04 August 2007


The ultimate rhetorical question: What are we waiting for?

Does anybody have an answer? I sure as hell don't, being so benumbed and exhausted by the endless death-grip minutiae of tedium imposed by corporate employers and forced participation in the consumer culture. Like most people, I guess. Within the framework of petty confusions and over-amped monkey-motion that constitutes daily life in this doomed and deluded society -- this penny-ante brain froth of trivial pursuits and programmed ignorance -- the question inevitably presents itself, fighting for attention against a colorful backdrop of spasmodic emptiness and hollow diversions: What are we waiting for?

I don't know. A collapsing bridge or two, the "war hero" who was actually murdered, the apparently never-to-end catastrophe in Iraq, Katrina victims being ram-rodded by the courts, the dictatorial ambitions of Cheney's sock puppet, George Bush ... Stir all this together, along with countless other galling ingredients of disgust and outrage, and you're left with a fetid stew of bubbling toxicity, every noxious whiff of which stakes this question more firmly to the forehead of my shredded consciousness:

What are we waiting for?

Maybe the more witless among us, if they even bother to devote brain space to such things, are waiting for the Democrats to boldly save the situation. These are the same Democrats, you'll recall, who've thanked the voters who put them back in control of Congress by betraying them -- us -- at every opportunity, proving themselves to be utterly incapable of overcoming Republican obstructionism and Chimpy's playground bully-boy schtick. Unquestioning, highly disciplined faith in Reid and Pelosi tends to stray into masochistic territory; the more you politely request that it would be greatly appreciated if the legislative branch at least went through the motions of discharging its constitutional responsibilities, hobbling an obviously out-of-control administration of thugs, the more said legislative branch seems to adopt the sour Neo-Con program for its own, competing with Cheney and Rove in how much pain and destruction they can inflict. That might be seen as perfectly sufficient in some quarters, such as virtual bastions of "respectable" opposition like Kos and Democratic Underground. A growing klatch of the disaffected and pissed-off believe otherwise.

Others are of the opinion that, faced with the reality of an enfeebled Congress implacably opposed to the one possible constitutional remedy for this cancerous Bush-Cheney affliction -- impeachment -- the only thing to be done is, well, nothing. After all, they argue, the administration has but a year and a half remaining in its term, and considering that whoever is the Democratic nominee for President in '08 is an iron-clad shoe-in, all we need is a little patience. Just wait out the next 18 months, and presto! All traces of the foul Neo-Con age are magically flushed away, happy days are here again, here comes the sun, etc. This Hoping-For-The-Best approach obscures a few critical points: electronic voting machines, a judicial apparatus crammed to the rafters with far-right corporatist ideologues, and the (nearly) unassailable fact that presumptive front-runner Hillary Clinton will (probably) never be elected President. Besides, even if she somehow does get elected, what's the fucking difference between a George Bush who violates the US constitution at will, launches blatantly illegal wars of aggression, steals from the American people on an unbelievable scale, and allows the nation's physical infrastructure to crumble into dust ... and a Hillary who'll do the exact same things, or worse?

Beyond the plurality of people who are at least paying attention, outside of the political dead-enders (both Democratic and Republican) and the angrily clamoring progressive minority, lies the great heaving mass of the citizenry at large. Unfortunately, and this just might be the greatest understatement of all time, they don’t seem to be waiting for much of anything. Granted, they don't have a particularly high opinion of the artificial Mensa Man President, or of politicians in general; they have vague misgivings about the catastrophic course along which this country is being goaded; they're going broke in record numbers, standing by helplessly while their jobs are shipped to China or India, and what little money they still have finds its way into the bank accounts of various HMO and/or oil company CEO's; but even so, they still inexplicably manage to maintain the sloppy-grin pretense of unbridled consumerist optimism, somehow ignoring the all but inevitable thermo-dynamic meltdown of our debt-addled dollar economy and Gestapo-infested civil society. Their indifference is as much a danger to what remains of this democratic republic as the authoritarian freak-sticks who're bent on destroying it.

Well. Sadly caught in the cognitive trough that always seems to form on the ass-end of these interminable screeds, it occurs that a much better question than What are we waiting for? might be: What the hell are we going to do?

I'll ask that one again: What the hell are we going to do?

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