The following is a Synthesis Weekly column penned by Bob Howard, whose written works can also be found here
…Democracy is a poor system; the only thing that can be said for it is that it’s eight times as good as any other method. Its worst fault is that its leaders reflect their constituents…”
- Jubal Harshaw from Robert Heinlein’s Science Fiction Classic “Stranger in a Strange Land.”
Here is an amazing factoid. President George W. Bush holds the record for both the highest and the lowest approval ratings since the inception of the Gallup Poll. In the days following 911 his ratings were in the 90′s – now they have sunk down to the 20′s. Do you ever imagine he must scratch his head sometimes and think “what the hell do these people want?” To me this doesn’t represent any dramatic shift in the man or his policies but rather the fickle and schizoid temperament of a population so focused on the zen of immediate gratification and the satisfaction of every conceivable urge that consequence has become not just an after-thought but a non-thought. Then we wake up and look around at the wasteland gross consumption has made of the world around us and go “hey, what the fuck? This sucks!”
So as we sow so shall we reap… I read that someplace or another. Fuck it, pop another pill, pour another drink, shovel some more processed food into our ever-fattening faces – its all going over the cliff now anyway. Everything under the sun is “green” but our level of CO2 emissions hasn’t gone down an iota since Al Gore’s eye-opening climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” came out two years ago. Lip service and clever marketing campaigns are all we have to show for an awful lot of good intentions and even a little bit of hard work.
I’m starting to think this whole thing is bullshit. The ones talking the most about climate change seem to overlap neatly with the same ones leaving the largest “carbon footprints” – the globe-trotting celebrities, the politicians in their private jets, the educated upper-middle class with their air-conditioned McMansions and their ever intact sense of entitlement. Sure it’s a lovely idea to actually cut our consumption – but that would mean we might actually sweat and feel hungry once in awhile! Intolerable. Doesn’t fit in with the whole “satisfy every craving immediately” philosophy that defines the American existence in this year of our Lord 2008.
The Thing That Would Not Die
Hillary Clinton is decidedly still in the race after what is looking like a decisive 10 point victory in Pennsylvania. I don’t know what I think about that. Ask me now and again in five minutes and I’ll likely give you two completely contradictory answers. I like that this primary is actually up for grabs but I also can’t stomach the idea of a continuation of the policies of the last eight years and it seems like the longer the democrats squabble over the nomination the more likely it is no matter who gets it will end up being defeated by another stodgy old white dude in a dark suit bowing down to the gods of corporate enterprise and industry. Wonderful.
On that note I am more than a little mystified by Hillary Clinton’s latest comments that, were Iran to attack Israel she, as Commander in Chief, would not hesitate to strike back at them and that “we have the power to obliterate them.” She’s talking nukes folks. It all sounds groovy but the people of Iran are not all that unified behind their leader (it’s the economy stupid) and the last I checked our nukes still don’t have the ability to distinguish “civilian” from “terrorist.” I know Hillary wants to demonstrate her toughness but is this really the way to go about courting democratic voters during the primary election? Save the saber rattling for the swing voters during the national game.
Take My Wives… Please!
Apparently there is nothing like a good polygamy story to get the media’s attention off of the Presidential race and, oh yeah, those pesky little wars. The national news has run a piece on some stupid Texas religious sect every day for two weeks now. I must have missed the segment where Katie Couric explained that the military is now accepting serious felons into the armed forces. At last count 18% of new recruits have had serious run-ins with the law including but not limited to: burglary, rape, assault, and inappropriate conduct with a minor. Neato. Luckily for us the ethics displayed by our soldiers in uniform up until this point has been so exemplary that I’m sure the new recruits will catch on quick and change their ways.
Oh yeah, and of course there is the global food shortage – I guess I was going to the bathroom when old Shiny-Legs was talking about that.