“To put [undecided voters] in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?” To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked. I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?”—Undecided by David Sedaris in The New Yorker. When polling undecided voters in central PA tomorrow, I’ll be sure to ask, “Do you want chicken or a pile of shit, honey?” (via elisha)
Last week as I listened, along with many other Americans and others around the world, to President Bush’s most recent effort to reassure us about the current economic meltdown I had a “Road to Damascus” moment. It happened as I heard Bush repeat the word “faith”: faith in America’s institutions, faith in its workers, faith in capitalism, faith in our capacity to survive other disasters (such as 1929 and 2001). And, of course, the faith we needed to weather the recent crisis and get to the other side, such faith, in Bush’s rhetoric, being not only the need of the moment but the fulcrum for the journey to recovery.
I instantly saw that a great feat in reverse discourse engineering had occurred: we had moved into the era of the “Faith-Based Economy.” Many of us had already developed a certain worry about the place of “faith” in the Bush administration’s weird form of ecumenical evangelism, which had used the idea of faith-based organizations to allow the covert infiltration of a certain brand of religion into American civic life, with a definite bias towards white, Protestant, evangelical forms rather than say, to Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu or Rastafarian forms.
But now we are in a new Weberian moment, where Calvinist ideas of proof, certainty of election through the rationality of good works, and faith in the rightness of predestination, are not anymore the backbone of thrift, calculation and bourgeois risk-taking. Now faith is about something else.
MODERATOR: Governor Palin, since you clearly get uncomfortable when you don’t have a scripted answer for a given question, instead choosing to talk about taxes and energy during completely unrelated discussions about mortgages and health care, perhaps you’d like to take a moment to act like a condescending kindergarten teacher on nitrous oxide and treat the American people like a classroom full of rowdy 8-year-olds that won’t eat their vegetables.
PALIN: Ah, bless your heart! Y’know, doggone it, you’re darn right. And I’ll betcha, it’s the ol’ scamps there givin’ a straight-up shout-out to the whoop-de-diddly skidoo, *wink*, gosh darn it, what the heck, Main Street moms and Joe Six-Pack hootenannies, and don’cha know it folks, if elephants could fly, you could make a fortune sellin’ steel umbrellas!