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We are becoming a nation of barbarian clowns.

I’m speaking the obvious.

Look with clear eyes at television, or any form of media. Hell, look critically at lots of your fellow citizens.

More and more, we’re crude, crass, money-grubbing, uncouth, violent, predatory, childish clowns.

Do me a favor: go to one of the mainstream online dating sites (e.g., match.com), and pull up, say, 20 random profiles of American female members who are in their 20s. Read the text. I’d bet you a fair amount of money that one recurring sub-text will come up very, very often: a lot of their “what I’m looking for” text can be boiled down to, “Look, guys – I’m lonely and would just like to meet someone and spend a day having fun. Please don’t rape me or beat me up.”

See what I mean?

Good.

Now go to that same dating website, but the version aimed toward…it doesn’t really matter…let’s say Denmark. Use Google translate and read those women’s “what I’m looking for” text. See? Nothing on there pleading with predatory men not to make them a victim – or at least, it is way, way rarer.

It is becoming more and more clear that our society is deeply, deeply sick, and has been for quite some time. It can barely be said to merit the description of “society” at all. More and more, it is just a collection of people who happen to all have the same country on their driver’s licenses, who are convinced that the only way to survive is to be even more ruthless than their fellow citizens “competitors.”

The oligarchs who pull the strings in the fading remnants of our “civilization” are some utterly craven and ruthless people - and they set the tone for everyone else.

And so, The American Empire tumbles, alternately bitterly divided and drunk on delusions of its own awesomeness, into the abyss.

I believe that collapse is becoming inevitable. The only thing that will stave it off - breaking the power of the oligarchs - is opposed too intractably by those oligarchs. They own all the mass media of consequence. They set the agenda, and control the topic of discussion, the Story We Tell Ourselves, so thoroughly that counter-narratives have no real chance of gaining widespread traction.

If I'm right, the price for all of us will be dire - except the uber-rich, of course, who will just decamp for greener pastures in the developing world - and will require that we put aside the fetuses-and-gay-people fights that have distracted us (these are the only things we are allowed to fight about) and get serious about helping one another,  in very practical ways, to get through the coming collapse.

Then, just possibly, you and I can build a country that will be serve the interests, and be worthy of the dreams, of the people who've been getting shafted the last 30 years.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 09:42:08 AM PDT

  •  The problem is corruption... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radmul

    ...and more of the Democrats than the Republicans.

    The Republicans have always been the loyal servants of privilege - This Is Who They Are.

    The Democrats, however - once the Party of the New Deal, The Wagner Act and The Great Society - is now the party of...well, who, exactly?

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:18:01 AM PDT

  •  What's obvious to you isn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot

    so obvious to me. I won't be visiting any dating web sites, however, the indications you describe point just as conclusively to increasingly pervasive fear rather than barbarian behavior.

    I'm not a barbarian, and neither are you. Are you witnessing more barbarism than you did 10 years ago? I'm not, except in the lesson plans of the oligarchs, which is to say the popular media and politics.

    I have been studying Mesoamerican history for many years, as a hobbyist, and I've developed my own theory about the collapse of those great civilizations. I don't think it was war, or drought, or disease. I think those civilizations collapsed because a large enough proportion of the working class finally came to the understanding that most of the discourse of the oligarchs, when the popular media was religion, was bullshit.

    •  Thanks for the comment, Doorguy (0+ / 0-)

      I would just say, where is that fear coming from? I find it hard to believe that American women have suddenly and irrationally become afraid of predation for no good reason. I think you're seeing hard experience.

      I've developed my own theory about the collapse of those great civilizations. I don't think it was war, or drought, or disease. I think those civilizations collapsed because a large enough proportion of the working class finally came to the understanding that most of the discourse of the oligarchs, when the popular media was religion, was bullshit.

      I completely agree with this.

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

      by mftalbot on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:44:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Adding... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the prospect of collapse, in a country with thousands of nuclear weapons, should make all of us tremble in our boots.

      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

      by mftalbot on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our national identity is reduced to raw power- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot

    the ambitions of the 60's for justice and progress are treated as flower-child hallucinations. Now we're told, by religion, politics and economics, that the strong man takes and strength is respected. Solidarity is for dreamers.

    It'd take an outsider to tell American men that they're not standing tall but laid low by divide-and-conquer.

    And yeah, the discourse of our oligarchs- 'Winning The Future', 'Job Creators'- is bullshit and bullshit doesn't last.

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