Sunday, September 13, 2009

The long elevator ride to Hell

I haven't posted a whole lot this past week because I keep saying to myself, "what's the point?" It's clear that the U.S. political system has become completely dysfunctional and incapable of serving anybody other than the wealthy oligarchs who pay its members bribes (oops, "campaign contributions") to serve their needs. It's clear that the whole edifice is set up to drive us to the Mexico North scenario, of hoards of desperate starving peasants willing to work for peanuts for a handful of filthy rich oligarchs who control the economy and the nation. And, sadly, it has become clear that the majority of Americans are too stupid, too bought, or too apathetic to do anything about that until we have utter national disaster that makes the Great Depression look more like the Sorta Bad Economic Downturn. So why bother?

None of this could have happened when there were actual existential threats to the United States. Our elites recognized then that they needed to maintain a vigorous industrial base, and the middle class to staff and make use of that industrial base, in order to be able to manufacture the guns and bombs and planes and ships to take on well-armed enemies. But now... the U.S. faces no real military threats (a few thousand terrorists are hardly an existential threat to the United States, terrorism over the entire history of the USA has killed fewer people than get killed in traffic accidents in the course of a month). But now that the U.S. basically has no enemies, our ruling elites see no reason to not go forward with their Mexico North project... and we, you and I, are going to be the starving peasants in this brave new world that our elites are creating. And most Americans don't seem to care, or don't notice, or are too apathetic to do anything about it, so why should I care?

- Badtux the Depressed Penguin


  1. Know the feeling all too well. But I refuse to succumb to the depression. Although it sometimes seems futile, we need to keep pushing for better; it may not work, but it beats giving up.
    So keep smacking them with a flipper. If the stupidity persists, smack them with the other flipper.

  2. Ya want fries with that?

    I hope to live long enough for the next revolution.

  3. The elevator ride is long in terms of distance, but fairly short in terms of time; the freakin' elevator's in free fall.

  4. Um, yeah, I got this 15 years ago.

  5. Ben Drinken13/9/09 4:20 PM

    Right you are, BT. I've been preaching this message (to the choir unfortunately) that our Congress has been purchased by deep-pocketed corporations who call the shots. Our congresspeople and senators have stopped representing the people who have elected them. They now represent the entities that finance them.

  6. I'll share my crackers with you.

  7. C'mon B.T

    You blog for the same reason I do. You just can't sit still in the midst of the shit and not say anything. Sure it's depressing. Hell, I feel it too.

    But -- We have to call the Joe Wilsons of the world what they are - on the one hand, a racist, small-minded turd, and on the other, the dude who gets to sleep with that hottie Valarie Plame.

    Anyway, we have the tradition of Molly Ivins to uphold.

    Keep fighting the good fight, my friend.

    JzB the not-giving-up trombonist

  8. LMAO Jazzbumpa, wrong Joe Wilson.

  9. BT - There are no final answers only trends for better and trends for the worse. In the last 6 months we have made a lot of progress - no more signing statements - a lot of stupid polices reversed - no more torture - an attempt at dialoge with our enemies, a lot of energy intiatives with promise, Even the compromise that health care will be is going to be a huge step forward, I predict.

    There are just as many areas where we have fallen far short of our ideals, IMO for pragmatic political reasons, but short of where we need to be.

    I am a firm believer that politicians have to govern from the perceived center. But what the 'center' is can change and change a lot. We have to take weak victories if that's the best we can get and make them popular and successful and move the perceived center for leaders to work from.

    This could take generations but I see a trend in the right direction.

  10. I reckon Jazz knows who is the REAL Joe Wilson (the one rolling with Valerie) and who is the one whose name is not actually Joe. Why do Repiglickins have to find fake Joes, like the not-plumber one? I suggest that everyone refer the fake Wilson as Addison Graves, just as I refer to Cheney's toady as Lewis Libby, not "Scooter."

    But on to my real point -- Tux's comment. I like the cry that the French scream as they're retreating from some lost battle: "Save qui peut!" Literally translated, it means "save who can!" In other words, "Save yourself, if you can!" Good advice in these times.

    Make preparations for the worst, do what you can to survive as best as you can, and try to help those around you. But don't waste time trying to bail out a ship which has many occupants trying as hard as they can to smash holes in the hull.

    And I don't just mean ignorant Repugs. I'm talking about the fuckwits who spend money to buy cocaine and meth; the skeevers I see on "Judge Judy" who get in stupid fights and do selfish shit to their roommates, all manner of ignorant bastards who are like termites in the tree of society. They've reached critical mass and will kill the tree.

    I gave up on the U.S. five years ago, on the night of Nov. 2, 2004. It was sad, because I had hope for the place. I still have hope for myself. I've taken steps to flee the collapse, and am going to take further steps such as renting a place with enough ground to grow a bit of food when we move back across the ocean.

    And I'm trying to raise the consciousness of other people around me when I talk to them. Many people will die in what's to come. The key to getting through it as well as can be hoped for -- and that's not likely to be a comfortable existence -- is to find a crew of people who have your back, and who trust that you will have theirs.

  11. OK. Just to make this perfectly clear, when I said "on the one hand," and then "on the other hand," I was explicitly referring to two separate and distinct Joe Wilsons.

    Having previously referred to them in the plural would, I thought, also be helpful.

    Or not.

    I just discovered (in real sports-reporting time) that The Packers have some dude named Adrian Peterson, so there are two of them on the field.

    I also remember once seeing Josh Scobie kick off to Josh Skobey, though I might have that backwards, and at least one of these is for sure mis-spelt.

    Full disclosure: I did not know that Faux-Joe (aka the turd) was actually named Addison Fucking Graves, and somehow, I take comfort in that knowledge.


    WV: tries, as in if-at-first-I-doesn't, I tries aghinn.

  12. You know, the conservatives do not seem to be happy unless there is someone dying or they are forcing their beliefs on others.

  13. Yeah, let ALTERNET do the heavy work for you being as they have a much higher reader base and you can just link to them.

  14. You know, the conservatives do not seem to be happy unless there is someone dying or they are forcing their beliefs on others.

    Fuck the right, and fuck the left, and fuck most of the stuff in the middle.

    What ever happened to just the right to just being left alone?

  15. Suffering right along with you. Now that I live in Reno instead of San Jose I'm surrounded by people who watch Fox exclusively. And are proud of it. The things I hear at the dog park astound me and lately I've given up talking politics because not only do most around here have an extremely skewed view of the world but they seem to have never taken a history class.

    I've said for years that history to Americans is anything that happened yesterday...and not a day earlier. That's the past and it doesn't count.

    I'm really tired and I don't have enough money to leave. There's a part of me that knows this isn't going to end well and that the America of my twenties and thirties isn't coming back but my teens are. If it goes all the way back to my toddler years we're screwed. :(

  16. More like 30 years ago, Nunya.

    When Rayguns stole the election from Carter. For a very good reason (for his "backers").

    Busted, he was bowing to both Joes, which was quite humorous to me anyway.

    And I'm with Bukko, Terrant and Deb (and the rest of your wised-up readers), as well as you, darling BT. Chin up!

    But we do need to form our supportive communities NOW!


    And most Americans don't seem to care, or don't notice, or are too apathetic to do anything about it, so why should I care?

  17. Podunk Paul14/9/09 6:17 PM

    The situation in Mexico is difficult to frame in a few words. We have poverty – half or more of the population lives on a US dollar a day or less – corruption in all sectors of the government, and a low-wattage war to defend state suzerainty on the northern frontier and in a handful of tourist enclaves. Yet the culture is vibrant and in process of re-colonizing much of North America. Loyalties are based on family, local community and, in some broad sense, upon cultural affiliation. To be a Mexican is to speak Spanish without accents of other Latin American countries. Animals tend to be ignored, but children and old people seem happier and more (and here I search for a word) more realized than in the States. And people work with a cheerful intensity that seems alien to North Americans. Mexicans work; gringos, most of them anyway, have forgotten how.
    Your metaphor equating North Mexico with something like the Gulag is, in my opinion, misplaced. Better to think of Mexico as a feudalistic society, with the shortcomings and advantages that pertain.

  18. I'm depressed too. If I could chance going to a doctor and being diagnosed has having depression, I would...but that diagnosis would probably make me unhireable. You know those stupid "pre-existing" things and all.


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