Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cockroach Stew

Health care reform is getting me down. Everything about it makes me fear for our country, from the town halls this summer to the watered down BS they call a bill today and the endless argufying that leads us all straight back to the middle of No Fucking Where.

I was as hopeful as anyone when Obama took office. For months, every time I heard him speak I got teary because it was such a relief to feel like the president wasn't totally full of shit. Now I don't know if Obama is a willing pawn in the corporate game or if he's a good man who is doomed by an entrenched system that will chew him up and spit him out like Jimmy Carter.

Health Care is only part of the reason I'm bumming out about the country. There's the endless war in Afghanistan which may or may not be "justified," but sucks balls no matter how you look at it. And I'm not even starting on Education - but I guarantee that standardized testing has so dominated the curriculum for years that we've raised two generations of complete morons. Not only does most of the American public lack the analytical thinking skill to know bullshit when they hear it, their ability to entertain themselves is so limited that all they do is watch TV or shop for the stuff they see advertised.

Sadly, most of the people who are taking their outrage to the streets are the damn teabaggers and every time one of them opens his/her mouth, it's more proof that Idiocracy rules the day. Maybe Progressives would be encouraged enough to take to the streets, too, if our leaders weren't in such a hurry to cave to Special Interest Whores like Joe Lieberman. As long as the people we personally elected will cheerfully throw us under the bus - what's the fucking point? It's getting harder and harder to believe this country will head in a direction other than the one envisioned by those bastards at C Street.

I am still hopeful enough to sign internet petitions and send money to ActBlue because the folks with the stamina to fight the fight should be supported even when I feel like hiding my head under the covers. You can't have a revolution if nobody gets out of bed.

One of the main reasons I teach preschool is because I really believe that the world can be a better place. My parents used to say, "Each one, teach one," so that little by little, we become a more ethical society. Lately, though, I've been remembering that all those visions of a peaceful, productive society as presented in fiction always come after World War III convinces humanity of our folly.

Somehow I doubt we'll have a world war - the global economy is such that nobody can afford it except maybe the Chinese and miscellaneous criminal elements like the Russian and Israeli Mafias. We'll go under because of genocide and general bullshit.

If film and literature give us a hint of what is lies ahead, hope for the future lies in the hands of dreamers like Zefran Cochrane who flies the first warp ship out into space where the Vulcans notice it and come to our collective rescue in Star Trek: First Contact.

A Sci Fi movie coming in February 2010 continues the trend toward complete bullshit in contemporary Ameican culture. The Book of Eli, a high dollar piece of what may be Holy Roller propaganda, features Denzel Washington as a post-apocalyptic savior who totes a book that looks suspiciously like the Bible around a world that looks a lot like the Old West. Nobody is allowed to touch The Book except him, and he has a bevy of young beauties following him around like disciples or groupies. Believe in The Book = Get Hot Chicks.

The military have used movies as recruiting vehicles for years and years - why shouldn't Holy Rollers get into the act?

I figure that it'll take a few years before the hand basket in which we're riding splashes into the seventh layer of Hell. In the meantime, I'll be focused on protecting Velvet's future. The future may suck balls, but the only thing to keep the future from coming is some kind of catastrophe and I'm pretty sure that even then, there will be tribes of survivors huddled together in the woods somewhere. I'll be the old broad making cockroach stew.

Most likely, though, that's not going to happen. Sometime in the early 80's, I realized that life would go on in spite of Ronald Reagan. Everyone was not going to die in a nuclear war, and somebody was going to have to pay off Master Card. Today is much the same.

When Velvet and I got home from Tree Hugger University on Friday afternoon, Buzz Kill came over to tell me that he's going to declare bankruptcy before December 31 so the loss will be recorded in 2009. I've been hearing about potential bankruptcy ever since I filed for divorce and had my decree written accordingly - and besides it's just corporate bankruptcy so he can get out of some debt. It sucks to be Buzz Kill, for sure, but we've been cooperating well these days.

Buzz Kill and I have had to cooperate since it has become clear that Velvet went off to college under the impression that he was a major character in an MTV movie. I'm not saying anything on the internet that will incriminate my child - so there's nothing left to say on that topic.

It's a good time to be leaving his father in charge and heading off to Texas. I have to abandon the religious cult idea and research weed related alternatives since Velvet's budding college career indicates one thing is certain: the child has an abiding interest in weed. I still say Velvet is Al Gore with Panache, and there is every reason to be optimistic about his ability to overcome the recent academic distaster especially if he applies himself to class with as much dedication as he pursued his social triumph. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to look at getting off the grid.

There is plenty of Bullshit in Texas - but when I'm with my family and my oldest friends, there is love all around. There are also lots of straight men in Texas which will be a pleasant change.


Mr. Charleston said...

Hear, hear Pen. Well said. Like you, I was foolish enough to hope again but what we've witnessed is greed at its ugliest. I don't think Obama has a chance but I sure as hell give him credit for trying.

Hope you holidays are the best yet.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Wow, you picked my brain more eloquently than I could have done. Nice rant. I too have had my hopes dashed and have ventured forth believing the world won't change unless we (meaning me) make it change. I got chewed up and spit out, so now I'm licking my political wounds and trying not to be so damn Pollyanna optimistic and realize, there really are evil people out there and no amount of facts or reason will ever turn them into reasonable people. *sigh* Have fun in Texas and enjoy basking in the glow of a few more straight men than NYC has to offer. :-)

jenmorrison said...

Wham. Ouch. This is why I love ya girl.

And it's true - you can't have a revolution from your respective living rooms. There needs to be some people getting air time other than those scary angry people who put scary masks on your president's likeness. (Those are probably the same angry people who called you a traitor if you said anything bad about a certain Jr. Pres not too long ago, right?)

But I also truly believe in that idea your parents passed on to you - start with one. Or a few. People in our generation and after us don't know what it's like to wait. My mother said that a long time ago when I was stomping my foot and wanting revolution immediately. I'm still stomping my foot but realising, maybe, that it takes generations to make the changes we're needing. One at a time.

And I've also learned that the only way to achieve (my own) real happiness in change is to work with what I've got - start close. Be the change in my own little world.

I'll always angry-rant now and then, not quite as good as you. My pen is my most effective tool. But I'm really, really tired of all the anger out there. It's not getting us anywhere.

Anyway, go home Tricia, get the love. It's all there is. (Someone else said that before me, right?)

Ginx said...

It can't get much worse. Maybe we'll all see eye-to-eye when we're floating chin-deep in shit.

Lou said...

My training room always has the term 'Each one teach one' in pride of place - I'm a firm believer in that concept.

Muffy said...

Welcome back to Texas, welcome home.

PENolan said...

Thanks, friends.

I'm sure I'll feel much better as soon as all this paperwork is off my desk. I've been jumping through insurance claim hoops so Aetna will reimburse about $1200.

I'm going to Yoga this afternoon with Gigi. That will surely open my heart just in time for some Christmas spirit.

PENolan said...

As for Ranting - I got that skill from my mother.

dissed said...

To Rant is Divine. Hey, enjoy yourself in Texas.

Randal Graves said...

See, this is why I enjoy being a cynic. I assume the worst and then I'm never surprised. Well, I was surprised at the Browns' performance this past week.

Well, off to find a copy of the Book so I can score my own harem.

intelliwench said...

Merry Hollydays, PEN...maybe the idiots in office will resolve to do some real good in the New Year.
As for the future, I do see some very involved, evolved young people who actually give a damn; let's hope that they don't prematurely jade. The alternative is -- figuratively and literally -- revolting.

Gail said...


True to form - you remain my trusted CNN news commentator/reporter. I am sick over the health care - but enough of that for tosay.

"Merry Christmas" to you and Velvet and travel safely.
Love you girl
peace and blessings

Dusty said...

Happy friggin holidaze woman!

Thank you for blogging this year..and I am so glad I found ya. ;)

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