This is Big Green – September 2017. Features: 1) Ned Trek 33: The Nimrod Seven; 2) Song: If You’re Listening To This, by Big Green; 3) Song: Commander I’m Dead, by Big Green; 4) Song: Doctor in the House, by Big Green; 5) Song: Wait For You, by Big Green; 6) Song: Nimrod, by Big Green; 7) Song: Neocon Captain, by Big Green; 8) Song: Yo-Ho, by Big Green ; 9) Song: Nixon Is Saving Us All, by Big Green; 10) Put the Phone Down: The cheap hello song; 11) What we did on our Summer vacation; 12) And the racists love you (imagine mechanical Nazi men); 13) Big Green pledge drive; 14) carl Sagan’s homecoming; 15) Gorka in the box; 16) Psycho Batman; 17) Who gets the special bad actor prize; 18) Pay for play Enterprise bridge; 19) Time to go.
By most accounts, it hasn’t been a good week for candidate Trump. I say “most” because The Donald has die-hard ditto-heads, like the ones attached to Limbaugh’s ample ass (and there’s probably substantial overlap between those groups). His problem has been his mouth, as usual, though that’s just the thing that makes noise. It’s the policy implications of a Trump presidency that scares the hell out of me, not the fact that he has terminal foot-in-mouth disease. In with Trump would come all of the worst players in the Republican establishment – the war starters, the torturers, and so on – plus a substantial cadre of tea party freaks to fill in all of the gaping holes in his action plan as president. He took zero interest in the drafting of the GOP platform, tossing it off to these rancid constituencies. The result has been a remarkably reactionary document, far to the right of any the party has drafted before.
Does this bother the Republican establishment? Not at all. They get a little bothered by his off-hand comments and rejoinders to everyone who looks askance at him. Overt racist policies, ethnic cleansing, etc., inspires mild concern. I think the turning point was Trump’s reluctance to endorse Paul Ryan and other prominent Republicans – that’s getting their attention, and now the party is openly looking for ways to rein him in or read him out. I don’t think either will happen, frankly. His fellow Republicans worry about their seats, not about the planet – they don’t care that this hyper narcissistic man-baby who seems to have a fascination with nuclear weapons might become president.
Maybe it’s because we’ve had potential world-destroyers in the highest office before, right? Like Truman, who contemplated bombing the border between North and South Korea. Or Kennedy, who nearly blew us up over the right to keep some obsolete missiles in Turkey – missiles we had already secretly planned to remove. Or the unabashed racist Nixon who wanted to use nukes on Vietnam. Or Reagan who almost touched off a nuclear exchange with Russia by repeatedly probing their perimeter defenses until a miscalculation on the Soviet side nearly sent the missiles flying.
Or maybe it’s because they’re too craven to care about anybody other than themselves. My money’s on that one.
How does this sound for a robot voice? “I am not a crook!” What? Well, yes, that IS my Nixon voice, but I’m doing a Nixon robot, remember? How is that supposed to sound, for crying out loud?
Oh, hello out there in Real Worldia. No, this isn’t another pointless argument about some instrument none of us plays. We’re just getting ready to record another episode of our Star Trek parody, Ned Trek, now in its 19th episode, featured on our monthly (or near-monthly, at least) podcast, THIS IS BIG GREEN. Not to give away any trade secrets, but I do the voice of the Nixon android, an automaton who holds the entire personal and political history of Richard Milhous Nixon in his memory banks. Likes a good stiff drink every once in a while, Nixon does.
Don’t know if you’ve heard the show, but assuming you haven’t, I’ll give you some idea of what it’s all about. We take an episode or two of the original Star Trek series and mash it up, replacing the main characters with the following cast members:
- Willard Mittilius Romney, Captain of the Free Enterprise
- Mr. Ned, the talking dressage horse, Romney’s first officer
- Dr. Tom Coburn, ship’s southern-fried surgeon
- Lt. Richard Pearle, famed neocon and basically a pain in everyone’s ass
- Mr. Welsh, chief engineer and accent troll
- Mr. Sulu, helmsman, holdover, and yes, THAT Mr. Sulu
The ship is part of the Confederation of Planets, a dystopian variation of the Star Trek regime, in that it is a grasping, rapacious, hegemonic imperial force bent on exploitation of every planet to within an inch of its life. And, of course, the comedic possibilities that arise from such an entity.
What else? About every other episode we manage to slip a few songs into the mix. The episode we’ll be recording this week will be one of those. Crew members will break into song at random intervals. This is basically our creative output in this stage of Big Green’s lifecycle. What follows this? Compost!
This is going to be brief. My back is a disaster area today, and that’s no Jonathan Harris imitation.
I was listening to President Obama speaking at the NATO summit this past week, talking about ending the Afghan War “responsibly”. And I had this impulse to say, “Thanks, Nixon!” Back in the day, old Dick was winding down his war, so to speak, standing up a colonial army (the ARVN – south Vietnamese army) and always talking about “peace with honor” after nearly a decade of mindless slaughter. They were fighting “terrorists” as well – just look at Life magazine or some other news publication from the late 1960s and you’ll see that that was one of the terms they used to describe the Viet Cong (NLF). Not so different.
Except that it was actually more brutal, as brutal and ugly as the Afghan war has been and continues to be. Vietnam and more generally Indochina was almost totally destroyed during the American war there, particularly from 1962 forward. People are still being killed by that war, by virtue of tons of unexploded ordinance, Agent Orange hotspots all over the south, and more. I don’t want to minimize that fact. For every drone strike Obama launches, there were likely 1,000 sorties over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia dropping high explosives, napalm, and cluster bombs by the ton. The fact that this likely would not be tolerated today speaks to a gradual increase in our collective humanity. If anything constrains our leaders, it’s that.
Still, even within these constraints, we can do a lot of damage. The drone strikes are a very easy option for the administration. It’s a political winner, since American lives are not put in jeopardy, and it has the vague perception of accuracy going for it, though our targets have very little to say on the subject (because they are, of course, dead). It is a very corrosive weapon, though, on both legal and moral grounds, and it is likely causing a great deal more hatred of the United States than could be propagated by the likes of those we are targeting. Like Nixon’s (and LBJ’s) Vietnam war, it is approached as a project of eliminating the “bad guys” so that there will be fewer of them. That, of course, does not work and never will. Aside from being wrong, it is strategically stupid, and it is putting us in greater danger with every attack.
Still, the alternative to our little Nixon is Reagan on steroids – a Romney administration following a neocon-powered foreign policy, with multiple additional wars on tap. That being the case, well… Nixon’s the one.