Watching Amy Goodman’s War and Peace Report just now, while feeling semi-shitty from this antineoplastic agent doing its thing in my cells, yesterday’s pronouncement by The Best President, in the context of threatening to annihilate North Korea: “The Era of Strategic Patience is Over” kind of captured it all for me.
I should be thinking happier thoughts, it’s true, sipping hot tea while chatting with a friend, keeping my blood pressure in check, I know. But I have cabin fever and can’t even go for my daily constitutional, as Sekhnet has me confined to quarters while my immune system is suppressed, at least until I am free of phlegm. I wonder, idly, if I ever will be free of phlegm. My chest sounded like a mischievously creaking pirate ship doing weird animal imitations last night, I never heard some of those sounds.
This bellicose, bragging windbag who is done with strategic patience is only the front man for the American fascist chickens coming home to roost, the triumph of the methodical Koch brothers fulfilling the fevered dreams of their rabid father, a founding member of the radical John Birch Society. He, like the Koch boys, is the product of inherited wealth and entitlement who, unlike those born to the manor who possess grace and dignity, also lacks noblesse oblige, not to mention empathy and decency.
A many times failed businessman who played an infallible captain of industry on a wildly popular scripted “Reality TV” show, he now has people saying former president Dubya was not as stupidly certain and misguidedly evil as everyone thought at the time. Impressive achievement, actually, when you think of it like that. George Dubya Bush, among other regrettable accomplishments, destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan and started the perpetual and borderless War on TERROR that we all take for granted today. No small achievement, that. Particularly for the munitions industry and those who buy and sell its wildly, historically profitable stock.
So, in Sutherland Springs, Texas yesterday, another maniac at the end of his personal era of strategic patience, took the initiative to kill a bunch of people who were inside a church. This is the kind of the thing we must have infinite patience for as a free society, we are told, the slaughter of random children in churches and schools. The reason is because when God inscribed those words in the Second Amendment they had nothing to do with state militias, or keeping slaves in check in places like South Carolina where slaves were in the majority and you needed a militia with guns to keep those motherfuckers from rising up against what they felt were unjust working conditions (and they did so a few times, mind you) — it preserved a sacred and deeply personal American right to have guns and kill any and everyone we fucking want to kill.
No sense being mad about it, or even sad. The gun itself didn’t kill anyone, it was the enraged mentally ill coward who used the gun improperly, who, by the way, had every legal right to buy, own and fire those guns, until someone else with a gun could kill him. It’s true he was discharged from the Air Force for being a violent asshole, beating up his wife and kid while enlisted, and spent a year in prison for the assaults before his Bad Conduct discharge (the military’s failure to link his imprisonment for breaking his step-child’s skull to the civilian criminal database was why he wasn’t barred from purchasing the gun he used to slaughter twenty-six, apparently) but why should that be held against him for the rest of his life?
If we didn’t get legislation to keep guns out of the hands of maniacs after that kid in Connecticut shot his own mother in the face a few times and headed over to the nearest elementary school to massacre kindergarten kids and their teachers — don’t hold your breath this time. Any Republican who supports sensible restrictions on gun ownership will be primaried out of office by the National Rifle Association, and plenty of Democrats are vulnerable too. On the other hand, is not the era of strategic patience at an end? I know my era of strategic patience is getting close to the fucking end.
The message is hammered home day after day. If you are a billionaire you are part of a despised and worshipped minority entitled to all the political influence you can afford to buy. The same goes for middle class people and the poor, buy all the damn political influence you want. It’s like the old Anatole France gem:
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.
True dat. The president sends his prayers to the folks of tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas who lost their five year old little girl, their fourteen year-old, the dead pregnant woman, more than twenty others. Back in reality, he sends his son-in-law, Jared, a younger, more self-contained version of himself, to personally thank the Saudis for buying all that top-shelf state of the art murder equipment from U.S. munitions makers, keeping Americans at work at what we do best– killing and advertising. It’s not our business that the Saudis are using American weaponry against the poorest nation in their region, creating a medieval plague of starvation and cholera in Yemen in the name of preserving their vast royal wealth and extremist Wahabist version of medieval Islam. Why hate on the Saudis just because they’re rich?
I’ve got to pull my mind out of this, somehow. I have to call Albany today, speak to Mr. Bockstein, find out how to get my letter to the Attorney General read by someone in his office who can describe it in ten words to the busy A.G. I have to drink more tea, this cup of coffee I just had will only DE-hydrate me when I need to stay well hydrated to keep my phlegm loose and flowing. There is a flow to all this.
You hear great athletes and musicians sometimes describe this flow state. In this state all their years of practice and learned excellence is able to flow directly, without thought or bidding. They see the entire court at once, hear the whole of the music, with every space breathing free and looking like an entire universe. Every pass they make in the flow state finds the hands of the person they throw it to, every note they play finds its mark, reverberating perfectly against everything else that is happening in that moment. This also applies to every other field of human invention. I understand the greatest scientific insights come during these states, as well as the greatest poetry.
This world we are living in right now is not designed, except for rare moments when we can pay to watch it at the highest professional level, to encourage real-time creative problem-solving, to have more people in a flow state. It is a system of masters and slaves. The masters are few, the slaves are the rest of us. We who are not the masters sometimes dream of some way to smash our chains. We wake full of hope some days, having dreamt of walking unencumbered by the heavy chains of a slave society. It is easy to dismiss this hope. It is essential not to. If for no other reason than to say: fuck them.