Friday, September 2, 2011

Bats Like Birds; Hounds Of Hate; Madmen In Mirrors


Last night all around our house bats flew like birds. 

      "Free as a bird;" "free as a bat" -- the beauty and energy was entire and invigorating.

         My wife speculated that the bats were probably super-mobilized by a feeding frenzy resulting from insect relocation and surfacing caused by Hurricane Irene.

        I expect she's right about this (she usually is), but it's a little disturbing still.

       The grandeur of the bats' flight and the mild effects of vodka were able slightly to dispel the filth defiling the beautiful late-summer day, which cropped up in a morning posting on the "Hatebook" page of a noted rock critic/soi-disant lefty radical in the following form:
" We do have an evil Jew in Ohio who wants to be our next U.S. Senator, replacing a great progressive, Sherrod Brown."

       This post sort of oddly (that is to say, "out of context" oddly) appeared amid some online colloquy supposedly examining the Hatebook page-owner's profound query: "what life experience could have made Eric Cantor into such an uncharitable and inhuman fuck?"  The genesis of his question was  this Los Angeles Times article discussing the status of federal emergency appropriations for Hurricane Irene victims.  The story detailed in part how legislation providing such funds had already been passed in the (Republican) U.S. House of Representatives, but was currently being held up in the (Democratic) U.S. Senate and contained  what I considered to be innocuous, fairly predictable comments by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virigina),  Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

        Unwisely (in retrospect), I commented that I thought the Hatebook page-owner had overreacted to the Times article in terms of what had actually been reported.

        This unleashed the Hounds of Hate.

          Amazingly, when I objected to the "evil Jew" interjection (which had been supplied, to my surprise, by a fairly well-known music critic residing in the Cleveland, Ohio area), not one of the enlightened participants in this particular grove of despair, self-love and self-righteousness joined in my remonstrance, including the Hatebook page-owner himself, an old acquaintance who happens to be Jewish, but who is, I assume (we've never discussed the subject), "secular" and therefore presumably "above it all."   To be fair, he did ask the members of his sick coven "to please leave religion out of this," but frankly I found his reaction and that request an inadequate remedy to the vileness of the remark.  In fact, his urging immediately prompted another of the pack members (call them "Fiends" to keep the Facebook/Hatebook analogy going) quickly to remark about Rep. Cantor himself:   

"It's pretty clear he's ashamed of being Jewish and is still trying to assimilate with the Goyim and the southern anti-semites with his antics, and they are antics. He should just change his religion like that a-hole Chafetz and get on with it."   

        In the end, as enlightened and Manhattan-intellectual as I expect he considers himself to be, this particular Hatebook page-owner is just a member of the Angry Mob.  Based on his behavior here, I expect he would ignore and tolerate any injustice that didn't affect him personally that might draw his attention away from an existence of  self-regard and re-reviewing old Cheap Trick records.  

          Perhaps it's not completely his fault.  Perhaps the fault lies partly with Hatebook.  The "activity" there counterfeits authentic interpersonal interaction, i.e., behavior prompting empathy; behavior that has immediate and long-term personal consequences.  It resembles nothing so much as madmen mumbling to themselves in mirrors.  I was so relieved when my daughter voluntarily and without prompting removed herself from its grip.

         The rest is silence except for the bats' delightful flapping. I used to be scared of them, but then I realized they're fine. When they approach close, it's amazing.  It's everyone else I'm scared of.

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