Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Social Fabric

During the Bush 2 administration I would fly home for the holidays and rant about how f'd up our country had become.  I'd rant about the second Gulf War, which the Bush administration had tentatively named Operation Iraqi Liberation or OIL, until they decided that the country was not ready for that level of smugness.  I'd rant about the fact that we had no democracy, only the illusion of democracy, that our politicians were in the back pockets of huge corporate interests, even as Bush II spouted B.S. about bringing democracy to the middle east.  Our politicians love to talk about democracy because by talking about it they maintain the facade that we actually have a democracy, at least as democracy is popularly defined and understood by most Americans: a political system in which you can express your choice by voting.  You can express your choice: you can decide which puppet is more handsome, which one more intelligent, which one rides horses, which one ropes bulls, but it's sort of like choosing one brand of cheese puff over another: there isn't any real difference between them and neither of them are healthy options.  The point I'm trying to make here is that I would encounter a lot of resistance from my family back then—they were all Republicans—not that that makes a huge difference here—and they were mostly unwilling to accept the bleak torrents that poured out of my mouth, over the Christmas ham, and into their ears.  Fast forward ten years: half the country (it seems) is now willing to accept that maybe this is true, that maybe we waged war on Iraq, not because Iraq posed any actual threat to our security, but because there was a lot of money to be made in the transaction, the war, by contractors, arms builders, and oil companies.  I forget how many billions the major contractors made off the reconstruction efforts, but it was tons.  I don't think it's cynical at all to think that there are officials out there who are willing to shed blood to put money in a few pockets.  Anyhow, I am house sitting and the day has become quite lovely.

This is a piece of fabric that hangs along the driveway.  It has no real purpose other than to look nice and spur conversation.  My host calls it "the social fabric."  Today the social fabric fulfilled its purpose very well indeed.  I needed a nice snapshot to inspire a post.  I had no idea that the social fabric would evoke old family dinners and the heated conversations that would inevitably erupt over the rolls.  My family is not a bunch of gun-toting die hard right-wingers.  They used to be "fiscal conservatives," but after eight years of Bush II, they too became fed up, disappointed, and disillusioned, at least to some extent.  Disillusionment might not feel good, but it is a good thing.  To the fully disillusioned person, lies look like lies; they don't look like a hot fudge sundae.    


Griffin Jackson said...

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Anonymous said...

Like the South Park boys said: I don't wanna choose between a douche and a turd sandwich.