Saturday, August 14, 2004
Via Suburban Guerrilla, an extended interview with (and capsule bio of) a writer we like to quote at every opportunity: the shitkickingest lefty on the internet, native son of Winchester, VA, friend to T. Leary and W.S. Burroughs, and very possibly the finest Buddhist/socialist/redneck social critic working today, Mr. Joe Bageant:
AP: I don't need to ask you your opinion about President Bush — you make that plain in many of your articles — but how do you think someone so unsuitable could get elected to office?
Bageant: Because America has become an ignorant bloated culture of comfort and consumption. Our religion is comfort and engorgement. Not all of us, but enough of us to keep it all rolling. Hell, even our churches preach a baptised version of the American Dream, which comes down to "anything I can get my goddam paws on and devour — fuck the environment and screw the starving millions. We are a nation of belligerent lard-asses willing to kill anyone and everyone to keep our cars running and the goddam Cheetos (which I openly admit that I eat when I am blind drunk and stumbling under the thundering of gins' poisoned hooves) on the coffee table. Angry? Nope. Just the plain facts my Limey friends. You still think your guy Blair can partner up with a psychopath and ensure a supply of oil. Maybe even score one last ruddy-nutted English victory over the sand niggers you once ruled. Ya know, I don't think you Brits understand that when the last blood of dinosaurs is drained from the Middle East, we will bomb the fuck out of you in the competition for the last drop.AP: In "The Covert Kingdom" you illustrate the mentality of the Christian Fundamentalists that the progressive left is up against, a mentality that is only matched by Muslim Fundamentalism. How can we, in a democratic system, keep such destructive segments of society from harming the less vocal majority (assuming that they are not a majority!)?
Bageant: It can't. Until the progressive left gets out there on the street and recruits every ignorant piece of white trash and person of colour it ain't gonna happen. But here in the US, the so-called left is comfortable being in the catering class of college professors, managers, journalists, school teachers and others required to keep the capitalist system humming, they ain't gonna take any risks. They just don't get it that if they do not love their labouring brothers, beer belly, ignorance, crack habit and all, their ass is grass too. It's only a matter of time. But they simply do not believe these people are their brothers, or even human, for that matter. America is a class system first and foremost.