8 april 2017
After reading a piece by CJ Hopkins, America, the Beautiful, over on CounterPunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/07/america-the-beautiful/ ) this past weekend, April 8-9, I copied the following,
My point is, look what we’ve become … Americans, I mean. What happened to us? When did we become this nation of authority-worshipping, order-following, propaganda-parroting conformists? Or were we, deep down, always this way, despite our individualist mythology? Certainly there’s more than enough evidence in our history to support the latter proposition. -CJH
and sent it along to a friend of mine in the States who was terribly upset that la Clinton was not elected. I suggested the entire article, but considered the above quote a good opening for maybe a discussion of the questions he posed, more than one of the previous reactions I got back after the election, something along the lines of, “Oh God, were fucked!”, but instead, got the following: “Good God, is he kidding?”, the kind of brevity indicating disagreement or that further comment was unworthy of attention. Preferring not to draw any conclusions, I asked for clarification and got the following:
That tsa agent over the top ! Never seen anything thing like it!he should be fired! And that article whoa. The hate the vitriol. How do people like that even stay alive with so much horrible bile flowing through their veins. (Bold mine).
Well, that was a little more specific. I guess Hopkins was considered some sort of nut job, and his characterization of Americans as zombies as hardly pertaining to her, her family, or her friends. I’m not sure where you can draw the line, in fact I’m unsure you can draw a line at all, neatly delimiting the sane and the insane in US society, or the West in general, these days.
There are, just the same, some pretty clear cases of insanity. In no certain order and, without being exhaustive (there are too many), I’d say people like Barak « I’m pretty good at killing people » Obama, Hillary « We came, we saw, he died » Clinton (along with her husband, Bill « I feel your pain »), and Donald « A little tweety bird told me » Trump are exemplary candidates for the asylum.
In any case, it’s pretty discouraging trying to have a reasoned conversation with true believers in NPR, DemocracyNow !, and all the other mainstream outlets so dear to the Obama-Clinton warmonger Democrats.
So, my reply is something along these lines : They stay alive by letting it out, by examining the origins of the bile, by talking about it. There are a lot of people truly saddened and discouraged and outraged by the absence of a real Peace Dividend after the reunification of Germany and the dissolution of the USSR. There was hope that the American obssessive search for « enemies » (in order to justify its military spending) had finally come to an end, and that we could at last put away our guns and bombs behave a like a civilized member of the international community.
But it was not to be. Instead, we unilaterally declared « The End of History », an announcement so self-righteous, so self-agrandizing as to beg belief. « See ?, they said, We won ! We won ! The American Way of Life has triumphed ! We’re Number One ! USA ! USA ! »
The infantalism of that moment is breath-taking. And most Americans, being little more than spoiled children, believed this Disneyesque malarky. Given this turn of affairs, any sense of introspection, of critical analysis that may have remained from the Viet Nam years, simply vanished, overcome perhaps, by the frenzy of consumption that followed. Book titles such as « Bobos in Paradise » come to mind.
And while we were busy becoming concerned, informed consumers of useless high-end stuff and gadgets, the Neo-Con project for Full Spectrum Dominance continued merrily on its way, mostly unencumbered by too many prying eyes, and we have what we have today.
And that’s why we have the « bile, the vitriol » that amazes you. It’s a wail of despair at our inability to seize the moment, to recognize that we’re slipping further and further down the Rabbit Hole, and why stuff like Trump’s recent bombing of a Syrian air base happens and, if what I read is true, is hugely popular in the States, to the point that even your heroine, la Clinton, approves. Family values, concern for women and children, « humanitarian interventions », R2P (responsibility to protect) my ass.
When criminal, aggressive war making is nationally celebrated, it’s no wonder there are those who are sickened by such a disgusting spectacle.