Prolonged exposure to high dosages of realization of the bleakness of Deep South politics is Alabama’s leading cause of hopelessness, overwhelming disaffection with the state and its people, and the terminal condition Goofy Liberal Yellowdog Nutjob Netcrank Disorder, colloquially known as “Glynn.”
Do not fall prey to Glynn or any of the other dangerous, related disorders. As a public service, Reran Tragedy has assembled this helpful guide to gauging where you fall on the Alabama political bleakness awareness scale.
Please realize that those such as Artur Davis who are able to apparently function as mildly respected human beings despite being driven nuts by the bleakness of the state’s intractable political dysfunction are the exception, not the rule. Those who score in the higher ranges on this scale are at high risk of succumbing to their disorders and starting a LinkedIn account to yell at random Republicans. They are advised to leave the state immediately for a place where expectations and affections for professionalism, competence and social sanity are realities in government and politics. Or better yet, they should calm down and be swept up in the stream of excrement that fertilizes our great state’s vibrant political scene.
Those who score lower on the scale are urged to return to it periodically to see if any of the symptoms described fit them as they realize that the chances of the state ever getting better are nonexistent.
Level One: Low Bleakness Awareness
As you are not a low-functioning canine or resident of the city of Madison, you have some sense that things are very wrong in Alabama, but you believe these nice white people for whom you vote every November are going to fix it provided they magically keep the [blacks/Mexicans/purple leprechauns/probably Filipinos next] away from your [job/home/neighborhood/daughter/wife/favorite Walmart or Target "if you're fancy"], don’t make you “pay no more taxes that what ain’t going to benefit you no way” despite your frequent use of government services, and do not horrify you by not meeting the state standards for American flags, hunting and churches in their political ads. You have not realized that you have been voting for the same assholes for the past hundred years and that the Republicans in charge now are cut from the same political aristocracy that gave us the corrupt Democrats who preceded our new GOP supergroup. You really wish those politicians would give them patriots on talk radio a listen and do what they say. You care a lot about abortion for some reason.
Most Alabama voters apparently fall into this category.
Level Two: Low-Level Bleakness Acknowledgement and Suppression
Some bleakness acknowledgement is expected, especially for those who have no other choice but to see it because of the realities of their place in the state’s society. In short, these sufferers exist here because they must as a function of the political system, and they have softened the blow by clinging to whatever dirtheap the system affords them as if it is worth something. As long as they are able to cling to do so, aspirations of seeing something better in their lifetimes will not drive them mad.
How do you know if you are a Level Two sufferer? Perhaps you are a black voter. Perhaps you are someone who is revered by black voters and for some reason has a quite a bit of hubris about your gallant work in living in Selma and getting Alabama politicians to look at black people, nod for a moment and move on to doing what they were going to do anyway. Perhaps you are in charge of the Alabama Democratic Party. Perhaps you are proprietors of an embarrassing website that probably does more to hurt liberal causes in Alabama than help them. Perhaps you embrace the color and liveliness of the political scene because it is your coping mechanism for reporting on the crippling dysfunction of Alabama politics.
Intermittent realizations of bleakness for these sufferers are healthy and normal, provided they do not try to do anything more meaningful than be noise drowned out by the soul-crushing reality of the state’s politics.
Level Three: Bleakness Command
Truly the most able and fit of Alabama political bleakness sufferers, many of those in the Bleakness Command class make up Alabama’s permanent political aristocracy.
After their induction to the ruling class, they are taught how to manage their acknowledgement by putting self, ego and friends over the innate knowledge that they are merely the latest forgettable human fallacies that have tore up the road to mediocrity and rancid disappointment that we call a state. In fact, they are able to harness the power of Alabama political bleakness each election year to get Level One sufferers to buy the same tools that they used to break the state.
In recent years, leading Level Three sufferers have ably converted themselves from Democrats to the new Republican operating system based on national relocation of the Jesus, racism, no-taxes and paranoia with which Level Three sufferers have regularly dosed Level One sufferers to thrive. They have also smartly reduced efforts to pay back political support through government projects and jobs and replaced that treatment with tax credits and subsidies for their supporters because the latter is much more politically palatable to Level One sufferers at the moment.
Level Four: Dangerous Levels of Caring About Things and Even Attempting to Do Something
Level Four sufferers live at the precipice of complete mental breakdown on a daily basis. Those suffering from the symptoms detailed in the following are urged to leave the state, sell out to drop to a Level Three sufferer or reduce their expectations of the state to save their sanity.
Those who have some sort of realization of a world outside of the often insular cocoon of Alabama face the greatest likelihood of being Level Four sufferers. They realize, perhaps because they emigrated here or because they spent some time outside the state before returning to their home, that there is no reason beyond mere stupidity and selfishness that Alabama cannot be a functional place capable of solving the problems made known to it for decades without federal intervention or embarrassing feet-dragging. They likely have spoken out as such—perhaps even been the subject of the wrath of lower-level bleakness sufferers for “not joining our team” (Level Three), “being unfairly critical” (Level Two) or “the liberal abortion tax married gay” (Level One). Or more likely, they could just be ignored entirely, forced to stew in their desire for basic competence, decency and empathy until it becomes something bitter and disgusting.
The Level Four sufferers in most danger of giving way to the pointless rambling of disorders such as Glynn and Artur Davis are those who have come to realize that Alabama politics, despite its insularity and otherworldliness, actually matters nationally because Alabama is the nation’s example of what happens when American-style society and government completely and utterly fail in the worst way possible. They realize that the deeper that hole in the floor gets, the lower the depths the American way of life could fall.
Their best course is likely to leave, as there will never be enough dirt or enough hands to fill the hole that is Alabama. Continuing to stay here will age them into the unintelligible throes of Glynn and related crank disorders.
Level Five: Crazed Ranting Crank
THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS IS A FIERY PUBLICATION THAT WAFFLES I WANT WAFFLES IS LISTENING TO ME READ SO THEY CAN TELL THE REPUBLICANS ABOUT HOW TO KILL ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE BY RAPING UNIONS AND WHY DON’T YOU PAY ATTENTION TO MY AWESOMENESS AND INVENTION MORE I WAS HERE BEFORE YOU AND I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION AND WHY WON’T THE DEMOCRATS LIKE ME I’M BLACK AND I WENT TO HARVARD AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I LOST THE BLACK VOTE AND THE DEMOCRATS WERE OUR ONLY HOPE AND THEY LIED AND WELL BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK YELLOW TELEPHONE VIAGRA PILLS IN THE SUPREME COURT’S COFFEE THE LAW IS OUT TO GET YOU AND THEY WILL NEVER HELP YOU AND WHAT’S THE POINT OF ALL THIS WAFFLE WAFFLE PECAN WAFFLE SCATTER SMOTHER COVERED TOPPED AND DEAD.
Reran Tragedy is Weld’s satirical blog about politics and life in Alabama and the South. Much of what you will read here is fictionalized, except for all the parts that are unfortunately true because they are about politics and life in Alabama and the South. You can like this blog on Facebook.
The artist known as Cal Alabaster Jr., if that is his or her real name, may or may not also be the author of the Alabama humor blog called “King Cockfight.” If true, you may read Cal’s work there at kingcockfight.wordpress.com. You can also follow Cal on Twitter @KingCockfight or email Cal at email@example.com.