Tuesday, March 07, 2006

JB's Busy, So I'll Complain A Little Instead
What are the odds that the only two lefty bloggers who don't watch The Daily Show would post to the same blog? Don't get me wrong—I'm a great fan of Jon Stewart in particular and the show in general, but we have only the most basic Adelphia cable package, and it doesn't include Comedy Central.

However, it does include three shop-at-home networks, a GodTV station, three PBS channels, a public bulletin board station, and the TV Guide channel. Heck, I've complained about this before. Nationwide, the really desirable channels are only available as part of some costly "package" deal, wherein the subscriber can enjoy Comedy Central, but only if he also pays for six Classic Golf channels and four incarnations of Outdoor Life. Anyone who tells you that a la carte cable options would be bad for the consumer is lying to you and likely stands to profit handsomely from the perpetuation of this buy-the-whole-bundle-or-else-you-get-nothing nonsense.

Happily, my cable package also includes C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, which we watch with some frequency. Sure, they show way too many conferences at The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, but there's a lot of good stuff, too. No other format enables you to witness the proceedings from the Senate floor. I grant that these can make for dry viewing, but they can also be riveting. The recent Byrd/Frist debates preceding Alito's anointing were as taut as that live episode of The West Wing wanted to be. And when Chuck Schumer really gets his blood up, it can be greatly satisfying to see him really dig into some Dubya drone, however futile the effort might ultimately be.

BookTV (shown weekends on C-SPAN2) typically showcases about fifty books on Lincoln each week but also features works about science, sociology, biology, and a range of subjects simply not covered elsewhere on television (Discovery Science, with its weekly UFO, ghost, and psychic updates does not count). In fact, some of the spiciest programming on basic cable appears on BookTV. Witness Paul Kengor, who's penned a pair of books so unapologetically worshipful that the Bible itself may now be obsolete.

In God and Ronald Reagan and God and George Bush Professor Kengor hits the whorish Conservative trifecta: linking Dubya and The Almighty Reagan; giving homage to the raw and irrepressible Godfulness of the two men; and making a buck on the whole pandering escapade.

Honestly, I have no problem linking Dubya to Reagan, since in my view Dubya is the only thing keeping Reagan from being the worst President since Nixon, so right off the bat they're in the same genre. But to stuff Dubya's empty skull and Reagan's corpse full of gold, frankincense, and myrrh seems, well, a little over the top. I should mention, by the way, that Prof. Kengor has apparently allowed domain name to expire, so maybe there's less money to be made in Conservative deification than I thought.

One can't help note that the Kengoroo (who teaches at a college mere miles from my home) has bounced right over our 41st and 42nd Presidents. Presumably that's because there's little money to be made on the piety of Bush the Elder, and even less on the divinity of Clinton. Of course, Clinton has that certain Zeus-like priapic vibe going for him, so maybe there's a book to be had there after all.

Readers of this blog are likely aware of my views regarding religion, and I have even less fondness for the church-state mingling lately so beloved of Conservatives. Reports differ on just how literally Dubya claims to be "called on" by God to smite the infidel, but if God really has time to speak to our greatest national embarrassment, then I have no time for God.

Kengor, whose gauzy admiration for Dutch and Dubya oozed so copiously from his orifices during his brief BookTV appearance, is guilty only of granting them the same de facto apotheosis that any of their countless drooling admirers have done already and will continue to do. Dubya's poll numbers may be hovering around 37 (coincidentally, Cheney's age for his first heart attack), but he has no shortage of apostles eager to step up and sanctify his name, Bill Kristol notwithstanding.

I suspect that, if Dubya ever leaves office, he'll ascend bodily to Heaven and thereafter be recalled as a deeply spiritual man of deep conviction who cared very deeply about freedom and democracy and all that deep stuff. Of course, since Kengor already penned his treatise on Dubya's deepness, he'll need to find a different godly Conservative upon whom to heap his latria.

In other news, Larry the Cable guy is apparently coming out with some kind of movie. Further proof of God's non-existence can only be redundant.

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