Some of Us Still Remember . . .
Edith Wharton . . .
Everything seemed strange, ominous and unreal, like the yellow glare that precedes a storm. There were moments when I felt as if I had died, and woken up in an unknown world. And so I had.
The political culture in this country has gone beyond strange, it has gone beyond ominous, it has gone beyond unreal. We can’t say it’s corrupted, we left corrupted behind 30 years ago, we left it behind when the Gipper hit the right turn signal, took the Oligarch Exit onto the Road of Ruin, and threw away all the maps. It’s hard to say where we are now, we’ve been hauled through so many event horizons by Mr. Thousand Points of Light, and the Big Dog, and The Decider, and the Wonderful Wizard of Compromise that I’m not even sure what universe we’re in anymore.
What we are seeing now, promulgated by a conservative bubble machine that has built a self-sustaining universe around itself, is political opportunism married to an active campaign of disinformation. The people making a profit out of it are people who are too lazy to mug old ladies or swindle the blind. The people making a profit out of it are people without consciences, people who are as free of patriotism as they are free of the inconveniences of having a soul. They are dangerous propagandists. They are peddling poisonous lies and putting people’s lives at risk. Every journalist who treats them as anything else, and every politician who treats them as anything else, are actively abetting evil.
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?
The current president knows damn well that the “conservative” agenda is repulsive, that it is malevolent, that it is fascist to the core. That brutal reality cannot be concealed no matter how many times it is portrayed as “free market capitalism” on Fox News, no matter how many times it is glorified as “liberty” on rightwing hate radio, no matter how many times the corporate media tries to sanitize it.
The “midterm elections” are over, and we’ve seen once again that Democrats are incapable of telling the truth about any of this, they are complicit in it, and their token and temporary resistance to the relentless “conservative” assault on democracy has no meaning or value whatsoever.
Pierce . . .
The country simply cannot go on this way, with one of our two political parties completely insane, and with a counter-cultural universe that claims the right to promulgate its own science as equal to the science produced by actual scientists, and with this dangerous lunacy treated as legitimate by powerful people who ought to know better. As I once wrote, it doesn’t matter how many people vote for the anti-gravity party, you still can’t flap your arms and fly to the moon.
But the truth doesn’t matter anymore, not to the GOP, not to the psychotic “patriots” who keep voting for them. And what stands in their way? I don’t see much of anything standing in their way. When I look beyond progressive websites and the courageous activism of a few thousand people, all I see is apathy, all I see is cynicism, all I see is moral cowardice.
And what is always waiting for us on the other side of the next tick of the clock?
More apathy. More cynicism. More moral cowardice.
That’s what’s always waiting for us.
Martin Amis . . .
Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn’t show you your reflection–it showed you your soul, it showed you who you really were. The wizard couldn’t look at it without turning away. The king couldn’t look at it. The courtiers couldn’t look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for sixty seconds without turning away.
And no one could.
How many Americans could look in that mirror without turning away?
Not one of us.
That’s how many.
But some of us still remember who we could have been, some of us still have a glimpse of who we can be, some of us still have faith in what this country can be, faith in what this world can be. And on the sacred land of the Lakota, the environment is being defended, and the Keystone pipeline will be stopped. And in the heartland of America, there will be justice, no matter how many riot police are deployed, no matter how many times the sonic weapons scream, no matter how many of our brothers and sisters are arrested and thrown into the jails of this police state Obama keeps telling God to bless.
Native peoples know, people of color know, everyone here knows how long the storm has been coming, but it’s not coming anymore.
But the truth is still here too. We haven’t forgotten it, it’s not going anywhere, it’s not heading for the shelters and neither are we. The truth can’t be tear-gassed, it can’t be arrested, it can’t be silenced by a killer with a badge. It is sacred, it is beautiful and enduring, it is beyond all decay and ruin.
We are here to live it, and think it, and speak it, and breathe it.
And we are going to do that, all through this storm, we are going to do that until this storm is over, we are going to do that until all this darkness has passed, and this nation and this world have been cleansed of exploitation and oppression and injustice.