World Coming Down


I’d meant to get the next Oregon Geology post up, but instead have spent the past several days watching in bemusement, sometimes in horror, as the world changes.

In Wisconsin, the Cons in control have rather overplayed their hand.  I’m proud of the Dems there who left the state to deny a quorum, and incredibly proud of the tens of thousands of citizens who continue to protest.  It’s not just about the unions, either – if you read that noxious budget, you’ll find plenty of gems like Walker & the Cons’ plans to sell off the state one piece at a time to corporations.  Keep this in mind as you watch Cons in other states rush to follow suit.  If you were one of those who fell for the “where are the jobs?” schtick, I hope you feel a proper fool just now.  The Cons are never about the jobs.  They’re about theocracy and oligarchy, and they’re about breaking the backs of the common folk.

Unfortunately for them, they’ve chosen this moment in time to step on ordinary people.  It might have gone more smoothly for them if, at this very moment, the entire Middle East hadn’t flared up, with citizens pouring into the streets to topple dictator after dictator, no matter the personal cost.  After Egypt, ordinary folk aren’t quite as willing to abide quietly under the heels of their masters.  I hate to tell the Cons this, but as complacent and submissive, as easily distracted by shiny things, as Americans can be, I don’t think this is a good time to be trampling all over women, workers, science, and – well, everybody except for their corporate masters and religious right ringleaders.  Libyans are still out there demanding regime change after getting slaughtered.  Something tells me Americans might be a little more willing to risk a bit of inconvenience to prevent the GOP from decimating the country, considering nothing they do to us could be quite as bad.  We’d be fools just to meekly accept their shit.

What I’m saying is: have your sleeping bags ready and sign-making materials to hand, my fellow Americans, because the time is coming soon when we, like our mates in Wisconsin, may find it necessary to camp out at capitols in order to make our wishes clear.  Surely we can manage that much. 

What’s happening in Libya is horrific.  The government there has turned its weapons of war on its own people.  I’m hoping the UN and the US government will get off their asses and put a stop to it, because there are people getting blown to bits out there.  I clicked on a link to a photo today and saw the results of a despot desperate to stay in power: bodies cut in half.  Do not click this link if you can’t stand the sight of blood, because the people in this photo were butchered.  I almost wish I hadn’t seen it.  But you know what?  I needed to.  It gave me perspective on many things.  It showed me the violence our country hasn’t even attempted to stop, and it told me just how fantastically brave these people are, that they’d risk this to demonstrate for their freedom.  It showed me how much freedom is worth.  And it showed me that we’ve got a ways to go before it gets this bad here, but more importantly, that we need to ensure it never does.

Those folks in the Middle East going out right now to put an end to too many years of autocrats and dictators, those folks who are finding the power of peaceful protest, who are taking their destinies in their hands not with terrorism, but with courage, are so incredible.  I don’t know what future they’ll build, but at least they’ve got the strength to build it for themselves.  I hope all of them succeed.  I’m in awe of them.

So there’s the political world, all shaken up and in places toppling over, sometimes inspiring and sometimes horrific.  But that’s not the only news that’s crossed my Twitter feed and left me reeling.  There’s also Christchurch, New Zealand, which got hit nearly dead-on with an earthquake.  Buildings are down, people dead, and it’s a reminder that we are not as much in control of the world as we might like to believe.  Two earthquakes there in less than twelve months – and likely aftershocks to come.  I know they’re strong folk and that they’ll manage to rebuild, but I feel for them.  It’s not easy, living at a plate boundary.  Days like this are tragic.

Really does seem like the world’s coming down.  I just hope a better one rises up.

Comments

  1. says

    I just had to comment on Wisconsin selling off state assets — this has been going on in other states for some time now, apparently. Chicago doesn't own their parking meters anymore (for the next 75 years, anyway — but the sale only takes care of budget shortfalls for 2 years), and the terms of the sale mean that they have to pay the new owners for "lost income" anytime there's a street closing. Results? No more street festivals.Other states have tried or succeeded in selling off turnpikes, bridges… and apparently the UK is doing it too.There was one article which discussed the trend within the US (including Arizona's attempt to sell its own House and Senate buildings, but I'm not having any luck finding it so far. Will comment again if it turns up.