Tonight on the WB

above: anti-elitist champion of common man prepares to smash system

Hey, you guys ever hear of Lynn Forester de Rothschild? No? Yeah, didn’t think so. Anyway, she’s got a piece up on the Huffington Post. It’s well worth your time, assuming you don’t have a finite amount of it on earth.

The words of Irish poet William Butler Yeats in his poem, The Second Coming, have an eerie resonance for American politics today. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold… The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand.”

Oh yeah, The Second Coming, love that one. It’s funny, I remember when I was in high school, that was the poem that proved poetry could be cool; problem is, it’s also the poem that every jackass thinks has an “eerie resonance” for whatever’s on their mind, young me especially. It wasn’t until I saw Ed Harris’s character quoting it in that “Stephen King’s The Stand” miniseries that I realized it’s the go-to poem for dumb people who wanna play at being dark and edgy (again, young me especially), kinda like how everyone reads that Robert Frost poem and identifies with the iconoclastic protagonist. I mean seriously, guys, does it seem likely that all of you took the path less taken? Because if we’re giving weight to self-reportage that’s the well-trod one at this point. I shudder to think how many people put that down as their yearbook quote just a few months before going off to pursue a business degree.


In an environment of unprecedented political gridlock in Washington and broad-based dissatisfaction with the leading candidates of both parties, 2012 may finally be the year when an independent candidate becomes president of the United States. For the first time in our nation’s history, popular dissatisfaction with both parties is reinforced by the existence of serious bipartisan organizations that will facilitate the effort of a non-aligned national figure to become president. Because of these two factors, the opportunity to mobilize what Tom Friedman calls “the radical center” has never been greater. Indeed, “some revelation is at hand”.

I’m all for nontraditional interpretation, but I gotta say, Lynn, you might be the first person in history to read that line as “good news, everyone!”

Ah, hell, maybe I should take a stab at this before making fun. Eerie resonances, prepare to be pointed out! By me!

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

If the inside of Tom Friedman’s skull ain’t a gyre I don’t know what is. Though the way you centrist types get all worked up when you talk about a possible 3rd party, I’m a little concerned that something else is doing the widening.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

I’m thinking this could refer to a candidate ignoring their handlers’ script, “going rogue,” if you will. Or it could be about Bachmann or Perry, they’re both obviously out of their falcon minds.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Yeah, we’re all getting older and a little softer around the middle. This is clearly a reference to Obamacare.

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

Nothing a little pepper spray can’t handle!

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

We get it, you’re friends with Kissinger.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Well, that one’s a gimme. But rather than be the ten trillionth liberal to use this passage to bemoan the discrepancy between our approach to politics and that of conservatives, I’ll point out “Parks & Recreation’s” anemic ratings and the aggressiveness of the laugh track on “Whitney.” I’m sure there’s some kind of red state/blue state thing to be sussed out there but if the resonance is too eerie I won’t be able to sleep.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

Oh, who else could that be but Newt Gingrich? In related news, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell is playing acoustic greatest-hits sets these days. Related in the sense that both involve 90s nostalgia and crowds of aging honkies clapping heartily in order to convince themselves they’re not disappointed.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

Okay, the Iraq/Afghanistan imagery doesn’t support my Newt thesis, but I’ll overlook that. It’s purely a matter of timing that he wasn’t a leading warmonger at the time. Shame, his anti-charisma coulda come in handy.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

Hmm. Newt doesn’t have either of those.

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Well, that’s the whole GOP field. And to be fair, any candidate for national office a few months into the campaign, not to mention anybody paying even a modicum of attention to same.

Is moving its slow thighs,

Told ya! Newt!

while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

Now, that… that sounds like Romney at any given debate, actually. Toss in something about “incessant pecking at its magnificent hair” and the resonance is what? That’s right, eerie.

The darkness drops again;

I’m not sure Cain’s poll numbers ever so much as dipped, but he did drop out, so I get to make a hacky black-guy joke on a technicality.

but now I know
The funk of forty thousand years

Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s actually

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Yeah, c’mon, that’s gotta be about the old dude who wants to legalize pot. Can’t remember the name, I haven’t seen one of his bumper stickers stuck to a phone pole in almost twenty minutes.

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

Palin’s definitely not running, right? Because without her I don’t… ooh, could somebody remind me what that story was about Rick Santorum and the fetus in a jar?

...I would like to amend my previous request. Could somebody not remind me?

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Not sure what to do with this. “Bethlehem” seems like a clue, but hell, everybody in Washington’s in AIPAC’s pocket, so that doesn’t narrow it down at all. The “hour come round at last” part points to Newt, but he’s more squishy than rough. And the slouching? That would imply…

Oh dear God. Dick Cheney’s gonna be president.

Wait, what am I thinking? Lynn Forester de Rothschild stated in no uncertain terms that she’s advocating a third-party challenge to our ossified system; for my interpretation of The Second Coming to work here, you’d have to believe that centrism fetishists like her and Friedman are not, in fact, truly independent, and are actually just Republicans who’d rather not hobnob with working-class Evangelicals.

I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they really do have the country’s best interests at heart, and honestly see an outsider challenge as a beneficial (and realistic) shock to the system.

And that has made all the difference. Between seeing them for who they really are and being a chump.

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Ah yes, the Unity08 retread. That went so well last time.

It’ll be interesting to see whether some of the OWSers and progressives who’ve been yearning for a third-party challenger get on board an organization heavily infested with PR hacks, hedge fund managers, the Kochs’ Cato Institute alumni, and the like.

People are so fed up with Democrats and Republicans that we need a third party that acts just like the Republicans.

(BTW, nice work, Gil - that poem badly needed a fisking. Especially because, as you say, it’s the go-to for dimbulbs who want to sound edgy. Young me, too.)

Sigh. Kissinger is still alive?  I’ll assume the Rothschilds are still Eurocentric in that Centrist, rich folk way that Euros are compared to the foaming at the mouth, rabid right wing of the good ole USA, which is off the charts for Europe, even including the anti-immigrant parties over there.

But seriously, no “centrist” party is realistic in a Washington political culture shifted way off to the right.  Especially since the rest of the country is increasingly dissatisfied with that automatic right wing for-the-rich/we-must-have-austerity meme.

Young me, too. I blame Chinua Achebe.

Very nicely done, gm.

From Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild’s Twitter feed:

Lynn de Rothschild

This is appalling! @UNDP #Women are over 50% of the world’s population but own only 1% of the world’s wealth
28 Nov

(She also screwed up the link on the retweet: it should be

Thanks for the kind words, homiez. I also accept criticism, dissent and trollery.

@Xecky: I came very close to titling this post “Getting Fisked with a Yeats inflection.” And what’s worse is, I’m not necessarily glad I didn’t.

Just one “small” correction. I believe Ed Harris made that quote in Needful Things by Uncle Stevie. I don’t remember Ed Harris being in The Stand.

Is Kissinger going to be the candidate?

Stony sleep - check
Slouch - check
I refuse to even imagine the thighs.

My apologies…Ed Harris was indeed in The Stand and uttered that line. I should know by now that the people who post on this site know what they are talking about!

She’s a deep thinker. And a Lady!

*Slow clap, building to thunderous applause*

Magnificent, gil!  I give you a standing O!  Damn.  I need to smoke one now.

Had a very hectic day and definitely could use a laugh.  Thank you for providing just what I wanted!!  It is good to have you back on the team Mr. mann.

“. . . out of their falcon minds”

“Spock, you’re out of your Vulcan mind.”

Ah Gil, thanks for the memories.

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