Sunday, October 14, 2012

street scenes

It's become almost impossible for me to bring my attention to the current political struggle being played out in the press, much less write about it or talk about it.

That's partly because of the similarities among the candidates. Barack's selling point is that he wants to cut Social Security benefits less than the Mittster, but where's the candidate who promises to preserve and defend the former USA's most successful social program? Joe and Pauly might argue about whether the Afghan war has been intelligently fought, but where's the candidate who loudly asks the question the war begs: "What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan?"

I call it the former USA because I believe this country has degenerated into little more than a landscape, mostly urban, since the large majority of us now live in cities and suburbs, dominated by a collection of interconnected rackets, swindles, and scams, held together by greed and sadism. From the Wall Street banks' biggest-ever Ponzi scheme of the late 90's and double-zeros, when they created thousands of mortgage-backed "securities," in which bogus mortgages were the "collateral" in collateralized debt obligations, then hung them on the main, humungous housing balloon, like colored balls on a Xmas tree, so that when the crash came it was several times bigger than just a common "bubble," to the Petagon's forever-war scam in the Middle East, to big pharma's Medicare-backed $1200-a-month prescriptions and $800-per-tube ointments, it's become impossible for ordinary citizens to get through a day without being robbed in various large and small ways.

The role of ordinary citizens in all this is quite clear. We're expected to become emotionally invested in the political process, and care deeply about which set of applicants for the top management position at USA, Co, Inc. comes out on top. Many citizens, having lost jobs and, in some cases, houses in the recent troubles, might resent the mass manipulations of politicians in office-seeking rut, but a blast of patriotic music and a few quavery-voiced slogans about "the flag" and "our civic duty" emanating from CNN/Pravda is usually enough to get them back in line.

Other than that we're expected to go off to work every day if we have jobs, and eagerly look for work if we don't. We need to work so we can pay the income taxes our betters increasingly refuse to contribute to, and also to pay the prices now demanded for "food" which has been "developed" by factory farmers like Monsanto, for medicines and also for advertising those medicines on TV, and also for the television cable which is now required to pipe corporate-manufactured "entertainment" into our homes and apartments.

So don't forget to vote in November, because your country needs you. It mostly needs you to keep believing in the dream we're living in, now morphed into a nightmare of swindles and rip-offs. But they're going to have to have their election this year without me, 'cause I'm awake.

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