August 6, 2010

What Next?

Imagine living in a country where government officials told you that riding your bike could be dangerous to your personal freedom. That thinking about and acting on your instincts to lessen your environmental footprint was a conspiracy dictated by the Untied Nations to bring down the US Constitution.

Imagine living in a country that was so afraid and paranoid that the word community had negative connotations, a place where citizenship, understanding, and awareness had been replaced by fear, spite, and ignorance.

Government candidates running on a platform that riding bike is bad but laying off state employees good, would not only not to be laughed off the stage, but actually had a chance of winning Governorships! A place where wanting to belong to a global community dedicated to unity was bad, but drilling for gas and oil was okay.

image by pfv.

There are some strange things going on in the fine United State of America. I will confess that I ignore most everything that passes these days as serious political discourse. Except for the occasional Daily Show or Stephen Colbert Report, I choose to wait for the wreckage of the vicious shallow farce that falls into my lap from friends, Twitter and my RSS feed.

On thing that is clear is that any system that takes Sarah Palin seriously and actually has Tea Party members running for serious government posts is ready to implode. I don't know about you, but I can't trust anyone who can't even manage to smile authentically.

I wish somehow this guy's caravan could get encircled by an angry mob of lesbian critical massers pelting him with...I will stop here before I become unproductive and mean.

I wish HST was here to say what I cannot. Shaking head in disgust and clicking on the link. What next America? What next?


  1. perfect timing... thank you. fill you in later if you wish.

    hoping your book is coming along. and your life with your family - and what appears to be a local community that adores you - is treating you well.

  2. Interesting. In contrast, here is what a friend (a political activist and socialist born with a silver spoon in his mouth) posted on Facebook this morning:

    I'm smelling something fresh and sweet in the air. Politically, I mean. It's like a balance has turned... Target has apologized for the Emmer ads. Kagin's confirmed, solidly, and there are three women on the Supreme Court. Koua Fong Lee was granted a retrial and Gaertner dropped the charges. Prop 8 was scathingly declared unconstitutional and the FCC is backing off the secret talks. Nice!

    Maybe that will help balance out the negative you're seeing right now.

  3. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Another redemptive note: ever heard of 'Reading Lolita in Tehran'?
    I have not read it yet and have seen mixed reviews, but given your background it seems appropriate.

  4. Read it book. Remember loving it, more for its lit references than about Iran, but good on all fronts.

  5. Anonymous12:58 AM

    wow I don't even understand Mae's argument. A conspiracy theory that the UN is trying to change American way of life? The UN is going to take over the US? Hmmmm. What is the minimum IQ necessary to join the Tea Party? I need to read more current non-archaeology stuff I guess . . . after my first exam maybe I can take my head out of the sand. Not that I want to now! And thank you Cathy for putting all of this week's positive news in perspective. Marcus

  6. remember that this guy maes is not an official, he's a wack-job of a businessman running for a position. as asinine as his comments are, there is almost no chance he'll beat hickenlooper, who was a beloved denver mayor, at least while i lived there. moreover, the guy has the right to campaign on whatever ridiculous platform he chooses, right?

    anyway, he hasn't a chance; check out the polls:

    i tend to be pretty negative about the state of things, but cathy (above) has a good point. here in seattle, on the local level, we have a bike-riding community activist as a mayor who is removing traffic lanes from streets to improve bike safety and fighting the state government about an enormous tunnel they want to build for vehicular traffic.

    here's a preview for a movie about our mayoral race:

    i know i say the same thing almost every time i comment, but you seriously are only getting a sliver of the story by consciously removing yourself from the everyday american experience. some things are insane -- like maes and his ilk, like congress denying health insurance benefits to 9/11 rescuers -- but other things are more promising.

    for example, i spent two hours saturday night listening to mike daisey, an incredible theater artist who performs hilarious and informative monologues, workshop his newest piece called 'the agony and ecstasy of steve jobs'. he outlines the history of apple, american festishization of these electronic devices, chinese manufacturing and labor practices, and outlines how some positive chances have been made. he can sit at a table and deliver this sort of talk, write plays and movies that address similar concerns, and take his message to the world (he left for india today). this work is powerful and he touches way more than 50 backwoods coloradoan suburbanites with his message.

    in closing, and as a sign of camaraderie, i too would love to feed maes to some critical massers! last time someone messed with that crew in seattle, they were hospitalized, due to a punch delivered with a u-lock.

  7. Thanks Keith! You always keep me grounded and reminded me of when I am being hysterical. I know I do that alot. it is definitely a weird feeling to experience America form overseas and only see what I filter through my twisted network of news and gossip. If I truly cared I would come home and help you carry load and fix the place.

    I guess what I am learning is that I don't really care s much as I think I do. I do appreciate the great work you and people like you are doing, but I am not ready or willing to do it myself.

    I guess that means that I should stop simply sharing these bizarre tales of the downfall of the mighty giant.

    I will try and write more about the great things that people are doing at the grassroots level.

    Thanks again.

  8. In my state (AZ), things went from conservative to downright fascist. I grew up in California and experienced the anti-immigrant hate wave under Pete Wilson in the 90's, but this is way beyond anything I ever saw in that state.

    My class size went from thirty-two to twenty-three this year. People are leaving because they are scared and people with common sense are staying silent for fear of conflict when they speak up.