Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Look, ma, I'm a post modernist!

I thought I'd copy my comments from another blog. Having a to-do in an Obama section with a shrill leftist. Like I once was. I've not copied my opponents comments but you can surely infer what they were!

There hasn't been a mass movement with any political impact in this country since the civil rights movement of the early 1960s, with the possible exception of the right-wing evangelical churches. The US just doesn't work that way, no matter how much the left wishes it did.


The Vietnam war ended because a) the North Vietnamese military was winning, b) the costs vs benefits for the American government didn't add up and c) the US wanted to be pals with China against the Soviet Union and withdrawal from VIetnam was part of the ticket. Sadly, the antiwar movement--which I completely supported and participated in--was not effectual and imploded into cultural and political disarray and demoralization. Its more serious elements were subverted by the state.

I don't mean to condemn the idea of mass movements. It's just the hyperbole of the left clouds the very real history of defeat after defeat due in large part because the left has no actual message nor actionable methodology besides being against "bad" things and for "good" things. The left routinely stomps its feet, winds up handing what little power it has to democrats, and is left sitting alone in the dust.

The left's role is little more than a steam valve for unhappiness, and a fairly irrelevant steam valve at that. Sad, but the way it is. No amount of sounding super revolutionary will cover up the left's complete failure to intersect with the consciousness of Americans.

LIke it or not, the real choice for Americans right now in this plane of reality is Obama vs. McCain. I now who I'm choosing. How about you?


1) the immigration movement is made up of people who (laudably) just don't want to be deported. either its members will be deported or they will gain citizenship. end of movement.

2) abortion was made legal by an action of the supreme court; an action made possible by evolving consciousness not the (laudable) declarations of the feminist movement. ERA? Yeah that didn't happen did it.

3) the GLBT community is not a movement. as you can plainly see here on JMG it's about as politically diverse as humanly possible. yes Stonewall gave us some gumption. When I first moved to NYC there was a big gay political movement which I was extremely active in. You know what? They're mostly dead, my friends on the left and foes on the right. Our progress as a community came from the recognition of our humanity, and it pains me to say this, not because being gay was a revolutionary act or because of a serious of movement-based victories.

My point, and sorry for drawing this out, is that it's not the shouting that wins

Monday, July 14, 2008

Barack Hussein Osama?

This hilarious slice of satire on the upcoming New Yorker is, to my mind, the perfect distillation of right-wing American stupidity. Sadly, in going over the heads of those morons who actually do believe Obama is a muslim, it's not hard to imagine it becoming un-ironic rightwing propaganda.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obama casts a disgusting vote

Quite unnecessarily, Barack Obama has cast his vote in favor of the senate bill revising FISA to allow warrentless wiretaps and grant immunity against telecommunications companies who cooperated with Bush's justice department and might be prosecuted for violating the law during Bush's reign of illegality.

Even Hillary Clinton had the sense to vote against this bill. By casting this vote, Obama has betrayed his original opposition to the war, and made the same capitulation to Bush's violations of the constitution that Congress has made over and over, repeatedly enabling the rule of lying scumbags without apparent threat of reproach.

I'm truly disgusted.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Which One the War Hero, Which One the Criminal?

There's been a big flap over John McCain and his war record. It started when former U.S. general (and now Democrat) Wesley Clark stated that McCain's years in a prison camp in Vietnam after being shot down didn't automatically grant him the experience necessary for the office of president. While some people--mostly right-wingers--went on to suggest some duplicity in McCain's POW time, most everybody, including Democratic candidate Obama went on to laud McCain's service and say it should never be questioned or criticized. McCain's time as a POW and veteran makes him a hero, they said.

Well I for one would beg to differ.

What, exactly, was John McCain doing when he was shot down over North Vietnam during the U.S. war of aggression? Was he delivering humanitarian messages? Dropping toys and candies to babies? Perhaps enlightening Vietnamese with peace propaganda? I think not. John McCain was a military officer on a bombing mission aimed at killing innocent people and destroying Vietnam's civilian infrastructure. He owes the debt of his life, saved by Vietnamese rescuers who McCain continued to call "Go*ks" well into his post-war political life, to those he was mercilessly trying to murder.

In my opinion this does not qualify McCain for the role of hero. He was not some unfortunate draftee forced to serve thousands of miles from home. He was a career military man, an officer not an enlisted man, a member of military management, if you will, plotting and carrying out the near genocidal war the US waged against the Vietnamese using all manner of weapons including chemical weapons and weapons that had no possible intended function but the maxiumum extermination of civilian life. McCain belongs not in the white house but in prison.

Nguyen Van Troi (1947-1964) was a young South Vietnamese man who, acting for the National Liberation Front--the so-called Viet Cong--attempted to assassinate Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defense, and Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, who were both visiting Vietnam scheming to increase US military commitments to the corrupt South Vietnamese dictatorship. Van Troi was executed at the age of 17.

Now THAT is a hero of the Vietnam war.

Thomas Disch, 1940-2008

Writer Thomas Disch has died. Apparently bereft over ill-health and the death of his partner, the speculative fiction writer committed suicide.

His "On Wings Of Song" is one of my favorite books. I'm saddened that a writer so important to my growing up is gone. But I feel clueless in somehow not actually knowing before that Disch was gay. I guess I must have assumed it in some way: the sexuality in "On Wings Of Song" is so true and clear it could only have come from a gay man. The book tells the story of a near future--now even closer and easier to see--when right-wing religious fundamentalists rule the land, when food shortages force people to eat doggie kibble, and when people find comfort in artists embracing and re-envigorating outdated forms of art or in transcendant drug-like states. It's a funny book, and a tragic one, but its hints of gay identity meant a lot to me as a young man and I read and re-read it many times.

Thanks Thomas Disch. May you find peace.