Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm pretty bummed currently. I'm not really a very politically motivated sort of guy. Can't stand know-it-all lunkheads on either side of the aisle, but lately, it's been impossible not to have some opinions, hopes and fears about this country and the world. Kerry was not really my knight in shining armor, but in the end he struck me as a good enough guy, a real enough person, right down to his somewhat screwball approach on the campaign trail. What lacked in flare or so-called scruples was made up for with passion, integrity and intensity. And his wacko wife would've made the coolest first lady in decades. He was finally emerging from his self-spun cocoon of mega rich career politicking as someone who could actually be a world leader, but it was too late. Maybe he never did have a real chance. Maybe the idea of real choice in America today is mostly an illusion. One starts to think, when someone like Eminem floats a fast ball like "Mosh" right over the plate and P-Diddy's coercing da mutha fuckin yooth vote on MTV, maybe a little compassion can prevail on a world scale. Maybe some reverberations can be felt right here in our communities, and our own fucked up inner cities.

In the end the same production values that make something like MTV such a cultural force to be reckoned with came back to bite its favorite political party on the ass. This year, it was all about the Republicans. Their machine was bigger, their support broader, their drama more dramatic, their hearts apparently deeper(?). Since when is the party of your father and other oil tycoons the party of the heart? It's what the US media says, with images of Dubya standing strong, shoulders wide, nostrils flared like John Wayne in "Stagecoach" as he spurns on his bold warriors. And there's talk of "the glow" that apparently comes with meeting the man. I never did, so I can't confirm or deny. Thing I'm getting at is this: Apparently everyone's favorite dumbass (which is actually a carefully orchestrated persona that has made Dubya a highly accessible and electable man to yr typical bumfucked JimBobs of the world--ie those who elected the man) has a real knack for making people feel a kind of awed reverence when he meets them. He is literally John Wayne with a direct link to God. And people blindly trust it. They trust a man who continually invokes the name of God, missing the point that he's exploiting a deity to justify his own agenda, just as certain suicide bombers are doing halfway around the world. It's OK for him to do it though. He's invoking the name of our God. I'll never fully comprehend the duplicity of asking God to bless a people as you order one group to go slaughter another. Why bring His name into it at all? God bless those who live a life without ever having to take another. God help those who don't. Never more than now have I been so ashamed of my country's obsession with image, facade, violence and greed.

Yet, as any right leaning financial conservative will tell you, America--leader of the "free world"--must come first at a time of such peril. People must die, hopefully just not on our soil. I'm surrounded by republicans of every stripe where I live, and I actually welcome it. The bombardment of skewed opinion and good old fashioned hate keeps me on my toes. 'Course there are democrats like that too, fools bent so far to the left they come back spinning around on the right.

What became really important following March of 2003, and why something as obviously biased and quasi-fictional as "Fahrenheit 9/11" is an essential blip on the national consciousness, is we need to be critical of our leaders. We have to scrutinize their every action and denounce scumbags like Bill O'reilly and those of his ilk every chance we get. We need to realize that every piece of information received is contextual and biased, for obvious and human reasons. Al Jazeera does not support the violent overthrow of our society, but it does pray we leave their homeland, and it even goes so far as to air opinions by those who wish to see America destroyed. It's free press, the American constitution in action. Love it or hate it, deal with it. In the coming years these scattered, "radical" opinions will only multiply and converge as our military might in the region becomes stronger. "Wiping them all out" will not solve the problem. History has taught us the best way to overthrow a nation is not with force, but with the media and subtle mind control in the guise of the looming specter of FEAR on the horizon. It worked in America, I'm sure it could work in Iraq.

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