Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The youth are our future

So preacheth Brother Driftglass. He may even be right. But history doesn't seem to support his optimism.

So what does history show? Well, history here in the United States shows a continuous pattern of rule by the elites for the elites, interrupted by periods of democracy when the elites have fucked up the nation so much that the sheeple look up. For example, the end of the 19th century was the age of the Robber Baron. They managed to get things so screwed up that Teddy Roosevelt got elected and got the first real anti-trust enforcement going (as well as setting up the first national parks). Then WWI gave the elites the excuse they needed to regain power, which they did, with the usual results -- they ran the country into the ground until the whole charade collapsed into the Great Depression, at which point democracy returned in the form of FDR and Harry Truman. Then anti-Communism gave the elites another excuse to take over, which all came crashing down when their Vietnam disaster became irretreivable and democracy temporarily resurfaced. Etc.

The deal is that democracy requires that the majority of people give a shit. And in general, the majority of people don't. As long as it's not an utter disaster immediately attributable to the folks in Washington D.C., the majority of people simply don't care who rules them. I mean, c'mon. Richard Nixon was elected not once, but *TWICE*. You're tellimg me that a vile, evil little man like Richard Milhous Nixon (to quote the late Hunter S. Thompson, "Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning") could get elected not once, but *twice*, if people really gave a shit?

Not no, but FUCK no. Same deal with that vile mean little dopehead George W. Bush. Oh sure, the flying swift boat attack monkeys had some small part in this last election, taking to the air after gorging their intestinal tracts upon lies, slanders, and confabulations to fling their feces with all the intensity of a Republican congressman accepting bribes, burying the truth beneath a constant rain of flying swift boat monkey feces... but look: the majority of people didn't even try to get out their umbrellas and grab their shovels and start looking for grains of truth underneath all those reeking piles of flying swift boat monkey feces. Frankly, the majority of people simply did not give a shit.

Brother Driftglass places his hopes upon the younger generation. All they need, he suggests, is a dream worthy of their passion, and they shall change the world. But our ruling elites have already dealt with that, making sure that the only dreams our youngsters have are small and puny things, pale little shriveled worms of dreams, hardly even qualifying as such. Getting a new pair of sneakers that are the "in" thing, getting the latest high-tech toy, that's what qualifies as a "dream" today. The television that raised our current crop of children pumped and primed them with these pale puny worms of dreams, stuffing them full of mindless consumerism until their very guts roil with the blind pale worms of dreams-that-aren't-dream, eating out their very substance until there is nothing left but a hollow shell and a big pile of worm poop. Even the more clear-eyed, who have recognized what has been done to them, fall back upon a pragmatic clear-headed view of the world that has no place for dreams, no place for passion. Some of these youngsters engage in street theater like marches and protests, but that's all it is -- theater. Meaningless. You ask them, they'll probably even agree with you.

The only thing -- the ONLY thing -- that ever makes the sheep look up and start participating in democracy, is national disaster. That's it. And the good news, or bad news, if you will, is that we are swiftly approaching that point. The federal government is printing money with all the fervant abandon of a Weimer Republic finance minister in order to cover the bills, the massive sucking sound of jobs being outsourced have hollowed out our economy into an unsustainable real estate Ponzi scheme, the health care system is at the point of collapse, and then there is the freakin' 500 pound gorilla of all national disasters going down in Iraq right now, sucking our nation's wealth and power into a tarpit of death and destruction without end. So it looks like, any moment now, the sheep will look up.

The question, then, is whether we will be ready when they do, ready with a dream, a plan, that can move this country forward, instead of a dream or plan that is just enough to put the sheep back to sleep but not enough to take this nation to the next step in its national destiny. Unfortunately, given the tired Democratic Party hacks in Washington D.C., I doubt it. I doubt it. I think we're in 1976 again. The tired old Democratic party hacks in 1976, the last time the sheep looked up, had no real dream to move the country forward, meaning that the evil vile people took over again in 1980. If we are to avoid a repeat of that, we must start, *today*, to talk about the dream that is America, to dream big, dream mightily. Alas, I fear we have forgotten how to dream in these past thirty years of blindness...

So it goes in the United States of Delusion, where we pretend that we are the home of the brave and land of the free -- when what we actually are, is the land of the sheep.

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 12/11/2005 09:41:00 PM  


On the one hand, it does seem that too many people just don't give a damn. I've found myself dwelling upon these lines lately, too.

On the other hand, we've lasted 229 years. Apparently, when it really counts, more than enough of us do give a damn -- and that has somehow sustained us all this time.

I think we can do better than waiting until we reach crisis mode to do the right thing. But, going by history, if that's what it takes to rise up, then I guess we have to make the most of that opportunity when it comes along.

Oh, there is one other thing: I don't think it's human nature that's the problem, vexing as that is. I think it's the fixity of human nature that's the problem -- human nature isn't going to change any time soon no matter what happens. Perhaps we ought to get used to that...
# posted by Mimus Pauly : 12/12/05 8:04 AM  

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