The Lileks Evisceration
(Portrait of the "Shropshire Slasher", who I resemble physically...)
Well, I see they've done gone and gotten a professional after my big fat American ass. I have been attacked by none other than James Lileks, who I think is a very good stylist, but who is generally very very wrong. He refers to me as the "Shropshire Slasher". And, I must say, that totally rocks with me as a nickname. You can call me "Biggus Dickus" or "Morpheus" or "Hyper Masculine Lefty Writer" because, ouch, it kinda hurts. Keep it coming.
Here is my graph by graph rebut. I have occasionally crossed out what I thought were errors and inserted what I thought were needed corrections.
On another blog I discovered today, the Rottweiler - who Fisks down to the molecular level - was regaling us all with an exchange he had with the Shropshire Slasher. Mr. SS believes that America is - wait for it - A NAZI STATE! and one of is proofs was “the complete sellout to corporate interests ( a definition of fascism by the way
a.)Actually, what I said, and this was buried in our oft disappearing comments section (apologies, although it's getting better)is that while it didn't look like Nazi Germany in 1940, it sure has that fiery burning Kristallnacht smell of the early 1930s or thereabouts. The main idea here, of course, is that you don't wait until 1940 because by 1940 it's way way too late. So, you look out for the early signs of fascism (all borrowed from Introducing Fascism and Nazism, or what I call the Mike the Dog Story): a strong state with a powerful executive which did not require democratic consultation before acting, combined with a hatred of bourgeois democracy (let's define that as civil liberties and the 2000 election and so far, so good), Hatred of communism and socialism as political movements based on the idea of class differences and class antagonisms...Against this idea, Fascism aimed to substitute a corporative state that denied a divergence of class interests between capital and labour (Mike the Fascist Nazi Dog, this story really is about you, although you might add "terrorism" to the list..), Fascism was frequently subsidized by big industrialists and landowners (please read the story associated with the link: "Death Squads Go Better With Coke" over at Three River and below), admiration of power and the deed which expression in the cult of violence. Training for war and violence gave free rein to sadistic and pathological characteristics (Sound familiar? Just check out our comments sections...), aversion to intellectuals whom fascism accused of undermining the old certainties and traditional values (Please see the copious warblogger Hate Minute files regarding Chomsky, Rall, Mike Moore, Fisk, Shropshire Slasher, whatever....)and my favorite: Fascism needed scapegoat enemies--"The Other" on whom to focus society's aggressions and hates (Does this really need explanation? We know who this is right, James?)
So, if you're in kind of a Clive Barker mode whenever you read your daughter to sleep, try this: First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.T hen they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics,and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Hmm. I hear this a lot. “The main difference between Fascism and Communism was the role of private business in the former.” It’s been a few years since I read “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” but I recall quite clearly how Hitler used the private companies as his own bank, expropriating what he needed, nationalizing when convenient. Had the Reich stayed around for another ten years there wouldn’t have been a single private business of consequence in the country. In any case, it’s ridiculous to think the bankers and industrialists could say no to that uni-testical'd cacadaemon.
(b)Well, two quick points: I'm referring to Henry Ford's open admiration for the Nazis and the very well documented ties of American business to not only the fascist regimes in Germany, but also Italy. In fact, George Seldes wrote about the American corporate community's open admiration for Mussolini. And of course the corporate press fired him for that, which happens a lot. But, and this is the second point, American industrialists supported fascist movements in Italy and Germany. You could argue that we still do if you've read that story about Coke orchestrating death squad activity in Colombia. American companies love fascist dictators...It keeps wages down and union activity low, especially when you can kill the union organizers. I mean, the fantasy of the see/hear/tell/blog no American Evil warbloggers is that we're really nice guys, but so misunderstood. People need to read that Dinesh book and so forth. The truth is that our foreign policy is often quite evil, trends toward fascists and dolts and, worst of all, is absolutely conscious and not at all "accidental" or "misunderstood". What's covering the fat, self-satisfied American smirk? Darth Vader's mask.
Here's a link to a story about how IBM helped the Nazis. http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,41753,00.html
1. Rearrangement of the entire national purpose along racial lines. E Pluribus Unum vs. Ein Reich, Ein Volk. I know, I know - just because it’s on the money doesn’t mean it’s so, but if you think this nation is trending towards some sort of government-enforced ethic purity, you really need to get out of your suburb more, and visit me in the city. Black people! Brown people! Yellow people! Mingling and living with impunity!
1.) Don't you read the enlightening work of everyone's favorite neo-eugenicist "Godless Capitalist". He's creating, I think, a very plausible blueprint for a kind of science-based fascism. You tell Godless boy you sure do sound like a racist and he says "No, it just seems like I hate the blacks...It's all just science old boy..." I also, again, recommend that you read a book called Bertram Gross' "Friendly Fascism". Every country develops it's own kind of fascism. Like I said before in the comments section, american fascism will have a black guy, a woman, and maybe even a gay guy (Sully it sounds like you...!), but it will still be fascism. You're also ignoring that we pretty much live in a segregated, racist society, especially in living patterns and certainly socially. That's not good by the way. You also might want to read up on a book called "The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills.
If you wanted to find ein volk in this nation, where would you start? To paraphrase Clara Peller in the Wendy's commercial, where's the volk?
See point one and substitute patriotic symbols: The American flags, rousing kickass country tunes and glorious war movies...Who needs Leni Riefenstahl when you've got American PR and Hollywood?
2. Well, we don't need what you affectionately call "batshit mythos" to do evil when you've got good old-fashioned equally "batshit" Christianity to draw from. It's all made up James. Religion is an illusion. Any silly one will do. You haven't gotten this whole Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Christian Right supports the Republican Fascist thing down have ya'?
3.Top-down state control of the arts. Denying Karen Finley a government grant because she wants to smear Spam on her hooties is not the same thing.
3. Well you don't really need top-down state control of the arts when the same people who control art and the media have the same views as the worst elements of our government. Riddle me this: what's the difference between a state run information structure that pedals the memes of the fascist state and a privatized information structure that pedals the memes of the fascist state? Answer: Not much, said in my best Frank Gorshin cackle. I mean, when Rupert Murdoch gets Oliver Stone to do that 10 hour mini-series on the life of Noam Chomsky well, hey, maybe then I'll be wrong. But you can help disprove the theory yourself as an alleged feisty corporate media newspaper columnist and write these stories for your corporate media paper: Do a long column on that Coca Cola Death Squad deal in Colombia or if you're in a union at that paper of your'n write a funny yet incisive column about how the union is getting screwed, and last but not least, pick your biggest advertiser (I recommend grocery ads myself) and say something legitimately negative about them. I'll hold my breath you gutsy, at the edge, Spider Jerusalem-like, allegedly feisty corporate media newspaper columnist you...!
4. Elaborate bureaucracies and nationwide infrastructure devoted to Jew killing. For some curious reason, Nazimerica has chosen to leave this to the PLO.
4. Well, have you taken a look at our incarceration rates? Why kill the undesirables when you can make money off them in for profit prisons? I mean, when Glenn "I worry about civil liberties, but I still like Bush" Reynolds starts talking about the country as a possible police state things are trendin' badly. I also define our national military, with its microwave death rays, fuel air bombs and mines mines mines as a "nationwide infrastructure." Call me naive. I also think the hatred is directed externally, at any nation that doesn't give us the natural resources that we want, which I will address in you next point.
Territorial conquest of
5.You have heard about this whole NAFTA thing haven't you? That's where tribunals, held in secret and accountable to no one (Oh that sounds real democratic...)override national decision-making? That law that lowers our standard of living and doesn't really raise Mexico's either? And how long did you have to think about the clever insertion of the word "neighbor"? Hey that threw us off the track. Sure, mention two of the 60 countries that we're not invading, yet. Thanks pal...You finished that hard-hitting expose on the city's groceries yet cause I can't hold my breath a long time...
6. Elevation of the dead to National Martyr Status. When children start the day with the Todd Beamer Song, sung to the tune of “Horst Wessel,” you’ll have a point. Note to the dim: “Horst Wessel” is not Lt. Chekhov’s way of describing a spaceship owned by a famous Minneapolis hairstylist.
6. Oh man. Now that's frellin' funny. I swear that was so funny I heard the faint whisper of the "Brady Bunch" laff track. No wonder you write for an American daily, well known as the cutting edge of real funny-like humor. I mean, Joe Sobran, Scaife, the horrible mediocrity of the corporate media, it's all a laff riot. Trust me.
7. There’s more, but it’s late and I’m tired. You know why I really wrote the preceding? Because now it’s the weekend, and I will gambol in the sun, play with my wife and child, toss the squeak toy the pup, grill steaks, consume oooiiiillll, and enjoy the waning days of summer - and meanwhile, a half-dozen bitter nutrolls will spend that time attempting to prove that America is actually the same as Nazi Germany. Have fun, lads! Don’t leave out the part about shredding the Constitution, or repealing civil liberties. That would be like the Stones dropping “Satisfaction” from the concert playlist. Always remember the fans. They want the hits; give 'em the hits.
What, that shredding the constitution thing got you all bored? Figures. I'm going to call it a night too. By the way, here are some more right-thinking, uplifting, rally round the flag boys stories for your daughter: "Our pal Somoza", "Archbishop Romero and the Death Squads" and, my favorite, "Daddy was stupid enough to do that Coke involvement in death squads piece and now I'm unemployed and so now we have to do more walking and can't consume as much oooiiiillll ..." Just a suggestion...