Monday, August 22, 2011

The United States is "So Yesterday"

“So Yesterday” is a phrase that has fairly recently entered the American common language. I guess it means old fashioned, out-of-date, passé, or something like that. It has helped me figure things out and I am so relieved. Here I have been worrying about who the next President might be, whether any of the Republican candidates could win, will President Obama get a second term, and so on. I wouldn’t say I had an epiphany, as my doubts have been fairly long-standing, but having finally reached a conclusion about things I do feel relieved. This is because it doesn’t matter who the next President is or isn’t, doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or a Democrat, whoever it is will merely be a figurehead for the multinational corporations that are now in control of the U.S. as well as other nations around the world. Nations have now become irrelevant as a few giant corporations have larger budgets than most nations and far more power than most nations. Thus the quest for the Presidency has become basically just another example of infotainment, a charade to occupy the time of the mindless while what goes on in the world passes them by. We have known for a long time that most nations have little or no say in what happens around the world, but now, for the first time, it is becoming clear that the U.S. is joining the rest of the world’s nations in irrelevance. As I have concluded this is true it does relieve my mind and also the responsibility I once felt about various problems and solutions. In that sense it is somewhat relaxing, takes the pressure off, so to speak, and allows me to think of other more important things, like where my next meal might come from.

One of the reasons I have come to this conclusion is the sudden realization that the U.S. is not a serious country, at least not in the sense of governance. If it were we would quite definitely not have candidates like Bachmann and Perry taken seriously, to say nothing of some of the others, and especially some on the periphery claiming they are going to run. Sarah Palin certainly comes to mind but there are others as well, Trump, Giuliani, and so on. You might think that being the leader of what is generally recognized as the strongest country in the world would be a position requiring someone with at least half a brain, but that seems not to be the case with us. Bachmann and Perry, for example, being religious nut cases and anti-science would not be taken seriously by a serious country. Palin would have been laughed off the stage before she could say “reload.” It is as if for some strange reason we have all suddenly become completely devoid of either common sense or reason. It is not surprising that we are rapidly entering the ranks of the Third World.

Our “leaders” no longer lead, at least not in the sense of looking out for the citizens (unless they happen to be multi-millionaires or billionaires). While it is true we face problems, the most important problems would not be that difficult to solve. Health care is a good case in point, ours is about as dysfunctional as it could possibly be, it’s far too expensive and out of reach for millions of Americans. Medicare for all is the obvious solution and the only way to make health care available to all and cost effective. The failed “war on drugs” on which we lose billions could be fixed simply by legalizing drugs and recognizing it is a medical problem and not a political one. Our failing educational system could be fixed and returned to greatness simply by emulating Finland. Unemployment, too, could be readily improved by increased government spending on worthwhile projects like infrastructure, education, and scientific research. And all of this could be funded and the national debt paid down simply by withdrawing our troops from all over the world, especially Afghanistan and Iraq, but also from all the countries where they are not needed, like North Korea, Germany, Japan, and others. Our “national defense” budget, larger than all the rest of the world combined, could easily be reduced by half and the military/industrial/political complex replaced by spending to improve our country in general. Our military exists far more for protecting corporate interests around the world than it does for national defense.

The media, that used to be the “fourth estate” has become in the hands of its corporate owners nothing but a waste of everyone’s time with programming so stupid and infantile no one with a brain larger than a pea can even watch it. Rather than concentrate on our problems we are led to worry about such monumental problems as who designed some Bimbo’s wedding dress, how much money is paid one movie star or another, the latest shocking gossip about Lohan or Sheen, Gay marriage, Gays in the military, perfectly legal abortions, or the necessity for carrying guns in bars and churches. Of course we are expected to watch the really important stuff, like which Republican nitwit might become the candidate of a meaningless election, infotainment put on for years at a time to keep our minds off what is really happening. Even watching or listening to this basically fake contest is demeaning, actually participating in it must be much like rolling around in a pig sty. Unhappily, 2012 is a long way away.

Watch enough television and it won’t hurt a bit.

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