Joe v. the Volcano
In 2004, the day after the national elections, my brother Joe drove to the Kinko’s in Denver and had ‘Obama 08’ bumper stickers made up. At our family Thanksgiving dinner, he gave me one. I kept that on my beat up old truck until the engine blew and I left it stranded on the side of a highway as a beacon for others. Joe was living the dream.
In 2007, my father gave me a store bought ‘Obama 08’ sticker for my new car – he was part of the California campaign for Obama – something he had never done before for any candidate. I now drive with a sticker on the back of my brand new car, maybe more with worry about my paint job than proud for my politics. Joe was working for the party in Colorado.
I tend to be to the left of Trotsky, at least politically– socially, he really was an evil little reject of a toad. I also think the French don’t go far enough. It has never been easy for me to exist in a fixed system of two parties that don’t seem much different once they get in office. The first time I heard the Who sing, ‘meet the new boss… same as the old boss,’ I got it –no footnotes for me, it just made sense.
I don’t think politics is high school writ large – I think of it as the fractal blob reduction of the Lord of the Flies, and all of us little people are the piggies.
There is an operative part of me that believes things are ‘written in the book,’ just like the Jesus people believe. Different book, same thought process – predestination, with only the illusion of free will to comfort and nurse on. It induces a certain social lethargy in my world view – an aloof distance that’s beyond my genetics. I really don’t think anything makes a difference – it’s just Buddhist samsara – a way for people to distract themselves from the pain of being human. I think it’s a waste of time to think people can change – there is barely enough good in the world to overcome the bad in the best of times. In our time, good can’t crowd out evil; it can barely snuff a toad in a hole.
I talked to my brother today, and he can’t believe that Obama could lose. To him, it would mean that people see things clearly and choose not to make the right decision. He see’s a clear choice, and that it could not be more obvious. Sort of an unconscious Calvinistic deselective punishment for all the hedonistic self-centered choices we have made as a county over the last many years.
I think it’s written in the book, but I hope that it’s not. I hope we can change, that we can learn to take care of each other, live within our means, and that dogs learn to understand the words I’m speaking more clearly. My brother is pacing the floor right now.
We need a Lincoln now, and our country has always been able to provide one in times of trouble. Maybe the person rises to the challenge, or maybe he’s born to fill the role. I can’t see any good coming, and it’s clearly our fault. Maybe that’s when the grace of god of god shows up and maybe without the fear there can be no act of faith.
Auto de fay, I keep telling brother Joe -- it's going to blow real soon.