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Issue #62

Features:

O Buffalo: Why Move When we can Secede? - Al Uthman

Love or Four Hour Erections: The Choice is Clear - Matt Taibbi

The Falsification and Death Administration: FDA Approval may be Hazardous to your Health - Kit Smith

Meaning of Tripe: Countdown to the Beast's Ten Worst Presidential Election Campaign Hacks of 2004- Matt Taibbi

10 Ultra-Cynical Ways to Beat the Republicans

The Big Rig: This Election was Worse than 2000 - William Rivers Pitt

The Smoldering Fuel Rods of Environmental Justice - Chris Meister


Faux-tures:

The BEAST Interview With God

Who Voted Bush? - A BEAST Quiz

A Word From Our Sponsors



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Entertainment:

Movies:

Kino Korner

Music:

Beastivities

Sports:

Wide Right: O Captain my Captain - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

Beast Comix - Jim Gielow

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley







Last Issue (#61)

Features:

Voting Guide of FEAR

Top 10 Reasons to be TERRIFIED This Halloween - Al Uthman

Onward Christian Assholes: Some Folks Just Can't Wait for the Apocalypse - Matt Taibbi

A Talk With Sam Hoyt - Eric Gauchat

Give 'em Enough Pink Ribbon to Hang Themselves: Breast Cancer? Chemical Firm Supplies Cause & Cure - Kit Smith


Faux-tures:

Our Election Campaign Sponsors

The BEAST Scary Election Fun Page!

Over 60 Million Killed in Huge Fucking Flu Epidemic - Josh Righter



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Entertainment:

Movies:

Kino Korner

Music:

Album Reviews: Interpol, Mos Def

Sports:

Wide Right: Going Double-Negative - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley







Issue #60

Features:

Mayoral Survivor Contest: The BEAST Wants You to Run for Mayor!

Truth is Overrated: Why Does My TV Think Bush Won the Debate? - Al Uthman

Political Snickering: M&M/Mars' Campaign of Terror - Matt Taibbi

Big Brother Knows Best: Blockbuster Rents Bogus Fahrenheit 9/11 DVDs - Paco Alameda

Scary Little Man: Bush's Belligerence -William Rivers Pitt

Kneeling Before George: President Bush is a Serious Stud - Merry Dunce, the Beast's "Fresh Voice"

American Indian Museum Opens in DC, Promptly Stolen by American History Museum -Jake Novak

Reading the Blitz: Election Hacks Score Touchdown in Overtime Frenzy - Matt Taibbi

Freedumb: Zell Miller Echoes Militaristic Fallacy - Mark Golden




Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten

Brush with Greatness: I met Gretzky - Seamus Gallivan

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




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2004 The Beast

Love or 4-Hour Erections, the Choice is Clear - by Matt Taibbi
"But we have to face facts: We got our clocks cleaned up and down the ballot... If, as the DLC has long argued, the test for Democrats is to convince voters that they will defend their country, share their values, and champion their economic interests, it's pretty clear Democrats continue to come up short on the first two tests even as they pass the third with flying colors."
-Statement by the Democratic Leadership Committee in the wake of Kerry's defeat

 

Well, that was the DLC's conclusion after the fiasco we all watched on television last week. Apparently the Democrats failed to convince America that a) they're as bad-ass as the Republicans, and b) they believe that the return of the baby Jesus to earth is imminent, and that we're doing a good enough job of making sure the guest accommodations will be to his liking.

If history is any guide, the DLC will spend the next four years trying to find a pious bomb-thrower to put up as the nominee- unless, of course, the poll numbers in a few years' time show that Barack Obama is good-looking, black and charming enough to get the party over the hump using the same basic playbook that worked so swimmingly this time.

Those are the DLC's conclusions. Whether the conclusions of the rest of us matter at all is, of course, a matter of serious debate. As this past election season showed, the dominant factors in giving us the candidates we got had a lot more to do with the internal thinking of party hacks and the media than the feelings of the actual public. There is still really no evidence that a ground-up phenomenon is building anywhere on the anti-Bush side that will ever mobilize seriously to do anything beyond wave the flag for whichever zombie the DLC chooses to hand to us as the next champion of middle-of-the-road faux-pragmatism.

There is going to be a lot of talk in the next months and years about "soul-searching" within the Democratic party. Indeed, the DLC referred overtly to this phenomenon already, in its post-election memorandum. Here's how they put it:

'The slow but significant erosion of Democratic support in recent years is a collective responsibility for all Democrats, us included. It will not be reversed by any simple, mechanical move to the "left" or the "right;" by any new infusion of cash or grassroots organizing; by any reshuffling of party institutions or their leadership; or by any magically charismatic candidates. That's why engaging in any "struggle for the soul of the party," or any assignment of blame, is such a waste of time.'


The key phrase here is the collective responsibility of all Democrats, which is where the key lie of the election post-mortem is going to reside. When this kind of talk is fed to us, most people who are Democrats (as I am not, incidentally) are going to accept unquestioningly the idea that this "struggle for the soul of the party" is their problem. In fact, this struggle is really exclusively the problem of the Democratic Party, a very different thing. Because for the rest of us, for the ones who woke up Wednesday morning staring a four-year shit sandwich in the face... we have another problem. We have our own souls to worry about, and this is a much bigger problem than the soul of the Democratic Party, an organization that would be purified by fire on live television if we lived in a more just era.

The Republicans won last week- let's face it- because they stand for something that voters can understand. A large number of them stand for being deranged lunatics who believe that the Bible was the last book ever written, and for being intellectual cowards who hide from the terrifying complexities of modern society by placing all of their faith in infantile concepts like faith, force, and patriotism.

Our handicap, to which they are immune, is to understand that modern society is a machine that can operate seamlessly according to its own peculiarly twisted morality without obviously interfering with the advance of those concepts they consider important.

That makes it easy for us to understand why such things as the Iraq war are not only disastrous and immoral but simply stupid policy, and guaranteed to weaken our country in the long run. But it does not make it easy for us to sum up what we ourselves stand for in a word or two.

Because we don't know. When we look to the future, we don't know what we hope to see. The other side is energized because its vision of the future is clear; it wants a return to the days when the one organizing concept of sexual relations was marriage for life, when patriotism was putting on a uniform and fighting for freedom abroad, when the goal of life was a good job, hard work, kids, the church, a house and a well-attended funeral.

These are all reasonable goals to have when you know heaven is at the end of it all. That's what it comes down to. They're fighting for a simple path to heaven, while the rest of us are fighting for something a little less exciting: the desire to have a more rational and inoffensive political atmosphere within which to wrestle with the underlying problem of existential despair in a confusing secular world whose only offered paradises are affluence, sexual freedom, and consumer choice.

What's ironic is that a lot of what motivated the progressive sector within and even outside the Democratic party this time around was a rebellion against this very set of circumstances. Certainly there was an intellectual basis for a lot of the anti-corporate anger that goaded people onto the streets in the past years- legitimate disgust over the idea that the honest jobs that used to be held by Americans had been exported abroad, where Asian children working for pennies an hour stitched together the sneakers we all bring to the gym- but it went deeper than that. There was a lot of anger out there at the underlying concept that the ultimate purpose of life was to acquire things, that the answer society provides us to each of our personal problems was a product.

Most of us are aware and despairing on some level that our lives have become de-eroticized, that love and romance are not all around us but have to be hunted for with the kind of desperation that people used to bring when they went west looking for gold. But the answers that society gives us for this sexual desert are Viagra and Cialis and Levitra, products that allow us to stay hard for hours as we hump the indifferent mannequins we run into in bars. The country is lonely, self-obsessed, and the individual members of the population are offered a thousand ways to improve their individual appearance and vigor: but there seems to be no solution on the horizon that anyone is offering to bring us more together, to give us the things we really need, love and acceptance and community.

We blame corporate America for this state of affairs because this ideology of individual acquisitiveness is the religion it naturally preaches. But it's our failure to come up with a competing ideology of getting along that's the real problem. Because down south, in those "backward" red states, they vote the way they do because they see this individualistic religion as a creature of the cold, greedy, north, which has chosen to attack the idiocy of the right-wing church rather than admit to its own spiritual unhappiness.

Bush is our fault. He's our fault because too many of us found it easier to hate him than find a way to love each other. If we work on the second thing a little harder, we won't need to rely on the cynics in the DLC to come up with the right "formula" the next time around. Because happiness and hope have a way of selling themselves.

 

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O Buffalo

Al Uthman

It's time to face some unpleasant facts, Buffalo. This country may not be the best place for us anymore. On November 2nd, we all bore witness to a terrible turning point in our history; a bad lifestyle choice, if you will. We had the chance to reject the increasing madness of our nation's leadership, their blind march to pointless war and craven desire to take advantage of us in every manner conceivable, and we blew it. America has spoken, and it said "duh."


Love or 4-Hour Erections

Matt Taibbi

...If history is any guide, the DLC will spend the next four years trying to find a pious bomb-thrower to put up as the nominee- unless, of course, the poll numbers in a few years' time show that Barack Obama is good-looking, black and charming enough to get the party over the hump using the same basic playbook that worked so swimmingly this time.


10 Ultra-cynical Ways to Beat the Republicans

Why did the Democrats lose? At least in part, it's because they thought that being right would actually work in their favor. Let's face it, logic doesn't mean squat in politics. People say there's too much cynicism in politics today, but we think there really isn't enough. Cynicism works. The Republican Party has embraced it, and it has worked wonders for them. The Democrats have made some progress in this area, but they are still lagging badly. If there's any hope for the blue states, they must learn the lessons of Machiavelli and Rove. To help them along, the BEAST offers these suggestions.


Buffalo in Briefs

Election Day Madness! - Oh you crazy Western New York voters! How long have your politicians, specifically the assholes in Albany, been screwing you to the wall? Forever! So what did you motivated citizens go and do on election day? You went and reelected 99% of them. ?


The Falsification & Death Administration

Kit Smith

The staff at the Food and Drug Administration may not actively hate you and want you to die, but a study of the agency's sordid history suggests that they don't really care if you live either. Lucky for us, drug companies are kind, conscientious, and self-regulating. For example, in late September Merck and Co, makers of Vioxx, agreed to voluntarily recall their famous drug, now that a new study suggests it may put people at increased risk for heart attack. Isn't that nice of them? How thoughtful…. Unless four years doesn't qualify as "new" to you.


The Meaning of Tripe

WELL, IT'S OVER. Last week we Americans celebrated one of our grandest traditions, the victory of Tweedledum over Tweedledee. The occasion was marked by awe and splendor on all sides, as befits a contest in which the leader of the free world is chosen in race to see which Ivy League graduate is quicker to reach for a duck call at the sight of a Reuters photographer.


The Smoldering Fuel Rods of Environmental Justice

Chris Meister

Mercurial weather put an electricity in the late October air in West Valley last weekend. Or perhaps that electricity came from the blazing fires of dissent? A nuclear waste processing plant, AKA the West Valley Demonstration Project, was the arena for a pre-Halloween protest-fest that drew a whopping…20 people.


The Big Rig

William Rivers Pitt

Everyone remembers Florida's 2000 election debacle, and all of the new terms it introduced to our political lexicon: Hanging chads, dimpled chads, pregnant chads, overvotes, undervotes, Sore Losermans, Jews for Buchanan and so forth. It took several weeks, battalions of lawyers and a questionable decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to show the nation and the world how messy democracy can be. By any standard, what happened in Florida during the 2000 Presidential election was a disaster.


The BEAST Interview With God

Feeling dejected and withdrawn over the stupidity of our fellow countrymen in reelecting George W. Bush, our thoughts turned first to suicide, then alcohol. Once we calmed down and sobered up a bit, we had no choice but to go to the source to ask the tough questions about the election, the future of our country and the world.


Kino Korner

Michael Gildea

The funniest part of some movies is that after they show you the preview for that particular movie, they expect you to go out of the way by spending your money and seeing it. You know exactly what you're getting into with Alfie; you're given ample warning. But you can't really escape it.


BEAST-O-SCOPES

I think I get it now, Aries; your lack of visibility during the weeks leading up to November 2nd was part of a master plan to run for President in 2008. Pretty seedy stuff, but I have to admit it's a good plan; four more years of these dicks and we'd vote for an egg salad sandwich to get them out.


[sic] - Letters

Operation Mayflower

...Perhaps we should consider the possibility that the wonderful, unique experiment of the United States of America has come to and end. It had a magnificent run, and sent shockwaves of thought and change through the globe, for good and/or ill, but like all good thing, it reached its term. Maybe the US has become as cynical and ossified as the old Soviet Union. More cheerful and comfortable, yes, and with its aggression focused outward instead of inside, but just as hopeless. Not to mention the added insult that the Russian people knew they were being fed bullshit on an hourly basis by their government. The soviet press was quite aware that they were printing lies and ridiculous propaganda. I wish I could say the same about the United States....



The BEAST's Voting Guide of FEAR

We're looking forward to this election like we'd look forward to a hemorrhoidectomy. That's because George Bush is probably going to win. He's either going to win outright and Kerry will humbly concede, or he's going to rig or steal it in a squeaker, resulting in Kerry and the Democrats putting up a meek fight before humbly conceding. The electorate, at least those that were so passionate about anybody-but-Bush, will cry, whine a lot, accept it, lick their wounds and crawl back into their cubicles of prefabricated contentment, preferring to get an early start on their Christmas shopping.


Top 10 Reasons to be TERRIFIED This Halloween

Al Uthman

1. The Supreme Court. Not only could this body again determine the outcome of this election by a widely scorned 5-4 vote based on indefensible logic, but if Bush stays in power he'll get the chance to ensure a religious right majority for decades-say goodbye to Roe v Wade. Chief Justice Rehnquist is about to go down, and if Kerry wins, that means a chance to tip the scales in favor of reason.


Onward Christian Assholes Matt Taibbi

Nothing brings out the inner Mazes and Monsters fanatic in the fundamentalist Christian like a war. Times of peace and prosperity are, for the deep believer, relative fallow periods, where all the drama of existence is confined to shouting matches at P.T.A. meetings and pseudonymous requests for sexual advice in whispered late-night phone calls to Dr. Laura.

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