Things have gotten a little rickety, haven’t they? Union members and Tea Party advocates brawling in the streets, a paralyzed government, the entire Middle East in revolt...Not even the Russians seem to know what to make of it.
A confluence of events has led to everyone losing their damn minds at the same time. In addition, it’s a feedback loop. The more chaos there is, the more people panic or get angry, whatever, and hit the streets.
None of them - at least not in Fat City - are screaming at the people who arranged all this, of course. The moneyed interests that caused this whole mess have managed, once again, to convince the middle & working classes to fight amongst themselves.
But I think that they’d be doing the same thing, even if the banks hadn’t wrecked everything. You can’t point a finger at one thing and say, “If we removed that, the problems would stop.”. No, it’s far more complex than that.
The Tea Party thinks they’ve found a cause (Black president, democrat in the White House, taxation on rich people, unions, etc). The unions have their cause (Self-preservation), the police in Wisconsin have no vested interest in obeying the governor’s orders, the rank and file democrats are mostly disgusted with Obama and the democrats in congress, and who can blame them? Many Americans feel for some reason that we have to get involved in the Middle Eastern nations’ internal squabbles, etc.
Everything is rattling apart at the seams. Bolts are beginning to sheer, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the groans of the supports buckling. The funniest part is, there’s nothing seriously wrong, other than a lack of maintenance, both in our physical infrastructure and in our society.
Time is loose. Everything else follows. One day, you’re listening to satellite radio on your Ipod, the next you’re caught up in a labor demonstration that slid forward 97 years. Dams built 80 years ago are screaming for attention. Literacy levels are falling back to the turn of the last century. Jim Crow crawled out of his grave and moved to Arizona. The right is screaming about “communists”, a boogie man from the last century. Thieves and pimps and fixers have scraped all the gilt off of our golden age, and nobody seems to notice.
Our nation is haunted, and the ghosts of its past are lining up at our doorstep, each waiting its turn, each with a ghastly grin and a list of grievances.
This is our own fault, of course. Fat City is and has always been incapable of actually fixing anything, as the general public loses interest when a crisis is over (or becomes old news). Thus, the problems stack up and stack up, and eventually something has to give...And when it does, everything gives, and the nation turns on itself like a wounded shark.
I suspect that other republics, from the Romans to the Argentineans, could tell us a tale or two about where this leads.
Enter Crazy Eddie. You see him every time a civilization begins to slip. He has a well thought-out solution that he is certain will cure the issue. Flat taxes, commodity-based currency, redefinitions of citizenship, privatization of roads and schools, etc. Needless to say, the ideas don’t work, because they don’t address the root cause of any of the problems. They can’t. But Crazy Eddie insists on trying, and invariably the problems magnify to the point where the society cannot continue, at least in its present form.
You can recognize Crazy Eddie, most of the time. He’s the one screaming that we have to get rid of institutions and practices that worked for a century or more, before they were bollixed up via malfeasance. He doesn’t want to fix the institutions or practices, he wants to replace them.
Crazy Eddie can’t fix the problems, but neither can you stop Crazy Eddie from trying. Yell and scream all you like, he’s going to fix the circuit boards with the help of his trusty hammer and chisel. In fact, Crazy Eddie will do anything in his power to stop anyone from addressing REAL issues, because HE’S RIGHT AND YOU’RE WRONG. Only his ideas have merit. Engineers and amateur economists are more likely than anyone else to become Crazy Eddie, but lots of other people do, too (Mostly people asking who this “John Galt” character is.).
Crazy Eddie is unstoppable, both because he is a divinely inspired idiot that takes ineptitude to near omnipotent levels, and because he has something the rest of the population lacks: Belief. He honestly believes everything he preaches, and a motivated fool is a force of nature.
Or a force of time, the sort of time that has gotten all stretchy and malleable. You can’t fix that, so you can’t stop Crazy Eddie. You have to try, of course, because being destroyed is always better than being defeated, as one old hypocrite once said, shortly before blowing his own head off in defeat. But his fate isn't for you or I...No, we are superior mutants, and we're going to ride this contraption down in flames, like rock stars.
We know where the wall is, and we do not fear it.
Okay for now,