[†Actually, I’m not, really. I’m as ready as the next guy to sing the praises of this new medium, and I believe it has already had and will continue to have a transformative effect on the way our societies work, and I understand further how important it is to crush Bush and his evil gang of sh-tweasels like bugs, but I think hopping into bed with Howard Dean has been pointless. Useless and self-defeating and short-sighted, until the bottom-up disintermediation that we — this tiny, self-important, howling little tribe out on the outskirts of the culture — have gotten so accustomed to actually has an effect on the corrupt, cashed-in, corporate-whore faux-democracy that has metastasized in Washington and elsewhere. Wow, we’re part of the political process! It’s a movement! Bullsh-t.
I loathe the current administration with a white-hot glandular fury, of course. But your mission is not just to undo 3 years of arrogant, bloodthirsty Bush kleptocracy, echochamber Deanboosters, it’s to undo 25 years of America’s steady slide into the toilet. Or it should be. And the way to do that is to transform the culture, not merely elect another high-visibility turd from the Political Turd Display Case. Thirty-one flavours, none very appealing, when you get down to it.
Perhaps in 2008, if it’s not too late. There’s a rousing cheer for the democratic party supporters, huh?
Your shortsightedness may cost us all, and dearly. Within America and without. Kudos for participating in what passes for democracy, of course, but you lost a lot of style points for focusing so naively on Howard Freakin’ Dean, friends.]
Editorial note : In general I’ll accept anonymous comments (ie ones without an email or URL attached) if they’re reasonably unstupid and worth my time, and I’ll accept criticism, if it’s also unstupid and reasonably substantive, but I won’t accept anonymous abuse. Try again, Rich.
Jesus H Christ Stavros, enough with the “you people in the US are destroying the world” schtick. Dems and other reasonable humans here are doing what they can, OK? Fuck.
And as for Dean, he may turn out to be an opportunistic shitweasel who hopped on the web bandwagon when it looked like a moneyspinner and then hopped off again as soon as things stopped going swimmingly. Hiring a apparent telecom flack and running through 35mil in a few weeks without winning doesn’t look great, but then maybe it was just a hard decision that had to be made (Trippi seems like a good guy, but he doesn’t have much of a track record) and the money is peanuts to what Bush’ll spend. As for not winning, from nowhere to second only looks bad if you compare it to his early stint as front runner. It seems to me that Dean scared the shit out of traditional media and the right wing stringpullers who rely so heavily on it, because (at least in part) he bypassed them. Now they’ve stomped on him in retaliation: we’re still bigger than you and your puny internet. Granted that’s true, and the Dean campaign should have seen the retaliation coming and taken steps to prevent it, but even if Dean stays stomped (and it’s only two piddling primaries into the season, and Clinton won yadda yadda) his initial success has likely changed the nature of US politics. Can you imagine the web playing a smaller role in subsequent elections? Me, I think that’s likely to be a *good* thing.
And if not Dean then who? Don’t give me “transform the culture”, give me something I can use: here, now. Kucinich is too far left to win, and even if he weren’t his plan for Iraq is vague, and vaguely repellent (“Bush fucked Iraq up, it’s not my problem”). Kerry is Bush Lite, another privileged millionaire Washington insider; if he wins, it’s bidness as usual for special interests. Clark is a hired killer. Edwards? Maybe, but he doesn’t seem to have much steam up at the moment. So you tell me, from your position of great discernment half a world away: who? How? I agree that the culture’s horribly fucked, but it isn’t much fun to have my nose rubbed in it by someone whose only contribution is a sneer.
Well, I wouldn’t say my only contribution is a sneer, senn!
“If not Dean then who?”
It doesn’t matter who. I’ll be pleased to be proved wrong, but even if a democrat, any democrat, wins the election, the cashed-in, corrupt, special-interest-beholden, LCD media-coronated political crud that runs the place will change in degree, not in nature. Bill Clinton was just as big a turd as any of the Bushites, or Reaganites before them. I haven’t seen anything that inclines me to think any of the current crop will be any different, bullshit rhetoric included, should they win the vote.
I don’t care who gets the nomination — I’ll fucking dance in the street if whoever does win the nomination manages to unseat Bush/Cheney. But I won’t be naive enough to believe that anything will really change, in anything but details.
The stinking core of America’s rent-boy political culture remains unchanged. And the sideshow of this witless democratic primary season merely draws attention away from that.
You may have the fresh eyes of the new immigrant, and that’s cool. Good for you. I don’t know if your recent move to America has seen you take on citizenship there, but if so, I assume you will exercise that right.
“enough with the “you people in the US are destroying the world” schtick. Dems and other reasonable humans here are doing what they can, OK? Fuck.”
Fuck, indeed. You people in the US are destroying the world, goddamn it, and you’re one of ’em now, and if you think I’m gonna stop saying it, you’re mistaken. You don’t like that? Tough shit, my friend.
What the ‘Dems and other reasonable human beings’ are doing isn’t enough, not nearly enough.
The rest of us, all over the world, can’t vote. (I don’t know if you in fact can vote there yet or not, as I mentioned.) But the fact that less than half of all Americans actually did vote in 2000, and almost exactly half of them voted for that sack of shit in the Oval Office today, means that not enough is being done. Not enough.
Don’t attack the messenger.
You don’t like me saying it, that’s your right. But I’m not going to stop any time soon. And the sneer? That’s staying too.
Like I said, the internet may change things and reinvigorate American democracy, but based on what’s happened this time, I can only hope that the real effect will kick in in 2008. The backslapping of self-congratulatory whorebloggers notwithstanding, I don’t think it has taken effect this time. Although, as always, I will be happy to be shown to be wrong.
Anyway, the pics were just a joke, mate. Relax.
Alternate response : I find myself agreeing with this as a more reasoned discussion this stuff, but it must be understood that ranting, over-the-top hyperbole (with humour, always) is not only a much-cherished (by me) facet of my actual personality, it is one of the defining characteristics of my avatar, the mighty wonderchicken.
That is not to say that I do not believe or stand behind what I say here, but that I am comfortable with the fact that sometimes I say it in a way that may offend those of…gentler sensibilities.
Stav, I mostly agree with you, and I agree even more with Chris Lydon, who seems less anti-Dean than you do. What bugs me about your post, and perhaps I didn’t make this clear, is not so much your tone (hell, I like it when you go all HST) but the lack of any constructive suggestion. I know Bush is an unmitigated disaster, and I know that none of the Dem candidates are ideal. I disagree with you, though, about the degree to which they differ from Bush Minor; even if all a 2004 Dem president did was put the country back where it was under Clinton, that would be a huge improvement over W. These are the turd–er, candidates we have, and the system that fermented and extruded them (and Bush) is not going to change rapidly without a revolution — and frankly, I don’t want a revolution. Call me squeamish, but all that blood just squicks me out. I don’t want another Comrade fucking Nader either, pushing unworkable agendas and demanding the impossible with the avowed intent of returning the GOP to power, making things worse in the hope of forcing them to get better at some unspecified later date. Your “nothing will change, you’re not doing enough” rhetoric reminds me sharply of Ridiculous Ralph.
No one is going to storm the Pentagon with Wal-Mart weaponry, Stav. Much as I might agree with you that it would improve the national character no end, we’re not going to build gibbets from Miami to Milwaukee and festoon them with CEOs, political lobbyists, mockingbird journalists, GOP lawyers and used car salesmen. Fundamental changes are in order, yes, I agree: until the average citizen gives a damn about what is done in his/her name even when it doesn’t affect his/her bank balance, the US will stink in the nostrils of the world, and until Joe Sixpack wants an end to social injustice more than he wants a bigger telly most of the western world will stink in mine. My point — my howl, my desperate fucking plea — is, what can I do about it? I write letters, I give money, I’ll vote as soon as I can, I’ll work at polling booths and similar drudgery when there is local gruntwork to be done. Hell, I even blog. I won’t take up arms or build gibbets though, so what else can I do? And if you can’t tell me that, don’t be surprised if I take issue when you complain that I’m not doing enough.
(I thought the pictures were funny. I can laugh at Kool-Aid drinkers even as I furtively wipe the coloring from my own mouth.)
That’s exactly right. Stav, you know me well enough to know that I despise all politicians and ideologues of any stripe, and I’m publicly on record as advocating not voting so that we can be blessed with a leaderless society.
But Dean supporters are getting on my nerves. Over on the ‘filter or out in the real world, they either wail like banshees or get that pained pitying you’re-too-stupid-to-understand face at the slightest criticism or even at harmless jokes about the “scream” speech. And I thought they were all about being free thinking. Silly me.
also:until Joe Sixpack wants an end to social injustice more than he wants a bigger telly most of the western world will stink in mine
With the layoffs and other economic chaos going on in the US, I think it’s safe to assume that “Joe Sixpack” has worries of his own. Nice scapegoat attempt though.
What it really comes down to is an unwillingness to sacrifice. Once someone has acheived a level of comfort and social status, they will seemingly do everything in their power to stay there as well as ignore any of the ramifications that their lifestyle has on the planet.
We can either live for ourselves or live for ourselves and all of our future generations. Each lifestyle is radically different from the other, even though one is but a subset. Sustainable living is possible however it requires that sacrifice which nobody is willing to do. Sacrifice. I always think back to Fight Club – “The things you own end up owning you.” Truer words have not been spoken.
Oh and another thing – the internet democracy is purely a numbers game – there’s just not enough of us here who write and read to make the difference however those of us who do still spread those memes to others in meatspace. It will come in time, you just need to give them something to talk about. Unfortunately I keep thinking back to that internet as a highway piece. With the rest of the world in the blogosphere, wouldn’t the majority be on the AOL bus throwing dead wombats?
I sent you a pm at Dave’s – I had a couple of questions about Australia and hoped you could provide me with a little info.
If you have an e-mail somwhere here – I can’t find it. Apologize for posting off-topic.
hey chris, this one’s for you.
Dean didn’t win, but his presence and statements certainly framed the campaign and made the public seem more comfortable with criticism of Bush. Now, he just needs to shut up and ride off into the sunset.