And so it goes...the entire situation seems a natural outcome of the post-literate society we have become. Reasoning, facts, even political horse-trading are all like so much roadkill in this America where image, emotion, and ideology have emerged ascendent.
I had a conversation about a year ago with an individual who had been studying and educating people about Peak Oil for about the past 15 years. He had reached a point where he no longer was willing to speak publicly on the topic. Instead he devoted most of his time and energy to his adjuct professorship in English at the local community college and his vegetable garden. His mindset, he said, was "we're all observers now". The magnitude of the issue and the complexity and associated unpredictability of the consequences had outpaced any possible good his investing of time and energy might produce.
More cheerful thought below the squiggle....
For me, the events of the past week have caused a somewhat similar response from within. I sense that a "sea change" of sorts has occurred. The charade in Congress, the willingness to inflict harm on the nation over an ideology based on lies and greed, has played surprisingly well based on the conversations I have had with those who identify with the Republican actions.
The genie is out of the bottle...media consolidation, talk radio, use of wedge issues of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationalism...I believe that the reactionary forces have decided to act and assert their power based on their assessment that they will be welcomed in varying degrees by a sufficient percent of their base.
Every attempt i made to reason with those Repub's around me was interrupted by a sound bite or evasion of the issue. Why reason when "your side" is winning?
"Rich people deserve what they have because they work harder"
"People are poor because their parents didn't make them work hard in school"
"Taxing the rich is just based on jealousy"
"Social programs are just a tool the Democratic Party uses to keep its voter base from improving themselves"
Intellegent people have lost the capacity to follow a narrative to its logical conclusion. Maybe it is something within our internal landscapes, like the London cabbies who demonstrated a change in brain function when they started using GPS devices instead of their memory of the London streets.
Post-literate...loss of narrative. We've traded Wallace Stegner for Glenn Beck. God help us.
As I examined my emotional response to the unfolding drama and my attention to comments and attitudes by Repub's around me that heretofore would never have been vocalized, I realized that it may be time to recognize my need to grieve. The country, the nation, the society, that I thought I lived in, no longer exists. I need to recognize the source of my anger and stop denying that the time that certain individuals with foresight have spoken about is here, now, at this time.
"White man needs to learn to sing the blues", and "we're all being put on the reservation now" are two favorite quotes of a friend of mine. I look back at conversations we had 5-6 years ago and realize that he was right, he saw this coming, the product of 30 years of full time peace activist involvement against the militarization of space.
The genie is out of the bottle...the fairy tales tell us that the three wishes are often more than the happy individual bargains for. Very few have the wealth and influence to be spared from the blowback of an ideology based on lies and greed.
As for me, I suppose that I am learning the meaning of lament.