Saturday, April 03, 2010

Postcards from the Edge ... Stage Right


Among the political actors involved in the Tea Party movement, the media darlings leading the spectacle, such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others channeling Reagan and McCarthy at Fox News, few performers can put on a show like Sarah Palin did last month in Searchlight, Nevada.

Who knew there were so many history buffs who watched Fox News, now commonly acknowledged as the Fifth Column of divorced reality in media and politics these days.

Given the compassionate view, a media liberal such as myself might only watch what's going on and think of the film, "Network." As many have done ... since the "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" vibe has really come unto acceptance of being completely, like, retro. Journos such as myself can only howl now with jealousy because not everybody gets to be Bill Maher these days, and his raunchy note to the Republican Party, every bit as divisive and politically incorrect as Beck, Limbaugh and Poppa Bear, was certainly one of the talking head highlights of the week.

But Beck came to Phoenix for his stadium tour, and we aren't talking about the cool singer/songwriter who analyzes the earth with such songs as "Sex Laws." This is the guy who has unburied all of the mythic ghosts of the Illuminati for a broad audience, rendered as a distracting voice, yes, for Fox News listeners who, for all we know, are now completely hypnotized by the very Ruppert Murdoch-esque forces Beck supposedly rails on about.

Oh yeah, Beck went beautiful mind before national audiences this year, conjuring the very ghosts of McCarthy and the Rothchilds and the Bilderbergers and the "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" crowd, somehow managing to swoop in the Green Party and progressives with a sweep of his piece of chalk on the blackboard as well, drawing it all up for us to prove only one thing: An overwhelmed mind is a relevance machine.

For any imagintor with a limited receiver, even one with a cable TV show with all the props and graphics he might need to illustrate his ranting, Beck is also, if nothing else, a canary in a coal mine. However, to watch a canary get sick and die is hardly reason to put much faith in its last dying chirp.

Nonetheless, it all plays well in Arizona. A state, which, let's face it, appears to be experiencing all of the symptons South Africa faced as it elected its first actual African as president. A state completely freaked out by its economic mess, its furies along the southern border, its long-standing tradition of Goldwater-style individualism run amok, featuring whole cities of voters in gated communities who dislike change in general, and that includes the weather. Not just swinging to the right, but in many ways defining it nationally, Arizona is perched to be that place where the Mechamites (see Evan Mecham) are returing for one last dying breath.

Of course, Palin is trying to get on top of all of this ... but my guess is, as a pop star, she's appearing on the scene a little early, and as a performance artist goes, is likely to simply malaprop her way right out of contention ... given the odds of a mispeak over the long haul ...

~ RFA

Arizona Burning

With so many history buffs in Arizona, it's hard to understand why the name Evan Mecham didn't come up more often during the debates, protests and spontaneous quiet riots that broke out in every heart and household of the region with the passage of the new immigration law.
Evan Mecham was the Arizona governor who brought great shame and embarrassment to the state when he cancelled the Martin Luther King holiday. It created a blowback of economic catastrophes such as cancelled conventions. The Super Bowl was taken away by the NFL. The state become a comedic punching bag and Arizonans were commonly asked, when traveling, why their state was racist.
Then came the pop stars. A cascade of them started playing concerts here, such as Stevie Wonder, to protest Mecham. Next, every concert performer had to say something about Mecham, or the state's racist stance, for the cache of, well, actually "playing Sun City," but not liking the vibe so much.
In this next round, there will be key differences. In taking a stance in favor of an MLK holiday back then, the issue was idealistic, abstract ... and therefore manageable as propaganda. Human rights, sure, yeah ... why not ... rock on! Who couldn't back that? Other than those who put Mecham in office to begin with ... you know, that ever aging race of Goldwater Republicans ... yeah, sure, rock on Garth! A paid state holiday for everyone!
In this case, while it's likely there will be a cascade of comedians and pundits making a lot of new material for the new immigration law, the toughest of its kind, it's hard to imagine how a Canadian like K.D. Lang or vagaband Celt like Bono could legitimately show up and make a big statement.
Such as this: Irish! Go home!
~ Radio Free Arizona
P.S. If Native American rock bands starting getting involved in this, most of us could all be in real trouble. I think we need a big Aid for Arizona concert, just like AID for Africa in the 1980s. I think the appropriate state policy would be to make sure all performers be required to wear the right color cowboy hats and, before playing, make sure they have their paperwork in order. Also this, Woody Guthrie covers should be avoided, discouraged at all times ...

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