shrunk dramatically this past year and things are very simple and concrete.

If I had any hairs on my head, fewer would be turning grey when I think that I can continue to cover my adult children on my healthcare insurance. I can be bought cheap, clearly. But who on earth would choose a greater evil? Unless perhaps Mike's top 10% are really safely buffered from anything real in all this.

But by all means, hang in there with newspaper hat guy in the picture. There is a better day coming, though I think it takes until the fourteenth sequel of the rebooted Star Trek franchise.

Though I loved Mutt. My dog was called "Boy". My best friend's dog was "Gurl".


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