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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Profound Sense of Fatigue
When I first read Robert Anton Wilson's Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy in the early nineties, I really went into it with the wrong idea. I thought it would be an exploration of that cool dead/not-dead quantum-mechanics stuff you hear about, but in fact it was a comically disjointed romp through three universes, interconnected but distinct. Here are two points worth mentioning outright:

1. A super-computer that "knows everything that has been recorded" is called GWB and is nicknamed "the Beast"
2. One of the trilogy's more unsympathetic protagonists is a bitter midget (sic) named Chaney

Make of that what you will.

At this time I should mention that it's a fairly naughty book, sex-wise, so if you're easily offended, click here.

I've been looking and I can't find a particular excerpt, dammit. Anyway, a scene takes place in which nuclear armageddon is averted solely because the President is, shall we say, thoroughly relaxed by a woman who, in the film version, might be played by Monica Lewinsky. Wilson then comments on the vocally self-righteous crowd that, if the woman's actions were known, would condemn her regardless of the catastrophe she averted.

To the Right (as has been noted elsewhere) the only real morality is sexual morality, and a President who, by proxy, engages in murder and torture and warfare can still be a Moral Man.

I think that George Orwell nailed it with this passage from 1984:
It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. . . All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simpIy sex gone sour. . . For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force?
One hesitates to read too much into the long, oiled gunbarrels and smooth-shafted missiles so beloved of Neocons, and I'm hardly the first guy to note their curious (dare I say obsessive?) repressiveness--it is, I think, clearly less about delusions of morality than about control. Orwell knew it in the first half of the last century. Wilson recognized the connection in the early 80's. Kubrick put it on film, and that was more than 40 years ago!

Their weirdness comes out (excuse the pun) in many ways, of which the the firestorm emanating from Janet's boob is only the most obvious. You don't have to look too hard, so to speak, to find a lengthy list of prominent Republican deviants, pedophiles, and nonconsensual buggerers. Heck, how many times has a Conservative referred to gays "shoving their sexuality in our faces" or "ramming it down our throats?" Jeepers, what hot, sweaty invective! My keyboard is positively throbbing as I type this!

Bush's approval rating is now well below 40% (around 2% among blacks, by some reports). Since, in times of duress, Republicans tend to return to their dual bases of sex and violence (concurrently, if possible), precedent suggests that somebody's either going to get invaded or screwed in the coming days in hope of a bump in the polls.

Well, even the media are starting to recognize that we've been getting screwed, so what's left? Correction: who's left?


I'm rambling. It's late, and I need to go to bed. But if I wake up tomorrow and hear that Iran has donned its sexiest little strapless number, I'll know what's going on.

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