Monday, July 11, 2011

Politicians Making Us Sweat

Today was a very hot day in New York City, and I had the day off from work; much needed emotionally though it was a non-paid furlough day: those modern-economy treats dispensed to freelancers during slow hot summers and slow holiday periods. Which is more than frustrating. I certainly never thought in my younger days that paid time off would be as obsolete as subway tokens.

Which makes it all the more frustrating to listen to all the liars lying on the teevee or radio on such an insufferably hot and humid day about this manufactured economic crisis. I'm not that good a psychic: how come nobody else sees that every word out of John Boehner's quivering tear-streaked mouth is a lie? And what is with Obama? His hair sure is gray. I guess all that stuff about defending certain basic principles was filed away in the same drawer with his opposition to wars.

I think what ultimately frustrates me is that it's so clearly a minority of people going through these horrible motions. Even if you buy the questionably democratic logic of the American electoral system, the Republican landslide of 2010 doesn't actually mean that a majority of Americans actually support their absurd positions. Why are they allowed to dictate the narrative on what's wrong with the economy and how to solve it?

If you page through the years of this blog, you'll see some gushingly enthusiastic posts for Obama. To my credit, always with a warning grain of salt, but to my embarrassment, I should have known better than what proved to be all my naive optimism about the capacity of the political system to right its wrongs. At the same time, I guess I'm personally encouraged that as much as what's going on is hard to watch, somewhat demoralizing and actually quite worrisome, I think my re-radicalization is absolutely, even if paradoxically, the fruit of the Obama era.

This last spring saw a wave of revolution sweep a huge swath through the Middle East; most of those revolutions remain unresolved and conflicted by internal and international contradictions. But it seems unlikely that eventually the momentum of resistance will not return to these shores, and maybe all of us who are reduced to the role of impotent spectators watching our future being sold to corporate America and its patrons will remember all the things that a few very smart people once knew. And next time, maybe we'll win.

(Vintage 1960s/70s Black Panther Party poster from the great Emory Douglas, the brilliant house graphic artist of the BPP.)


  1. Here's another person you probably never thought would be quoted on your blog. lol I used it in a reply to a reply from my very far right state rep. Though honestly it was the only quote of hers that bears repeating.

    "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." ~ Ayn Rand

  2. I read this comment on the NYT site. I wish I had written it:

    "It's simple. Get rid of the Bush tax cuts. Get out of the Bush wars. Get back the jobs that were lost in the Bush years.

    Who's against this? The people who supported all of the failed Bush policies."

  3. And, sort of abstractly on the same topic, I recommend by friend Jon's blogpost
    to anyone reading these comments!

  4. I suppose life would be so simple if we just sat back and drank our Kool-Aid like good little children. But if it takes anger to motivate then so be it. We can't just sit around and let them screw us.

    To be fair, television "news programs" should have to carry a warning label - "CAUTION ENTERTAINMENT IN PROGRESS"