Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What James Fenimore Cooper taught me...




What's he got to do with Obama? Pull up a chair and I'll tell you...

Before there was Eric Jerome Dickey or "Superhead" the Video Vixen or Relentless Aaron or TD Jakes, black boys who aspired to write dared take their nourishment from Baldwin, or Douglass, or Fitzgerald, or Margaret Fuller...or Zora...or a man named James Fenimore Cooper. When I was 12 my grandfather bought me a copy of The Last of the Mohicans, one the great works of American literature. Great movies from it, too, from 1933 (with Bruce Cabot painted up to play an Indian) to the Daniel Day-Lewis version. But what's always been constant is one scene, where the French and Indians are demanding the surrender of Ft. William-Henry, on Lake George in upstate New York, and the British commander Col. Munro (father of the characters Cora and Alice) must relent when he hears that General Webb will not march to his aide. [Note to all dumbasses out there who don't know a damn thing: This is set over twenty years before the American Revolution; for you DC folk "Braddock Road" in Fairfax County got its name during this war, where Gen. Braddock built a road from Alexandria, Va. to near Pittsburgh (called Ft. Duquesne back then, "Doo-kane" and there the French and redskins jacked him up; the Brits eventually won the war and hence it's called Pittsburgh]. He has hundreds of civilian settlers inside the fort, plus Mohawk braves and their families allied to the British (with the Huron and Iroquoise allied to the French, under the mean bastard Magua). He looks to his underlings and says, "I never thought I would live to see the day when a British officer is afraid to support another. Gentleman that day is here." Stuck with me--this man's belief system, and as it turns out, his very life, turns on someone's idea of slick cynical bullshit.

Well, I never thought I'd live to see the day when Democrats, when white soccer moms, when supposedly "liberal" folk from union officials to intellectuals and Hollywood cash taps, would purposely and purposefully attack a viable, vibrant black presidential candidate. Ok, I mean the Democratic party of the last 50 years, not the one which murdered the nation in 1861, or gave us Jim Crow and terror for decades after that. Ok...let me rephrase it...never thought I'd seethe day when other black "leaders" would do such a thing. I can see Gloria Steinham exalting the cult of white middle class womenhood over the journey of African Americans--but Andrew Young? Or Bob Johnson? The latter's big feat was making a billion dollars off of rump shaking and ignorance. So Joseph P. Kennedy made it on booze and bought respectability and his son the White House. Yeah, but Ol' Joe never forgot he was Irish, and it drove him to achieve. He also, as warped as it was, had a broader vision for this nation, and his sons. What does Bob Johnson have? Return on investment, BobCats, 106th and Park, and Sheila's alimony. Please Bob--your arse-kissing of the Clintons is matched only by those of other "established" black politicos, Black Caucus members, pastors who haven't entirely been bought off or bamboozled by right wing Christian Republicans, assorted celebrities. They remora on a shark. They are like minor feudal barons taking handouts and glory from the King (and Queen). I could go on about how Bill (and Hill) weren't good for black folks, as many decree. Compared to daddy Bush or retarded Dubya or evil Dick Cheney? Yeah. But it's like comparing Hitler to Stalin. Who's worse? Who cares if the point of origin's different--the convergence is still the same: your ass. As I've said to fools around here who still think Marion Barry should be canonized and his rolling papers worshipped in a reliquary--what blackfolk did he "help" or elevate or "empower?" Answer: his cronies and his cronies' cronies...and anyone they happened to be sleeping with at the time!

It's about what's right. It's about history. If the Clintons had shared a meal with Karl Rove and gave him Bob Johnson's email address, I'd not be surprised. Sure as Bob tried to set up a Citbank IRA with a couple hundred mil in it before things went corrupt and sour over there, the Clintons would do such a thing. Again, they hired Dick Morris, right? Ask yourself why almost every wingnut blogger, most of the jackasses who call themselves journalists on Fox News, and even Pat Buchanan have stuck up for Hillary--once the antiChrist, the "Cloverfield" monster--in the last two weeks and have stood back with glee during this nonsense?

The true villian of The Last of The Mohicans was not Magua. He was what hate and circumstance made him, like Snoop, or Omar or even the kingpin Marlo on The Wire. No, like the villian was General de Montcalm, who used him cynically as his thug and murderer. Jus like in The Wire the villians are the cynical, corroupt politicians, or the Carlyle Group or Murdoch-like assholes who are destroying the Baltimore Sun (in real life and on the show...they to whom patriotism is a punchline at yacht parties and something to sell to the Wal mart masses as they sell our nation to the Chinese). Barack Obama represents a counterpoint to this, even though he and Hillary aren't that far apart on some matters of policy. It is all about concept, approach, who's people get to profit. Would the French treat the Indians any better or rape North America any less savagely if they'd won the French and Indian War? No. Obama doesn't have any "people." His shadow constituency is, ironically, like John Edwards' and even Huckabee's...hell even McCain's to an extent. Us. Regular people. And with Obama, there's a subset of "Us" who've bled and labored too long to see nonsense like what the Clintons have pulled, or what assholes like Bob Johnson have said, ruin a dream. Dreams count. Back in the day, dreams made freedom, skyscrapers, rockets to the moon. Now what the fuck do we have? Do dreams make overdevelopment and two hour commutes on the Beltway and global warming? Hell no.

There was a threat to the older order back, way back in the day, however. They were called the Populists. They were going de-rail the traditional power base trains of the both the Democratic and Republican Parties. So what happened? Race-baiting in the south. Scaring folk with images of equality and rape of white women. In the midwest--distraction over silver and gold standard and crop prices. Int he cities, fights over immigration, Catholic versus protestant. In the end the movement failed and was co-opted by the ineffective candidacy of Democrat William Jennings Bryan. And our "modern" way of life was born. Well, welcome to the new Gilded Age.

I was once a John McCain fan, a John McCain campaign worker. That was back when dude truly was disgusted by Bush-Cheney and what they represent. Now I have a new champion. He ain't perfect, and neithersure as hell was John. He actually is specific about what he wants to do. Community, Civility, Prosperity, Equality and respect for the rule of law at home and abroad. Simple. Things the Clintons or their bookends, the Bush-ites, only pay lip service to when the cameras roll. That was a message in The Last of the Mohicans--renewal and hope in a time of crisis and blood and despair.
So I urge you to reject Hillary's cynical appeals--both the conscious and subconcious prongs. And I hope I do live to see the day when someone who truly represents me and not the bastard who laid me off, who foreclosed on my house, who led me to wars of profit and cynical policy, who custs my pension, who tells me cheap Chinese money is better than raising taxes on folk 3 times richer than me, who cuts my health benefits, who develops new dick-hardening medicines whilst children die...when that person becomes president of this country. My country. Oh, and I pray he/she will look a little like me. Like us. Who bled from out chains in fetid coffles while patriots wrote paeons to mother liberty. Yeah, us Bob, Andy and the rest of you magnificent turds. Us...
...oh, and just three more days to "Cloverfield."

11 comments:

Lisa said...

Awesome!!!

But by the way--I am not a "dumbass." I knew about the French and Indian War and I even knew that George Washington was General Braddock's assistant when he was younger. :-P

lance williams,sr said...

HA!

"What does Bob Johnson have? Return on investment, BobCats, 106th and Park, and Sheila's alimony. Please Bob--your arse-kissing of the Clintons is matched only by those of other "established" black politicos, Black Caucus members, pastors who haven't entirely been bought off or bamboozled by right wing Christian Republicans, assorted celebrities. They remora on a shark. They are like minor feudal barons taking handouts and glory from the King (and Queen). I could go on about how Bill (and Hill) weren't good for black folks, as many decree. Compared to daddy Bush or retarded Dubya or evil Dick Cheney? Yeah. But it's like comparing Hitler to Stalin. Who's worse? Who cares if the point of origin's different--the convergence is still the same: your ass."

I love it, bruh, as does the Nat Turner Insurgent Corps out here on the Left Coast, Oaktown Chapter.

Anonymous said...

you are on FIRE!
Brilliant.

Snowman said...

Interesting points, Mr. Chambers. I disagree with much but not all of it but I understand your passion. I am a McCain man.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

This post was so on point!!

When I heard and saw Bob's comments I was floored. WTF?!

I'm not saying just because he is black he has to support Obama but Bob said was beyond ignorant. For him to launch an attack like that given how he earned his billions, proves to me he is a sellout.

I hope Obama wins big in South Carolina. HRC better think twice before playing the race card again. Then she had the nerve to say Obama was. I can see how they thought it was win-win. Scare the white people, and blacks would still vote for her in the general. However, this is not 1992 and Obama is not Sister Souljah. I have heard more than one person say if she is the nominee they will vote Republican or stay home.

Eisa said...

Right on on the Sister Souljah comment. Lotsa folk forget about that particular Clintonism - I know I did. Thanks for reminding me, Ragazza.

We also have a conversation going on this topic on www.EisaUlen.com/blog. Please join in.

Chris - didja see the NY Times piece last Sunday that put this in a historical context?

Eisa

Skye said...

Brilliant, Chris! Brilliant! Bob Johnson redefines "crabs in a bucket" ...

The Stepfather of Soul said...

You may have seen the news story, but Bob Johnson sent a letter to Obama "apologizing" for the remarks he made while being "zealous" for Hillary. Your post is absolutely on-point and I join you in the disgust and disappointment you express.

elle said...

beautiful, just beautiful

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's wise to make voting decisions based on disgust, but when I saw Hillary Clinton on Tyra Banks I almost vomited.

Obama 08. Why can't our politicians get behind him?

Gunfighter said...

I hate to paraphrase Clarence Thomas, but the CLintons are out there trying to pull a high tech lynching on OBama, in a very Karl Rovian manner, and many of our people are buying.

It's a damned shame.

PErsonally, I have voted for many people of different parties (although I have voted straight democrat since 1994), but to tell you the truth, I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton on a bet (and no, it isn't because of her gender).