Thursday, April 1, 2010

AC 180

(va: The Ann Coulter Conversion)
Sondra’s telephone call came before I was ready to face the day. My clock read 5:21 AM.

“I’m not here,” I mumbled into the receiver.

“You will not believe what just happened to me!” she exclaimed. (The enthusiasm in her voice seemed unhealthy for such an early hour.) “Oh, I know you’re only half-awake, but you know, some people say half-awake is the best time for breakthrough insights. And I think I just had one!”

“Could you not spare me till at least 7?” I groaned.

“No,” she said. “This is too bizarre.” [Dramatic pause.] “I dreamt about ANN COULTER.”

“Oh, dear,” I said coming slightly more alert for I had heard Sondra bemoaning Ann, not more than one day ago. “I mean, she just seems so caustic and parallel-challenged,” Sondra had said. “Honestly, I think I share some of her conservative values, but if she ever met me, she’d probably shred me like a liberal, because I happen to believe that “We, the people” means more than, “Me, the Right & True Republican.”

“You don’t sound as if you’re bleeding profusely,” I said.

Sondra laughed. “No, actually Ann began reading to me, quite animated, from one of her books. I started to follow along with this fantastic scrolling reader-thing—you know how dreams are. Anyway she was reading along and I was following with this scrolly thing, when suddenly there was this bizarre disconnect. You pretty much had to be there to get the full effect, but suddenly my scroller began highlighting words at the same moment Ann would read other words in place of them. She was inverting liberal and conservative references! After several “mistakes,” I decided it must be intentional, so I looked up, all shocked-like, but she just smiled sweetly and read on, making these crazy substitutions! Isn’t that bizarre?!”

“Confusing is the word,” I said staring wide-eyed into the dark, “for there is no chance to infinity that Ann Coulter is a closet liberal.”

“Oh, no,” Sondra laughed. “She didn’t always substitute—but always in those places dealing with strategy—you know, the despised liberal/Democrat attack/bias/liar methodology stuff. So it ended up like, everything she accused them of, she’d re-attribute to herself or like-minded conservatives; even changing whole paragraphs. Was still reading when I fell asleep in the dream, which is when I woke up to see the spine of her very book—the “Talking to a Liberal” one—propped against my lamp. That was startling strange, till I remembered I had stashed it there—courtesy of my pastor’s wife—wants to know what I think! Confused me though for a moment. Wasn’t sure I was waking from a dream or into one.

“So maybe you should tell me your breakthrough insight, so I can go back to sleep,” I sighed.

“Wait a minute!” Sondra said. “You’re not getting the feel for this. I can hear it in your voice. You just should have been there—here—wherever. The gist of the whole thing was like—well you know those hidden paragraph codes in word processing. Well, this was like The Ann Coulter Code. Actually even way beyond her—like The Authoritarian Conservative Code. Like whatever they condemn in liberal strategy, and you’re right—I can hear it in your breathing— there is plenty to condemn on all sides—but the dream-Ann was telling me—with a smile, to boot—that she was foreshadowing and perfectly nonchalant about making extreme use of every nasty strategy she so vehemently condemned. In fact, seemed quite exhilarated to do so.”

“Well, it’s probably historical precedent—déjà vu.” I said.

“Exactly, exactly,” Sondra said, “but shouldn’t we have learned by now too see through these finger-pointing deflections. Anyway, Ann got me so interested, I might start her book where she left off reading, and do the dream reversal. And from now on, that’s how I’m going to interpret all those hostile opinion books of both persuasions—with my little mental scroller highlighting AC conversion in the background.

“Maybe you should rewrite her book,” I suggested. “You could acknowledge her as the ghost writer.”

“Wouldn’t that be the height!” she exclaimed with a laugh. “I could label it satire or parody or something. I could republish, reversing all the liberal/Democrat stuff with conservative/Republican stuff. It would be bang on from what I have been seeing, and I could call it … AC 180.”

“Sounds like the perfect title,” I agreed.

“Oh, yeah, that reminds me!” Sondra exclaimed. “For a split second, AFTER I awoke, I saw this big “ME” plastered over part of her title. You know, so it read, How to Talk to ME (if you must).”

“Oh dear,” I said, “she’ll swear your vision-giver is a cloistered liberal.”

“Honestly,” Sondra moaned, “one gets so tired of this uncivil discourse and strategy blame-game. I mean both sides seem to be in full spin-cycle most of the time—like it's an equality contest of grenade lobbing, which isn't what I signed on for. And worse than that, so many "rightists" are so busy cursing liberal craters, we don't seem to notice the bottomless pit we’re digging ourselves into by our own follies and self-deceptions.”

“I doubt Ann will be—” I began, but Sondra was not finished.

“So you see what my breakthrough is? What this dream-Ann has awakened me to?—to the decision that I’m totally tired of all this beam-in-the-eye stuff we’re pretending isn’t there. I just seems we're doing as much—if not more—damage to America as any so-called liberal, so if I have to poke the eye of my grand-old-party just to get them to look into their own contorted, parallel reflection, then so be it.”

“Well from what I see, some of them don’t just poke back, they try to decapitate,” I cautioned.

“Oh, I know,” she said, “but too many of us seem to be asleep or else so enraged by the other guy’s sins we lose our own focus. So maybe it’s time more of us started flinging facts into our own fan.”

“So, does this mean you have an answer for your pastor’s wife?” I asked.

“I guess so,” she laughed. “This vision/dream thing should be the clincher. I’ll tell her too, it’s like crossing the street. If you don’t look both ways, with eyes wide open, you ain’t as safe (or as smart) as you think. Anyway, gotta go, but I’ll send you a little sample of the dreamy rendition.”

And that was that (except for the email).

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ [Sondra’s Email] ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

As I promised, here’s a little sample of Ann’s very own dream-revisions—truly an “AC 180,” don’t you think? She was a tad erratic, skipping about, but this gives you a taste. (I've italicized her changes from the book.)
p. 1: We, conservatives, traffic in shouting and demagogy. In a public setting, we will work ourselves into a dervish-like trance and start incanting inanities: “Obama lies.” “Baby killer.” “Racist!” “Fascist!” “Socialist!” “Conspiracy!” “No, No, No, Hell No.” ... We, conservatives, as opposed to sentient creatures, have a finite number of memorized talking points, which we periodically try to shoehorn into unrelated events, such as 9/11 and Iraq; but our favorite is to deny parallels like enhanced interrogations in Guantánamo and “bad apples” in Abu Ghraib, or like shoe and underwear bombers, or like OUR use of House reconciliation, OUR numerous flip-flops, OUR earmarks, OUR moral lapses, … [She had quite a list.]
p. 2: Our idea of a battle of wits is to say, “Socialism” in front of adoring conventioneers and be wildly applauded for our brilliance and courage. …, we have a number of stratagems to prevent liberals from talking. We shout liberals down, cut the microphones of interviewees, threaten liberal politicians, and heckle liberal speakers. We target them.
Sorry, this will take too long to scribe all AC’s inversions and changes. In the dream, it all seemed to just roll off her lips. And she was SOOO well-versed in conservative/liberal parallels—even things I hadn’t heard yet. (Could there be astonishing things YET to break in the news!?!)

Wonder if we could get someone to do a “fair and balanced” AC 180 of her book. Then maybe, between her book and the inverted one, we’d really have AC 360 (Astute Citizens!?! even). Anyway here are two other inversions, she seemed quite pleased about.
p. 7: “Our other new hobby is to call people “liars.”
p. 15: “Even if you’ve led a blameless life, we invent absurd stories about you.
(PS: You get the gist! I wonder if a daily reading from Matthew 7 in Congress and before every pundit-cast would be of any help! I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up.)
Matthew 7:3-5: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Also see Luke 6:41-2)
Is there any hope to save us from ourselves?! Till next time, Sondra
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