Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking in the face of madness

Despite the surreal dance of death being performed by the Republican Party over the distraught body of our Union I have found it hard to find my voice and comment on the situation. Hell I'll be up front and admit this shit makes no sense to me. It started after November 2008 as American politics descended into even darker regions of human conduct with barely coherent masses enraged over Obama’s clear electoral victory.

Even as John McCain was getting ready to give his traditional speech congratulating the new president-elect voices in his camp were already questioning Obama’s legitimacy. From charges of Kenyan birth certificates being hidden, allegations of secretly being a Muslim, to even shrill screams of him being the Antichrist by a few there has been an unbelievable level of irrational fear over one man who in any other circumstance would be held as the highest example of American success.

Far beyond the surreal fears of ignorant masses, what the expensively dressed elected officials from the once honorable party of Lincoln are doing goes beyond normal sycophant behavior and is devolving into a form of insanity. Listening to them on the news channels call for massive cuts in programs working and middle class Americans depend on while gnashing their teeth in panic over the mere mention of their rich benefactors having to share some of the burden is like watching an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Madness is one of the most curious afflictions that Humanity can suffer. On an individual level, it can be relatively easy to identify allowing someone detached from reality to receive some form of help. However, when madness starts affecting large groups it not only becomes easy to justify but also begins to grow exponentially like a virus. Strange rumors and half-truths become hard, unquestionable facts along with anyone outside the group who refuses to join and march lockstep in mindless agreement becoming the personification of utter evil.

It is my belief that much of the insanity that permeates our society today is based on an inability by a huge segment of Americans to come to grips that the all powerful United States of the 1950’s with its comforting absolutes is dead and gone. This is made worse by sniveling little fearmongers who are using this uncertainty for their own profit or for the simple fact they want to see the world and nation burn.

I would like to believe things would eventually get better as the ethnic and age demographics of the country changes to the point the close-minded and selfish people representing the older generations rooted in the twentieth-century passes into history but I have my doubts. From my own personal experiences, I have met many young people for whom hate has become engrained in their soul. Their fear of change is so deep that they live in a delusional mindset where even the most basic commonsense fact that goes against their worldview is not only discounted but is probably part of some grand conspiracy out to impose a terrible tyranny on them.

As the world moves on leaving these people further behind they will blame others even more for their increasingly untenable position and American politics will become even darker and my belief ultimately bloody.


Mike Williams said...

Way back in the 1960's groups of young people defied the powers that be to protest an illegal and unecessary war. Those young people have gotten a bit older, some a bit more comfortable but that spirit still lives on. It just hasn't been stirred into action as yet. But the time is coming. The teabaggers were a small example, now the left needs to step up and take to the streets. i think we can and as we do then the young folks may join with us.
Then again maybe not.

Suzan said...

Pure genius!

I'm quoting your wisdom at my place today, buddy.


Lowandslow said...

I partially agree. The world has changed for sure. It's not that we're "falling behind", but that the rest of the world is catching up, which isn't a bad thing. We can't call all the shots any more, nor should we, nor do I even want to.

The GOP is definitely bought and paid for by their fat cat constituents, both personal and corporate, and this is NOT good. But I would take it a step further and say the Democrats are bought and paid for by another group of special interests, and that's not good either. Why can't we elect people who are looking out for the best interests of ALL of us, and not just those who show up at their doorstep with the biggest suitcase full of "campaign contributions"?

We're not a country who resorts to revolutions to solve our problems, but I honestly think nothing short of a (hopefully bloodless) revolution will permanently fix our ills this time. Our crooked politicians will patch things up just long enough to get us to our next crisis, and then we'll be having this same conversation again.

I'm not optimistic right now.

Good post by the way.


squatlo said...

It just might be that the vast majority of Americans find this entire political quagmire so unbelievably banal they can't bring themselves to even give a shit anymore. I've about given up myself, and I'm as passionate about politics as they come.
When one party is so disciplined, so willing to goosestep along according to the commands of the party leadership that they can effectively throttle all government activity, the other side has to bow and do the same. What results is hard theater to watch, and so disgusting most of us won't.
What we get then is a disconnect from rational, concerned people, leaving the field to the self-serving folks who are willing to carry water for the corporate fat cats. They've made us so sick of the process we've abandoned the fight out of disgust. And they win because of it.

fourdinners said...

OI!! How'd you get a pic of me first thing in the morning in the bathroom mirror????

You aren't a reporter for The News of The World are you???...;-)

The world's been changing since it only seems to be 'our generation' that are really screwing it up...and up....and up...and up

...more voddy needed before I get depressed...

Nance said...

Madness. Yes, that's the very thing it is. A folie a millions...contagious in ways that terrify students of the Great Depression and its aftermath.

I keep puzzling over what it really is about Mr. Obama that so terrifies and maddens the Republicans, because I can see nothing in his governance or in his self that actually poses a maddening degree of threat. It's been asserted that his mixed heritage is the real bugaboo, but that doesn't quite ring true. Nor are his policies so foreign, his positions so intractable, etc.

Can it be partly that he embodies the Future and they are simply terrified of that future, are driven mad by their fear of it? It would then be the times that have driven the madness and it wouldn't matter which Democrat occupied the White House, if he (or she) moved with those times, he would become the Antichrist.

Fareed Zakaria had a very good, brief article in the July 11 Time Magazine that once more adds needed perspective to our exploding fears.
Debt Woes.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Where are the Communists when you need them? ( Just sayin'...

Windsmoke. said...

When first i heard about the allegations levelled at President Obama i couldn't believe them and considered them obsurd and spread by fearmongers for their own gain who i suspect are absolutely living in the twilight zone. What surprised me to was the fear of change by young people as i've always thought the fear of change was reserved for the older generations such as mine who like to stick to the old ways :-).

Sherry said...

We've become a nation of computer users far too used to receiving our info in quick soundbytes. No longer is there intelligence enough in many to stop and read something vital to the issue because it's more than 1 paragraph long. This has lead to a reliance and belief on the words of the likes of Hannity and O'Reilly.

Add to that the lack of critical thinking and you have exactly what's happening these days.

Beach Bum said...

Mike: My biggest problem with the American public in general is that all segments of our society are just too damn comfortable. The rich I can understand, the middle class a little less, but the working class is the one that puzzles me. On the other hand with all the bread and circuses offered up they are often too distracted to care.

Suzan: Thanks but this is lukewarm stuff from me at best. I still hold to the idea that Obama is an intelligent and honest man. Do I wish he had been more dynamic in changing the country? Hell yes, in fact he has highly pissed me off several times but in all honesty I believe progressives were asking for miracles from him and real life just does not function that way.

As much as I wish he could wave a magic wand and fix everything changing the direction of the country is something akin to stopping a fast moving train, it just ain't going to happen as quickly as we might want.

LowandSlow: I happen to agree with just about everything you wrote. This particular post was aimed mostly at the republicans mainly because I feel they are disrespecting Obama and the office he holds.

As for democrats I feel they are essentially controlled by the same people holding the puppet strings of the republicans. When Bush Two was running rampant their opposition was spineless at best. The corporations and banks own our government and nothing less than a Egypt-like uprising will return it to us. But right now as long as the bread and circuses keep the working class destracted and teh credit cards keep the middle class fat and happy nothing will change.

Squatlo: That's way at the start of this post I mentioned my inability to find my voice. Despite all the empty patriotic talk about the land of the free and the home of the brave we are a nation of lemmings who across the political spectrum largely do exactly what we are programmed to do.

While I am a liberal-moving increasingly toward sorry ass "socialist redneck"- I reject the idea that any political ideaology has all the answers. That's justa form of suicide as far as I am concerned.

Fourdinners: Given my current mental state I'll be hitting teh voddy, tequila, and the bourbon hard this weekend.

Nance: I agree, in a country where white people will in a few decades just be another minority Obama does in many ways embody the future of our nation.

Now before any possible conservative readers I might-although I doubt I have any- get too bloody disgusted, yes I realize you can disagree with Obama and his policies and be a good, honest person.

In short, like I have mentioned several times, I do not believe this country entered the 21st century ready for the challeges we now face. A huge portion long for the 1950's and what it represents while others cannot let go of the fact that it will take more of an educated and informed populace than nifty new weapons systems to stay ahead of China.

Another whole other issue is how the captains of free markets no longer look much beyond their noses wanting only short term profits at the expense of the longe term and general welfare of the nation and world. But thats for another post.

Badger: Welcome! Yeah, a few commies running around would be a welcome relief.

Windsmoke: That puzzles me as well, then again from my end of things the young people I wrote about are on the lower end of the educational chart and willfully embrace their ignorance as something to be proud and fight every attempt at learning more.

Sherry: Yeah exactly, but in fairness pop culture does the same thing as well. I look at the likes of Snooki and her gang as worse morons than Sarah Palin in many ways.

Ranch Chimp said...

Madness, eh Bum? ... Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh ... it's accurate ... I, in my posting's of past label it as "mass insanity" of course ... herd stupidity (stupidity breed's in mass), etc ... because we are not stupid by nature/ birth, after all, we are naturally suvivalist's, it is our sloth and lack of atencion that is our worst enemy, but by choice actually. Christian's, Muslim's, Jew's, Anti- Christ's, Archetypal God's, and other iconic figure's of mass atencion, I havent any time for or respect even (and no, for the record I'm not an atheist, I'm a spiritualist). But ... good posting indeed Bum ... your wording when you write is so well done, tell's me you have at least a high school education ... on the other hand, I went to complete 8th grade, then went to Canada (Montreal) to live and work in a brothel as a fugitive teen instead, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh .... Thanx for the posting and perspective Bum! :)

Randal Graves said...

Know who I blame? You, hippie!

My biggest problem with the American public in general is that all segments of our society are just too damn comfortable.

Precisely why any calls, demands, expectations of rebellion or revolution or Gueveraing are so bloody laughable.

When gas is $15/gallon, subsisting on a meal a week and the police state really gets going, then we might maybe see the tiniest threads of a Prague/Arab/Cracker Spring and even then I doubt it.

Pearl said...

Well said! This is what keeps me coming back...


John McElveen said...

AWESOME! What a piece!

Sorry I've in absentia..but I should be back on track!

Blessing Buddy!


Liberality said...

That stupid shit from the 1950s is to blame for all these crazy conservative shits today. Reagan should have never been allowed to steal the election (via Iran) from Carter. It's been downhill ever since.

Cloudia said...

Right there with you!

I expect change, but not violent change. Enough people will wake up and we will move on TOGETHER!

Aloha from Waikiki;

My posts seem to be updating again!!!! Hooray!

Comfort Spiral


> < } } ( ° >

< ° ) } } > <

goatman said...

I used to think that racism would eventually disappear by attrition as the young would "water down" the evil hatred. But, you're right, it seems the offspring just continue the madness in many cases.

Maybe its time to sharpen up those guillitines!

lime said...

it's just disturbing all the way around. the ability to engage in rational discourse is all but lost. it's just a shouting match. today was my daughter's graduation party...the two most stubborn guests with the most polar opposite political views found each other. it was ridiculous. way to clear a room guys....

when you talk about one generation passing and the hope that the next might do better i have similar fears. these kids have been weaned on shouting matches rather than discourse.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Somebody in the Republican party needs to stand up and say, "Enough already!" And it can't at this point be an Olympia Snow, or a Lisa Murkowski, or a Scott Brown. It has to be a Nixon goes to China type of thing. I personally would like it to be Tom Coburn. Yes, he's a conservative. But he's also smart, sane, and a personal friend of Mr. Obama's. He, I think, is a person who could get his colleagues off of that 2012 fixation of theirs. Even for a minute would be helpful.

Mr. Charleston said...

Late to this party BB but you're right on the money. Nance over at Mature Landscaping has a really good post similar to this.

I see the major problem with the simpletons is that Democracy has become a sport. My team, right or wrong. I fear the sad truth is, the average person is too stupid to govern themselves.

Truth 101 said...

Politics is purely a machiavellian endevour. The ends justify the means. No lie or dirty trick is too dirty. And the voters either buy into the lines of shit thrown at us by those who use the party apparatus to get elected, or we vote for the lesser we believe of the two evils.

I sincerely believed Obama to be a man of conscience and character when I met him in Clat/Adams park during his run for US Senate. I still think he's a man of character and conscience. He's surrounded by corporate puppets and idiots who think Michelle Bachman is intelligent. The poor guy has nothing to deal with. "Blue Dog" democrats force Obama to have to deal with kooks who think lower taxes for multi millionaires will cure all our ills and climate change is a hoax started by Al Gore.

In the end, we may be getting what we deserve.

Beach Bum said...

Ranch: Good points!

Randal: That is the 10 billion dollar question, when will the frogs swimming around in the pot of water coming to a boil realize what is happening.

Pearl and John: Thank you.

Cloudia: I'm having trouble with my blogroll updating. I guess they are playing with the code again.

Liberality: I believe things will get even worse.

Goatman: Like Randal mentioned, we are nowhere near an uprising while things like Snooki and her friends have the attention of the public. I believe it will come but I have no idea when.

Lime: My wife and I listen to college courses on CD's and I almost wrote a post about what one of the professors lectured about.

The subject was on the Dark Age that decended on Bronze Greece that happened around 1250BC. Somehow he connected it to what he called an "Age of Heroes" where redneck-like behavior of action and principle became the accepted way of dealing with everything.

Compromise and reason was looked at as weak and the result was warfare that not only collasped Bronze Age Greece but the migrations of people fleeing from the fighting about ended all civilization in that area of the world.

You have only to listen to even some of the milder right-wing nutcases and see similar behavior building.

Will: Not one soul in the republican party will ever make a serious stand against this proto-fasist behavior. I just don't see it happening.

Mr. Charleston: There is a gentleman here in Columbia who is a retired radio talk show host. At one time I really enjoyed his reason and intelligent conversation but I have long since fallen out with him.

On his show and website he likes to talk about how democracies fall when the ignorant masses realize they can vote themselves money from the treasury. They only problem is that I feel he is half right, yes the masses rading the treasury is bad but so is the rich holding everything for themselves without regard to the welfare of society. Its a balancing act and right now it tipped way over to the rich.

Truth101: There is one absolute in life and it is the fact that we do generally get what we deserve. On that I will close by saying we are so screwed. If I had the ability I would leave the country this minute.

Tag said...

sorry bum can't go with ya on tha trip. We Can work It Out. it's about hope and I'm not laying mine aside until we change it and fuck em we will.