Sunday, August 23, 2009

Future Schlock

Really interesting post and discussion over at The Oil Drum, just to get the ol' futurism juices flowing (ewwwwww). I have no value judgments as to whether it's true or plausible, fair or foul, moral or indefensible, or merely the natural by-product of getting one's swerve on whilst reading World War Z and watching Children of Men. But it's certainly provocative.

I would, in fact, submit that many of us are living out a similar scenario, to a much smaller scale and degree, obviously. And if we're not, perhaps we should consider doing so. But think about it -- half the world lives on a dollar a day, which means that pretty much every American and European at the very least is subconsciously protecting their nut. Just making a token effort at the notional advantages of upward mobility is a form of socioeconomic self-stratification.

And for every case where that may be a "bad" or "unfair" thing to do, you can make an equally (or perhaps even more) valid case for it being the most rational thing to do. Let's say, just to pick a random example, that you are an idealistic sort of person, or at least would like to be. You endured the last eight years of Cheneyism, and the previous eight years of Republican witch-hunts and Clintonian triangulations and debaucheries. You may even be old enough to recall the predations of Reaganbush. You are battle-scarred and war-weary, in the political sense. You realize that they're all full of shit, and that said realization is every bit as much a part of growing up as realizing the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

So when you cast your sacred lot not just against the least-offensive douchebag, but actually for someone who finally tickles that funny bone of idealism a bit, someone who not only promises Hopenchange, but more importantly accountability, it will harsh your mellow even more to find out that you have once again been rolled. Worse yet, you see that stupid people have somehow managed to become stupider, and more vitriolic.

Suddenly we're in a bad movie where idiots are strapping themselves with assault rifles to attend health-care rallies, and recipients of government largesse have decided it is their sacred mission to disrupt said debates with moronic invocations against the same government beast that keeps them alive. (It is almost a mathematical axiom that these idiots also have the highest percentage of family members who are on some other part of the dole, because they're too fucking dumb and/or lazy to go to Planned Parenthood.) The media's role is to give the screamers a radically outsized voice in the debate, and the governing party's role is waver and cater to that stupidity. Maybe when they get that eightieth Senate seat, they'll come through with all that Change they promised.

So really, faced with all that, friends 'n' neighbors, why wouldn't anyone who had the means set about backing slowly away from the toxic retardation of their fellow citizens and the dickless incrementalism of their elected representatives? Doesn't necessarily mean heading for the rammed-earth bunker in the hills with the raincatchers and solar panels and a few Saigas (though there are days where that sounds better and better), but it does mean judiciously assessing the situation and planning accordingly. You cannot get out of a debt-leverage financial crisis by leveraging more debt; you cannot have an equitable recovery by only bailing out the few hundred people who caused the problem in the first place. That's not politics, that's just arithmetic. What they're doing is not going to "work", except in the short term, and except for their own immediate interests.

The important thing is the basic realization that nobody, not Barack Obama, and certainly not the vipers at Goldman Sachs, give a shit what happens to you. The Republicans, vile as they are and unencumbered by facts or intellectual honesty, are at least more honest about their sociopathy. But in the meantime, I dunno. Be idealistic about individuals, but cynical about people. Be skeptical of people who promise to "help", or at least be aware of what's in it for them. Stop watching the network news, and stop voting (except, of course, when the Republitards offer up their inevitable Sarah Palin/Lonesome Rhodes ticket in 2012) -- the best way to disempower liars is to ignore them. That goes for the health-care nazi protesters as well; those animals need to kindly fuck off and die already.

It's been a while since I've had a good, solid rant on, and damn it feels good to be a gangsta. But I do seriously think that we do not necessarily have to be wealthy to have our own "separate peace". We just have to pay attention and plan ahead, live within our means, keep our skills sharp and keep learning new ones, be nice to those in our lives (and on our teevee screens) who deserve it and rid ourselves of those who just bring toxic baggage with them. Be our own mercenaries, basically, rather than worrying about the bloated plutocrats who think they should rent some to save their own sorry hides from the seething masses they helped perpetuate.

1 comment:

regeasha said...

"...nobody, not Barack Obama, and certainly not the vipers at Goldman Sachs, give a shit what happens to you."

As St. Frank said decades ago:

"cause what they do
down in washington
they just take care of number one
(and number one ain't you
you ain't even Number Two.)"

The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

re healthNuts, see also
Dumb all Over