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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

welcome to the 00's

Let's face it, this has been a miserable, execrable decade.

Or, as a hip colleague of mine responded when I made the above comment, "Well, at least the music's been good." (If you know where to find it.)

The Zeroes...branded with the mark of Bush/Cheney and a U.S. populace that doesn't have the will to tell them and their GOP brethren to just shove it...despite the low poll numbers and, well, this administration's utter failure, ineptitude and corruption at everything they do. Bush is like a reverse Midas...everything he touches turns to shit.

I lived through the Reagan/Bush years. By my measure they don't come close to the blight we see now. For one, a huge wave of corporatism swept American life in the 90's...in the 00's those waters have settled and ripened into a fetid, acrid cultural swamp where the single most marked trend is an alarming rise in childhood and teen obesity. I heard another co-worked talking about this...she said, as she set down her latte, "When we were kids, we used to play outdoors and ride our bikes alot...what happened?"

Well, HUGE soda pops....FEAR of letting your kids play outside...and, um, government and corporate-sponsered inclusion of CRAP food loaded with HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP are a couple factors that might have tipped the scales towards obesity. Whaddya think?

Little did we know that when the Dead Kennedys riffed on a dystopic, semi-imagined America in the early 80's...Winnebago Warriors, In God we Trust, Give me convenience or Give me Death ...that they hadn't even begun to imagine how crappy things would truly get...and how prophetic they really were. (Further, almost anyone attempting to stake out a stance like DK now...is either ruthlessly commercialized and co-opted...or lost in subcultural irrelevance.)

To put it bluntly, this decade sucks.

We have a choice whether to slam our earbuds deeper into our ears and crank out another playlist of music perfectly suited to our mood, time, and locale...

or we can WAKE UP.

We don't need to simply change politics. It's not as simple as..."Hey, let's elect some Democrats"...though that is something most of us have worked diligently to do. We need to go deeper than that.

What I'm talking about is hitting the PAUSE button on the merry-go-round for twenty seconds and taking a look at who we are and where we are headed. I'm talking about asking the question that occurs to me everytime I'm stuck in SF Bay Area traffic surrounded, literally, by tens of thousands of other cars pointed in one direction, while tens of thousands of other cars go the opposite direction:

Where the HELL are we going with all this?

I don't think George W. Bush has a fucking clue about the future of the planet, our society, our government...or, hell, even what sorry shit he's going to try to sell the American public next month.

And the American public, for all I can tell, stuck in traffic, looking at the blank faces that surround me as I pilot my car to work in the AM...is pretty much thinking obsessively about how the hell are we ever going to pay off our huge levels of debt.

That's the best I can come up with.

I don't think it's much more complex than that. We all are overloaded with our own problems. The system isn't really giving us the security, stability and prosperity we need. Health care? Nope. Job security? Nope. Solid retirement planning? Nope.

We just don't have time for the planet, for other people, to fix what's broke.

To put it simply, we're so distracted that we literally just...don't....care.

What a long ways we've fallen from the dreams and idealism of the 60's when a president could actually challenge the nation to think big...and mean it. We're so far from the idealism of that decade it's not even funny.

In fact, we've pretty much become the dystopic vision that the Dead Kennedy's mapped out for us twenty-five years ago.

President George W. Bush. Says it all.

We got the America we deserved. Now what are we going to do about it?



  • Hathor agrees with you.

    By Blogger chicagomom, at 12:34 PM  

  • Wow -- I'm stunned.

    The HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP thing, is something I think about all the time. I'd like to start a national boycott of products that include it. I don't allow it in our house anymore.

    As a diabetic, my blood sugar goes through the roof and stays there when I accidentally have something with that ingredient. It sneaks into the strangest things.

    Also, I've been thinking back to the 1970s when I was in my early 20s. And how I didn't have health insurance for about 3 years. During that time I went to the 1978 Democratic midterm convention as delegate and heard Sen. Kennedy give a speech about Health Care and the need for universal coverage for everyone.

    I left that convention certain that we would have a good national health care plan within a year or two.

    Now, almost 30 years later, I'm still waiting. And now it's my oldest son who doesn't have coverage. He's not worried. But, I am. What if he gets cancer or falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his back?

    Why don't our elected officials care about him? How can they accept full coverage for themselves -- paid for by us -- without losing sleep worrying about the incredible number of people who don't have any access to affordable health coverage?

    I think it keeps coming back to what you've said, the corporations. And what's good for them. It doesn't matter at all what's good for us.

    How can we fight it? What can we do to change our world? I'm going to try this idea (link to a comment at The Daily Kos) Just so I can know that I tried to make a difference.

    By Blogger katiebird, at 5:05 PM  

  • High fructose corn syrup is one of many manufactured foodstuffs that is poisoning our populace. For a good read, pick up "The Informant"; it gives a stunning look inside ADM as a food ingredient manufacturer and the lengths the company will go to in order to insert their synthetic garbage into everyday consumed foods.

    Can't help you with the Bay Area traffic other than to say: Get a motorcycle. I can't tell you how much more of the area I saw and took in while riding. You get a whole new appreciation for what the world has become as well as an appreciation for the things that are still full of natural wonder. Plus, it scratches an itch of freedom that a car will NEVER match.

    see you around sometime in SF.


    By Anonymous joby, at 8:33 PM  

  • Nice to see you blogging -- sorry to see you so depressed. Depression is certainly appropriate, but still painful.

    Don't have any answers. I ran with the immigrant kids last week and it cheered me up, as it has many times in the past. After where do we get off thinking it is hopeless...?

    By Blogger janinsanfran, at 12:03 PM  

  • "The law don't mean shit if you've got the right friends
    That's how the country's run
    Twinkies are the best friend I've ever had
    I fought the law
    And I won."

    --Jello Biafra/George W. Bush

    By Blogger wg, at 11:46 AM  

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