Saturday, September 03, 2005

I wasn't going to talk about this. After all, what do I know that no-one else does, but I somehow got dragged in anyway.


My friend who is on some sort of beach/blonde/sex/alcohol holiday in Turkey texted me to say : "What the fuck is going on in America?"

I was assuming that her question was more than a general enquiry and this turned out to be the case as evidenced by her follow up text : "Oh my god! They're treated like 3rd world country. Just caught a snippet on CNN in the hostel."

P'raps not the most pc way of presenting the information, but I think you get her drift. It was quite hard to come up with a suitable reply in the text format, but in the end I settled for : "Usual madness - no one gives a damn about anyone else until it's too late."

OK, not exactly a towering feat of analysis, but better than the average journalistic response which seems to be "Wow - no one knows what to do and they've all gone goddam crazy". Closely followed by "someone (but not me - preferrably the govermint) should do something." In some sense I have some sympathy for George W. I mean not as much as I have for the people who are now dead / homeless and who didn't vote for the jackass in the first place [ U.S. House - Louisiana District 2 - William J. Jefferson * (D) 172,931 (79%), Arthur "Art" L. Schwertz (R) 46,029 (21%) (Washington Post) and by the way, finding that information was not that easy - getting the raw data was simple, but how to find out which district is which? Get a map of Louisiana, get a congressional district map, and mentally lay one on top of the other - doesn't seem to have ever occurred to anyone to simply point out that District 2 is New Orleans.] But sympathy for Bush anyway.

I mean what exactly did people expect him to do? There's a city mayor, a govenor, senators, congressmen, how come this is his fault? As far as I can see he stood up in November 2004 and basically said : "We're a big bunch of red in tooth and claw, survival of the fittest, rugged individualist, tax dodging good old boys, and if you have to fuck your neighbour to get by, well that's just nature ain't it" and America said "Yup - like the sound of that!"

Well nature has now spoken and oh, what a surprise, the neighbours are fucked. Please don't get me wrong - the result would have been the same with a democrat in charge. It's not about who's competent or not, although being a little quicker off the mark might have helped Bush, and having a touch for public opinion less like the touch of a paedophile for a toddler would have helped him even more. Basically it's this - if you're going to spend your life driving SUVs, voting for massive military spending and at the same time demanding lower taxes and cutting all federal aid programmes, then poor people are going to get fucked. Sorry. You can do all the hand wringing after the event you like, but there it is.

So what is America going to learn from this. My prediction - absolutley fucking nothing. Sure there's going to be an enormous media driven public wallowing in bathetic sentiment, the homeless will this time be fished out of the briny, the levees will be rebuilt, compensation of some sort will be paid, and everyone will start slapping themselves on the back about how after a shaky start the great American spirit of 'can do' and the 'collective will of the great State of Lousiana' triumphed in the face of adversity blah blah-blah forces of evil blah-blah drill for oil in Alaska blah blah-blah blah-blah blah-fucking-blah.

But nothing's really going to change. The next time this happens it'll be somewhere else, and the same shit'll go down - crumbling infrastructure, underfunded public services, a terrified, disenfranchised and alienated underclass stuck in the middle while politicians go on about how driving a car that uses more fuel than a 500 person village in India is their inalienable birth right, conferred by God and protected by the American constitution. And, after all, everyone seems to buy into it - this belief in the American Dream, this insane faith that maybe next year you too can be one of the haves rather than the have nots. Better to live in poverty the rest of your life with a 1 in 10,000 chance of making it big than settle for what can be achieved for everyone right now. And if I do make it big, well that's just God telling me he approves of my choices - "Hey all you people, get back in line and keep dreaming, cos if you stop all the asshole millionaires might have to start working for a living!"

I'm not saying anyone else would have done better, 2 inches of snow is enough to throw us off track over here - but seriously; you guys are really going to have to start looking after eachother a bit better, or this is just going to keep on happening.

OK enough already

Pan is suffering from The Plague. Don't know what it is, but it's not nice - can't sleep, aches, temperature, sneezing, can't swallow, some sort of dumb virus anyway. Nothing too bad . . . am living on hot dogs and lemsip. I love lemsip. I prefer the blackcurrant kind, but it's incredibly hard to get hold of . . . why? Anyway, last night in my fevered state I dreamt that Abraham Lincoln appeared to me as a dancing telephone on an enormouse typewriter made out of teeth. Please tell me there's a rationale for that. I also dreamt that the tube system had gone crazy and had started growing all kind of extra little branches. Weird.

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