My pal Ted

Rall’s at it again. This time it was a less-than-worshipful blog entry about Reagan. Actually I believe he suggests that Reagan is crispy fried in hell even as we speak. Maybe not exactly the way I would have worded it, but that’s beside the point. Here’s the thing: Rall posts this on his blog, which at a guess has maybe 5,000 to 10,000 people reading it. Drudge links to it — suddenly it’s been spread to millions. Hannity and Colmes have him on the show — a few hundred thousand more viewers are suddenly offended.

So if all these right wingers are so terribly offended by Rall’s words, then don’t Drudge and Hannity share responsibility for that? I mean, it was a clearly a dashed-off blog entry for a few thousand readers — and suddenly thanks to Hannity & Drudge, millions of people are offended.

To say that “Warhol got it wrong,” in reference to his famous line about everyone in the future being famous for fifteen minutes, has become something of a banality — but, in fact, Warhol got it wrong. In the blog age, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes, over and over again, and we’ll all take turns pointing our fingers at each other and thrusting each other into the limelight while braying “sinner! sinner!”

Sartre was the one who got it right: hell is other people.

The responses you get when you appear on Fox News are enlightening, in a terrifying sort of way (speaking from personal experience here). Rall’s got some of his latest batch up on his site. Most of the writers have only a passing familiarity with the basic concepts of grammar and spelling, though they are well versed in creative expressions of profanity and the desire to inflict violence. And then there’s the sheer level of ignorance. Take this one:

I was born in 1978 …. and I was a child when Reagan was president, but I read about him and his great work. He is the one who established a Department of Education. He turned this country around for the better.

This, my friends, illustrates why it is important to counter the mythologizing of Ronald Reagan, right now. Because people out there are just making shit up. Because people born in 1978 actually have no real memory of the Reagan years — unlike those of us with a few grey hairs, who remember them all too well. Ronald Reagan created the Department of Education? Reagan tried to abolish the Department of Education, you frigging dimwit.

* * *

One other thing: just on the off chance Andrew Sullivan is reading this, I thought I would compile some of the thoughts his fellow Reagan-worshippers were kind enough to share with Rall … just so he can see the kind of company he’s keeping:

By the way, Teddie, it doesn’t take a cartoonist to figure out that AIDS was spread by unprotected anal sex amongst homosexuals back then (and still is), not by the President. Now Teddie, you wouldn’t be familiar with that practice, would you?… You are a cocksucker,Go back to the USSR, that failed like you.When you are a fag, you need to pull your head out of your ass … Just for the record, President Reagan did not kill 500,000 gays — they killed themselves by having promiscuous sex without protection and leading a perverted lifestyle. Why is it that people can’t take responsibility for their OWN actions, and have to blame their troubles on other people?… Check the mirror and you’ll see a wessal-like, weak, weak little asshole of a man and maybe even a faggot … I could tell by the way you talk, you’ve consumed much sperm, and are addicted to homosexuality … Fuck you! you cocksucker!… You piss ant twerp… I would shove those gay glasses up your ass… You Cocksucker FUCK YOU … Mother Fucking low life communist faggot pig. You are as much of a virus as the aids virus. The problem with this country is you and the faggotry you practice …

Those are your peeps, Andrew. Those are the people with whom you have aligned yourself. Just so you know.

(Any time I go through one of these periodic shitstorms, any time some dimwit right wing blogger decides to send his dimwit readers after me — this is the kind of stuff I get as well. You faggot, you suck dick, blah blah blah. There are still plenty of people out there for whom homosexuality is an active insult, to be hurled indiscriminately at one’s opponents. And at the risk of generalizing, I think it’s fair to say that most of them vote Republican.)