Last night, tonight or any night, as I watch the remainder tick down on what remains of “this” twenty-four hours I am watching the unfolding of a generational struggle I always strove to comprehend. I speak of trying to understand because, being born in nineteen eighty-four, in a generational sense I “grew up in” the 90’s, attending K-3 at Woodley Elementary School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Yeah, yeah, King, O.J., David Koresh and Timothy McVeigh were among the few, major low marks of that era, but as a six-year-old the resonant cultural blight was Mickey Mouse-wannabe “artists” who thought peddling dyslexic haberdashery was a good idea.
It was all fun and games when it was a history lesson, a concise word of wisdom from my father or an epic Hollywood tragedy from the mind of Oliver Stone (“Nixon” being the fairest shake its’ namesake will ever receive from so left a thinker).
“This can’t be real,” I might mumble, the seemingly never-ending wave of acts ultimately resulting in the catastrophic and unnecessary loss of human life bleeding what remains (after the past half-decade) from my conscious, finite mind.
The frightening part is that no sooner will such thoughtless words escape my lips and disappear with that breath than I am remanded to the horrors of my own thoughts, fully aware that, oh yes indeed, Guv’nah, deep down we all know it’s true: the darkest of whims, the basest of survival codes and the amassment of lethal resources confirm, horror of horrors, the battles being fought requires all participants (willing, indifferent, otherwise) to dig deepest into that which is darkest about us as humankind.
Much like the unfortunate truth(s) revealed by the end sequence of “Six Days of The Condor,” I can look at tomorrow and with all certainty say, “Now I’ve seen this movie before.” The song remains the same: at the end of the day, our people will not ask how their needs are met by The State; they’ll only care that they’re met. The American people, in particular, are not fond of the blight indicative of defeat and will expect, no matter the sacrifice abroad (or contained within), that our Big Brother will emerge, Old Glory firmly in tow (if tattered), The Nether Wars won.
Nearing the conclusion of an hours-long Skype meeting betwixt Al (copy editor) and D’Samuel (art director) and myself, a fairly exhaustive review of our slogan, de facto editorial policy and even some of our own personal motivations were dragged into our proverbial three-man public square. Yet this one, poignant moment of overt compassion and charity (read: “love”) stands out: in discussing media product(s) related to showing the horror and the violence, the disease and the death and essentially all other major, publically-recorded incidents in Western society for potential use as a promotional aid.
“You look at Fox News and Salon,” I began, throwing out the first names near our sector I recalled, “and tell me what’s there aside from vast evil that everybody seems to want to watch. It must be being watched because it continues as a multibillion dollar industry peddling fear and dread till Doomsday.”
“Yes,” began Al’s response, typically stoic, “but is that because that’s what they want or is it because that’s all there is?”
While there’s no merit in splitting hairs over hypothetical wanderings of aimless souls, there is ample virtue in not letting the status quo persist uncontested.
“About what,” I can hear the sighs with my droning now, “is DeViney blathering this time?!”
This time, when it comes to the well-being of our nation, I really don’t have an immense string of thoughts to piece together in any sort of real, policy analysis. My heart is broken for Louisiana as I head back to her at this month’s conclusion. While I certainly want no part of any metro area (let alone New Orleans) without the police, what is it that is causing the ongoing deaths (whether they’re argued to be accidental or otherwise, that I leave to the courts) and has now caused war in the streets? If the singular vexes you, okay, what things are squeezing the infection so publically, with such putrescence?
“Damnit, Jim! I’m an economics major, not a sociologist!”
In other words, while I can look at “Brexit” and say that all of the consternation on the part of we in the citizenry perennially-relegated to serfdom should stop now. The fabled 1% that is up there with the police, the POTUS and Roger Goodell in terms of today’s whipping boys? Yeah, they’re the ones who lost $3+ trillion as the markets closed at the end of the vote’s week of action…that is if I even believe that figure. Statistics can be rearranged and worded to say anything. For a friendly (but healthy) reminder of an everyday proof of this, just look at how many different “Yes but” and “but you also gotta look at”-type remarks and gesticulations you hear from pundits on the subject of unemployment. This is not the topic at hand (clearly), but while I’m here, disregard anyone who is not at least including in the conversation the key phrase of “workforce participation.” That’s where the meat is because it addresses people who don’t hurt the Fed’s unemployment projections (even though they are, yes, unemployed) but have either continued to rely on the “social safety net” or dropped out of the workforce (or planet?) somehow entirely.
Some days, I really am envious of people who, in lieu of a trust fund, manage to escape the ample rules in existence (or at least the scourge of the Fed for borrowing from their “gaming everyone” playbook).
So, what happened over in Great Britain? [http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/02/graphics-britain-s-referendum-eu-membership] On 20 February, 2016, Britain’s conservative prime minister, David Cameron, imprudently (in terms of personal politics) rolled the dice, offering the dissenters a referendum day, 23 June, to shut them up once and for all whilst campaigning doggedly to encourage a vote by the British people to “Remain” in the European Union. Long story short: however close, the vote to “Leave” the European Union prevailed, provoking the outright collapse of civilization as we know it…
…or not. In reality, sure, futures markets (long-term bet purchases, oil, et al) were clearly rattled but it’s not as though the invocation of Article 50 of the EU constitution (the article/guidance to clear and permanent divorce) means the world can’t trade with the states of the Isle of Britain and vice versa. Things get a little murkier the further on into this quagmire one wades due to Scotland’s vote to remain part of the United Kingdom just around two years back with the one real, major understood stipulation (amounting to a public gentleman’s agreement) that the U.K. was to remain in the E.U. Now that the “Brexit” result is in, Scottish leaders (particularly the pro-independence/anti-U.K. type) feel a bit snakebitten and have vowed to press forward with a new referendum on Scottish Independence, one which I believe will pass muster this go ‘round. Soon, with Northern Ireland also opposed to leaving, all that will be left is England-proper as far as global impact is concerned (though Wales’ flag is pretty cool).
The big-time guys, the global schemers, doctors of economics everywhere, they match the profile of the investors who lost immense amounts of wealth on the heels of Britain’s decision. It’s their non-party and if you wanna cry for them then you go right ahead.
Me? And how do I think this will impact the lives of everyday Americans?
It won’t. How many products have you picked up in Wal-Mart, recently, flipped it over and/or found the tag to be labeled, “Made in Great Britain”? Exactly. The Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) and The Bank of England (their version of the Fed) have not prepared further rounds of austerity or Q.E. (Quantitative Easing).
“What in the Hell is Q.E.,” you ask? Maybe if you’re all good, well-behaved denizens I’ll tell you at the next “storytime.”
At this moment, however, as President Obama has just concluded his remarks on this morning’s shooting of six Baton Rouge police officers (three dead, three hospitalized), I’m calling for a halt in ModState publishing (beyond this one column) for the day. It is my personal prayer (or “preference” if you prefer) for not only our staff but our readers and each of our respective families to cherish what time there is.
Tomorrow? The game’s afoot.