|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? Send a letter to the editor.|
|Watching Milk was a reminder of the ludicrous excuse made by Harvey Milk's killer, Dan White: the "Twinkie defense." Sorry your honor, too much junk food forced me to assassinate in cold blood San Francisco's mayor and one of his supervisors. Not to be flip, but White's blame-shifting exercise borrowed much from a 60s comedian named Flip Wilson whose tag line was "the devil made me do it." Don't blame me or, as the French are fond of saying, "ce n'est pas ma faute." Some external agency, or maybe fate itself, is responsible. Kismet. What must be, must be, and so it is written.
Of course even moderately rational people reject this sort of brainless fatalism and mindless blame transference, but the Republicans have burned it into the zeitgeist. When Iraq was looted to oblivion after our invasion, Rumsfeld offered no explanation for his utter lack of security planning for the occupied state. Instead he cited destiny, saying with a shrug that "stuff happens." Dick Cheney echoed those very words in a TV interview the other day as the defense of the Bush administration economic policies which have brought the world to its knees. It's possible that Cheney and Rumsfeld binge on Twinkies, and more likely still that they worship the devil, but whatever distasteful activities we can imagine them pursuing their argument boils down to "it couldn't have been little us."
Now we're hearing the same nonsense from the insurance and banking villains who have picked our collective pockets clean. Also from their shills in the business and regular press. It was a tsunami, a once in a hundred years catastrophe, a nuclear style melt-down. Who could have foreseen this cataclysm? Who could have envisioned the collapse of the world credit markets? They sound just like Condi Rice and her "who could have imaged planes flying into buildings?" shortly before the CIA memo surfaced predicting exactly that. So no one's to blame for these horrors, except maybe Bernie Madoff and all those greedy home-buyers. You just can't escape destiny.
Ditto with the fat bonuses paid to the executives at AIG and Merrill Lynch and the other malefactors of great wealth. Nothing we can do about it, Larry Summers claims. So it is written, if not in the book of doom then in the employment contracts of those stellar financial brains. But for Summers and his acolytes, as for Rumsfeld and Cheney and company, that distinction is a false one anyway: bonuses, like unrestrained looting, and acts of terror, and financial melt-downs, are just so many stepping stones in the great river of existence, which flows on regardless of anything we may do or say, and whose tides we control about as well as did old king Canute.
That's the essential argument anyway. And if it doesn't make you sufficiently ill, have a Twinkie.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2009
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A NOTE TO READERS ***Update***
Another three week plus hiatus, from April 30th until May 23rd, again due to Yahoo Geocities dismal service.
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, 2007, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
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