14 July 2006

The Hell in A Handbasket Theatre Company

I'm not sure exactly of all the astrological significance of moon changes and eclipses and the like, but somewhere, someplace, somebody should be sued for failing to do their proper 'community service'. Seriously. If you're going to be a 'psychic advisor', advise. If you're going to give helpful hints to guide one in everyday life, give some damn helpful hints in time to make and/or adjust plans. Not that I ever believed in astrology, but after the events of the last, say 72 hours, I think we can seriously kick it aside as some sort of well-intended but totally unfounded time waster. Because, if it was a legitimate profession, there would have been countless red alerts for this week: telling us, essentially, to buy all the necessary disaster items, cancel the non-essential meetings, use up some vacation time, and then plop ourselves in front of the telly and lament just how fucked up the world is today.

I'm not sure where to begin honesty. As a news junkie, I have been watching and/or listening to events of the global sphere the last 10 days like an unwilling attendee at Death's Perennial Ping Pong Match. Over a thousand killed in sectarian violence in Iraq in less than a week, natch. North Korea publicly testing more than 10 missiles and wanting to send more in its ever-shrill cry of 'me, me, me'...gotcha. China and Russia not liking us at all anymore, and wanting to take their large-ass dolls and go home...check. Mexico's election looking suspiciously like a US 2000 Presidental standoff minus the eloquence of Tim Russert...yeppers. Afghanistan's limited progress as a democracy after 2001 falling in around its ears...ditto. And, (as a special bonus feature!), now the Hell in a Handbasket Theatre Company gives you...wait for it...War in the Middle East!!! You just can't get this kind of multi-continent drama during sweeps months, and I'm pretty sure this is better than anything Aaron Spelling ever created, but I freely admit I missed his shows before "Charlie's Angels".

And, if the above didn't give us all a huge reason to go on a weekend boozer, the capper: we have Cheney, Rummy, and Chimpy 'leading' (a word I use very loosely when applied to these three and all they command) us through this mess. To quote a poster from a discussion board I visit: "Ho, the humanity." Since its readily apparent that humanity is missing out, maybe the 'hos' will succeed. Opps...they were, but I forgot that their contracts have been cancelled by the Army. Oh well, Chimpy is still in charge. Try to rest tonight on that knowledge.

Fred Kaplan does a wonderful piece over at Slate just discussing how much of a drawback this is to us, explaining why I believe that liquor and prayer are simultaneously looking equally appealing. In "Reality Bites: Is the Bush administration capable of facing the world's problems, much less solving them?", he suggests what so many of us here have long feared: we, as an international power, are waaaaaaaay in over our heads. And, unfortunately, the domestic situation is pretty damn bleak, too, as we have virtually no troops to call up (save a draft), warring political parties in our Congress, and a vast deficit (still) in our financial coffers. Oh, and yeah: many citizens of this fine country doesn't trust this administration one damn iota for the reasons above or countless others.

Read it and weep (the last two paragraphs here):
"...But this sort of neglect is but a side effect of the larger deficiencies at the top. Whatever else might be said of them, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld are not worldly men. They're neither well-traveled nor curious about the world. They came into office believing that America had emerged from the Cold War as the only real power and, as such, they didn't have to care about what other countries said. They didn't understand that powerful countries—at least powerful democracies—have always acted through alliances, even if only by manipulating them. A powerful country doesn't always need allies to get a job done—but it does need them to get a job done with legitimacy, to get it done and keep it done.

One senior Bush adviser famously told Ron Suskind, back in those halcyon days shortly after Saddam fell: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." What's happening now is that reality is roaring back."

Dear Lord...with any luck, we'll all be like Bobby Ewing in "Dallas" and just wake up in five years' time and see that it's all been some horrible, TV-disguised-as-reality-TV kind of dream. (Although I also fully acknowledge that's would be a clear 'jump the shark' political moment, too.) And I would joke about that, except that thousands of people...from all sides, all countries, all religions...are dying each day because this 'superpower' doesn't understand the meaning, let alone the responsibilities, of the word. My heart breaks for the countless military personnel who are serving now and have to risk their lives daily to serve the whims of this clueless administration. Actually, my heart breaks for a whole hell of a lot of us right now.

Cue up the band, and dropping the curtain on today's morning show:

"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"


Lyrics can be found from Leo's Lyrics here.

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