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« US Army Finds Huge Weapons Stash In Iraq | WILLisms.com | Pundit Roundtable Open Mic »

Oh, The Insanity.

You know those movies where huge riots have broken out, people are killing each other, and the entire scene borders on unfathomable insanity? Nothing quite makes sense.

Then comes along a sane individual who is just stunned and bewildered at the madness? His mere entrance into the scene stops the fisticuffs and shenanigans, although he may have to yell, "snap out of it!" or "stop the madness!"

Think Lord of the Flies, when the soldier finds the children-- reduced to savages-- burning the jungle down and otherwise destroying civilization (and themselves). He then soberly asks the kids, who are snapping out of their frenzy, "What are you guys doing?"

Think West Side Story, when the adults, after trying their best to prevent the rival Sharks and Jets from literally killing each other, are reduced to throwing their hands in the air, shaking their heads, and muttering about society gone wrong.

There are countless examples from books and movies and other bits of pop culture where an outsider looks upon a chaotic, nonsensical, situation with fresh eyes and has that "what are you guys doing" moment.

Well, I feel a little like that archetypal outsider looking in at the ridiculous stream of news from the past week. Over the past few days, because of moving into a new home, with little or no internet access, no newspaper subscription, and no television, I have read, watched, and listened to marginal little bits of news, mostly while walking past newspaper stands. I am pretty sure that I am better off for it.

The little that I have followed has caused my jaw to drop in astonishment. What madness has taken over the news media in this country?

Basically, here's my outsider view of the past few days or so...

-Bush's poll numbers begin to rise again.

-Iraq has a huge, successful election.

-The New York Times runs a story (based on leaks from 3 Democrat Senators?) about domestic spying the following morning.

-Suddenly, this spying business captivates the nation's media (but not the nation), eclipsing any and all other stories.

-Everything is blown out of proportion. The media make it seem likely that the government is spying on you. Yes, you. Terrorists? What terrorists?

-Bush is put on the spot to "defend" wiretaps of suspected terrorists following 9/11? Really?

-Democrats declare that totalitarianism has overtaken our country and call for impeachment and Congressional investigations and so on?

What's going on here? What am I missing? I just don't get the furor and hubbub. I am guessing most Americans don't, either.

-Meanwhile, the New York transit workers are on strike. Smooth move, idiots. Way to win friends and influence people during the Christmas season. And they still have yet to be fired?

Regular blogging will resume sometime next week, but there will be spotty bursts in the meantime, if and when possible. In the meantime, if you feel caught up in the madness, just turn it off for a few days.

Posted by Will Franklin · 21 December 2005 03:54 PM


Hi Will!... Yay! You got internet!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at December 21, 2005 04:26 PM

"You know those movies where huge riots have broken out, people are killing each other, and the entire scene borders on unfathomable insanity? Nothing quite makes sense."

You just described every zombie movie ever made. I guess that's why those never really appealed to me.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at December 21, 2005 04:51 PM

Other than the zombie movies, only one other riot movie comes to mind where some sniper hides out on the scoreboard in a football game, transforming the stadium into a modern rock concert, hockey riot, CU footbal victory riot, French muslim "unrest" riot... the examples are too numerous. They played that eerie rhythmless 70's music that they played in Planet Of The Apes (there's some imagery for you).

I also took a few days off to do Christmas shopping. Yes, Christmas, not non-denominational winter holiday shopping. Add to the insanity the so-called "War On Christmas" by PC thugs that insist that it's not right to say "Merry Christmas." Well, I'll say it anyway:

Merry Christmas.

So there.

Posted by: the paperboy at December 21, 2005 05:56 PM

"Say Hello to my little Friend"... Sorry Will... BUT... The File It Under guys have got me saying that! Rob tried to get me to hum the Mission Imposible song but it just keeps coming back to me! Say Hello to my little friend! Aaaaaaa!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at December 21, 2005 06:42 PM

Add to the insanity the so-called "War On Christmas" by PC thugs that insist that it's not right to say "Merry Christmas."

Boy, have you swallowed the whole load!

Dude, we libruls don't give a hoot if you say "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays" (which makes sense - even for Christians, there are two holidays in the next two weeks), or whatever.

It's you guys that get upset if someone doesn't say the 'correct' words. (Looks like you guys have your own PC, doesn't it?) Don't project your own emotions and behavior on us, thanks.

Meanwhile, the New York transit workers are on strike. Smooth move, idiots. Way to win friends and influence people during the Christmas season. And they still have yet to be fired?

WWRL, I think it was, took a poll. Something like 71% of New Yorkers blame the MTA for the strike; only about 14% blame the union.

Posted by: RT at December 22, 2005 05:19 AM

RT,... I agree those MTA strikers could use a little course with Dale Carnegie! I have never been a big fan of the union! I am sure there will be a alot of people who won't agree with me. BUT that is one of the great things about living in our beautiful Country! It is too bad they decided to strike during the Holiday...New Yorkers have a certain fortitude within themselves that somehow I believe won't let the union or the MTA dictate to the individuals needs of New Yorkers for too long! The one thing I admire about New Yorkers is that the will walk if they have to!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at December 22, 2005 06:16 AM

RT, I need a link.

I find it hard to believe that New Yorkers side with a union who's workers (that drive buses and trains) can retire at age 55 (unlike 95% of all working people) and make more money than teachers and police.

Only one side broke the law. And it wasn't MTA.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at December 22, 2005 08:19 AM

I found this poll but it is not scientific. The poll referenced above (I couldn't find it on WWRL) was likely taken after the first day. But as the days go on, people get angrier about walking or sitting in traffic, and more and more details about the union's current sweet deal are disclosed, I imagine public opinion will swing away from the union.

Posted by: Bob at December 22, 2005 08:44 AM

Yeah, I've been called a greasy thug too.
-- Homer Simpson

I insist that everyone who uses the catch-phrase "Smooth move" refer to the target of their sarcasm not as "idiot", but as either "peanut butter" or "Ex-Lax".

Argumentum ad populum makes it okay for the MTA to go on strike. Just who's decision was it to have a strike anyway? The union? So that's why that that poll confirmed my suspicion that the people who actually decided to have a strike are to blame for the strike, and not somebody else by some circuitous logic. But what do I care what the people of New York think, I don't live there! Those silly New Yorkers do all kinds of crazy things.

Posted by: the paperboy at December 22, 2005 11:33 AM

Hm. I've been following this from my perch across the Hudson:

Strike illegal. Contempt of court fines. And the response of the city government? Suspending alternate-side parking and opening the schools later to allow time for parents to get the kids in.

Meanwhile, the national union is rather miffed with the local for this and has refused to back them financially (according to the radio news, so no link).

Posted by: Nightfly at December 22, 2005 02:05 PM

Oooh, my! Not an illegal strike!! Dammit, what sort of society are we if we don't recognize the rule of law??

Oh, wait. Bush is breaking the law, spying on Americans, and boasting about it. Nevermind.

Posted by: RT at December 22, 2005 08:22 PM

Yeah, gee, you might think we were at WAR or something, the way Bush is acting.

Posted by: Am I A Pundit Now? at December 23, 2005 06:19 AM

If, for purposes of the need for domestic spying, we're at war now, then we've been at war almost continuously since 1941, and I guess we'll be 'at war' for a good number of years to come.

So, should the President have unlimited Big Brother surveillance powers, or not?

If not, what limits or restraints do you propose?

Posted by: RT at December 23, 2005 08:31 AM

To:the paperboy, If the phrase "Smooth move" should be refered to as peanut butter and Ex Lax? Wouldn't we need to make sure we are not infringing on any Reeses peanut butter candy trademark laws???
AND... just so you know? I think everyone has a little bit of Homer in them... You are a special little guy! Sorry! I felt compelled to put a little bit of Marge in there...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at December 23, 2005 01:40 PM

RT, if you'll just stop cooperating with al Queda, you won't have anything to worry about.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at December 23, 2005 03:19 PM

Yeah, like PETA and those gay groups and vegan groups the government was spying on were cooperating with al-Qaeda.

Oddly enough, the same thing could have been said about most dictatorships, including Saddam's: if you stay away from the wrong crowd and don't oppose the government, you won't have much to worry about.

That's why that's not enough.

Posted by: RT at December 23, 2005 08:44 PM

Could the media frenzy be a diversion from the Transit Strike, rather than the successful Iraqi elections?

Afterall, the NYT can just ignore the elections, like they did the last ones. The transit strike, on the other hand, is a public relations disaster for organized municipal employees.

Nothing to see here, folks! Instead, look over there! Bush is spying on your Gramma!

Posted by: Steve at December 26, 2005 08:53 AM

This just in: A recent USA Today poll shows that 52% of Americans are engaged in some illegal activity that they don’t want the government to know about, 47% of Americans have nothing to hide, and the other 1% presumably don’t know the difference between right and wrong. If they want to watch me wash dishes and fold laundery, go right ahead. They'll soon get bored and turn their attention to RT. Hmmm... what has he been smoking? Isn't RT initials for "Real Terrorist"?

Posted by: the paperboy at December 26, 2005 07:51 PM