Sunday, January 01, 2006

Year Of The Cock, Indeed...

Ya know, I've been vacillating of whether or not 2005 was a good year or a bad year. But, some thoughts...

POLITICS


Still as ugly and nasty from all sides as it's been since 2000, the world of dirty deeds done expensive as hell in Washington is taking a much weirder turn of late. The wire-tapping fandango has got me all confused. The White House has been for the past couple of years by-passing the laws of the land to tap the phone of people living in the country - and here's the bad part - without warrants, even though a 1978 law allows warrants for wiretapping a phone for national security reasons allows to be granted for up to 72 hours after the tap draws blood. This is illegal. The New York Times apparently found out about this sometime last year disturbingly close to the November Presidential election, yet sat on the info at the request of the administration.

I'm still unaware of just how this hit the public consciousness, beyond rather suddenly, just before Christmas, but it's out and being talked about. The President has basically told his critics to jump on if they're feeling froggy. Why? Because it's all in the name of Fighting Terror!, and that means maybe spilling a little Constitutional milk to save the American pie, and anyway he's the President so there. And, no, they aren't gonna be forced by the mean ol' liberals to actually back any of this up. We just have to take the president's word. I'm serious.

The vast majority of people paying attention are at different levels of concerned, if my judgment's anything to consider, and both sides of the ideological spectrum do recognize that desperate times do occasionally call for desperate measures, but aren't sure if that particular axiom qualifies in this situation. Should the president have this much power, even in wartime? And does the War On Terror - a tactic, not a state or nation or even an agreed-upon group or ideology - even qualify? If we're fighting terror, when does it end? When all the soldiers are out of Iraq? How long is long enough? And if the president can disobey a law if he feels it's necessary - which is about the only justification Bush is giving - where do we draw the line? Why should we trust the president, any president, just on his or her word, especially given the government's rather unpleasant past concerning secrecy, lies and spying on its own people? And more specifically, I’m supposed to trust this guy? Come on.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the very first person who has no choice but to follow the letter of the law is the person charged with enforcing it. No excuses and no exceptions. There is, of course, a very vocal minority of folks who are totally in favor of domestic spying sans warrants, and indeed, are convinced the president has the moral purity and clarity - indeed, he's the only man since Jesus to posses such - to undertake such a firm stand against civil liberties, and the fact that a similar move by a Democratic president would have them howling for blood is just something an anti-American terrorist lover would say. But I try to avoid those people these days, just for peace of mind. These people aren't well and they frankly do not have our best interests at heart.

Anyhow, weird year politically. I have no idea where it's going, if the fear and loathing will get worse, or if the public is had about enough of the horseshit. I've no idea if the Democrats will even be worthy of loathing or if the Republicans will regain their sanity and collective moral compass. I've no idea if the Libertarians or Greens will be worthy of taking seriously, or if Roy Moore will lead off the real loons and leave the rest of us in peace. Personally, I'm just ready for everyone, everyone to cut the shit.

POP CULTURE


I have no idea. Seriously, I haven't been paying attention. The only current events I keep up with that aren't pure politics are religion, and that's just politics in fancy dress. A new pope, Intelligent Design and a war on Christmas. Sure. I do know the White Sox won the World Series for the first time since the Big Bang, and apparently nobody gave a damn, poor bastards. I also know about Tom Cruise making an ass of himself on "The Today Show", but that's just because Scientology is fucking hilarious. I know the economy is if not exactly shaky, per se, it still isn't quite stable, but I don't know enough theory to really say nor do I have enough cash to really be able to worry too much about it.

The new "Dcotor Who" was okay, and the only movie I saw that came out this year - theatre or home release both, if I recall correctly - was The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which was likewise okay. The Terry Schiavo boondoggle was an embarrassment to the species and prime example of why human beings maybe shouldn't be allowed to handle sharp things. Hunter Thompson did what he apparently felt he had to do. Lots of famous folks died, but so did a lot of non-celebrity-type folks, and the Earth continues to roll on. Astronomers found two great big rocks out past Pluto, and some physicist somewhere, if memory serves, has managed to stop, more or less, a beam of light. That's neat. I haven't read any books published this year, haven't played any video games, and, apparently, I look like that Bo guy from "American Idol".

To the best of my recollection, the only new music - as in, not a compilation or re-release - I bought this year came from The Chasers, Donnie Chambers, and The Dictatortots, all locals. I have absolutely no idea what's "hot" in mainstream music, apart from brief snatches of country radio, and I'm equally clueless when it comes to "non-mainstream" stuff, whatever the hell that is. Nor, frankly, do I care. It's not some sort of statement on the quality of modern music that all I've been listening to this year is country music from my childhood and earlier, soul music predominately of the Southern variety, and rock & roll and rhythm & blues from before The Beatles. It's not a conscious statement, anyway; I have no control over my subconscious.

ESCHATOLOGICALLY


Nature, in her infinite wisdom, took this year to remind us just why she's often referred to as a "mother". The year started on the bad foot with the tsunami that swamped Southeast Asia just before Christmas 2004, and things basically went downhill from there. Of course, we saw the longest hurricane season on record, with 26 named storms. Katrina. A horrible natural disaster exuberated by bureaucratic incompetence mendacity, partisan mendacity, and cultural shit-assery. It was not our finest moment, and we really don't seem to be even trying to make ourselves look better. An earthquake in Central America followed one in Pakistan that I've heard to as "wiping out a generation". Hyperbole, perhaps, but it was ugly. Uncontrollable fires in the Western United States and killer tornadoes in the East. And according to this month's National Geographic, amphibians all over the world are in danger of extinction and it's not (totally) our fault.

But, remember: there's nothing to global warming, and you're a class-warfare-waging, anti-capitalist enviro-whacko tree-hugger if you even suggest otherwise.

PERSONAL


Hell, I don't know. I really haven't found anything better to do than what I'm doing, but it's no big deal. I'm enjoying myself, at any rate, and I admit I probably don't look as hard as I should, but that's how it goes. My thirtieth year on this planet came and went, but I was busy reading about zero-point energy. I quit drinking for no real good reason other than it'd gotten boring. I don't know for sure, but I really don't see myself starting again. I'm a little bit better on bass and guitar than I was last year, but I really don't have much inclination to do either. Nor, despite this rather lengthy missive, do I have any real desire to go back to writing for a living or any other attempts at publication. Still single and still couldn't be bothered to do otherwise.

My folks are still making me laugh, and apart from a bad turn for both health-wise, they're still watching baseball. My brother is still doing his thing in his own peculiar way, which is the only way to accurately describe the experience. My maternal grandmother's still watching the world go by, and my paternal grandfather is hanging in as best he can. My uncles and aunts are all alright, probably the best shape they've ever been in, group-wise. My cousin Lacey, the baby of my bunch of cousins, got married this summer. Lots of folks I know had babies. My cousin Jamie is working on his second. People I haven't talked to since high school are still experiencing life. My friends are still my friends despite me not really making it easy for them to maintain the position, which probably says something pretty good about humanity somehow or another.

Good year or bad, I can't say. However, if this is any indication, I personally have good vibes for the Year of the Dog.

24 Comments:

Anonymous FallingLady said...

I frequently check in with your blog and am heartened when I find a new post. I suppose it reassures me that there is another sentient being out there in the 'sphere.' But I've wondered why there are so few comments. Lesser bloggers have many and inane commentors to all sorts of subjects.

But I think I have figured it out. The people who read your blog tend to be thinkers. They check in and read and say to themselves, damn, he's good. Then they go off and think about it for a while.

So, don't despair, it's not you, it's your audience. Like the comic who won't perform for other comics because they never laugh at his jokes. The comics in the audience just sit there and say to themselves, hey, that was funny, or yeah, that was a good one.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kinda following up on fallinglady, i miss your posts on eshcalon (ms) tho , for some reason, i think its kinda cool that you stopped posting there. i would neve suggest that you post there simply to drive up your hits here, but, like i said, i miss your posts there.

glad to hear you are doing ok.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Backslider said...

Thank both of y'all for the kind words. While it's always nice to have proof folks are paying attention, the general lack of comments isn't a big deal. This stuff pops up when it does, and I'd hate to actually have people expecting much from me.

In any event, thank you both very much for the kind words. Take it easy.

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