[posted by danbean]
I was trying unsuccessfully to write an article about political blogs, but then I came to the stark realization that I just use them to pass the time when I’m not doing something I’m really passionate about. To be sure it’s good to have a few topical things to chat about when I head into the coffee shop, but suffice it to say if my local proprietor was at all interested in trikonasana, string bass pickups or pranayama, I could probably opt out of the Times, Counterpunch, Clusterfuck Nation and all the others entirely.
One thing that loses my interest during political discussions in general is that sooner or later people take a side, like a sports team, while real-world dynamic are much more subtle and complex. Left-wingers berate the buffoonery of the Christian right but often won’t acknowledge the reality of fanatical Islam. Right wingers become single issue voters on things such as abortion while their candidate sends thousands to the grave as adults. ‘Centrists’ – really a euphemism for conservatives – end up trying to look like the former while behaving like the latter.
In fact as a casual reader, centrism as a school of thought is truly useless and probably why the Democrats lost so many elections in the last bunch of years. You had George Bush saying exactly what he intended to do (and fucking up when he tried to do it most of the time) but then you had Al Gore and John Kerry offering these limp-dicked illusions, not wanting to offend the ‘conservatives’ but wanting support of the left. No one ever comes out and says “I think religion is bullshit. Practice whatever you want but you can’t be part of the Enlightenment and take that shit seriously. So if I’m elected president I will do everything in my power to protect my constituents not only from religious fanaticism, but even the most basic trace elements that permeate the culture from special interest groups (read: Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, etc.).”
Even Barack Obama had to bend over backward to prove what a good Christian he is. In the context of contemporary politics it’s easy to understand, but for a thinking individual it’s yucky to swallow. And he had to have that homophobic reverend dude invocate his inauguration scene. One wonders what other gestures he will offer to appease those on the ‘other’ side of the platform… as if their failed ideas bear any merit.
Anyway at this point I wonder what sites like Counterpunch.org have to offer me anymore, since I can’t really swallow Alexander Cockburn’s comparison of Obama’s inauguration address to… Nixon’s….
Reading the times and keeping up with world affairs at the modest level that I do makes me fairly happy we have a robust democracy, that while threatened continues to exist and offer us a few means to peacefully ‘kill the king’. I think Obama’s presidency is something to at least tentatively be happy about while we reassert our ability as a people to make interesting and progressive movements in our society.
In the meantime I’ll check in periodically to Clusterfuck Nation, but mainly so I can feel vindicated that the fucko rich bitches driving recklessly on the Upper East Side in their SUVs really ARE a part of the problem. I check in with my boy John Robb so I can say, “See! Even a center-right military man thinks the economy is totally fucked!” (sites like his have predicted the financial collapse way ahead of schedule).
So as pointless and meandering as this post is, it is a lot more fun to read than what I was going to stick you with. I’m glad today to have a nice warm house and an outlet for my neat little bursts of vitriolic anger from time to time.
Good Night to All and Namaste