All the revelations about the government's anti-terrorism surveillance has the Daily Kosmonauts in a nasty funk. "One Pissed Off Liberal" has fallen off the Hope and Change Wagon. In the midst of rambling about "our gang-rape of the world," OPOL wrote a little manifesto about "Living In Plastic Land."
The Left wanted to believe this was just some kind of Bush dictatorship that would fade away, but now OPOL has decided that America is a land "chock full of crazy a--holes, greedy short-sighted troglodytes with no sense of history." The hippies have lost heart when everyone looks like a Dubya:
As a young hippie I was generally pro-revolution and in every way sympathetic to those who protested and demonstrated against the machine, but some of the writing seemed fantastical in one way or another. There was a part of me that wanted to believe that things were only bad around the edges. Surely there was reason to hope that the system could be reformed, obvious wrongs could be righted, justice restored. Surely America could live up to her promises to humanity.
I'm not saying every wild-eyed writer from back in the day was correct or accurate in their views, but it's clear to me now that we've all vastly underestimated the enormity of the problem.
The presidency of George W. Bush brought into sharp focus just how fucked up this nation is. Greed, theft, torture, lying the country into war – it was eight long years of everything that could go wrong going wrong. Still, I was tempted to believe that Bushco was an aberration, a misguided, mistaken and confused lurch into national insanity caused, at least in part, by our being attacked on 9/11. And to some extent this is true (though the SCOTUS theft of the 2000 election preceded that neocon wetdream). But the problem runs much deeper than that. It wasn't just a crazy asshole in the White House, or a Supreme Court crazy enough to put George W in charge. It was a country chock full of crazy assholes - greedy, short-sighted troglodytes with no sense of history and no allegiance to civilization or the human race to which they putatively belong. You pay a price to destroy education, wallow in greed and oppress people.
We could have used the airwaves and the mass media to educate, uplift and enlighten. We could have supported, improved and enhanced every aspect of public education, rather than hustling cheap bullshit that no one needs and manipulating people into doing the will of the supremely unscrupulous. With the same level of effort of those who worked against the greater good, we could have built an ever-improving society rather than the toxic stew we have been given by the greedy and short-sighted bullies we have allowed to dominate us. We could have done it all so differently. But noooooooooooooooooooooo.