Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Still in Shock
We're in the government's hands now. No use
kidding ourselves about who has the power.
BUT I STILL INSIST YOU LISTEN. It's like a death after a long illness. The end was known well ahead of time. But the event when it occurs is still shattering. Ignoring the second inauguration didn't make it go away. The fact of it is shattering. It's so official, so final. All through the first term there was the hope that the damage could be undone. Two terms of this madness is probably something our beloved country can't recover from. We knew this on election night. But that was a knowledge of a death blow to come, not the blow itself. Now the blow has been delivered, and it's even more shattering than our imaginations could encompass. You're shattered. I'm shattered. The question keeps recurring. What are we to do now?
Prospects are bleak. For those of us who are older, the impacts will be direct, personal, near-term, and fatal. Palin's death panels are no fantasy. With ObamaCare, our fates in the event of predictable, old-age illnesses will be decided by bureaucrats, not doctors. I am almost certain the government will take my wife away from me prematurely or me away from my wife prematurely. Hell. we both smoke, which makes us evil in the post-Christian world where morality consists of being an historically victimized minority or, well, anything but a relatively affluent white person.
I'm not whining, just reporting. All of you who believe that politics is not something discussed in polite company or held against those you otherwise like but disagree with politically need to understand that the second inauguration changes life for everyone. Everyday life. When Obama took the oath for the second time, your children's lives were dimmed and reduced. They will never experience your prosperity. They will live in lesser houses in worse parts of town. They will be brain-damaged by an educational system you cannot rescue them from. They will, at some point, cease to be your children and become instead generic soldiers of the state. They may live longer physically but probably won't, and likely their lives will not be what we would call lives at all. They will become prisoners of a malleable present whose changes they can't detect, much as George Orwell prophesied. They will be anonymous units in the cascade of a pachinko machine, jingling nothings whose only significance is statistical.
They will not see what is wrong or missing in themselves. They will look at you and wonder what it is that's wrong or missing in you. They will thank the government when you die and the burden of your old age is removed from their weak, indifferent shoulders. In other words, the government has become one of the most intimate and powerful influences within the family unit you once believed could protect and save your experience of life. What the loss of freedom means in reality.
I have just two talents as a person. Otherwise I'm not much. I can write. And I can see relationships between cultural elements at a very deep level. The way you look at a barn and see that it is red I can look at a newspaper, TV show, organization, institution, public (or private) person, or national moment and see its resonance, the sources and impacts of its slightest movements. Right now, at this precise moment in time, I am shattered.
I haven't commented much on current events since the election. Why? Because all I can see is non-current events. The future unfolding before us. Why I've been such an asshole of late that only my wife can stand me. I've lost all the friends of my youth and middle age. I've cut myself off from most family and near family. I have no room room for anything in my mind anymore but her, my dogs and cats (who remain lovely innocents), and the darkening vision of the end of western, Christian consciousness. I have no more patience for ego, jealousy, acquisitiveness, ignorance, willful blindness, or stupidity.I am adrift in the universe of piercing, rocketing interrelationships among all things, from the most trivial to the most complex. Cultural cosmology, comprising everything from particles to planets and beyond.
Not boasting. It's a curse. My physical energy is gone. Not that I'm physically ill. I'm not. Like Star Trek's Enterprise where Scotty diverts all power to the shields or the warp drives, my life force is diverted to my consciousness. Most of you can look at a TV show or movie and enjoy it (or not) on its own terms. I can't do that anymore. I see -- can I come up with an adequate term? -- always a matrix.Imagine a table in three dimensions in which every variable, from producer to scriptwriter to director to cameraman to FX designer to actor to soundtrack composer to film editor to lighting technician to extra, is part of a vast lattice of equations that add up to the end product. Each has a personal history, a worldview, a body of work, a theme, a message, a set of fantasies, a life being channeled into a succession of still frames we see as a "good flick" or a "turkey." Which definition also sits in a matrix of genres and competitors both ancestral and derivative. And on and on. Seeing the whole thing whole is my impossible obsession. I'm not saying I can see all the elements of the matrix. I'm saying that's the perspective from which I watch. When you chase infinity, you are doomed. You cannot know. All you can do is continuously ratchet down your expectations of what you might know. After years of pontificating, I have arrived at the summit of wisdom. I know nothing but a few elementary principles of right and wrong that obviate the matrix. Where I am. Shattered.
Commenters here have been waiting since the election for me to say something worthwhile, intelligent, or helpful. (That's not ego; they wouldn't be here at all if they weren't interested in my thoughts.) I haven't done that. Why Peregrine John, one of our reliably shrewd interlocutors, identified the common sense advice of Sara, who knows more than I do what we might be able to do next. Here's what she has to say. Read it. All of it. I mean it. Come back after you've read it. Meanwhile, we'll twiddle our thumbs.
What did you think? Pitiful, isn't it? We're not even going to be able to save our children. I don't doubt her resolve, but you know what's going to happen as well as I do. Read for pleasure? No way. She didn't even specify the most crucial requirement of that goal -- required memorization and recitation of great poetry. Forget it. It's all gone. Shhhhhhhhhh. Don't go any farther in this post..
That's right. A grand, stupid, meaningless gesture in the face of utter, annihilating defeat. The fruit of the best thinking of my 22nd century mind. I'm not going to spell it out here. If I did, the SWAT teams would be at the door within 12 hours. You have to divine it for yourselves from the matrix of 10 years of IP posts. Although I won't stop you from perusing (which means "read thoroughly" btw) the Comments on yesterday's inauguration post. Just remember, you didn't hear it from me. As I've been at pains to show you, I'm a declining semi-psychotic narcissist who has no fucking idea that the world doesn't revolve around him. Er, me.
Because I always know what to do next. You might not like it. I might not like it. But the thing that can be done is the thing to do.