September 13, 2010, - 11:57 am

Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress & Why We’re Losing Against Islam

By Debbie Schlussel

The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.

–Far-left writer  and Vietnam War draft-dodger William Gibson.

I hate to agree with a far lefty draft-dodger, but as they say, a broken clock is correct twice a day.  After 9/11, a few astute souls said that Islam is at war against America, while America is at the mall.  I would add .  .  . America is also mindlessly watching the boob tube and keeping up with the Kardashians and the bad Madonna imitation, Lady Gaga, and the idiots on “Jersey Shore.” Even People Magazine stepped down a few notches, once written at a sixth grade level, it’s now largely just a picture book for those at the pre-school baby mama reading level.  And last night’s MTV Video Music Awards is a great example.  MTV no longer plays videos, and it’s hard to call what populates the “winning” videos, “music.”  Yet, while we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam–fighting for our survival, America’s future and its present are obsessed with Lady Gaga’s “give-me-attention” meat suit and her panoply of similar “acts.” You’d hardly know that we just passed the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America with no end to Islamic terrorism and Islamic encroachment on American soil in sight (or ever).

islamiccrescent

Islam is @ War Against America; America is @ the Mall & Lady Gaga’s Meat Counter

I’d venture to guess that fewer than a tenth of a percent of Americans under 30 could tell  you what jihad is or anything about Islamic footbaths and mosques and other such religious encroachments and fatal dangers imposed upon America by the falsely-named “Religion of Peace.”  But a huge chunk, probably well more than 30%–maybe upward of 50%–know every detail of Kim Kardashian’s and Snooki’s dating lives, not to mention, “The Situation.”  (If you don’t know who these people are, I have mucho respect for you.)  Far more Americans know about Lady Gaga’s meat dress than those who know the details of Undiebomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab or his guru–guru to the jihad stars–Anwar Al-Awlaki.  Both Gaga and Awlaki are unoriginal in their provocations, but one is more worthy of our attention than the other.  And it’s, sadly, not where our attention lies.  Not even close.

And even those few young people who know about jihad and Islam have been mostly brainwashed. They’ve been taught to eat a diet of PC along with Lady Gaga’s meat dress. They don’t know–and won’t ever admit until it’s too late–that yes, we are fighting Islam. NOT Al-Qaeda or a few “hijackers who hijacked a religion,” but a religion that has hijacked the majority of its followers to embrace extremism.

Sorry, Barack Hussein Obama, but Al-Qaeda is not THE enemy. It’s just a tiny component of the enemy. Hezbollah is the enemy. HAMAS is the enemy. Islamic Jihad and Al Shabaab are the enemy. “Lone,” “mentally unstable” Muslims bombing Americans and other innocents or trying to . . . or driving their cars into crowds of American college students or into giant box hardware retailers in America on behalf of Allah–they are the enemy. And they have two things in common: Islam, and the moral and emotional support of the majority of Muslims in this world.

Our next generations–already into or on their way to adulthood–don’t get that, don’t even have the basic tools to get to know that. They are more attuned to the marbled fat on Lady Gaga’s meat dress. And who Kim Kardashian is dating. And what Pauly D is doing in between his latest round of “Gym Tan Laundry.”

And that’s why we’ll never win the war against Islamic encroachment upon America in the long term. I used to say that we won’t see it, but future generations will. But now I see it, faster than ever, manifesting itself boldly.

It’s not the future. It’s the present. And, so far, it looks like we lost.

Hey, I hope that meat dress is halal. Coming soon: Lady Gaga’s meat burka.

Would you like fries with that?

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44 Responses

well clearly we can’t beat them… So JOIN THEM!!!

look I am not saying Islam is the “religion of peace” but if the fact of the matter is in a few years we’ll have Ramadan Mattress Sale or Ashura Special – how is it worse then having the nation-wide brain washers pump us with Meat Dresses because they know we WANT IT, as it is Entertainment for the masses. So at this point the freedom of this society had lead it to free it from itself. As you had just said it as well as most other Right to Ultra-Right bloggers – the nation is too busy Snooki-ing to notice that there are more and more of those among us who wash their feet before prayers and do not rely on a son of a Jewish woman to relay their communications to OMNISCIENT G-d.

I’d rather have that chick in full burka (aka CHADRA) then to know that most of the nation find that insult to taste and decency worthy of being “news”.

since we can’t drink to that, let’s smoke some Hashish :-)

Boris B on September 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    We can beat them. For how it may unfortunately have to be done, read Tom Kratman’s Caliphate. Sorry, Boris, but I like my freedom. Any scumbag who wants to harass my daughter is going to pay,and pay,and pay. My kid is worth 1.5 billion of their lives.

    Occam's Tool on September 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm

The dumbing down of America is almost complete. Camille Paglia demolished the Lady Gaga generation in a great UK Telegraph piece. Read any woman’s magazine and see how the Leftists chicks of publishing have taken over. The most cited word in any mag is GREEN. Check out TV Guide lately? It’s People-lite with the same mindless attention paid to the brain dead of TV Land.

JeffT on September 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Yes, I could not believe when Obama said we are not at war with Islam, when thats exactly who we are at war with. What’s so insane is that they are not only acting like a Trojan horse, but that one has come out of the closet with an “in your face attitude.” I am appalled at the blunt behavior by Muslim/Islamic people. Or maybe it would be well fitting to call them animals.

To the people who keep confessing or siding with such a horrible, destructive, hateful religion as this, I would ask: how would the women here like a taste and be treated like the women in the Middle East, I wonder if anyone of them know that they would not be alive for their actions if they were. A peaceful religion? Yeah right, just goes to show you how much they read the Quaran. Not surprisingly though, for me being a Christian, I am shocked how many Christians don’t read their Bible either. Of course, there is no worry about that point, but when it comes to the Islamic religion, there should be much to be concerned about when purposeful ignorant people do not take the time to read the evil book that comes with the Muslim world.

Obama has not seen anything yet, he was worried about Quaran burning trickling down to others, well he was right and has good reason to worry.

Even though our God (Christian) teaches us to pray for our enemies, His statement and command in no way tells us to not stop the enemy in their tracks, and prevent the infection from going further. Gods faceis against such religion and the people who stand by it. God said: “My people are lost for lack of Knowledge.” God has been a warring God throughout His word but it is not against people He cannot MAKE love him but against people who practice evil.

I thank you for continuing your efforts to expose Islam and the people who are Muslims. This is definitely an end-time force to deal with along with Catholicism, which is the fuel behind it all. Some of these people need some real history lessons. We look at the surface of what goes ion the world but very few know the people religions, and entity’s behind it all that fuels our world to a New World Order, One world rel;religion and government.

The Lady Gaga’s, MTV-er’s, etc of this world are blinded by their own self, self serving behavior, and they are lead to the slaughter without knowing. The world is going insane as the Word predicted in the end. How much further can they go?

Love, Amedeo

Amedeo Bianchi on September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Miss Schlussel:

Until I just now read your blog, which is linked to my own blog, I hadn’t seen the picture of Lady Gaga wearing her meat dress, and I still don’t know what “The Situation” is.

Is that a show, or is there some sort of real life soap opera involving some famous stars?

I know who Snooki is because I read the public was shocked that Obama didn’t know who she was.

So, out of curiosity, I Googled “Snooki”.

But, I’ve never watched that show, and she doesn’t impress me, especially when I saw news reports of her arrests for public drunkeness and assaults.

In order to save money, I recently cancelled my cable television, and now watch only shows that are on the Internet, preferring mostly classics like “ALFRED HITCHCOCK”, “BIG VALLEY”, “ROBIN HOOD”, “ADAM 12″, et cetera.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

John Robert Mallernee on September 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

30 years ago I went to hear a man speak that was an American living in Nazi Germany.
He was so busy running his business he was catch completely off guard when WWII broke out. He at least had the excuse that the Nazis had complete control of all media.

My point being that even with a major event like the events leading up to WWII, people can be completely clueless.
Polls routinely show that half of Americans don’t know who the vice-president is and many high school graduates can’t find Texas on an unmarked map of the world.

Certainly ignorance is Islam’s greatest ally.
And in America that means Islam has a lot of allies.

smg45acp on September 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I did see a poll somewhere over the weekend showing that anti-Islam sentiment is up about 10% since the time immediately post-9/11. It occurs to me that this is a result in increased knowledge of Islam’s convert or kill doctrine, which contradicts the “religion of peace” propaganda which was constantly regurgitated immediately after the attacks. (Not that the media has taken the time to read the Koran and subsequently changed its tune, but that an additional 10% of the public has.)

Although the meat outfit does make a strong argument for the Islamic dress code.

peter on September 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Re: peter on September 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Good post, Peter.

    I heard about the poll too. I couldn’t find an article that gave the exact figure of a 10% increase, but I did find a Washington Post article on the current poll that said that the sentiment against Islam has increased significantly from shortly after the 9/11 attack:

    “The new results come alongside increasingly critical public views of Islam: 49 percent of all Americans say they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say they have favorable ones. That’s the most negative split on the question in Post-ABC polls dating to October 2001.”

    http://tinyurl.com/25l2e5t

    So maybe there’s hope that Americans are waking up and that the dumbing down of America might not be happening so fast.

    JeffE on September 14, 2010 at 12:04 am

I’m disappointed that you assume MY entire generation is oblivious to what is going on. Even more, I find it ignorant to assume is is the up and coming generation ONLY who is oblivious to what is going on in the world. According to a Study by Oregon State, 44% of people aged 30-49 say they love reality TV shows.
I would like to say I am NOT Muslim, but I feel you should know, in the Quran, the 2nd “Major Sin” is Murder (it’s #6 in the Ten Commandments). Other things that Muslims are supposed to avoid are Pride/Arrogance, Bearing false witness, gambling, oppression, committing suicide, and judging unjustly. Major sins are those which have been forbidden by Allah.
All religions have extremism. Google Scott Roeder, Lambs of Christ, Army of God, Ku Klux Klan, Hutaree, and Centennial Olympic Park Bombing. Oh, and Hitler, too.
Declaring “war” against a religion is only going to drive more people to the extreme within the religion, and give them more reason for violence.
I have known and worked with several people of Muslim faith and Middle Eastern backgrounds, and to lump them into the same category as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Anwar Al-Awlaki would be similar to saying all Christians are members of the Ku Klux Klan. It would be as ignorant as violently attacking and stabbing NY taxi drivers because they are Muslim. I would much rather watch Snooki get drunk or do whatever it is that she does than continue to listen to the hate and half-truths that spew out of the so-called news organizations any day.

The Next Generation on September 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Yes, the Koran forbids all of that—to fellow Muslims. Not to kaffirs.

    Occam's Tool on September 13, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    The New Generation: Living proof of how much trouble we’re in. Thank God for the Tea Party generation, who may well save America from itself (which it certainly should, since we helped mess it up so badly.)

    impeachthedude on September 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Lady Gaga is the Illuminati Puppet, keep spewing your insanity. You are so far gone to suggest this is the work of Islam? Schlussel your racists ways are amazing there is now way your even jewish, Just some sort of ignorant robot droid far to dumb to be a Zionist. What planet do you live on surely not this one.

Da Burg on September 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Islam is not a race. “The” is not spelled D-A. And ad hominem attacks are not debate.

    impeachthedude on September 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Was there a VMA last night?? Back in the day, that was must see tv. I guess as you grow older it isn’t such a concern anymore. Well, I don’t know what she wore but I don’t find it any different than other previous years. In my generation it was Madonna changing the scene. People did say our generation was doomed and they might be right. Now it is Gaga. I think both are tawdry but Gaga seems to be one step ahead of the rest. Whether that is good or bad, she is the leader. I remember back in the 80s or early 90s most of our generation had no idea in political matters. However, as we grow we all formed an opinion one way or another. Let Gaga be Gaga.

What names though, Snooki, Gaga, and The Situation. It has to make you laugh. What the hell is a name like The Situation?

CaliforniaScreaming on September 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    “they are tawdry”” but “…she is the leader.” So being the leader of the dumbing down of American culture is something to respect? Not to be cliched, but Hitler was the leader of Germany.

    impeachthedude on September 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm

It always cracks me up that when Islamic extremism is brought up. Someone always has to bring up some irrelevant group or person and claim them Christians. Hitler was not a Christian in fact he hated Catholisism. The KKK are no more Christian than an atheist. And of course Timothy McVeigh was agnostic and didn’t care about religion one way or the other.

Then again, Obama isn’t Christian either, and he proves it daily.

As to what’s going on in the world. I have to agree with California Screaming in that when I was in my 20′s, world events didn’t matter too much. Of course that was a while ago when the world wasn’t so crazy as it is now. On the other hand, I was working jobs at night and in the evening so I missed out (maybe thankfully) on the celebrity worship even then.

Since I’m older, I’m sort of a news junkie. I have learned more about Islam through my own study than ever. Some accuse me of being a religious bigot. The truth is, the more I learn about Islam, the worse it gets.

I know who Kim Kardassian is, only by association. Star Trek has an enemy called the Cardassians. I know who Lady Ga Ga is and some of the American Idol and America’s Got Talent stars are, as well as the shows themselves. This is because of media saturation.

I also know our politicians and why they must be voted out. All of them! Clear the table and clean house. Please make Obama irrelevant and get this country back to work.

Unfortunately I don’t see anyone, Democrat or Republican, that has any strength or political will to get things done. The US Congress is going to awfully empty this year because there won’t be anyone to replace them. Meanwhile we’ll have Obama the Commander in Thief who sides with the enemy and aids foreign governments, while still in Office. I don’t know why Obama is not impeached or arrested.

John on September 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

It’s hard to look at that at that disgusting creature and NOT hate America. We have become Sodom and Gomorra. When did reveling in evil become culture and entertainment?

Farmerjohn on September 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Great post. Two big problemas in America. Yeah, some will think that the Italian Slut/Ruth Buzzi look-a-like is not a problem, but she sure is culturally. She is copying Madonna on steroids and that old slag has had a big part in America’s decline. I have thought so for many years now.

That Camille Paglia piece is great. Liked her when I was Lib and still enjoy her writings (however, never understood her affinity for old hag Madonna, but she is a Lezzer, so….)

9 years after 9/11 I feel I am stuck in the BIZARRO world in regard to how USA sees Islam and Islamofascism. It is so disheartening. I can barely believe the stupidity and can see people in the future scratching their heads and saying “Why would they so stupidly give up the greatest country ever”?? It’s crazy-making.

What a shame the USA has become. It makes me sad.

Skunky on September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

just not convinced that we are fighting for our lives… we are at war, for sure, in Muslim nations with enemies that are Muslims. but not with Islam.

and those wars are completely unjustified……

so, in the meantime,im gonna enjoy the Lady, shes talented abrasive and wonderful to watch…

meatismurder on September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    We may not be at war with islam, but islam is at war with us.

    impeachthedude on September 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm

“Nero fiddled…while Rome burned”.

Skunky on September 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Obama figdets, while America burns.

John on September 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    …fidgets. :(

    John on September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

The Situation…haven’t a clue. I know about Snooki thanks to Obama’s mentioning her name.

Thank the Progs that have taken over our education system…you know the people who are oh so smart and consider the average citizen a bunch of ingnorant Prols

Sam Adams on September 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    IGNORANT…… wish we had an edit feature here.

    Sam Adams on September 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I hadn’t really heard of any of them. I have heard of People Magazine. Once I actually subscribed for a year. That was because for a time at work I had to get along and collaborate with some nitwits whose brains, whatever brains they had, seemed already dulled by alcohol. some of the topics in People were their main topics of conversation.

Little Al on September 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm

And I really don’t think you are exaggerating about young people; I always have to dumb down my comments when I am conversing with them, even those who are college-educated professionals.

Little Al on September 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

And what about Cher at 64 years of age, wearing that barely there dress. Why?

CaliforniaScreaming on September 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Yeah, the pitful desperation of Cher is very pathetic and twice as sad. I know aging sucks, but really, is it that tragic to be holding on with a kung-fu grip? It’s embarrassing and undignified and is prolly as peek into why her daughter/son has such painful gender indentity struggles.

    As for aging rockers…this is how you should do it..

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1311587/Suzi-Quatro-goes-hell-leather-tight-catsuit-Elvis-Presley-tribute-gig.html

    Skunky on September 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      Watch the Jay Walking episodes on the Tonight Show to see examples of the dumbing of America. Sad to say, many of these individuals are “educated” college grads. And also blame our news media for airing these stories as “news” instead of covering real news. I’m sure there must be a saying amongst politicians that goes something like this – “an uneducated voter is our best constituent”.

      michman on September 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Another excellent post, Debbie.

I haven’t watched the VMA’s in over ten years. It was only earlier today that I even found out that it was on last night. I only know about Lady Gaga because she has been in the news. Jersey Shore I know mainly because Debbie had wrote about it in a couple of posts, with Debbie linking to one of them above. As for Kim Kardashian and Snooki, who are they again?

JeffE on September 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I am proud to say I am 19 years old and I have never watched a lady gaga video or a episode of kardashens or what ever it is that you called it.

haden on September 14, 2010 at 1:27 am

Agreed; the Muslims are winning, and they must be laughing their asses off at how easy it is. Mohammed may have been a murdering sociopath, but he was one hell of a smart murdering sociopath. The Muslims are quite content and patient to win by death of a thousand cuts. While N. America thinks in terms of hours and days, the Muslims operate in decades and centuries. Islam has the great advantage of not being bound by any geography, political borders, or “Constitutions”; they merely follow Allah’s orders via the Koran, just as they have done for generation after generation since the 7th century. And when it comes to defeating infidels, anything goes in Islam; there are no rules, ethics, or Geneva Conventions, it just has to be good for Islam.

It’s frustrating that Islam’s genocidal plan for world rule is in open view for anyone to read, yet most still believe Islam is a wonderful tolerant religion of peace and love. Given world events over the last 1400 years, it is astounding that anyone who is at least somewhat learned, can conclude that Islam is “peace loving”.

Ace on September 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

The New America. Can It Work? Will It Last?

If the jihadists were smart, they would recognize the obvious. To win their war against the West, against America in particular, they need not detonate anything; they can prevail without firing a shot. Ordinary Americans have been destroying the nation from within for decades now, and while the process is hardly complete, it is far enough along that the jihadists and their targets might live long enough to see the outcome. All everyone has to do is just sit back and wait.

It has been said that great civilizations decay from within long before they are subdued from without, the internal decay weakening structures on which stability depends long before legions from afar appear, making their arrival largely moot. While today’s terrorism threatens the public’s physical safety and emotional security, America’s eventual destruction will be brought about by modern, mainstream Americans whose attitudes and behaviors have shepherded in a new age of profound dysfunction. Time and numbers are on their side. This is not a problem of political extremism or religious fanaticism; such trends are little more than a sideshow to the main event. Our demise is not about conquest by others but our own surrender, slippage on a slope that has always beckoned and seduced, a slope that we no longer define as threatening but tragically embrace.

How is this happening? Consider the following.

What happens to a nation when the generation that learned nothing becomes the teachers, and the generation that never grew up becomes the parents?

What happens to a nation when everybody wants to live on Easy Street, but nobody wants to do the work necessary to get there? What happens when people no longer believe that great sacrifices are required to accomplish things of value, things that last? What happens when people can’t give up today’s comfort and convenience for a greater reward tomorrow, convinced that self-denial is never called for? Perhaps we can only “have it all, right now” when “it” is very hollow, fleeting, and pointless.

What happens to a nation when the primary ethic becomes “Get as much as you can for as little as you can get away with”? What happens when the prevailing approach toward accomplishment becomes “Give me the trophy, and then I’ll run the race. Better yet, just give me the damn trophy!” And the trophy is a degree, a promotion, a luxury car, an over-sized house in a new development on the edge of town. What happens to achievement and productivity when people believe that something valuable, meaningful, and lasting can be had for little or no effort, for just showing up and going through the motions. What happens when deserving replaces earning?

What happens to a nation that makes immediate happiness the goal of all activity and demands instant satisfaction in order to make an effort? What happens when the ability to delay gratification—the defining quality of adulthood—is largely lost, and this loss is not even mourned? What happened to patience, perseverance, resilience, and putting things in perspective, things like distress and discomfort? A pain free life is one without challenge; a life without challenge is one without growth; a life without growth is one without freedom, possibilities, or hope.

What happens to a nation when children understand parents to be “the strangers who pick us up from day care at 6 PM”? What happens to a nation when dads spend more time on the Xbox—and moms in the chat rooms—than with their own kids? Are today’s youth virtual orphans, plugged in, logged on, but never really connected? Have genuine adults capable of parenting become extinct, or are they merely on the endangered species list?

What happens to a nation when its children and adolescents believe that anything worth doing must be made fun? We have a generation that will only start a task if it is fun, that will only stick with a task as long as it is fun, and for whom the greatest sin is neither pride nor gluttony but boredom.

What happens to a nation that sees conscience as an anachronism and self-restraint as oppressive and unnatural? What happens when parents can’t set any limits on their kids, because the parents themselves no longer believe that limits exist or need to be set? What happens when parental self-esteem hinges on getting the approval of their children, and parents are more intent on being their kids’ friends than providing the structure, support, and supervision that enable the kids to mature into responsible adults? Of all the lessons learned in childhood, none summarizes the definition of maturity more succinctly than this. Sometimes in life one has to take “no” for an answer—and be “OK” with that—without tantrums, fits, or meltdowns. What happens to a nation where good parenting has been declared obsolete and where bad behavior is deemed evidence that a child’s “meds aren’t working”?

What happens to a nation when transient relationships and insecure emotional attachments are the only kind ever known? What will become of the kids who hear “mommy and daddy can’t get along” and “you can visit daddy every other weekend” and “this is mommy’s new friend…” two or three times before their teens are over? Will they become adults capable of the sound judgment and self control that make for a stable marriage? Or will they become adults who say “I’ve never loved anyone like I love you—lately” and “Marry me—for a few years until I find someone else in the thrill parade.”

What happens to a nation where the rules of grammar are considered oppressive or obsolete, where substandard speech laced with profanity signifies trendiness, and where a high school graduate can’t write an expository essay to save his own skin, but even grammar school kids have the latest hand held electronic gadgets? What happens when thinking and writing skills are no longer considered valuable and the effort to acquire them worthwhile? Who seriously believed that using calculators in math class would enable kids to learn more, not less? What future do our children have now that leisure has replaced learning and diversion has replaced dedication and devotion?

What happens to a nation when its largest chain of toy stores stocks one short aisle of books and creative supplies amid a dozen aisles of mostly branded merchandise with movie tie-ins and endless accessories? What future do our children have now that play has been replaced by showing off and getting on the wheel in a cage of endless wanting, getting, having, and throwing away? Did childhood get tossed out with the torn wrappings and boxes on Christmas morning?

What happens to a nation that overly sexualizes its young in advertising, apparel, and entertainment while preaching feel-good slogans about saving the children? Perhaps it needs to save them from itself.

What happens to a nation that prefers excuse-like slogans to straight talk about child rearing and accountability? Raising the kids can’t be outsourced any more than it can be automated. It takes more than “quality time”; it takes being there through thick and thin. It doesn’t take “a village”; it takes a family.

What happens to a nation where obscenity becomes the driving force of an industry? The video revolution of the eighties brought smut into everyone’s neighborhood. The Internet revolution of the nineties brought it into everyone’s home. We now live in a masturbation nation. With gigabytes of pornography at everyone’s fingertips, it’s a wonder that anyone gets married anymore.

What happens to a nation that asks, “What is permitted?” and answers “Anything you can get away with”? Speed limits? Optional. Taxes? Final exams? Extramarital affairs? “As long as I don’t get caught.” What happens to a nation where the public believes that for enough of a fee one can avoid the consequences of any behavior, where hired-gun “experts” and strategies to suppress evidence and influence perception carry more weight than the facts of a case, and where deep pockets, the media’s thirst for sensation, and whether the DA is up for reelection trump justice for all?

What happens to a nation that looks to “experts” and ever widening notions of infirmity and disability to explain the frustration and discouragement its citizens feel? Have we become so gullible that the notion of mental illness is more appealing than honestly admitting that purpose and meaning, dignity and fulfillment require more than charge cards, shopping malls, tract housing, Starbuck’s, SUVs, MTV, and Prozac?

What happens to a nation where economy replaces durability? Costs cannot be escaped, just deferred or shifted. When the concrete and steel comes crashing down around us, we will pay dearly indeed.

What happens to a nation when its greatest industrial products, the products for which the world holds it in high esteem, are high-tech military hardware and Hollywood blockbusters? And nothing else.

What happens to hope in a nation of minimum wage service workers up to their necks in debt while shopping at the nation’s largest retailer where shelves are stocked with imported products of dubious quality and safety? What happens when a minimum wage job won’t allow one to keep his head above water, and even two breadwinners struggle to earn enough to live on a safe block?

What happens to a nation that ignores the largest elephant that ever made its way into a living room—the simple question, “Where have all the jobs gone?”—preferring the smoke and mirrors of toxic debt and make-believe mortgages as means to keep up and get ahead? Eight dollar an hour Wal-Mart jobs cannot provide the same purchasing power—or access to stability—as twenty-five dollar an hour autoworker or steel worker jobs. If next to nothing is going to be “Made in the USA”, where are folks with high school educations or less going to work? How can one survive in a so-called service economy when even those jobs, generally low paying at best, are outsourced overseas? A neighborhood only needs so many convenience store clerks, dollar store cashiers, and laundromat attendants. Not everyone can get on disability. Who seriously believes that a stable, safe, prosperous America can be had without jobs and plenty of them?

What happens to a nation that treats a popular candidate for its highest office like a comic book superhero and an unpopular incumbent like an arch villain, where citizens prefer—and media deliver—slogans and sound bites over depth and detail, and where packaging and personality garner more interest than principles or policies? How did the election of the president turn into a popularity contest between Starbuck’s and Dunkin’ Donuts? How hollow does a democracy become if voters refuse to ask tough questions or consider tough answers, especially those that implicate their own values and behavior, content instead to consume a brand? What future does American democracy have if all voters want is to feel good today?

What happens to a nation when its churches first doubt—then deny—the divinity of the one they’re named after, no longer extolling obedience to God but exalting and celebrating self? What happens when those entrusted as religious leaders discard articles of faith handed down across the centuries for trendy assurances that nothing is so very wrong with folks that therapy, technology, and public policy can’t fix? What happens when neither the shepherds nor the sheep care much for notions of eternity and just want to feel good today? What happens when theologians append the word “story” to key elements of scripture, brazenly admitting that they no longer believe “as little children”? What happens when men and women, eager to deceive themselves as to their true nature, project the unacceptable awareness of their own inadequacy onto a world that—like the God who created it—disappoints them? Perhaps the only blasphemy left, the only heresy still possible, is to assert that man, left to his own devices, lacks the capacity to fully know what is true and do what is right, and that he is neither alone nor in charge despite fervently insisting otherwise. What if it isn’t the world that is broken but merely we who inhabit it?

While we may nod and smile smugly on seeing others in the profiles above, can we see ourselves? Or is the uncrossable line reached when it comes to recognizing how our own values and choices undermine the future? We think we get it until it gets to us. Please, someone, throw the first stone.

What does it mean when many Americans have trouble believing in God, but find it easy to believe in UFOs, get rich quick schemes featured on late night TV spots, and chemical imbalances championed by pharmaceutical company advertising? The mainstream infotainment media won’t ask these questions; it serves largely to convince us that they don’t exist. No candidate dares bring them up. Problems, to be acknowledged, must be simple and blamed on somebody or something else, a lame duck president, a madman in a foreign land, a brain disease. Solutions, to be considered, must be comfortable, convenient, and, above all, cost-free, or at least the cost must be paid by someone who doesn’t vote or hasn’t been born yet. No one dares criticize the Emperor’s new clothes; after all, it is we who clothed him. By way of the values goes the culture; by way of the culture goes the country. Who can honestly say that the tipping point has not been reached? Can the current generation of kids, teens, twenty and thirty somethings with today’s values and attitudes run the country in twenty years? In forty? Would you like to be here when they try?

At the dawn of the 21st century, the rules by which mainstream Americans live go largely unspoken, unexamined, and unchallenged.

Nothing is supposed to hurt very much.

Nothing is supposed to take very long.

Nothing should require much effort.

Nothing should bother us more than momentarily (not longer than it takes to find the remote or take a pill).

And nothing, bar nothing, should stand in the way between wanting something and having it.

Taken for granted, these values define what we now call normal, what we expect “life” and “the world” to offer. Anything less is unacceptable. Anything less is an injustice for which laws must be passed and policies changed. Anything less is an insult for which apologies must be made. Anything less is an injury for which damages must be awarded. Anything less is a disorder for which meds must be adjusted. But what happens when we put these principles into practice on a mass scale? What happens when we apply these principles to raising and educating the next generation? What happens when we apply these principles to the struggle to find a mate, hold a family together, be productive in the workplace, or find meaning and purpose to life itself? What happens when no one will save, no one will struggle, no one will sacrifice, no one will tolerate discomfort or discontent, no one will resist temptation, no one will take responsibility, no one will plan for the long run, no one will tell the kids “no, not now” for certain things and “no, not ever” for others, and no one will take no for an answer? The operating assumptions of contemporary Americans are inconsistent with, even contrary to, what it takes to sustain the level of development to which folks are accustomed. The night can get very long and cold. What will it take for us to rediscover self-denial, savings, sacrifice, a willingness to delay gratification, a thirst for service, a belief in and commitment to something greater than ourselves, and an appreciation of honesty as rules to live by? A sustained economic downturn? A world war? Short of a calamity of this nature, is there anything that will cause us to pause, even briefly, and look askance at what we are doing, what we have become, even if it means to wince or feel nauseated by what we see?

Can we make these questions as important as the latest celebrity scandal or American Idol contestant? Do we have the courage to ask “What kind of values sustain civilization?’ and “What kind of culture is best for ourselves and our children?” Do we have the conviction to answer “Not these values” and “Not this culture”? If we don’t, who will?

wahmdok on September 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Dead on about my generation and it fills me with sadness then disgust observing year after year of generation regression as the Clash of the Civilizations races towards us at an exponential speed while Gaga and Jihadis turn youths towards their unoriginal Satanic God. I’ve been a news/info junkie my whole life since my family used to own my hometown’s newspaper and my dad, who was a part of SOG, wrote editorials everyday. He died too young before 9/11, but he had already seen too much so G-d spared him because it would have been broke his heart as our family loves this country. Very few have a sense of duty towards this country anymore.

Next time my mom visits me, I’m going to introduce her to your blog as she was a hell of an investigative reporter—then I was born–but has the computer IQ of 0. I love this site because it reminds me of how my Granddad and Dad ran the Paper (humor included)… Thanks Death Tax for destroying the family, the family business, and the daily editorials.

Thanks DS for having a sense of Duty towards our Republic and being one hell of an uncompromising investigative reporter.

soyphobia on September 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Lady Gaga makes me want to puke! What talent does she have? I’ll take jazz vocalists Karrin Allyson and Madeleine Peyroux over this trick-or-treater anytime.

Kurt Toy on September 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

Let’s just blame popular media for the ails of the world, and let’s just give Lady Gaga ten times more power than she actually has. Throughout this diatribe, not one proposal for what you think we SHOULD be doing — but apparently, we are not supposed to be entertained or enjoy the boobtube. instead, we are to quiver in our houses with a stash of machine guns waiting for electronic jihad to rain down upon us. Give me a break. Debbie — you write REALLY well, but the nutjob factor is clear when you feel pressure to write about something when no other news is available to you. and as a complete aside since you spent so much ridiculous ink on the issue — Lady Gaga — not such a bad entertainer (and a much better singer/songwriter than madonna)!

Bret on September 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

Debbie, if we’re in a holy war against Islam, why do Muslim Americans give President Obama his highest approval rating out of all religious groups?

Tyler on September 16, 2010 at 10:36 am

Tyler…haha….muslims in America give BO the highest rating because he is doing the most for them. Next question?

impeachthedude on September 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Conspiracy theory. The Commander-in-Chief is supposedly leading a holy war against Islam, but still Muslim Americans give President Obama his highest approval rating out of all religious groups?

It doesn’t make sense.

Tyler on September 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Dear Debbie:

I must respectfully disagree with you. America was isolationist until Pearl was attacked; our response was overwhelming. The incompetence of our current administration almost guarantees a WMD attack on our shores—my bet would be Honolulu or Chicago during this administration (Chicago was already the subject of an attempt).

But once we get hit hard enough (and 9/11 was NOT that) and decide to use our force, the Islamofascists are toasty critters. I have faith in my fellow Americans. It is unfortunate that it requires the correct solution is usually the last one thought of.

Occam's Tool on December 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Dear Debbie,

Your blog seems quite interesting to me, especially that lady gaga post. I would like to note one thing regarding your explanation of Islam. Islam never leads to extremism. As a matter of fact, according to Islam, extremism was never accepted by Islam. The Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights.” – Sahih Al Bukhari – Volumn I, Hadith 8. As well, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “By his good character, a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day.” – Abu Dawood, Hadith 2233. So Islam isn’t about extremism and killing innocents. Again, extremism is not part of Islam. Ethnocentrically speaking, extremists exist everywhere. Anyone can be an extremist for a specific belief. It can be Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, Darwinism, and the list goes on.
If you read more about Islam, the Holy Qura’an and the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) life history, you will realize that the Prophet (pbuh) never urged to killing innocents or people. The Qura’an as well stated war conditions which include not killing innocents, mothers, children, and Muslims should only fight when they are fought. Hence, those groups who fight the U.S.A by killing innocents do not follow true Islamic beliefs. They are just extremists. Historically, Muslims went into battles to defend themselves and Islam from those who fight them. As well, historically, Christians and other religious beliefs did engage in humongous historical battles to defend themselves and their beliefs. In conclusion, extremism exists in all beliefs and lead to destruction, whether it comes from Islam or not.

Thank You!

Salma

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