Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eye Contact

In the early 1950s, when the dems took the house and held it for 40 years, it took them until the late '60s to take on the treacherous and profligate character that they have now. When the Republicans took the House, in 1994, they had been transformed before the change of the decade into politics-as-usual pigs-at-the-trough. Well, things move faster in the future, and this holds for corruption too. Let's hope that "conservative" means just that, and is able to stave off the rot -- or learn how to be whole, again.

The Republicans took power 12 years ago, as the party of ideas. And they were. The Dems have taken power, somehow, representing nothing but the idea of opposition. This, weirdly, bodes ill for both sides. They both suck, and both suck worse than the other. Next election we might expect them each to suck so hard that there's a grid of sonic booms that covers the world like lines of longitude and latitude.

The good news is that Americans seem to have rejected the bread and circus earmarks of the imperial senators. The bad news is that the barbarians are at the gate while the Saturnalia proceeds apace.

I'm Republican because I could never be a member of the betrayal slavery abortion drug gaymarriage party. So I'm in the fatcat hypocrite party instead. Seems, somehow, like the lesser of evils. I'm a Bushman because the alternative is to be a clintongorekerrista, and I'd rather get a tattoo of a snake on my face, than be that. My loyalty to Bush is equivocal. He's not everything I might hope. But I have suffered enough disappointment, by now, that my expectations are considerably lowered -- both of others, and of myself.

Well. We are past, at last, the silly season. Now we enter the season of childhood, with Halloween past, and Thanksgiving and Christmas at hand. The time for A Christmas Carol. It's a Wonderful Life. This is the season for uplifting dramas that shake us with stifled sobs and make us cling to our own bodies, wrapped in our own arms like the world is a blizzard, simply at the thought that futility is only one of several possible outcomes. That the great inrushing of kindness, the great affirmation of our worth, is only a movie? -- shadows on the wall? We accept the unreal as reality as a matter of course. The capacity for suspension of disbelief is what allows us to trust at all. Optimism is a social conspiracy, as pessimism is a self-indulgence.

Communication itself is a contrivance, and all our intercourse is the acting of actors. Didn't you know that? Such observations are themselves obvious. It has to do with the nature of perception. Never direct. Always a transmission. That's why there are mystics. Because, we're told, sometimes the veil is lifted and we see directly, with eyes of light. That must be why the world seems so dark, most of the time. The universe is an infinite void, and if we average into it all the light there is it works out to be infinitesimal, and we are plunged into blackness. So we should be glad there are islands of light in such a murky sea, lighthouses, let's say, that seem to show the way. Even the moronic monotone of foghorns saves lives. Communication saves lives.

I have concerned myself with incidentals. It is inevitable. Who can be pure all the time? Shall I set myself a task? Shall I resolve to be direct and honest and gentle and open and every good and healthy thing? Would it be wrong of me to care about fictions, political and dramatic, and neglect what is painful and real? Fiction makes us happy. Isn't that enough?

I have suffered enough disappointment that my expectations are considerably lowered.


1 comment:

Joe Rose said...

Well said!!