... little more

It's just like they think that "we" are being really unrealistic and just wanting everything to be fixed, like, now, and, it's more like, can you even just try and be an advocate for the people who elected you instead of embarased?
(Edit: And of course "the people who elected you" could easily just be not-Left as Left so this is really a rabbit hole. I just really want nationalized health care and even if I can't expect to have it any time I just get all pissy when the debate gets closed for the sake of political expediency. Again: compromise on the path towards a larger goal > "this is the last time this can be discussed for another decade or two so that Democrats can win". Of course what am I saying? I have read way too much Marx to get involved in this. It is ALL bullshit.)
And of course this is putting aside all the international shit. It's really an interesting contrast.
Domestic policy: I keep thinking try harder, things can be better than this, as if he were on my side. And then I think...
International Policy: Who the fuck are you? What the FUCK are you doing? Why did I even get roped into caring what people think of you or what you think of them?
I am just going to start assuming that all of this "left is nutz" bullshit is just bait and ignore it.
Will I have the resolve?
Also I didn't partake last time I was offered - just had a lyric in my brain.

I'm a negative "progressive" and I'm stoned

I won't even bother to link to the numerous stories on the latest silly manifestation of the weird thought now current amongst the Democratic elite that if they were to play the role of abusive husband, the Left would assent to the role of battered wife, a sort of weird twist on "if you build it, they will come", only I would unsurprisingly prefer watching baseball with Kevin Costner than getting punched. Suffice it to say that it is not much of a tactic to get me excited about participating in the elections. I never believed in "change" in the first place, and the 2008 elections were the first I did not participate in.

Still, though, I can't help but believe that all of this bitching about bitching betrays a certain cynicism towards those who actually did believe. And I find it a bit distasteful. I know my expectations are unrealistic, but I also know that, here on the fringes, even though I accomplish nothing, I am still at least, if only barely, holding down my little fort at the edge of the forest, just as tiny reminder that, yes, people used to walk in this part of the woods. But if my cynicism stems from the frustration of knowing my desires will never be realized, Washington's cynicism is towards those who don't realize that desire is just something to be manipulated and forgotten about once it has accomplished its goals. The carrot doesn't exist - what fools so many were to chase it.

Or at least that is the message I get.

Another one is, of course, surprise at the lack of gratitude. Don't us peasants know that it took a lot of catered late-night meetings to hammer out these compromises? A lot of limousines stopped traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue, on Connecticut Avenue, on M Street NW and K Street NW and, of course, Wisconsin Avenue, just so that these "solutions" could exist.

If Obama were really Kennedy, he would understand that huge compromises can be hidden in a larger narrative, that history would be kind to those who kept the fight in the front pages even while making deals behind closed doors. Only the most frustrated among us, dis-including huge swaths of independents, moderates, Democrats, liberals, progressives, Leftists, even, hear Kennedy's name and think only of the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and an administration that utilized the (admittedly young) CIA far more than any of his predecessors. Most mostly think of Civil Rights and the famous call to service. He talked of principles even if his practice betrayed them and seemingly did his best to keep the path illuminated even as he strayed from it it.

If it really were to feel that these compromises were the prelude to something greater, battles won in a wider war, then that could only be because our leader continued to ask us to fight and to fight for us. Instead, the victory has been all his. How dare we spoil it.


Mutually-Assured Destruction (A ramble)

Probably the main reason I am so whiny about the Obama administration is that I am more concerned with foreign policy than domestic.
Look at our country. We do, really, have one of the better systems of government in the world but we don't even know how to use it.
Most of us don't vote. And for every person who has given up on the two-party monopoly, there are probably five or ten more who never gave a shit in the first place, and not because they were too smart to get involved, either. In my moral universe, the privilege of not voting while retaining my respect (worth very little, I know) is something you can only earn after being exhausted from caring.
The people who do vote mostly do so for shitty reasons. Some for well-developed shitty reasons (IE coherent policy positions that happen to not be any good), some for under-developed shitty reasons (imagine some "nice", folksy person who thinks themselves an astute judge of character [who can't even imagine the candidate outside of the marketing] worrying about who would best fit in at the local diner/bar/Denny's/mega-church/free-trade coffee shop/whatever). The media's job is to treat all of this bullshit with "respect".
Some people even think voting is not enough. They "get involved", and write their congressional representatives. I worked for congress once, back in 2000. I had to open hundreds of letters from these marvelous concerned citizens every day. My favorite came from some cracker who complained about the luxurious accommodations that government had provided that "Commie" Elian Gonzalez.
Some people even choose to really become involved, and canvas (guilty), work with their local precincts to sway voters, work on campaigns, etc. A lot of these people seem to think they are holding back the tidal wave of (insert what they oppose here) that threatens to wash over our fertile country, but their rhetoric is usually more successful for convincing themselves than anyone else. Because.
Because our country is awash with bland pragmatists, undecideds, "independents", whose navel-gazing complacency is constantly venerated as the only authentic perspective from which to view politics. If you ever find yourself on TV as part of some news story portraying some race for some office and you want to be seen as the voice of reason, just tell everyone you are just "trying to feed your family" and see the look of respect that immediately washes over the face of your interrogator. Nothing speaks to the way in which the radical nihilism of our times is hidden in plain sight, banal, ubiquitous, "moderate", cloyingly friendly, than the wide berth this not-enlightened self-interest is granted. Whether there was ever anything worthwhile about negative freedom as a means of organizing our society, it plays now like a toddler not wanting to eat his vegetables. The same level of petulance and hysterics, wrapped in the "wisdom" that is so easy for those who have never experienced a granule of what this world has to offer to convey.
So I am not surprised about our lack of nationalized health care, nor about the shitty educational system, and the shitty attempts to reform it. I am not surprised that the people who wrecked this economy are planning their next vacations while many of us are wondering if we will have one again. Nor am I surprised that there are a million people trying to spin all of this bullshit for personal gain, nor that they succeed. What I don't get is why we have to keep fucking killing people in other countries just so that we can go on pretending that all of the above is not true.



Anyone nostalgic for all of the rhetoric around Obama's campaign fundraising juggernaut? About the endless justifying by so many Liberals of the ridiculous amounts of money raised? Proof of popular support? Proof of a resurgence in the Democratic Party? Bullshit! Proof of hypocrisy. Well, I hope you motherfuckers are coprophiles!



I have been depending on someone else's WiFi at home for over two years now. This WiFi has now vanished. So I am here less but also happier. Now if I could only have a job with no computer access, I might think less about how much I want the diseased body of our political system to finally perish, and more about beer and girls. Would it really be a loss? Only if I were actually fighting instead of bitching.
But even without the computer, which has the effect of taking both "content" and my relationship to it, and chopping it up into little, un-nourishing bits, I still don't spend enough time with beer and girls.
Over this past week, I did, however, re-read The Rest is Noise, re-watch both The Asphalt Jungle and Citizen Kane. I also spent a bit of time deepening my knowledge of MIDI (oh it's simple enough if you just want to connect a few boxes but once you get into CCs and NRPNs and Event Lists...).
It is getting harder and harder to imagine that computers were ever seen as the means of radical social change. I could possibly write a lot more about it, but I just want to say this: if consumer capitalism is about spinning a humble wish into a large matrix of desires, replete with complex hierarchies filled with subtle and not-so-subtle gradations, then the computer is the greatest catalyst of that process I know of, and certainly accelerates the process to a speed that is unhealthy for mere mortals.
Perhaps it already exists, but there has to be world to describe the combination of the desire for instant gratification that is never gratified, and the complete collapse of the mind's ability to proritize that is the hallmark of extended computer use. It is amazing, on the one hand, that I can alternately fantasize about travelling to South America, research new needles for my turntables, read news from all over the world, look up new resataurants in my neighborhood, talk with friends, shop for books, comment on blogs, comment on message boards, etc, all with a few pieces of electronics, but there is something about doing all of these things from the same place in the same way, that is becoming increasingly problematic.
And don't just say I don't have a life. I live in Brooklyn. I go to shows. I am surrounded by bars. I dig for records. I take long walks. I spend time with friends. But there is always something at the back of my mind. I dunno.