Birthdays was the worst days

Music – Lou Reed – Perfect Day

“Did you vote?” my friend asked me.
“Sort of.”
“How can you ‘sort of’ vote?”
“I mean I went down to the polling place and voted no on the stupid anti-rent control crap, prop 98, but I didn’t vote for any of the candidates.”
“Why not?”
“They’re all vermin.  Fucking scum of the earth.  It’s like voting for which incurable disease you want to die of, so I didn’t even bother.  Every damn day for the last three weeks I’ve gotten a fistful of fliers printed on non-recyclable cardstock telling me how ‘green’ the candidates are.”
“Yeah… that’s ridiculous.”
“I could shingle my fucking roof with them, I’ve gotten so many.” I sigh.  “I mean yeah, I despise Hillary and McCain and the rest of those scum, but shit, the farther down you go on the food chain, the worse things get.  The Senate is like Arkham Asylum half the time, the HoR is even worse.  Crooks and perverts, to a man. By the time you get down to local politicians, you’re talking about some serious degenerates.  People you wouldn’t let take care of your goldfish while you were on vacation.  Forget fucking integrity, or honesty; these people are barely mammals.”
“I hear you.”
“Remember that guy Ed Jew?  He ran his district like a fiefdom.  Literally.  And it’s not like that was a recent development, he’d been doing it for a decade.  The other supes are just as bad; the only reason he got the boot is that he pissed off the wrong people. Extortion and bribery are so ubiquitous in this city they’re considered standard operating procedure.”

“I heard from a friend of mine who works construction that they literally account for the cost of paying off inspectors and purchasing permits when they bid for jobs in SF.”
I slam my hands on the table, startling the people next to us.
“That’s exactly the shit I’m talking about, man.  And these fuckers get re-elected year after year. By us.”
“I hear you.  We’re basically a third world country, with way more money.”
“If I wasn’t so busy at work, I would totally revolt.”

——–

Day after day, the shit gets worse.  It builds up around you, getting in your eyes and your pores, infecting you, suffocating you.  Our farcical horseshit democracy.

I try not to read the news, or watch TV, or communicate with other humans.  Any one of the three is likely to turn me into a jabbering, profane, ultra-violent freakshow.  Just yesterday, on the bus, I heard someone talking on their cellphone about how sorry they felt for the Governator, what with his current budget ‘pickle’.  Like it was a random piece of bad luck, like he hadn’t brought it on himself with his own stupid ass politics.  I started frothing at the mouth, seizing, and might have beaten him to death with my laptop if some good samaritans hadn’t restrained me.  As it was, I called him a “steaming, worm-ridden heap of dumbshit”, and frightened him badly.  Some days the hatred, the disgust sits so close to the surface that the slightest disturbance can set me off.

Last night, overcome with insomnia, I plowed through a week’s worth of aggregated news. I figured a few nightmares, and perhaps some indigestion was a small price to pay, when the alternative was unrestrained violence and cursing if I read up during daylight hours.

Boy were there some fucking gems last week.

WELCOME TO THE FEEBFEST, BOYS AND GIRLS.

http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Proposed_US_ACTA_multi-lateral_intellectual_property_trade_agreement_(2007)

Rather than go through the normal process of crafting and ratifying a multinational treaty like this, which involves all this pesky “public input” and “oversight”, or heaven forbid actually LEGISLATING it, the content producers are backdooring this shit so they can start prosecuting before the fucking ink is dry.  Why risk delay or defeat when they can circumvent the democratic process all together?

Fuck you assholes for trying to force the genie back in to the bottle.  Grow the fuck up.  Technology exists, deal with it.  This is like buggy-whip makers outlawing internal combustion, but worse.  This is fucking hunter-gatherers trying to outlaw agriculture.   I don’t give a particular purple shit if every fucking record company goes broke or Tom Cruise has to panhandle.  Sacrificing things like freedom of speech or, worse, the fucking TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS OUR ECONOMY RELIES ON TO MAINTAIN OUR (MY) FUCKING EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLES for the sake of these fuckwads’ status quo paychecks is an abomination.

And guess who’s at the heart of this fucking nightmare?  Everybody’s favorite corporate puppet, a true douchebag among douchebags, Rep. Howard Berman D-CA, one of the scummiest Californians money can buy.  Fuck this guy with rusty rebar, folks.  His campaign contributions would be hilarious if they didn’t

MAKE
ME
WANT
TO
DIE.

Howard Berman:
Top four campaign contributions for 2006:

Time Warner $21,000
News Corp $15,000
Sony Corp of America $14,000
Walt Disney Co $13,550

Top two Industries:

TV/Movies/Music $181,050
Lawyers/Law Firms $114,200

AND HE’S A DEMOCRAT FROM CALIFORNIA!

All you high and mighty turdcakes that think the red-staters are ruining our country need to wake the fuck up and learn that UGLY GREED KNOWS NO PARTY LINES.  The Democrats are just as fucking despicable and corrupt as the Republicans are.  It’s two sides of the same filthy, shit-smeared coin.  The only reason I vote for them is that they are often, by the narrowest curly backhair of a margin, the lesser of the two evils.

If you live in the LA area and you voted for this guy Berman, my recommendation is you go out and set yourself on fire.

Let’s see what’s up next!

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/06/mccains-ties-to.html

AMNESTY FOR THE TELECOMS.  Now this is beautiful.  Defeated by the HoR, after making it through the cesspool that is the United States Senate, McCain has started championing this horseshit once again.

‘I’m a bad citizen and an idiot, Trevor, and have not KEPT ABREAST OF THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE BECAUSE I SUCK AT LIFE. What exactly is amnesty for the telecoms?’ you ask?

Well, it’s like this.  Companies like AT&T and Verizon are only supposed to allow wiretaps when a warrant exists.  Bush and his homeboys find things like ‘laws’ and ‘the Bill of Rights’ to be kind of a hassle, so when they decided to spy on Americans without any kind of due process, they just went for it.  I imagine their conversation went something like this:

“Hi AT&T.”
“Hi Mr. President.”
“We want to have wiretaps on anybody we want at any time, with no probable cause.”
“Do you have a warrant?”
“No.”
“Hmm… Well that is against the law, and we could be sued into oblivion if Americans ever found out… But what the hell, right? Come on over.”
“Sweet, thanks bro.  Don’t worry, if it gets out, we’ll go ahead and make our ILLEGAL AS FUCK DOMESTIC SPYING PROGRAM retroactively legal, ok?”
“Right on.”
“High-five.”

And so now that we all know about this domestic spying crap, people in the pay of the telecoms are trying to get this patently illegal shit made legal before the lawsuits start.

People like, though certainly not limited to, McCain.

And, since by some miracle the HoR managed pull its warty, balding head out of its ass long enough to shoot the Amnesty bill down, they’re working on circumventing the fucking democratic process as well, to get the amnesty enacted behind closed doors.

Die
in a
fire.

What other god-awful crap have you dug up for us this week, Trevor?  Other than the fact that we’re getting ready to bomb Iran?

How about this one:

http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=37179

It about speaks for itself. Jesus wept, friends.

FAIL.

———–

What people don’t understand about our royally fucked-up country is that the only way we stay afloat is with a system of checks and balances.

I know in school they teach you about Checks and Balances and the Three Branches of Government or some fucking shit, but that’s all a bunch of crap.  The teachers are in on it, too.  There are really only two branches of government, which are Lobbyists, representing corporations and the rich, and Bureaucrats, representing themselves and their bank accounts.

The REAL checks and balances that exist are between the two driving forces of American Democracy: Greed and Incompetence.

These are the pillars which support the weight of our fair nation.  These are our bread and butter.  All of you shaking your heads with pity in your eyes can just shut the christ up right now, because I am not, in fact, a cynic.  The thin line between a cynic and a realist ceased to exist a long, long time ago, before I was even born.

To be informed is to be cynical.

To be optimistic is to be braindead.

So Greed and Incompetence.  The greed moves things forward, at every level, from $300 a year library budgets in Nowhere, Nebraska to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Greed for money, power, whatever, is behind every redistricting, every single proposition on the latest ballot.  All the wiretapping shit, the ACTA treaty, the endless fucking disaster of campaign finance, Greed is behind all of it.

But never fear, Greed does not go unopposed.  The yin to Greed’s yang is just as widespread.  Incompetence.  Few Americans have any idea of the scope of our bureaucracy.  There are more politicians, more civil servants, more cogs in the machine than you can possibly fucking imagine.  Our self-perpetuating, all-devouring bureaucracy is huge. Huge and slow.  Especially in California, where every fucking flyspeck of minutae is managed by committee, and we have social programs out our proverbial ass.  And all but maybe 10% of the soldiers in this giant army of suits (and skirts) are totally incompetent.  Totally inept.  It takes twice as long, five times the manpower, and twenty times the money to get something done by the government than by the private sector.  Because government employees can’t be fired.  Because there’s no motivation for efficiency.  Because nobody gives a particular fuck about the money they waste.  About the lives they ruin.

These two forces are diametrically opposed.  Thankfully.  It’s only their eternal struggle that keeps America livable.  The greedy, the Cheneys and Roves and Dalys of the world, have the monumental task of spurring our incompetent, monolithic bureaucracy to action in order to have their greedy plans enacted.  It’s taken the better part of a decade for our administration’s fucking crack team of supervillains and sociopaths to turn Iraq in to the second most expensive war in the history of the human race.  Imagine what they could have accomplished if the bloated, corpulent beast they rode in to battle was faster, or more agile.  KBR would be even richer than it is, Exxon would be realizing even MORE record-setting profits than it already is, and the wholesale murder of harmless foreigners would be even more thorough and systematic.  We’d REALLY be fucked.

The incalculable inertia of our government as a whole, and when I say government I mean everybody from the fucking transit authority to the IRS to the NSA to the supreme court, prevents any one petty tyrant from doing too much harm.  They run out of terms or money or just up and die of Alzheimer’s before they get a chance to realize the fullness of their black, bloody dreams.  This is as true in every city council, every committee, every board, as it is in the White House.

Greed and incompetence, friends.  They’re all that keeps our collective head above the water.

What about the innocent, the idealistic, the champions of truth and justice that come out of the woodwork every once in a while?  How do they figure in to my fucked up scheme?

On the rare, rare occasion one becomes a threat to the Establishment, Greed and Incompetence team up, kill the bastard with baseball bats and bury him or her in a field.  Sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally.

Thus does the American Dream endure.

-T.

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