~~~When Orb Weaver has something truly pithy to say, she says it! Here she is, guesting on Cronehenge.~~~
Most of us have been stuck in the morass of pre-pre-holiday planning, and the fact that Chanukah and Christmas basically correspond this year have made it much easier for the two-star families … you know, David’s and Bethlehem’s. And while our attentions have been elsewhere, shit, as they say, has been happening. Another Seal Team 6 attempt to rescue an American failed. Well, they got the detainee, but they sort of broke him during the transfer. So he died on board ship. Dead, by any other name, is still dead. Sorry, Will. It seemed appropriate.
In any event, I’ve gone back to paying attention to some of the news, usually BBC and Jazeera, because they really don’t have any dogs in this fight of ours. It’s interesting to hear how disinterested parties translate our societal ills into exactly who and what they are: Our leaders, for the most part, are greedy malcontents with enormous appetite and capacity for what I call pure evil, what others call pure power. They are mad with it, like the Caesars and the Czars. And they know the rest of the world hates us. They don’t care. Whatever it takes. Just like Tony Soprano.
But unlike Tony Soprano, whose murderous tendencies were reprehensible in that they were “only business”, ours are wholesale extermination of civilians, women and children, in what is being sold to the general public as a war against the infidels. That always worked well in Hollywood, and it works almost as well in everyday life. Hell, it worked pretty well for the Crusaders, with only a couple of exceptions. Lie and call it a religious crusade, when in actuality it’s only business. And we wonder why they hate us, these (to us) strange, proud, devout people who will never, never give up on it, this hatred of us. And why should they? We have proven ourselves to be incompetent in the running of our own government, so why on earth would they want to be like us? But we can never mind our own business, alienate our allies, and there’s all that oil ... So we start a holy war of our own, Desert Storm. So here we are, almost fifteen years later, and we have managed, with a little help from Africa, to turn the entire middle east as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, into a complete cluster fuck. As Tony would say. Israel. Palestine. Lybia. Iraq. Iran. Yemen. Jordan. Saudi Arabia (on a good day for OPEC). And the worst part is that even though they hate each other, they are absolutely united in their great distaste for America. Like we were with the Indians, and then the Chinese, and then the Italians, and then the Irish, and then the Jews followed closely by the Japanese, remember? Well. Now we are a tribe unto ourselves, the Americans. And most days, we kill each other at an average of 44 people per day. Per day. How can that not be a national cause of alarm?
And now, to add injury to injury (the insult depends on which side you’re on), the brilliant legal minds of a Grand Jury in the City of New York decided (never mind what continues to occur in Ferguson, MO) there were no grounds to indict Officer Mark Pagano for his successful employment of the illegal choke hold. Never mind this officer has been censured on several occasions due to civilian complaints. Never mind two law suits were settled by the NYPD on plaintiffs who sued the NYPD and Officer Pagano in, I believe, civil rights violations. And so we have a multitude of disenfranchised, underemployed, UNemployed, uneducated and UNWILLING folks ... men and women who are tired of burying their children, their husbands, and are UNWILLING to allow this to continue. And what do we do? What answers do we have? Are human beings in general genetically hardwired to hate whatever is different? I thought we settled all that shit in the ‘60s and ‘70s. So here we are again, shades of Detroit, vestiges of Watts, the smoke’s the same, the flames burn as brightly now as then. Fueled by the same unkept promises. Enabled.
I’m starting to be reasonably uneasy with my government. I’ve had other periods of distrust in the course of the last 50 years, and I’ve witnessed them behaving badly a thousand times, with no recourse in places like Kent State and Chicago, but this is more than that. This is an ear-to-the-ground kind of thing, like an oncoming train making the tracks hum from ten miles away. You know you have some time, but not much, before the 3:11 makes mush of you. That’s what I’m feeling. You know, the feeling you get when you hear “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. Yeah, that feeling.
Could it be? Yes, it could. But it won’t. This ain’t Broadway, and Leonard ain’t directing. And what’s coming is way more Sondheim than Lion King. I hear Wagner. And a little bit of Schumann. I want to run into the street, screaming for people to wake up. But I won’t. Jail is not a place I want to be. And so ... the proletariat will once again hide from what they don’t want to see, or hear, or experience. They will cling to the little electronic gadgets they hold pressed to their very noses, and they will never make eye contact, and they will be safe. Let me know how that works out for ya.