Reaching Rock Bottom, Starting to Dig

I started reading blogs via Salon during the very start of the Dean campaign, which makes me like grandma over here in the rocking chair bitching about these kids today and why they need to take pictures with their phones. I was jacked into the Matrix during the worst of the Bush administration’s offenses and fuckups, and the monstrousness of what was done and written during Katrina has never left me. I’ve got a pretty long history of exposure to right-wing bullshit. Usually, I just shrug it off: Eh, it’s those fuckers, who cares.

But every once in a while, something they say manages to bust through the thick skin I’ve developed and hit muscle and bone:

As the writer says: “The very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more.”

In slightly different words: The best we can hope for is that the thing just goes on gushing through the bore hole indefinitely. (Or until we can drill enough relief wells to reduce the pressure. Don’t hold your breath.)

I’m as horrified as anyone by this — if the guy has got it right, and I’ve understood him correctly. At the same time, as a constitutional pessimist, I’ll own to a certain grim satisfaction. The infantile optimism of post-JFK America may have met its match down there in the Gulf. Nature is not mocked.

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? I mean it, what is that, you fucking moral dyslexic? You’re basically cheering on the possible implosion of an entire ocean because it will remedy “infantile optimism” of “post-JFK America?” What the fuck does that even mean? I just … I’m … What in the blue hell has to happen inside your brain that makes writing that okay?

What kind of insulated, sheltered, non-reality reality do you have to be swimming around in that you can sit there and say that the killing of an ENTIRE OCEAN and the destruction of an ENTIRE THIRD OF THE DAMN COUNTRY’S ECONOMY would be okay because hey, then everybody will realize that Nixon was right and fuck Cambodia anyway and hippies smell?

You know, I was born in that post-JFK America, and optimism is something I’ve not seen. Is he basically saying that this will show all those Obama voters who were happy in Grant Park for five minutes? Is this anger at politically engaged, happy 20-somethings?

Cat Tank

Thinking that it is grimly satisfying that the OCEAN FLOOR MIGHT EXPLODE so that people’s FEELINGS might change and they might become angry little Republican monsters, and this is a thing we say out loud.


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.