by RIP RENSE
(Sept. 14, 2006)
thinking I should write about Bush, and 9/11, and the “war on
terror,” but I can’t bring myself to do it anymore. 9/11? I’d rather write
about the anniversary of 7-Eleven.
I’ve had it. The whole
“war on terror” affair is so far beyond disgusting, so far beyond insane, so
far beyond dirt-stupid, so far beyond a cheap trick, so far beyond
infantile, that I can’t bring myself to comment anymore.
I mean, I take one look
at Bush delivering a speech, and I just start yelling. Dog-sees-intruder
I know---it’s no loss to
the world, or journalism. But you see, I’ve always felt a citizenly
duty---rather in the old pamphleteer sense of Revolutionary War days---to
take advantage of available forums and voice concern for my country.
And I’ve done so---check
my archive. I’ve ranted for years about how phony this “war” is, how 9/11
was used as a pretext for implementing a pre-existing plan, etc. Nobody listened!
I marvel, I must
admit, at the wonderful writers who still have the patience to comment
upon and analyze ongoing affairs. I mean, just look at this hideous,
wretched “president.” Look at his little beady darting animal eyes and
listen to his condescending, snide, punk outbursts. Everything he says is
either the most banal sort of B-movie claptrap (speeches), or so dazzlingly
inarticulate (extemporizing), that to take any of it seriously is just
He’s a treacherous
cretin, to borrow a song title from Frank Zappa, with a little imaginary
friend named Jesus whispering in his ear. He’s not the president, and never
has been. Those who do not understand that Cheney and Rumsfeld and a cadre
of behind-the-scenes unelected creeps call the shots are simply children.
But of course, this has
largely become a nation of children. Whiney tykes with enormous hairy guts,
cellulite asses and fake breasts, crying gimmemine gimmemine, their lives
built on television, bad beer, cars, celebrity-worship, cyber-porn,
out-of-context Biblical ranting.
Could it be any more
obvious, any plainer, that the Iraq invasion---that killed between 100,000
and 250,000 innocents, nearly 3,000 U.S. troops---was based entirely on
lies? That this fake, British-created “country” was better off under the
thumb of Saddam Hussein? That 9/11 was shamelessly exploited by Neocons as a
pretext for implementing their fever-dream of “Global Pax Americana,” which
calls for the permanent occupation of the Middle East? That Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice
and the other hobgoblins have, with cynicism that is so brazen as to be
paralyzing, cultivated fear to rally public support?
Could it be any more
apparent that not only has nothing---nothing---been done to make the
country safer from terrorist attacks, but that the “war on terror” has
created countless new terrorists and stoked incalculably greater hatred?
Could it be any plainer that this administration’s policies are intended
only to fatten up the rich and leave the poor to their own hapless devices?
No, not just the poor---the remains of the American middle-class! Could it
be any easier to see that quality of air, land, water, wildlife is of
absolutely no interest to these people?
Bush declares ever more
tenaciously---almost psychotically---that “we” will not leave Iraq. No
matter how many die, no matter how much mayhem, no matter how much world
instability, no matter how many U.S. generals say it is a disaster and lost
cause. Why, folks? Why is that? Answer: the Neocons never intended to leave
Iraq. Removing Hussein was all a pretext, a con, for permanent occupation.
Read about it. Read about the permanent U.S. bases under construction. Bush
has the nerve to dress the whole thing up as a noble World War II-scale
stand against “Islamic fascism”---a horrendous insult to every Allied
soldier who fought real fascism in World War II. Capturing disparate
plotters around the world is---or should be---a criminal matter.
Yet Amerryguns just kind
of shrug and light up another cigarette and open a bag of Oreos. Oh.
Guess we’re stayin’.
Why don’t more people see
it? Why aren’t citizens out in the streets every day by the tens of
thousands, demanding the removal of this runaway regime? Why isn’t Congress
impeaching and removing Bush and Cheney from office? Nixon and Agnew’s
crimes were comparatively penny-ante, almost quaint---and the “democratic
process” took care of them in a hurry. Why not these criminals?
Well, partly because a
lot of people buy the lies, and partly because a lot of people want to
see anything in a burka or khaffiyeh nuked. But mostly it’s because there
really is no country anymore. There is only a TV show. People don’t know
what their country is, or what it was supposed to be. All they know is what
TeeVee tells them it is. So they react, grunt-level, to movie-like news
footage that has no horror, and reporting that has no depth. Polls are
taken, speeches are made in order to affect the polls, and that’s the
country. The country has become television.
A friend recently asked a
question I hear a lot nowadays: where are the leaders?
Well, they’re supposed to
be in Washington, but that’s a long gone fairy tale. The federal government
is famously and hopelessly inculcated with lobbyists and montebanks.
Democraps and Repugnicans mostly strut around on their hind legs, thumbing
their suspenders, blowing a lot of calculated---and usually numbingly
stupid---hot air. Repugnicans are accused of war-mongering and
churlishness---usually accurately---and Democraps are accused of treason and
bleeding heart liberalism, if not communism. Insanely. (Am I naïve, or
doesn’t the government have a fundamental duty to see to the health and
well-being of the country? Hell, if that’s communism, get me a hammer and
stark-raving-bonkers “Christian” right-wing rules the Repugnican roost, the
Democraps "boast" only such posturing power-mongers as Hillary Clinton and
embarrassing lightweights as Nancy Pelosi. Sen. Russ Feingold seems a
courageous and principled fellow, so naturally the corporate-owned
electronic media has reduced him to fringe crank status. And most people who
might have once considered public service as an honorable profession long
ago went into academia, law, mobile pet-grooming.
Still, out of old
reflex, I do look for things that are heartening, signs that all is not
lost. The pickings are very lean. Bill Moyers was persecuted by FCC
crackpots for being "left-wing," when his “Now” program was merely good
investigative journalism and rational commentary. (The show has lost
its punch, and half its length, since Moyers’ departure.) At least Bill
shows up now and again with a superb speech or commentary, and will return
in October with
Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky researched and wrote
“The Case For
Impeachment,” a book so factually argued that even the most intractable
right-winger should nervously tug at his or her collar after reading it.
Seymour Hersh keeps up his heroic investigative reporting, Amy Goodman
indefatigably hosts "Democracy Now," a host of hard-working columnists still
hunt and peck: Helen Thomas, Norman Solomon,
Frank Rich, Sidney Blumenthal, et. al.
And now we have a guy
called Keith Olbermann bravely calling the presimaniac and his band of
freaks on their fear-mongering and trashy stunts. His
recent piece on the
administration’s endless wallowing in 9/11---does this country have any
dignity at all?---is must reading. Funny that it might take the likes of Olbermann, a one-time local TV sports wiseguy who is also using an available
forum to express concern for his country, to start a trend against these
extremists. A trend that would logically end with their removal from office.
Of course, it is far more likely that the corporate media will remove
Olbermann from his MSNBC office first.
There is one more
recent event that, against my better instincts, makes me think that
perhaps the entire populace is not a prisoner of corporate greed, mass-media
hypnosis, and Bush/Limbaugh/Fox brainwashing. I know it’s ridiculous to
attach such significance to the sales of a mere CD, but the fact that Bob
Dylan’s “Modern Times”---an innately anti-commercial, anti-false,
anti-plastic, anti-deceit collection of songs---is the top-selling
album in the country is a good thing. There is a great, affecting, sorrowful
song on it called “Workingman’s Blues # 2,” which includes these lines:
There’s an evening
haze settlin over town
Starlight by the edge of
The buying power of the
proletariat’s going down
Money’s getting shallow
Well the place I love
best is a sweet memory
It’s a new path that we
They say low wages are
If we want to compete
abroad. . .
Meet me at the bottom,
don’t lag behind
Bring me my boots and
You can hang back or
fight your best on the front line
Sing a little bit of
these workingman’s blues
Maybe that’s what it will
take to stop this national nightmare that I really can’t write about
anymore. A great big dose of workingman’s blues.
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