Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We Are All Slaves to Corporations

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

For the last few days I've been in one of my pessimistic dark blue funks which have me just wanting to give the hell up on just about everything. Clearly, I'd be better off if I'd just stop watching Michael Moore films because they definitely trigger these feelings of despair. However you may critique his work, his delivery, his attempts to make a citizen's arrest at AIG, or whatever, the bottom line is that he is correct in identifying a huge problem we have in this country which ultimately will lead to our downfall. And if you disagree with that, well, you might be part of the huge problem we have.

I suppose it's very easy for most of us to ignore what's going on, and just ride the awesome wave of life, getting our gravy from whatever work we can find, buying fun shit to distract us, and just observing passively all the things going wrong here, perhaps hoping someone will fix it eventually, and hoping it never directly impacts us in a negative way.

Sometimes I desperately wish I could just turn off and ignore.

I'm at the point where I don't even want to write about politics, whether it's a politician talking out of both sides of their mouth, a Supreme Court ruling, or even a little piece of positive news, rare as that is these days.

As I sit here watching President Obama's approval rating dropping like a stone from the level of 15 months ago, I keep wondering what will happen in the 2010 mid-terms and in the 2012 election. And then I see a poll such as this one, and I simply get bewildered.
Nine in 10 Americans -- including a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents alike -- think U.S. energy policy either needs fundamental changes or to be completely rebuilt, a new CBS/ New York Times poll shows.

Just 6 percent think only minor changes are needed to the nation's energy policy, according to the poll, conducted June 16 - June 20.

That sounds like good news, right? Isn't this what most of us wanted in the 2008 election, change? The kind of fundamental wholesale changes necessary to get us back on a sound track, and even completely rebuilding what is clearly broken. And it's not just energy policy. Most of us who voted for Obama expected that, as well as a repeal of DADT, the enactment of a strong ENDA bill, an exit from two reprehensible wars, closing Guantanamo, campaign finance reform, comprehensive health care reform including a public option, etc. I could go on but I think you get my point.

Had Barack Obama's campaign slogan been "incremental change you can believe in," I doubt there would have been as much hoopla surrounding his candidacy. "Hope" only goes so far...about as far as praying for campaign finance reform. Go ahead; knock yourselves out, but it's not going to change a damn thing until we change. And "we" don't seem to want to change. I mean, think about it. Obama supporters wanted all this change, and we didn't get it, and now there's a real chance Republicans are going to pick up a few dozen seats in Congress come November. I'm not going to write-off the White House to them yet, but you know damn well it's a possibility in 2012.

This really isn't a problem per se with Obama, or any other elected official. This is a problem with the American people and our expectations, coupled with an ignorance of how politics works, and who really has their grimy little paws on the strings of this absurd puppet show.

Campaigns and all their fancy slogans are nothing more than elaborate advertising campaigns and we are all too easily seduced by the promises of whiter whites, crispier chicken parts, easier housecleaning, and more bars with fewer dropped calls. The reality is that someone is usually taking us for a ride, and we're paying their expenses. Maybe we should just sell naming rights to the White House and all the monuments in DC to the highest bidding corporation and be done with it.

But back to that CBS poll I linked to earlier. Here's our other problem, and until we can come to terms with it, we are never going to experience the kind of change we expect and demand.
Moreover, nearly half of Americans -- 45 percent -- would support an increased tax on gasoline to support the exploration of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But most people -- 51 percent -- oppose such a tax.

So, 51% of us want all this change, but we think it needs to come without a price and without any effort on our part. A majority of us -- slim as it is -- don't want the inconvenience which is often necessary for progress. I can't help but wonder if these are the people who want all taxes removed from fuel and everything else.

Go ahead, drive your cars with untaxed fuel until the roads and bridges start to crumble. I don't want to hear your complaints when a bridge falls into a river. I don't want to hear a peep from you when you hit a pothole and you spill hot Starbucks on your crotch. Eventually, a corporately-managed toll road will come to your rescue. Enjoy your ride.

And I'm going to stop wasting my time on hope until that other half gets their fucking shit together.

To those of you who voted for "hope" and "change" and are dissatisfied right now with the direction of the country, and you think swinging back to the Republican Party is going to make it all better, you either have a short memory or you're incredibly stupid naive, or both. Stop believing in slogans. Life is more complicated than that and requires a hell of a lot more effort to find the truth. And when you find the truth, you ain't gonna like it very much because the system is not going to be fixed by putting an X next to a name in a voting booth or on an absentee ballot; it's going to take an uncomfortable revolution to fix it. And frankly, I'm not sure when 51% of us are going to have the cojones for it.

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