I'm empty and aching and I don't know ... why?
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike...
They've all come, to look for America ...
All come, to look for America"
(Simon and Garfunkel: "America", BOOKENDS, 1968)
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If "all the world WAS America" in John Locke's day, and if in the year of the French student revolutions, and the cacaphony of US catastrophes (MLK and RFK shot, the Chicago Seven v Chicago Police, at the Democratic Nomination Convention), Simon and Garfunkel were looking for America...
Hard to believe that 'America' has become even harder to find, in these days of Taser-interventions at University seminars, the Bush misAdministration still happily force-feeding riot-police into any political rally, still happily siphoning off the wealth in Iraq, still gloriously supporting Blackwater's Praetorian Guard status within the Green Zone...
And what difference will it make if a Democrat or Republican wins the White House in 13 months?
"Time it was, and what a time it was... it was:
A time of innocence, a time for confidences..."
(Paul Simon: BOOKENDS; Bookends, 1968)
There is a way to make the US Presidential Election different.
First, the average American, men or women together, have to decide in what interests they would cast their vote.
As I see it, those interests are three.
As a Citizen.
As a Consumer.
As a Conqueror.
IT hardly seems likely, that a vote cast as a Consumer would mirror that of a Citizen.
The American Consumer is probably happy with the falling Dollar; its weakness abroad makes Japanese TVs that were fabricated in Vietnam even cheaper than last year. His French wine (it's okay, Dad: Monsieur Sarkozy is a GOOD man (cough), not like that last guy... Saddam's buddy Jacques!) is cheaper, and if he could, his Havana cigars would be cheaper than ever.
The American Conqueror?
Well, Iran's just itchin' for a bitch-slappin', right? We're doing so well in Iraq, we might as well 'Two-for-ONE' the whole region, shove another couple thousand kilos of Depleted Uranium down their sorry throats... no?
And where, pray tell, has the American Citizen gone?
His government no longer works under the Constitution, his President has gone Imperial, with laws broken and tattered, the Constitution 'just a rag' a phrase once attributed to John J McCloy.
I'd written once long ago, pre-crystelZENmud, that the only way to save the US government from sheer disaster would be to vote in the Primary phase of the election cycle, for the THIRD-best financed Party candidate. No matter, whether it was a Republican or a Democrat.
Because the highest earning candidate, and the second-highest earning candidates, would be those who impressed the American Corporate Interests.
And frankly, what impresses the American Corporate Interests, is often NOT at ALL in the interests of American Citizens or American Consumers. It does parallel those interests ascribed to the American Conqueror, or Imperialist.
In the coming years, our world will have transformed itself, from a basket of plenty for all (euphemistically speaking), to a MadMAXian world of scavenging for precious scarce resources.
Oil Wars, Water Wars: already underway.
Pessimistic? Not I - riding bikes or buses to work, living sustainably, adds happiness and subtracts frustrations.
Join us, those who live, who love this planet, and chose to simplify ourSelves.
ç*””*”*”*ç*””* ZENmud *””*ç*”*”*””*ç