In The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot wrote: This is the way the world ends…not with a bang, but a whimper.
After reading this description of America’s twenty looniest Congressmen/women, the quote seemed so apt….
How do you feel about facts? Do you hate them? Are they super annoying, like science? Are you frightened of communists, Muslims, and vaginas? Good news! This month, America is inaugurating a new class of elected representatives, and while some of them are bright, able politicians, a few of them are seriously looney. And they’ll be in good company.
Click through and read about these people we have elevated to public office. People we’ve entrusted with foreign and domestic policies that have real-world consequences.
Just shoot me…
12 thoughts on “Not With a Bang, but a Whimper….”
And for our next act, doing a number on the American people, here are the many faces of Comedy and Tragedy.
I didn’t read all of the listed “words of wisdom” in the web site; can only tolerate so much idiocy at one time. My granddaughter announced at the Thanksgiving table she had read a Facebook post by Sarah Palin, “All illegal immigrants should be sent back across the ocean to Mexico.” It quickly disappeared from Facebook for unknown reasons…unknown to Palin anyway.
Not all loonies are elected government officials; obviously there are a few government employees who fit that category. A few months ago someone posted a request on Facebook for everyone receiving mail with a Harvey Milk stamp, to return it to sender. I naturally rushed to the Post Office to buy 100 Harvey Milk stamps. Just received a message from my granddaughter thanking me for the Christmas cards; she said her super Christian mail lady complained about my stamps. This gave both of us our laugh for the day; hope that super Christian mail lady doesn’t lose my granddaughter’s mail in the future due to my Harvey Milk stamps.
Evolution is a marvelous thing. Life’s secret to survival. Adaptation as the environment changes.
Social animals are extra lucky. Our culture adapts as well as our physical being.
All of that evolution allows us to better cope with threats and opportunities in our personal time, place and scale.
We are among the first of our species to live largely threat free lives. Not comfort guaranteed but, compared to our ancestors a few generations ago (seconds in our time are measured by generations in evolutions time scale) relatively threat free. Life span, the best measure of success in dealing with threats, has gone from 40 or so to 80 or so. There is nothing that any of us has done smarter than being born when we were and to whom.
What does culture evolve to in the relative absence of threat?
It used to prize intellect and education and knowledge as all were powerful survival skills, that could lead to gathering resources with which to protect us against threats. Arguably the most powerful of evolutionary prowess.
I would suggest that our physically evolved brains, and our societal protection against most threats, has led our intellect to idle. Not much to do. So it has turned to entertainment as its main nourishment.
This leads us finally to Congress. Mostly entertainers who perform in the circus of politics for resources to pad their own lives against, what used to be the harshness of, but is now more like the thrown marshmallows of, life.
“Look mommy, how funny the clowns are, and how beautiful the dancers in their costumes, and how dashing the acrobats.”
It’s all an illusion. The threats have only moved from individual to collective. I won’t be a survival failure, we will.
JoAnn, I was late in posting a comment for you on the ‘Dick Cheney–No Doubt’ blog a couple of blogs back. Still hoping for good results for your family.
Not quite sure whether to laugh or slit my wrists.
How appropriate that these people would be elected to represent a country that has lost its way, forgotten the meaning of its history and founding documents, and our purpose to serve the common good. They lead the parade singing at the top of their voices, the Sondheim lyrics…
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want…
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here.
Betty; thank you for your kind thoughts. I do appreciate knowing people do care, even about strangers.
Reading your reference to T.S. Eliot fired a synapse or two between a couple of seldom used neurons prompting me to remember Eliot and Ezra Pound along with an undergrad course “20th Century Poetry” taught by a brand new PhD who I thought was the most gorgeous professor I’d ever encountered, remember I was only 21. His allure was heightened by his hosting one class meeting per week in the evening at his off-campus home where he and his wife served wine and cheese, and provided cigarettes to our small seminar type class of about 8 students.
Amidst the wine sipping, cigarette smoking, and intellectual chin stroking, we learned more than a fair amount of interesting background surrounding Ezra Pound which holds more relevance for me now that I’m living in Indiana and seems appropriate to share.
Pound left the University of Pennsylvania in 1907 before completing his PhD because the English Dept Chair told Pound he was wasting his own time and the university’s time. From there, Pound landed a position at Wabash College teaching Romance Languages; however, he appeared not to be a good fit for Wabash and the conservative Crawfordsville community where he seemed to find more romance in his personal life than in his Romance Language courses.
So the story goes, and no I have no sources immediately at hand, Pound described Crawfordsville as ‘the sixth circle of hell’ (as in Dante’s Inferno) and was dismissed from his contract before his 2nd semester ended based upon charges that he’d deliberately provoked colleagues, the administration, and his Crawfordsville landlords. Among the charges were: 1) smoking, against Wabash rules, in his office located next to the President’s office, 2) annoying various landlords by entertaining friends, including women, culminating when forced out of one boarding house after two “stewdents found me sharing my meagre repast with the lady–gent impersonator in my privut apartments,” as he later told a friend, and 3) the icing on the cake for Wabash, being caught in flagrante during an incident involving a stranded chorus girl to whom he offered tea and his bed for the night when she was caught in a snowstorm and was discovered the next morning by the landlady who didn’t believe his story that he’d slept on the floor.
Pound wrote a short poem about his time in Crawfordsville, “In Durance” which was published later in a book of his short poems, “Personae”. The first three lines from “In Durance” are worth reading.
I am homesick after mine own kind,
Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,
But I am homesick after mine own kind.
Sheila, I consider Ezra Pound was saying what you said, “Just shoot me.”
The good news is that the Sarah Palin quote about sending immigrants back across the ocean to Mexico is a hoax according to snopes. The bad news is that the quote seemed so believable.
@Nancy Papas, whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I’m still reminded of Larry King’s 2010 televised interview with Barbara Bush who didn’t mince her words when asked by King what she thought of Sarah Palin.
Her reply, “I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful, and I think she’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there.”
There’s something I’ve always appreciated about the art of delivering a pointed jab in a public venue. Barbara Bush’s jab remains memorable.
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. The United Negro College fund
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