Maudlin Mawkishness in the Age of the Gush

~~By Kenosha Marge

Supposedly we are now in the “Age of Obama”. I find it more the “Age of the Gush”. To me it seems an era of adults slobbering all over their keyboards or a microphone in spasms of adolescent lovesickness that should be embarrassing for anyone over the ago of 12.

These over-aged adolescents more than likely don’t realize how silly they look and sound because there are so many other fools acting the same way. It’s always easier to make an ass of yourself if others are doing it too. Misery isn’t the only one that loves company. Thus we are presented with group foolishness and many find that acceptable. It is a large and loud choral group of nitwitted nincompoops twittering their lovesickness for the entire world to see.

Will Obama be one of the few great presidents we have had? According to many of the mawkish minions worshipping at the Obamessiah’s feet, he all ready is. Who knew winning an election, a nasty contentious election filled with race baiting and misogyny was a sign of greatness? Coulda fooled me. It certainly exposes the thought processes, or lack thereof, of a lot of folks if that’s what they find heroic.

I have always found it amazing when people hero-worship any one let alone a politician. There are a few, very few, politicians here and there for whom I can find some small measure of respect. You probably have a few of your own. There are even those that I find worthy of genuine admiration at times for some specific reason.

Russ Feingold and his lonely stand against the Patriot Act is one instance. That was an act of courage and integrity I cannot remember ever seeing in another politician. Others may remember others acts of which I am unaware or have simply forgotten. I do know at the time I was very proud to have voted for a person of character.

On other issues, Feingold being a politician, he disappoints from time to time. Thus I don’t hero-worship, gush or in other ways act like an adolescent about the Senator from my home state. Letting him know when I think he’s right and letting him know when I don’t seems like an adult way to act and react. Maybe I just lack the gush gene.

Respect and even admiration is fine with me although all too often neither is earned. If certain politicians vote the correct way that most benefits our country they aren’t heroes, they’re just doing their damn job. And damn seldom do most of them do that.

This tendency of supposed adults to go all maudlin and gushy over some politician makes me nauseous. Perhaps it was just the way I was raised. We respected and admired certain people, even some politicians. We saved the worshipping for church on Sunday. I was raised to never trust a used car salesman or a politician.

I also turned to the media for news. Just that. I wasn’t looking to be entertained nor was I interested in some reporter’s opinion. What I expected then and still would like now is news. All I want is the facts. Give me them damn old boring facts and I’ll make up my own mind about how I feel and what I think. Don’t expect me to hero worship some media type for simply doing their job. These over-paid people so seldom do their job that when they do we all go into spasms of joy. How dumb is that?

Media types like politicians aren’t heroes/heroines when they do their job. They shouldn’t be lauded for doing what they are supposed to do but should get a good swift kick in the ass when they don’t. For what they are paid the very least we should get is competent reporting.

One politician once said: “The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is… the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. “

That politician was Adlai Stevenson at the Democratic National Convention on, August 18 1956. That was 53 years ago. Even then candidates were being put forth as “merchandise” and some people didn’t think it was a good idea. Wonder what ‘Ol Adlai would have thought of a PR Pres complete with acolytes fainting at his feet.

In this tech age where we are advertised “at” every waking minute many of our fellow citizens have allowed their cognitive abilities to deteriorate and just float along on a sea of admiration for people because they are told it’s the thing to do. God forbid that some over aged adolescent isn’t in with the cool crowd.

The adolescent raptures of people old enough to know better is a sign of our times. Not a pretty or encouraging sign. These people are old enough to know better. The cognitive discourse of the emerging generation is frightening. With some electronic gizmo residing in every available orifice, tats and piercings dominating their torsos and more misinformation stuffed inside their heads than would seem possible, they are the hope of the future.

Even the most rabid of gushers may find it hard to be hopeful about that. Even the dimmest of wits who finds their hero/heroine in the political arena may someday have a very small light go off in the back of their empty little heads and wonder why they were so exited about so and so. What had so and so done? What were their accomplishments? Why are they being touted as great?

Greatness may well be, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. In which case a lot of eye tests need to be scheduled. Educating about the difference between cool and great might help, too.

And for heaven’s sake stop with the mawkish, maudlin, histrionic, theatrical, schmaltzy, gushy crap! Grow up America even if you are afraid to grow old.

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14 Responses

  1. Americans had become addled, or brain-dead adolescents when they started to buy into the distortions and lies that were peddled by the Republicans after their President Richard Nixon was found to be a crook and a very evil minded man. Since then we have had the empty suit Ronald Reagan, followed by the empty hearted GW Bush, followed by the empty-headed Dubya. Clinton was the last Democrat President who had any substance. The Demnocrats have bought into the same marketing of crap wrapped in glitz in the ‘new Obama model’ and the electorate so used to being fed Bullsh*t by now, bought right into it.
    I have absolutley no hope for the U.S.

  2. The bigger they think they are..the harder they fall.

  3. Welcome back Marge! We’ve missed your laser sharp wit and precision dissembling of idiocy! Thanks for making my morning by hitting the adolescent right on the zit!

  4. It is all about the “gush”. After two years of the constant beating of the drum on behalf of this less than mediocre candidate, they had him canonized and celebrated way before he even took the oath.

    I am watching to some extent the same adulation surrounding Sarah Palin take root. Four years out from the next election and the drum beat is already in progress based solely on the fact that she is female and we need to check our reasoning at the door and get onboard this express.

    I prefer my candidates in small doses. Tell me what they have done and propose to do and I will listen. But having endured 2 years of the Obama propaganda, and seeing the same old faces spit and claw one another year after year, my “skeptical meter” remains ticking. If they are too good to be true, they usually aren’t.

  5. Wow! I can now understand the following that Adlai Stevenson had. We now market candidates as “brands”. Garychapelhill had a good post on this at the Confluence
    http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/its-all-about-the-marketing/

  6. It is the age of marketing. Almost anything can be sold to us and we sit here like baby birds with out beaks open.

    A new and shiny candidate? Look no further than Obama. Packaged, blown dried, wrapped in colorful rhetoric and tied with a big red bow of glitz. Another JFK, MLK, Lincoln? Check him out! We offer this all to you simpletons out there who crave the next best thing.

    Forget substance, vision, or experience. This model comes equipped as a blank slate for you to make of it what you desire. But there is no return clause in this sale. You get what you pay for.

  7. Excellent post, perfectly captures the phenomenon.

    While it was disappointing that the liberal blogosphere collectively took leave of its senses last year, it wasn’t a total surprise. A lot of bloggers had a tendency to swing between hero/villian judgments. One day Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid was the champion of all good, another they were villianous turncoats. Uh, no, they were politicians who would sometimes do the right thing, but more often needed to be prodded in the right direction.

    What Obama’s campaign did was take this tendency and eliminate the villian end of the cycle with the charges of racism. Thus you only got the shining hero worship. When anything negative occurred, like the FISA vote, they had to dig for a “correct” reason Obama was doing it. Because Obama had to be a hero, and if you didn’t think so, you obviously hated him because he is black.

    Effective if vile campaign strategy, but a very bad thing for the country.

  8. Great post. Pat, like you, I am watching the adulation around Sarah. I do like some of the things she has done for her state and am interested in new ideas. I want to keep watching that. Because there are so few females in congress, I definitely give each new female newcomer some attention to see if she is someone I could vote for. I don’t care what she is wearing, where she goes to church, what her daughter has to say about teen sex, how “cute” her hubby is or where he is snowmobiling, or her hairstyle, ugh…..and the overload of all that will turn me off. While we shouldn’t park our intelligence at the door when it comes to choosing a woman, we (our society) also shouldn’t marginalize what she has accomplished by focusing on where she shops for her clothes. I don’t want an American Idol in any political position, and I think that is what we have right now and how we choose, unfortunately…….America has voted…..

    I love that Stevenson used the word “indignity” to describe what was happening then and now. Indignant is a good word to describe how I feel.

  9. I repeat, I do not hero worship any politician, ever.

    I do have a lot more respect for Sarah Palin that I do for the phony in the White House. She has some accomplishments.

    And like gagirl, I’m not interested in her wardrobe or her hairstyle or what kind of glasses she wears.

    I admire that she had to fight her way to get an education and that she was at the time of her selection to run with John McCain the very popular Governor of her state. Those are accomplishments. Enough to be president? Not really. but then look at what’s sitting in the Oval Office now. Or is he off on the campaign trail again?

    Sarah Palin is a conservative Republican. But she doesn’t appear to be an idealogue to me. I think she’s quite intellegent and probably a pragmatist like Hillary Clinton. Either way, not a hero/heroine to me, just someone that has a few accomplishments. More than most of the pinheads sitting in either the house, the senate or the White House.

  10. It’s always refreshing to read a post done by Kenosha Marge. She tells it like it is, and she doesn’t care who likes it or who doesn’t.

    Marge is a straight shooter with more common sense in her pinkie than most people have in their brain.

    Love ya, Marge, Keep tellin’ them off.

  11. Interesting post. I have this odd feeling the county is moving into some kind of “cultural revolution”. Obama = Mao? I doubt it, but history can play some funny games.

  12. I don’t know about a cultural revolution and I can’t see Americans accepting Obama as Mao but what I see is a citizenry that accepts less responsibility for it’s own actions and looks to some “superhero” to save them. Choosing a politician, any damn politician for that role seems an act of lunacy to me and then gushing about said phony is beyond my comprehension.

    Let’s face it folks, the mawkish morons have always been with us. The screaming fools who fainted for “Frankie Sinatra” and the silly twits that screamed and fainted for the “Beatles”. That kind of silliness, or cries for attention(?) will never disappear. Fools and their silliness are never parted.

    But to transfer that kind of lunacy to a politician, and to have large segments of the population do so is something I quite frankly have never seen to this degree.

    I remember when the “Camelot” nonsense was going on and was appalled at the silliness then too. Some folks just need a hero. I don’t. And if I did it sure as hell wouldn’t be some politician.

  13. It’s the hero worship that brings about a Dear Leader Comrade #1, such as Mao. What I find eerie is how the Chinese Cultural Revolution began: in the universities. After being downsized by the party, Mao went on a revival campaign where he drummed up support by educators in the college system. So when he and his wife re-asserted control, they had millions of college kids ready to march.
    Sound familiar?
    I’m not saying such a thing would follow the same pattern; this isn’t China in the 60’s. In spite of Pelosi and Company, we still don’t have a one-party state which ruthlessly suppresses any attempts at challenges to its power. Likewise, the US isn’t an agricultural society with recent memories of a bloody war.
    Still…..

  14. remember when he gave that speech on Racism and it was the “best evah on racism…”’ gush gush gush
    I thought it was defensive and self serving,not the least bit original. HISTORY determines what speeches are great and lasting and which are not except in this age.
    It’s STILL all hype and we can not afford this amount of silly nonsense at this point in time.

    Please dear God make it stop

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