A WAKE-UP CALL THAT MAY HAVE COME AFTER THE DREAM HAS DIED AND BEEN PUT TO REST ALONGSIDE MLK
NOTES FROM A DYING NATION
Written by Eric Larsen
Thursday, 21 February 2008
by Eric Larsen
“It’s the most exciting presidential race, certainly in my lifetime.” MARK M. BAKER, a 60-year-old voter in the Bronx.”
It would appear that Mr. Baker has slept through the entirety of his sixty years, having no consciousness of races where openly humane rather than secretly tyrannical ideas were fought for by politicians like Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, and even, dare we add, the assassinated Robert Kennedy. Or perhaps it’s not that at all. Perhaps Mr. Baker really does get excited by watching traitors, liars, hypocrites, war criminals, and aiders and abettors of crimes against humanity preening day after day before the television cameras and, shills that they are, lying through their teeth, by omission or commission, about it all.
Certainly the New York Times couldn’t care less what Mr. Baker’s real feelings or motives are, just so long as he doesn’t make a fuss about any part whatsoever of the vast and limitless criminality represented by the high-stakes front men — and woman — he’s so tickled by.
And so there it is, I’ve gone and answered — somewhat — two questions at once. For one, how it can be that the US is now “a virtually perfected socio-political culture built upon, composed of, and dedicated to, not life, but death.” And for another, how it can be that the masses of Americans “appear to have not so much as a clue about it.”
Eric Larsen makes the case (and makes it elegantly and in a well-researched series) that America’s war culture is not an anomaly of the Bush years or a reaction to 9-11, but a result of three decades of inattention by the citizenry.
Good enough. I share that opinion and (as we all know all too well) a shared opinion becomes an opinion with a stellar sense of gravity. Larsen is not only grave, but pessimistic.
It’s easy to be pessimistic in this present political environment and one hardly needs another braying voice of hopelessness. Larsen is more than that. He is an alarm bell ringing from the edge of the canvas in this slug-fest we call the presidential primaries. Tippy-toeing around Barack Obama, he’s very hard on the rest of the field, both republican and democrat.
He’s much harder on us–the cheering, booing, foot stamping mob outside the ropes and (if Larsen is correct) outside all of the levers of power that affect our government. Essentially, he posits, we have been bought off–certainly not with prosperity (unless you count in the very rich), but with the shiny goo-gaws of a credit supported, get-it-now, no money down, no payments until June society, programmed to keep us programmed.
It’s interesting stuff for those who are still barely enough awake to pass up the Fritos and Paris Hilton, pull the plug on the TV and give a shit.
That’s not (according to Larsen) a very large portion of the country.