Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I'm so disgusted. I mean, no, I don't know what you do in the face of that kind of intransigence. So, my heart does go out to the President. He is dealing with a lot... The wealthy are paying less than they paid at ay time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century. I don't know what we were paying in the roaring 20's; it's criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don't mind paying more. I really don't mind paying more taxes. I'd rather pay for taxes than cut 'Reading is Fundamental' or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American."

-- Matt Damon

If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at Damon's populist tear during an appearance at a Save Our Schools rally over the weekend. Not only did he give voice to the frustration a lot of Americans are feeling in the wake of the shameful debt ceiling fight and equally shameful deal, but he verbally smacked down a reporter and photographer from Reason TV. The two took the typical neo-libertarian asshole position that only the traditional free-market drivers -- like the fear of being out of work -- would lead someone to want to excel at his or her job, whether that job is as an actor or a teacher. That letting the free-market Sword of Damocles be a constant threat over your head makes you try harder and that that's what matters most. Damon wasn't having any of it, and let them know in no uncertain terms.

Do not fuck with Jason Bourne.

My favorite thing about that exchange: I promise you, you have no idea how much the guy with the camera hated being called a "cameraman." In the world of broadcast journalism, it's like calling a flight attendant a stewardess. That's why whenever you hear a photographer referenced on a news show it's as a "photojournalist" or some other impressive-sounding, politically correct title aimed at keeping him or her from pitching a hissy.

By the way, while we're on the subject, if there's one thing I'm absolutely through abiding in this country it's these idiots who embrace Ron Paul as some sort of messianic figure come to save our great nation from itself. The draconian brand of libertarianism that Paul and his monkey son espouse is intrinsically anti-American because it reduces the notion of a "United States of America" -- particularly as a world leader -- to an afterthought, one that can and should be sacrificed in the name of each person doing whatever the hell he or she feels like with no sense of a collective responsibility to each other or the country as a whole. If Paul's vision for America had been in place since our nation's inception, America never could have accomplished the myriad astonishing things that made us a superpower.

The free market is not America. It couldn't fucking care less about America; it exists simply in the service of itself. It has no loyalty to anything but its own perpetuation and notions like patriotism don't even enter into the picture. Say what you will, but a government of duly-elected officials is the only system beholden to no one but the people. In theory, anyway. While I'm not sure our current model is working -- precisely because so many of our leaders are on the take in one way or another -- I hold tightly to the belief that the citizenry can actually change that situation for the better. We have the power, but only if we act in concert as Americans -- not strictly as individuals who don't give a crap about the other people who make this country great.

Ron Paul and his neo-libertarian acolytes want an America with no sense of cohesion; one that's at the mercy of a system of government that's no real government; one that doesn't care much what happens to you because it's either none of its business or it simply isn't cost-effective to give a damn; one that in many ways resembles a Third-World country.

Fuck that.


lakelady said...

Bravo! You've said what I'be been feeling/thinking but unable to verbalize coherently. Thank you, thank you, Thank You!

Alex Barreto said...

I love that the clip cuts off after "shitty camerman." This interview is over!

Nick said...

"The free market is not America."


The free market is the true Illuminati.

Also - kudos the Damon for not being Bono.

Pasta65 said...

I have these silly arguments all the time with my libertarian, private college educated (on his parents substantial dime), family employed neighbor all of the time.

His view is that everyone gets what they deserve and if you have nothing it is because you don’t really want it.

I then told him I wanted to be born of privilege, educated by privilege and then gainfully employed by privilege but unfortunately for me his dad porked his mother instead of my dear mother.

While at a barbecue last week a few of us were postulating that that the Tea Partiers don’t really understand that the end result of what they advocate (or are being told to advocate/agitate for ) is a dog eat dog world and that their chains are being pulled by powers that don’t think it will go quite that far.

I then asked him if the shit does crumble who is going to be better positioned to benefit from societal collapse?

A pampered silver spoon sucking wannabe tech dork living off his family’s money or me and the other three former combat decorated Marines drinking Red Hook on the deck of his 3 million dollar lake home. He was not pleased to be informed that he would be the retard strapped to the hood of our Mad Max muscle cars and we, not he, would be wearing the assless chaps and toting the shotguns.

“…I never really thought of it that way…um…well…oh gee…”


gbeaudette said...

It's a good thing I don't work in news anymore, or else "maybe you're a shitty cameraman" would become my new catchphrase. I might make it my e-mail sig anyways.

Anonymous said...

My younger brother is the perfect stereotype of the online, youtube inspired Ron Paul nut. Somehow, without any clear indication as to why, he honestly believes that pretty much everything the government does is illegal. He has actually ranted to me how public libraries are anti-American.

The funny thing is, he has been basically unemployed and lived in my parents' basement since high school (10+ years). I don't think he has ever earned enough money to actually have to pay taxes. Yet he routinely accuses me of being a leach on society because I receive medical benefits from the VA for my service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Add in the fact that I am a mechanical engineering student, ergo I have taken the time to explain to him how 9-11 was not an "inside job", you can imagine just how painfully annoying the little shit can be at family gatherings.

I suspect that the vast majority of the crowd that demand the "free market" controls their lives are like my brother...individuals who would quite quickly find themselves exploited fully and then abandoned completely.

IrishGirl said...

Really enjoyed your statement about Ron Paul soon to be ex is such a creature and we always fought over the fundamental principle that human beings should give a shit about other human beings. I believe we have a moral obligation to care about other people to varying degrees depending on the relationship and the power balance between myself and them. E.g., The more powerful I am and the less they are, the more I have a responsibility I have toward them. E.g., I have a greater obligation to my fellow countrymen than I do a stranger in Russia...but there is still an obligation to that stranger--at a minimum. He felt that we had no obligation whatsoever to anyone but family and even then within ones own family there wasn't obligation.

It's what I call Lord of the Flies mentality on my own blog....might makes right. I agree, fuck that kind of heartless thinking.

Sheriff Bart said...

Very explosive. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading this, thanks.

Jeremy said...

"By the way, while we're on the subject, if there's one thing I'm absolutely through abiding in this country it's these idiots who embrace Ron Paul as some sort of messianic figure come to save our great nation from itself."

Amen. I'm stealing this quote and using it as my Facebook status today.

WendyTN said...

That's awesome. Sharing...

Tuba Terry said...

@Pasta65: Semper Fi. Always good to see a fellow thinking Marine.

kanye said...

IOZ is back from his self-imposed exile, and he came back both barrels blazing--channeling Martin, no less:

If the Tea Party did not exist, we would have to invent it. Hey, waidaminute, that's what fucking happened. Fret all you like about a bunch of pasty Midwestern slobs in American-flag underpants overpaying for Goldline coins between ads for the strongest erectile dysfunction herbal remedy this side of true Scandinavian fish oil, these Chinamen are not the issue, man. The difference between tea party yahoos and progressive worriers is the difference between beagles and terriers, and if they just stopped for a moment to sniff each other's asshole, they'd realize that cosmetics aside, they're all just dogs. Poor, abused, unadoptable dogs awaiting the grimly pleasant vet tech and the numbing, pre-euthenasiac sting of the needle. The Tea Party held America hostage during "the debt debate"? No, you fool, you idiot; fucking rich people did it. The Tea Party is just some shit they cooked up to keep you busy, to keep you fuming at each other while they steal your tooth fairy money and grandma's dentures. Every policy that you abhor and mistakenly ascribe to the ersatz conservative revanchism of the so-called tea-party movement is a willful policy of oligarchic centralism with the end goal of extracting every last red cent from every last human being on the earth. You are both the miner and the mine. Strap the gaslight to your forehead, bub, and stick your head right back in where the sun don't shine.

T Bickle said...

I know it is not popular to say this...but the government wastes money. I worked for the federal government for 20 years. We threw away new equipment when we had more coming in or we couldn't accept it. In the last quarter of every fiscal year, we would always have surplus funds. If you didn't spend it on anything, and I mean anything, the funds would be lost and you would not get the same allocation next FY. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I was never involved in any construction contract that didn't run at least 10% over the actual contracted amount.

When you make $5,000 a month; spend $2000 a month on your apartment, $1000 a month on your car, $1000 a month on debt and a $1000 a month on entertainment, you do not go into your boss's office and demand a raise people; you move to a smaller apartment, get a cheaper car, go out less or, GET A BETTER JOB.

C.L.J. said...

"The draconian brand of libertarianism that (Ron) Paul and his monkey son espouse is intrinsically anti-American because it reduces the notion of a "United States of America" -- particularly as a world leader -- to an afterthought, one that can and should be sacrificed in the name of each person doing whatever the hell he or she feels like with no sense of a collective responsibility to each other or the country as a whole."

THIS is the Quote of the Day.

Carolynpom said...

I'm catching up with your posts over the past few days, and man you are on fire!

This is great, just great, especially the bit about Ron Paul and the Ayn Rand libertarians. You put into words what I feel.

Now I'm going to go find that donate button.

Chez said...

Aw, thank you. : )

drater said...

@TBickle: Corporations waste money too...but you have a point. As far as construction, those were private contractors driving costs over budget, and it happens all the time in the private sector too. Construction is messy.

I'm not sure what your last paragraph is about. Anybody making $60k has nothing to complain about in this economy. If that's a metaphor for our government, here's a better one:
Boss asks you to take a pay cut (Bush tax breaks) and assures you that profit sharing(increased revenues) will more than compensate. 10 years later, we're still waiting for that profit sharing to pan out. I'd say it's time rescind the pay cut.

Benoit from Ottawa said...

Just for info, I don't know R. Paul much, or know much about him, but I heard him interviewed on the CBC a short while ago, and to every tough question, he dissembled, he skated -- this he did very, very cleverly -- but he didn't answer.

I thought he was not being honest.

Benoit from Ottawa said...

It seems to me that in the real world, someone who holds the camera and asks the questions is a "photojournalist" or something (videographer?) -- but the person who films while the other person asks the questions, as with the blonde here, that person is a cameraman.

Okay okay okay, a cameraperson. A camera-entity.