On one hand, I’m thrilled that more people are using public transportation. Not because I’m a supporter of the environment. I’m very much the opposite, in fact. I support a ruined Earth and a dying civilization, simply because I think it’ll be mildly entertaining and break up the tedium of my life. I’m thrilled because I think trains are nifty. I might even say neaty-o. Neatarific. Most neat indeed.
However, more people on public transport in America isn’t really a good thing because, as far as I can tell, except for filling a few potholes and changing the tires, America’s infrastructure hasn’t seen any major improvements since 1956. We’re kind of like a strangely functional pre-EU, post-Eastern Bloc nation. Romania circa 1995, except we’ve actually paved our roads and there are no pits leading to open sewers in our city sidewalks. Well, at least not in the parts of the cities where white people live.
I often compare modern America to the final days of the Roman Republic, and the amateur historian in me is always perturbed when people compare us to the final days of the Empire. Hearing that immediately labels the person saying it as an ignorant fuck. But, in truth, it’s a little of both.
Politically and socially speaking, we’re right on track with the final days of the Republic. We’ve got the two dominant parties that are just about equal – the modern day answer to the urban versus the rural landholder voting patterns (which is a gross oversimplification of Roman and modern American politics, but holds true if you don’t think about it too much). Though the two parties pretend at being different, the truth is that, no matter who we vote for, everything is carefully crafted to make sure that like-minded oligarchs are always in control. Even when we promote “change” candidates like Obama, there’s no real change. You know when there’s a real change candidate around, because they get picked off. Either violently, like RFK, or passively, like McGovern. (Maybe “weirdly” is a better way to describe McGovern’s demise.)
Though Obama’s true value is in having a black man take office – the token minority president. RFK told us we’d have a black man in the White House within 40 years, so we have to do it now or else we’ll set blacks in America back 40 years. Which is the last thing they need. I think American blacks have just about caught up to 1968. It’s taken the American psyche since then to fully get over the fact that black people are allowed to sit at the lunch counter. God knows what the next step is. I would say accepting them as human beings, but the nationwide gentrification of our cities and relocation of urban blacks to suburban reservations sort of stops that from coming to pass.
So our politics are a sham. Economically, there’s a huge gap. We’d all be poor and struggling if not for credit cards. We’re tied up in a forever war. It’s Republic all the way. Another few decades like this, and we’ll be glad for a lunatic dictator to come along. But don’t think that Bush is Caesar. I hate people who make that comparison. First off, Caesar might just be what we need. We got it once, in modern politics, with FDR, and that was a good thing. We need to watch out for the truly bloodthirsty dictators, and Bush is nowhere near that level. Iraq is a weird sideshow compared to Vietnam. I don’t care what anyone says — Bush is a trained ape compared to Nixon, who may very well have been our Sulla. We’re in a middle period now, and somewhat rudderless. Which is unsettling for the rest of the world, because we’re a decaying superpower. Sadly, our middle period appears to have longevity. Obama’s hopeless, and what the hell is McCain?
Yet, despite mirroring the Roman Republic, it really feels like an empire breaking apart, doesn’t it? Our soldiers are the poor and the crazy, and largely running wild. We supplement them with private paramilitary groups, the modern day version of letting the barbarians settle on imperial land, and slowly become absorbed into an armed forces that believes itself to be above the law. The civilians are numbed and self-loathing. Everything has stagnated. Outside influences – most notably in the form of corporations, American-based or not – have a stranglehold on politics, finances, and culture.
Then there’s the aged and inadequate infrastructure, the gross negligence to our social needs (also a feature of the latter Republic before Caesar), and the loss of Pax Americana. That’s been going on worldwide since the fall of the Soviets, but the vague lawlessness is starting to show up at home. Crime may be down, thanks to that gentrification and homogenized PC culture that both our political parties have so fervently strived to create since 1972, but it’s not down across the board. Those black reservations are left to rot, and the remaining impoverished areas of our cities continue to be uneducated cesspools of hatred, fear, and violence.
But, you know, we white folk, and our client races, don’t really care as long as the path is clear to Harris Teeter or Whole Foods. And, with gas prices dropping, life couldn’t be better. Even with a black man running for the presidency, America is just as racist and insane. Dear Palin has even called Obama “Sambo.” (I don’t trust that blogger…but I think it’s no stretch to see Palin as a racist fuckhole.) Despite all the muck surrounding all the candidates, it really does boil down to race. We’re voting for either a black man, or the white elite, or just an anti-black protest vote. So keep that in mind when they tally up the numbers. The tens of millions going for McCain, win or lose, are just a breath away from gleefully posing for the camera beneath the lynching tree.
I’m not saying we must vote for Obama. I don’t care. But McCain is a laughingstock. Any Republican with a brain should vote Bob Barr, or Mickey Mouse, even. In fact, wouldn’t it be awesome if a write-in Mickey Mouse won against Obama? Now that would truly be a stick in the eye. McCain winning would just be pathetic and sad, but a fictional character winning will start a revolution and mark the end of the Democrat party.
In fact, I’ll vote Mickey Mouse with you.
I’m off topic, I think. I don’t remember what my topic was. Chiefly complaining about how DC’s public transportation system sucks and has always sucked and will continue to do so, even after waiting a decade for them to build connecting light rail lines and transit centers because, duh, our entire transportation network is designed to bring people from suburban bedroom communities into the city even though that formula never worked, and started to reverse in the 80’s. It’s not like the urbanization of the suburbs is a surprise that happened yesterday. It’s all been carefully thought out and planned by a cabal of developers who have patiently charted the urbanization and gentrification of the city and suburbs on an exhaustive 40 year timeline. Yet have failed to take the people into account. I wonder if playing with Lego’s has polluted the last three generations? Build the skyscrapers…but there aren’t any people there. Well, maybe three or four…who stick to the ground and never fucking move and are always a comfortable yellow color and ever-smiling.