Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Yawns of August
West Tisbury, Mass.
Big things are happening--but who cares? Our country is losing its economy and its empire. Few nations outside of the banana belt have managed to concentrate wealth and power so intensely. The time when one guy owns everything is a lot closer than the time when everyone owns something.
Our platinum-weighted military is unable to outfight feudal foes. Still, its bloated budget and pointless wars remain sacrosanct. There are 2.4 million of us in jail. That’s far more, in total and percentage wise, than any other nation, including China, a dictatorship with a population five times ours. If all those Americans belong in jail, we are the most criminal society in the universe. If they don’t, we’re a police state.
The fact that we have 16-17 percent real unemployment doesn’t stop us from shipping ever more jobs overseas. The increasing millions losing their homes doesn’t stop us from running the same old real estate scams. And, by the way, we’ve advanced from the fattest to the most obese of the human tribes.
The global economic mess has folks revolting from Thailand to Thessalonika. Europe is riotous. Fed up Latin Americans are opting out of our empire. Our former clients everywhere have turned surly and, worse, disobedient. The world out there is a
churning, bubbling maelstrom.
Here? Not so much. Despite all the strurm und drang across the planet, the USA remains the Alfred E. Newman of nations. Folks are taking insecurity and poverty in stride. A few weeks ago when the Reps blocked further unemployment insurance payments, outrage was limited to a couple of congressional liberals Where were the jobless themselves? God only knows.
Back in the Great Depression neighbors organized against evictions by surrounding foreclosed homes and moving furniture back in as quickly as the sheriffs dragged it out. I don’t see any of that, or of much other protest on the housing front.
Despite our endless and wasteful wars, the peace movement has peacefully gone to sleep. The people who were angry about such things as the Patriot Act and other attacks on civil liberties are nowhere to be seen now that Obama is enforcing the same Bush policies.
We’re told that lots of liberals are disillusioned by Obama’s failure to even attempt the change they imagined that he would bring. I don’t buy it. But even if it’s so, so what? Where do liberals have to go? They are self-declared serfs of the Democratic Party. And that means forever being terrorized by those to their right and terrorizing those on their left in the name of the “lesser evil.” Nothing new here.
The only interesting politics happening in the country are on the right. The Ron Paul Libertarians are terrific on ending our imperial wars and restoring constitutional rights. A few of the tea baggers are actually irked at rule by big banks and corporations. Unfortunately, they appear to be outnumbered by the knucklehead wing of conservatism, those who want to play with guns, not pay taxes, and vote Jefferson Davis back into office.
Right, left or whatever, none of these tendencies threaten business as usual, let alone promise change. The world may be interesting, but we’ll check it out on You Tube after our nap.