I am communing in my office with a sufficiency of Wild Turkey, the whiskey of the great Hunter Thompson. With its help I think curmudgeonly thoughts about America, which is over, done, surrounded by feeding leeches, ticks, hag fish, lampreys, and corporations. And Joe Biden. I find this deeply satisfying.
Here you have to understand curmudgeonry. We in our ashen-souled trade are misunderstood. We do not enjoy undeserved suffering. If you fall off a motorcycle while doing wheelies, or contract malaria in the jungles of Africa, you will have our sympathy. But self-inflicted and avoidable catastrophe, ah, this warms the cockles of our hearts. Whatever a cockle is. When an entire country voluntarily disintegrates in a maelstrom of pointless rot, for curmudgeons it is better than vox seats at the Superbowl.
This may not be excessively coherent. Everything in moderation, I say. If the good Lord had wanted consistency, he would not have invented Wild Turkey. Anyway, attempted thoughts:
America is not a country but a swarm of special interests that happen to be in the same place. They siphon money from the great, semiconscious, unhappy citizenry, about whom none of them give a wan, etiolated damn. It is adroitly done and, in its craftiness, worthy of admiration. It is also worthy of a national lynch mob or a high-throughput guillotine.
From a curmudgeonly point of view, it helps that Americans don’t like each other. They are mutual alien’s, like Trump supporters and inclusiveness goofballs. For example, West Virginia has nothing in common with Southern California, which has nothing in common with Mississippi, which has nothing in common with Massachusetts, which has nothing in common with Latinos, who have nothing in common with blacks, and coastal elites who have nothing in common with the middle of the country that really isn’t one. These used to seem to get along because with bad roads and no internet thee wasn’t really any contact to amount to anything. Now there is, and they want to kill each other. It is probably a good idea.
Americans, the less alert anyway, think they live in a democracy. They do not. Why? First, the parties select the candidates we get to vote for, and these are preloaded to do things such as protect Wall Street, Israel, and the military budget. Elections determine division of the spoils, but not policies that matter. The public is allowed to get all riled up over things that don’t interest the lampreys and leeches in New York, such as abortion and gun control. Second, the populace knows on average nothing about anything–and what little they think they know is determined by the media, both legacy and social, which are de facto organs of government. Those alert enough to see through this are so few that they can be ignored.
Which brings us to Abraham Lincoln, who said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Being a politician he didn’t say that you don’t have to. You can fool enough of the people enough of the time, and that’s enough. This is the fundamental principle of American politics.
America is different from China, where everything is censored, and the Chinese know it. In America enough things are censored enough, but no more, so most people don’t notice, and those that do can be delisted by Google. This is really pretty slick.
In America we choose our leaders by popularity contests from provincial lawyers who usually don’t know about anything but watermelon agriculture in South Dakota, or whatever they do in South Dakota. Since to get elected pols have to be as manipulative as three conjoined Amway salesmen and not too principled, they are ideal for being controled by donors, who really run the country that isn’t one. See? Isn’t that clever?
Violeta just googled Wild Turkey and Erdogan came up in second position. This may be an omen of some sort.
The genius of the American system is that it allows democracy without giving the public influence over anything. I mean, do you have a say over what your children are taught in school? Over what kind of teachers they have, and whether these teachers can read? Would you rather have decent medical care or a war in Ukraine? But which do you get? Would you prefer modern infrastructure in America, such as the kind of space-age rail the Chinese have, or a hundred batplane international nuclear bombers at a half-billion a pop? Well, you have the bomber. Do you have any influence over who it bombs? Do you have any influence over anything?
No. But you pay the bills.
Come morning Vi and I listen to various international news outlets and come evening likewise on YouTube–al Jazeera, France 24, Deutsche Welle from Germany, Telemundo from Mexico, and Sputnik and RT from Russia, all in Spanish, Asia Times, Nikkei Asia, South China Morning Post, and Global Times, a Chinese government outlet, in English.
As we used to say in long-ago crazier times, it is a trip. From countries controlled by Washington, meaning chiefly Europe, you get a steady diet of shameless pro–Israel, pro-Kiev propaganda, often false, often by omission. From countries not controlled by America, you get ghastly video from Gaza and footage of large anti-Ukraine demonstrations that simply don’t appear in Western media. We hear at length Russia is losing in Ukraine, is running out of soldiers, the Russian population is about to revolt against Putin, and the like. All calculated twaddle. Now that the public is being prepped for war with China, the nonsense in America about China grows wilder. If you control what people think they know, you control what they do.
Note that American military industry is getting bloated toad-frog rich on the wars, which is no small part of the reason for them. Washington gives the Ukraine all sorts of expensive toys to use up, and then pays the military industrial complex fortunes to replace them. European militaries send their old weapons to Kiev and then buy shiny new ones, mostly from America. What the Pentagram calls aid to the Ukraine is recycled to the US arms companies. Which the public pays for. Crafty. Very crafty.
Meanwhile Washington prints trillions which fuels inflation which is a swell way to suck the country’s financial blood without anyone being responsible. To raise taxes congress has to vote in favor and the constituents notice. Just print money and we yokels don’t know who to blame. It’s brilliant.
The worst effect of all of this is that inflation pushes up the price of Wild Turkey. I may have to talk to Erdogan about this.