I went without sleep for four nights until early Sunday morning. Once a year or so this happens to me and I turn into Goofy. It’s some kind of energy thing that just grows and grows until I crash. Then I sleep for about eighteen hours and the world turns all bright and bushy tailed again so...
Now that I am feeling near human and refreshed I said to myself, “Let’s find some good news that with match the tenor of my inner state. Do you have any idea how hard that is these days? I’m not talking about wishing and hoping and trying to believe in good news. By example, an Obama supporter might think the world is going to be fine again and the cornucopia is going to appear in the sky and everything anybody ever wanted is going to pour out upon the planet and we’ll all go dancing over the mountain tops on clouds of joy and... well, more joy?
Then if we were really lucky, the cornucopia would suck up everything we ever didn’t really want including all of the religious fundamentalists, bankers and politicians; nothing but serendipity going in both directions but...
Obama isn’t president yet, nor even his party’s candidate. Furthermore, all we have are the things he says he’s going to do and no one knows what he’s going to do once and if he becomes president. So that’s more of the ‘maybe it’s good news and maybe it isn’t good news’ kind of thing.
George W. Bush, -head and shoulders above any other possibility- by an enormously wide margin as the worst president America has ever seen, is going to be leaving office in about eight months and that... that will be one of the most wonderful things to ever happen in America but... it hasn’t happened yet so that can’t be good news either. Since that stone-cold evil, ambulatory dog turd had the White House stolen for him there’s been almost no good news of any kind. This post prelapsarian nightmare has gone on and on and on. It has been the longest eight years of my life at a time when time should be moving faster but isn’t. I guess I should be grateful to him for making me feel like I am living forever but I’m not. So that’s not good news either.
World situation; lots of words from unnamed sources indicating that things aren’t as bad as they seem, similar to someone telling me it’s rain when they piss in my ear. Actual world situation seems to have that SNAFU hi-lighting patina. No good news there... just words and according to George Soros, who definitely knows what he is talking about, the bottom is going to drop out of the economy and look like Rush Limbaugh’s ass in the shower; sorry about that image. I expect you’ve seen it often enough though; after all, it is the face he shows to the world. That doesn’t seem like good news.
Psychotic leaders and their handlers are all behaving like young marines in a Navy bar at 2:00 am. I used to hear that word realpolitick a lot... now I see it everywhere. The prevailing philosophy has become self-interest at any cost. This is amplified by manufactured scarcity of critical elements to world harmony where, in fact, there is no scarcity at all. That doesn’t qualify as good news. It is good news that things are not scarce and that they only seem to be, so that incomprehensibly rapacious, refugees from The Treasure of Sierra Madre can steal everything that isn’t nailed down and then come back with crowbars for the rest. No, that’s not good news.
Culturally, half of the world is walking around with earbuds and performing arcane rituals with their cell-phones that are breeding millions of brain tumors, the throbbing of which will provide a backbeat to the brain rape music in their heads. Everybody is looking in the mirror. The guys want to know if that David Cook hairstyle, which looks like rats shit in it and then Krazy-Glue was applied on top, is the bomb or not. The other half of the world is hungry and frightened and canon fodder for conflicts that are being manufactured for them by the people who make money off of this sort of thing so... once again, no good news.
I go to MSNBC and, let’s see... Bush lied. No? Really? Obama doesn’t know Auschwitz from Buchanwitz. Man that’s a really big issue in a mountains out of molehills sort of a way. There’s the usual collection of meaningless crapola for the McInformation Age but no good news I can see unless you’re a Laker fan. Nobody saved a baby from a well, world hunger is still a growth industry and Jesus is coming soon to a shopping center in your neighborhood.
FoxNews still looks like used and unflushed toilet paper. One of the many gifts bestowed upon us by the most evil man on the planet. Hmmm, that’s a hard call. Yes that’s a hard call indeed and certainly not good news.
Looking at America from a distance of time and years, I can only say that the most astonishing thing is the speed of the decline. It’s been about as fast as one of the World Trade Center buildings coming down and for reasons equally as ambiguous. Then there is the strange irony of an epidemic police presence increasing at the same rate as the value of what they are protecting is decreasing; still no good news.
I guess we’re going to start getting good news when the quality of the personnel on the planet improves. It’s hard to imagine good news in a place where the pressure from the top tells us that it’s every man for himself. There’s a mysterious law in the universe which says if there doesn’t appear to be enough of everything to go around then it’s musical chairs with baseball bats. When it appears that there is plenty to go around, which is the truth, natural generosity at all levels becomes more apparent.
I guess you get good news the way you get bad news. You create it based on the collective viewpoint of the people in the world; based on what they’re told and how they respond. We have got to do something about the small minority of powerful vampire bats that are de-harmonizing the world. We can’t do that until the few who aren’t walking around with their eyes taped shut can convince those who are to remove the tape.
Somehow we’ve got to motivate collectively for a finer expression. We seem to have lost touch with what is important as we scramble for the meaningless. As life becomes increasingly trivialized, the value of it and the consideration given to it, in respect of each other diminishes. It’s been said that the best way to forget about your own problems is to help somebody else. As hard as it may be to believe at this time, most of us want to do the right thing. Most of us are more than half-way decent people. It’s the compromising with the evils of the day that rob us of our humanity and we’ve got to stop that compromise. Somebody convinced the majority of us that the wrong way is the right way. As a result of that you are going to get bad news and lots of it. We have to reverse that process. The moment we stop making those ancient mistakes that our weakness and fear demands of us ...everything, everything changes.
We have to tell ourselves within the quiet of our own hearts that we are no longer going to cut deals with our oppressors so that they can keep on oppressing. We have to tell ourselves and convince ourselves and then we have to tell others. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It is actually harder to go along to get along than it is to stand up for the principles you believe in and you’re going to feel a lot better about it too.
We’ve got some powerful weapons. We have the conviction within that tells us what the right thing is and we’ve got the internet where, before that, we weren’t getting heard at all. When you do find some good news and when you hear the right thing start to consider it your new job to make sure that everyone else hears it too. Once we can manage the revolution within, the one without will take place automatically. That will be good news. That will be the best news of all.
'Good News and Bad News' is track no. 9 of 10 on Visible's 2002 album
'911 was an Inside Job'
On a personal note I would like to apologize for my dreadful performance on the radio Sunday night; if you were unlucky enough to catch it. I hadn’t slept in days and then made the mistake of drinking way too much Valerian tea which made me sound like I belonged in the back of a police car or should be chased by men in white coats with nets.
I try to be on and do my job but accidents do happen. I shouldn’t have done the show when I could hardly sit up or keep my eyes open. Many men have learned to their great cost that you can erase years of good work in a very short period of time. This is a lesson to me and I’ll not soon forget it. Thank you for your understanding as well as the ongoing great support. I am much indebted to the reader for the inspiration and fine commentary that is one of the hallmarks of this site.