When i wake up these days, i stumble to worship at the altar of the porcelain goddess. (There is some meditation involved in this ritual, and once or twice I have fallen asleep, but I digress). After this exercise, I travel the inestimably long path to the kitchen, where the blessed elixir of life awaits. Or at least it awaits my attempts to ready it…and feverishly, i do that. I throw the dog a treat so that i am allowed return passage to my sacred bedroom enclave to enact the daily morning ritual of the first sip of coffee. Ahhhhhhh.
So, having at least one eye open and pointed toward the laptop, i activate the digital TV app from my cable provider (which usually provokes me to utter newly created obscenities) and settle in for … this. Life is good. Truly, all things considered, it really is. Or at least, it could be so much worse. So. much. worse. So, for that, I remain grateful. As Abraham says…we remain blissfully, lovingly, and always in”…in the state of Gratitude. No matter what i say, no matter how much i kvetch.
Having a few more gulps of caffeine in my system, half-listening to CNN, my thoughts are channeled to current events (the State of Disarray these days). The latest video loop is the Capitol police officer who was pressed into a door by the advancing zombie apocalypse during the failed coup d’etat on January 6th. Not sure how many times in a given segment they’ll show this, or for how long, but … there it is. Again. “We must warn you, this is disturbing, and hard to watch.” But watch it we do, over and over and over again. I wonder if anyone has suggested they edit the spot to “We must warn you, this is disturbing, so we’re not going to keep making you watch it. You can find it on our website, or all over the internet, so you can watch it over and over and over at your leisure.” But, that won’t happen. We all learned how complicit the media – en masse – has been in the creation of demigods like the Orange Cheeto. Jerry Springer-type drama sells, and that is really their business – selling. They created him, and they need to answer for that. But that is another story. There are many “other” stories…fodder for the ages.
Anyhow, one of the latest things coming to me about this whole “insurrection”, as pundits are now calling it, is complicity. I just mused on the complicity of the media, but one step deeper into that and I’m faced with another level of their complicity. It’s not any one outlet, or pundit, not even Fox News (although they are exceptional). It’s the entire industry, even internationally. Continuing to broadcast incendiary speech from so-called leaders is irresponsible. Without an audience, a lot of this mess would have nowhere to go. Moreover, a narcissist thrives on the attention, and everyone (except the MAGA crowd) agreed that he is a clinical narcissist. So why allow him a stage? Again, it’s the sales business, they are selling ratings, advertising rates, and their own celebrity. I might be able to handle that if they wouldn’t feel so compelled to incessantly expand the repetitious coverage to include their own “analysis” and debate. They analyze, debate, discuss, opine and then have allegedly expert guests to do likewise, after repeating their own analysis, debate, discussion, opinion. Again. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But, I suppose the strategy is that no matter when you tune in, you’ll get the message. Good plan. Infuriating, but I suppose it works for them.
The other point that comes to mind for this “sitchee-a-shun” is the lawmakers themselves. More than a couple voted in support of overturning the votes of the Electoral College electors in the Presidential election, and that was infuriating. They were all GOP members, if I am not mistaken, and had absolutely NO evidence of fraud, or improper procedure, or anything else. They were putting their party loyalty over the voices of the people who voted, and that is unacceptable. However, that’s become par for the course these days, but my larger rage is reserved for the half-dozen elected officials who participated in the fracas on January 6th. Some have been arrested, but several have been photographed and some proudly affirmed their participation. At least one had the good sense to resign his position, which is fine, but the realizing that representatives of the republic found it acceptable to lend their individual effort to effect an overthrow the government they are sworn to represent is … appalling. Nauseating. But here’s the issue for me – the widespread distrust of the democracy is based on these people, who have always been present. I don’t mistrust the Constitution, or the rule of law, I don’t trust those who are sworn to administer those institutional ideals. The problem is not with the idealogical bases, the problem is with WHO gets to interpret them. The problem is with the hypocrisy of those who are sworn to impartially administer our democratic ideology, and fail miserably, and frequently. Not only do they fail miserably, but intentionally.
In practice, democracy has turned into an unethical chess game, and the low-level pawns (that would be us) are protecting the King whether they want to or not. Speaking as a pawn (but a really good pawn), i might be able to accept that, since we pawns are supposed to be granted some choice in the selection of the King (who is not supposed to be a King, but I digress). But. For their part, the monarch is supposed to craft their action on our behalf, based on what is best for us. Not what is best for them. And therein lies the problem of having monarchy raise its ugly head after it was rejected centuries ago in this country. We are confused, because we don’t quite have a democracy, nor a monarchy, but some kind of bastardization of the two.
My thought is that we have devolved into a culture of outrage, that really doesn’t want to make its own decisions. To large degree, we’ve abdicated responsibility for the national interest to the monarcracy (my wordiom for democratic-appearing monarchy). Then we are outraged at their decisions. Then we watch the football game, or the baseball game, and we are outraged at those outcomes, but we have beer. and food. So it’s all good.
But it’s not all good. Until fairly recently, voter turnout has not been very high, particularly in the underserved populations. The distrust there is so high that often tailgating and season tickets seem the more reasonable path to having your voice heard. The only real solution would seem to be elevating the integrity of the electorate, but duly elected representatives of the republic have abandoned their integrity since ancient times. With power, comes temptation, and without character the corruption soon follows. The fools who blindly vote their partisan affiliation rather than represent their constituents have little character. They drink the mind- and conscience-numbing Kool-Aid regularly, lining up for a daily dose, chanting partisan platform like a mantra. So, that’s what produces legislators who believe it’s a great idea to throw their weight – physical and systemic – behind an effort to overthrow the government they have been elected to protect.
I suppose we are all faced with some crossroads where our values and goals meet. In her song “Crossroads”, Tracy Chapman says,
“Some say the devil be a mystical thing
I say the devil he a walking man
He a fool he a liar conjurer and a thief
He try to tell you what you want
Try to tell you what you need”
And that’s it. We don’t understand when diverting from our core values is happening. The carney reads us like a cartoon, knowing instinctively our deepest desires, what we’ve been wanting all our lives. The bling, the ring, the car, the job, the house, the respect. Whatever it is, we are easy to read, and so we are easily played. In the case of the Zombie Apocalypse, those folks have been told for over a century that Black and Brown people are ruining their country, and forcing them into lower levels of the economy. More importantly, Black and Brown people are the reason they’re having to work so hard, because our country has been giving those people a break, giving them all the stuff they have worked for. So, THAT is the lie they’re being told, and THAT is what they are fighting to get back. The problem is…it never was. It’s a lie. Despite their white skin, those folks with American flags painted on their faces and MAGA hats (or horns) on their heads were NEVER a part of the ruling class. Black and Brown people did not suddenly cast them from thrones. They may resemble who have been crowned as despots, but those folks are in a class alone. And that class is tainted, as far as I am concerned, because their generational status was obtained dishonestly. It was obtained by stealing the lands and treasures of others through genocide, war, theft. Ill-gotten gains. Ill-gotten gains cannot be respected, but when reparations are proposed, Zombies lose their minds. Again.
This is a long discussion, and even though I am talking to myself, I am going to have another cup of coffee and take a break. I don’t think what I’ve written is all that well organized, actually, so will try again in a bit. That is NOT a threat….