A man dies and goes to hell. There he discovers that he has a choice: he can go to capitalist hell or to communist hell. Naturally, he wants to compare the two, so he goes over to capitalist hell. There outside the door is the devil, who looks a bit like Ronald Reagan. “What’s it like in there?” asks the visitor. “Well,” the devil replies, “in capitalist hell, they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.”
“That’s terrible!” he gasps. “I’m going to check out communist hell!” He goes over to communist hell, where he discovers a huge queue of people waiting to get in. He waits in line. Eventually he gets to the front and there at the door to communist hell is a little old man who looks a bit like Karl Marx. “I’m still in the free world, Karl,” he says, “and before I come in, I want to know what it’s like in there.”
“In communist hell,” says Marx impatiently, “they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil, and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives.”
“But… but that’s the same as capitalist hell!” protests the visitor, “Why such a long queue?”
“Well,” sighs Marx, “Sometimes we’re out of oil, sometimes we don’t have knives, sometimes no hot water…”
Kind of a convenient coincidence. I was hoping to come across something with a little humor in it today and I had been thinking for the last couple days about how many conservatives are still stuck in unthinking parrot mode. A frequent reframe on a political message board I frequented over at Yahoo a month or so before the 2004 elections was that John Kerry was a communist. Almost like clockwork a poster, who others guessed to be around 15 or 16, would on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays declare Senator Kerry’s far left alligence, but on Tuesdays and Thurdays he would admittedly maintain that the distinquished Senator was a rich elitist. Perhaps I’m not as politically savy as I would like to think since I could never figure out how one could be both a communist and a rich elitest. That the poster could never manage to make any valid arguments to either claim didn’t stop him from his self repudiating obsession. When commenters on his posts pointed out the vast and overwhelmingly unearned wealth of the members of the current administration, their incestuous ties to certain business interests, and the elite schools and social connections which they have, teen conservative waved off the obvious hypocrisy as irrelevant. So he was just a kid with a computer and an internet connection. The thing is what he said and deeply believed was no different then fringe right adults like Sean Hannity, Glenn Reynolds, or John Gibson. Time after time on the internet and the airwaves conservatives show themselves to be capable of not much more then punkish conservative teen level ideological hypocrisy and lies. Which brings me to another conundrum besides the communists versus elitest question; how can conservatives claim to have values if most of what conservatives say is a lie or riddled with contradictions.
Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”
Crooks and Liars has the video, Colbert Does the White House Correspondents’ dinner
In yet another late Friday sneak attack, the Bush administration threw up another stonewall to an investigation into its illegal warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. As Jeffery Feldman diaried last night, they will invoke the little used “State Secrets Privilege” to demand that the lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation against AT&T be dismissed. The suit alleges that AT&T collaborated illegally with the NSA in its surveillance program.
Robert Lekachman, a liberal economist who shared many of Mr. Galbraith’s views on an affluent society that they both thought not generous enough to its poor or sufficiently attendant to its public needs, once described the quality of his discourse as “witty, supple, eloquent, and edged with that sheen of malice which the fallen sons of Adam always find attractive when it is directed at targets other than themselves.”
JOE—(indignantly) An’ yet popped orf an’ left ’em? An’ me a-payin’ yer to ‘elp an’ bring ’em in ‘ere!
NICK—(grumblingly) Much you pays me! An’ I ain’t slingin’ me’ook abaht the ‘ole bleedin’ town fur now man. See?
JOE—I ain’t speakin’ on’y fur meself. Doesn’t I always give yer yer share, fair an’ square, as man to man?
NICK—(with a sneer) Yus—b’cause you ‘as to.
JOE—’As to? Listen to ‘im! There’s many’d be ‘appy to ‘ave your berth, me man!
NICK—Yus? Wot wiv the peelers li’ble to put me away in the bloody jail fur crimpin’, an’ all?
JOE—(indignantly) We doesn’t do no crimpin’.
NICK—(sarcastically) Ho, now! Not orf!
from The Long Voyage Home by Eugene O’Neil