Love in the ruins

Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last? – Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins.

Have I lived through the Golden age?

This question has been rushing at me, like a savage with an upraised asagai posed to strike my very heart, as one of the major American cities dies and three levels of government murders (oh, but in the second degree, and with the best intentions) as many African-Americans as it can get away with.

America has definitely changed. That the country would screw its bottom 30 percent is dog bites man news. That it would screw the middle and the top should make us sit up, indeed.

The artist in me appreciates the fine aesthetic sensibility of the muse of history, anointing a man as trivial as George Bush as the symbol of the zeitgeist. George Bush is an empty man – he makes Warren G. Harding seem like J.P. Sartre. But LI, ever the liberal, estimated the evil of that vacuum. Evil in the secular sense – the power of destruction linked to the blindness of vanity. It never occurred to me that the Bush administration would treat his Red States as it has treated Baghdad.

Anyway, the headlines today bring some hope that this phase of the ‘accidental” lynching of the urban poor is seguing into a more comfortable next phase. Perhaps we will get to see some judicial lynching of a selected looting gangbanger – such exemplary punishments are always good for the gonads – followed by some patting on the back of those whose actions in the past couple of days have cost hundreds of lives. The media hasn’t yet picked its hero yet, for this urbicide, but we are all on edge – that’s merely a matter of time and photo ops at the White House.

Meanwhile, I am working on my own extinction. I am a relic of an earlier era, dead meat for the knacker shop, in which “this is America” wasn’t the equivalent of grinning plutocrats on Murdoch’s channel defending our right to loot globally and shoot looters locally. A Dylan line sums up my non-necessity in the New Era: “it’s a wonder that we still know how to breath.”


Deleted said…
His father beat into him that chaos is cash. He beat that boy a bit too hard, and it shows. The young massa has always had his ways with the coloreds. When he has a chance to have his way with the overseers and the small plantation owners, it's hard for him to resist. When he's done with them, who else is there?
roger said…
Harry, the gutbucket truth for me is that I don't care about Bush. I don't care about him at all. He is a non-entity. And that is why I feel the last five years have been an exercise in insanity -- because one is necessarily focused on a non-entity. It is like meditating on a housefly for five years, except that this housefly is enormously destructive.
My ardent wish, at the moment, is that the old stories of ghosts are true. Because I would like Bush to be surrounded, when he tries to sleep at night, with the Civic Center crowd, circa Thursday. I want him to smell the overwhelming crap, I want him to have to ward off the dead kids, I want him to run from the thugs, I want him to see his own daughters withering besides him.

Ghosts -- for only something imaginary outside that bastard can compensate for the nullity of imagination inside, the narcissism, the cowardice, the inability to live up to any code or standard whatsoever.
Deleted said…
I'm not talking about Bush, Roger. Whoever comes after him as the sockpuppet for his class and culture will fit that description too.