Wednesday :: Nov 23, 2011

Safe Travels, Happy Thanksgiving

by paradox

11/23/11 0207.33 PST
San Jose, California

Very soon, if not already, many of us will scatter on wings and wheels to waiting family and friends for certainly one of the best American holidays, the wondrously simple Thanksgiving of food and family. I know I speak for Steve, Mary and all the writers here in wishing y’all safe travels, happy close times with friends and the peace that comes with loved ones close by.

I have been busy elsewhere and relatively silent with political pixels, a humming mental disquiet that messes with my sleep but keeps me watching closely nonetheless. When the Oakland Occupy camp was crushed at least Mayor Quan didn’t block out and arrest journalists, so 0400 rolls around last week at 24 Hour Fitness and six huge screens were suddenly filled with menacing cops in absurd riot gear, armed with sticks and gas, marching resolutely forward to beat the shit out of Americans. Bad enough on one screen, a vivid totally permanent memory of my country burned into my consciousness with six.

The country feels it too, a sharp deep distress at the injustice of American inequality and a worried waiting and watching as little people get ripped and gassed trying to change it. Don’t mace me, Bro, my Mom is here wasn’t a clever sign and picture by a pretty young woman, it was a warning to the brutally stupid authoritarians like Quan and Bloomberg that—hello?—American motherhood is in the freaking streets. I don’t know what planet they live on, but here when American moms step out change is on the way, uh-huh. The pilots have showed up, librarians have showed up, veterans have showed up, and our students.

Before I go I want to make two points very clear related to the heinous pepper-spraying of our UC Davis people. The first was slammed home by the political writer Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, who brilliantly explained why all those pictures of the 99% with often tragic hand-printed stories suddenly bloomed everywhere: because beyond-lousy American journalists won’t tell stories that matter to Americans, they’re sickly besotted with monarch weddings (wtf?), shark attacks, heart disease cures and anything that won’t upset the oligarchs, heaven forbid. Yeah well fine, bitches, we’ve got digital cameras and computers and web sites and if you’re so obtuse not to see the story then we’ll tell it and publish it.

One day you’re an anonymous cop, they next 150 million Americans know who the hell you are and what you did, and those loathsome corporate toadies at CBS and CNN won’t cover your ass this time, they can’t. Bloomberg can lock out the press to keep the blue violence off the screens and pull that terrorist arrest stunt, but his story and its Gestapo imprint will never be altered from reality or our history. If you’re an authoritarian who thinks American protestors can be crushed like sewer rats, well, think very carefully about a media and history environment that has nothing in common with gorgeous blondes on the yap about a wedding dress on Fox.

Many elected American officials have a low opinion of the little people, you know. An astounding 35% never vote, and half of those who do are violent authoritarians who seemingly have no respect for facts, the law or empathy. Easily manipulated with materialism, fear and sex, saddled with a babbling corporate media that will tell any story that doesn’t matter, if they’re abused today the little people will soon forget about in our happy busy times of rising productivity.

We may be busy and distracted, anxiety-ridden and fearful at times, not very well-informed and subject to manipulation in lives that many of us find horribly difficult. You think we’re politically and civically stupid, okay, but I’ll tell you one more time the American people are not idiots. Eternal war at $120 billion a year while American kids go hungry and can’t get an education. Grossly offensive Wall Street oligarchs who are in fact felons, given a free pass on reality and the law with a smashed economy. A Congress that is so obviously bought no little person ever looks to the People’s House for hope, leadership or answers.

The list goes on. The game is up, for Christ’s sake, the place is a broken wreck. Anyone who doesn’t plainly say so and lead with real solutions for real little people is going to be ignored and eventually disposed of, one way or another. I doubt very much the UC system has a procedure to chuck authoritarian chancellors, but I’m pretty sure the students can handle that.

Well. Such cheery news and history for our times. Still, there is a day, family time and a future ahead of us. We shall do our best.

paradox :: 3:27 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!