Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I had a whole post ready which revolves around rather lame Terri Schiavo jokes. Most of those hinged on the word "tube" and the notion of what will be on the Persistant Vegetative State quarter. Posting didn't work out, so I will refrain, except to say . . .

for all the talk of Schiavos and Schindlers, what of the Tubes?

But on a more serious note.

The current issue of The Economist has a commentary about the poltical stylings of Michael Howard and the Tories. The details have little to do with the Schiavo case, but part of it is useful:

"Over the past few weeks, a new expression has entered the Westminster lexicon: dog-whistle politics. It means putting out a message that, like a high-pitched dog-whistle, is only fully audible to those at whom it is directly aimed. The intention is to make potential supporters sit up and take notice while avoiding offending those to whom the message will not appeal. As with many vivid idioms, its origins are Australian. It seems likely that" blah, blah, blah Britcakes.

I wasn't taking the Schiavo case particularly seriously, but now I'm thinking I wasn't supposed to. This whistle isn't aimed at me.

More ominously, an strong article in Counterpunch argues that We're Walking into a Trap ('we' being the leftish types).

I'm starting to see a pattern. We have the Schiavo case in the US (drumming up the Christo-fascist zombie brigades) and "Traveller" baiting in the UK (drumming up the racists and xenophobes). Then you may recall my post not long ago about the visa scandal swirling and bubbling around the German foreign minister, in which the right is claiming (with sketchy evidence) that a ravenous horde of drug-dealing-prostitution-forcing Slavs were being ushered in by the government. Then there is Australia, home of the road to surfdom and the dog-whistle style. John Howard (no relation to Michael) has been blowing his whistle for years now, and to great effect.

A vast international right wing conspiracy? Based in Australia? I don't know. There is that Rupert Murdoch fella. Probably just a coincidence.

In any event, I am starting to understand (or imagine) that there is some There there, and I think the left in general, and the leftish mainstream in particular, is (as the Economist says of the Labour party) "ploddingly tr[ying] to bat away one accusation, while another, entirely different, flies past its ears."

And we come back to that supposed remark from a Bush insider to the effect that the right is making up reality as it goes along while the rest of us flail and struggle to keep up.

AND we come back to George Orwell's "1984" (as we must, from time to time).

I'm depressed now. I need to pull my tube for a while to raise my spirits.


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