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A ho-meme in the form of a .GIF file
This weekend I saw some teabaggers demonstrating on the street corner by the local mall. At the stop light, I rolled down the car window and gave them the Lord’s Own Superfinger, in recognition of their exercise of the right of free speech guaranteed to all citizens under the Bill of Rights–No matter how paranoid and delusional the beliefs expressed. In this case, expressed mainly by waving signs.
All the demonstrators were white and relatively well-heeled–denizens of suburban South Tulsa, by the look of them. The signs were for the most part not handmade–the majority had the usual slick but stupid meta-racist slogans and caricatures of Obama, blown-up-at-the-print-shop images downloaded from winger innertube sites, no doubt. Talk about astroturfing.
I did not think to take pictures, though my camera was on the passenger seat. I was using the hand I didn’t have on the steering wheel to signal our shared comity of anger, in the universal semaphore of that emotion. With, and at them. Alas, I wanted to do more, but lacked time and the proper implements. The light turned green, and I drove on.
Just this morning, five days since sharing this fleeting moment of primal rage with primeval white suburbians, I thought of a way to challenge them in their own, fact-free zone. But first, some fresh, pertinent vocabulary:
Ho-meme, n. A particularly crass, often simple-minded, but persistent false meme. Example: Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist who wants to kill your grandmother;
See also, Ho-memer, n., a person who promotes a Ho-meme by any means available without regard to the available facts. Example: Orly Taitz;
You see, pilgrims and seekers, those Caucasian Americans demonstrating on the sidewalk in front of the mall who sparked in me a smoldering flame of hot cognition are but a tiny subset of the cohort of Dimbulbicans that have been pissing me off since the Nixon administration. My entire adult life has been spent as an unwilling auditor of the spew of ho-memes by, for, and of, these people, the free range dupid. I don’t have to draw you a Venn diagram to show you where my rage intersects with theirs, do I? I’m glad they have a president they can hate as much as I hate what 8 years of Bush has done to this country.
I also savor the bitter, bitter irony in the fact that Obama, the man they love to hate, is the very model of a modern mainstream Democrat, which is to say, slightly to the right of Nixon on most issues.
The German scholar of myth Ernst Cassirer coined a word for the maze of cognitive self-deception that makes humans slaves to endless, self-generated bunk: Urdummheit. I translate that as “primeval stupidity.” Urdummheit is not stupid as in dumb, it is an emergent quality of cognitive brain function in all of us, including the very bright and the merely monkey clever, the heritable bequest of selection pressures past. Dupid is as dupid does.
We need new words, and new mutations. Hopeful monsters must slouch to Bedlam to be born. In the meantime, there are the little skirmishes in the long war.
So here’s the new play for the next scrimmage with a scrum of sign-waving teabaggers on the street corner–I call it The Teabagger Strip Challenge:
Approach teabaggers with a friendly smile. Ask them if they are wearing American made clothing. Ask them what countries individual items of clothing were MADE IN. Suggest that they check the labels on said items of clothing. Suggest that they divest themselves of all items of clothing manufactured in whole or in part in a foreign country currently governed by a Socialist, Communist, Islamic, or other bad guy authoritarian regime. Ask them if they are wearing any clothing at all that was made in America, and NOT made in a foreign country under the sway of Socialist, Communist, Islamic, or other tyranny.
In the fantasy league version of this, we have a grant from the evil librul billionaire George Soros, Michael Moore and Sasha Baron Cohen are playing for our side, and we offer the teabaggers increasingly large sums of cold hard cash for the Socialist shirts off their backs.
If we can’t get them stark naked we can get them disheveled and discomfited. Yes we can.