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Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:00 AM

Amanda Marcotte: Rush Limbaugh captivated dads like mine and created America's modern fascist aesthe


Rush Limbaugh captivated dads like mine and created America's modern fascist aesthetic
Limbaugh co-opted rock-and-roll to sell authoritarianism

By AMANDA MARCOTTE
FEBRUARY 18, 2021 6:09PM


(Salon) To explain the rise of Rush Limbaugh, who died on Wednesday at age 70, in the early 90s, it helps to understand that, in large parts of America at least, he read as a not your grandfather's buttoned-up Republicanism. He wasn't cool, exactly, but he appealed to middle-aged Boomers who were still coasting on their image as the generation of Woodstock and "Animal House." His bumper music was a song by the Pretenders, a bona fide punk band. He often did comedy skits and spoke in the mellifluous tones of an FM radio DJ. He used rock music and humor to package vicious racism, homophobia and misogyny as a rollicking good time.

It was total bullshit, but it was effective bullshit.

My dad liked Rush Limbaugh. My dad also liked Led Zeppelin, knew how to play the guitar, and read Tom Robbins novels. Like many Gen Xers in the early 90s, I had my own tastes and views, but still thought of the Boomers as the rock-and-roll generation. Even conservative Boomers, I thought, were more "libertarian" and nothing like those Bible-waving record-burners from the 1950s we had heard so much about.

So I'll never forget the day that I heard Limbaugh call Kurt Cobain "a worthless shred of human debris" after the lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana died by suicide. I was 16 years old and, like a large chunk of people my age, Nirvana was one of my favorite bands. I had already cried my eyes out, in that way only a teenager can, over Cobain's death, but hearing Limbaugh say these vile words while my dad listened brought the grief and rage crashing back over me. And It caused an ugly fight between me and my father.

I couldn't understand how the man who brought me up to love music so much ó who raised me on Santana, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John, and who bought me my first record player when I was 7 years old ó could listen to this man tear down a musical idol as important to my generation as Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin was to his. His reply? I got lectured about how I shouldn't look up to rock stars, or take any of this music stuff so seriously. ..........(more)

https://www.salon.com/2021/02/18/rush-limbaugh-captivated-dads-like-mine-and-created-the-modern-american-fascist-aesthetic/




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Reply Amanda Marcotte: Rush Limbaugh captivated dads like mine and created America's modern fascist aesthe (Original post)
marmar Feb 19 OP
LakeArenal Feb 19 #1
katmondoo Feb 19 #8
LakeArenal Feb 19 #10
mrs_p Feb 19 #2
sop Feb 19 #3
MomInTheCrowd Feb 19 #4
MomInTheCrowd Feb 19 #5
mrs_p Feb 19 #6
Siwsan Feb 19 #7
mrs_p Feb 19 #9
Siwsan Feb 19 #11
peggysue2 Feb 19 #12

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:05 AM

1. Rush was directly responsible for ruining my parents.

They both listened to every night as they fell asleep. Totally brainwashed and ruined.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:01 AM

8. He ruined my son.

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:06 AM

10. That's a shame. My folks passed years ago.

Your son has a lifetime.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:15 AM

2. Wasn't raised by my dad

But did try to have a relationship with him in my late teens/early twenties (1990s). Whenever I visited him, though, this vile racist was on the radio or Fox was on the TV. Every day, all day. Made me realize I had nothing in common with my father. It didnít help that my dad was also a pathological liar, a drunk, and abusive. I eventually walked away from the relationship completely. But I can never stop associating Limbaugh and Fox with him.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:26 AM

3. "The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you've

ever wished for." Rush Limbaugh, that silver-tongued devil who described himself as a "harmless, lovable little fuzz ball" with "talent on loan from God," was an extremely effective rightwing propagandist. He hoodwinked a lot of people.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:37 AM

4. His Vileness destroyed my family. Saturated rural America with hate.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:38 AM

5. We must fill this gigantic void in the airwaves

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:40 AM

6. I just read the whole article.

Thanks for posting this. Iím curious how many of us gen xíers have a similar experience. A permanent rift with our boomer parents and their generation due to this man.

ETA. My mom, also a baby boomer, is the complete opposite of my father and the person who instilled progressive values and a thirst for justice. Obviously, like all generations, there are many views. But Limbaugh was if their generation and so is Trump. I think I get to claim Cruz.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:43 AM

7. Lucianne Goldberg, Fox 'News' and Rush Limbaugh made conversations with my mom difficult

Her only contact with the internet came through the old 'Web TV' system, which is how she found Lucianne. I came to realize that hooking her up with that system was one of the biggest mistakes we ever made. Well, that and getting her cable TV. When she started watching Fox, things just started to spiral.

And she loved listening to Limbaugh and Michael Savage.

Conversations venturing beyond anything superficial or directly related to the family would inevitably end in a bad, bad way. I guess the only benefit that came from those conversations is that I learned what she really thought of what passes for my 'intellect'. And it wasn't flattering. The only benefit to her developing Alzheimer's is, she stopped watching and listening to that garbage. During some of her last lucid moments, we actually saw the mother we knew as we were growing up return for a brief time.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:03 AM

9. That is so sad.

Iím sorry you lost your mother this way. Bittersweet how Alzheimerís affected your relationship.

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Response to mrs_p (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:13 AM

11. And strangely, I was the only member of the family she never forgot.

Everyone else she called by the wrong name, or just flat out failed to recognize, but she always knew who I was, right up until the end. Well, me and Barack Obama - she didn't remember his name, but she knew he was the 'black guy with a funny name that she didn't vote for.' That was her answer to the neurologist when she asked her if she knew who was president. That was November of 2014. She died in February of 2015.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:35 AM

12. Limbaugh hooked my mother in her twilight years

And I could not have a decent conversation with her after the Limbaugh effect. Not anything involving politics or headlines or social movements. It twisted her mind and emotions, so that she was angry and bitter and ready for a fight over any stray comment. I think Limbaugh tapped into her resentment over aging and not feeling well. Though my mother had a hair-trigger temper, Limbaugh gave her an outlet for the anger, an excuse to blame everyone else for anything, everything. If I tried taking exception to something he'd said, she would lash out, call me a communist. Which makes me laugh now.

But at the time? It frustrated me no end.

The Rush Limbaugh years were a total disaster. Wonder how many families had similar experiences with the Dittoheads? A precursor to the Trump years.

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