Friday, December 09, 2005
This comes out of an interesting discussion around “Peak Stoopid” last month, about the shape and scope of the future.
To wit, is “hope” merely butt-dancing in a pair of Pollyanna Panties as we fall to our doom? Is despair warranted, or a self-fulfilling prophecy? One what firm plot of land can a thinking person plant their feet and make a stand that is at once pragmatic and principled?
You may or may not have seen “Batman Begins”. I have. I liked it, and Liam Neeson quibbles aside, it works as an origin myth, action movie and superhero flick.
And if one were inclined in that direction, one could also see it as a Lost Liberal Parable for the 21st Century.
Thomas Wayne, who “nearly bankrupted Wayne Enterprises fighting poverty during the Depression” as the only-dimly-remembered Good Liberal Father (or perhaps even a genuine Compassionate Conservative, a species long gone extinct in our dark lands.)
A city that has lost faith in its own vision of itself.
A government where good men still exist, but corruption has so riddled its bones that even if the wanted to clean it up, “in a town this dirty, who's there left to rat to?” When the President and all of his Men are rotting this nation from the head down, that sentiment could not be more apropos.
A child left orphaned by murdered Liberal Father, lost and insane with rage at a world beset on all sides by bad guys, who control everything and who killed his ideals.
A villain whose WMD is Fear, and whose seductive ideology is familiar to every Neocon, bigot, Fundy and witch-hunting pimp, and every other mutant strain of Reality Rejectionist, Cheney Regime Dead Ender, and self-hating, closeted GOP Sodomite.
It’s sold to children under without a warning label or an NC-17 rating at GOP Media outlet stores everywhere the trade name of theological or cultural imperative. It is pumped into our groundwater like fucktard fluoride by Regnery Press, the AFA the Murdoch Empire and a hundred others.
Stripped of its pink BoBo icing, its nothing but a brutal philosophy that demands a holocaust. A civilization-purifying auto da fe. The same, shopworn drivel that every closet-fascist keeps on the bedside table for inspirational, pre-dozing-post-wanking reading after he’s done jerking off to the Turner Diaries and Photoshopped Ann Coulter porn.
That a Higher Order demands that Gotham and everyone in it perish as a necessary sacrifice to preserve the precious bodily fluids of the Righteous.
Here’s what it comes down to: Do you believe our Gotham – our nation -- can be saved or not? If you don’t, your heart and words will move in one direction, and if you do you will find yourself on a very different path.
A new America won’t exactly take the same form that it has taken in the past – our profligate use of our natural bounty has seen to that – but even without a looming oil crisis, we would be changing. Every few years we get to itchin’ and bitchin’, burst our seams and change; it’s in our DNA.
It is, on some level, a matter of faith, but emphatically not a Creationists cowering fearful superstition. This is a matter of informed faith. Of looking at our problems and knowing that the way to fix them is the way problems usually get fixed; by saturation-bombing them with smart, passionate people.
So where do you find such people? By the million?
Locked in the shabby minimum-security passion-flattening factories called Public Schools, that’s where. Human beings genetically identical to the men and women who founded and built this country – voluntarily and at under the bondsman’s whip. As the saying goes, the weak died along the way and the cowards never came.
And these are their grandkids.
If the resources to save our Gotham were gone, or if a meteor were screaming unstoppably down from heaven to kill our planet, then I’d relax into a nice, boozy fog of hopelessness. I’d get out my “Better Dead” list, start with a certain grade school teacher and work my way down chronologically.
But all is not lost.
Far from it; the tools of our salvation are all around us.
They pack our schools, begging to be taught how to be heroes. They work in our factories, eager to innovate and create a magnificent future with their hands and heads. They turn off the teevee and sigh and wish their nation could be a great and good place, and are afraid they have lived to see the first days of our long and ugly fall.
We will change and morph and become something else, and it will be painful and frightening and terribly hard work, but to misquote a science fiction writer whose name eludes me at this early hour, it’s raining soup and we don’t yet have enough God damned sense to make buckets.
Yes we’re flawed. We do bad things. We have several million idiots and bigots and Christopaths who really, really, really want to turn us into a lawless oligarchy run by Jesus Christ, CEO.
Almost every problem we face is man-made, not some inexorably glacial force of God or Nature that is driving us to extinction and which we cannot stand against. We worked our way out of a Depression. We rose up, crossed oceans and crushed fascist empires that were on the verge to cover the Earth. And no man is owned as a slave here anymore.
We can make buckets to catch the future as it pours down on us.
And we will.