by Walter A. Davis
“Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night;
God said, ‘Let Newton Be’ and all was Light.” -Alexander Pope
Count on the Liberal Media to know when to stop. Exposes of the manifold hypocrisies of Newt(on) Gingrich always conclude with knees bent in acknowledgement of his “gigantic intellect.” (Like the republican yahoos they long for a thrilla in Manila: the great white hope exposing the uppity black professor from that bastion of friedmaniac economics, the U of C. ) In this corner (weight confidential), Newt(on) Gingrich, who has a Tulane Ph.D, and his (unpublishable) dissertation: Belgian Educational Policy in the Congo: 1945-1960. Newt taught history and geography at West Georgia College (now called The University of West Georgia) for 8 years. But he was denied tenure, having failed to meet the requirement of making some scholarly contribution. (He did however perfect the pose of the pompous pontificating professor, a Mr. Chips for the Right.) His subsequent publications have failed to correct that situation.
All are popularizations for mass audiences of other writers “ideas.” (Newt of course does not have time for attribution, following the course of Alan Dershowitz of plagiarizing a thoroughly discredited book (Joan Peters’ From Time Immemorial) for his view of the Palestinians; Samuel Huntington and souped up Thomas Aquinas for virtually everything else. Newt was denied tenure and on the basis of academic criteria there is not a reputable university in the country where his publications would merit tenure. And no, that ain’t because the universities are controlled by radicals and leftists. I’m a Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University. One of the jewels in its crown is a decidedly right-wing History Department (specializing in military history, with CIA ties and the Woody Hayes Chair), at which, a former college informs me, Newt’s publications would not have a Tebow-prayer of meeting the criteria for promotion and tenure. So much for the gigantic intellect view of Newt’s mind.
But we’re toiling in pitch; so let’s have some fun with the boy. The word surrealism has become almost meaningless. It is now used—especially by athletes—to label anything a bit different or exciting that happens to you. I’m not going to bore you with definitions nor a discussion of one of the most important artistic movements of the twentieth century. What I’ll offer instead are images, which, after all, are what surrealism is all about: about that level of intelligence where we arrest in an image, a picture that’s worth a thousand words and then some. (Remember how they used to hawk Life magazine that way?) So, and to get this one planted in you before kickoff (4:15 Sunday Eastern Time): Gingrich with Callista at midfield: he to toss the coin; she to sing the National Anthem. Enter under one goalpost Tim (the circumcizer) Tebow, carrying a cross lent him by Mel Gibson. (Now, now you Freudians, that’s not nice.) Under the other Tom Brady carrying Gisele Bundchen, dressed in Victoria’s Secret underwear. (How that’s for equal time in advertising? Though honesty compels me to say sadly that Tommie is also a conservative, which I guess proves what Marx said about money and getting women.) As Artaud, that great theorist of the surreal said, “An image is true insofar as it is violent.”
No this isn’t a representation of the mind (or wet dream) of Tebow. This is the mind of Gingrich, which is fixed on absolutes, despite the inability of the eye to quit licking its way along Gisele’s thigh. For what have we here but the battle of light and darkness, the struggle to preserve Western Xtian civilization against the forces of secular socialism and joe willy namathism. You see, minds like Tebow’s and Gingrich’s work on a simple principle. It is called Abstract Dialectics. (Or right Hegelianism or Opus Dei Catholicism, for those who like intellectual pedigree.) The intellectual (sic) operation is simple. Divide everything into two all encompassing abstractions. Assimilate everything you like to one side of the dichotomy, everything that scares you to the other.
Then pontificate your ass off. About kids in ghettos not taking advantage of janitorial operations (and we now know why newt insists on there being 2 bathrooms in every hotel room he stays in: even newt can’t stand the smell of newt.); about all “Palestinians” being terrorists; (only categorical syllogisms for our boy newt; after all, multiple hypothesis thinking can lead to science); about relativism and the decline of morals (take that Callista, you Hitchcockian icy blonde) being the fate of anyone who disagrees with newt’s vision. No wonder newt ended up a Roman (not roaming) Catholic after seeing Benedict XVI on papa’s visit to the U.S. to spread the troglodytic Word. As Carly Simon sang of Mick (no, not Mantle), “Nobody does it better” than Newt when it comes to grand statements that are not simple empty abstractions, but incitements.
Which brings us back to Timmy T. When is it that Jesus comes into play? Is it after Timmy lets go of the ball? Is that why his passes wobble so often? Jesus there as he is in the Eucharist, his free will now debating whether to reward our faith with incompletion, interception, or orgasm. Like the NFL, Jesus loves the drama of 4th quarter comebacks. (Come again? Don’t you know that everything before the fourth quarter is evangelical foreplay?) Maybe in his inscrutable wisdom he shares something else with them. As many of you may know, Tebow and his mother made a teary Pro-Life (sic) TV commercial for the right-wing anti abortion (well, anti- women, anti-sex in general to be exact, abortion only one of their targets in the war against Gisele Bundchen) organization: Focus on the Family which aired last year during the Super Bowl (the, excuse me, Mecca of TV commercial time). In it Timmy’s Mom waxed about her decision, despite medical advice, to not terminate her pregnancy. At commercial end Timmy, that miracle, entered from behind to say “thanks, Mom.”
The NFL has to approve all commercials; so maybe Marx is right and there is nothing that isn’t political. But not in America. So let’s go surreal again, this time with a journey into a future defined by equal time. This year there will be a Pro Choice commercial at the Super Bowl featuring Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, discussing Gisele’s decision to have an abortion. (So you won’t miss the dimensions of the surreal I hasten to add that Gisele is pregnant; and that she and Tom plan to welcome their first child early next year. To appreciate the surreal imagine her trying to convince Tom to okay an abortion.) Wouldn’t induced delivery Super Sunday be neat?) Why? Well, you see Gisele needs to keep her figure and well, after that loss to the Giants, that Trojan, as O.J. would say, just wasn’t up to its task, and so this commercial is for a woman’s right to choose—even when the terms of that choice offend all the thought police. And while visions of late terms dance in your head think for a moment of all the suffering that Tim’s Mom and Tim have brought into this world through their commercial and the ways Focus uses it to brainwash young women who fear hellfire, etc. Such is the power of commercials, the greatest examples of Rumsfeld’s unknown knowns.)
But that’s small French fries to the scope of Newt’s ideological ambitions. He wants to remake the 3 Stooges: Sean Hannity, William Bennett, and Newt himself, the three great catholic thinkers who will rescue our civilization from secular socialism, vanquish deconstructionism, feminism, existentialism, Darwinism, protect us and our children from moral relativism, get god back into the constitution and teach us once again (as in Bennett’s latest) to be Men. (You got to read these jokers --“this you’ve got to see,” as Marty Scorsese said to a taxi driver) when they are engaged in what they call “the culture wars.” No stupider things are said than by the unread and those who don’t know how to read anything except in terms of this massively ignorant opposition between Western Christian Civilization and everything else.) So if you want your mind trivialized, amerikanized, and pasteurized read the 3 stooges—and then when you’re done laughing (sardonically), consider this. This was also the mind of Joe McCarthy and his attempt, like Gingrich’s, to enforce it on everyone under pain of destroying them.
And so I want you to get up now and go to your windows—join Clarissa Dalloway musing on death—no, that’s not it, join the mad prophet Howard Beale, “Go to your windows, open them , and yell : ‘I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Hurry, now, it’s almost game time and what better cry to accompany the kickoff?
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|William T. Hathaway|