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8/1/05


 

SCHADENFREUDE

By David Podvin

With the political news being so relentlessly depressing, many liberals seek solace by watching beautiful sunsets or listening to great music or reading fine literature. I'm not quite so pretentious. I get off on seeing conservatives unhappy. No bleeding heart liberal here. I revel in their pain. The more misery they incur, the sunnier my disposition. Contemptible, isn't it? I almost feel guilty.

The reason I take such joy from right wing angst is that Republicans agonize over things that would never bother normal people. Conservatives are unmoved by pestilence and famine, but they were scandalized by Al Gore’s beard, the one he grew after Bush stole the election. Right wingers were simultaneously horrified and fascinated by the Gore facial growth. They struggled in vain to unearth the hidden message behind the whiskers. Had Gore somehow exceeded the maximum level of dementia? Did he think he was Santa Claus? If so, would he bring them that really cool new G.I. Joe with the torture implement accessories? What could the beard possibly mean?

It meant he didn’t shave. Good God, if brains were lard conservatives would lack the means to grease a skillet. How reassuring to know the country is being run by people whose collective intellectual wattage couldn’t illuminate the inside of a refrigerator.

You don’t become inconsolably distraught when someone says, “Happy Holidays” unless you are either a Bush voter or confined within a mental hospital, not that the two are in any way incompatible. Yet as viewed from the right wing perspective only “Merry Christmas” will suffice, effectively marginalizing anyone who fails to ride the Jesus train. Being inclusive plays upon the predisposition of fascists to feel persecuted, so whenever I have the misfortune of meeting a Republican I smile sweetly and say, “Happy Holidays!” even if it’s August.

I can’t help it. I hate them. Show me some conservative angst and I get more excited than Rick Santorum at a Cub Scout Jamboree.

Conservatives are always morose about multiculturalism because they know there is only one way to live and that is their way. Reactionaries desperately want everybody to be the same. What’s even worse is that they want everybody to be like Ronald Reagan, which is ironic because even Ronald Reagan, Jr. doesn’t want to be like Ronald Reagan. I know it is socially unacceptable to speak ill of Bonzo’s late sidekick, but when Bush asked Americans to pray for the departed president, I prayed that God Almighty is a chronically unemployed air traffic controller.

The following observation should not be misinterpreted as a knock on the heroic Man for the Ages who personally vanquished the international communist menace with one hand tied behind his brawny back, but there already is a place where everybody is like Ronald Reagan, and that place is called hell.

Conservatives went ballistic when the memorial ceremony honoring liberal icon Paul Wellstone inexplicably degenerated into a celebration of his lifelong commitment to liberalism. None of the eulogists had the simple decency to advocate eliminating the capital gains tax so red staters began howling like Lon Chaney, Jr. during a full moon. Some observers thought the reaction was cynically calculated to whip the right wing base into an election year frenzy, but the right wing base is always frenzied. Republicans are just mean, so the next time a bigoted super patriot bites the dust I plan to attend the commemorative service accompanied by Jane Fonda, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the West Hollywood Gay Men’s Chorus.

Right wingers may hate liberals, but they sure do love guns, especially really big guns. During the campaign, Bush was holding this incredibly massive shotgun for the purpose of slaughtering doves, which appropriately enough are the birds of peace. Parenthetically, the Cherokees say the bigger the gun, the smaller the penis. In any event, conservatives are terrified that the government will confiscate their precious firearms. It is unclear which federal agents will perpetrate this nefarious deed, but I’m betting on either the Sandinista clones in the Marine Corps or the Bolsheviks who run the FBI.

As much as conservatives love guns, that is how much they loathe women. Male and female reactionaries alike have opposed all social advancement made by women. Some right wing ideologues insist women’s suffrage should be repealed, thereby guaranteeing that America’s course will be charted exclusively by people who refuse to ask for directions when they get lost driving. Whenever I see Republicans anguishing over the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president, my heart fills with mirth, and I don’t even like Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t matter. To the extent that Hillary makes misogynists contemplate careening off a coastal highway, she is doing the Lord’s work.

Conservatives are exorcised about homosexuality, and desire to improve the nation’s morals by demoralizing gay people. Their point man on this front is the aforementioned Santorum. The senator demands a society where every male is at least as masculine as he is, which poses no problem because even Richard Simmons effortlessly clears that hurdle. However, Santorum also insists that gays must live in denial, a degrading pathology that is proven to result in depression, self-loathing, and being elected junior senator from Pennsylvania.

As long as conservatives are so intolerant, I will continue to savor the fact that even when victorious they are miserable wretches. Republicans now control everything there is to control in American politics, yet feel more oppressed than ever.

Good. I am enthralled to the point of euphoria when watching reactionaries agonize. George C. Scott had it exactly right. As Patton, he surveyed the conservative enemy writhing in torment on the battlefield and said, “I love it. God help me, I do love it so!”

Me, too.

More David Podvin

Podvin, the Series

 


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