The swarm


Facebook has become Hillaryland, and no doubt will be for the next year and a half. Many of my so-called friends are busy ‘liking’ and re-posting inane, jejune meme-wannabes, most of which presumably originate from some eager intern at the Hillmill itself, or from junior-woodchuck auxiliaries like Daily Kos. The facebook S/N ratio, never very impressive, is now zero to three decimal places, with this superadded outpouring of imbecile campaign chaff.

They’re damn nasty, too, these people, if you show any inclination to demur. Here’s an example:

Okay, so what do you plan to DO about the imminent future of the world? Not vote? Vote for a candidate that is manifestly unable to actually win? Wow, yeah, way to stick it to “The Man” (or The Woman, as the case may be). I’m sure your unrealized principles are going to create great change in the world as you bash your head against the Republican regime. And please, stop with the straw man arguments; my unconditional support of HRC’s campaign =/= unconditional support of every decision she has or will make. Politics — like life — is more complicated than that. If you don’t like what is off the table now, just wait until we get a Republican president back in office. At least with a Dem in office we’d have a *chance* to get those topics back on the table. But I suppose basking in moral superiority is more rewarding than taking a hit to make real change happen.

Anklebiters of my friend’s ilk are now in full swarm. It reminds me of a famous scene from the movie Barbarella, darkly hinted at in the image above. Those who haven’t seen the movie can check out the scene here, though perhaps not at the office.

Incoherencies abound in all this, of course — interspersed in the overall texture of cliche, like raisins in tapioca. For example, just what sort of a ‘hit’ does my correspondent anticipate taking as a result of her vote for ‘HRC'(*)?

And of course ‘imminent future’ is irresistible.

But the incoherence is less interesting to me, these days, than the obvious intensity of feeling that provokes stuff like this. Where does it come from?

Needless to say, I have a theory.

My theory is that folks like my correspondent recognize, on some level perhaps not fully conscious, that they are entirely the objects of politics rather than the subjects. They have no place at the table, as a current buzzphrase runs. They have no influence on events. No one among our rulers cares what they think or consults them.

The only way they have to feel like agents rather than patients is the empty quadrennial ritual of a Presidential horserace. Hence this hollow mummery must actually be quite important; and anybody who says otherwise has dissed them.

(*) Initials which always reminds me of a chain of gyms that used to exist here, and maybe still does: the ‘Health and Racquet Club’. Note the precious Anglophile orthography. There is signs and correspondences in all things, as Fluellyn says. No pain no gain. And then you might have the pain without the gain, which is perhaps more to the point with Hillary.

13 thoughts on “The swarm

  1. It’s only been a few hours since she announced!

    I’m going to make the rounds of the social network sites with a “Who’s on board the Hillary Train, toot toot!!”

    Any response but “Fuck you”, and you go right into the permanent score file.

    • “I’m going to make the rounds of the social network sites with a ‘Who’s on board the Hillary Train, toot toot!!’…”

      Come round the bend,
      you know it’s the end!
      The fireman screams
      and the engine just gleams!

      –Grateful Dead, “Casey Jones”

  2. I keep insisting that without machine-free vote casting and tallying, and simple score style voting, voting is 100% futile. This is always either ignored or trolled by miscreants who say “it would make a good board game,” etc. See:

    With the real possibility of having to chose between Clinton-II and Bush-III, I may build a raft and set sail for Argentina.

    Protest the damn fake elections already!

    (Beginning to think MJS studied thematic roll theory (linguistics).)

    (OT: Will add much to my biomathematics blog soon! Also plan to learn the Nim language — like Python but with everything from OCaml plus pointers baked in — plus multiprocessing!):

    Gotta take my mind off the vast neofascist conspiracy!

  3. Ultimately it boils down to the lib/pwogs specious argument/justification of “LESSER EVILISM”. Thier nonsensical theory that John Wayne Gacy is somehow better than Jeffrey Dahmer.

  4. Worse than a crime. A mistake.

    Ultimately it boils down to the failure to demand machine-free vote casting and tallying, and simple score style voting.

    Then, quite obviously, there could be no “LESSER EVILISM”.

    It would all evaporate like fog in daylight. The oligarchs could not even pay enough for us to vote against our interests.

    The perfect answer is simple, and has been well known since the French Revolution.

    It just does not get airtime from Fox News, or the fake left Internet.

    March in the street for machine-free vote casting and tallying, and simple score style voting. Or… Chose between Clinton-II and Bush-III.

    The choice is always yours.

  5. until the dems get a lezzie transgender pygmy iraq war vet parapalegic AIDS suffering non-white from an expat family (a citizen b/c born on a military base, natch!) recovering addict former Naderite/Green-ey NRA member who’s also pro machine-free & simple score style voting…i’m going to be suspicious of pwoggy candidates.

    Sam Walton…at some point he put a black guy in charge of a WalMart. the supply chain from China rolled on…as it has for some time…and will with a woman in charge of the National WalMart.

    “it can be made into a monster if we all pull together as a team…” pink floyd, aptly playing on the local crappy classic rock station

  6. Look here:

    Get simple score voting today! 18.Apr.2015 16:16
    ..ii link

    Yes, confuse the low information voters with fractions. They love math!

    Simple Score Voting — It eliminates 90% of the two-party spoiler effect 18.Apr.2015 19:24
    blues link

    It involves absolutely no fractions, division, multiplication, or other complications. Each voter can give from 1 to 10 votes to each of a certain number of candidates, up to say 20, since letting them give votes to 100 candidates would just take too long. They can’t give a zero (0) vote since then they could write in someone’s name and give zero votes, which is not nice. At the end of the day, all the votes are simply added up — that’s it. So you could, for example, give 10 votes to candidates you really want, and 9 votes to a “lesser evil”, but well financed, one. If the lesser evil one wins, you will only have sacrificed 10% of your voting power. It’s absolutely simple. This has been known at least since the time of French Revolution!

    Also abolish machine vote collection and tallying. If it saves 10X of time and expenditure, it also makes it 10X easier to perpetrate systematic rigging. Which of these burdens can we truly afford to endure?

    You Are So Afraid Of Simple Score Voting 18.Apr.2015 19:43
    blues link

    Makes me wonder about all the rest of your shit.

    Why so scared? Huh?

  7. No one’s heart really seems into it. Not many of her “supporters.” Not the Morning Joe crowd, which has to rehearse the same old tired material that goes back at least a quarter of a century. Not the right-wing frother, who never seem to bet exercised over the stuff about her that matters. It’s all a weary routine, more animated by fatigue, fatalism and defeatism than anything else.

    The only squeaks of any passion seem to come from a few lonely, left voices like that of Bob Scheer, who fulminates against her Wall St ties, her dangerous hawkishness, her craven opportunism on NPR or Democracy Now! usually to deaf or just weary ears.

    I do think most of us indeed see ourselves as the objects of this circus. I expect 2016 will be a very-low-turnout SMBIVAn affair.

  8. I’m more inclined to turn my attention to where the action really is right now, and hopefully will be. In no particular order: the minimum wage fight, BDS, BlackLivesMatter, the little uprisings against school-testing mania — places where one can find passion and a pulse.

  9. ” my unconditional support of HRC’s campaign =/= unconditional support of every decision she has or will make”

    Uhhh, what is it then? You can’t unvote for someone, or only have voted for them 60% of the time. It’s a did or didn’t situation. Responsibility does not vanish just because you feel bad. You voted, your candidate rose to the top of the system, and then they used it to run over a bunch of kids. It’s a very clear chain of events in which you actively participated and helped make happen in a very small way. Tears alone will not wash the blood from your hands.

    Which is not to say that you should never vote or campaign or be involved in the process. I don’t think those things are very helpful myself but I could well be wrong .

    I’m just saying if you do cast that ballot, send that money, hand out those flyers, etc. you damn sure better be able to look at the corpses they pile up after and say “worth it” because that’s a thing you helped do. If you flinch and squirm and say “well, I don’t support THAT”, you are not honestly balancing the scales.

    • Very much like when Iraq war cheerleaders — the gruesome T Friedman being the worst example, but right up there was Peter Beinart, the oily Fareed Zakaria and many others — saw the almost immediate, disastrous result of the invasion, then equivocated, “Well, this wasn’t the way I wanted the war fought” (as if another approach would’ve been preferable) or “I supported the war for humanitarian reasons and didn’t buy the WMD argument” (as if motives for war are some sort of My Yahoo! function) and so forth.

      The most honest answer: “I publicly and actively supported this crime against humanity, but of course, I’m just a pundit, which means what I say is totally irrelevant and of no consequence to people who actually wield power — and at best, I’m a courtier or window drapes.”

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