Shining Shithole on the Hill

The good thing about being an INFJ is you see patterns in everything all the time but stay quiet and introverted enough that you pack down your suspicions labeled as paranoia. I don’t blog much lately because everything I’m feeling is so hopeless. I guess that is a bit extreme. Things locally are wonderful. Ron and I are great. My parents and sister and brother-in-law are all fine. But there’s a curdling unease.

Sometimes I can’t believe how fucking stupid Sarah Palin is. My next line should be, ‘I mean, really,’ but there isn’t any way to say more than that. She’s the worst example of the Ugly American. She an empty husk of consumerist hope wrapped in her own ignorance, proud of being uncurious and always at the ready to mumble ‘jingo all the way!’ She may have lipstick but she is no pit bull. She has the tenacity of a manatee and the intellect of tree stump. One blogger described her as a Pretty Hate Machine. Through the vice presidential debate, Ron and I sat there in a 90-minute cringe while a cowed Gwen Ifill rolled over and couldn’t muster the gumption for hard reporting like stalwart journalist Katie Couric.  She is an insult to smart women everywhere with her ‘I WEAR GLASSES TO SHOW I SMART’ styling and gosh-darn-gee-willickers cadence.

She is the conservative vision of women reduced to an icon: an obedient vagina with a gun.

It isn’t sexist to call a stupid women a fucking idiot.

I dreamt of Biden simply saying: ‘I’ll give my time for rebuttal to the governor so she can give you a direct answer.’ I dreamt that when McCain said he might not make that first debate that Obama would say ‘That’s okay. Nader and McKinney can come.’

I have been rather surprised at how poorly the GOP’s campaign has been executed. John McCain must really be out of his mind and not listening to his advisors. There’s no unity, no narrative, no metaphor aside from HE’S BROWN AND HE GON KILL YOU.

And McCain has turned himself into an embarrassment. His constant flogging of his own flogging has grown tired. I don’t disagree he sacrificed for his country but that doesn’t mean we owe him the White House. And for him to call Obama an elitist when he married into wealth with a blonde trophy wife while his first wife laid in the hospital disfigured. And the multiple houses. And the multiple cars. And the jet. But see, he means elitist as in That Colored Boy Think He Smarter Than You. And if there’s one thing Americans hate it is a nerd. Especially a nerd that isn’t white since he points out the possibility that if you work really hard and are smart you can succeed instead of falling into wealth by marrying it or betting your life in an economy reduced to porn, bullets and casinos.

Obama won’t change anything. He is a civil rights scholar and an expert on the Constitution but rolled over with FISA and telecom immunity. He hasn’t said dick about stopping our torture programs and other gross human rights violations. He will continue the imperial project that is driving the country into financial ruin. As more former prisoners come forward and detail the systematic abuse at the hands of Americans we learn how morally bankrupt we are, and now we’re learning how financially bankrupt we are as well. Yes I love Obama and Michelle as symbols but if there’s no there there than the symbol is just an empty totem. Maybe I should give Obama the benefit of the doubt. I dream on day one he’ll dissolve all those executive orders that set up the levers for a dictatorship and martial law – I think he could have run on a ‘restoration’ type message.

There’s no fucking money. Why won’t McCain or Obama say that? There is no money. We are beyond running on fumes. At least fumes can be inhaled for a high. We don’t even have wooden nickels dipped in shit. We don’t even have shit.

That 2 and a half page that McCain didn’t read had been cooked up months before by the White House. That congressional showdown was so suspicious to me. Any time they want to ram through legislation that fast I remember the Patriot Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force. You can sense the hubris. They didn’t even bother making it a really long bill that nobody would read. It was just under three pages and enough of that language to include that no decisions could be undone or reconsidered. Why didn’t someone simply ask: What is the value of having no oversight?

Then came the second version of the bill that fellated any pissed off congresman with earmark/bribes so they’d say yes to anything. And then the $700 billion became $818. Like that is some sort of solution. ‘Oh it didn’t past the first time, we must need to add more bullshit to it.’ And they just came up with the number anyway. And then AIG’s big party.

Listening to a This American Life episode from NPR the question I’d kept asking myself was answered. They were talking about Credit Default Swaps – the blurry financial instrument that had undermined AIG and caused the collapse of the commercial paper market. I’d kept wondering about oversight and guessed that there was probably no regulation – and I was right. But worse than that, there was no disclosure. All the free market monkeys are always talking about how markets self-regulate if there is trust and public information (i.e. no insider info). Congress had a chance to say they wanted transparency but the greedy-grabbers decided they wanted to go without and so that is why I think there should have been a big ‘Um no, fuck YOU’ to those parties that engaged in risky business knowing full well all of the ramifications of their behavior and rewards and losses. We get to learn the lessons of the 1920s and 1930s all over again. Which means a world war should be coming any day now.

In the book American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips writes:

It’s finally happened: moving money around has surpassed making things as a share of the U.S. gross domestic product.

He then goes on to detail the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the finance, insurance and real estate industries. When I first read that I kinda shuddered. I may be a traditionalist but I don’t believe an entire country can survive on service jobs and ‘knowledge work’. We have to make something. Besides weapons. But that is what has happened. Has there ever been a case where globalization didn’t result in a race to the bottom? Phillips also details in the book the current crisis in national, global and household debt.

So the reason the car companies are failing isn’t because they make such shitty cars – they do – but that the cost of pensions is skyrocketing. I’m waiting for the generational war to begin between the boomers and everybody else.

Okay who ever has their goddamn Blackberry IM going off can please please please silence it.

I feel like I can’t find enough creative ways to say ‘we’re fucked.’

Here in Silicon Valley the VC firms are locking up and money is going to slow to a trickle. Hopefully my company is well capitalized and has reserves to weather the crazyness. I hear conflicting views on ad spending during recessions.

On the lighter side my time in the gym seems to be paying off. I’m not getting lean like I wanted to but Ron and I can barely fit side-by-side on the Muni. A co-worker noticed I’ve been getting broader. A stroll through the Castro Street Fair brought welcome glances at my chest or smiles. Ron always like this. He likes to know I’m coveted.

Okay the muffins are wearing off.

One thought on “Shining Shithole on the Hill

  1. JB

    It’s interesting to see you guys follow where we’ve already trodden. I mean, at least you still make cars and shit (or cars that *are* shit) – we don’t even do that anymore. All we do is make “money” in various dubious and intricately indecipherable ways.

    At least you have room for farmland and whatnot when it all goes to shit. We have a massively overcrowded island full of vacuous airheads.

    Oh, and…you really need to show us your chest. Seriously. Stop teasing us!

    Hehe, I was working out with a friend last week, he said I was “annoyingly large” – couldn’t help but smile.

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