27 July 2007
It's especially appropriate to jettison the burden of reasonably linear, rational thinking when confronted with the notion of the US Congress taking a month off, leaving Cheney and Rove free to work their uniquely vulgar brand of deadly mischief unimpeded. Yeah, I know -- six months into the present legislative term and the Vichyite leadership has done very little, if anything, to hobble the Neo-Con juggernaut. However, their physical presence in DC, as feeble and ineffectual as it is, at least serves as a symbolic counterweight to Cheneyist ambitions; the thought that they’re going to abandon the capital to such a Stalinist-inclined administration, for an entire month, is enough to send me stumbling back to the bar, rudely shoving the nearly immobilized alcoholics and the ugly transvestite with the guitar out of the way, to desperately order another round of brewed forgetfulness.
Weren't some of these vacation-minded Congressional nitwits recently scolding their counterparts in the puppet Iraqi government for proposing pretty much the exact same thing that they, themselves, are planning to do? Oh yes, I forgot -- hypocrisy is not the exclusive property of the Republican party, as much as we'd like like to believe otherwise. DLC Democrats are just as brazenly adept in its use as any diaper-loving, prostitute-addicted "family values" GOP dirtbag could ever hope to be. In fact, riding on the hot wind of revulsion and anger and disgust among the voting public (at least those fortunate to actually have their votes counted accurately), the Dem leadership is probably more hypocritical than the Republicans, in that they pretend they weren't swept back into control of Congress with the express mandate to end the war and rinse the stain of this phony administration out of the US political system’s collective undershorts. Instead of vigorously moving forward with the urgent -- desperately urgent -- task of nailing these bottom-feeding bastards to the lonely wooden stake of their perfidious criminality, and hanging them out to dry while an aroused citizenry reviles them unmercifully, our Democratic saviors intend to indulge the one base instinct that even a chuckleheaded fuck like George Bush understands: they go on vacation.
I wonder if these paragons of the pathetic, these monumentally ineffective shills who, theoretically at least, function as "leaders" in Congress, ever imagine that this ill-timed recess could very well be the last one they ever take. The Chimp, prodded by the Neo-Con puppeteers fighting for finger room in his scaly ass, has quietly erected the legal foundations for the dictatorship to come; one carefully staged, sufficiently bloody and destructive "terrorist" attack, and the betraying Vichy Democrats won't have a Congress to which to return. I just wonder if that ever crosses the minds of Reid and Pelosi. I wonder.
A beer -- I need another beer! Quick!
26 July 2007
Anyway. From The Gavel (via Crooks and Liars) comes the tale of Henry Waxman's latest hearing, this one concerning Bush & Cheney's imperial embassy in the shattered, god-forsaken country of Iraq. It isn't enough to feed the degenerate Cheney bloodlust for violence and death; degredation and chattel slavery have their roles to play as well. Check out The Gavel site for the whole sick story. A couple of excerpts from C & L are sufficient to deliver the sordid tenor ...
Rory Mayberry, a former subcontractor employee for First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Company, gives opening testimony:
Rory Mayberry: "Mr. Chairman, when the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn’t until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the US Embassy… I've read the State Department Inspector General's report on the construction of the embassy. Mr. Chairman, it's not worth the paper it's printed on. This is a cover-up and I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to set the record straight."
John Owens, a former employee of First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Company, gives opening testimony:
John Owens: "This was a man-camp, and by nature not the most pleasant of places to be. But the conditions were deplorable even beyond what a working man should tolerate. Foreign workers were packed into trailers tight, with insufficient equipment and basic needs like shoes and gloves. If a construction worker needed a new pair of shoes he was told 'no, do with what you have' by First Kuwaiti managers. The contract for these workers said they had to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week, with some time off on Friday for prayers. A few people from India told me they were making $240 a month…"
I'm so overfull of such disgusting obscenities, I can't think of anything to add.
25 July 2007
In case there is any confusion: You cannot use DU to support Cindy Sheehan’s third-party candidacy.
Well, that's more than enough to grab my feeble attention. He goes on to write:
As you know, Cindy Sheehan announced that she is going to run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi as an independent candidate. This post is to remind everyone that supporting Cindy Sheehan’s independent candidacy is not permitted on this website. If Cindy had chosen to run as a Democrat in the Democratic primary then you would have been permitted to support her campaign here, but instead she chose to run as an independent.
Now, honestly, there are so many things about this declamation that chap my ass, I hardly know where to begin. Skinner goes on to quote DU "rules," including:
You are not permitted to use this message board to work for the defeat of the Democratic Party for any political office.
It's all too clear, as if it wasn't quite before, that the "Democratic" in "Democratic Underground" is a reference to the "big-D" variety. In the world of Skinner (and Kos and Move On, among others), perceived loyalty to a corrupted, thoroughly debased political wing of the corporate class (commonly referred to as the Democratic Party) trumps all other concerns, and precludes any possible discussion of what the concept "democratic" actually means. Controlling the agenda, shoe-horning the range and character of the discussion to fit into a narrow, pre-determined ideological framework, silencing dissent and any hint of criticism, telling people what they can and can't talk about, and possessing a no-matter-what allegiance to a political machine -- well, fuck me with a branding iron if that isn't the M.O. of any number of anti-democratic wingnut pressure groups out there, working diligently to beat us all into submission and stuff fascism down our throats. Imposing no-compromise ideological discipline upon an online community with "Democratic" in its title makes Skinner and his cohorts fundamentally no different than the agenda-mongers at Fox News, or Drudge, or any other freeper-freaks irresponsibly polluting the body politic.
Skinner can believe any damn thing he wants -- if he's delusional enough to believe that the astoundingly pathetic and wretchedly servile DLC Democrats at the helm of the party, the Pelosis and Hoyers and Reids and all the rest, are the unsung saviors of the American Republic, that's his problem. It's a "free" country, as they say. On the other hand, censoring others who might not quite agree with you 100% of the time means only one thing: you're nothing but a toweringly hypocritical asshole. As far as I'm concerned, that applies to Kos and all the other Frankenstein monsters of the "acceptable" democratic opposition as well. Fuck the lot of them.
By the by, I realize it's a hell of a longshot, but I sincerely hope that Cindy wipes the floor with Pelosi's useless, corporate-owned, off-the-table ass. Take that, Skinner.
22 July 2007
OK, well. Perhaps another work of literature is required. Tom Robbins' Still Life With Woodpecker maybe, or even some 30-year old back issue of Mad Magazine.
Monkey Man's executive order from last week, wherein the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution were effectively eviscerated with one fell swoop of his turd-shaped pen, for some reason sent me scurrying toward my dog-eared copy of William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Jeeze, talk about pumping too much hot air into one's already dangerously distended psychic innertube -- it very nearly qualifies as criminal self-abuse. Shirer explicates, in no uncertain terms, what always seems to happen to nations when hubris and/or psychosis becomes the animative principle of policy; if nothing else, his monumental history of Nazi Germany serves more than admirably as a cautionary inspiration, if you know what I mean, rather than as (one would hope) an inevitable blueprint of what we have to look forward to.
Speaking of Shirer: I highly recommend his almost-but-not-quite so well known work, The Collapse of the Third Republic. Read about the outrageous machinations of the hard core of defeatist collaborators -- Laval, Petain, Weygand, and others -- who single-handedly destroyed what remained of constitutional government in France, in the disastrous backwash of a lost war; for some reason, it always reminds me of a certain "opposition" political party in the United States, here in the sad Neo-Con era. Vichy Democrats, indeed.
Then again, logic and common sense would tend to indicate that larger, transcendent themes are much more the order of the day -- hard to imagine even attempting to superimpose some wider, encompassing perspective over the utterly trashy and base circumstantial footing of Bushworld, if one spends every waking moment wallowing in all of the filth and putridity. During these sober moments, when the essential futility of all human activities and aspirations is nothing but blatantly apparent, I usually reach for something like Nine-Headed Dragon River, by (in my opinion) the greatest living literary figure in America today, Peter Matthiessen. It's next to impossible to view the obscene foibles and criminal follies of the Neo-Cons -- and our constant knee-jerk reactions to them as well -- in quite the same way after reading passages like this:
I lower my gaze from the snow peaks to the glistening thorns, the snow patches, the lichens. Though I am blind to it, the Truth is near, in the reality of what I sit on -- rocks. These hard rocks instruct my bones in what my brain could never grasp in the Heart Sutra, that "form is emptiness, and emptiness is form" -- the Void, the emptiness of blue-black space, contained in everything. Sometimes when I meditate, the big rocks dance.
The secret of the mountains is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.
If only I could write so well, and apprehend the true nature of things to such a depth ... sort of makes the whole silly business of blogging seem, well, rather shallow and empty in comparison. No kidding, I hear somebody muttering.
LATER: I was going to interminably continue with this, but within the understandable yearning for inspiration -- literary-based or otherwise -- the above quote from Matthiessen seems to have inspired me just enough to want to shitcan this waste of a blog, once and for all, and do something authentic instead.
Hmmm ... food for thought, I guess.
18 July 2007
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported,
withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,
(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:
(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or
(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the
receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose
of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.
Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets
instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.
Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.
Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 17, 2007.
Does anybody have a comment? Anybody?
16 July 2007
I certainly don't need any new bad habits, however, since those I have at present are sufficiently ridiculous and debilitating to last a lifetime or two. Don't need a new wardrobe either, or a car, or some such ephemeral consumerist pacifier.
What I seem to be in need of most is merely a radical, fundamental alteration of the vocational realm. In other words, a new job, a job that has a discernible depth of meaning, one that has a true public purpose, preferably something that serves the needs of the citizenry at large; or, failing that, at least a position from which to snipe, snarl, and snarkify at the entrenched criminal dinosaurs who've managed to transform this country into -- whatever the hell it's become.
So, if anyone has any (reasonably polite) suggestions for a disaffected bastard searching for something meaningful within the filled-to-overflowing and rapidly collapsing septic tank of the dollar economy, who's toiled at just about every conceivable crap job from punching keys on a cash register to fighting fire, from soil engineering and cartooning and cabinetmaking to being a full-time student, and back again -- I'm all ears. I can play the bass guitar a little, and I have a pretty good working knowledge of computer-based audio recording; modern-day political culture makes me both infuriated and sick to my stomach; and I like beer, for whatever that's worth. Like I said, if anybody has any ideas ...
Yes, well. Please excuse this sickeningly self-indulgent flapdoodle. We'll return to the regularly scheduled program of vomitus bile soon enough.
I am serious about the job thing, by the way.
UPDATE: Really, people. If you're seriously looking for employment information with the state of California (good luck), please go here. For crying out loud.
14 July 2007
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder: which is stronger, stupidity or fear? Ignorant dumbness must be, given that nobody I associate with seems particularly fearful about anything, really; on the other hand, the great majority is about as swift on the uptake as a sack full of claw-hammers. I suspect there’s some sort of connection here.
Congress passed a “defense” authorization bill that requires a withdrawal (of sorts) from Iraq, to commence in -- what -- a few months or so. I’ve always had a soft and fuzzy spot for Vaudeville, especially when it involves “elected representatives,” political apparatchiks, and thuggish goons lusting over dictatorial power. However, one of the problems with such cheap theater, as is the case with popular entertainment generally, is that the ending is, always, invariably the same -- in this case, Chimpy vetoes another feeble, largely symbolic non-check on his death-cult ambitions, his media enablers crank up the noise machine and brand TRAITOR on the seamed forehead of every Democratic “lawmaker,” and the Dems in turn bleat like goats with their gonads caught in a barbed-wire fence before they cave completely. Happens every time, it seems.
Is it just my imagination, or is the appalling, insufferable, overbearing, crap-vinyl-bound, bully-boy bullshit practiced by midlevel supervisor/managers -- ambitious mediocrities and sycophantic reamers promoted out of the grimy swill-pit of lowly wage monkeys, for the most part -- usually spewed forth in direct proportion to the pointlessness and/or uselessness of the work at hand? (If this comes uncomfortably close to a confession of the derelict nature of my “professional” life, I apologize.)
It could be worse -- I could be in the military, which is no place for thinking people these days. When I was an enlisted Air Force nobody back in the late 1980’s, I and my firefighting compatriots never could’ve imagined being stuffed into a bottomless sausage machine like Iraq, or becoming lost and abandoned in the lunar deathscape of Afghanistan; daily existence was trying enough, after a fashion, particularly in Germany, where the mostly fictional “Soviet threat” was hung around our necks like a dead pigeon on a string made from entrails and bad intentions. Within the framework of USAFE (United States Air Forces in Europe), we chuckleheads were burdened by quarterly “Operational Readiness Inspections,” periodic NATO exercises, endless fire training, far too much alcohol consumption, and an anemically weak US dollar against the West German Mark. To be perfectly honest, it was a semi-artificial, faux-military experience at best, particularly when compared to today: endless deployments, compelled participation in an ongoing war crime, Republican middle fingers, sudden violent death ... We had Ronald Reagan, that noted doddering old fuck. Now they have -- holy crap -- Bush and Cheney.
Oh, well. It’s now mid-morning -- time for a drink. Bottoms up, people!
09 July 2007
June 14, 2007
Mr. BAYH (for himself, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. NELSON of Nebraska, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. BYRD, Mr. DURBIN, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. LOTT, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. MENENDEZ, and Mr. AKAKA) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Whereas a Harris Interactive Survey discovered that of men and women 18 years of age and older, 61 percent of those surveyed did not know all the lyrics of the first stanza of the national anthem, and of those who answered the question affirmatively, 58 percent had received at least 5 years of music education while growing up;
Whereas an ABC News poll revealed that more than 1 in 3 Americans (38 percent) do not know that the official name of the national anthem is `The Star-Spangled Banner', less than 35 percent of American teenagers can name Francis Scott Key as the author of the national anthem, and as few as 15 percent of American youth can sing the words to the anthem from memory;
Whereas the national anthem, `The Star-Spangled Banner', holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the American people as a symbol of national unity, resolve, and willingness to sacrifice in order to preserve the Nation's sacred heritage of freedom;
Whereas the National Anthem Project has inspired the American people to have a greater appreciation of their patriotic musical heritage while learning American history;
Whereas music educators are the among the leading caretakers of this important piece of our Nation's heritage, in that many students learn the national anthem in music class;
Whereas our Nation's future is enhanced by the quality of the historic knowledge and awareness provided to children of all ages through learning about the national anthem, and that high-quality music education represents a worthy commitment to our children and our Nation's future; and
Whereas, the national anthem is the symbol of American ideals and freedom around the world: Now, therefore, be it
- Resolved, That the Senate--
- (1) supports the goals and ideals of the National Anthem Project;
- (2) commends the American citizens who have participated in this project; and
- (3) encourages the people of the United States to learn the national anthem, `The Star-Spangled Banner', and its proud history.
In the spirit of the previous post, I'll just add this: FUCK.
“We are FUCKED!!”
Now, it’d be tough to argue with such a statement, as we do seem to be teetering precariously over the Neo-Con abyss, blandly awaiting the last good shove that finally sends us over the edge. By any objective method of measurement -- the existential “fuckedometer” that some people carry around in their heads, perhaps -- we are, certainly, stuck in the dark hole of extremity, rapidly approaching a multi-forked constitutional crossroad where every choice of direction is fraught with unspecified dangers, perils, and pitfalls. Fucked, indeed.
I’ve spent the last couple of days chewing on this expression of despair (among others), this bald declaration of anger and frustration at our sheer inability to affect the fundamental course of things. While it’s impossible to gainsay, at least in any intellectually honest way, it nevertheless starts to stick in my mental craw the more I give brain space to it.
Yeah -- we’re fucked alright. But then, when were we ever not fucked? When was there ever a human being who was ever spared the extreme discomfort of getting stared down by the harsh exigencies of reality? Who’s never, sooner or later, had to come to terms with the absurd fictions of permanence, security, and immortality? Name one individual who’s managed to avoid being terminally flashed by the drool-dripping, scythe-wielding, pervert-in-a-raincoat otherwise known as the Grim Reaper? When were we ever not destined for dissolution in the boneyard or ash heap?
In this vein, substitute nations and/or societies for individual human beings, and it’s rather obvious where this is going.
Believe you me, it isn’t as if I’ve suddenly broken-out in a rash of equanimity as far as the dangerously amorphous condition of “representative democracy” is concerned. Hardly. In fact, I blither and dither and howl and rage, kick shit around and break things in half, and become nearly immobilized with stationary panic as much as ever. More than ever, probably. But now, after much time spent allowing the perfectly flat, nuance-free declamation We are FUCKED!! to re-arrange the cheap plastic cognitive furniture on my psychic patio, I’m compelled to tack on an addendum, a qualifier, of my own, which I’ve basically already mentioned: ...and we always HAVE been!
That’s the hard crux of the matter. We’ve always lived an agenda that wasn’t our own, we simpleton Americans. Silly people! Of course most Americans are lazy, intellectually hollow chumps, easily manipulated by misinformation, disinformation, and outright falsehoods -- we’ve always been so. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, Bush and Cheney and the rest of the hard-core Neo-Con Sturmtruppen haven’t really concocted anything of particular originality in their warped and polluted vision of a corporatized America; their only true innovation has been to drop the age-old and outmoded pretense that there’s any such thing as a “democratic republic” on the continent of North America -- and, naturally, they possess the ambition and ruthlessness to re-model, whatever it is, over in their own sick image. They bring nothing new to the table, the table that’s weighted down with the overflowing minced-meat pie that used to known as the body politic. They’re just more than willing to start carving it up, is all.
So, yes: We are FUCKED!! Always have been.
05 July 2007
Anyone else notice this ...? Where are all the smoking piles of blown fireworks? Where's the burned detritus of garbage that symbolizes (what is commonly referred to as) the Freedom and Liberty which we know so well? Come to think of it, where was all the noise and clouds of barbecued Chinese gunpowder last night? It had to be the quietest, least stench-ridden Fourth of July on record, so far as I can recall.
I'm rather flummoxed, which comes as no surprise. It's almost possible to believe that a significant number of over-heated fellow Valley denizens actually had better things to do yesterday evening; that maybe their primitive nationalism, animated within the framework of unreflective "patriotism" and unquestioning obedience, is beginning to evaporate; that reason and common sense are finally starting to trump the overbearing, imperative qualities of the consumer culture; that the nitwits and flapdoodlers are, perhaps, coming out of their media/commerce-induced stupors ...
Is this really possible, or am I merely clutching at straws that don't exist?
04 July 2007
Isn't it a pity
Now, isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity
Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn't it a pity
Isn't it a pity
Isn't is a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity
Forgetting to give back
Now, isn't it a pity
-- George Harrison, Isn't it a Pity
03 July 2007
--Erich Fromm, The Sane Society
It’s that unfortunate time of year when the tired, depleted landscape inexplicably sprouts rickety plywood-and-chickenwire shacks, manned by religionist fanatics and/or vacuously stupid college students peddling cheesy Chinese-made engines of noise and stink. Somewhere within this cloying reek of commerce and greed -- generating a palpable funk of enthusiastic ignorance that nearly gives the smog a run for its money -- lies, in all its dilapidated and largely unexamined glory, some notion that this spasmodic convergence of ear-splitting explosions, a stench not unlike (I would imagine) that which turgidly wafts from Lucifer’s underpants, and the pathetic accumulation of dollars, has something to do with “independence” or “political democracy.” The complex relationship between these things is enough to completely defeat the cognitive abilities of most people. Including my own, such as they are.
By all means, let’s “celebrate” American Independence Day with as much of a gunpowder-flavored racket as possible, swilling and gluttonously stuffing our already over-fed selves into rapturous stupors, spitting out drunkenly fulsome odes and sow-bellied declarations of undying loyalty to a nation-state that never was. Let’s not stoop to reflect on the actual nature of the Cheneyist hellhole trying desperately to give birth to itself; let’s just pretend that the Founders and their high-falutin’ documents still mean anything, if they ever did. Whatever you do, though, don’t allow the multitudinous victims of American benevolence and idealism -- not to mention our love of peace, freedom, and democracy -- to inject a note of discordance into our raucous symphony of self-indulgent excess. Drink up -- it’s not that difficult to shut your eyes and ears to the horror of Iraqi children covered with white phosphorous, or Afghani wedding parties blown to pieces, or the death rattle of young GI’s puzzling over the circumstances that drove them towards such a fate. Come on, people, you ignore this shit all the time. Just enjoy yourselves!
I’ll tell you -- if I actually had a US flag, I’d “celebrate” by burning the fucking thing. But then, since it would likely be made in China, the extra poisonous fumes produced by the uranium-soaked thread and the lead-based paint, and all the other crap that was supposed to end up as dog food or toothpaste, would probably waste an untold number of loyal Americans downwind. I guess I’ll just get loaded instead.