Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Politic’ Category

So, the bailout. ZOMG, the House rejected it soundly–before they didn’t. A lot was made of that brief blip, calls that at last the government was being held accountable by the American people, etc., but of course it wasn’t to last, of course all they had to do was make a few superficial changes, wait until everyone was properly pleased that they had succeeded in stopping a 700 billion dollar check to a bunch of unrepentant morons, then send the check anyway.

But those guys who called this a major development weren’t wrong, or at least as wrong as they look now. Because the first rejection of the bailout was entirely against the corporate politics (whatever the fuck that word even means) that control the American government, and entirely because the American people for one very brief moment said No. Yes, it was a hop and a skip of political manuevering to get over that hurdle, but if things had been going as they should be for the corporatists/elites/special interests/whatever, that hurdle shouldn’t have existed at all. Hoi polloi are sheep to be slaughtered, not a voice to be dealt with.

It’s interesting to compare this oh-so-brief moment of popular action with the sustained grass-roots support of Obama and other mainstream candidates before him. The difference being, of course, nobody cares about Obama. Why? Because the people behind him–that frothing mass of do-gooding young idealists, absolutely convinced that they are changing the fucking world for the fucking better at long last after all those fuckers before them continually screwed it up–are doing nothing. They are putting all their energy towards getting more people to check a ballot box, which is exactly what hoi polloi are supposed to do, and nothing more.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I want to tear it down.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This post is something of a sequel to this one.

I’m halfway through season two of The Wire (just finished “All Prologue”) and I’ve got some more thoughts on it and David Simon’s other HBO production, Generation Kill (thoughts which of course apply to television and to some extent narratives in general as well).

What strikes me now, especially after getting into Generation Kill, is that the problem I attempted to describe previously already has a perfect title, albeit one not widely used: the “tragedy of verisimilitude”. Coined, as far as I know, by Battlestar Galactica‘s James Callis in a “roundtable” podcast of several of the show’s actors and crew (a fascinating, albeit very long, discussion, you can get download it from SciFi’s Battlestar site, which unfortunately prevents more direct linking), he lamented that Battlestar‘s oft-praised dedication to realism (or more accurately verisimilitude) was occasionally a burden, when the principles of physical reality (or the expectations of the audience) made simple stories needlessly complex (or worse, made them impossible to convey believably).

While the problem occasionally rises on Battlestar, it’s much more prevalent on the much more grounded Wire and, in a twisted, more acceptable fashion due to its semi-nonfictional nature, Generation Kill. The second season of The Wire begins with the main characters of the first season, who were pulled from various disparate police units to serve on a special detail, scattered into the wind. McNulty is working the boat; Freamon is in Homicide; Kima has a desk job; Daniels is in the basement; etc. The first episode juggles the ongoing fates of these characters while continuing the story of Avon Barksdale’s similarly scattered drug crew and introducing an entirely new set of characters at the Baltimore docks (not to mention beginning a plot, although that’s clearly, as always on The Wire, a secondary priority). It’s a clusterfuck of too many characters, too much to carry, and yet it works in a twisted way, because this is what happens. People move on, with their jobs and with their lives, and the attempt to follow that, rather than unrealistically but more simply keep them together, or bring them back together on another detail for a new case.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This is a strange post.

First, a disclaimer: I don’t like grand statements about “our times”, how they’re different or more important than what came before. I think history mostly repeats itself, with minor variations, because despite all our percieved advances humanity hasn’t actually changed much since history first became history. Please keep this in mind, for while I try to avoid hyperbole, I’ll doubtless engage in some of it anyway.

The current state of the United States is–and here’s probably a moment of hyperbole–precarious. I won’t be so presumptious as to argue this is a recent change; the United States has never been a great country (except in the sense of important), and that recognition, too, is nothing new. In fact, that’s what concerns me the most about recent years. During the Bush administration the executive branch has become a bloated, corrupt arm that has seized as much power as it can, the legislature, even with a supposedly majority opposition, has laid over and played dead, and the judicial branch has publicly become a joke. The Constitution has been shredded, torture has become common-place, and prejudice, manipulation, smearing, and outright lying have become the order of the day.

(more…)

Read Full Post »