Special Blog Post:
In the Crossfire, The Fat Lady Sings
The Fat Lady Sings published an article entitled, "The Problem with Lou Dobbs" on her blog. The post set forth her difficulty in assessing Mr. Dobbs, the anchor and managing editor of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on CNN. Mr. Dobbs, who describes himself as a "populist," offers both liberals and conservatives positions to like and dislike. The Fat Lady Sings expressed the rather common frustration that, in some matters, his rants resonate with the progressive spirit; but at other times, his thinking is disturbingly close to a kind of conservatism that is anathema to progressivism.
As a particular example, one The Fat Lady Sings singled out, Mr. Dobbs is an advocate of all manner of anti-immigration policies and actions. He has gone so far as to feature the self-style, so-called "Minutemen," those self-appointed, private vigilantes patrolling the borders of the Southwest, supposedly "helping" legitimate border patrol authorities stem the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico and countries farther south. Dobbs even put the founder of the Minutemen, Jim Gilchrist, on his show, not bothering to mention that Mr. Gilchrist had gone to the defense of white supremacists in dismissing allegations that such racists not only shared his views about immigration, but that some had in fact become members of the Minutemen.
Before proceeding to the next phase of the Land of Bad Weirdness through which The Fat Lady Sings has just journeyed, I must take this opportunity to state in no uncertain terms that Lou Dobbs presents me with no conundrum at all. His advocacy for meat-and-potatoes issues of the so-called "middle class," his tirades against George W. Bush, and his other apparently quite liberal stances do not fool me for a minute. The man is a classic fascist, and I use that term without reservation. He is cut from the same cloth as the fascists, particular Adolf Hitler, of early-20th Century Europe. His, in point of fact, is the very siren song that Karl Marx called out in "The Manifesto of the Communist Party": the cry to the middle, the bourgeois, if you will, that their issues are his issues, all the while drawing them into the trap of classist separation. This is a subtler, nicey-nice version of the same gambit the Republican Party has played over and over again through the years: cutting taxes for the "middle class," ending the "marriage penalty" tax, getting rid of welfare for those lazy people who are obviously of a lower class, keeping "good" jobs here at home, asymmetrically punishing the habits and addictions of the low-class slobs, getting tough on the crimes that are obviously committed in disproportionate numbers by those lower class people. The astute crypto-fascist of the modern age never once has to use a racial slur, never once has to actually call out the poor as lessers, and never once has to pull out the bluntly hateful speech. It's all about "middle class" values, it's all about "neighborhood schools," it's all about "welfare cheats," it's all about honest, hard-working "Americans" and "their" jobs. It's a game that works way too often; and that game is once again sweeping across Europe, as nativist, anti-immigration, nationalistic parties are rising up from the local councils to the provincial tables, and finally to the national stage, where their carefully crafted hide-and-seek of semantics allows the mainstream news media little room to make an excoriating judgment call, even though everyone knows very well this is at once both nothing more and nothing less than the old-fashioned teeth of Fascism (and note the capitalization at this point in usage), barely covered by the political grin of "I-care-most-about-the-middle-class."
Now, having gotten that out of my systemand cautioning readers that it was to a purpose I shall complete belowlet us proceed with the saga of The Fat Lady Sings. The part of her article where she chewed out Dobbs got noticed by a group on the other side of midnight: Aztlán, a sort of catch-all name for a group of which hardly anyone in the reading audience here has ever even heard, despite the fact that this is more than just a group: it is in reality a rapidly growing movement in the southwestern United States, complete with a more-or-less intellectual wing, the part to which I loosely refer here as "Aztlán," and what looks and sounds for all the world like a nascent provisional wing, called Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA, for short. According to the MEChA "constitution," the group is dedicated to "liberating" Aztlán, a mythical nation that includes Arizona, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Oregon and some of Washington. The MEChA fascination with all things anti-American extends from Chavez and Castro on through to the Ba'athists and the Taliban. In their literature and their constitution, the "Machistas" repeatedly refer to themselves as La Raza, which means "The Race."
You might be thinking to yourself, "Oh, how cute! A little band of junior Che Guevara people!" Try again. They have clubs in many, many high schools throughout the Southwest, as well as on college campuses; the influence of the overlying, political organization has led to some school books that describe the so-called Aztlán as if it were a real thing. Steeped in myth presented as reality, something they share with Christian fundamentalists, inspiration teeters perilously on the edge of prophesy, and that feeds the seedlings of purpose being focused through the lens of destiny. Great stuff for movies, but a little tricky as a conversation starter at the town council meeting in Heartland America.
Are these people dangerous? It is easy to start thinking about this movement as some pre-pubescent ETA (the Basque Separatist organization) or perhaps a Little League version of the Irish Republican Army (with the Minutemen playing the role of the Ulster Defense Association knee-cappers). Some people consider MEChA a genuine threat, and that is perhaps an overreaction. However, whether it be a handful of pot-bellied White men hanging out in a musty meeting hall giving Heil Hitler salutes or a group of high school kids being indoctrinated about their destiny to take over eight states of the U.S., any collection of people whose members refer to themselves as "The Race" is more than a little disconcerting to those who prefer to be exposed to a little less machismo in their daily diet of expressive creativity.
But that's America of the 21st Century for you: polarized and getting more so, all while we now sit anxiously waiting for the Democratic majority in Congress to do something to make everything a little better.
The folks publishing articles at the Aztlán Website saw fit to think that The Fat Lady Sings was sympathetic to their cause. Well, she isn't. Go to that Aztlán site, and you'll find anti-Semitism veritably dripping out of articles. We're not talking anti-Zionism, here, something I myself would gladly take as a label when that delicate political expression of destiny takes the turn around the ugly corner onto the streets of violence that have guided Zionist solutions to problems faced by Israel and by Judaism in the modern world. No, Aztlán people don't have a problem with Zionism per se; their beef is with Jews.
The Fat Lady Sings found out her article criticizing Lou Dobbs was used as a referential link in an article at the Aztlán Website. The poor woman was mortified. As soon as she found out, she fired off an e-mail message to me asking what the Aztlán was all about. At the time, I was in the midst of an impressive run of people and pets close to me dying, and my response to her, though long-winded, was short on advice other than something to the effect that she needed to ignore the situation and not let it bother her.
That advice was based upon the general rule I have that it's best to walk around even a small nest of hornets as long as all they're doing is calling your mom bad names. As it turned out, though, that advice had a downside.
Enter a gentleman who runs a blog called The AmBoy Times, a Right-wing Website with a distinctively anti-immigration smell all around it. "Kevin"the American Boy, himselfwas on a rant about Aztlán, taking righteous umbrage with a side of indignation about the anti-Semitism of La Raza, and he decided to throw in the link to The Fat Lady Sings article that the Aztlán site had used! In other words, The AmBoy Times was associating The Fat Lady Sings with Aztlán, despite the fact that she wanted nothing to do with them or their politics, particularly the anti-Semitic stuff.
The Fat Lady Sings sent me a follow-up e-mail telling me about this latest round of nonsense, so this time I took the opportunity to get her up to speed on Aztlán, MEChA, and "La Raza." I vowed that I would publish an article that would appear across all of the blogs in The Dark Wraith Publishing network, and that I would ensure that news and blog aggregators got pinged until they couldn't hear their own choking on the flood I would make to ensure that all of these false associations were repudiated.
In her e-mail message to me, she indicated that she'd already gone over to the AmBoy site and put up a comment on his post. I high-tailed it over there, myself. Sure enough, she'd laid out a no-two-ways-about-it repudiation of any association whatsoever with Aztlán. I jumped right on the bandwagon and posted a comment of my own, one of my classic, long-winded, over-wrought, grammatically contorted affairs, complete with my famous run-on sentences and odd arrangements of predicate components. I signed it,
Publisher and Administrator
The Dark Wraith Forums
Big Brass Blog
The UnCapitalist Journal
just to emphasize the point that I have a much bigger server (with thicker bandwidth, no less) than AmBoy does.
Within a few hours, once AmBoy had wandered onto his own blog and seen these comments from The Fat Lady Sings and me, he deleted them.
That's right: the fellow deleted the comments we'd made.
Okay, in all fairness, AmBoy most likely had no idea, as others who know me do, that I can turn an annoying person's computer into a terrarium. I have to make this assumption with respect to AmBoy with the same degree of caring sentimentality I do for trolls like the couple of them who slithered into the comments thread over at fatcat politics, where a recent article of mine was republished by the fatcat.
The deletion of those comments simply mortified The Fat Lady Sings. How is one supposed to defend herself if those who have falsely accused her of association with Aztlán deliberately delete her clear denial of association?
In my last e-mail message to her yesterday, I told her I would publish an unwavering statement in her defense, and that I would mince no words about either AmBoy and his Minutemen whackos or Aztlán and its MEChA whackos. I asked her to get my back by publishing her own post on the whole fiasco after I had published mine.
As events would have it, she posted hers first. Not only did she put up a clear and compelling statement, but she also made no bones about the depth of her frustration with all that was happening.
Well, wouldn't you know it: Kevin, himself, of The AmBoy Times came on board and published a comment to her article. He claimed that he deleted her comment and mine on his article because he thought they were "spam."
Yeah. Right. Sure. "Spam," huh? My blithering, over-wrought, grammatically contorted writing has been called a lot of things, but "spam"? Well, I never!
Aside from that aside, "Kevin" was kind enough to apologize for inappropriately associating The Fat Lady Sings with Aztlán, and he assured her that he had removed the link to her original post about Dobbs from his article attacking Aztlán. The Fat Lady Sings is not quite satisfied with that. She responded to him by stating her preference that he delete the post entirely and then republish it (in the revised form without the link to her article, of course), so the original permalink is broken. Kevin replied that he isn't willing to go that far, and that's where the whole story stands as of the time of publication of this article of mine.
Complicated, isn't it? The good news is two-fold. First, The Fat Lady Sings will find that her defense of herself in the article she just published will win the day; and eventually, she'll be left alone both by the Minutemen and their apologists and by the "The Race" of Aztlán. Second, this whole fiasco has not only given me the opportunity to once again stop taking the quiet road against people who thrive on their opponents' silence, but it has ultimately, and herewith, afforded me the opportunity to close with a heavy-duty, if rather brief by my standards, hard-core lecture; and it goes like this:
Folks, the Minutemen are a face of Right-wing hate. Lou Dobbs is another face of it. It is wolf packs and their hyena brethren that scour the world looking for targets, "others," that they can push and shove, hurt and brutalize, hate and marginalize.
Sooner or later, those "others" find leaders who tell them they don't have to live and die on their knees, that in their unity, in their strength of hope in themselves, they can stand up and shove back. Sometimes, they shove back hard, and that gives the wolves all the excuse they need, and then some, to turn really ugly, and far worse, to cry like little babies to the mainstream of usually detached people in the society and bawl, "See? See?! This is what those others do! This is what we're dealing with!"
Soon thereafter, all Hell breaks loose: we get dumb-ass vigilantes turning into genuine thugs on one side of the equation of destruction, and we get radicals with fanatical vision turning into "terrorists" with prophetic excuses on the other side. The masses run to the teat of the government, which almost inevitably brings down a fist of repression, occasionally a Left fist but more frequently a Right one.
People start getting hurt. Buildings get blown up. People get killed. Men and women go to prison. Sooner or later, some if not most of those men and women being hauled off are innocent of the crimes with which they are charged. "Populism" replaces reason, and the government becomes infused of those literally champing at the bit to go to excess, even as the society goes to Hell. The great, bulging "middle" ebbs and flows, but every ebb is further into the abyss of repression.
The Fat Lady Sings was briefly swept into the whirlpool that is our world of this new century. She was horrified that her words became the pawn to be at once vaunted and damned by those with whom she wants no association. She made her position clear, and the parties to the war of the worlds will now move on.
But they'll be back. Not for her, mind you, but for all of us.
Fear that time more than anything else; then stand up to your fear that you will have the strength to decline the invitation to theirs.
The Dark Wraith has had his say.