The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 11, 2009

Second Life Dance/Demonstration Video

(for festival)

This showcases a variety of moves and 'contrary' spaces within the current
environment I've set up in Odyssey, Second Life. I quite like it; there's
no message but fast body/pace always veering somewhere, never quite arriv-
ing, but always alien/ated. Enjoy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 18:29:08 -0400
From: moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: Palin, Beck, Limbaugh: The Rabid Responders

Over the Top and Beneath Contempt

By: Roger Simon - August 11, 2009 04:44 AM EST

Today, we live in the age of rabid response.

Not rapid response. Rapid response was yesterday. Rapid
response was the political tactic of responding quickly
to all attacks, no matter how outrageous or

Those who did not respond rapidly, those who told
themselves the public would not believe outright lies,
failed to win higher office. (Thus Democrats still blame
John Kerry for not responding rapidly enough in 2004 to
the attacks of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.)

Rabid response is different.

The purpose of rabid response is to scorch the earth, to
raise the stakes, to go nuclear in the hope that your
opponent will be so shellshocked he can make no response
at all. The purpose of rabid response is to grab the
public by the throat and not let go.

Have concerns over Barack Obama's health care plan? I
don't doubt it. The plan is very long and very
complicated and still a work in progress.

But there is one thing we do know about it: It will
establish "death panels."

These death panels will determine whether you, your
baby, your parents or your grandparents will receive
health care or be left to die. In the street. Like a

How will the death panels operate? Who will be on them?
Will they validate parking? We do not know. We know only
that the death panels will judge each individual's
"level of productivity in society" and render a life or
death judgment.

So says Sarah Palin on her Facebook page.

In olden times, Palin might have made this claim at a
speech or during a news conference where reporters might
have asked questions like: "What proof do you have?" or
"Aren't you just trying to scare people?"

But Palin does not risk that. She takes no questions.
She has done her duty as a rabid responder. She has rung
the tocsin, sounded the alarm, lit the signal fire.

Truth? Accuracy? Responsibility?

Not her territory.

Glenn Beck is a rabid responder on race. "This
president, I think, he has exposed himself as a guy over
and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for
white people or the white culture," Beck says. "This guy
is, I believe, a racist."

Rush Limbaugh is a rabid responder on Nazis and
swastikas. He knows a lot about swastikas. He sees them
everywhere. He looks at the Obama health care logo -
which incorporates the familiar medical symbol of twin
serpents on a staff - and sees it as being "damn close
to a Nazi swastika logo." Speaker of the House Nancy
Pelosi muddied the waters - surprise! - by saying those
who oppose Obama's health care plan "are carrying
swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on
health care."

But Limbaugh had a rabid response for that: "There are
far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf
Hitler than between these people showing up at town
halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that's being
heralded by a Hitler-like logo."

And then, out of left (or right) field, came this: "Ted
Kennedy's dad, by the way, Joe Kennedy, sympathetic to
Hitler, sympathetic to the Nazis," Limbaugh said.

But Limbaugh was not done with the Nazis or Hitler. In
the world of rabid response, invoking the ultimate
symbols of evil to describe one's political opponents is

It doesn't matter what you say, as long as it is over
the top and beneath contempt.

"Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by
dictate," Limbaugh said. "Hitler said he didn't need to
meet with his Cabinet; he represented the will of the
people. He was called the messiah. He said the people
spoke through him."

Which means, I guess, if Hitler were alive today, he
would be a talk show host.

[Roger Simon is POLITICO's chief political columnist.]

c 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC


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