Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snuffing Snuffleupagus

by Jaroslav Dampfstain

Unless you have been living in Oscar the Grouch’s garbage can the past few months, you are probably aware of the fact that the insidious Tea Baggers who have recently sprouted like crabgrass all over the national political landscape have, en masse, repositioned their gun sights on public broadcasting.  Unfortunately, these short-lived panjandrums are about to learn that it is just as politically witless to aim a budget-cutting Beretta at a Muppet as it is to put a U.S. congresswomen’s photo in virtual crosshairs.
s At the national level, Colorado Republican Congressman Dan Lamborn authored legislation that would make it illegal for Uncle Sam to fund NPR and PBS after 2013.  The elephant-controlled U.S. House Appropriations Committee concurs in principle with Representative Fuckwad and in fact seeks to chop funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting next year to the tune of nearly one-half billion dollars.
Such a cut would effectively eliminate ten percent of NPR’s annual revenue and more than fifteen percent of PBS’s annual revenue.  For those who are math-impaired, imagine Cookie Monster has 200 cookies.  Take away 26 of those cookies.  Now think of how much extra pledge drive time Cookie Monster has to waste before he can concentrate on stuffing his face with yummy treats and teaching children how to pronounce the letter “C.”
For what it is worth, let us compare Republican-proposed cuts to public broadcasting with the cuts the GOP has proposed to the U.S. military budget.  The 2010 U.S. Department of Defense budget is $685.1 billion.  Now, imagine Cookie Monster has 685,100,000,000 cookies.  According to the House Republican plan to shave $60 billion from the federal budget—wait, this just in!  The Republican have zero intent to decrease overall military spending.  In fact, they intend to add 8.1 billion cookies next year!
Any comments, Cookie Monster?
“Cookie Monster like being G.I. Joe!  Me no like being silly mechanics from Car Talk.”
What do Republicans have to say about their obvious hypocrisy to eviscerate educational public broadcasting yet increase spending on the bombing of civilian wedding parties in the Middle East?
Listen to the wisdom of Congressman Fuckwad of Colorado:  “This effort to cut government spending [and rape public broadcasting] should be part of the larger push from the new Republican Congress to cut spending and get our nation’s fiscal house in order.”  [brackets mine]
Here is another gem, this time from U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner:  “Our goal is to listen to the American people and liberate our economy from the shackles of debt, over-taxation and big government.”
A similar attack on public broadcasting occurred “in the name of fiscal responsibility” at the state level during Governor Haley’s January State of the State address.  In what is likely the biggest Palmetto State political gaffe since Thomas Ravenel sucked white powder up his nose through a rolled dollar bill, Haley openly declared jihad on South Carolina ETV’s $9.6 million budget line—while ETV production crews were faithfully serving the general public by broadcasting her speech to all corners of the state!
Ashley Landess, head of the South Carolina Policy Council, came to the governor’s defense with the following political tampon:  “It’s [a matter of] whether or not the state should be paying for them.”
Sorry, Ash.  The bleeding cannot be stopped.  The damage is done.  No political drycleaner can erase Nikki’s State of the State stain.
I simply cannot resist giving Senator Jim “Fuck the Muppets” Demint the final word in Haley’s defense:  “It’s time to draw a clear distinction between the government and entertainment.  Democrats shouldn’t cast our children’s most beloved creatures as characters for their big-government, big-spending causes. … Publicly funded media simply has no place in our modern, tech-savvy society.”
To which I respond:  Jesus Christ, Senator, even Libya has public broadcasting!
So what does this “War on Grover and Terry Gross” mean?
At both state and national levels, the Tea Baggers have committed the ultimate political cardinal sin.  Instead of engaging in subtleties and palace intrigue to fulfill their heinous, execrable agenda, they have opted to shoot their wads the moment the dream prom date makes a move for her brassiere clasp.
The U.S. electorate is witnessing almost immediately that these hateful libertarians and Mammon teat-suckers who ascended to power in the last election cycle really are as brazen and stupid as we thought they were.  Which is a good thing for voters who simply wanted to give Tea Bag “fiscal conservatism” a chance.
Consider an example from history:
What if, when Hitler rose to power in 1933, he had immediately ordered the Brown Shirts to round up all the Jews and toss them in the Baltic?  It seems impossible to imagine that the German people would have collectively lost their marbles in a 24-hour period and allowed this to happen.  It took time to seduce an entire nation to madness.  While Hitler was always keen on the idea of eradicating the world of Jews, the Final Solution was not an outright Nazi policy until the Wannsee Conference, which occurred almost a full decade after the burning of the Reichstag.
Hitler was crazy.  But he bided his time, and he nearly succeeded in accomplishing several of his diabolical ends.  (Ironically, if one does one’s homework, one realizes that Allied public broadcasting helped bring about the demise of Nazism.)
The Republicans of the 112th Congress, on the other hand, do not have the brains and wherewithal to “slowly cook the frog.”  They want what they want.  And they want it now.  And they aren’t embarrassed to hit you in the face with legislative brass knuckles to get it.
They see illness as an opportunity to rid the planet of poor people—especially poor children.  They want Elmo and the hosts of All Things Considered to be gassed and cremated.  They see medieval serfdom and corvée labor as economic models worth revisiting.  They want your children to be smart enough to put on a welding helmet and no more.  They want gay people to turn straight.  Or die.  They want black people to turn white.  Or die.  They want university laboratories to be renovated into evangelical places of worship.  They want the world stripped of all its natural resources and turned into an Arrakis-like wasteland, whilst the endangered species list is converted into a Happy Meal menu.  They are eager to steal the gold-plated toilets of world despots, so long as the despots crap atop fields of oil.  And they want bombs.  Bombs, bombs, bombs.  And guns; don’t forget guns!  Give that Negro President a five-minute head start, then start taking potshots!
This is the Tea Party agenda.  And as the voters of Wisconsin are learning rather quickly, the time to act is NOW—before it’s too late.
Like I said, even Libya has public broadcasting.  Hell, even the Third Reich had public broadcasting.  Only the most naïve among us think that savvy Republicans policymakers (what few are left) really want to do away with public broadcasting.  They are happy to jump on the Tea Bag bandwagon at present, if that is what it takes to rip away the microphone and television camera from the progressive intelligentsia.

Here is the real Republican strategy:  they want to burn PBS and NPR, then add some water to the ashes and create a GOP media golem that serves the political interests of corporate elitism and conservative fanaticism.  Kind of hard to imagine a Fox News version of Antiques Road Show, isn’t it?  Or is it?  “Well, we had no idea it was in our attic, but my husband was up there last week and can you believe he found this poor black boy?  I know he has a couple of chipped teeth, but we think he’ll do well at auction.”
Are NPR and PBS liberally-slanted?  If by “liberally-slanted” you mean engaged in promoting civilization rather than destroying it, then hell yes.  Sesame Street taught me the ground rules of diversity—not to mention the alphabet and numbers!  And Newton’s Apple told me the truth about geologic epochs.  At the same time, I don’t recall Mr. Rogers instructing me to get an abortion, nor Noah Adams denying the existence of God and encouraging me to do heroin.
In the end, maybe we should just let the Tea Baggers get their hands on the public radio and television strings for a year.  I can only imagine Glenn Beck running up and down Sesame Street, rounding up all the Muppet monsters and sending them to Guantanamo—all except for Abby Cadabby, whom he keeps locked in his closet and forces to engage in acts of bestial bukkake with Big Bird and Snuffy.

As America continues to see these nut jobs for who and what they really are, I have to believe we will come to our senses as a nation and kick their ass in 2012.  Otherwise, within a decade, we’re fucked.

talkback@columbiacitypaper.com

3 comments:

  1. Oh grow up and get over Sesame Street. If, after all these years, that show can't support itself on the commercials that now run before it, PLUS millions in merchandising, it deserves to die. Plus, it's failed to live up to its claims. It's supposed to help educate children, right? Seen American students' test scores lately? Yeah, Snuffy's been a BIG help. Clearly, Sesame Street is at best a benign fraud, and an expensive one at that. It's time to cut it loose and let it try to survive on its own. There are other so-called "educational" shows out there on cable right now that DON'T ask for a government handout. Sesame Street, if it did fade away, would hardly be missed by today's kids.

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  2. J. Pelikan SarcophageFebruary 25, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Wow, FemEagle.

    Let me guess: either you were reared in Sparta in the Third Century BCE or by a herd of wild, rabid badgers. Or perhaps your parents made you watch television while standing on a bed of nails.

    Blaming Sesame Street for poor test scores in the U.S. is akin to saying boys in lederhosen led to the Third Reich.

    I am so tired of people like you singling out one factor--of a trillion--that supposedly leads society to "the depths." Sesame Street works. So does the myriad of other PBS and NPR programs.

    And I for one would rather see my tax dollars going to the building of civilization ($500M per year) than to its destruction ($600B per year).

    Hmm. What other nations of the world invest heavily in public broadcasting? The countries of Scandinavia? UK? Huh? Practically every industrialized and major developing nation on earth? Just so sad to see their test scores plummeting, too. Why can't we all the nations of the world just be more like the Sudan?

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  3. What a great piece of Stephen Colbert type satire. The hyperbole, the outragoeous insults, the gratuatous acusations, the ditribe. You nailed it.

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