May 23, 2007

Coulter Quote of the Week: says peoples who hire her for speeches embrace her hate speech

The weekly Ann Coulter hate speech of the week has demonstrated time after time that paying her $30,000 for a speech at Cleary University's Livingston Economic Club Speaker Series means the school both embraces the queen of hate’s discriminatory views and hate speech and she apparently speaks for them. So does this week’s edition.

In light of the firing of people like Don Imus for saying far less than Coulter does every single day and every week, Coulter says people must love because groups and people like those Cleary keep throwing money at her for saying them.

I just threw in the other quote to show her great logic, and how she – to quote the LEC mission – “enriches the Livingston County community by hosting speakers who can share a broad spectrum of social, political, intellectual, and cultural experiences.”

How is calling people who disagree with you “fat, implacable welfare recipients” pass as “critical analysis and public debate,” Mr. Sullivan? How does that pass as “thought-provoking,” Mr. Sullivan? How does that raise the level of political discourse, Mr. Sullivan?

“The only people who can fire me are the American people. And, by the way, by not buying my books they're not hiring me for speeches.” The Jon Caldara Show, May 17, 2007.

“The "backbone of the Democratic Party" is a "typical fat, implacable welfare recipient"---syndicated column 10/29/99


M said...

You've got to hand it to her- she's right. If there's anything that capitalism does well, it's put the power in the hands of the consumer. The American people have spoken. They are justifying her hyperbolic, right-wing outbursts.

Communications guru said...

True. However, t the majority of the people in the south supported the Klan, segregation and discrimination in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, but that didn’t make it right. Also, it’s not all of America; it’s about half of the country –m the Republicans – and half of them that support her poison.

Michael Motta said...

Not so fast my friends. I don't think this ready agreement with the idea that the power is in the hands of consumers is being very circumspect, coming from ostensibly the left.

My impression is that the left has a lot of ammunition at its disposal with which to debunk or at least poke holes in the notion of the liberated consumer. Marxism would have it that the last thing capitalism does well is empower the consumer (if you look at the consumer as kind of a contemporary proletarian class). The consumer would be subject to ideology vis a vis the false consciousness generated by the economic base. Thus an illusion of power based in choice, but choice would of course itself be dictated by the very modes of production that offer the apology of consumer rule.

Moving along to Gramsci, we see the old Marxist notion of the base determining the superstructure jettisoned, and in its place a more dialectical relationship whereby the base and the superstructure determine each other in turns. In his famous notion of "hegemony", Gramsci suggests that the ruling class persuades and sometimes coerces other classes to accept its values. Thus in relation to consumer society, "choice" would be practiced within the normative universe of the capitalists and thereby lose its appeal of being "free".

We can also look to Arendt and Beaudrillard. Arendt speaks to the life of the polis, political action, being drowned out by the "social realm" of routinized production and consumption. Beaudrillard radicalizes this by recognizing that products are no longer consumed in relation to their respective "use values" but rather are consumed as signs.
"Advertisements have become more powerful and persuasive because of this separation. Previously, goods were presented based on their material qualities and function. However, gradually this gave way to an association of the sign with a lifestyle and integration with the social life of people."

In other words, consumers are at the mercy of signs that play off of one another, pointing at nothing beyond themselves, and worn as badges by consumers to reflect "I am the kind of person who wears a Rolex" etc. wherein the use value of a watch (to keep time) is negated by the sign "Rolex" which then plays off the kind of car driven and the restaurants attended and so on.

I am by no means expert in any of these theorists, but I would recommend taking a look at the links provided. My basic point is that it's far from decided (especially within the Left) that consumers somehow "run the show". In fact, I suspect that would be considered by most on the Left as being Right Wing apologetics.

Michael Motta said...

I absentmindly misspelled Baudrillard in my previous remarks (there is no "e").