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Chindogu Politics

I have finally figured out what to call the underlying philosophy/stragety of the BushCo/CheneyCo/RoveInc regime: Chindogu Politics. From the story (Springfield IL State Journal-Register) linked above:

Chindogu (chin-DO-gu) is a Japanese word meaning "weird" or "unusual." The term was coined by Japanese comedian Kenji Kawakami, a gadget guru now known for his Chindogu inventions, which are almost completely useless. Kawakami calls then "unuseless.''

Such inventions are designed to be neither useful, political, patented or for sale. Recent Chindogu inventions include such items as a double-headed toothbrush, solar-powered flashlight and rotating spaghetti fork.

Much is explained once you figure this out. The War on Women? War on Brown People? Most especially this "Let's Nuke Iran!" nonsense of late? It's all chindogu. It isn't policy, it's art. Intended for no purpose but to look like it's exciting and meaningful and important but really just a bit of the art of distraction.

Oh, and note that chindogu objects are not supposed to have any political or propaganda purposes. Or else you lose your "chindogu purity." Oops. Gee what a shock.

Here’s another example, from Josh Marshall's observation on the “Nuke Iran” article:

Like many Hersh articles, it was studded with many glowing quotes and very few names attached to them. But I have to say that in the actual reading I found the article a good deal more alarming than the advance billing suggested.

Perhaps Hersh is totally out to lunch on this issue and talked to all the wrong people. But given the subject matter and the sort of sources he cultivates, I doubt that. And if he's anywhere near right about his portrayal of the current thinking inside the Bush White House we're in a lot of trouble.

President Bush's dimwit megalomania seems to have survived the disaster of his Iraq adventure wholly intact.

But his final graf suggests that Josh has grasped the essence of Chindoku Politics without ever having heard the term:

But for the moment I'd refer back to a point I made a couple weeks ago and say that the biggest folly would be to engage the administration on the particulars of their fantasies and delusions about foreign policy in the Middle East.

They appear to have learned almost nothing from the last three years in Iraq. The only sensible expenditure of energy is to find ways to hem these guys in or constrain them before they do even more damage to this country.

What other examples of chindogu politics, or for that matter media, have you seen lately? Missing White Women is of course the quintessential example of the latter, but others can be thought of once you absorb the chindogu framing. Give us your thoughts.

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