The Objective Eye

"Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demand for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen."
- Ayn Rand, "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" (1961)

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Location: Los Angeles, United States

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cultural Dry Rot & Rotten Politics

(...Not a great week for what's left of Western Civilization)

Now Playing: "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae (Billie Holiday reborn?) from her self-titled 2006 disc. "Musical catnip" is
the operative imagery here...

At risk of stating the obvious and of being unduly pessimistic, we've had some reminders this week that American culture continues to bump along in the gutter. OK, so it occasionally jumps up onto that dirt-packed crevice at the edge of the sidewalk. Anyway...

Exhibit A: As most of you likely know by now, the insular leftwing clique down in Santa Monica that's in charge of the "Grammy" Awards decided that for 2007 the prestige of that institution - and artistic merit in general - would be prostituted to the service of leftwing political "statement-making."

Try to keep a straight face now people... As of last Sunday, we've been informed that THE Best musical release and THE Best musical performance of the entire musical spectrum, for the entire 2006-2007 year, is:

The Dixie Chicks.

That's right folks, the Dixie Chicks: The absolute pinnacle of American musical art, 2007.

I trust the political motive behind lavishing that trio with a "sweep" of every award except perhaps "Best Operatic Performance in a Technical Training Film" is about as subtle as a Bill Wallace roundhouse kick to the cranium. I won't labor the point except to underscore the depth of injustice involved in propping up a slickly-produced but ordinary post-Brooks Pop/Country album for the sake of cheap political propaganda in Prime Time - while truly worthy, stunning talent (e.g., Corinne Bailey Rae,) is blithely dumped out the door to make room for it.

Exhibit B: In other news, the tabloid mill has been in overdrive for the last week with saturation coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's continued inertia. I don't mean to be disrespectful of the recently-dead, but am I the only one who's waiting for someone, anyone, to step out of the National Enquirer crowd and have an Emperor's New Clothes moment? Anyone else had their fill of breathless drivel like "WE all followed her life's ups and downs," and "WE all clung to her fascinating 'reality' show," and "WE all mourn her tragic death."

Ah. Do we.

I think I saw roughly ten minutes of her "reality" show once - because I was at a friend's house, they had it playing, and I couldn't avoid it. Maybe I'm strange, but the entertainment appeal of a sleazy, whale-obese über-golddigger lolling around in bed, alternately stuffing her face with Twinkies and emitting slurred, incoherent babble, just mystifies me completely. The entertainment appeal of her early demise of an apparent drug overdose, doubly so.

Frankly, the entire "Reality TV" fad fizzled for me about 20 minutes into the first episode of "Survivor" - and compared with Anna Nicole Smith's vacuous antics, "Survivor" was Shakespeare.

Methinks the same folks in charge of judging musical talent at Grammy Headquarters moonlight as screenwriters for various & sundry TV production companies... Does anyone in Hollyweird know or even remember what a "story" is? A plot? Characters? Drama? Theme? Doubtful.

Exhibit C: On the political front, the "Aid and Comfort To Islamofascism" caucus has gained a new member, a "Republican" from Florida's 8th House district by the name of Ric Keller. Fresh from an announcement last November that he's reneging on his term-limit promise, on Wednesday the 14th he made this snappy little speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

We are in a war for the survival of Western Civilization, and this Bozo is making pathetic analogies to ...mowing a lawn - as rationale for his jumping on the trendy pacifist bandwagon. A more vivid spectacle of a fattened, corrupt RINO willing to betray any principle for the perks of D.C. would be hard to invent as fiction. An apt image:

I urge those similarly shocked by this blatant white-flag-waving before the eyes of the world to go to and join up (for free, of course.) Its mission is to eradicate Washington's infestation of RINOs and reinstall the missing spine of the Congressional GOP, before that entity collapses and flops into an ocean of political irrelevancy like a standard-issue jellyfish. As posted earlier, the time for the GOP "leadership" to hear from the principled GOP base - loud and livid - is: Now.

So-o-o, having unleashed this hefty chunk of negativity, I'm itchin' for an upside - so I'm going back to for another taste of that tantalizing snippet of the first single "Far Cry" from the scheduled May 1 release (yaaaay!!) of the new Rush album "Snakes and Arrows" (yaaaay, eh?)

A thoroughly enjoyable read related to this is percussionist / lyricist / philosophical-mentor-extraordinaire Neil Peart's set of three recent journal entries - April 2006, June 2006, and December 2006 - at Naturally the jury's out on what this is going to sound like, but given this week's track record, I'll take it.

Stay tuned...