FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Congressional Rip Cord

by MARCELLE CENDRARS

 

“Just as Mrs. Phelps, in Sidney Howard’s 1926 The Silver Cord, destroys the relationship between her younger son and his fiancee, Congress (among other things) destroys the relationship between democracy and justice. And just as the older son in that play has to go abroad to begin a healthy relationship, we are going to have to cut our traditional ties which bind us to Congress, which serve as a diseased umbilical cord with Congress.”

— The author’s radical Theatre professor, Lester Moore of Rutgers University, in notes from speeches given on the campus of Teachers College, Columbia University, N.Y.C., 1968.

Jay Leno, whose Late Show entertains millions five nights a week, has a Jay Walking segment which –after a fashion that’s typical of today’s television, highlighting humiliation– stops people on the street to ask them simple grade school Qs like “Where is Washington, D.C.?” or “Who was President at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation?” that are designed to make his audience feel superior.

As viewers bathe in their smarts relative to the Trailer Trash Mentality on display, Jay knowingly snickers, giving hints at times that help the educationally challenged … not at all for most (“He had a beard and wore a stovepipe hat!”), and pumps himself up as … Smarter Than Thou.

Not just a collector of classic cars with a Big Chin, that #1 American TV Host –inheritor of Johnny Carson’s mantle– knows how to locate Iraq on a map!

Well, I took a poll of an even one hundred people at random recently, and each one –without exception– noted that the Late Show Jay Walking segment revealed how little the public knows about Social Studies subjects. No one –absolutely, not a soul– pointed out that even when respondents answered correctly … it meant very little. That the whole exercise was centered on trivia. Like most spot quizzes in school.

In the spirit of counteracting that false Leno bravado, which compounds ignorance with ignorance by emphasizing the inconsequential, I offer up the following test for J-Bird and those of his species. And –to make things as easy as possible– we’ll limit it to a simple Yes or No below:

1A. Has any member of Congress recently brought up the subject of Halliburton selling materials used in building nuclear reactors to an Iranian oil development company as late as 2005? OR 1B. Has any member of Congress called attention to the fact that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad’s comment about destroying Israel (“Israel must be wiped off the map.”) was actually a misinterpretation?

2. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of November 27, 2006 was passed by only six (out of 435) Congresspersons as a process bill which is non-controversial. Did more than one person oppose the bill which “will have a real and chilling effect on people’s constitutionally protected rights,” according to Dennis Kucinich?

3. Did Congress do everything it could do (or much at all) to prevent the S&L Scandal of the 80s (which we’re still paying for to the tune of $32 billion per year)?

4. Did Congress come close to doing everything it could have to lessen the number of deaths in Rwanda in the 90s?

5. Is there any public talk among Congresspersons about the serious indiscretions concerning Senator Diane Feinstein’s husband’s war profiteering in Iraq?

6. Did Congress ever make a move to force Japanese acknowledgement of The Rape of Nanking as it did vis-a-vis the Turkish Genocide of Armenians?

7. Have members of Congress kept the majority of their campaign promises this time around … or ever?

8. Recent temporary measures passed by the Congress required “a clear notification” for government video news releases (the dominant form of “fake news”), clearly defining what that means.

9. Has Congress ever –when push has come to shove– not supported a President’s war?

10. Let’s make this final question an easy one: Is Congress doing everything it can to impeach Bush and Cheney?

The answers? No*, I won’t provide them! No way** I’ll have anything to do with encouraging questions about the U.S. Congress.

*That’s a hint.
**That’s a hint too.

The author does encourage one and all to cut our shriveling umbilical cord with Congress, which keeps feeding us with that which does not nourish us. Keep the proverbial Apple Pie, but get rid that poor excuse of a Mom, Loyal Spouse of Papa Prez. The Whole Parental Unit, in fact.

Do not honor thy Father and Mother. Run away from what they call Home.

MARCELLE CENDRARS, Algerian-American freelancer residing in L.A., can be reached at bcendra@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail