Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Evil of Banality, Part Two

The commemoration of Independence Day is always an opportunity to reflect on the good things about this country, even if for too many of our fella 'murkins it seems to be a chance to gorge on food and blow off our fingers.

After the last two years and counting, it seems now more to be a chance to reflect on whether we have the collective will to keep those good things and move forward. It's all well and good to write ourselves missives about how we can outlast the senile, doddering oaf currently at the helm. But we need to start working on how to overcome the factors that put him there in the first place, remembering once again that he is the symptom and not the disease.

The bigger problems are much more pernicious. All the wondrous technology we take for granted now, most of which was unimaginable just twenty years ago, was supposed to set us free, presumably on an ocean of infinite information and enlightenment. Instead, it has become the two-fisted tool of the would-be oppressor -- free porn (not just sexual, but things like "reality" teevee and celeb-sniffing and political bafflegab would count as well) for the masses, and tools of control for the owners.

Both are nothing more than sophisticated distractions, one more troubling than the other, but both working hand-in-glove. It's bad enough that people are besotted with kardashians (no longer capitalizing that word; they are merely nouns and objects), fake hook-up shows, and bottled lies from suspect content providers. What's even worse is that one party has systematically gerrymandered itself into a position of dominance, that their agenda is unabashedly regressive and ruinous. They seriously do not give a shit about anything but power, and are nakedly hypocritical in their pursuit of it.

And yet, gerrymandering or no, someone keeps putting them there -- or more accurately, many voters are putting many scumbags in there, over and over again. It's such a cheap cop-out to attribute it to voting habits, social influence, media bias. Individuals should take responsibility for their choices, and suffer the consequences for their poor choices, isn't that what we keep hearing? Failure to pay attention to reality is not an excuse, it's the con artist's invitation to do what he does best.

From the second New Yorker article linked above, let's take Texas Governor Greg Abbott as an example. Abbott was in his mid-twenties when he was paralyzed by a falling tree. He had no medical insurance, but sued the homeowner and the company that failed to identify and remove the tree, and won a settlement of about nine million dollars. Once he got into power, Abbott successfully got tort settlement amounts in Texas capped at $250,000.

It would be difficult to find a more stark example of how these fucking people think, how they don't even blink at their own rank hypocrisy. Abbott proudly belongs to a party that looks at uninsured people who fall into misfortune, and tells them to go fuck themselves. I think it's a goddamned shame that when Abbott had his accident, he wasn't stuck with the consequences of the very policies he has always supported. They should have dragged his broken ass into the street and told him he was on his own -- no payday, no free medical care. That is exactly what he thinks should be done to everyone else. Real christian of him.

So vile people have figured out how to use technology to do more efficiently what they have always done -- turn the lower classes against each other, against themselves, while the owners continue hoovering up all the wealth. They won't be happy until they have it all for themselves, and probably not even then. It is a pathology, a sickness of the soul they profess to believe in, but somehow never act accordingly. They always find some bullshit excuse to justify their rotten behavior. They have no shame, mainly because their constituencies keep letting them get away with it.

Voters are such cheap dates, it turns out. You don't have to take them to dinner, buy them flowers, any of that shit. You just tell them what they want to hear, empty platitudes and hoary bromides, scare talk about the other, whoever it is this week. And they buy it, every fucking time. Because it's easier to believe than to think rationally and skeptically. It lets them get back to their goddamned nothing that much more quickly. Who has time to read?

As a result of too many of our peers being stuck in their rut, content in having the intellectual lives of farm animals, we find ourselves in a bit of a pickle now. It has culminated -- again, for now, as this is systemic -- with the aforementioned doddering old man. He promised to fuck shit up, and that is one promise he is intent on making good on.

He is doing his grim best to non-strategically bluster the world into a nuclear conflagration. It may be us going at it with the Norks to defend Japan and South Korea, or it may be the "let's you and him fight" gambit he's trying with the Chinese -- who, like the Russians, see this fucking clown exactly for what he is, and are playing him as such.

It is actually something of a surprise that throughout, the stock market has held firm, even gained for the most part. Economic statistics tend to be lagging indicators, but one factor that was always presumed to be a given was stability, lack of volatility. Institutional investors do not typically like rolling dice and trying to guess what's coming day to day.

But here we are. We'll see how long it holds out, and then something will come next -- the same but worse, because it'll be smoother, more likable, less of a blustery prick. Pick any number of "moderate" Republicans who talk a good game when the cameras are on, but go along with the most vicious of policies every single time.

Hope is not a plan, but it is a way to keep one's bearings when times are darkest. So it's not the worst thing to try to maintain the dim hope that eventually enough people will see who their real enemies are and vote accordingly, not just at the ballot box, but with their wallets. Find out who's supporting these vile, lying bastards and put them out of business.

No comments: