Most online message boards, blogs and newspaper comment sections allow registered users to supply avatars, or graphics, to accompany their contributions. One trend that has always been common but appears to be growing more prevalent is the use by right-wingers of unflattering imagery of something emblematic of the Democrat Party–usually a cartoon representing Barack Obama but often the Photoshopped visage of another facile target, such as Nancy Pelosi or Al Gore. One can only imagine what would be in circulation had Hillary Clinton been elected President two years ago.
Yesterday’s Concord Monitor included a story about the decline in use of the city’s two public libraries from July through October of 2009 to the same period this year. Overall, there were 6.5% fewer materials checked out, with a parallel decline in visitors. The drop was much less significant at the far busier main branch, which receives about 97% of total traffic. Despite the fact that this is a new trend in Concord and contrasts with what’s going on in the rest of the country, the reaction from the usual mindless chatterboxes on the site was rapid and predictable–shut the damn library down. That’s right–just get rid of them if “no one” uses them. There’s the Internet (young children and people without Internet access apparently don’t count) and they’re no fun anyway because of all of the smelly people who gather there. Besides, who the fuck reads anything anyway? Sure, I made the last item up, but it pervades everything these scions contribute.
The same fun bunch took the opportunity yesterday to respond to an article about the resignation of a grossly underqualified, possibly unhinged and unquestionably out-of-line local school-board chairman to malign the entire public-education system, calling it a font of liberal indoctrination. (They never elaborate on just what it is that kids are being indoctrinated with, give evidence of this process, or explain the continued existence of conservatives, heterosexuals and Christians, but come on, these people are still only a few terms into their doctoral programs.) What the Fudd Partiers lack in fair-mindedness or cognitive wattage, they at least compensate for in steadfast, blind consistency, if unwavering inconsistency such as fifth-degree hypocrisy counts as a form of consistency.
One thing that ties these philosophers together perhaps more strongly than anything else is their choices of avatars. Virtually all of the hoarsest screamers have either some kind of anti-Obama graphic, e.g., a caricature of the President featuring Alfred E. Neuman or something equally profound and devastating to the liberal cause. It’s likely that these proud essayists believe that this adds a modicum of oomph to rumblings that might have been excreted by moderately precocious grade-school students who have managed to limit their intake of airplane-glue fumes to once or twice a week. Perhaps they’re dedicated readers of August publications such as pop-up books, where the pictures not only emphasize the story but explain everything readers need to know about it.
Some of the Fudders, to be sure, have no avatars at all, maybe because they aren’t bright enough to figure out how to upload pretty pictures all the way to the Internet from their own systems. And while I’ve seen my share of avatars from liberals posters mocking G.W. Bush over the years, this practice cannot be one-fourth as common on the liberal side, irrationally struck as they are by the conviction that words strung together in coherent sentences are sufficient to establish a point in the minds of an audience with a collective literacy level of fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the Fudders complain that liberals march in lock step to progressive socialist homosexual agenda of hating the Constitution by inviting illegals into the nanny state and legislating from the communist atheist global-warming myth, etc. If there were irony meters on board weather satellites orbiting the earth, the more sensitive ones would be ruined daily by the output of this blithering horde.
We should probably just combine the most common categories here–Troglodytes at Play, Society Gone Bananas, and Fun with Politics–into one supercategory called “We’re Fucked.”