"There's not a Red America, or a Blue America, there's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." ---Barack Obama, 2004

Friday, February 5, 2010

Living in the "Age of Stupid"

I've always admired and held in high esteem the European world view.  As a people, and from a general political standpoint, they're smarter than us.  I base this not so much on research and what I hear or read as I do on my travels, personal experience, and many deeply political conversations I've had with the Danish, Norwegians, Brits, Germans, Italians, Spaniards, French, Croatians, Serbians, Romanians, and others.

I feel like they have some very relevant and well thought out ideas about the world and the future...particularly with respect to the planet's future from an environmental standpoint.

To add insult to injury, they're subject to American stupidity with the way our political system works and seldom budges away from its rigidity, apathetic hubris, and attacks on each other on Capitol Hill in the form of self-interest and slutty corporate interests (like it might be today perhaps? Name the issue, any issue).  

Europeans don't understand the lack of progress and why they need to bend to us...and I frankly don't understand why they have the tolerance...but in my experience, it's simple.  They're generally tolerant, worldly, peace-loving people who understand what it is to show some respect, and they employ a little hope to go along with it...and usually do it all with a pint of ale or a glass of wine in their hand...not a bad way to live!  

I need to get my butt back to that neck of the woods, over that Atlantic pond.

I feel their pain...I also have adopted their view as part of my credo on how I imagine my America can be.  I don't think we should turn into Europe -- that's not what I'm saying -- but I do think they have some interesting ideas on how to run aspects of their society...ideas that are difficult to poke holes into.  Perhaps America can find a hybrid of one of those good ideas, or as least that's my hope.

 This all being said, here's an interesting post to Dead Air Space, the blog on the British band Radiohead's website.  Thom Yorke, the lead singer and an ardent environmental activist, is usually the one you hear from, and he attended the Copenhagen Summit which I blogged about over at Sweva's P-patch...but the other members of the band also have some interesting things to say along the same lines.  Here's a post from guitarist Ed O'Brien that really hit home...it was good to read what he had to say...I hope he posts more often!
A rant and some other stuff

I haven’t spoken to Thom yet, but judging by his entries here and reading today’s papers the outcome of Copenhagen is a bloody disgrace … I wanted to put something up on DAS, as a kind of personal round-up to the year (also because I rather pathetically don’t contribute much to this), so excuse me if I kick off in a somewhat dejected manner, because in fact none of what I write seems at all relevant or important in the face of serious climate change …. This is the bottom line for all our lives whether we choose to face it or not, and believe me I choose not to most of the time in the name of my own personal happiness and subsequently of those around me … anyway here goes ..
I read an interesting book in the Summer by a man called Terence McKenna, entitled “Food of the Gods” .. his hypothesis is that certain natural plants have been integral in explaining mankind’s development in the spheres of language, intelligence and culture… it’s really fascinating, but a particular passage popped out at me, whilst reading, and it seems particularly relevant now:
“Looking down on Los Angeles from an airliner, I I never fail to notice that it is like looking at a printed circuit: all those curved driveways and cul de sacs with the same little modules installed along each one. As long as the ‘Reader’s Digest’ stays subscribed to and the TV stays on, these modules are all interchangeable parts within a very large machine. This is the nightmarish reality….. the creation of the public as a herd. The public has no history and no future, the public lives in a golden moment created by a credit system which binds them ineluctably to a web of illusions that is never critiqued. This is the ultimate consequence of having broken off the symbiotic relationship with the Gaian matrix of the planet. This is the consequence of lack of partnership; this is the legacy of imbalance between sexes; this is the terminal phase of a long descent into meaninglessness and toxic existential confusion.”
Now, I don’t walk around with this stuff in my head every hour of each day, in fact the opposite would be true. I’m happy feeling so grateful to the deck of cards that I’ve been dealt. Yet it’s always there, this knowing that we are all living in “The Age of Stupid’ … I’m sure most people feel the same way….. Yet our leaders seem incapable of leading … managing would seem a better word, or rather mismanaging…… Leadership implies wisdom; it implies vision and dynamism; the ability to foresee problems, create solutions and see them through … does that sound like our leaders? NO it doesn’t… And why is this not the case? What is preventing them from leading? Is it the power of big business/corporations/ the financial industries? It looks increasingly like it … vested fucking interests, no degree of what’s fair for all … plain and simple self-interest. I don’t know about you but most people I know don’t make decisions solely on what works best for them … it’s a balance between what is good for others too…
This is officially a rant now and I may not post it .. apologies to my brothers in the band if they are reading this and don’t like it .. tell me I’m being an arse and I’ll take it down..

Flashes of the alternate reality of corruption and Fascism that could have been

So it appears that there actually WAS IN FACT a right-hand "handyman," literally, in the governorship while Sara Palin inhabited the office in the great State of Alaska...

...and who is this handyman?  Well let me tell you...his name is...Todd Palin!  How 'bout dat.  Read all about it here!  

As if any of this was any surprise....Oh Sarah...and we joke about it now, but remember: less than 15 months ago, this was a person who was running to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.