In an atmosphere of growing anxiety and hysteria, in which the true causes and the scale of our dire national predicament are deliberately concealed and obfuscated by our political establishment and by the corporate media, no wonder there’s confusion and anger everywhere. As anyone who has traveled around this country and talked to people knows, Americans are not just badly informed, but downright ignorant about most things that affect their lives. How nice it would be if our President leveled with us and told us that our deficit is caused in significant part by the wars we are fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the hundreds of military bases we are maintaining around the world, the huge tax breaks for the rich, and the bailout of Wall Street. As we know, we are not about to hear anything of the kind...
As for those who continue to insist that there’s something fundamentally wrong with a democracy that doesn’t address the ever-growing income inequality the sheer madness of our open-ended military ventures in Afghanistan, the miseries of the sick and unemployed, the suffering of the near destitute and of the children and the old, they’ll be dismissed as being unrealistic in present circumstances and reminded that with the other party in power things would be even worse. The reason pessimists are multiplying is that we dishonor the intellect and the knowledge of history in this county by refusing to admit that corruption is the source of our ills. It takes no great mental effort to realize that there’s no effective political forces either in Washington or locally that are able to do anything serious to correct our self-delusions about being the world’s policeman, because any sensible solution would seriously cut into profits of this or that interest group.
That's me a year ago, and that's my friend GOB now, who's Simic's age, who last night over pints had a long monologue saying much the same thing as Simic.
The older one is the later the ripples reach you. Two tables over from us two mid-30s tenured Chicago School of Economics-trained professors and 40ish full-professor in Finance drank (loudly) Glenmotherfucker 18-year-old single malt scotch and bandied (loudly) the best way to make as much money as possible in the remaining five years before the world economy collapses "like a vacuum on itself" while making sure that that money is "as real as fake money can be" post-kaboom. Gold, off-shore accounts, high-security gated communities, they nyucked through the gamut.
We performed our stereotypes too, the young older obamapostate and motherfucking hippie at 51 and the old younger obamapostate motherfucking hippie at 67. GOB still says, "what are we going to do?" It's charming in it's nostalgic black-and-white TV way. He'll give up asking in about three months.
- The gullibility of hope.
- Strung up in Wisconsin.
- Annals of career "progressive" idiocy.
- Slapping David Brooks.
- The sublede (as I type this) for this article in NYT: President Obama has adopted a policy of restraint in the Middle East crisis, recognizing a stark reality that U.S. security interests weigh as heavily as idealistic impulses.
- First paragraph of this article in NYT: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sharply rebuked the United States’ allies on Friday for effectively abandoning Afghanistan and threatening what he described as tenuous progress in the nearly decade-old war.
- UPDATE! Faintly falling, falling faintly.
- Identity politics.
- A foolish consistency is.....
- Oopsy. I always hated Car Talk anyway, nyucknyucknyuck, don't drive like my brother, don't drive like my brother, nyucknyucknyuck.
- UPDATE! Related to the above.
- Maybe it won't be The Sarah Palin Decade.
- UPDATE! Football crest quiz. I was 4 of 10.
- Return of Maryland Millionaire Tax?
- UPDATE! Random Music Friday.
Midwinter murder is in my heart
As I stand there on the curb in my opera pumps,
Waiting for the car to come and the opera to start,
Amid the Broadway homeless frozen clumps.
Patent leather makes my shoes
Easter eggs by Fabergé.
The shoes say New York is still run by the Jews,
Who glitter when they walk, and aren’t going away.
The morning after the Mozart, when I take my morning stroll, I feel
Removed all over again from the freezing suffering I see.
Someone has designed a beautiful, fully automatic, stainless steel,
Recoilless assault shotgun down in Tennessee.
The dogs tied up outside the Broadway stores
In the cold look with such touching expectancy inside.
A dog needs to adore. A dog adores.
A dog waiting for an owner is hot with identity and pride.
I’d like to meet the genius in Tennessee, or at least speak
To the gun on the phone.
I’d like to be both the dog owner and the dog. I’d leak
Love after I’d shot myself to shit. I’d write myself a bone.