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Saturday, August 16, 2008

the firefly revolution

It was obvious that the Great Fly’s foreign policy would end up as comic opera, following the laws of Marx (Groucho, that is) . And so we’ve been treated to a week of amazing neo-con barking in the American press – although to be fair, neo-connerie is now an international language, and Le Monde feels obliged to publish Robert Kagan for his “opinion” about Russia. Georgia, a state that experienced a kleptocratic financed “revolution” which installed a mini-Bush who has squandered 70 percent of the state’s income on military spending, has faced off against Russia, a state that experienced a kleptocratic financed “revolution” a bit earlier – we all remember the good old days, when Clinton and Co. decided to make one last effort to re-elect a notorious drunk and one of the most corrupt politicians of modern times, Boris Yeltsin, don’t we? Or has that fact become officially a non-fact? The mouse that roared was thoroughly squashed, and it was just like Munich, the Hungarian Revolution, and that time Coca Cola replaced the classic Coke, all wrapped into one. The cause: two pieces of property that are “symbols” of Georgia’s “territorial integrity” – it is hard to even type the bogus phrases.

In the meantime, though, our governing elite has been busy trying to destroy the “territorial integrity” of Bolivia, because there a virtual dictator, a madman, and the newest Hitler – or so it seemed, before Putin became Hitler, trickily won an overwhelming plebiscite that will make it all the more difficult for the oil oligarchs to pry the eastern part of Bolivia, where the majority of the natural gas is, from the rest. But I have no doubt they will continue to work at the project, and their work will receive the unction of the American MSM, as it appears that Evo Morales can’t be democratic because (oh, I am in tears even reporting such a heinous thing!) he doesn’t believe in (sob) free (sob) markets! The sad and oppressed people of Bolivia – how can we leave them to suffer so with such a leader! It would be much kinder, I think we can all agree, to manage a split between Freedonia and Evildonia pronto.

LI used to be all about analyzing and shaking our fist at the combo of thuggery and stupidity which is the alpha and omega of the Narrative in the era of the Great Fly, but it has gotten sooooo hard, campers, to even fuckin' care. There is nothing that whittles away dissent like pointlessness. And besides, reality is doing an excellent job of shrinking misused power. The vast majority of Americans can give a fuck about the elite class’s Russophobic woody. And the elite can give a fuck about any interference with the Narrative. What is odd is that they even care, at this point, to justify the unjustifiable. But they are moral mavens all, and can’t make a step without patting themselves on the back for their morality. Morality is very important, especially as, without it, murdering people you don’t know looks oh so nasty. Robert Kagan could just as easily write in telegraphese: “Need to attack X. Money for defense industry needs to grow grow grow. Lie lie lies. Freedom. Free markets. Democracy.” The to and fro of opinion among a small circle – the liberal interventionists on one side, so against genocide, don’t you know, and the neocons on the other, so for that there democracy - is so stale that it is a wonder.

However, it does look like a decade of ulcerous imperialism is fresh out of resources. Squandering the military was partly the point – one does need some excuse to spend a couple trillion on useless military equipment. But we seem to have come up against a certain limit. Thus, this week’s spectacle, one to make the angels fart. (And speaking of squandering resources: although LI is no deficit hawk, even we were stunned that the U.S. ran a plus 100 billion dollar deficit for June. That can start to run into real money – and makes the current projection of a deficit of 480 billion dollars seem utopian. I predicted, in January, an employment rate by the end of the year of 6 percent – when the economists were predicting, at most, 5. Now my estimate is in the middle. So I’ll just haul off and say, if the U.S. doesn’t run a 600 billion dollar deficit this year, I’ll eat my baseball cap.)

As we know, war is the health of the post-WWII economy. But as the US has been popping wars like Hugh Hefner on a viagra jag, the effect has gotten muted. Sure, Iraq has been very very good to us – the excuse for vast government spending, the pipeline of unsupervised money flowing out to a great network of greedy, incompetent corporations to pay for some of the shoddiest work ever to bear the fine name of Brown and Root. In one of the numerous ironies of the Great Fly’s era, the money has actually benefited the Democratic demographic the most. Since these have been the years of the financial sector and the tech sector – which are concentrated in liberal urban areas – we’ve witnessed a pretty funny spectacle – red states voting for their own destitution, and Blue states, awash with cash, voting for virtue. But we are now feeling the rough edge of short term gains - you know, if you are going to have a tax holiday all the time, brew up fine, fine wars killing masses of unimportant people, and borrow money like there is no tomorrow, circumstances tend, after a while, to the red line. Which is why, much to the MSM’s amazement – who among the “thought leaders” is not, after all, a millionaire? – the country is stubbornly resisting the call to manliness. While the GOP has barely found its mojo with the stupid demographic this year – destroying the American environment on a deeper and more extensive level to bring oil into the market ten years from now at a price that will be determined by the demand in that market, which ain’t gonna be ten dollars per barrel, is just the kind of pisspoor, redneck thinking that is a winner among the exurban crowd – it seems to be having a trouble exciting the gonads of the outliers with its visions of ultraviolence. Luckily for Raytheon, the Dems, in a perfect position to take away the monopoly on foreign policy which they ceded, at the beginning of the Clinton years, to the GOP, have displayed the instincts of cowering puppies and tried to bark as loudly as toothless McCain about this farce of an issue. Somebody around Obama needs to read White Fang – an excellent tale about the consequences of breeding dysfunctional aggression, although, of course, larded with London’s social darwinism.

“Bound down a prisoner, denied even movement by the plaster casts and bandages, White Fang lingered out the weeks. He slept long hours and dreamed much, and through his mind passed an unending pageant of Northland visions. All the ghosts of the past arose and were with him. Once again he lived in the lair with Kiche, crept trembling to the knees of Gray Beaver to tender his allegiance, ran for his life before Lip-lip and all the howling bedlam of the puppy-pack.
He ran again through the silence, hunting his living food through the months of famine; and again he ran at the head of the team, the gut-whips of Mit-sah and Gray Beaver snapping behind, their voices crying "Raa! Raa!" when they came to a narrow passage and the team closed together like a fan to go through. He lived again all his days with Beauty Smith and the fights he had fought. At such times he whimpered and snarled in his sleep, and they that looked on said that his dreams were bad.
But there was one particular nightmare from which he suffered -- the clanking, clanging monsters of electric cars that were to him colossal screaming lynxes. He would lie in a screen of bushes, watching for a squirrel to venture far enough out on the ground from its tree-refuge. Then, when he sprang out upon it, it would transform itself into an electric car, menacing and terrible, towering over him like a mountain, screaming and clanging and spitting fire at him. It was the same when he challenged the hawk down out of the sky. Down out of the blue it would rush, as it dropped upon him changing itself into the ubiquitous electric car. Or again, he would be in the pen of Beauty Smith. Outside the pen, men would be gathering, and he knew that a fight was on. He watched the door for his antagonist to enter. The door would open, and thrust in upon him would come the awful electric car. A thousand times this occurred, and each time the terror it inspired was as vivid and great as ever.”


Anonymous said...

LI, your post and the Jack London quote brings back memories of biking down from UC Berkeley to the Oakland waterfront where they had this cabin that JL supposedly dwelled in the Yukon. It was all so anachronistic, this little wood cabin stuck in the midst of an attempt at a glassy tourist area, restaurants etc. But there was a train track there as well, and I used to sit there and watch the trains go by.
On the Great Fly front, have you heard this little story about the fine kingdom of France. M. Le Pen and his fine supporters with their motto of France for the French, uh ran out of money, so they had to sell their headquarters in Saint-Cloud. So they sold it. To a Chinese company. Ho ho ho.

Roger Gathmann said...

Amie, pretty damn funny re Le Pen.
Hey, I didn't know they erected such a bizarre monument to Jack London. Wow.