Thursday, November 04, 2004

sad

it's taken me a long time to be able to sit down and write this entry. I feel like we need more than one day to mourn.

Tuesday night I went to bed early because I couldn't stand the tension of watching the numbers slowly roll in, and Wednesday morning I couldn't get out of bed because i was afraid of what I might find. It turns out my fears were realized.

Yesterday I went through a lot of hashing and rehashing of what this election means and I'm not going to replay all the details of that here. It would take too long. But I do want to make a couple of notes about the interesting bits.

My series of reactions:

utter disbelief and despair - feeling of betrayal and loss of faith in the American people - loss of faith in humanity - justification of a "fuck everything" reborn selfishness in my personal life - recognition that I'm not really capable of following that path - anger at corporate media - anger at the mass stupidity of the american people who fall for it - resignation to the stupidity of the american people - exploration of the stunted "evolution of altruism/spirit" in relation to the american character

Later:

minute detailing of the failings of the Kerry campaign - detailing of the corrupted "essential character" of the American populace - plans for leaving the country - plans for revolt - plans for internal peace - acceptance of my place as a minority opinion - questionings about the 'elitism' of some of the aforementioned - humored reflection on the problem, "why do I hate america so much"

Even later:

realization that David Rees will continue to write GetYourWarOn (below). Continuing chest pain.




Here are a couple of emotional pitfalls that I identified today:

1. I have a tendency to hope for the best. I believed that the US population had the potential to be more magnanimous than it is. That, in itself, is not a bad thing. I should keep doing that. But! when people don't live up to my expectations, the pitfall I sometimes slide into is that I envision human nature as static. Then I reach the depressing conclusion that people will never get their shit together. This is not necessarily true. While this country seems to currently be driven by selfishness and myopia, that doesn't mean that these human flaws may not be overcome one day. It is an incremental process. The evolution of the human spirit continues, it just happens that as a whole we're still very close to the nasty end of the stick.

2. I didn't realize how much I had postponed my anger at GWB. I stored each offensive thing he did somewhere in my heart, thinking that the election would come and there would be some kind of retribution. I took some solace thinking that history would write him off as a man who stole an election, started an unnecessary and imperialistic war, and then was promptly fired. I cannot tell you how much sadness this election has caused. Storing hurt away and hoping for eventual justice lead me to wish for justice/vengeance - a very unhealthy emotional state. The answer: Aaron! If you're angry now, LET IT OUT! a happy tomorrow may never come. storing that kind of anger makes me wither and die inside.


Some thoughts:

California and the North East should secede from the MidWest and the South. Right now what we have is a dictatorship of provincial christians over every urban/industrial/educational center. The country is run by people who do not want to explore what it means to live in a group. Everything would be fine if we all lived in suburbs or rural compounds and didn't have a foreign policy. As that is not the case, I do not want to suffer for the ignorance of these people.

This election reminds me of something a friend of mine once told me. "Just think about what this would mean if you were still in high school." In high-school, jocks often have high social status even if they are total assholes. The jock stereotype is a boastful, unreflective lout who tends toward physical violence as a means to solve problems. The swagger and arrogance of GWB show me that this country really doesn't grow up much. As my mother said, "He won on the Bubba factor."

It's astounding what we call a "moral majority" these days. Yes, he may do well at a christian barbecue, but that does not mean he makes a good neighbor, much less a good president. Good moral people have the capacity to see their own faults, can admit making mistakes, and know how to listen. GWB twists evidence to suit his own agenda, lies outright, ignores input from outside his circle, and is incapable of seeing his own faults. Imagine you're in a dispute with your neighbor, and he acts like that. We have all the key ingredients for a long-standing feud.

The re-election of George Bush by a christian population does more to expose the moral bankruptcy of american christianity than it does to affirm the importance of morality in the american public. I'm reminded of a William Burroughs reading I heard once as a youth. His Thanksgiving Prayer:

[thanks...]
For decent church-goin' women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.


love,
aaron.

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