Three years to the day after the "official" launch of Our Great Leader's criminal misadventure in Iraq, and what are all the suburban Sacramento knuckle-draggers doing to commemorate this felonious act of aggression? Well, as far as I can see (which is, admittedly, not really very far), the car-crazed gridlock freaks and the TV-mesmerized mouth-breathers and the smiling lip-smacking swillers of tasteless pop-culture horse piss --just about everybody you meet, in other words -- are all, apparently without exception, studiously ignoring the war as they always have. The invasion/occupation of Iraq is not permitted to intrude itself too far into the always shallow and polluted Sacramento Valley consciousness stream; in fact, indifference and smug disdain for nearly everything above and beyond, say, American Idol or professional sports are practically badges of honor around these parts. So it isn't particularly surprising that the US taxpayer-funded, NeoCon-led destruction of a hapless oil-rich country hardly excites the tiniest ripple of interest among the great majority of Sacramento's zombified inhabitants. As long as there's gasoline to burn, credit cards to wield, and college basketball to stare at on the television, the poor dumb chumps in this sad town clearly have other priorities.
(As an aside, you would think that people so thoroughly immersed in a self-destructive fossil-fuel addiction would at least give passing notice to the immoral acts committed in its name, acts that do nothing but feed their addiction -- like the war in Iraq ... but I guess ironies aren't what they used to be)
Anyway, I keep telling myself that this infected asshole of a city can't be unique in this regard, in how it so passionately embraces the dubious concepts of ignorance and denial -- and not simply as they apply to the Iraq disaster and international affairs in general. This place isn't an aberration; unfortunately, we here in California's capital rather prosaically exemplify just about everything that's wrong with American society as a whole. We're the logical end-result of the long-term corporate-right campaign to confuse the idea of citizenship with consumerism, where active participation in public life is transmogrified into a stiff-limbed rictus of distracted passivity. This Northern California community is, like it or not, quintessential 21st-century America, in all its despair-riddled ugliness and stupidity.
So we find ourselves three years into the debacle in Iraq, with the catastrophe in Iran waiting in the wings. We're disintegrating domestically but everybody pretends not to notice; we're overdue for a karmic haymaker right to the chops, but nobody gives a shit. We slaughter uncounted thousands of innocents in Iraq and elsewhere, and it's of no concern whatsoever to most people ...
It would drive me to drink, if I didn't drink already.
A RATHER RELUCTANT AND SHAME-FACED UPDATE: Alright, alright. Turns out there was a Sacramento version of all the Iraq war protests this past weekend. Apparently it was taking place at the precise moment I was hoovering my way through yet another completely gratuitous pitcher of beer at one of my favorite watering holes, and for my hypocritical savaging of this town's nitwit population -- at least those who were letting themselves be heard, downtown at 16th & Broadway -- I humbly apologize. I'm a souse, so what do you expect?