I hate to be a killjoy, but the more I think about it, the more the royal wedding strikes me as having been in somewhat poor taste, timing-wise. Should vestigial monarchies really be splashing out all Buckingham Vegas in Space-like during a global depression? Isn't that sort of tacky, etiquette-wise?
Especially when said depression has been acting more like a slo-mo apocalypse on layaway.
I recently performed at a benefit in San Francisco, (the only city in America I know of where people are regularly naked on street-corners, legally stoned and politically active — sometimes simultaneously) alongside the excellent performance artist Keith Hennessey. Hennessey and a collaborator had composed a dirgelike, anthemic, call-and-response chant-song about the economy. Hennessey recited horrible neoliberal statistics invoking Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman and the Pinochet regime, then he and everyone in the audience grimly sang, like we were all on the same chain-gang in the dark-ages:
You made a fucking killing
You got away with it
And then you got promoted…
It felt proper to be in an audience that felt like a picket line; it seemed to address a general helplessness and shared visceral feeling among us that we were all being embuggered against our will by unaccountable plutocratic forces beyond the grasp of justice. How were the architects of the Wall Street meltdown still receiving handsome bonuses? Why were they not in jail? Why were they not being burned in effigy by naked men on every street-corner in the world? And if they are, why aren't we hearing about it?
It is so difficult to find news you can actually trust about the most worrisome recent events. Is it me, or do we seem to be getting even less real information than we did during the Bush Administration? We get inklings and horrible rumors every now and then, but they just make the cyclones of twisting horror touching down and destroying various locales all over the world seem even more sinister and impossible to wrap your mind around.
What the hell is going on with all those of nuclear reactors China-Syndroming all over Japan, anyway, and those insoluble pools of throbbing nuclear lava? Some of Japan's nuclear plants, by the way, were built by the US in the 1950s with no regard for Japan's propensity toward earthquakes — a little extra, post-WWII screwing of Japan, because I guess we hadn't quite driven the "burn in hell, Japs"-point home well enough with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It's a bit like what happened to us with Wall Street, if you think about it: right when we were still outraged and reeling from an immoral attack to our financial body, that same financial body swanned in and made us buy more toxic assets, so they could keep poisoning us, forever.
To think that empires only used to salt the fields of their enemies. Now we're all the enemies of our own empires, and the salt is cancerous, the land is uninhabitable, the birth defects are impending until that day in the future when the super-rich somehow figure out how to escape into, and colonize, space. And the news does not tell us: does that creepily dramatic uptick in infant mortality rates on our West Coast have anything to do with the nuclear meltdowns in Japan? And what about the radioactive "hot particles" — plutonium isotopes — microns of caesium and strontium that they're supposedly finding in car filters in Seattle?
"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told…get this: Al Jazeera — while all our domestic news services just couldn't stop obsessing over Anthony Weiner's super-importantpenis tweets.
Oh, and there's apparently a no-fly zone over the Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska. Oh, it's nothing, just a little nuclear accident in our own backyard, apparently triggered by the flooding of the Missouri river. Never mind: look at bad, dirty Anthony Weiner and his atrocious penis.
Oh, and speaking of no-fly zones — would it be asking too much to ask what the hell NATO is doing in Libya? What the hell is NATO anyway, other than a kind of umbrella holding company for a loose coalition of mutually interested military industrial, security and intelligence corporations, who all decide to agree to buy the same interchangeable modular death-gadgets at their countries' taxpayers' expenses? Anybody want to take a run at how invoking the word "NATO" suddenly enables our empire to shield itself from accountability for its extra-legal military actions (not unlike the kind of corporate firewalls and extra-legal entities that enabled Wall Street to peddle us toxic mortgage assets)?
When we get no information, it tends to lend credibility to what little information exists, no matter how scurrilous. It tends to build conspiracies rather than squelch them. You know the world of information has really gone retrograde when, for some postmodern pastiche of domestic propaganda-reasons, John Boehner, that rheumy-eyed, burnt-sienna goat lord of senatorial obstruction, suddenly sounds like a voice of reason. The falcon can't just not hear the falconer — the falcon is actually attacking the falconer and going for his eyes. The center isn't just not holding, it is burning through to the earth's core. Is there anything left to do, really, but devote ourselves entirely to the protection of each other, from each other?
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