A bit of his own medicine (and not Hydrocodone)
From the desk of the Associate Editor
Originally published and republished on DowntownLALife.com
Follow the money: Take down the high dollar advertisers.. again
international political bureau chief
We got the Turtle Man and Housewives and iPhone 5 and enough phone apps to distract our sorry seven billion to oblivion. And then we got the irreverent icon of all things absurdly obscene: Rush ‘The Lush’ Limbaugh.
Perhaps we might adhere to Rush’s own venomous stratagem and refer to him as the spawn of a wife beating, 40’s style, Irish gangsta wannabe, and a bigoted, bitter, loudmouth grocery store cashier.
I could cover Rush’s early days as an obese, whiny 3rd grader that always peed on the floor in Ms. Rayburn’s class and had Nazi symbols magic-marked on his notebook. Or I could hash out his perverted, pimply, pubescent high school days; when straight-A Sheila May spread the rumor that Rush (then named Horace) asked her to do strange things to him with a mop handle, his mom’s powdered-down pain pills, . . oh, and some pink glitter.
And now, the only turn-ons Rush has left are hydrocodone, girthy cigars, Viagra-snorting pygmies, politics, power, and pedophiliac pornography.
Yea, anybody with a mouthpiece or a pen could conjure up pretty much anything their demented minds dictate. Don’t think so? Ask our vast masses of unemployed that have anointed themselves as wildly successful writers or artists (Shit, am I one of those? Nah.). . .
Or, you could just ask Rush.
If this writing only served to tarnish the reputation of such a fine American, I would cease and desist immediately. After all, such a piece would only be feeding the spectacle that robs us of truth. And Rush Limbaugh is an expert at robbing us of truth, with all the subtlety of a jackal pack on meth.
And hey: We’re talking ‘icon’ here. If you hold any doubt, just consider that a statue immortalizing Rush’s greatness is tentatively planned for placement in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Move aside Cronkite and Truman. Make way Mr. Twain: Rush is coming.
Then there’s the matter of our embracement of his deliciously deluded dogma on Armed Forces Radio. If I were an Army Ranger that had a genetic predisposition towards psychotic behavior, listening to this megalomaniac in some tent in Afghanistan would ‘remove all doubt.’
Or if I was a soldier wounded in action, laying in some field hospital in some Godless remote place- the last thing I would want to hear is this mouthy bastard going on and on with his hate agenda.
Or, imagine a dedicated Hispanic army nurse, tenderly treating your son or mine,
with Rush-bits such as these blaring over hospital speakers:
[To an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
“Let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”
“You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”
Limbaugh on Obama: "We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black."
And to think, long before this anti-rhetorical hate rhetoric has been going on for years- more like several decades. And what does this mean? What do his advertisers and listeners and airtime tell us about Rush?
Yea, I guess he is a true American icon.
During the mid-1980s, back when I was working in the corporate offices of a national chemical company, lunches with colleagues and sales managers brought me into quite close contact with the phenom known as Rush Limbaugh. Yea, seems that everyone that was ‘in the know’ had Rush tuned on his/her radios. And the trip to various restaurants always entailed the drive to and fro, always listening to Rush-rhetoric. More often than not, car conversation was muted, yet with an occasional ‘yea’ or ‘he’s right’ or ‘cool.’
See, Rush was fairly new to the scene at that time, and some of his views regarding our fluid econ/political issues also seemed strangely new. Though a decisive babbler, his rants were considerably less biting in those days, and whether you agreed with him or not, Rush was a bit of fresh air- albeit with a smattering of methane.
Years passed, and I found myself to be owner of two subchapter S-corporations and a C-corp. I guess that according to American dream criteria, I had ‘arrived.’ Sad that no one told me about the perils of having too much stuff, too much responsibility, and way too much me.
Then one day on the road and decent music lacking, I found myself listening to talk radio- and there he was: Rush Limbaugh.
Hmm. The phenom was gone. All that I heard was a bitter, toxic blowhard spewing idiocies to people that were definitely either misinformed or terribly stupid. To this day, I remember two thoughts. The most obvious was the gut-level reaction of ‘just who listens to this crap?’ The second was a bit more obscure: Does this deluded dickwad actually believe the bullshit he is bellowing, or is he just a mouthpiece for a dangerously demented power base . . . or both?
Forget this: Any music will do.
Some weeks or months later, it came out that Rush had some ‘issues’ regarding hydrocodone- a pharmacological concoction that combines opiated pain killer with Tylenol or aspirin, aka Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab. Gives you a nice existence, but over-indulgence and your liver starts to wear down . . . If we could be so lucky.
The reason I mention this drug debacle is because of an acquaintance I made roughly a year later. A foreign (and we know what Rush thinks of ‘foreigners’) gentleman of some means had admitted himself to an exclusive Rehab center in Arizona. Although he was aware that Rush was of some notoriety, he was unaware of the national prominence or shame that made-up the Rush ‘mystique.’
Anyway, this guy had actually been in a small psychotherapy group that included none other than Rush Limbaugh. During our conversations, he spoke often of how strange, how bizarre those sessions were; that Rush went on and on talking only of sports and politics. Must have been interesting psychotherapy. He also stated that Rush had not had sex with his wife in ‘literally’ years. Weirded-out so to speak, this gentleman checked out of that particular treatment center and went to another. He seemed truly freaked by it all.
I guess you could call this here-say. I guess you could pick and choose whom to believe, you know? I mean, I could believe this guy, or you could believe me, or Rush could address it, deny it- and we could believe him. Like all the toxic Rush-rhetoric, we could make this into some sort of big, monumental deal, like so much of the spittle this fat ass has been spewing on all of us for years.
Earlier in this piece I wrote, ‘what do his advertisers and listeners and airtime tell us about Rush?’ Of much greater consequence, the real question might be: What does he tell us about our collective selves?
Yea, Rush is an icon.
He is the embodiment of all things irreverently irrelevant. He is the great distractor from truth. He is the leader of an ilk of assholes that fill our heads and hearts with all things negative about our national and personal condition. And whether you like him or hate him, the mere fact that we know anything of him or think of him at all is most damning of all- but . . . damning of us.
Yea… an icon: The great divider, the master diverter, the bottom-feeding breeder of distraction, derision, misinformation, and hate; all the while our ship of fools sinks a bit faster, closing in on the mast itself.
And where are we?
Meanwhile, we have a radiated Japan, a soon-to-be radiated Iran, drone-mania, out-of-reach education, a lost generation of youth, a failed democracy, and an elusive financial elite actively engaged in creating a global debtor class (after all, customers and debtors are synonymous).
Thomas Jefferson once said that ‘information is the currency of democracy.’ Well, maybe once upon a time. Nowadays, we are overloaded with information: An absolutely meaningless, destructively distractive, dangerous deluge of babble and bullshit.
More to our current predicament, T. S. Eliot said, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in the knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in the information?” Hmm.
If Rush represents anything, it is our embracement of distraction to the detriment of our own condition. Gross, massive, destructive, worldwide trends are happening, and meanwhile- we are just so ‘taken’ with this asshole.
I would like to think, to hope, to believe that we might use the iconic Rush as the end of a dark chapter of the collective us, a crucial pivot point of mutual self-awareness. That we might finally begin to put distraction aside and use our incredible access to information and communication- to clarify our real challenges, and that such mighty tools might empower us to foment true global change.
That we might finally recognize the precipice upon which our entire species finds itself.
I would like to hope . . .