Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apathy Wins, God Bless America

My silly blog here is chaos. You may have noticed this. It bounces around from deeply personal and incoherent rants, to strange, cryptic entries about baseball and Steve Raible.

So for better or for worse, (and mostly for worse), this is a little vent for my streams of consciousness. It demonstrates pretty clearly, my lack of academic skill, and my complete butchery of the English language. Yet, despite all this, I continue with the exercise. Sometimes you simply have to force yourself to write down how you feel.

This is, without a doubt, very interesting times in which to be alive. In 1998 the leading news stories were about shark attacks, and blue dress that was saved as a “treasure”. Now of course, the Arctic continent is literally melting before our eyes, Mother Nature is unleashing furious storms of record size and devastation, our stock market is collapsing and people are losing their homes to foreclosure. The media reflects all these events by reporting about lipstick, a Tina Fey skit on Saturday Night Live and a new OJ Simpson trial.

Sport in America has hit a new low, which considering the seedy, corrupt and criminal history of Sports in America, hitting a new low is really something. The NFL was caught red-handed helping specific franchises succeed, and had their “union leader” in their hip pocket for the past twenty years, in the worst case of management/union collusion I’ve ever seen. You wouldn’t know any of this from the ratings, most Americans care more about whether their fantasy football team won last week.

Companies that speculated with high-risk loans, then covered up their asset to debt ratio in their books, collapsed, and a government that has preached “free enterprise” for eight years wasted no time in bailing them out. We’re now meant to believe, that a company that got itself into trouble by borrowing too much, needs yet another loan, this one financed by taxpayers. I haven’t had a tax reduction in eight years, but my basic cost of living has raised 10% in the last year alone and I have the receipts to prove it.

I guess I should be outraged by all this. I guess, the “genius” of the times we live in, is that somehow I am not outraged. I’m too damn complacent and comfortable with my refrigerator full of snacks, my big-screen television and my vast array of video games to entertain myself with. I should be motivated to some kind of political activism, but I’m too bloated, too lazy and most of all too cynical and apathetic to want to participate. These statements probably “outrage” a lot of people, but to be honest, I feel utterly powerless, and most organizations out there designed to “do something about it”, irritate me. They seem designed to exclude people like me. The poorly-educated, middle-class consumer of video games, television and sporting events, isn’t the kind of recruitment they are looking for. I don’t cut the mustard for their private club of outrage and rallying.

I could join a blogger community, and coalesce into an online gang, that thumps any thought that deviates from the collective. I could be a “KOS Klone”, and go around urging forum Admins to delete anything on that doesn’t shoehorn into their gang’s little game of “mock every American that doesn’t think like we do”. I could pat myself on the back for joining their clan, and pretend that cheerleading shamelessly for one party over the other 24-hours a day, equates to true activism. I could listen to Rush Limbaugh I guess, but that little posse hasn’t accepted an audience like me in decades. Indeed, I think as an immigrant atheist with gay parents, I am probably the poster child for the kind of Americans “ditto heads” love to loathe.

I could seek an independent clan of voters and community, but I am not convinced there is such a thing, and if there was, probably was so flat, that it would come across as very “Joe Clark”. That obscure reference to an ex-Prime Minister of Canada, basically means, it would be intelligent, and probably even have positive ideas, but would be so grey and dull in its delivery, it would feel more like medicine than nutrition. People much-prefer leaders that do pirouettes behind British royalty, but then impose fascist wage freeze laws, that destroy your chance of promotion in the workplace, or even declare martial law, in an act that makes the “Patriot” Act look look timid in comparison. The bottom line is: fascism always wins if it is delivered with a little style.

So, I have chosen to just wallow in apathy and write a chaotic blog of my thoughts instead.

I wrote earlier that I have chosen to support Barack Obama in my first presidential election. This choice is solidified with the choice of Sarah Palin, who represents the same Neo Conservative philosophy that I feel has led this country astray in the last eight years. In fact, I really hate to use the word “conservative” to describe this group of voters. This is an insult to true conservatives, who value freedom and controlled spending, more than religious zealously and corporate bail-out.

What I haven’t written before is I think Barack Obama will lose, especially now that Palin is on the ticket. In fact, I predict here and now that I think Barack Obama will now lose pretty handily. The election has reduced itself to another cultural war (by design), and this is a battle Neo-Cons win, because they can claim the higher ground before the debate has even begun. Once the bible becomes the central reason for a politician’s appeal over the other, all the facts, and stock market collapse will not matter. I think at this stage, Obama can kiss Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida good-bye.

My only hope is, if we must suffer through another Republican presidency, that the result is at least definitive. If it comes down to a box full of proxy-votes, or if some hidden cache of votes from overseas is found to claim a key state, then America truly is deep trouble. This is a nation already radicalized on both sides of the spectrum, and if those divisions fester and if the nation becomes even more polarized, it will become increasingly dysfunctional in its government.

To be honest, I’d much prefer it if Palin or McCain had some kind of “youtube moment”, a-la Bob Dole falling off the stage, or Gerald Ford stumbling over himself as he gets off an airplane. Something the fast-food media can repeat endlessly, to guffaws and laughter of the voting public and this somehow miraculously wins the election for Obama. I don’t think Obama has any chance of winning it based on a debate on the facts and issues. We live in a world, where such a debate does not entertain us, and therefore we pay no attention to it.

This is why, I find my apathy growing to new heights, and thankfully this consumerism-society offers me all kinds of distraction in which to indulge that apathy. I’ll still vote, but will walk home from the polls convinced the vote didn’t do a damn bit of good.

Feel free to loathe me, because I’ve given up on the democratic process; just remember I can see Mount Rainier from my house, which must mean I’m an expert on Geology. Of course what is there to know, other than God made all mountains, attempting to move any mountain, would seem to violate some kind of divine decree wouldn’t it? I’ll sit at home and play Spore instead.

No comments:

Post a Comment