Farce Mode

Speaking of Karl Marx — among other things, he is said to have said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” I think we’re well into farce mode.

For example, the Manhattan Institute lets us know it has been “probing” the “trial lawyer lobby.” Manhattan fellow James Copland has an op ed in the Washington Examiner explaining how the trial lawyer lobby is a “money machine” for Democrats, because they send generous campaign contributions to Democrats and get favorable legislation in return. What makes this farce is that the Manhattan Institute itself is one of those phony “think tanks” through which big corporations and other vested interests spread propaganda that suits their financial purposes.

It gets better. Fox News, the propaganda arm of the conservative movement, has discovered that what appears to be a very small group called the American Public Policy Committee had the nerve to set up an anti-tea party website called The Tea Party Is Over. Fox says the APPC is part of something called the American Public Policy Center, which is so small it doesn’t show up in google searches.

Anyway, Fox says, this APPC is part of a “complex network of money flowing from the mountainous coffers of the country’s biggest labor unions into political slush funds for Democratic activists.” According to OpenSecrets.org, in 2008 APPC’s contributions totaled $861. Yeah, them’s some mountainous coffers.

And this is coming from Fox News, whose relationships with corporate-funded astroturf organizations is well documented.

BTW, Faux may be in trouble with some parts of the Right — it has been revealed that Faux’s biggest shareholder outside the Rupert Murdoch family is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

11 thoughts on “Farce Mode

  1. Xenophobia Much? Even Faux Noise gets slammed by reich wing nuts for lack of purity. Is nothing sacred? Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes has a sad.

  2. Ya juss gotta love it when Corporate money that sponsors the many right-wing think tanks then accuse the few Liberal think tanks of taking money.
    It’s like the ocean claiming it’s not taking on enough water because some pond somewhere is getting a lttle rain.
    And how much do “Trial lawyers” get, anyway? (And what’s up with that anyway? By definition, isn’t ANY attorney who appears in a court ‘trial,’ a “Trial lawyer?” Isn’t, then, the DA a “Trial lawyer,” too?).
    I mean, what did John Edwards*, their poster-child for “Trial lawyers,” make in his career? Wasn’t it something SOUTH of $50 million?
    Sweet Jesus, that’s a bad yearly bonus for a banker or hedge-fund manager! Even one whose company went under!!!

    *Full disclosure: I initially supported Edwards in ’04, and then in ’08, until Obama came forward.
    I loved his “Two America’s” line. He was dead right about the economics involved.
    What he forgot to mention was that there are two other America’s out there, too. And in one of those America’s, we keep our pants on…

  3. So I guess the Bush years were officially “tragedy,” huh?

    Unfortunately, a lot of people are still buying into the ACORN farce, so Faux may get some traction from this nonsense…. But hooray for the existence of OpenSecrets.org, at least. As Mulder used to say, “The truth is out there.”

  4. maha,
    Here’s what REALLY happened with that Marx quote. And it had very important consequences for history.
    It was at the time when that great 19th Century German comedy duo of Marx and Engels were about to split ala “The Sunshine Boys,” or Martin and Lewis. They hated each other and always tried to one-up one another.
    It was Engels, the straightman, who said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy.”
    Marx, who was supposed to give his punchline “Second as farce! (which would have made the German audience pee in their lederhosen. Why? I don’t know. The term ‘German humor’ is an oxymoron).
    Instead, the notorious practical joker said, “Second as FART’S!” He then put his hand under his armpit and made that farting noise, embarassing Engels
    who storm-trooped off stage.
    And that’s why Hitler created that Hitler “Sieg Heil!” solute and made eveyone do it in front of him. Nietche told him to do it in a dream, so that no one could make a fool of Der Fuhrer by making farting noises when he spoke at rallies.
    “And YOU ARE THERE!”

    You can’t tell I’m bored out of my skull in this storm, can you?

  5. “The term ‘German humor’ is an oxymoron”
    Hey, I take offense at that. They have some excellent comedians in Germany. Anyway since the whole language sounds like farting and grunting, what’s not to like?

    Examples: “Ausfahrt” (exit), “Einfahrt” (entrance), Vorfahrt (right of way)

    But there is a sub culture that pokes fun at the German straight-guy all the time, while unable to free themselves from being the straight guy. Ya gotta learn the language to know.

    Politically, they are WAY better off than we are. Even the right, the “Christian Democrats” are socialists as seen through Republican eyes. Their unemployment and welfare benefits are good too, if you like that sort of thing. Of course, now that they are part of the EU, the lobbying money is going to get much worse.

    And, just like cowboy boots outside of Texas, not all Germans wear lederhosen. They leave that to the Swiss.

  6. Gulag is outstanding. I hate cough syrup – it puts my brain into blue goo mode.

  7. Ahh… what a great story, Gulag, but alas…

    The actual quote is, “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” It appears as the first line in “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels. First published in 1852, in the first issue of “Die Revolution”, in New York. Sorry to be be the pedant, but that how I roll.

  8. Well, the part about Hitler must be true… why else would Spike Jones put all the fart sounds in “Der Fuhrer’s Face”?

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