In the land of the free and the brave and the General Motors, this is an election year, and that usually brings out the worst in me. As readers of this web log know, I always try to maintain an even temperament, even when I am trashing various religious beliefs, which I usually do on rational grounds, since I have no wish to attack people for their misguided passions, as long as these don’t threaten lives or the general welfare. But I have been known to slip and lash out when I felt truly offended by irrational behavior. Since American elections have evolved historically into irrational displays of spectacular ‘infomercial’ performances with little relation to what people actually live through and need to deal with, it’s hard to keep from diving into the melee, rather like giving into the temptation to jump into the mosh-pit at a hard-core punk show.
With the Republicans providing us with a Fascist reality-TV clown for a presidential candidate, this should be a perfect year for gleefully unleashing all the rant one’s reasonable soul can muster. And there are many who are amusingly engaged in such.
However, his opponent is a neoliberal economist with neocon foreign policy convictions. I find I cannot in good conscience vote for either of them. A choice between Mussolini and Dick Cheney’s female mirror image is not a choice worth contemplating. Unfortunately, here it is. Of course I hope that, in the final moment, the reasonably sane insider Clinton wins the election rather than a possibly deranged narcissistic buffoon with bad hair. But after all, it might be entertaining to watch America self-destruct for a couple of years, before Trump’s inevitable impeachment on grounds of corruption, bribery, conflict-of-interest, and cronyism. But I’m not really so committed to the electoral process that I want to lift the finger necessary to push a button in the ballot booth.
So my gut feeling is, rather than lash out ranting, I want to utter a groan. So this is what American politics has devolved to – choosing between a right-wing Christian fundamentalist feminist versus a farther right-wing openly racist clown. Have the American people become so dumbed down? – Well, haven’t the people of Britain just voted their way into narrow-minded ethnophobic isolation? This century is on course to the ascendancy of China, simply because the Western peoples can’t give up their neolithic fantasies of nationalistic tribalism.
Nonetheless, I love to write, and I need subject matter to write about. I suppose some people might be interested in my contemplating my hemorrhoids – there’s a lot to be learned from the feeling of something like a hot knife digging at one’s anus. But the truth is that, after two years operating this web log, I feel spiritually exhausted. For the time being, I’ve said what I had to say. Yet, the desire to write continues to nag at me, rather like a similar temptation to get up and go to work – not so much for the money, but because I can’t think of anything better to do.
So, I am going to re-group and, for a time anyway, go ahead to blow my nose in the general direction of the American electorate, its institutionalized ‘parties,’ its circus election – in short, politics. At least it will help me blow off some steam, and thus avoid annoying other bloggers with trolling comments like ‘You forgot the comma after the first clause!’ or, ‘you blathering bigot, how dare you question the right of transgender women to be sexually involved with lesbians?!’ or, ‘prefer Frege to Heidegger? you’re not worthy to suck Hegel’s dialectic, you slave!’
How much better, and how safer, to engage in such virulence on my own web log – to slander Trump and Clinton – to imagine fantasies where in they engage in group sex with various Party officials, while plotting the rape of America – although I guess it couldn’t be called a rape, since the American public seems willing to up-end and spread their buttocks for a good buggering. After all, the American people don’t really want peace and security, the want to hear the promise of peace and security. They’re not interested in tolerance, they want to be left alone. They can’t adjust to a world where America isn’t the bully with the big stick, they intend to go down fighting – and take the world down with them, if necessary.
The American people are afraid, insecure, somewhat paranoiac – and they have every right to be. Because they willfully supported one government after another playing to (and at least partially satisfying) their greed, their callous disinterest in the rights, status, and living conditions of others; their longings to be exceptional. Now it is coming time to pay the piper, and they don’t understand why, and they don’t know how.
So, as the American empire begins to sink slowly under the horizon of the past – into the dust-bin of history, it’s time to – lighten up and enjoy the show!
Five more months of empty rhetoric, lies, useless pundit commentary, pointless polls, grandly staged conventions and speeches, stupid street theatrics and stupider responses by supposed ‘officials’ of one party or another or of the government itself – you gotta love the charade! It’s like a 24/7 marathon broadcast of the Marx Bros.’ “Duck Soup.”
Finance Minister: I want to take up the tax.
Groucho: He’s right, you’ve got to take up the tacks before you take up the carpet.
So, if everyone else is going to act stupid for the next five months, well, I guess I might as well, too. I’m an American, goddamit, and I’ve a right not to know anything about anything, and carry a gun. As long as I don’t shoot myself in the foot, I can shoot my mouth off about anything I please.
I don’t know what they have to say, it makes no difference anyway, whatever it is, I’m against it. – Groucho, “Horsefeathers”