Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Laura worse than the Doctor?

Mopey Buckxxx here, continuing my hard-hitting expose of the revanchist propagandists of the AM dial. Or, more precisely, partially remembered tidbits of right wing radio that I listened to while weeping and hitting my head repeatedly on the steering wheel on the way back from pyschedelically awful graduate seminars in US history.

Perhaps the worst thing I have ever heard is the show hosted by Laura Ingraham. It is quite surreal to hear her program come over the waves, because her theme song has a collage of soundbites that could be mistaken as "liberal" or "feminist" signifiers-- Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," some riled-up protestor screaming "power to the people!", etc. But once she begins the chatter, it is obvious that she leans farther to the right than Edmund Burke. She makes Phyllis Schlafly look like Helene Cixous. Her hauteur makes Ann Coulter's noxious sense of self-importance seem almost "aw-shucks." Her bullying of guests makes Sean Hannity's manhandling of liberals seem like gentle Shiatsu. She has written a book that is actually called Shut Up & Sing: How the Elites in Hollywood, Politics...and the UN are Subverting America.

Isn't that title just what happens randomly when you let a monkey play with "neocon public intellectual" poetry fridge magnets? Her bio reveals the secret behind the apparent puzzle of her appropriation of leftist 1960s tropes. She is the first of the openly female neocon bleaters on the talk scene, and thus seeks to bask in a little revolutionary aura while she waxes poetic about George Bush's abdominals and indulges in such fresh drolleries as mocking Ted Kennedy's fondness for the dramglass. The things you say!

My guess is that she was packaged by her handlers as a youth-oriented, "hip" female voice. After all, her website includes links to her favorite albums, and none of them are by Pat Boone or the Whiffenpoofs. She likes Ben Folds! Well, that's it for the hip stuff. But she certainly plays up her street cred (she mentions her interview with U2's Bono in every single shred of press bumf). If interviewing Bono once makes you cool, what would that make Carson Daly? Sun Ra?

One can easily imagine her branding consultants sitting down with her CV, and coming up with her image: Dartmouth grad? Reagan staffer? Clarence Thomas gofer? You know, this lady could be a sort of whiter, more anal retentive, chunky-highlighted Angela Davis. The gauntlet has been thrown down liberals! Whaddaya got? Streisand? Bring it!!!


femme feral said...

dear spammers,


mzn said...

Hey, you can choose the "delete forever" button to shoo these spambot comments and make them disappear completely. I've been getting them too.

Is Ben Folds hip? I like his new album (I'm a sucker for piano rock, even Supertramp and Billy Joel) but I think he's a nerd.

Isn't it outrageous that the right always gives books titles that refer to America's untold woes (the country is always ruined, messed up, screwed up, declining, subverted) when all the while they're getting rich and winning elections? They're so kvetchy. Feh.

Lone Ranger said...

OK, now that you've attacked her, how about attacking what she says? That might make your blog interesting to people other than spammers.

the sad billionaire said...

MZN-- thanks for the tip. We will try to ward off the spammers any way we know how.

RE: Ben Folds. I was actually being sarcastic, beause I don't think of his music as especially "edgy." This is a bad habit of mine, though, from successive stages of music snob-dom (there was a time that I thouht any recording not on a German improvised music label served imperialism). Now I think that snob-dom is stupid. People should never feel bad about what they like.

To Lone Ranger: I am really going to try to engage your query seriously, because I believe that civil discourse is essential to democracy. I think that lefties and righties are too quick to call each other names, instead of engage in debate.

I think that you are right that I should have delved more into the substance of LI's thought. If you are interested in a serious discussion, leave a comment, and when I am next at the library, I will read her book and try to respond thoughtfully to her critique of mass media and contemporary politics.

As far as her radio show goes, she mostly sticks to GOP talking points and humor at the expense of Dems and Hollywood liberals. I don't regard this style of talk as meriting a serious response-- that is, I don't think I need to write about Ted Kennedy's sobriety, or the genius of Matt Damon, issues that I think are totally irrelevant to everything. Much of what LI does (in concert with her talk radio colleagues) is create "noise" that distracts from real issues of economic and social justice in our messed-up society.

I think that LI's show is primarily entertainment (nothing wrong with that), and is primarily affective in nature: it is meant to work on the listeners' feelings. I assume (this is just a guess) that LI fans like to share in her outrage, and feel like part of a virtual political community with common values. Therefore, it seemed like describing my feelings was an appropriate response to her radio show.

So, what do you say, Kimosabi?

nhennies said...

I recommend you go to my friends in san diego's website immediately and download "The Dr. Laura Polka"

They are terrific. Really terrific.

guile said...

nice, comfy place you got here :)..

Anonymous said...

Yes, LI is a vile, vile woman. And that "Power to the People" is Hillary I believe. That's Laura's way of ridiculing... I too am an amateur watchdog of AM right-wing radio (I have a lonnnng commute to work). Laura's like Sean Hannity with balls.