Thursday, August 4, 2005

An America Tragedy, in the Restaurant at the End of the World

The enormous, steep slide of American culture and intelligence is beautifully counter-pointed by the bone deep corruption of its government. Like two drunken elephants, doing the tango on a cliff's edge it is a fascinating thing to watch at a distance. It’s like watching Ebola at work in the face of someone you know.

Corruption has always been a handmaiden to the art of politics. It’s sausage-making at its finest ...But now? Now corruption is the process itself. Watching the government and the media do Alphonse and Gaston is like watching your Brady bunch parents kill each other at the breakfast table because someone forgot to turn the clocks back for Daylight Savings Time. It doesn’t make sense that banality can turn into horror faster than you can say, “huh?”

I was never a flag waver, even before I knew what I know now; I didn’t get the ‘fife and drum’ act. At first I thought it was me that was out of step. It seemed like everything I did as a kid was wrong. Even when I tried to fit in all I managed was to call attention to myself. Now I realize that I had a basic honesty that couldn’t adjust to the programming. Today I’m grateful for it. At the time it was Hell.

Then I learned about the Native Americans and Slavery; the Chinese railroad workers, the Japanese internment, United Fruit and all the other sad, unfortunate tales of realpolitik dressed up in the ball-gown of patriotism and nationalism. It’s not hard to see how, eventually, fascism showed up drunk, half-naked and belligerent on Main Street; smashing store windows and urinating on parked cars.

Reagan came to town and I ran as far as the American borders would allow. I ran all the way to Hawaii. Finally even that wasn’t far enough. When it got to where I couldn’t turn around without running into the fat, red-faced, martini drinking relatives of the Republican mob that attacked the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Office I left altogether. No more ‘purple mountain’s travesties above the looted plain’ for me. Even so, I could scarcely imagine what was to follow.

Now Lady Liberty is a crack whore, blowing drunken lobbyists in Lafayette Park. God is a fire-breathing, six hundred foot rat with a chainsaw and life has become a Meth-freak’s paranoid fantasy of faceless pursuers. I’m sorry folks; this movie cannot have a happy ending. Maybe it mighta, coulda, even shoulda worked out okay in the end but here’s the deal. You let it happen. True, a pack of nasty reptiles took over the magic show but... you just stepped back and let them through.

Okay, let’s be fair. There are millions (I hope anyway) who could see what an unprincipled whore george w. bush was/is. I expect if I was Lot and God gave me the opportunity, I could find more than a handful of righteous people there. However, when you factor in the unbelievably stupid; the viciously supportive, the pathologically indifferent, the religious lemmings and the hand-wringing whiners, well, there’s a solid majority there. How did you get like that? ...materialism, straight up, no chaser; ‘me first, you later, maybe’, says all anyone needs to say about why you are in the mess you are in. Your common purpose is not a better, saner world. Your common purpose is consumption. Your common purpose is more security with more freedom and you can’t have both. You can’t have open parks and woodlands, along with safe neighborhoods and 24 hour armed response teams at the same time. You can't stretch the line between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' beyond endurance.

You can’t have honor and dishonor wearing the same team jacket. These two factions play on opposite sides. Putting them on the same team guarantees one thing; you lose. Life is a team sport. You can’t win if your neighbor, your government and the boogeyman are all against you.

Do you think it’s bad now? How do you think it looks when it carries out to its inevitable conclusion? I’d be here for the next several weeks itemizing and categorizing the whole lame, embarrassing, frightening and unbelievable mess. Let’s just take it on faith that you know what I’m talking about and that you have plenty of evidence of your own. Let’s say that this and more is a given and let me get on to the worst part of the whole affair.

The saddest and most shameful fact of all is that all of this is taking place because you are goddamn well going to keep your lifestyle no matter what it costs or who it hurts. At the bottom of the Iraq war is America’s alcoholic need for oil. Has Iraq got oil? Why, let me see... why, I believe it has got a shitload of oil. Yes indeedy. There are a few things Iraq didn’t have. It didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. As george ‘the killer clown’ bush pointed out, while looking under his sofa; “no, no WMD’s here.” It didn’t have any Al Qaeda 9/11 ties and whatever else it didn’t have to justify this stupid, stupid adventure; but it does have oil.

So you America, a country that has had the lowest gas prices of any country in the so-called free world for a long, long time, you couldn’t see the need for energy efficiency, or conservation, or alternative energy; no, not you. You want your top of the fucking heap, cheap fossil fuel; department stores bursting with junk, TV’s vomiting, opening night, window seat for fine dining, illegal immigrants swabbing the deck and picking the fruit and fuck anybody that gets in my way. You want it without sacrifice and you want it with speed. You got it. You got it to the strains of “America the Beautiful” and “Bring it on!” and “support the troops” and “screw the French” and you can go tie a yellow ribbon around Tony Orlando’s dick as far as I’m concerned.

People die all over the world so that you can get it faster and cheaper. Until the last drop of oil burns in the last fuel inefficient car you are going to make sure that it is an American car when it happens. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt. It doesn’t matter how many homeless families sleep under highway bridge abutments outside of town. It doesn’t matter what crimes are committed. It doesn’t matter how many rock throwing 11 year old girls you indict with felony crimes. It really doesn’t matter how absurd it gets. It doesn’t matter how much of a cartoon you turn into. You aren’t going to change until it’s too late. Woe unto you, you generation of vipers.

Go ahead, stick your chest out. I wouldn’t advise trying to suck your gut in at the same time. Strike up the band. What the Hell, have a parade, you’ve earned it. When you get up shit’s creek without a paddle it’s going to be a real comfort that Rush Limbaugh is at the tiller. Of course that tiller hasn’t got a paddle either. Give Ann Coulter a call, or David Horowitz, Sean Hannity; maybe Thomas Friedman or Brit Hume. They’ve got the answer. They were cheering you on. Surely they knew where they were going. The thing is America; you don’t have an ‘undisclosed location’ to go to. You don’t have a Republican Guard. You don’t live behind guarded security gates like your cheerleaders; you certainly don’t have the security of your most famous cheerleader. Don’t worry, just stay the course; “Shit Creek dead up ahead.”

I’d like to think you’re going to wake up; hope springs eternal. I would honestly, sincerely, like to believe and do hope that you will wake up. I don’t hate you and there is no ounce of satisfied, “I told you so.” in my heart. The bridge is out. I am waving from the side of the road. I am screaming, “The Bridge is out!” and I see a sneering, angry face. I am dodging beer bottles and I can hear the curses flow from the window as you speed on by. I can only shake my head and set off for the lights of home.

I still don’t fit in and I still don’t get it. Am I an alarmist? Am I an extremist? Am I just a disenfranchised loser who missed out on the good life and who, in defense of my own short-comings, hates the country of my birth? You know, I honestly would rather that were true than the alternative. I could live with that and hope for some epiphany down the road; if I found out I was wrong and that it really was all for the best and I just couldn’t see it. I will cry with gratitude should I find that this was all just the hallucinations of a derelict, misinformed mind. I’m trying to get my head around it. I’m trying to see the error of my ways; should that be the case. I can’t see it though, so maybe my denial is just that deep. I keep wanting to say, “Wake the fuck up!” but my voice isn’t even as loud as the ice clinking against the sides of the cocktail glasses in the restaurant at the end of the world.


This essay is dedicated to Michael Stewart whose kind support and great faith always makes me want to be a better person.

Visible sings: The eponymous Les Visible Music Album♫ Love Goes Home Alone ♫
'Love Goes Home Alone' is track no. 9 of 10 on Visible's eponymous
'Les Visible' Music Album

Lyrics (pops up)

The eponymous Les Visible Music Album

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought I would stop by and see if you had anything new. I can't believe what you have written here. I had tears in my eyes when I finished. Bravo! Bravo Les Visible. You have rung the bell of truth.

Ellen Cassidy

Anonymous said...

Spot on Les, just the sort of thing I like to see. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Pen

Catnapping said...

Hitler's New World Order, at last.

The first attempts appeared to fizzle...after the allies bombed the hell out of Berlin, and divvied up the country of Germany.

So the hopeful nazis here in Amerikkka kept quiet...and waited for their time to come. They helped some of the German nazis hide in our own government, and they waited. They moved a few chess pieces around the middle-east, and they waited.

This time, they won't have to worry about mega bombs, and men swinging in on silk cords. Bolton's already at the UN forstalling any plans the rest of the world might have come up with to save us from the ovens.

Anonymous said...

Whoomp there it is! I couldn't agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

sometimes nothing else to do but read Bukowski and hope for the end/beginning.

Anonymous said...

I'm sending this out to every member of the GOP House of Representatives. then I'm getting on a plane for Australia.

Perk

Anonymous said...

You paint a grim picture, unfortunately you are right.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome work. It ought to scroll down the screen of the Times Square television all day long. Kudos!

B.T.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best rants I have ever read. I've just been listening to your music which is great by the way but this, this is from outer space. You have just been added to my Favorites.

Brina Acton

Philip L. Copeland said...

I'm not sure how I found your blog, but your writing is ridiculous and your webcounter is not accurate.

Visible said...

Well, my golly Mr. Copeland. No doubt that happens to you on your way to the bathroom too but if you stick around it will probably come up on the radar.

Let me refresh your memory. You found me via a link at Sludge Report (Drudge in freeperspeak) on the Marilyn Monroe story. I was defending Marilyn against the smear artists and you were, you were, uh... oh well.

As for my writing being ridiculous...maybe. But, what's your point?

I don't get the part about my counter being wrong, nor do I get how you could know such a thing. Are you some sort of 'internet counter tech'? Do you have xray countervision? My counters are accurate Phil. I have to admit I wish I got a little more traffic but what you see is what it is.

I appreciate the time you took away from your weight gain program to come and chat with me here. I imagine some of my readers will be more than just a little amused at your scene and for the collective humor shared I'm thanking you in advance for all of us.

Had you gone to my other site I would have been dressed in sweetness and light, which is the other side of my nature. Over on this side we're more into the moonlight over twisted metal, things scurrying through the underbrush and howling voices in the distance sort of thing.

I hope nobody starts thinking about what they could do with your site and some Photoshop time.

Anonymous said...

A brilliant piece of writing...

... but know photoshop on mr. copeland, it would be extremely funny as i've visited the site, but it would be very cruel.

Philip L. Copeland said...

You are the one with vile to spare, can't you see that? Or does your hate-filled posting seem like justice to you?

As far as the counter being wrong, I liked it at first. However, every time I refreshed my screen it registered a new hit.

Les Visible said...

Well Mr. Copeland, you need to learn the difference between observation and emotion; or is that apples and oranges of a different sort; like 3 dimensional chess played on a Twister board?. You might want to finish reading an essay too; even if the attention span is having problems in that regard; this isn't TV you know. But you might find the essay resolves itself

Now, what is it you thought the counter was supposed to do? Isn't it supposed to register a new hit every time the page is visited or refreshed? Or is it supposed to do something else like bark or clap its flippers? It counts visits; that's what I pay it to do.

My counter liked you at first too but did tell me privately that it would appreciate it if you bought it a drink first next time.

Let's return briefly to your first point. I imagine it is okay with you if Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and ditto-heads and neo- Nazi's by the score cheerlead for your bloodsoaked fascist coward of an unelected leader.

No doubt it is okay for the blood of innocents to be sucked into the unquenchable desert wastes. It's alright to turn your head while said coward of an empty suit alters intelligence to make a wrongful case for war against a sovereign nation to support the hegemonic interests of a handful of powerful neo-con bloodsuckers. It's okay to lie and to kill and to be silent while it happens. In your world this may be so but it isn't so in my world. In my world it's time to call these vampires on their actions.

It's time to call America on it's wasteful, non-waistline watching gluttony of flesh and fuel. It's time to clearly state that people are dying because Americans are selfish and lazy. That's how it is in my world. That's the way the Jesus Christ I recognize would act.

The Jesus Christ I recognize doesn't stand on the sidelines in tights waving pompoms while families are murdered across the sea in a game of lies based on a lie of terrorists who take their orders from London and Washington D.C.

And Mr. Copeland, I don't think these things. I know them.

Feel offended by my passion? I am offended too by your acquiescence; your bowing the knee to Caesar, your going along with the program, your believing the lie. You and your countrymen have blood on your hands for not standing up for what is right. That's how it is in my world. It's got nothing to do with hate. And you can't equate the emotion of a post with an abstraction like justice. You seem to have a certain dyslexia that I haven't run across before.

Wake up and smell the bodies burning Mr. Copeland.

Anonymous said...

Les,
you have quite an imagination
nw

Anonymous said...

I wonder what it says in the Bible about those fertility pills the wife was taking?

Anonymous said...

You've been mercifully free of trolls and neo-con hack jobs but as you grow more popular, and that is inevitable, you are going to catch more heat. I'd keep that light touch with the reasoning voice. You might even want to be softer yet. That's just my two cents.

Bruce

Oh yeah, that's a world class bit of writing. It made me want to jump up and pump my fist in the air. That's when you know you're hitting the chakras.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting that pig-shit P.C. back where he came from - in the dark hole of his ass. People like P. C. are the stinking slimey rott which is spreading corruption and rott to the rest of the apples that think they are destined for the All-American Apple Pie. I'm sorry to inform them, but that is NOT where 'rotten apples' end up. Just in case these neo-con morons are too dumb to get my message, I will tell them where the 'rotten apples' are sent: To feed the fat Pigs, and then wind up as Pig-Shit...And ummm-ummm, you know how those pigs love to eat shit.

So I think Mr P. C. deserves to have some nice Pork barbeque for his last supper. I am sure he will especially enjoy the 'Blood of Innocent Children Barbeque Sauce', which is quite a favorite among the wretched and infamous, out at the ole Bushwacker Ranch.

--- long john

Anonymous said...

P.S.--

I think Mr. P. C. needs to do more than simply "refresh" his computer screen....why I think he needs to "refresh" his entire damnable Life. I mean like a total purge and cleansing of his rotten smelly blood-soaked countenence. Maybe he should go and take a serious bath in the ole biblical "Lake of Fire"....and it would be really great if he would also take all his nightmarishly insane neo-con buddies along for the dive.

--long john

Anonymous said...

tout le vous est aliéné... apprend quelque chose autre qu'être un branleur et stoppe hurler la haine à chacun... des acclamations

~Louis Henri

Les Visible said...

À qui parlez-vous ?