Archive for February, 2010

The Art of Reviewing: Cintra Wilson (Part Two)

February 22, 2010 3 comments

Continued from Part One at the Driftless Area Review.

The C-Word: Nobody liked Cassandra either

In A Massive Swelling, Wilson said, “I am as liberal as they come.  I stand and vote for every gay, Green, peace-loving hippie minority cause there is.”  One can see in her the future of our political landscape.  One can even extend this to include pro-business libertarians like Penn and Teller.  While her racing stripes are liberal, she does not come across as a shrill preachy windbags.  (And to be Fair and Balanced™, both Left and Right are bloated with shrill preachy windbags.  In the end, all political differences between the Democratic and Republican parties become cosmetic, engineered by well-paid operatives to keep the rubes guessing and the True Believers satisfied.)

Political commentary is inbred, staid, and monotonous, with two warring camps as weak and inept as the late Habsburgs and Bourbons.  Back in the 1850s, the Republican Party used to be a third party.  Unfortunately, now we play musical chairs with Kang and Kodos at the wheel.

Wilson taps into this justified and hostile malaise that has gripped the Operation Repo-watching populace.  This is her take on our current Administration’s inability to corral the lobbyists:

“President Obama, God Save Him, is beginning to look merely ceremonial, like the Queen of England. Despite the fact that he relinquished none of the concentrated imperial superpowers and near-papal infallibility claimed for the Presidency by Cheney, Obama still doesn’t seem to have the right wooden stakes or zombie head-smashing shovels to actually implement any real reforms. He has been either unwilling or unable to sit on the lobbyists, who have been playing musical chairs and orgies of footsie around the public/private sectors since the Clinton era, perverting the natural order of things, sucking what once was a healthy country into a cadaver with artificially reddened meat and a face jet-waxed like a Costco apple.”

(“The Hot and the Dead: the corporate vampires are bleeding us dry,” New Have Advocate, January 13, 2010)

She takes on the latest Supreme Court decision giving corporations personhood with a twist ending worthy of M. Night Shyamalan.

“Now, hold on to your armrests … Shazam! The legal fiction of Corporate Personhood is now a crazy, magical reality! The judicial robes of the SCOTUS now come with wizard hats! Introducing new Supreme Court Lite — all the supreme power a ruling class craves, but without all those civil service afterthoughts.

Now, federal legislation preventing corporate citizens from using their profits to influence political elections has been removed. Corporations are now SuperPeople, like the X-Men. Soft money? (Snort.) That’s for weepy little girls. We like money hard, baby — like our ball, our core, our Chuck Norris.

“This announcement is brought to you by the Shimato Dominguez Corporation – helping America into the New World.” — Bladerunner (1982)

Corporations can now splurge on all the tasty constitutional benefits natural human beings deserve. It’s going to be an adjustment, learning to live with these new neighbors. It will be hard, figuring out exactly what nationality these multinationals are, how many guns they own, how they pray, how they grieve and whether they’re gay.”

(“SCOTUS Interruptus: The Supreme Court ruling means a pornocracy is within our grasp”, New Have Advocate, February 3, 2010)

With references to the X-Men and Chuck Norris, she speaks in the rhetoric a younger generation can understand.  This is political commentary for a TV-watching, texting-constantly, Facebook-status-updating culture.  She is also adept enough to kneecap the Supreme Court’s pro-business legislation by turning it against itself.  Honestly speaking, since corporations are now people, are corporate mergers the equivalent of gay sex?  While the question seems fatuous, there are Gospel of Prosperity homophobes who need to know.  Then again, it is hard to square the circle of conspicuous consumption (Satan offering Jesus rule over all the kingdoms of the world) and the commandment of “Thou shall not covet.”  Cintra Wilson riffs on the cognitive dissonance that runs through the District of Columbia like a main circuit cable.  She riffs on them like Jimi Hendrix playing “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”.

Cintra Wilson has the rare ability to turn style into substance.  The writing is smart, but not over-clever for its own sake.  Beneath the snark and the cynicism lies a humanism and hope that we may eventually dig ourselves out of this glittery abyss we call American Culture.