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A great sticky roiling tsunami of bland

Have y’all ever heard of the Great Molasses Disaster of 1919? On January 15, 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts a two-and-a-half million gallon tank of of crude molasses fifty feet above street level went bust, sending a 15-foot wall of goo down Commercial Street at 35 miles an hour. It utterly fucking flattened everything it passed over. Twenty-one dead, 150 wounded.

It’s true. It’s famous in Boston engineering circles. They’ve never really worked out what went wrong. (I’ll link to the story on this lady’s blog. She seems like a nice lady).

It came to mind because I’ve been browsing the Coffee Party USA‘s website tonight, and paddling around in their forums.

The Coffee Party — as I’m sure you know but I have to tell posterity — is the Obamanauts’ answer to the Tea Party movement. They’re trying to recapture the vague but thrilling sense of promise they got from the One’s candidacy, by letting loose a tsunami of meaningless rhetorical butterscotch. From their About Us page:

No lobbyists here. No pundits. And no hyper-partisan strategists calling the shots in this movement. We are a spontaneous and collective expression of our desire to forge a culture of civic engagement that is solution-oriented, not blame-oriented.


We want a society in which democracy is treated as sacrosanct and ordinary citizens participate out of a sense of civic duty, civic pride, and a desire to contribute to society. The Coffee Party is a call to action. Our Founding Fathers and Mothers gave us an enduring gift — Democracy — and we must use it to meet the challenges that we face as a nation.

They hope to revive Obama’s campaign promise of relentless niceness and post-partisan happy-clappy nothingness, and it’s failing beautifully. Hopenchange is like The Blair Witch Project — a brilliant gimmick, but only works once.

But it’s high-larious to watch them try (especially the rank-and-file lefties in the forums, who aren’t very good at the new vanilla-speak). It isn’t easy to talk about substantial issues without ever saying anything substantial, revealing a political bias, proposing a solution, getting passionate or sending out any negative vibes, man. In fact, it isn’t possible.

Go — watch them try!


Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 5, 2010, 10:59 pm

Aw, man, they’re making me register.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2010, 11:01 pm

I didn’t have to register. But that may explain why I could only see one message at a time, not a whole threaded discussion.

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 5, 2010, 11:41 pm

Yeah, that’s what I’m finding. Dare I? Looks like there are plenty of pot stirrers.

Comment from Sigivald
Time: March 5, 2010, 11:43 pm

No lobbyists here.

Well, yeah, except their founder. But apart from that!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2010, 11:44 pm

Well, I registered. And yes, that’s how you get threaded access.

I don’t think I have the energy to go trolling, but it’s fun to read. I didn’t make an account using my regular password, though!

Comment from weirdsister
Time: March 6, 2010, 12:40 am

Me, I’m all about the Cocoa Party (I just love your ticked off marshmallows!). I would like a Dirty Martini Party even better.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: March 6, 2010, 1:04 am

Well, considering that Moonshine can now be legally purchased in the United States from select producers, I say we start a Shiners party….. 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2010, 1:06 am

Heh. I used to make moonshine as Christmas gifts, from an old fambly recipe.

Comment from harbqll
Time: March 6, 2010, 1:51 am

I may have mentioned before that I went back to school at 39, which means most of the day I spend surrounded by classmates in the 22-25 age range. Some of them have their heads screwed on pretty well, but there’s some that are definately “heads full of mush”, as Rush would say. Anyway, I overheard a couple of them the other day, talking about this Coffee Party bullshit.

My reply was something alongs the lines of ‘Hey, idiots. You can’t have control of the White House, both houses of Congress, and 90% of the media, AND be the Outsider-Rebels-Speaking-Truth-To-Power-And-Standing-Up-To-The-Man at the same time. And by rebelling against the actual rebels, all you’re really doing is forming the 21st Century version of the SS.’

I saw a couple gears turn, but the only verbal response was the usual “Bush’s fault/racist” parrotspeak. Which is pretty much what I’m used to running into with that crowd.

Everyone in a while, I see one of them actually thinking about something I’ve said, though. So, it’s baby-steps. Some of them grow out of it. I did.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: March 6, 2010, 3:04 am

Founding mothers? I like Dolley Madison and all, but…

Comment from iamfelix
Time: March 6, 2010, 3:06 am

Stoaty – ever read this book? I thought it was fascinating. There are some really cheap used copies @Amazon.

(Boring) personal side note: I heard the phrase “slower than molasses in January” from my mother, pretty much every morning of my school life (directed at me, of course).

Totally unrelated side note: I’ve had this stuck in my head since I watched it last night. What I find best of all is that this particular version was part of a Christmas show in 1984. Would that still fly today?

Comment from Lipstick
Time: March 6, 2010, 3:52 am

Oh, NOW they’re for solutions (i.e., do it their way)and not being “blame-oriented”?

This is a pathetic copy-cat attempt and an acknowledgment that the Tea Party movement is achieving success.

Comment from Allen
Time: March 6, 2010, 7:43 am

The new “I’d like to buy the world a Coke,” movement. I just feel so uplifted, happy, and gosh darn it, supercalifragilistic.

Good grief these people are pathetic. My bet though is none of them has a lick of worries about money.

Comment from Shifty1
Time: March 6, 2010, 12:05 pm

Dolley Madison….ZINGERS!!!! YUM!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 6, 2010, 3:30 pm

Yeah, Mrs. Peel, that “Founding Fathers and Mothers” tweaked me, too. Smacks of social promotion; when everyone is special, no one is special.

Which is, of course, the point.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: March 6, 2010, 3:52 pm

Scuba: Back in the Pleistocene era, I worked down in Georgia as an oiler on a specialized drill rig (8-inch hole drilled down to an existing tunnel; 6-foot to 10-foot drill head pulled back up; last 20 feet or so blasted out—all to make either a ventilation or elevator shaft). It was seven-twelves (12 hours a day, seven days a week) and I was making crazy money in overtime/doubletime (I’ve been poor, and I’ve been rich, but I’ve never been so rich as I was then; when you run into the limits of your imagination trying to figure out ways to spend your money, that’s rich).

Anyway, the oiler on the day shift was a local, and on a rare down day, both night and day crews (all four of us) jumped in a car and headed off into the hills where the day oiler assured us we could get authentic shine; the last ten miles or so was on various progressively nastier dirt trails. We finally arrived at a house with the usual central casting Southerners scattered about it, and we waited in the car while the day oiler went in to assure them we weren’t shallow-grave candidates.

He was successful, I guess, and they agreed to sell us some moonshine. It was colorless, virtually odorless, and sold in gallon plastic jugs for (IIRC) $5 a gallon. We bought four gallons.

I don’t remember much after that.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: March 6, 2010, 5:34 pm

I work in public education in California…I don’t need to go into the sewer any more than absolutely necessary. But I’ll enjoy any tidbits (or as they used to say over in merry ol’ England before Victorian prudishness took hold, titbit) y’all toss my way!

Comment from Nieta
Time: March 6, 2010, 5:47 pm

Yes, I saw on one of those facebook feeds that certain friends of mine became fans of Coffee Party so I went on over and took a gander and I read their purpose statement and I instantly thought, oh how nice, they’re going to change the world and make it all pretty with ribbons and rainbows and flowers and dancing unicorns while drinking coffee and talking about it. Bless.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 6, 2010, 6:20 pm

Not a lot going on, Nina. Most of the messages are along the lines of, “so, do we actually believe in anything, orrrrr…?”

Every once in a while, somebody pops up and suggests they ought to do something, and everybody else goes, “shhh! Shhh!”

It’s pretty funny.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: March 6, 2010, 6:46 pm

Nieta and I were at the huge tea party in Sacramento last tax day, which was what? A couple of months after the first mention of it? There were THOUSANDS of fed up people there. So lets see where the “coffee” party is in two months.

Okay, okay, enough stalling. I must go in to work and make copies. Wish me luck!

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: March 7, 2010, 1:50 am

I went and registered and looked around the forums for a few minutes but I got bored. This is just another feeble attempt to turn the internet into a nice, bland place where everyone is afraid to say anything interesting lest they offend someone. We all know how well those efforts always pan out. Maybe I’ll save the website for those nights when I have trouble sleeping — I was using The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but I started to actually get into the story despite the coma-inducing overwrought prose. No fear of that from the (Decaf) Coffee Party.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: March 7, 2010, 2:29 am

The new “I’d like to buy the world a Coke,” movement. I just feel so uplifted, happy, and gosh darn it, supercalifragilistic.

That made me LOL. Great analogy. If the Republican leadership had brains larger than walnuts, they could dig up SOO much stock footage of the 60’s and 70’s and put it to mockingly good use in ads for the next few years. “Some of us grew up…some didn’t”

You could sum up the entire Democrat platform with that old Coke ad. Just replace ‘Coke’ with social welfare programs.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: March 7, 2010, 5:27 am

Personally, I think we should just call them the Kopi Luak party…..

Comment from Allen
Time: March 8, 2010, 12:15 am

I have a possible explanation for the tank going kerfluie. Yes, kerfluie is a technical term. OK the molasses was being stored at a distillery where lots of yeast will be present in the air. The yeast has been introduced to the molasses through contact with air. But yeast is quite dormant at low temperatures. As the temperature rises dramatically, the yeast growth takes off. A whole lot of carbon dioxide is suddenly produced which ‘splodes the tank.

Kerfluie, molasses running through the streets.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: March 8, 2010, 3:18 am

Oh Lordy, here we go again with the blaming of things on carbon dioxide. I never pegged you for a molasses warmenist there Allen.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: March 8, 2010, 4:05 am

Worse, Enas. He’s blaming Yeast farts…

Comment from Allen
Time: March 8, 2010, 4:27 am

Oh contraire, yeast crap their lives out to give us jollyness. It’s a beautiful thing; Sugar+Yeast=Alcohol+CO2. Hey the Progs tried the CO2 reduction with prohibition already.

Yeast is my friend, though gassy. I’m no friend of the Frogs but they are rather better in the process of sparklies.

I admit I do a version of Asti Spumante. But, I call it Sierra Spumanti. So sue me, I’ll be in the mountains with my horses, and my wolf.

Comment from BillT
Time: March 9, 2010, 2:30 pm

Kerfluie, molasses running through the streets.

“Molasses” and “running” should never be used in the same sentence.

I might buy “oozing really, really fast,” though…

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