“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, February 10, 2006

let it all come down

Some days, you read the papers and you think, surely this dirty regime is about to fall.

Item: Vice President Cheney directed his assistant, Scooter Libby, to leak what seems to be classified information.

Item: The CIA officer who coordinated intelligence on Iraq in the run-up to the Bush vanity project says that the administration cherry picked the intelligence to make its case.

Item: Bush’s news conference comment that he not only did not know Abramoff, but thought for a long time that he was a brand name of cleaner, like Easy-off, is contradicted by Abramoff’s own memory of good times with George.

Item: old news, but again, the Crawford ranch White House was quite aware that NOLA was drowning as it was drowning. Panicked, Bush went to the West Coast and played a little back stage guitar.

Item: even Republicans agree that this year’s White House Budget has as much chance of being realized as the Aristocrats has of being named the 700 Club Movie of the Year.

But the machine keeps grinding madly on. It becomes more and more obvious that we are trapped in one of the minor moments in history – hemmed in, on one side, by Danish cartoons, and on the other side, by a claymation POTUS, preparing for our obvious problems – global warming, a warming trend in the gulf and the Atlantic that is going to lead to more severe storms, a transportation technology centered around a nineteenth century invention, a serious reckoning with a post-manufacturing economy – by closing our eyes.

Perhaps hibernation is the only good political answer to this moronic inferno. But aesthetically, this is the trifecta. The gold rush. The Klondike of irony. This is the era of yahoos, and there’s no excuse for a writer not to watch it with extreme interest, pad in hand. Watch the yahoos shit on each other. Watch the zombies mouth the slogans. Watch the press make itself into a bodyguard of lies for systematic injustice, and then blandly preen itself on its objectivity. Watch the big pieces drift.

I love the smell of stupidity in the morning.


Patrick J. Mullins said...

Roger--and don't forget, it's now the 'Liberty Tower', this rehashing around, not the mere Library Tower, irrelevant since that is only the actual name of the tallest building in LA. George 'Let Freedom Reign' Bush would rather be reminded of himself when he renames his 'own buildings' (who would object if he claimed this was his property?) than his wife's librarianism, I guess. I don't think he thinks SHE owns them, little miss hitch-a-wagon-to-a-star. And like Ms. Thatcher, who used to say 'my money' when referring to Britain's in a less private sense, he said today to his GOP persons that they were doing a good job with 'the people's money,' which coming from him is much scarier than 'my money' coming from her.

However, if none of this works, there's one minor consolation: his photos are looking more and more like well-rotted manure, especially when he goes up to his military statue and says 'Oh! You DO have a bust!' The schizophrenias to be looked forward to due to these bad photos are legion: He cannot stand them because they make him begin to resemble Cheney, but since style is character he will not be able to get the Cheney things without also looking like the crooked-mouth undertaker as well. Poetic justice is not enough, but it might make him accidentally cuss in public or scream like Howard Dean.

A number of people are doing hibernation, I am the third I've heard of. I even like it, slipping around like a little Steppenwolf to late movies and other joints that will have only a few people in them. I'm always amazed that any local- colour places are still there. I've had two colds in five weeks, which never happened before, but can even feel cozy about my TheraFlu. My senility seems ready to get into full swing!

winn said...

I'm not quite hibernating. It's closer to the glassy astonishment that you feel when in the grips of an extremely high fever.

Unfortunately, drinking orange juice and sleeping a lot won't make things better.

roger said...

Winn, sleeping a lot might not make things better -- but isn't it a good in itself? Since I'm subject to fitts of insomnia, I feel like sleep owes me. Although I admit, lately I'm going overboard.

Patrick, funny you mentioning Steppenwolf. Due to translating work I'm doing, I'm reading a lot of German, and to keep my German in shape I'm reading a lot of German fiction. I came across the text of Steppenwolf on the Net last week and downloaded it, and have been reading it. Years since I read it last. The only Hesse novel I really like. Slipping around like Steppenwolf sounds like something I should start doing. Hmm.

Patrick J. Mullins said...

Roger--yes, you deserve it and, weirdly, it's one of the modes that works in this lunatic political environment, sort of a nicely-aligned Twilight Zone feeling if it's cold.

I read 'Steppenwolf' in a hot,un-air-conditioned car through Texas in 1967; my favourite memory of this uncomfortable drive was Wichita Falls in 105 degree heat, that kind you can see. I didn't think it was so great till I read Larry McMurtry though, several decades later, which made me know what an important experience it was.

winn said...

Steppenwolf changed my life, absurd as it sounds. I salute you both on your excellent taste.

Hesse's poetry is also quite readable, if you're into that.