Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A penguin in a kingdom of swine

Y'know, I really don't feel like an American anymore. An American believes in "bring it on". An American believes it's fine to demolish a house full of women and children because it's close to a house that a guerilla ran into a few hours ago, just acceptable "collateral damage", as long as the women and children being killed are brown rather than good white Christian folks. An American believes that logic and reason are not valuable, that faith is all (whether traditional Christian or "New Age" is irrelevant, both right and left have their faith-based nuts). I look out upon the vast wasteland of America, and I see a few million people like you and me standing amidst this sea of swine, and I'm saying "What happened? Where's the nation we once believed in?" and wonder, what's the point?

The problem is that you can't run from America. You can't hide from America. I've thought of Canada. I've thought of Central America. But both are held hostage by America. Then there are the poodles, the lickspittle supporters of anything America does no matter how evil, such as Britain and Australia.

Perhaps the "America: Love it or leave it" crowd has a point, that the only rational and moral act for a thinking feeling human being in today's America is just to leave. Leave the kingdom of swine to rut in their ethical and moral mud hole. If you are not a swine, you are not a real American, and should just go elsewhere. It feels like defeat, but in a kingdom of swine, what are a few million people to do from the inside that is really useful?

This is something that's been bothering me for two years now, ever since it became clear that GWB would be re-elected and that the majority of Americans actually didn't have any problem with his actions. What is the proper role of a moral man in a kingdom of swine? Is it to stay amongst the swine and try to lead them back towards humanity? Or is it to leave, allow them to continue to be swine, and assist the rest of the world in the penning of the swine so the swine do not trample the garden? I still haven't found an answer that satisfies me, though I am trying.

-Badtux the Not-a-swine Penguin


  1. Call me eternally optimistic, but hopefully come November the rest of not-swine will be a little happier. That is if Wally O'Dell doesn't promis the election to Republicans again. So being the optimistic one (and rather curious too) I think I'll stick it out. Can't afford to go anywhere else. Besides, I just purchased my first slice of the American Dream a little over a year ago.

  2. That was supposed to say the rest of us not-swine.

  3. It will change because of the same reason people revolted against the Liberals. When you start quelling people's civil liberties they get angry.

    I have been seeing angry people and their anger is at the Republicans.

    I am also starting to hear that we should not get tied up with other countries. We will become more isolationanist in the next years. I just hope we will not lose anymore civil liberties.

  4. Blue, I went to work in the oil field down there in South Louisiana at the same time as you, well, probably a few years before you. The workers at the plants that I installed electronic control systems at were uniformly white, with the exception of one black dude at the Union Oil plant at Ans La Butte (sp?). About which the white workers grumbled, "goddamned niggers, goddamned Democrats and their affirmative action, they're taking our good paying jobs away and giving them to niggers!". One black dude breaking their all-white ranks, and that's all they could say.

    That, not anything about "civil liberties" (which were basically an *INVENTION* of the liberals), is why liberals and Democrats lost power. Equal rights for all Americans, regardless of race or religion, is not and never has been something that the majority of America has embraced in anything other than the abstract notion of "wouldn't it be nice?".

    - Badtux the Louisiana Penguin

  5. i've recently gone back to the land of my birth (arizona, mormon red) from california. my main reaction to things lately has been to keep the powder dry, the rifles clean, the boundries (both literal and metaphoric) clear. i spend my energy and money where i hope it makes a difference. i don't know what to do about the damage two more years of this administration will undoubtably do. maybe the only thing for me is to be a screaming, angry witness. i get the distinct impression from my reading of our founding fathers that they intended us to be as a people, dangerous and hard to govern. i try daily to live up to that.

  6. Badtux sweetie, please don't give up. Not long ago after feeling incredibly frustrated with the non-responsiveness of our leaders and others I wrote this letter:

    They made me grow up

    I tried so hard to live by my Uncle’s credo “You have to get older. You don’t have to grow up.” But they crushed my innocence and made me grow up. I am so sorry Uncle Wes. I held them off for more than forty five years, but they got to me. I had child-like beliefs, that the constitution and amendments were real; that there is justice in the justice system. I believed that my voice would be heard – that all our voices are heard. But I now know that it’s all a lie. It’s all a show. There is no great and powerful OZ, just some guy behind a curtain who’s lost his own beliefs, running the fantastic, fake display. There is evidence of it everywhere.

    We have a president that has dragged us into war under false pretenses. At this date we’ve lost more than 2,000 US soldiers to support an elite group’s greedy agenda.

    Senators and congressmen have raped our Social Security system, but have their own exorbitant plan they pay nothing into.

    State legislators who believe shiny, spinning wheel covers is a critical, burning issue worthy of their time and our tax dollars.

    A city council that thinks it’s a brilliant idea to destroy a wonderful, natural riverside park and the adjacent homes to build an absurd indoor rainforest.

    Another city council that votes to sell land for a super-giant box store that no one wants or needs; that will most likely have a negative impact on already established businesses and depress our wage base.

    There is little justice in our courtrooms. It’s an act of power-plays between lawyers influenced by corporations and insurance companies fueled with money. Tell me how anyone can be held accountable for the deaths in a car accident not because they were at fault, but because they weren’t able to avoid the collision.

    More money and effort is spent to care for homeless pets than homeless people.

    High school students who believe the first amendment goes too far. These poor souls were lost so early in life.

    I will no longer write my senators, representatives, legislators, or councilors. They don’t listen. They don’t care.

    I’ve taken down the news items from my board at work. No one reads them. We all work so hard for the American dream we haven’t noticed it is not our dream. It’s the stock holders dream. Milton probably started out as a pretty normal guy with hopes for a bright future. They reduced him to a cubicle dwelling drone, babbling about his red stapler.

    I will get down from my soap box. It was made of good, strong wood. I will use it to board over my windows. Don’t want to look out of them anymore.

    Before I sent this letter to the paper, I sent it to my sister (my main sanity check in life). Here is her response:
    "Having a bad day, hon? Feel like holding up a liquor store? I know the feeling.

    The key to your essay is responsibility. Responsibility ducked by those who are in the position to make a difference and get sucked into the system established.

    But don't ever stop ranting. That is OUR responsibility. One look at Kylen's gorgeous eyes, the prairie dogs' enthusiasm, Lilly's struggles to come, and the future of Levi looming ahead that directs us in a way to never give up hope." (She refers to my son and my nieces and nephews.)

    "All good things start with a single germ of an idea. One person's fertile thought that something better can come. Without the perseverance of Martin Luther King, I doubt African-Americans would have benefited as they did. His work and struggle fueled the women's movement. The women's movement spurred awareness of children's rights. And on and on.

    Funny you should mention Uncle Wes - he abhorred the situation in Viet Nam and would have felt the same way about Iraq.

    So keep on thinking and ranting and writing. Only good will come of it."

    Please Badtux, excuse the length of this, but it's something we all need to remember.
    We can't ever give up.

  7. Speaking as a resident of a poodle called England.We are as sick of the lies as you are.

  8. I find your findings to be not quite founded.

    Not to fear, as this is not unusual, in that penguins have been noted to often have such difficulties in the discrimination of domesticated farm animals.

    You see, the not-swine are actually the swine. So sorry, to dash your hopes. Really, as I know what manner of puppy-dog eyes a penguin can give you after you dash their dreams, crying ice cubes and all that.

    What you see as the swine are actually a variant of swine, in which the head and noggin portion is reversed in position in relation to the duff area.

    Thus, there are not swine and not-swine, as you relate here; but swine and swine-variant.

  9. We've been experiencing the same disillusionment and ennui at The CultureGhost House. Our central question has been asked repeatedly: What the hell do we do now?

    The answer thus far is to live our lives with as much rebellion, authenticity and integrity as possible.

  10. I'm not proud to be an American anymore either.

  11. Fortunately I have an album with the song: turn the f*cker up full blast and piss off the swine.

  12. Jane... That was a wonderful response hon.


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