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The Mad Hatters and Their Tea

Sometimes feeling out of it and inferior is a sign of good observation

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, September 01, 2010.

I served time in jail, about 16 years ago, now. Among the inmates were guys who shaved their heads, which led me, naïve, to assume that white supremacists militia types were more prevalent than I would have thought. I was informed that while, yeah, some guys shaved their heads for the supremacist look, others did so for reasons I'd never have imagined. They did it to conceal which way their hair swirled on their head.

Why? Well, if you're male and your hair whorl swirls counterclockwise, you're more likely to be gay, and by a significant if not huge percentage. This theory gained heft in the late 1980's, and guys who worried about their hair - by which I mean guys who worried about their sexuality - might well prefer to negate possible comment by shaving it. You had to do this often, because cranial shadow, highlighted by indoor skin pallor, accentuated the swirl as it grew in. Atop this, if your ring finger is shorter than your index, your gay probability rises a significant amount. If you have both characteristics and are a left-handed, you might as well watch Glee and get that time share at Provincetown. Oh, and start discussing moisturizers with your mother.

I have no clue if any of this is true, but some of the militia type baldies in jail put stock in it, and since some were going to prison, they worried about how to counter this impression. One way was to grow a beard, or some increased facial hair. One guy had a mustache, very dark, which combined with his white, white skin made him look like a rejected suppository. Some just became belligerent and defensive. I have no clue if ANY of the supposed markers are true, or how they would be proven true, but to those unsure of themselves and going into uncharted waters, a dubious but easily envisioned threat - and the potential but superficial solution to it - became of prime importance.

I thought of that watching part of the Glenn Beck horror on television last Saturday. Virtually all participants were white, the vast majority middle aged or older, and very few apparent indications of sufficient education or financial success above the norm. While few resembled actual benthics, fewer yet suggested company charge cards for entertaining. These were the people left behind with ethnic minority children, and unmissed by time clock or nation. Beck's event recalled Roman Tribunes appeasing the unemployable city rabble before an election with verbal blood sports and assurances of moral superiority above that of the political opposition.

So many tea partiers dress to conceal fears not dissimilar from those with counterclockwise hair I saw in jail. They know, or intuit, that they aren't really making a contribution to the nation that could justify their previous prominence, real or imagined, or encourage any in the future. So they dress as the Founding Fathers, and commit misspelled slogans and quotations they clearly don't understand to issues they cannot coherently explain. An annoying number of males are obese and effeminate in manner and speech, bald with overly precise facial hair and the virile hat with a visor and either a patriotic notion or emblem on their clothing. They feel safety in numbers, and their racial prejudice was not far beneath the surface. They're a lynch mob in training without even mob courage or the energy of overcharged pacemakers. They're inferior to their own immediate needs and the nation's. They fear the future, the present and the last five decades, because each year has brought a playing field that is more level with its lines and regulations more clear, and the refs don't automatically give them the benefit of the penalty doubt.

In the new world of intense economic competitions, the Tea Party offers no help. Rather, they offer religious regression to incantations and mantras. The fact that they don't understand something is not seen as a deficiency but as proof that a God must exist. That's sure to keep us even with the Chinese and other emerging powers, right?

You do see, right?

No? Oh. Well, you're a Muslim, then. We can tell by the calloused knuckles from al Qaeda fist bumps and the dent in the forehead from bowing to Mecca four times a day. Six? Whatever……. All you fascist, commie, homo, Hindu, Sikhs are alike anyway, working with Hamas along the Mexican border with the drug cartels forcing addiction on good Americans. Keep government outta my life, outta my Social Security and Medicare but keep my farm subsidies coming, you socialist elitists. We're the heirs of Martin Luther King, not the Kenyan Communist in the White House who wasn't even born in the United States, but in Hawaii.

God Bless America………