HAH! . . . (That stands for “Histories Are History!)
Pills (and maybe some age, experience, orneriness, determination, and not a little desperation) have, in the twilightofmelife, enaabled me to be “in the moment” much more than (even as a small child) I can ever remember. But that’s mostly (I hope) different from the “that was then, this is now” attitude of some lout who just keyed my car and shot my dog now that I’m about to go all Sonny Corleone on him with a metal trashcan. My “ability” to separate myself from past and future is the kind mostly available to old washouts who never had kids. (Yeah I know you’re gonna teach yours to shoot AR17s - or whatever the fuk those things are.)
You told me, back when it was still *mostly* a joke, that a main reason for thumping for trump was to send a big “Fuck you!” to the system. I don’t need to go back and find that because right there is a big difference between you and the insane clown posse that somehow actually got “electorated”. YOU would never deny you said it. But the pigfuckers who actually have their nasty, stubby, sticky fingers on actual levers of actual power would! And, if they were (somehow) actually pinned down with their own words by some little four eyed wise-ass, they might actually even say “That was then this is now, muthafuker!” And you know that - just as well as I do.
Jeb! Bush was recently in my neighborhood. If I had gone to hear his talk and had a chance to ask a question, I would like to have said something like:
“Mr. Bush, I would MUCH rather have you as president than trimp, and I would MUCH rather have Killary than you, but we can all (maybe for different reasons) agree that “The Joker” who was clearly unqualified before the election is now a stupefying danger to the US. And, that's true no matter HOW we define "national" interests. With only one week in office he has begun a systematic assault on the rule of law and is proving himself to be a threat against the entire world.
Do you see any ways for most Americans to unite against this ongoing trainwreck, and how are you planning to support this resistance?”
Even though I’m forced to believe in the necessity of building true democracies in our land and the world, I have no romantic faith in the the wisdom of the people. (It might be because they’re too much like me. Or maybe it’s because too many might be even stupider, lazier, and more petty than I am. Was it George Karlin who pointed out that even if you’re average, it means that half the population is dumber and sleazier than you? And if anyone’s way above average, then the situation bound to seem even more hopeless! )
I would not be too surprised if trimp, who’s careening recklessly about at over 95 miles per hour, hits a solid stone wall pretty soon. And I have to hope it happens sooner than later even though I know it means getting Pense who would be even worse than Jeb! I have to hope it even though it may well mean fuktards will soon be saying “The system works!” like they did after Nixon got shitcanned.
If you’re thinking seriously at all about this mess, you may be of the mind that the system needs a severe shakedown - or maybe even good smashing that flattens it down to ground level (or deeper). And everybody has reason to feel that way at times. But that’s where history comes in.
I am really not all that much older than you, but separate drinking fountains etc. etc. etc. are within my living memory. I remember the Vietnam War when nobody (and I mean fucking NOBODY) could (in my hearing or reading) explain why they were opposing or supporting that clusterfuck in any sensible way. (In my Bart Simpson stage, I loved to curse out insults to hippies from the safety of the backseat when driving them by. Most of them laughed, so that was in their favor. But the people who supported the war were just freakn' dicks as far as I was concerned.) And I vividly remember reading SnoozeWeek (actually Time) magazine about the MyLai massacre and befuckinglieving, “Well. There it is. Now we have to stop this. We’re learning something. We’ll never let that happen again” (I couldn’t have been older than 11, but stupid dies hard.)
But there really is a way Vietnam was only one link in a chain of genocidal intentions that probably predate Hengist and Horsa and the suppression of Celtic peoples in the British Isles. In the same way separate drinking fountains, the prison industrial complex, and spastic trigger fingers on white cops are all extensions of industrialized black chattel slavery that truly was quite different from previous slave systems in the Western World. Like Malcolm X some people were temporarily “empowered” by a deviant domestic variation on “Islam” that explained all this by positing caucasians were actually a strain of “white devils” wreaking horror and violence on the world. I loved reading Malcolm's autobiography where he would say something like “I met some devil who tried to tell me . . . “ so casually and matter of factly! That stuff still tickles me as much as the slightly more supportable claim that the only true “humans” are Africans because every other strain has Neanderthal DNA!
But Malcolm had a little more “soul” than that. He made the effort to travel to Egypt and be exposed to true Muslim teachers of some learning and wisdom. It blew his mind, but he never stopped fighting for justice even if it meant being frightening to some.
For many reasons most Muslims, like most “Christians”, are not well learned or cosmopolitan. If they learned to read at all, it was for the same reason most Christians were taught until fairly recently. (Only so they could read their holy scriptures. But whatever poetry and wisdom there is in the Bible or Koran, there’s also a whole bunch of nastiness and gibberish. Most people must rely on “teachers’ to explain the mysteries, contradictions, confusions, and nonsense in texts written thousands of years ago in much simpler societies. And one of the reasons those texts are so garbled is that they are heavily edited versions of oral traditions that are many times older.)
So many Muslims may not even know the nation states they were born in were established by French and British politicians and that their torture chamber governments remain in power now only with US support. They’d only know that if religious teachers are allowed to preach it to them. And, of course, different teachers can then differently preach all sorts of other crazy conclusions derived from those serious facts. Just like in the US, the average person in most Muslim countries only knows their life, the lives of their children, and the lives of people like them are being blighted by some “system”. So yes, a large percent of them might numbly support some drastic “nothing to lose” lashing out - even if they, at the same time, quail at the thought of themselves (or their children) blowing themselves up in a packed crowd of “infidels”.
What’s so alarming and so vividly telling HERE and NOW in La La Land - is the very nations so far excluded from the trimp/Bannon ban are NOT the ones where those kinds of sentiments are most recklessly cultivated. No, trimp/Bannon are doing what they tacitly promised in their travesty of a campaign. They are rocking the system. Like drunken teenagers raving loose in the dead of night with cans of gasoline through an empty high school building, they’re smashing windows, defecating on teacher’s desks, playing kickball with globes, and looking for a lighter.
Yup, I voted for Killary, and would even have voted for Jeb! if the alternative was trimp. But I still know the system could use a drastic shaking down. Yet history tells me that what came before the present version of “the system” was much worse for everybody. Everybody! It also makes me aware that much of the most “just” parts of “the system” are actually very new - and, for that reason, might be very fragile. But, like I said, I actually do believe that democracy is our only alternative, and that, despite ourselves, it will develop and fortify itself somehow (if we don’t destroy ourselves first).
On the other hand, though the arch of history may bend toward justice, it’s a very, very, VERY long arch. It CAN be bent the other way. An old washout like me can afford to sit back and take the long view. In my medicated bliss, I can “know” the arch of future history will eventually bend back toward the light. Other dead enders and I can AFFORD to be SURE of that . We can have our farty faith - no matter how much “future history” is warped by the trimp/Bannon crew and their (hopefully) imminent replacements.
Do you really have that luxury?