‘Nam stun-gunned us. Booze and Mad Science are bringing Mighty Kong to his knees. Here comes a sample of how the Reagan-era brainstorming for Morning Again in America went down: Picture a suburban D.C. bar on a December school night if you can…it’s 20 degrees, blustery and the current time of six ‘o clock looks and feels more like 10 pm. Good scotch-sipping weather to work with, while half-watching anyone but Greta Van Susteren read you the news…
Politician: So how do we make this happen? Feasibly?
Lobbyist: China, India…and we’re working on a few others. We move our headquarters to Switzerland with long term protection and we’ll make sure to send you back some cheese.
Politician: And you say I’ll be able to take a picture of my chest and send it to any broad in the world?
Lobbyist: Within a minute. And she can send you a shot of her yams right back. But the Chinamen think you’ll need a good sized mirror to do it in front of. That way it’ll look straight, sharp. You’re a congressman for God’s sake. You can’t be sending crooked pics of yourself…(laughs)…I don’t care how old she is!
Politician (his head now even further into the gutter, thinking, “Of course that’ll work, but don’t ask him about it! How’s he gonna know if the picture will do it justice?”)
Lobbyist (imbibes, then begins thinking after signaling for another round of Bushmills, “I know what this ‘ol sailor really wants to take a picture of. No, no, don’t joke about it. I got this one in the bag. Riggo’s already got his hundy. Just take a knee.”)
Politician: Anything else?
Lobbyist: (What the hell?) What do you think about wine?
Politician: I think my mother-in-law drinks it.
Lobbyist: (laughs casually) Boxed wine in the ’90’s, Jon? We have areas in the Northwest that share the same latitude and altitude as France.
Politician: (Gives a bitter-beer-face in response before asking the barkeep to bring the phone over.)
Lobbyist: Easy money if you can get border patrol down in the desert to bury their heads in the sand for a few years. (He then winks at the corner end of the bar. It’s a brunette with a perm, smoking a Virginia Slim.) It will explode, I assure you.
Politician: Yeah and a DeAndre is going to quarterback the Redskins to a Super Bowl ring. Stick with technology kid. You may have something there.
What I had, even before Occupy Wall Street began, was my first American epiphany: it reminded me that life still isn’t fair and that postwar 1945 through the 1950’s, the days when everyone who wanted a slice got one, are never, ever coming back. Goodbye yellow brick road. Hello old bedroom.
The overall complexion and outsiders perception of the Stars & Stripes has flip-flopped. America is no longer a proud, bulletproof democracy, but rather a great big con job-a business, a used car; with liberty and patriotism being used as bullet points in the sales pitch. Ask any congressman what our priorities as a country are and they’ll say, “Creating more jobs.” That’s business.
Thanks to what Princeton professor Cornell West often refers to as “warped priorities,” poverty along with obesity and woe is now at a pandemic state. This is a byproduct of the little guys’ once very reliable babysitter, the American Dream going kaput (or when it opted for early retirement post Vietnam). The elite decided we needed a new babysitter, so Reagan’s people did what all lousy parents/supervisors do: handed us a bottle (it practically rains booze in America to the point where we’re no longer a land of functioning alcoholics like Korea) and stuck us in front of the tube (advent of cable TV has evolved to the point where Cheers reruns can be viewed from a cellphone in a Greyhound station occupied by mostly winos).
In the end, nobody is a winner. If watching highlights of a political rally gives any indication what kind of people whom our country is comprised of-schemers, clowns, pigeons, the poor and the poorest-then I fear for the kindergarteners of today.
Speaking of schemers, politics no longer function as a public service, but stands first as the world’s campiest rivalry; pinning the Donkeys and the Elephants. Each side will tell you they have the right formula. Meanwhile, party brass on each side is out looking for their next puppet. Advisers are conjuring up a clever counterpoint to spin wheels with, and the male poly-sci intern is assigned to Google Map the golf course with the finest cocktail lounge.
Limousine Liberals spit on and mock the bible (the same book that gave us a B.C. head start, when it warned us that money is the root of all evil) and cheerlead for social progress and human rights all while confirming to stand with the status quo on Roe v. Wade. Conversely, when you think of Republicans, you think of disparities such as shotguns, pro-life, the death penalty and along with the real kicker: christianity and capitalism? Bible thumpers with (bloated) bank accounts, huh?
When you start to talk about how humanity’s current state reached a crisis level in the United States of America, the touchstone element one should closely examine before taking a side should rest with the human condition itself-which really isn’t all that complicated: for every man who eventually rises to a seat of power, at an early pivotal point in his life when he knew he could, someone in position to help engineer his progress went ahead and told him no. So then the individual typically proceeds to react in a emotional, compulsive fashion, and eventually that leads to self-demonization (that can go as far as Hitler) or even organized malice by those he associates with (that can go as far as John F. Kennedy).
Then there’s the guys who turned out okay, he who gets drunk the very evening of rejection. He’ll sleep it off, and in a few days kept doing whatever it was the authority figure already rejected, with limited feelings of resentment. These are the good guys. Prolific, resourceful and not overly sensitive. Know any like this anymore? Go ahead, be honest with yourself and name 10 men that you know whom you would feel perfectly comfortable running the country for the next eight years, let alone babysitting your kids. Most of us thought Obama was this guy. I’m still holding my breath.
So who can you trust to help further advance society in America?
We’re going to have to learn to trust and depend in ourselves. Participants of Occupy Wall St. are on the right track, but you can’t be down there with a chic phone in one hand and a Pumpkin Spice Latte in the other. Action speaks louder than words, and if I may use one more cliche, all protesting on Wall St. does is remind me of this old expression, “The ass looks at the well, and the well looks at the ass.”
The only solution as this point is to declare war against corporate America and its bedfellows, the political parties. Starve the beasts to death. Don’t look, don’t touch. That goes for everything. For one year: No NBC of any kind, no Fox News, no newspapers, certainly no attending the campaign trails, no new shoes, and may I even suggest you don’t vote in 2012?
Ancient Chinese philosopher Sun-tzu once wrote, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
We will be at war with each other again. Imagine how powerful a statement it could be, if most of us across this land ignored our government along with its hired guns and talking heads from now until 2012.
No more wants, only needs. I’m not asking you to give up beer or wine, I’m asking you to brew your own or support locally while still paying your taxes. Democracy thrives when obligations to citizens are being met. So until that is happening, let’s just freeze ’em out. We need roads fixed. We need to shed weight. We need students to become booksmart again. We can get this done by outwitting the Mitts of the world.
We may never get these jobs back. Let’s face it, America is already overpopulated, and even if half the jobs that are outsourced come back home, technology is still more dependable and practical for any business owner to work with. That’s an undeniable, sobering formula that anyone who is running for president wouldn’t bring up on the back end of a pickup truck.
Having recently spent a year outside the country, I couldn’t wait to get back. I still love it here, even if it is the Titanic. Pigpen America is the only America I know. So strangely, the day it gets easy to succeed in the pursuit in finding happiness and daily comfort is the day I know longer want to live here.