THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES

by James Killough

It’s been a while now since I’ve taken a potshot or two at my evil twin Andrew Sullivan.  In truth, I’ve become sort of ambivalent about him, as opposed to hostile; his position on cannabis usage—that making a plant which grows naturally illegal, but letting alcoholic beverages, which are manmade, be not only legal but socially acceptable and an integral part of many religious ceremonies is hypocritical—is a laudable one.  I take a further libertarian view towards all drugs: if you are old enough to know what you want and can make an informed decision, and provided you don’t harm others—i.e., by getting slaughtered on legal ethanol and causing a lethal traffic accident—then nobody should tell you what to do.  Let’s not go into the safety issues of having drugs manufactured in dodgy labs by pseudo-chemists with no regulation; hardcore drugs users are people too, and deserve FDA protection as much as any alcohol drinker or anxiety-riddled pill-popping suburban soccer mom.

Proto-douche Andrew Sullivan has some decent points, but they are wiped out by other nonsense he stands for and spews forth. And, Andrew, what is that shirt? Moiré? Snicker.

But the sensible cannabis stance is outweighed by Sullivan’s other more insensible positions, like his advocacy of unprotected sex, for himself in particular because he’s Poz; the AIDS crisis is apparently over, according to him.  Well, it would be, now that he has—forgive my French—taken so many infected loads up his ass that he has surrendered to the disease.  But that doesn’t make the crisis any where near over for the vast majority of people, especially the young ‘uns, people who don’t sit on a sanctimonious high horse during the day, only to get off it and behave like a total bottom pig slut at night.

Sullivan’s delirious, almost psychotic conviction is that Trig Palin, Sarah’s Downs Syndrome child, is really Bristol’s, when the proponderance of DS babies are born to older women, seldom to teenagers.  There seems no basis in reason for this witch hunt of Sullivan’s other than sheer spite.  Palin is a soft target even I like to take a potshot at every once in a while, but it’s for a laugh, a titter at her polka-dot toenails, not some paranoid obsessive savaging like Sullivan’s, which has all the hallmarks of the kind of tangent a meth head goes off on, having induced a false psychotic break.

For people like me who identify politically with Noam Chomsky (if I indentify politically with anyone at all), one of Sullivan’s more egregious transgressions again reason is his claim that Chomsky supports Stalinism.  Despite Chomsky’s own denial—he was in fact vehemently again the Soviet regime—and his request for and explanation and apology from Sullivan, Sullivan has refused to address the issue or explain himself, much less apologize.  Again, I’m smelling the strong scent of crank smoke wafting from Sullivan’s home office across the innernet.

Linguist, philosopher, activist, cognitive scientist, and truly great American Noam Chomsky is someone whose thinking we will follow as a matter of course a century or so from now.

Hard drugs aside, I find this lack of remorse typical of conservatives/rightwingers, every one of them I’ve ever met.  They simply refuse to admit to wrongdoing, and that in my book is unmanly.  In his recent autobiography, Dick Cheney apparently doesn’t even admit to feeling pain during his five heart surgeries.  It’s as if it’s a sign of weakness to apologize, to allow that there is any possible fallibility in conservative thinking and actions.  And yet, to err is human; it is normal, it is expected, it is fine.  But maybe humanity, or the lack there of, is at the core of the zombie rot that is eating the modern GOP.

Not owning up to your mistakes or even going one step further, admitting that you are learning from them, is a sign of cowardice, of a fatal weakness of character.  The most you seem to get from the rightwing is people like Bush speechwriter David Frum, who sometimes advocates a “soul-searching” among all Republicans for some noodle-brained tangent they’ve gone off on, like the near-debacle of McCain/Palin, but one almost never hears an “I personally was wrong in doing such-and-such.”  And this is the height of arrogance and hubris.

Cassandra the Trojan princess/prophetess was cursed never to be listened to.

Sullivan’s recent piece in The Daily Beast about Osama bin Laden maybe having ‘won’ is just some scramble to find a new angle to a story that has been masticated and rehashed so often that he has no recourse but to clutch at the ridiculous.  He says:

“I remember watching the towers fall, and feeling something deeper fall as well. This was the end of American innocence, the end of the American century when the New World could really understand itself as immune to the theocratic barbarism of the Old. We saw an emblem of our entire civilization tumble to the ground in the middle of the city that had once brought the skyscraper confidently and brashly to the world.”

“The end of American innocence”?  Oh, girl, please, come on.  Are you trying to move yourself emotionally with an Edith Wharton moment?  You know better that to think that the most technologically advanced civilization on earth, the putative world leader, which we have been officially since World War II, and unofficially way before that, is “innocent.”   There is no “end of the American century,” not when most of the world follows our lead, uses our inventions, emulates our culture, our political system—hell, even wears our denim.  Andrew, you should spark up another crack bowl, write a few Hallmark cards to wash the mawkish, misguided sentimentality out of you, log on to Adam4Adam.com and find some nasty unprotected piggy group sex.  Give yourself a coffee enema first.  And while  you’re on the toilet, remind yourself that we have won, decisively.

Harold Brodkey took 27 years to write his first novel, and it was nearly unreadable.

I’ve always questioned Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown’s taste in certain writers.  My friend Harold Brodkey, who also died of AIDS, was one of them; I loved him as a person, but let’s face it, his writing was boring and often unreadable.  Andrew Sullivan is another dodgy gay protégé she might want to reconsider.

I watched Mitt Romney’s jobs speech the other day on TV at the gym while I was doing cardio; I don’t own a TV, so the only time I get to watch these things is when I’m on the stationary bike.  Despite his hesitant speech, which he excused by the fact he had no teleprompter, he seemed to make sense.  I understand that the eighth grade history teacher tone of voice he was using to explain political concepts was so the “lowest common denominator,” as an erstwhile producer of mine called them, could understand what he was saying, but the smart phone analogy—that the Obama administration is back in the faxing era when the world is actually connected by handheld devices—was the definition of specious: it sounded good, but made no sense.  And then he completely lost me when he accused Obama of over-regulating and how he wants to strip away those regulations to go back to the way we were during the Inglourious Bushtard years.

Romney may sound like a jock trying to explain his economics class to his frat bros, but the fact is he's fuckable, and that's going to be a problem for Obama.

Romney looks good.  I’d hit it, even though he’s a good twenty years older than my average lover.  He is almost too handsome, though, and looks more the governor/senator than a president: the Ted Danson-ish Just For Men model who could never hold a movie as an actor because he’s too unsmooth, but is allowed to fumble and “be real” as a politician.  I don’t think he’ll get to the White House.

In an accidental experiment, I listened to portions of the exact same Romney jobs speech on NPR, without visuals.  This was just his voice, and it was full of pauses, hesitancies, just a bit too high-pitched in places, fumbling over concepts and not completing thoughts, rather like me in one of my impressionistic rants, but not as much nutty fun.  If I were wearing my casting hat and auditioning for a role, I would pass on this guy as the season 2 replacement for the imagined soap opera “As The White House Turns and Burns.”  One thing that Obama is, he’d decisive in tone, he’s blazingly articulate without rehearsal, and above all cogent.

Forget Republican or Democrat, much less Independent.  The country is in peril as it has never been in my lifetime.  We cannot suffer another dumb-dumb; the close call with McCain and Palin should have been enough for the GOP to have taken Draconian measures to clear up their ranks and realign the party.  Instead, they’ve sprouted another head in the form of the Tea Party.  What was once the sensible ruling party is now firmly some sort of ogre out of a supernatural sideshow like True Blood.

Huntsman could be interesting, but it's doubtful it'll ever happen. Sad.

I admit to liking Jon Huntsman, even though right off the bat, men who call themselves “Jon” without an H are sort of suspect.  He speaks languages, is culturally engaged, and was ambassador to China, which requires a neurosurgeon’s skill in managing volatile situations, whacky temperaments, alternate realities; the Chinese government can be some serious evil.  Washington would be a piece of cake by comparison.  Why the GOP isn’t more firmly behind this man, who is the perfect establishment candidate, a man groomed from childhood to be a ruler, is a puzzle.  Maybe they are waiting for the ogres Bachmann and Perry and Romney to demolish themselves before they have him charge to the front.  I hope so.  In a truly test of wits, Obama would finally be given a run for his money, and by a friend.

And if Obama loses to him, I wouldn’t feel like we are going to have to live through a further slide into Has-Been Quicksand.  As someone raised an Ameropean, I’ve struggled my whole life with who we are in the world, but I was always glad to come from the country at the top of the pecking order.  Who wouldn’t?  Beats the fuck out of being Albanian, or from some banana republic.  But now we’re headed to playing second fiddle behind a first violin named Zhongua*, and that ain’t right, because they ain’t worthy.

*the traditional name for China