Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The New American Century

Piranesi, plate from the Carceri

And what do I see coming down the road?

-nothing but war, prisons, and poverty as far as the eye can see.

-the American military and our blood and treasure tied up in a host of pointless inconclusive wars that we started.

-prisoners of war tortured abroad and the rest of us tasered at home.

-all the problems of Brazil 50 years ago with none of the charm (a tiny over-class that owns everything including the government and the military, an embattled and shrinking middle class, a huge marginalized underclass with nothing left to lose ... and no Carnival for you, sinners!).

-all of us working for the Chinese and the Germans while the rest of our jobs are exported to India where the workforce is better educated as well as cheaper.

-all of us living perpetually in fear of what other people might think about us, of that Pink Slip from our employers, of that foreclosure notice from our creditors, that cancellation notice from our insurers, that eviction notice from our landlords, that court summons from someone's lawyer, sleeping with a gun under our beds for fear of our neighbors, and all the while the TeeVee telling us that we really are somehow... "free."

Yes, I'm really cranky this morning, after watching the last chance for real health insurance reform shot down by that pious scoundrel Joe Lieberman and the rest of the Democrats (including the President) caving on cue.

Sons of bitches!

And if you think I'm cranky, you should hear Michael this morning. "We're all f*cked! F*cked by the banks, f*cked by the insurance companies, f*cked by the credit companies, and now Obama and the Democrats have given away the whole f*ckin' store! I'm ready to vote for the f*ckin' underarm hair granola Green Party!"


nomad said...

"Freedom's just another name for nothing left to lose"

Counterlight said...

Thank you Janis Joplin. You can sit down now.

rick allen said...

I know exactly how you feel, though I'm not sure it's yet necessarily that bad. Hope is the most tenuous of virtues.

I wonder sometimes if the bank bailout was necessary. What if they had failed, like falling dominos? There would have been massive disruption, but would the pain have been, overall, as great as that felt now by the unemployed, the foreclosed-upon? I don't know. I still think Obama's heart is in the right place. But I think he is perhaps learning that, as powerful as the presidency is, there is a moneied interest that cannot be challenged without the real risk of a class war started from the top. And, as Rhett Butler asked, "How many cannon factories are there in the South?"

I am, as you know, something of an amatuer afficionado of ancient history. I am somewhat envious that, whenever they got into this position, the people would rise and demand a cancellation of debts. Sometimes they succeeded, and sometimes they got crushed. But they were free enough to think about demanding it.

But perhaps, this being Christian America, we can ask the Congress and the President to declare a good, biblical Jubilee. Cancel all debts. That wouldn't cost anything. No budget increase, no new taxes. Sounds like a godly option to me.

nomad said...

Oh. I get it.

Counterlight said...

I agree that the truly Christian thing to do would be to declare a jubilee year, but it ain't gonna happen, especially when so many Christians in this country have persuaded themselves that God created capitalism (news to Adam Smith).

Unknown said...

You're right, we have come to rely on war, and hate as a tool against the world we're afraid of these days.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Sadly, I think you've had it. Obama was your last chance.