Friday, May 27, 2016

Who You With?

Which Side Are You, Yawn

As a Dog, when I'm not reading, writing, doing art or sticking my nose into women's crotches (and it's a real plus for our species that we can get away with that, and in public, no less), I'm looking at things.We see a lot more than you think.

One item which pops up frequently on the Intertubes in These Days is a banner advertising graphic for Hillary The Inevitable !  showing a black-and-white photo of the Candydate, grinning, with her slogan-and-logo (which someone noted is very similar to a UPS ad campaign), shouting, "I'm With Her".

No. I'm not with her.  A lot of people are not "With" her.  I'm with these people, and if you'd like to post any of these in your own little slice of Blogtopia, feel free:

At the Soul Of America, another handy link to Ian Welsh recently reminded us that in the minds of some, the world is created for the wealthy and the powerful, and that you and I exist to serve their interests as chattel, as consumers of things, and to provide them with momentary amusements as they play The Great Game in pursuit of More.
A man like Obama or Bill Clinton (or, in the future a woman like Hillary Clinton) is far more likely to ruin your life than Osama bin Laden ever was. Bill Clinton pushing through Welfare “Reform” harmed millions of the poorest weakest people in America. The repeal of Glass-Steagall allowed the financial crisis to happen.

Unless you are an oligarch, or a retainer who is on the gravy train, people like Clinton, Obama, Blair, Cameron, and Thatcher are your enemies. They are a direct threat to your well-being, welfare, and even life.

The first thing anyone who wants to be realistic about politics and power needs to realize is this fact. They are enemies.
And they are. We should be voting for poets, painters, musicians, performers and Populists.
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MEHR, MIT DENKMAL: It is soul-grinding beyond words to have to vote for The Lesser Of Two Evils.  It's an admission that Reagan's Shining City On A Hill, the High School civics class view of America and the world is manifestly untrue. It forces people to confront the realities of the Company Town we live in -- that we are not a nation defending the principles in our founding documents; we're the paid help for Lords and Masters whose names we'll never know and whose faces we'll never see.

We knew this already, of course, but Ya can't fight city hall, kid -- the dichotomy couldn't be acknowledged. You can live with cognitive dissonance, but you don't sleep well. You're less civil in traffic, more anxious for no apparent reason. Then, after the financial Crashes of 2000 and 2008, more people understood that dissonance both intellectually and emotionally, and that makes things even harder. The popular media reinforces cliches about wealth, corruption and power (I just finished watching True Detective, Season 2; a perfect example).  

And on this Memorial Day weekend that cognitive dissonance can be hard. After WWII, a war against militaristic fascism (and yes, let's keep Gravity's Rainbow in mind as we say that, Slothrop), we fought "other" wars. Far from bleeding and dying in a noble cause, people you actually knew, even you yourself, apparently did so less to protect American citizens from an enemy, and more to provide a better position at a bargaining table for the interests of a few megacorps, and a handful of sociopathic, hereditary-rich halfwits.

The power structures that run the planet are too powerful to change. Nothing short of a a Zombie Apocalypse, a global pandemic or thermonuclear war, will dismantle them. Their predecessors were threatened by the Reformation, the English Civil War, revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries (in particular, the American and French) -- and because democratic political structures promised an evolutionary change, TPTB believed they could be controlled and reluctantly accommodated them. 

The story of Western politics has been a struggle to maintain and expand concessions forced on the ruling elites. Since 1945, Western political leaders have been bought -- and so cheaply --  to serve long-term interests of those elites, while pretending to be guardians of Democratic Principles.

Hillary is just another Emptysuit front person for The Powers That Be, and having to vote for her is a Kulturschande. It's a visible symbol of our collective dysfunction as a nation -- whose leaders mouth platitudes in Hiroshima but kill with drone strikes, allow torture; place its citizens' communications under mass surveillance; and push trade deals which allow global capital the power to ignore any laws it finds inconvenient. 

Having to vote for Hillary is an admission that we're powerless Rubes and Sheep -- that Business as Usual is the best we can hope for. One more step towards Orwell's image of a boot, trodding on a human face, forever. 

But what makes casting that vote soul-grinding is, unlike Orwell's Winston Smith, a large number of us know history. We know that it could be different, that we could do better. It's one reason Sanders' campaign, even the promise of one from Elizabeth Warren, enlivened so many people, Left and Center (and, from a much different perspective, why Trump appears popular with the Right). 

We need a rebirth of real Democratic principles in that party, or a third political party, to represent the People in that ongoing struggle against the few who control so much. And on this holiday, if anyone were to ask what I served or fought for, it's that Americans, and others, have some kind of Puncher's Chance in that fight. 

That, and for Absent Friends.
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2 comments:

  1. As the saying goes, compared to what? Recently I saw the paper by Robert Reich in which he made the same argument for Lesser Evilism which I have seen from Noam Chomsky as well. It is emotionally unsatisfying but seems to me to be realistic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The power structures that run the planet are too powerful to change.

    well, maybe - it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future

    todd rundgren's band utopia had a song "one world"

    "politicians and dictators and the guys with the dough
    they think they run the world but they just don't know
    'cause out here on the street we got it under control
    from berlin to san francisco, from new york to tokyo"

    obviously this is false, although it feels good to sing it - in what sense is it true?

    it is true in the sense that - as todd put it later in "change myself" - there is a part of the world that is potentially, to some extent, under our control - that part being ourselves - our way of thinking, the emotions we choose to give free reign to and enjoy, the actions we take or refrain from taking

    and it is, of course, true that it is an unusual person who has developed to the extent that they can reliably act in accordance with their intentions - but the struggle to do so is what seers and saints and sages have advised, over the ages

    i spent a lot of time reading books by idries shah at an earlier point in my life, and in some ways i took them too literally, i realize now, but there was a poem in them that still comes to my mind from time to time - not one he wrote, or at least i don't think so


    TAVERN PLEDGE

    ‘It may be said: “They came in vain”.”
    Let it not be that they came in vain.

    We leave, this, the bequest, to you.
    We finished what we could, we left the rest to you.

    Remember, this is work entrusted –
    Remember, beloved, we shall meet again.’

    Dervish Song



    Idries Shah. Wisdom of the Idiots

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to thrill all humankind with the brilliance and importance of You. And forgo all civility (especially the passive-aggressive sort, aggression masquerading as mildness) . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

But, consider: Dogs have short attention spans, don't tolerate bullies, and we're notoriously thin-skinned -- so make sense, be brief, and play nice, or I'll bite you and pee on your leg. Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark.