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29.10.04

oh, just read this. because it will make you laugh, & tear up, & hope to god you did everything you could by just remaining sane in the face of unbearable obscenity made manifest in our president & his little cab[al]inet. & because we all need perspective all the time, but especially now, when we as a nation as a republic for which we stand seem poised on the tipping point, at that moment at the edge of the black hole when you just might be able to pull away if you increase the engines just one more bit...& if you don't you'll go sliding into nothingness, the utter gravity of the thing crushing you, turning you into dark matter that really might as well not exist unless of course you're some kind of astro- or particle-physicist. *sigh*


Friday, October 29, 2004 (SF Gate)
Get Out And Vote And Scream
Now that we're all completely fried and bitter and media punch-drunk, it's time to act

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

So here we are, staring down a rather historic moment amidst the
sputtering ideological orgy that is the American experiment and if you're
paying any sort of attention at all you're doubtlessly drunk on election
hype and saturated with Bush/Kerry platitudes and you wish a white-hot
death upon every screeching TV pundit who is right now analyzing yet
another insidious national poll that seems to reveal everything and
nothing at the exact same time.

And Bush is out there right this very second stumping and sweating and
blinking fast and defending his useless hideous little war and hurling
snide little invectives and completely fabricated exaggerations at John
Kerry, and Kerry is returning the favor by casually mentioning how Bush
has ruined the goddamn nation and decimated our self-respect and run
roughshod over our international relations all while raping the
environment like no president in history and racking up a world-record
deficit and mangling the language like a child on too much Ritalin.

It has been, in short, the longest and most painful episode of "American
Idol" ever, wherein the two finalists have belted every cheesy American
standard and regurgitated every lame disco-era stage move and hit every
warbly high note and sacrificed every shred of dignity and integrity and
true individuality they might've once possessed, all in the desperate hope
that you are finally sufficiently numbed to where you are finally ready
press the right 800 number on your AT&T wireless service and place your
stupefied vote.

We are almost there. We are so very on the cusp. This is where it all
comes down to your intuition and your intelligence and a sheer force of
will, your ability to overcome the media-induced nausea and deeply inbred
American political ennui and hoist yourself out of this election stupor
and go to your polling place and punch the little card or push the little
button, and then pray you don't live in a state where the GOP has rigged
the touch screens or shredded all the Democratic voter registrations as
you think, wow, world's foremost democracy and yet why does it feel like
I'm voting in, like, Yugoslavia? Why does it feel that this election is so
incredibly messy and loaded and rife with snakes and spit and hissing
corruption? Weird. Sad. Telling.

It has become surreal, this election. It has become beyond coherent. We
are at a point where our election system has become suspect and deeply
flawed and our ideology has come unraveled and we as a nation no longer
fully understand our role in the world and the bloom is way, way off the
patriotic rose, so much so that it's no longer just a matter of which
candidate will put a shinier coat of paint on the massive ship of
bureaucracy, but who will stop us from sinking too abruptly into the
quicksand of abuse and arrogance and ever increasing irrelevance. Go,
U-S-A!

So then. As we stare down this uncanny and indelible moment in American
history, there are two angles of approach. One: sit back and reflect on
how the hell we got here, what bizarre machinations and demonic falling
dominos managed to put BushCo in power, just what sort of humiliating and
positively satanic chain reaction lo these past 50 years led up to where
we are now, to this bitter yet oddly amusing spectacle of a massive and
awe-inspiring empire in full crumble.

This approach, it is the more depressing and fatalistic and painful of the
two and will result in much sighing and the supping of wine and the
licking of lovers to deflect the pain and energize the skin and try and
put it all in perspective, and is recommended only in small doses. Except
for the drinking and licking part.

Conversely and perhaps more enjoyably, you can project forward, then
reminisce. You can, that is to say, imagine it's a short 20 years hence
and it's about 2024 and we're sitting there sipping our laudanum/Vicodin
Colas and injecting Nexium straight into our eyeballs and watching our
10-foot plasma-TV walls and looking back and saying my god, 2004, that was
a weird one, wasn't it?

Remember that ugly time? Remember when that smirking dolt Bush Jr. was
president and we went through that dark dank tunnel of spiritual dread and
international humiliation and we bombed Iraq for no reason and killed all
those people for no reason and gutted our own economy for no reason other
than to line the pockets of the Bush WASP mafia's corporate cronies?
Wasn't that just so, like, crazy?

We will make jokes and shake our heads and sigh. We will say oh man
remember that defense guy? Rumsfeld? Remember his black and ominous eyes?
His savage abuse of power and complete lack of accountability? Remember
that demon-god Ashcroft and his oiled feet, didn't dance and didn't smoke
and didn't drink and didn't have sex and wanted to crack down on nipples
and scan our e-mail and check our library books and tap our phones?
Remember Condi Rice, that lost and desperate look, lonely and sad and a
creepy veneer of doomed longing over her soul? Weird times, my friend.
Sip.

We know that 20 years hence, there will be no Reagan-like legacy for
Shrub. There will be no renamed airports or honorary expressways or
revisionist rose-colored history books arguing the good and the bad of his
epic much-loved presidency, because there is so little good and so very,
very much bad and there is absolutely no love anywhere.

We already know that history will look very, very unkindly upon this most
booblike, lie-torn, appallingly underqualified of American presidents. Of
this we can rest assured. Of this we will only look back and be incredibly
grateful it didn't last all that long.

This angle, it is the moderately healing and perspective-adjusting one.
It's comfortable and helpful to project in such a manner, especially given
how it's almost too hot right now, just too frustrating and painful to
remain in this moment, to sit here and wait for the election returns and
the potential lawsuits and Supreme Court riggings all the while knowing
the GOP is trying everything short of launching another terrorist attack
to maintain power and will stop at almost nothing to instill fear and
dread and Dick Cheney deeper into the numb American psyche.

You cannot stay here. You cannot sit in this moment any longer. You simply
have to get out and vote and scream and then roll up this ugly hunk of
living history into a tight little ball of hot gelatinous goo and hurl it
at the wall of time and see what sticks.

This is my recommendation. That and the wine thing. And voting. Voting is
mandatory. Do it. Do it so you have something to talk about in 20 years.
So you can say you were there and you participated and you tried like hell
to change history. Because of course, you can.


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