August 16, 2005

Sometimes it's hard to not get discouraged

I just got back from an early morning run to the gas station. I like the guy that runs the place, and of course, as another customer came in, the talk turned to the incredibly high price of gas. The owner said he wasn't even selling at his break even point and showed us a sheet of what he was paying for gas. The cheapest grade was at $2.49 a gallon.

I said that someone was getting rich, even if it wasn't him. I then mentioned how the Bush family has had strong ties to the Saudis going back decades, but to my surprise, he didn't like hearing that at all. He immediatly shot back that CLINTON was the one dealing with the Saudis, which was so bizarre and out there that I chose to just ignore it and restated how the Bush family and the Saudi royal family have several links in many ways, business and otherwise and are very tight. To this he shot back instantly that AL GORE has more money invested in oil that George W. Bush, "And that's a fact." he assured me.

I again said that the Bushes have had ties with the Saudis going way back to when Sr. was CIA honcho, but the owner had yet another card to play to defend his dear leader. He said that most of the gas he gets is from the United States and the Saudis don't have much say about things at all. The American companies could tell the Saudis what to do, and should. (I hated to tell him that there aren't too many American oil companies left.)

At this point, I realized that this guy was a 100% Fox News watchin', Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity lovin', Bill O'Reilly believin' utterly uninformed zombie who would never let reality intrude into the little world they'd constructed for him.

To his assertion that the Saudis don't have much to do with the price of oil, I just half-heartedly reminded him of OPEC and how they had the entire US wrapped around their finger back during the oil embargo as I walked out the door, but by then my heart wasn't in it. The depth of his ignorance was simply too much for me, and I was dejected and demoralized.

Sure, I could have stood there and pointed out that, even if it was true (doubtful) that Al Gore has more money invested in oil that W, was he suggesting that Al Gore, the guy who literally wrote the book about getting off the oil economy and developing alternative energy sources, was more involved and committed to the oil industry than a guy who's family business has been oil for generations and a V.P. who ran one of the largest oil production services companies on the planet?

I could have systematically shown him the folly of his thinking, but why? It's futile. The right wing noise machine had filled him chock full to the brim with it's idiotic, distorted, and false, but easily digestible and emotionally appealing tripe. And he could recite it like a machine. He was fully programmed and ready for duty.

These sorts of encounters are devastating to me. It fills me with so many emotions, and none of them good. I'm sorry for the guy, I'm furious that anyone could be that ill informed and ignorant AND SO DAMN CERTAIN OF THEMSELVES besides. It makes me wanna hollar when someone like this guy, who is GETTING SCREWED by Bush's policies is so devoted to him. I despair for how pervasive and ubiquitous the right wing's massive propaganda campaign has been, and mourn it's massive success. And most of all, I fear for the future of this country, it's people, it's economy, and perhaps most of all, it's future generations.

I'm sure I'll snap out of my funk and get back to being my happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care, incredibly charming self before too long. But damn, running into one of these Bush-bots face to face is really, really depressing.


At 8/16/2005 8:26 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

You're both wrong. I just read somewhere that Andrea Zinga owns 3/4 of the world's oil.

At 8/16/2005 9:10 AM, Blogger diehard said...

The Republicans have really gotten good at getting people to vote against their own best intrests.
Part of it goes back to the I'm O.K. your O.K. but those other low life people that are[liberals,blacks,poor people, are not O.K.]
It's Rush Limaugh, FOX and others are realling engaged in massive brainwashing.
They realize that most Americans aren't excatly voraciuos readers and they get most of their info,particulary at election time from television!

At 8/16/2005 9:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And that's a fact!!

I read it on the Drudge Report

And Bill Clinton made my septic tank explode. I'm not sure how, but I bet he's behind it somehow. And the liberals are why my wife won't let me touch her anymore too! And blacks are why I can't hold a job, and ...

At 8/16/2005 10:51 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Dope I have a brother that I'm ashamed to say voted for Bush the first time.
I asked why in the world would a guy that woks at Wal-Mart vote for the Chinpster?
'Well if i was black I could get a decent job'
I told him that he was angry at the wrong people. Black people dont run Fortune 500 companies that export all of our union trade jobs overseas.
Hell black people have been shown to be the minority group that tends to buy American!
Blacks tend to buy American more than any other American group period.
And no one likes liberal lawyers until you need one!

At 8/16/2005 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Ms. Dope. I just returned from Western Michigan where I paid $2.59 a gallon. But, unlike your gas station attendant, the young people with whom I spoke are beginning to turn against Bush-Cheney in the second term. The tide, at least in the Wolverine state which boasts lots of electoral votes, may be turning against the GOP.

At 8/16/2005 1:56 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Gosh I sure hope so folks! We need something uplifting to happen that does not involve "Support the troops".

I believe that we could well do the above by bringing them home to their families. Most of them enlisted in a desperate attempt to gain a college education to better feed the families they were forced to leave behind to fight for years - to make Bush look good.

But it's all falling in like a house of cards now.

At 8/16/2005 4:51 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon... you are correct... at least there's been a subtle shift in the media. Lead by Bush's dismal showing in the polls, and Cindy Sheehan's well-timed and powerful protest, I think some in the media are finally sensing that it's not professional suicide to actually ask questions which aren't flattering to this administration.

And the press has been so far in the tank for Bush that the press is certainly a lagging indicator, meaning that the country is more anti-Bush than the press reflects.

I only hope the trend continues.

The key thing in all of this are the numbers which show that a majority of people don't trust Bush and have finally figured out that he lies much of the time.

Once Bush's ability to lie with impugnity is gone, he's really in "deep doo-doo", to borrow his Dad's famous phrase.

At 8/17/2005 9:12 AM, Blogger Whetam Knauckweirst said...

It's my opinion that people like the gas station owner about whom you wrote side with BushCo, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al, is because they want to be on the side of the schoolyard bully.

I'm a Canadian who used to work in Michigan -- commuting back and forth daily. I really enjoyed my co-workers, had fun shooting the shit with them, but had a similar experience last year hearing them proclaim that "Kerry is Scary." There is no one on this planet more frightening to me than George W. Bush, with his psychotic blend of arrogance, ignorance, and sociopathic lack of conscience or knowledge of consquences.

And I share your despair over this seemingly self-induced blindness Bush adherents engage in.

My impression of Americans has always been that they admire a rags-to-riches story. They admire the person who works his way up from nothing, makes his mark on the world, and has earned everything he/she had with their own two hands. For this reason, I absolutely cannot fathom George W. Bush's popularity. To mind my, he's everything Americans hate: a privileged, spoiled fratboy who has always used family connections and his family's name to jump to the head of the line. He not only got out of serving in Vietnam by jumping the line to get into the Texas Air National Guard, but couldn't even bring himself to fulfill his obligations there. He's utterly void of compassion, yet proclaims himself to be a Christian. Every facet of his personality steeped in hypocricy.

My opinion was only bolstered one day last year while in the company lunch room (wide screen TV tuned perpetually to Fox News), and a commercial for NASCAR racing came on. I don't follow it, myself, but one of my colleagues was quote devoted. How interesting it was when a particular driver was featured (I can't remember his name), and my colleague sneered and said how much she hated the guy because he came from a rich family, didn't know what an honest day's work was like, and had endless financial resources to fund his racing. She then explained how she admired a driver who had "come up from nothing", and was making a real success of himself.

Dazed and suddenly devoid of my appetite, I simply gaped at my colleague, stunned into silence over the pristine analogy that just fell out of her mouth for why I dislike and distrust BushCo, and my bewilderment over why should could not see my point of view.

Through many other chats with her -- like niggling a sore tooth, I just couldn't help going back to politics in our conversations -- I realized that she was basically devoted to BushCo because she wanted to be on the side of the schoolyard bully. Not because she felt he was right (though she never admitted he was wrong about anything), not because his policies made sense (they often screwed her over like they do your gas station guy), or because she felt he was good for the country. He's the head of the schoolyard gang currently terrorizing the United States, and by God she wasn't going to be on the wrong side of that. So be it. But damn it was disheartening to witness.

At 8/17/2005 1:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Matt, your observations are excellent. Yes... your correct that people ... albeit weak people... naturally tend to fall in line behind the schoolyard bully, as you so aptly analagized.

I've seen it countless times, and it also explains the popularity of obnoxious bullies like Bill O'Reilly. People sit back and root for these asshats because they wish they could be that big of an asshole and insult and put everyone down who doesn't agree with them.
O'Reilly, and Bush as well, seem to have made a virtue of being rigid, closeminded, and intellectually vapid. They just make up their mind based on flimsy, flawed, and incomplete evidence, or simply make up evidence to support their views, and then act like it's the word of God.
People are confused. They don't know what's going on, so they're not able to get away with simply being a huge jackass and stating their simple minded views as if it were gospel and then demeaning and dismissing as crazy or evil or both anyone who disagrees.
But O'Reilly and Bush and their ilk do it all the time. Wow, how great it would be to be that sure of myself. So they want to be on their side. It's EASIER that way. You don't have to think, your enemies are clearly identified and villified for you, and hell, O'Reilly and Hannity and Limbaugh all get me so pissed at these people, they must be right.

I can't do the subject justice, obviously, but I can highly recommend some books. (If you don't mind.)
"The Right-wing Noise Machine" by David Brock, and "Outfoxed", an excellent book exposing the methods and madness of Fox News, by a woman named, and I'm not making this up, Alexandra Kitty.

Read those and you'll understand what Matt has expressed so well and what I'm struggling to say.


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