"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 1 March 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Separation Anxiety



It's everywhere, threatening at

all times to "infect"

right-thinking Americans who

drop their guard even for a

moment. "Virtually invisible to

the noncommunist eye, unhampered

by time, distance, and legality,

this Bolshevik transmission is

in progress. The Communist

Party, USA, is Bolshevizing its

membership and creating

communist puppets throughout the

country.... Each day,

unfortunately, communist

thought-control nets, sweeping

through American life, catch new

supporters, maybe two or three

new members, several

sympathizers, an opportunist,

many victims." So warned J.

Edgar Hoover's 1958 masterpiece, Masters

of Deceit, a marvelously fetid

and sweaty reminder of a way of

thinking that, well, still seems

pretty familiar.


This is certain - Paul Weyrich

doesn't speak for most American

conservatives; even the high

priests of The Wall Street

Journal's editorial pages have

recently ripped the strangely

prominent right-wing activist as

a bit of a nut case. ("Those who

know Mr. Weyrich know that he

will focus on the hole in any

doughnut. But now he sees a hole

and calls it an abyss.") But

it's also quite certain that

Weyrich does still speak for a

distinct and sizable piece of

the culture; the high priests,

after all, feel compelled to

publicly weigh in on his

etiological and prescriptive



Weyrich's most recent rantings

on the American disease read

like an Ionesco play interpreted by

Allen Drury; picture Charlton

Heston running through the

streets, trying to talk sense

into dead-eyed zombies who can

only mumble the dogma of the

Comintern. (Is that ... Could it

be ... No, no! Not my own

sainted mother! Anything but

that!) "Cultural Marxism,"

Weyrich writes in an online open

letter, "is succeeding in its

war against our culture ... it

has permeated the thinking of

all but those who separated

themselves from the contemporary




With the body snatchers owning

nearly all of the neighbors,

Weyrich adds, the only thing

left for right-thinking folks to

do is to withdraw into a kind of

self-imposed internal exile - to

leave the "MTV culture" without

leaving the land mass it has

conquered. "I think we have to

look at a whole series of

possibilities for bypassing the

institutions that are controlled

by the enemy," he writes. "What

steps can we take to make sure

that we and our children are not

infected? We need some sort of



Weyrich, we should note, runs an

organization called the Free

Congress Foundation, founded

when the legislature was firmly

controlled by the cultural

Marxists of the Democratic

Party. He seems not to have

noticed that he won that one.

But that's the thing: The folks

out there on the edge of the

religious right work - have

always worked - pretty hard at

overlooking the positive signs

that the sky is firmly in place.

And they work incredibly hard to

find negative signs that suggest

impending cultural disaster.


Everyone on earth has, by now,

made ample fun of the outing of

Tinky Winky by the Jerry

Falwell-run National Liberty

Journal. But much more strange

than the somber discovery of

secret homosexual

thought-control content in a

show aimed firmly at

two-year-olds was the evidence

the conservative investigators

used in reaching their

conclusion. The Liberty Journal

cited "a recent Washington Post

editorial that cast the

character's photo opposite that

of Ellen DeGeneres in an In/Out

column. This implies that Ellen

is 'out' as the chief national

gay representative, while Tinky

Winky is the trendy 'in'



First problem: The Post piece

wasn't an editorial; it ran in

the Style section.


But never mind that. You can't

blame people for not knowing the

difference between the editorial

pages and the Style section; not

everyone is trained in the

subtle details of the

fourth estate, after all.

The way, way more overwrought

and insane thing, here, is the

humorlessly Pynchonesque notion

that the capital's newspaper of

record is a sort of homosexual

Washington POST, a bulletin

board for transmitting hidden

messages intended for members

only; the National Liberty

Journal thinks it intercepted an

encoded enemy communiqué.

Flash: General DeGeneres

appointed national chief! Tinky

Winky to head infiltration

mechanism! Listen to the State

of the Union address for




Again, this is awfully familiar.

"The communists realize they are

not welcome in American

society," Masters of Deceit

warns. "Party influence is

transmitted, time after time, by

a belt of concealed members,

sympathizers, and dupes. Fronts

become transmission belts

between the party and the

noncommunist world." No

question: J. Edgar Hoover would

understand all too well what the

Teletubbies are up to. (And he

would also, we know now, be

strangely stimulated by

Weyrich's references to "a hardy

band of monks" living apart from

the rest of the culture.)


The easy shot is to blame the

recent iterations of far-right

paranoia on the sense of

impotent frustration among

conservatives who can't believe

Bill Clinton got away with

his she-didn't-inhale evasions,

escaping to the other side of

the impeachment gantlet without

being killed. But there's a

continuum between Hoover and

Weyrich, a consistent belief in



of-water? theory. And Falwell

himself serves as a good



Back in 1980 - the dawn, of

course, of the far-left Reagan

era - Falwell warned that his

country was about to collapse

into an amoral heap. In the

book, Listen, America, which

features a finger-wagging cover

photo of the author, Falwell

warns of the real media agenda.

The so-called news media, he

explained, is conspiring

diligently to hide an epidemic

of shame-induced homosexual

suicides, while daytime

television plants secret

mind-control messages that force

women to participate helplessly

in extramarital sex. And the

United Nations-sponsored "Year

of the Child"? Don't get him




"Homosexuality," Falwell also

helpfully tells us, "is Satan's

diabolical attack upon the

family, God's order in

creation." Or maybe vice versa,

as he explains on the same page

what actually causes diabolical

Satan-infected family attackers

to turn queer: "As male

leadership in the family falters

and as female leadership takes

over out of desperation, young

people will gain their sense of

security from their mother

rather than from their father."

And this is back before the

Teletubbies, when innocent kids

still had a chance.


The fear running through all of

this hand wringing about

"fronts" and "transmission,"

aside from being basically

insane, is also deeply American

- the cheese slice on our

cultural hamburger. But it's

distinctly strange to hear

voices warning about "infection"

and sounding the alarm for

quarantine from the political

sector that also brought us

personal responsibility as the

only cure for what ails us. If

moral sickness (and we'll let

'em have their definition of

moral illness, for a moment,

just for the sake of argument)

can easily seep into you through

the products of the culture - if

amorality can be picked up from

toilet seats in public restrooms

- how can you possibly be blamed

for getting sick?


Paul Weyrich believes that "all

but those who have separated

themselves from the contemporary

culture" have come down with a

bad case of cultural Marxism.

The reality is that those who

have separated themselves from

that culture have just ended up

too far away to see what's

really going on inside of it.

And it's a shame: We're having a

perfectly fine time here.


But of course, that might just

be something we picked up from


courtesy of Ambrose Beers


[Purchase the Suck Book here]