Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Fool Or The Fool Who Follows Him

There was a time when I held great disdain for the movie Idiocracy.  When I first watched it, way back in 2006, it seemed like a real reach, telling the story of a modern day Rip Van Winkle who wakes up from his experimental hibernation to find that five centuries in the future, he is the smartest man alive. This is not because he was a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon, but because he was an average guy in 2006. Five hundred years into the future, he emerged from his cocoon with just a lick of common sense which allowed him to run the gauntlet of all the nefarious schemes and dull plots set out by the future's powers that be and lead the dullards to a new place in the sun.

I am here to tell you that the makers of that film overshot by about four hundred ninety-six years. The events of Tuesday, January 6 2021 surely bears me out. It could be that the mob that stormed the Capitol Building had visions of Olympus Has Fallen in their heads, with an eye toward liberation of a democracy held captive. Here I considered making an allusion to Les Miserables, but I am fairly certain that none of that crowd neither cares for musicals or speaks French. The other bit that makes this ugly scene all the more deplorable are the actions taken by the group once they got inside. They took selfies. They broke things. They stole things. They took selfies of themselves breaking and stealing things. As law enforcement seemed to be at odds with how to treat an angry white  mob, four people died and more than a dozen police officers were injured. 

Contrast this mightily with the armed presence met by Black Lives Matter protests back in June. Heavily armed. National Guard troops and police in riot gear kept protesters from getting anywhere near monuments or, heaven forbid, the steps of the Capitol where Congress might be conducting the business of running our country. And I suppose there are those who will say that back in June, the response was prepared because they had time to roll in all that force to turn away any trouble. But there were months ahead of Tuesday's mayhem to announce its coming. Starting with the leader of that cult of personality who told his minions before a vote was cast that if he lost it would only be because the whole affair was rigged. And as the days ticked by after ballots were collected, counted, contested, counted again, contested and counted yet again, the rhetoric surrounding the cult became more and more desperate. It culminated with their leader hopping up on a podium in front of all our nation's monuments to those who came before insisting that, "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength."

Except no one had taken their country. Their country was right where they left it, under their feet. Choosing to ignore the outcome of a free election is not fighting insurrection. It is a battle against reality. A battle most of these folks had been losing for some time, following the whims and lies of their dear leader. Which is why it didn't help that the guy we used to call "America's Mayor" got up and yelled that they should look forward to a "trial by combat." This particular idiot is a lawyer, by the way.

When the smoke and tear gas cleared, and the Capitol was cleared of the rabble taking selfie videos of themselves being rabble, the democratic process continued. That thing the mob hoped to stop happened just the same. They hadn't stopped Joe Biden from being president. It came just the same. And the Trump? Well down in Whoville they say that his small heart collapsed in on itself that day.

Now we just have to pick up the mess and get back to work.

Oh, and the reason I never really cared for Idiocracy? It was because they made fun of Fuddruckers. I used to love me some Fuddruckers. But not enough to start a riot about it. I'm not an idiot.

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