Monday, January 30, 2012

Hope Less

What does it say about the Republican Party that when Barack Obama chose the word Hope as a campaign slogan the Republican Party, through their irrepressible publicity agents like Sarah and Rush, had to start sneering at it? True to their words, the offensive line of the conservative side of American politics has done its utmost during the last four years to oppose things that offer hope to millions of Americans. And it's working.

There's no such thing as a Great Depression. They're all pretty lousy. The country's economy might be improving slightly under the Obama administration, but it's slow going when the opposition has to take everything as an affront. The conservatives make less and less of a secret of the fact that their policies really are meant to cause the destruction of American citizens and trends in American society that they consider undesirable. They have fully accepted the premise that it's far easier to take lives than to change minds. In an overpopulated world, the quick fix is to kill people. This gets easier when you decide you dislike so many kinds of them so much that you have no qualms about stuffing them into deteriorating situations.

"The Poor" get the most attention when in actuality the working class faces the most immediate threat. Outright poor people have programs to help them with various needs like housing, food, heating fuel and health care. These programs are constantly under threat, but they have managed to remain in place. Meanwhile, people not far above the poverty line get no help and have no buffer to keep them from disaster. Even people in middle income brackets can be destroyed so swiftly, particularly by medical expenses, that they crash down to make a crater underneath the safety net without even slowing down for a brief instant of eligibility. Dead men take no dole.

To the bean counters it doesn't matter who gets destroyed. Life is cheap. People make more people with very little prompting. Some who get crushed may be charming, entertaining and even useful, but they can all be replaced. Then again, why bother? Every death just leaves more for the rest of us.

Kind of makes you wonder whether the sacrifices of World War II were worth it. We bought a few decades, but corporate fascism has an apparently unbreakable grip on our government and our own citizens seem more interested in hating each other than in seeking a better human condition.

People of limited financial means facing a medical crisis have to decide what sort of life they'll have left after the expenses of fighting a serious illness. We make heroes of cancer survivors, but they are forever stigmatized by the medical insurance industry and enslaved to the pharmaceutical industry for whatever drugs they might need to sustain life after the drastic damage inflicted by cancer treatment. I know this because friends who are fighting cancer right now are telling me about their experiences.

In the end, whenever that comes, you want to feel that life has been worthwhile. This gets a lot harder when you realize that all human endeavor is just the diversions of a completely useless species. All we do is argue, fuck and fight. I believe that convincing people to ease up a little would be the most worthwhile achievement in history. So far it has also been the most futile. Even people you'd think would agree will suddenly spout some aggressive rhetoric perpetuating the cycle of punch and counter punch, bullshit without end, amen.

Maybe the horrible winter is making the mental climate worse. It's very hard to get regular exercise, which an aging body needs far more desperately than a young one does. And the growing roll call of cancer patients in the area reminds us that the Big C doesn't care who you are or whether you take good care of yourself. I don't care what they say about early detection and improvements in treatment. In the slow collapse of industrial civilization it's just one more thing you hope never happens to you. If it does, you're doomed to massively uncomfortable treatments that will probably just make the end of your life agonizing. Or you can go without the treatments and just have the end of your life be agonizing.

Isn't this depressing? It isn't great at all, is it?

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