Dark Days II
Well, I had strange and disturbing dreams last night. And just in general I have been down lately, it’s even seeped into my blogging and paralysed my ability to write. So what the hell, let’s just get it all out in the light and see if maybe we can shrivel up some of these monsters. Here is my current list of the ten things that are depressing me most. No effort is going to be made to be light hearted here, this is just plain blech. Maybe this will get it out of my system and tomorrow I can blog about ten uplifting things. Without further ado:
TEN DEPRESSING THINGS
1. Politics. Dear God, has there ever been such a worthless pack of presidential candidates? More money is being spent on this election than ever before, and all it’s resulted in is an endless series of boring debates where the candidates try to think of novel ways to wrap themselves in flags and bibles. If Obama is sincere, I give him higher marks, but I don’t think he is. I like Ron Paul, but he is being studiously ignored by the media because saying “The emperor has no clothes” simply isn’t the message the powers that be want us to hear.
2. Iraq. This mess is on track to cost us two trillion dollars, 70% of the American public want us out, and there’s no end in sight. We goddamn elected an anti-war congress, and they simply caved in to the war party. When will we be leaving Iraq? Damned if I know, but I stick to what I said when we first invaded: It’s not a question of will the US be leaving Iraq, it’s just a question of how soon and how ignominiously. And four plus years in I would add that the longer we put it off, the more ignominious it’s going to be.
3. GWOT/Militarism. OK, we had the most expensive military that money could buy, and a handful of guys with box cutters flew under our radar and nailed us. Did we punish the people who were manning the ramparts? No. Did we re-examine the cult of militarism that has infected the USA since at least World War Two? No. We gave even more money to the people who failed to protect us against 9/11 in the first place…and redoubled our efforts to meddle in the foreign lands where our meddling spawned Al-Qaeda in the first place. If bombing people and invading countries and ever more expensive militaries could bring peace and safety…Israel would be living in a sea of peace and plenty. Which brings us too…
4. Palestine. Someday Israel has to decide what to do with the territories they occupied in 1967. That’s more than 50 years ago. They need to either annex them and let the people there be citizens of Israel…or allow them to form a state of their own. Instead, for 50 years Israel has kept millions of people in stateless limbo and pretended that they didn’t create this problem. Until Israel makes up it’s mind, nothing will change and the seeds of Islamic extremism will not only find fertile ground in the occupied territories, they will continue to spread. And no, it’s not all Israel’s fault, but they are the ones with all the power and weapons and they are the ones who occupied the West Bank and Gaza in the first place.
5. Russia. Has anyone noticed that Russia is now run by organized crime? People worry about the possibility of a few mullahs getting a crude 50s era nuclear bomb…while the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it globally is in the hands of a man who makes Tony Soprano look like a Boy Scout. No wonder the Russians are fleeing their country in droves. Their solution: have a baby, get a car. Sheesh.
6. Extinctions. Nothing but bad news here, at great expense we “saved” a few keynote species and cleaned up some of the world’s most visible pollution…while the habitat destruction and overpopulation continued unheralded in the background. The first cetacean (whale/dolphin) ever just went extinct, the gorilla is in trouble, the Polar Bear is in big trouble…and just in general a world without large animals outside of zoos is not so slowly emerging. This is what we were warned about in the sixties and seventies. Sigh.
7. Climate Change. Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a rate no one predicted, and just in general the world appears to be warming up faster than our worst models predicted. The result? The rich are scrambling to control the rapidly melting arctic and get to the oil there. Which we will burn and make the problem even worse.
8. The Economy. Way too many level headed people are concerned about the state of America’s economy, and by extension the world’s economy. Yes, there does appear to be a limit to how many times each dollar can be loaned out. The fallacy of basing economic growth on “printing” ever more dollars and loaning money to ever more unqualified people has always been known, and now the chickens look like they will be coming home to roost soon. The rich are however getting considerably richer all the time.
9. Walmart. OK, not Walmart specifically, but the wave of box stores and grocery chains that destroyed America’s small town main streets and created the fattest population on the planet is rapidly engulfing the developing world. Yes, we have a world wide obesity epidemic under way as people abandon their locally produced healthy diets and buy their food at the new fangled supermarkets. Except of course things like soda pop are not really food, so they are trading in their health and well being in order to put out of business their local small businesses. The dark side of capitalism.
10. Everything else. Ahmadinejad, Afghanistan, the Taliban, ebola, earthquakes, “reality” television, Syria, pollution, overpopulation, the End Times, oil prices, science under attack, hurricanes, colonialism, Hugo Chavez, Al-Qaeda, collapsing infrastructure, missing children, corruption, failing schools, debt, and Britney Spears.
OK, I feel much better now, have a nice day everyone. :)
(The above image of Congress at work is believed to be public domain under US copyright law. It was obtained from the Lycos Image Library. Credit: Charles Knight)