Wednesday, April 15, 2009


By J. Thomas Duffy

That ear-splitting screeching you heard through most of the day was that of the Flying Monkeys, of the Right-Wing Freak Show, flinging their own feces around, aghast at the prospects that the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security is (or has already started) looking into Right Wing Extremists, the prospects of the raising of violence, you know, from all those calls for revolution, and stockpiling of weapons due to Obama coming in and taking them all away.

And, as I read through a bevy of posts, particularly those that question, why would, say, an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, conservative get their panties in a bunch, automatically associating themselves with gun-toting, bomb-making freaks?

And, that led me to think about Fritz Weaver, and his appearance in one of the many classic Twilight Zones, in this case (as he was in many), "The Obsolete Man."

Here's the IMDb plot summary:

In a totalitarian society, Romney Wordsworth is condemned to death for the crime of being a librarian, and he is subjected to the harangues of the state's Chancellor and his lectures about Wordsworth's obsolescence. Wordsworth, however, makes one final request -- that he be allowed to choose his method of execution and that it be televised live to the society. The Chancellor agrees and later visits Wordsworth at his house, where he learns that Wordsworth has had tons of explosives rigged under the house to go off at midnight in full view of national television cameras. But as The Chancellor begins to leave, he finds he has been double-crossed by Wordsworth, and suddenly he must face Romney Wordsworth's terrifying vigil as the clock ticks down to the fateful period of midnight.

Weaver plays the Chancellor, and the great Burgess Meredith is the Romney Wordsworth character.

And, the Chancellor is, oh so, haughty, carrying out the State's business, much with the crispness of Donald Rumsfeld.

While the plot episode is not quite the same circumstances, our little Flying Monkeys -- Michelle "Stalkin" Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, the whole lot of them -- all played out the "Chancellor's" role these past eight-years, cheerleading The Bush Grindhouse chopping up the Constitution, infringing on and violating our rights, wiretapping us, Extraordinary Rendtioning others, torture, and these little Flying Monkeys set up the proverbial gaunlet, beating down, smearing, anyone who, let alone criticized The Commander Guy, but even questioned it.

So, today, they all break down, all the little Flying Monkeys, sweaty and trembling, much, like Fritz Weaver's "Chancellor" character, panicking that, like the Chancellor, they, too, will be dubbed "obsolete," or, in this case, they get roped in with a bunch of violent nutjobs.

Glenn Greenwald summed it up rather nicely:

When you cheer on a Surveillance State, you have no grounds to complain when it turns its eyes on you. If you create a massive and wildly empowered domestic surveillance apparatus, it's going to monitor and investigate domestic political activity. That's its nature. I'd love to know how many of the participants in today's right-wing self-victim orgy uttered a peep of protest about any of this, from 2005.

And, Steve Hynd, in his "From The Shoe on Other Foot Files":

What I find unpleasant but nonetheless poetic justice is that the 30% who were all for illegal warrantless wiretapping and internet surveillance sweeps when Muslims and environmentalist hippies were the prime targets might be feeling a whole lot different now that they themselves may well be the subject of such spying.

Like Fritz Weaver's Chancellor, in the end;

"Chancellor: [becoming hysterical] You're making a mistake! *I'm not obsolete!* I BELIEVE in the State! I WORK for the State! I help give the State STRENGTH! How can you call ME obsolete? HOW CAN YOU?"

Flail away there, Fly Monkeys ...

Go to sleep tonight, thinking about, knowing, perhaps, your name is in a DHS file.

Bonus Flying Monkey Riffs

Tbogg: It’s all fun and games until they start looking at the white man

Ali Frick: Fox host wonders if Obama administration will send ‘spies’ to tea parties

Attytood: There's a right way and a wrong way to combat right wing violence

Tim F: The Point (You’re Never Gonna Get It)

Bonus Bonus

Watch 'The Twilight Zone' episode, "The Obsolete Man" HERE

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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