It’s so uncanny, that I’m pissed!

I’m pissed. How ’bout you? You pissed?

Not about life in general, even in the face of such challenges. Not pissed about government and politics, so blind these seem to be to our daily needs. No.

Are you pissed about the rest of us — about us? Are you pissed about how easily we’ve abdicated our responsibilities? Are you pissed about how easy it is to blame just about anyone — religions, government, armed forces, education, doctors and lawyers and insurance companies, multinational corporations, our food production? Does this ease with which we can blame everyone, except ourselves, make you uncomfortable? Isn’t it odd how we blame as if all these entities, private and public, exist outside our lives?

We awakened, Wednesday, May 19, to Arlen Specter’s career ending primary defeat in Pennsylvania and Rand Paul’s Kentucky victory, which he says is the Tea Party speaking. The talk — media’s and politico’s — is cheap: voters are tired of the same old in Washington; we’re tired — we’re being told — of the insiders, the old Washington establishment politics that’s grid locked in partisan bickering. The idiocy I’m pissed about is the notion that voters are actually opting for candidates that are not a part of the circles of power — Joe Sestak and Rand Paul. How ignorant is that? It’s proof that politicians and their symbiotic relationship with mainstream media are working well to ensure a sleepy citizenry that’s been educated to simply follow. Ignorance and laziness piss me off — I’ve had it.

Joe Sestak, who defeated Arlen Specter, is a U.S. representative, a Democrat elected in 2006; he is a retired two-star admiral with 31 years of service in the Navy. He grew up in a large family in Delaware County, and followed his father, a World War II captain, into the Navy. Joe Sestak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy second in his class, and rose through the ranks to become a three-star admiral; he holds a master’s and doctoral degree from Harvard University. He was a defense adviser for the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He commanded the George Washington aircraft carrier battle group during combat operations in Afghanistan. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Sestak became the first director of “Deep Blue,” an anti-terrorism think tank within the Navy.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me — maybe I’m misreading Sestak’s CV: Naval Academy, Harvard, commander of an aircraft carrier, congressman — are these not highly priced establishment posts synonimous with power and influence? If Joe Sestak didn’t fully and completely embrace the establishment and thus learn how power works in government — primarily its relationship between congress, the senate, the Pentagon and, of course, the private sector — how did he get to where he is today, flying a Jimi Hendrix freak flag? “Now, if 6 turned up to be 9, I don’t mind, I don’t mind?” Really? I mind since the 6 never turned out to be 9 — 6 is 6 and Sestak and Specter are the same, except one is 80 and has been around for 30 years. Maybe Specter should go, but not because Sestak is somehow something new and different — he’s not.

Rand Paul is the son of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate whose libertarian backers often take credit for being the germ of the Tea Party. No, that can’t be re-establishing the establishment. Mr. Paul has backing from Mr. Bunning, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and evangelical leader James Dobson, the founder of the Colorado-based Christian organization Focus on the Family. Absolutely, this is not more of the same!

How utterly uncanny is the absolute stupidity of the voters buying into the notion that any of these candidates is somehow not lured by the greatest aphrodisiac of all, power? If these are real “do-gooders,” then once in Washington, they’ll experience how power is maintained by those that need it in their hands most. If they don’t go along, their careers in the spectacle will be short-lived.

We know that the Katrina tragedy was not a natural catastrophe, but rather, a devastation caused by the Army Corps of Engineers. We know, too, that hubris, greed and human error (seen as neglect of the facts) caused the disaster in the Gulf. We know that terrorists grow from poverty and illiteracy, much as did the American discontent — some of it violent — in the 1960’s, case in point being the Newark Riots.* And we know quite well about the deterioration of public life in America and the rise of mediocrity and buffoonery, such as we see in cases like the media’s fixation with Elena Kagan’s sexuality and Representative Mark Souder, Republican of Indiana, a goober who preaches sex-abstinence and couldn’t abstain from sex, as we’ve learned from his resignation prompted by a part time affair with an aid that actually helped him video tape commentary about sex-abstinence.

I’m pissed that with so much evidence we can’t seem to face the reality that we’re humans with lots and lots of faults, making mistakes at every turn. We seem to be convinced that the institutions we inhabit — and that inhabit us — will carry on without us, failing to see — or is it repression? — that we have created the world in which we live; that what we see around us — the economy, poverty, education problems, health care, greed, avarice, the widening gap between the haves and have nots– all of these are who we are.  I’m pissed that in-between state dinners, Presidents Obama and Calderon will not discuss America’s socio-economic dependency on drugs and weapons; that Wall Street and Main Street are complicit in the drug trade.  And I’m pissed that, as Charles Bowden says in Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the  Global Economy’s New Killing Fields, we’re not involved in a “drug war,” but rather, in a “war for drugs.”  We’re all in this together and we’re in denial.  “For decades, investigative journalists, researchers and analysts have noted the symbiotic relationship amongst international narcotrafficking syndicates, neofascist political groups, U.S. intelligence agencies and U.S. Special Forces in the war against leftist adversaries” (read entire link, please).

Am I the only one pissed at the ease with which we are willing to accept the deception and the lies?

We have such a fragile hold on life. We don’t have a sure grip. Our hope bubbles up and pops. But maybe, just maybe this is why we’re in denial and so eager to grab onto anything — the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh’s “grandmother-horrifying derision that passes for humor on radio these days,” the bogus political – media narrative of change; and maybe this is why in our eagerness to reject all that seems familiar, we actually become more entrenched in the systematic decay of everything we’ve always created and have to live with. This denial of our reality pisses me off! It doesn’t you?

2 thoughts on “It’s so uncanny, that I’m pissed!

  1. Hi Professor,

    Yes, I agree with you. It’s a frustrating time to be in America, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

    After reading what you wrote in an earlier post about the 95 theses, I thought you’d find this book interesting. It’s by Scott Page, an economist/political scientist at UMichigan:

    It’s about “How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies”


  2. Hey Yan, thank you for the response! Actually, I met Scott Page last Spring at Midd. He was here for a BIG talk on Diversity and, yes, I have his book, the one you mention. I just have to get to it. We’re all moving in the same direction, it seem, albeit in different places and using different methods.

    Keep the faith — and when you get a chance, let me know your plans…

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