Well folks, there you have it. We knocked off the once-and-future terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, and so now we are going to get another scoundrel on our list, Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi. Oh, that’s right, I forgot. We also killed that other terrorism sponsor, Sadam Hussein; but that was executed under an earlier regime, so we needn’t worry about it just now.
But, isn’t this what the latest North African campaign is all about, assassinating Muammar so we can get easy access to the largest proven oil reserves in Africa? After all, we took out some of his offspring, so what are we waiting for? Is it not wonderful how our hegemony will do anything to protect the interests of our elites (errr… “our wonderful land”) our lifestyle, and our unquenchable thirst for that black liquid gold? And while the US Congress of comedians and mental misfits has “rebuked” the president’s decision to declare war on Libya, they did not see fit to cut off funding for this new reality-show-assassination attempt. Watch for episodes to air post-haste on your local affiliate stations.
It is ironic, if not lunacy, how our great country steals from its populace (taxes) and gives it away to ‘banksters’ and multinationals or piddles it away on assassination plots (wars) and calls that democracy in action. But when the leaders of other regimes (Mubarak, Muammar, Sadam, et. al.) likewise accumulate and squander their country’s wealth, we call it tyranny. It would seem to this author that we too live under a tyranny.
Perhaps we are predisposed to looking the other way when our leaders or their friends do something terrible. What was the name of that company that destroyed the Gulf of Mexico last summer, its delicate ecosystems and livelihood of those living there? Was it BP? I guess they get a free pass. It seems that as a country of laws, it is okay if you do something that brings harm, so long as you find an attorney somewhere to write an opinion providing your actions with legal cover.
But, oh boy, am I excited. Our head pitchman has just announced another boondoggle arrangement, now between Uncle Sam, the hi-tech industry and universities to launch a manufacturing burst of new technologies here in the homeland. As he said in comments this week at Carnegie Mellon University:
This partnership is about new cutting edge ideas to create new jobs, spark new breakthroughs, reinvigorate American manufacturing today. Right now.
Boy, all that talk of new stuff like “next-generation robotics, advanced composite materials and bio-manufacturing” really excites me; maybe we can even find new ways to destroy the competition or kill our adversaries. Is there a difference? And, is this what we, and the world, really need right now? New technologies. We keep marching further down that path my friends, where there will no longer be a place for flesh and blood people, the natural environment, or a meaningful relationship between the two. As Paul Feyerabend so graphically expressed it in his last work The Conquest of Abundance:
It was the technological and social success of science that separated purpose and matter, destroyed animism, and turned people into addicts.
It seems we need the ever clear and present promise of greater technological innovation to keep us enthralled and tied to this treadmill they call modern reality. And we are addicted to the fuel that keeps it all going… oil!
Yet, as our ally, James Kunstler said this week in his guest piece for Orion Magazine:
The mandates of reality are telling us very clearly that the age of fossil fuel magic is drawing to a close, with huge implications for how we occupy the landscape. It also implies a timeout for the kind of rapid technological change that has come to seem normal for us. This necessary timeout is probably the only thing that will prevent us from destroying the planet we call home. We’re suffering profoundly from too much magic.
Well, I guess the president isn’t listening to us. But, then, does any president really listen to anybody that isn’t padding his pockets or his war chest heavily with cash?
We went for walk by Seneca Lake today with our little boy, as we have done every morning since returning to the USA. There was an older “Willie Nelson” type-looking character there, with a straggly salt and pepper beard, wearing a rumpled cowboy hat and smoking a cigarette with his coffee as he relaxed on a log overlooking the water. He was perched in front of his early model Ford Mustang that was dressed out with American flags, Sunoco Oil stickers, and US Army logos pasted around its hood, doors and spoiler. He was a nice old guy, calm and friendly, and told me to take care of my little boy because he could be the next president. I said, I hope not. He said, well, maybe my boy could fix things here. I said maybe it couldn’t be fixed; maybe the game is rigged, and always has been. As he drove away a bit later he rolled down his car window and shouted out to us “God Bless America.”
I guess my biggest news of the week is that there are still guys like him around. Probably a Vietnam vet who visits the NASCAR circuit regularly, loves his country, and misses the good old days of cheap oil, fast cars, and hot women. He was gentle enough, but he seemed to be holding on to this dream that never really materialized; a spectacle that was held up for the masses to envy but who were never quite able to achieve it. It is a dream whose lining is black like a nightmare, and whose proposed lifestyle is simply and purely unsustainable.
But we still face the reality of people like this guy, believing in folks like Obama who is simply following through on the orders of his masters, the banksters and multinational plutocrats, pushing to keep this illusion going, propping up the spectacle, and allowing the wealthy few on this planet to live another day unencumbered, while they trash the planet and further enslave and manhandle the people. Just ask Canadians how that free speech thing is going these days.
Formal austerity measures, as the G20 has now dictated for the global community, are only the latest and most blatant example of the management of the domesticated masses of modern humanity. And that reminds me of a sign I saw at the lake as well this week. It read: “Please do not feed the geese. Let’s keep our wildlife… wild!”
Well, I guess that about sums it up rather nicely. Insofar as “we, the people” are no longer feeding ourselves (hunting and gathering), but are rather being fed through the auspices of an economic system, we have thereby surrendered our feral core (our wildness) and have ourselves become domesticated – herded and managed just like that nature and the North African oil we are still trying to get under our control.