Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Richard Cranium's Manifesto

I am going to copy this whole piece written by my friend Richard Cranium at the all spin zone. You'll have to pardon my wholesale cut-n-paste here, and to make me less of a burglar, please go visit Richard's site. All Spin Zone is a great blog.

Without further ado, Richard:

Makin' the Nut

If I've seemed a bit off of my game recently, it's probably because I need to get back on the meds. I was doing quite well for awhile, but in the past couple of weeks, I've noticed one of those “black hole” changes. Those of you who've been where I've been know what I'm talking about.

I've been struggling for days with writing a comprehensive post on the Katrina debacle, and the failure of government at all levels to do its most basic function - protect its citizens - and particularly, those who are least able to fend for themselves. There are no excuses for the deaths and destruction in New Orleans. None. Federal, state, and local governments all have an equal share of the blame for this disaster of preventable proportions.

I wish I could bind my anger, but I can't right now. I wish I could bind my despair right now, but I can't. I wish, I just wish, that I could feel better about anything in this country, the country my kids are going to inherit.

Before I drove my daughter back to school last night, I told her, “I envy you”. She's got so much in front of her, and she's got a fighting spirit that would make a true warrior proud. Even at the tender age of 18, she doesn't suffer fools lightly. She doesn't know it yet, but she's a leader.

My 25 year old son is the apple who didn't fall far from the tree. We're in constant conflict because we're so much alike. And I envy him, too - because I see a budding Chomsky in him that is continuously outraged at how the proletariat is steamrolled by the capitalist machine that thinks no further than the next stock option.

And they are both livid about those who were “left behind” in New Orleans.

Those that were “left behind” don't fit Tim LaHaye's mold of the White Christian Rapture™. But they were as surely left behind by their government as heathens that God left on the planet in LaHaye's series. Maybe LaHaye and his fundamentalist ilk missed the rapture last week. Maybe the Jehovah's Witnesses got it right and the thousands of bloated black corpses floating in the fetid water of the Mississippi delta made the cut? That would be an incredibly scary thought for the religious right wingers, wouldn't it?

I want to write (and I've written and backspaced over it 5 times now) that there are better days ahead. Being in the frame of mind I'm in right now, I'm not so sure. Honestly, I don't think I'll see those days in my own lifetime.

What I'm hoping for is that my children, and those of their generation, can make the difference that I no longer have the ability or mental clarity or strength to accomplish. The war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina both drive home the point that the government which is chartered to protect us no longer does so. The three independent branches of our government (and the fourth estate) have become wholy owned subsidiaries of corporate America. A coup d'tat was held, and not a shot was fired.

Because not enough people cared to be inconvenienced.

I've talked about this before, and I actually spent some time over this past weekend thinking about it. Given what's happened on the Gulf Coast this past week, and the morbid turn in Iraq prior to that (hey, who doesn't love a good U.S. government-sponsored Islamic theocracy after $300 billion and thousands of lives?), you would have thought there would be pitchforks and torches at the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. And you would be wrong.

You would be wrong because you've gotta pay the electric bill, right? And if you don't go to work today, how you gonna put dinner on the table this evening, right? And if someone else, well ok, a lot of someone elses, would get the ball rolling, you'd be right there behind them, right?

You're a fucking liar.

You wouldn't be there. You might be cheering from your keyboards, but you wouldn't be there. If I mounted the tallest soapbox, and called for a general work stoppage in the U.S. tomorrow (assuming anyone would listen to me), as much as you know how powerful such a statement would be, you'd still be at work so you could make the mortgage nut at the end of the month. You know it and I know it. You know why I know it? Because I would be, too.

We're slaves. We're just living in better accommodations than the brothers and sisters 150 years ago.

Most of us have no, or limited, social mobility. Most of us have no, or limited, economic mobility. Nobody wants a stake in our collective future because we've been conditioned to believe that this is as good as it gets. We're all souless, selfish bitches in that regard because we're resigned to our collective fate, not future. We forget the words (or more importantly, the concept) that the poet was trying to impart:

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

The sad fact of the matter is, there's no real “movement” these days, nor will there likely be in the near future, because everyone's waiting for someone else to move first. It's also no small matter that a movement requires a leader, and I don't see any budding Lech Walesa's capturing the imagination of the country. Even if there was one, the three branches and the fourth estate wouldn't let him/her emerge.

In reality, none of us are much better off than those souls who were left behind in New Orleans last week. Our government has stranded us, too. Yet we continue to support the system that caused the New Orleans disaster to happen. Doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or Republican. We 'tut-tut' as the disaster unfolds, and thank God that we don't have to walk a mile in those shoes.

The strange thing is that we do.

Every day.

Every single, stinkin', waking day. To make the nut.

The only difference is that the water might not be as deep where you live.

That's how Richard sees it, and you know what? I think I might agree with him


Blogger Phillybits said...

WOW! Can I repost this? That's awesome, and frighteningly so true. Sad but true.

9:23 PM  

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