Handbasket to Hell

November 6, 2014

I am not a patient patient, no siree.

I was undeterred by this bug when it appeared on Monday. It came in the form of a sore throat… a raging sore throat, but that was all it was. All the pain and discomfort was in an area about 3″ by 3″. Just an itty bitty bug. No respect required. A couple days went by and I completely thought I had beat it. (I didn’t beat it so much as ignore it, which usually works just fine.)  Two blissful, mostly symptom-free days of successful ignoring. Yay me. But, yesterday’s sore throat is today’s headache and nausea, as they say. Maybe they don’t say that, but that’s what happened.

And wow, what a headache.

I’ve spent most of my time today, more or less, here.. on the couch in my office. Hurting. Bummed.


Sigh. My terrible, terrible can’t-move-my-head headache goes perfectly well with this terrible week. Terrible headache, terrible week. Great.

*Rant alert* *Rant alert*

Tuesday’s horrible, face-palm of an election has left me feeling utterly hopeless about the future of this stupid country.  What in the world is wrong with people? What are people thinking to vote into office some of these guys? Where is their memory? Where is anybody’s integrity? The wash of red across the country makes me despair. I understand midterms, I understand throw the bums out, I understand media control and manipulation. But I can’t understand stupid. I can’t understand voting in someone else’s interest at the expense of the collective good, and especially at the expense of your own.

I was mostly prepared for republican crowing. But not that prepared. I kept the radio off mostly, and didn’t read the articles. Really didn’t have the stomach. I only read a couple of the progressive-leaning post mortems. And even that was too much despair, and then too much cheerleading. Really people, give it a rest. Can’t go to the pick-selves-up-by-bootstraps and rally-the-troops part yet. Not ready. (I’m sick, remember?)

But a guy’s gotta drive. Had an errand to run yesterday. And when driving.. the radio’s right there. I listened.

And wow, I yelled. I was listening to a guy talk about how we can now, finally, turn our country around and get it going in the right direction. And I’m thinking, “ARE YOU INSANE!?” Unemployment’s down, the debt’s hugely reduced, gas prices are down (I know, the president cannot really take credit for this, but they always pin it on him when gas prices rise). “HOW IS THIS NOT THE RIGHT DIRECTION?! What in the world are you planning to turn around?” I am certain that were it a republican president at the helm, this would most definitely be the right direction.

He (a senator, by the way, about to take chairmanship of a key committee, can’t remember his name or which committee)(AND this was an NPR interview, not AM Talk Radio) goes on to say how obstructionist Obama’s been. At that point, I violently slammed off the radio and wailed, “Are you f**cking kidding me? It was YOUR republican leadership that decided, before he even took office, that your strategy would be to stand in the way of absolutely EVERYTHING he would ever propose, EVER, even if it had been YOUR idea to begin with. That was YOUR great idea for moving this country forward and governing in our best interest. That’s what passed for representation and professionalism in your book. You even TOLD everyone that was your brilliant plan. You made no secret of your desire to ensure his failure. You morally bankrupt, treasonous piece of sh*t!”

Or something to that effect.

Earlier, I was stairmastering in the garage, listening to the radio, as I do–forgetting I wasn’t gonna–and a guy says, “People want to get something done, that’s why we voted republican. That’s what this election was about.”

And I just about had a coronary. 

I can’t reach the radio from the stairmaster so couldn’t do anything but scream at the radio and the smug voice coming out of it. But with my iPad handy, wrote on my cousin’s Facebook page things like, “We don’t deserve Bernie Sanders” (when Bob said that’s who he wanted to vote for for president in 2016), “If we want to live in a civil society, we need to move to Norway,” “We’ve lost to forces greater than we have the power to fight,” and finally,”I have a beautiful garden to tend, that is what I can do.” “Bye.”

Last night, in an email conversation with a friend about the sorry state of politics, governance and democracy, she said something like, yeah, it’s going to get worse before it gets better, it’s bad, but I’m hopeful.  To which I replied (pasting it here because my headache’s too throbbing to say it all fresh again):

well, i’m one of  those who thinks this great experiment in a capitalist democracy is proving to be a huge failure. we are inextricably controlled and governed by corporate money… and i’m pretty sure we’ll never undo all the damage that’s been done. i don’t see us getting off this path without a palace coup…  or a massive, massive populist movement (like Occupy might have become).  And people keep voting against their own interests, fooled by loudmouths paid by the Kochs. The campaign finance stuff, the interference with people’s voting, not to mention fundamental racism that’s poisoned obama’s presidency… it’s a bad cocktail.

On Wednesday, People for the American Way–very grateful for their work–calmly assured us, its faithful contributors, that this has happened before… in 2002, 2010. These things swing wildly in one direction and then the other, Michael Keegan PFAW’s president said, among many other rational things. (I am not convinced.)

I do recall being dead serious about moving to Scandinavia when Bush was re-elected and then things, somehow, sometime later (after Bush), sort of improved. I also recall being encouraged, even pleasantly surprised, by the momentum, if brief, of the Occupy movement. Would that winter hadn’t come along just then, just before momentum REALLY took hold. Would that the voices, so right on, were not shut down, belittled by mainstream media (who controls that media??). So, there is some truth in the fickle ups and downs of our democracy.  The dark cloud over the heads of progressives right now could turn to sunshine and rainbows somewhere down the line. It could.

But I don’t think so. I am not happy. Not happy at all with the state of things and don’t really think this is a quaint little pendulum thing. I really do believe we’re past the point of return to something smarter, something better, because the forces are too great. And getting more entrenched with each passing year, each passing election, each supreme court judge appointment. Money is control. People are uninformed because that’s exactly how the people in control want them. They can’t get to the polls because the people in control don’t want them to. The people with the money control the message. They own the process–from media, to elections, to lobbying, to law writing, to selection of justices. All of it functions perfectly to keep power and money in their hands. And why not? Who gives that up? I don’t even want to know the full extent of the power they hold, I think it’s considerable and on an unfathomable scale. I think the corruption runs far deeper than we know, and it’s not just reps. I think the system is very very broken and I just cannot imagine how we fix it, entrenched as we are. People are beholden and drunk with power.

Oh my head hurts.

I actually do have a hope, and that is demographics. The old white geezers will move on and take with them their intolerance and greed. I’m hoping that maybe the systems are not so deeply, deeply corrupt that, under modern leadership, they may be turned around. But I’m not sure on this one. It’s bad. I’m cynical.

It’s midterm election week under a democratic president. A black one, at that. Who’s surprised by Tuesday? Well, maybe not surprised but totally defeated and in despair over our country. Unattractive, I know, but there it is.

I’m also hurting. It’s hard to be hopeful today.

Postscript. In the When It Rains It Pours department….  evidently, while I was ranting away, these news bits were rolling in:

– On the findings of chemical weapons in Iraq: “This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public after an investigation by The New York Times revealed last month that while troops did not find an active weapons of mass destruction program, they did encounter degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s that had been hidden in caches or used in makeshift bombs.”  This will likely play giddily into the hands of republicans.

– “By a two-to-one vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of the states to ban same-sex marriage, overturning lower court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that found such restrictions to be unconstitutional.  The long-awaited decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an appointee of President George W. Bush…” (nuff said).


4 Responses to “Handbasket to Hell”

  1. Karen Says:

    You summed it up perfectly

  2. Carrie Says:

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!!! Thank you for saying everything I’m thinking. I’m starting to hate stupid people, wait I already do. I drive through plaid shirt wearing, dumb as a box of rocks republican country every week and it kills me. I hate to tell you, that everyone with the exception of maybe 2 people, are all republicans or worse, tea partiers. It’s so disgusting what’s going on. And listening to these idiots! Good god! And they are so spiteful, cocky and loving to shove it in our faces about the election. Now I’m ranting! I felt better after reading your post. So sorry you’re sick however!

  3. Bev Says:

    This is exactly how I felt before, during, and after the election. i was in such a state of despair that Ned, who never writes, wrote to remind me of my own philosophy of life (http://funnytheworld.com/juice.htm) and that we would somehow survive this.

    • Kari Says:

      It’s exhausting. I’d like to feel sane, I’d like to think we can have honest disagreements. I’d like to think that the process has integrity. But instead, I think we’ve become a caricature of what was maybe once a true democracy. We’ve been so manipulated by politicians, corporations and the press, we can’t trust anything we ever hear. Nothing is what it really seems. It’s all just play acting. We (the people) really have no role. Money controls it all. Even our supreme court is bought. Feel super cynical. I do not think our system works. I continue to play along and fight b/c of Peter and his generation. I want so much better for him/them.

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