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The American Caliban

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I just lost my sense of humor about American politics. [Sep. 13th, 2009|01:19 am]
The American Caliban
[Current Location |It can't happen here]
[Current Mood |blank]

Hired mobs yelling. Incoherent demagogues. Race hate. Incitements to political violence by broadcasters. Guns brought to political rallies. The worst values pushed by the worst people who have control of media empires.

It feels like a slow rolling coup. I'm nauseated, and I can't deal. My neighbors are spouting deranged propaganda. The broadcast media is filling up with McCarthy clones and bullies. There's so much money behind this garbage, from unfunny people who are serious about derailing even the smallest bit of social change.

I used to say that I had confidence in the American people that we would always return to a safer, blander, less crazy vision than the one we might fear. I don't believe that now. Things don't look very good to me.

Current mood: somewhere between "this fucking sucks" and "stockpile ammo."

[User Picture]From: jamie_miller
2009-09-13 12:43 pm (UTC)
Do you get the sense that it's worse now than it was during the Clinton years?
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[User Picture]From: leolo
2009-09-13 02:57 pm (UTC)
I'm reminded of Jello Biafra's rant about the bloodless coup, back in the late 80s.
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[User Picture]From: flipzagging
2009-09-13 03:04 pm (UTC)

Nolite bastardi carborundum

Hey. America elected the black guy president, remember?

Things have been uglier before. I'll take a rump of crazies over, say, the civil rights race riots of the the 1960s.

These people have been here forever. It's just that they're driven completely nuts that a black man is running the country and is trying for yes, even a smidgen of social change. Surely that's a better thing than if we had had, I don't know, a Joe Lieberman or some other representative of the Washington consensus in the White House. Barack Obama may not be a radical person, but he is some sort of threat to established interests.

You wouldn't see people out in the streets if there wasn't a threat of actual change.

But you live in the heart of Mordor, so I sympathize.
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[User Picture]From: eris_devotee
2009-09-13 09:20 pm (UTC)
My former mother-in-law (aka my daughter's paternal grandmother) is an elected (local) republican politician in a posh suburb... the same suburb that recently made national news about having the largest draw for the tea party tour bus (10k+). So I happen to know *for certain* that the local republicans were calling it the "I hate Obama" rally.

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[User Picture]From: jactitation
2009-09-13 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think you're in the heart of the worst of it. Me, I never see any of what you describe here. Never. (Um, I don't have a TV right now.) I know moving isn't really an option, but perhaps the fantasy of moving would temper some of the reality of what surrounds you?
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[User Picture]From: mcpino
2009-09-13 10:57 pm (UTC)
Please remember that if / when it gets to "stockpile ammo," I'm on your side.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-09-14 03:50 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's perfect coverage for every kind of bullshit: the continuing war, the financial crap, the impossibility of real change in health care.

We need change and we've got pro wrestling. It's making me crazy.
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[User Picture]From: srl
2009-09-14 03:12 pm (UTC)
And the gay bar raids have ramped up again, too.
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[User Picture]From: satoribee
2009-09-14 10:02 pm (UTC)
just remember that the squeaky wheels think they are going to get the grease, but all they are getting is the 75% of the rest of us pissed off.
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[User Picture]From: taskboy3000
2009-09-15 12:16 am (UTC)
It's my firm (and perhaps fevered) hope that what we're seeing is the death cries of a privileged class of people who have never seen the barrel end of our economic system. These poor white folks are experiencing futureshock and it's blowing their minds. It will get uglier before it gets better.

But note that the outrage is from the middle-aged and elderly. Those folks don't foment revolution, so don't sweat it too much. Don't let yourself get punked by astroturfing or other forms of trolling.

I believe that the forces of progress can only be delayed, not stopped.
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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2009-09-22 09:47 am (UTC)

These poor white folks

The feeling of it all is very familiarly Southern.  And their death cries defeat death, and last forever, and poverty only feeds it.  (To stray just a bit geographically: The permanent jaw-dropping poverty of Appalachia never, as far as I know, caused an upwelling of class consciousness.)

The Civil War was a massive mistake; the South got the job of being America's Jungian shadow; and there are no do-overs.

Or rather, there are just over and over and overs.

* * *

If memory serves: Maggie Heineman, a great leader in PFLAG, once told of how she (I hope I'm not thinking of someone else), in church, got to hear the Religion Man go on and on, for about a decade, about Those Coloreds.  And then she got to hear the Religion Man go on and on, for about a decade, about Those Women's Libbers.  And then she (writing in 1994) was getting an earful of the Religion Man go on and on about Those Homosexuals,... and that this looked like it was going to continue for at least a decade— and she wrote that this was making her just so... tired.

In her position, somewhere in the first decade, I would just have been tired, and probably figured "okay, this will blow over, and then it's back to: let's be nice to poor people, etc.". 

But as things round into me figuring "all I can remember for most of my adult life is this, this, and things just like this", then that is the point where I hope I could push through the fatigue, and work back to what must have been my first instinct, or at least a primal one: I'll take this Religion Place, and burn it, burn it to the GROUND!  And if the Religion Man dies, basting in his own fat, gimme a plus-one bonus!

Reparations.  Start now and avoid the rush later.

* * *

And as always, as aaaaaaalways in life: triple points if you make it look like an accident.

As to whether the progress can only be delayed but not stopped,... I have had, for years, a half-formulated metaphor in my mind, something of a response to Mama Cass: they're stealing my money and blood and sanity and life, and have been for all my time on this Sargasso of a planet– but I suppose they will have to eventually taper off of me out of sheer boredom, or "diminishing returns", or maybe a speck of bad PR... oh, well, okay, Mama Cass, maybe that does constitute a new day coming, just around the bend.

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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2009-09-22 10:05 am (UTC)


"My neighbors are spouting deranged propaganda."

It's okay, mine are just spouting vomit.

Fourteen bars in this town.

This is the city council.

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