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Slacker Friday | The Nation

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Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Slacker Friday

I got a new Think Again column. It’s called “Perception, Reality, and Responsibility in the Gulf Oil Spill” and it’s got a lot of stuff in it that I’m betting you don’t already know, here.

Here's Pierce:

Part The First:
I'm in Chicago for the Printer's Row book festival this weekend. (My panel's Saturdat at 1:30. Stop by.) This morning, I saw the top rim of thr Stanley Cup go by and tonight, at the Chicago Blues Festival, I will help celebrate the centennial of the birth of
Howlin' Wolf. Much smokestack lightning is predicted.

Part The Second:
On Thursday night, Chris Matthews brought on Harold (Fail) Ford to discuss inconvenient DFH bloggers and their effect on hacks like Harold and Blanche Lincoln. There was much deploring.

Part The Third:
Just when you think Joe Lieberman couldn't possibly be more of a weasel, he grows a longer tail. This is a guy who never shuts his yap when it comes to the corrosive affect of modern American popular culture. It bothers him, always, more than do spurious wars in which 4000 Americans, many of whom listen to that rappity-hop music that Joe so deplores, get killed. He also really hates the idea of people taking drugs on which his campaign contributors do not burn a buck.  Now, though, faced with a candidacy bankrolled almost exclusively by money made in an enterainment enterprise built on mock violence, raging sexism, half-nekkid people, and anabolic steroids, Weepin' Joe suspends judgment. You could keep the man's conscience in a thimble and  have room for another pair of shoes.

Part The Fourth:
You're telling me that 94,000-odd allegedly sentient human primates thought Mickey Kaus should be in the United States Senate? I would have been willing to bet you couldn't find 94 people who thought he should be serving them their appetizers at Olive Garden.

Part The Penultimate:
I think the Democrats may well find that campaigning is easy when the other guys write the damn ads for you.

Part The Ultimate:
Our fundamental indecency as a self-governin people is going to be on rather vivid display over the next few years, I fear. There simply is not one branch of government now that is not totally comfortable with the current state of corporate oligarchy, and the media is so thoroughly a part of it that most major outlets are now indistinguishable from BP or Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, real unemployment is pushing 20 percent, and the talk out of this administration is about austerity and about giving that old fool, Pete Peterson. his twilight dream of destroying the pitiful shreds of what used to be a barely adequate safety net. This all started when Bill Clinton lost his nerve and committed the Democratic party to deficit reduction. (The nostalgia for the days of the Pericles of the Ozarks, particularly among the members of the current administration, is both baffling and destructive.) Now, remarkably, the Obama folks are giving us back a government-as-bond-trader with a massive recession, and not a techno-fueled boom, in their immediate future. It is very hard not to give up these days.

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