Attack of the Flesh Eating Swine; or The Election is Over, Time for Fun & Games
It Ate The Future
“Things fall apart,
The center cannot hold…”
William Butler Yeats
from “The Second Coming”
“I’ve played buffet before!”
from some HBO comedy special in the ‘80s
Election season is over; and “thank God” you’re saying, because it was insane, exhausting, and unbelievably weird this go ‘round. I won’t recap – if you were awake, you saw the ads, you watched the debates or the highlights, you heard the back and forth, and you are tired of politics now.
Truth be told, you were tired of politics to begin with and not only tired but apathetic, content to allow those upright űbermenschen called Tea Partiers to rule your nation and call the shots on all agendas for a few years: Destroying the Federal government except insofar as it can involve itself in every aspect of your private life, especially the sexual parts; cutting taxes even further for the extravagantly wealthy while amputating social services and welfare for the middle class and poor to the point of quadriplegia in a time of near depression; protecting the corporations and banks, identifying them as “the real America” – what is good for Goldman Sachs and BP is good for America, whether it benefits you one bit.
Yes, you went along with all this because paying attention to your elected officials is bothersome and boring and electing the loudest, most loutish, most extreme of the rabid pack called politicians has become the easiest thing to do in America, for whatever reason; perhaps because we enjoy spectacles now to our own detriment.
We would rather watch flesh-eating right-wing swine chase the remnants of our class of statesmen and intellectuals and humanists across the fields of our little farm, applauding each eruption from a severed artery, than wonder which group has what plans for our collective future. That is, if we ever look up from Facebook or our iPhones long enough to notice anymore.
So the election is over and what little attention you may have paid to the political portion of the war for the soul of America has ended for you. Good riddance, you might be saying – I did my duty, I stood in a line and cast my vote; and for the love of Pete I have a life, a real life which requires me to work and play the game of getting money and raising my family – or look for work and wonder what’s going to happen to me and my loved ones from week to week. I don’t have time for this political foolishness.
And much of it is just that: foolishness.
Gentle reader, I agree. I understand completely and commiserate with you. Nothing would suit me better than to turn my complete attention to something other than political realities – or unrealities, as the case may be – and know that next time I checked in on things I wouldn’t find some appalling spectacle because a significant portion of our politicians wouldn’t be psychopathic, corrupt, religious fanatics, ignorant, foolish, unstable, senile, or some combination of these frightening elements.
But I don’t live in a world at this point where I can safely ignore things because far too many of our “leaders” in Washington, in our houses of state legislation, in our governorships, and locally are infected by the diseases I just listed; they fit the description of utterly selfish madmen working for Wall Street and lusting after war, with supporters who seem hell-bent on pulverizing the nation because, in the recent election, they did not get their way.
Which brings us to this new “secessionist” movement.
Surely you’re aware enough to know what I’m talking about. If not, you need to use that iPad to Google around a few moments and see what your fellow citizens who no longer wish to be citizens of the United States are up to. In short, they wish to split the union again, just like in the Civil War, and are mounting petitions and gaining support; at least a few of the petitions on the Whitehouse.gov website have garnered enough support that the Executive Branch will need to give responses.
Are these people serious? That’s a sane question. Who in their right mind in the wretched Year of Our Lord 2012 would actually believe that states can actually secede from the union?
But that, friends, is just the point: A significant portion of this country are not “in their right minds.” Fanaticism and enthusiasm have taken hold of their souls and driven them to spasms of extreme “solutions” to problems that do not even exist for most of us.
These are people who feel so put-upon by the results of a legitimate election that they lost – most of the secessionist movements are libertarian and far right-wing in origin, so put-upon that they must punish the nation by withdrawing from it to establish their own fantasy kingdoms dedicated to… I have no idea what they think would happen if they got their way. Little theocracies complete with two-bit Inquisitions? Laissez-faire capitalist economies run on the backs of slave wage poor people?
And while this would-be secessionist movement is afoot, in the real world you might be noticing the sudden event of company after company declaring bankruptcy or cutting worker’s hours for a variety of reasons: to destroy unions, to avoid paying insurance, to avoid sharing the massive profits they’ve laid in for up to 30 years now.
That last bit’s an important point: few of these companies are truly in economic trouble; in fact, they’ve been highly profitable and paid their CEOs up around 400% the average worker’s wage or more. The maneuvers are designed to do two things, seemingly: let the workers know that they are to be punished for the election’s outcome; and to avoid compliance with the new Health Care Law even though each company has the resources to do so.
More should be written about these things and I may do so later, but for now, I just want to describe the phenomenon: political secessionists and economic secessionists arriving on the scene at the same moment – not because they are in collusion or part of a plot or conspiracy, but because something is coming to a head now. That “something” is the spread of the refusal of significant portions of our country to live together, to cooperate, to tolerate one another, to seek civil society and the remedies to problems civil society and citizenship offer – and the belief that running away from problems is equivalent to offering a solution to them.
Flesh-eating swine: That is what people become outside the civilizing influence of a vital culture and society. They begin to despise the very people and ideas that have made their existence possible to begin with and they become destructive.
They begin to imagine their god as a long tusked pig and they seek to imitate their idol in all ways, sacrificing everything to their stomachs, consuming and no longer creating. The irony is, of course, I am describing what happens to capitalists when they separate themselves from their social responsibilities and secessionists when they refuse to participate in the life of their democratic republic with just laws and peaceful means to effect change where necessary.
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.
Are you, dear reader, paying attention now? What will you do if you are? Stand up and be counted… or go back to playing video games?
Americans United to Secede from Texas (to remain part of the USA):
Petition to Protect Citizens Against Secessionists:
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