What is the good life? I think I'd know it if I saw it.
And there was a time I thought I was leading it, during the administration of our most popular recent preznit;
I'd be popular too if I'd been president of at a time when the illusions of permanent prosperity and effortless American domination of the world were riding high. Life was real easy then, and there was no reason to assume it would ever end.
During the Clinton 90's it seemed that everybody was working, there were no wars except a kind of a low-grade ongoing rumble with Iraq, plus a little, short war in the Balkans, in which the U.S. sustained no casualties. Those were for Clinton, a draft dodger, to establish his war cred, essential for any American prez. But military spending was way down in those days, and we all benefitted from that.
The problems with Clinton were mostly domestic -- on his watch the Treasury Dept was boarded by pirates from Wall Street, who gutted regulations that had been a cornerstone of the New Deal. Chief among them was the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited banksters from taking the public's money to the casino.
Gas was cheap and it looked like the party would go on forever. We worked, shopped at the mall, acquired houses full of useless junk, made love, drank, and sang. We saw the peace and prosperity on the surface and didn't think about how thin and fragile those things were, or about the structural instability and insecurity they rested on. It was a time when we could enjoy our illusions.
The worst thing we had to worry about was a gob of spooey that happened to end up on a blue dress that belonged to a pudgy bim.
Then George W. Bush stole an election, and the world went to shit. That was the overture for the double zeros, and it set the tone for the decade from hell.
Now I'm 71, and have dealt with Parkinson's Disease for 8 years, so I think the somewhat mythical "good life" is not to be mine. But we're teetering on the precipice of a real revolution, not just in the US but all over the industrialized world. At times like this we're reminded of what really matters in life, namely, driving your defeated enemies before your chariots, and grinding the bones of the fallen under your wheels.