Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shrinking Metal Cups

We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.

There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

-William S. Burroughs

My last night's tweets;

All payments accepted but most of them.
The sink motion sensors ignore my hands.
Happy phantoms open doors on a whim.
Consumer ghosts are alone in grey lands.

I turned Keith Olbermann's show on during lunch and listened to the depressing state of the health care reform bill. I can't say I'm surprised--one of Olbermann's guests talked about how the Democrats were "out-foxed" by the insurance companies. No, I don't think so--make whatever jokes you like about people in government, no-one's dumb enough to not know what's happening when a bill originally designed to implement useful public healthcare becomes just a massive siphon to move funds from the taxpayers to the insurance companies, requiring citizens to purchase private health insurance with bits eroding a woman's right to choose as the cherry on top. None of these just get slipped in without people noticing.

I voted for Obama, I liked him. I was excited to see a black guy become president, and I got swept up in the idea of this being a signifier of meaningful change to come, like a lot of people did. But I don't think there's any escaping the conclusion now that he's far enough in the pocket of private interests to be totally useless. Though only an idiot would argue McCain would be better.

There is no-one better. There is no-one--just a machine designed to solidify the existence of an aristocracy. Unlike what William S. Burroughs said, I think this beast is clearly designed to preserve some people. Maybe this is the only way, with overpopulation and the inescapable deterioration of resources, maybe it is time for 1% of the population to be isolating themselves. While the rest of us are left only with the self-evidence of our rights.

Olbermann was making fun of Michele Bachmann for comparing her supporters to "The Charge of the Light Brigade". I don't think it's a coincidence that that Tennyson poem was featured prominently in the current, successful right wing fantasy film, Blind Side.

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