Why? After decades fighting each other, both American Democracy and Soviet Socialism have collapsed into Corrupt Oligarchies. The men on top with the big money get to run the political systems of the country, and buy whatever legislation they want.
It’s the Republican’s dream come true. The Soviet Union has collapsed, and our systems are becoming more alike every day.Kleptocracy – the 21st Century way of doing business.
I write, and write, but nobody reads it. Nobody cares.That’s the way it feels tonight. I’ve spent the past four weeks glued to the net, tracing from one story to another, leaping and alighting. Sometimes I follow a thread for an hour, and finally, add my bit to the stream, set my little boat of prose afloat on the river of one-liners and wisecracks and smart comments that make up a “Comments” section on TPM or dKos or Politico or nj.com or the nyt or wapo…..and it is swept away, and is gone.
I return to its launch point again and again, hoping for one reply, any reply form someone who understands what I’ve said, from someone who values my input and insight. It’s happened a couple of times this week, and it was very gratifying.
Am I really ready to put my full self out there? Love him or hate him, Andrew Sullivan gives you his whole self in his blog. That’s all he’ ever done – just sold his opinion. Of course, he was so successful because he was an openly Gay Man doing cultural studies who would talk bluntly, even pornographically about gay sex, and them analyze it using contemporary cultural and literary theory. Now he could write about having a head cold and people would read it. Some would love it, some would hate it. But he would shrug, for the most part.
How does Andrew Sullivan do it? Pain in response to the criticism of others, even anonymous ones, has always killed me a little bit. The snide off-hand toss-offs on a web page have left me questioning my intelligence and my clarity. I have avoided signing my name to my work because I fear the pang that I would suffer in my whole named being if some jag-off left a typical brute’s response like the one I got on YouTube: “your comprehension skills are horrible and you are dense as a brick; please don’t reproduce.”
Am I ready to get comments like that repeatedly? It’s a country of 330 million people, and at least 250 million are on the Internet and have an opinion. But there’s a commanding voice I hear: Stay on target! Stay of target!
I understand that part of what I am doing is looking for friends, for a community. But more than that – I want to stop what is happening, how I see the world spinning in front of me, crashing into walls, falling down like a drunk, retching and puking and hitting itself, smashing its head into the wall.. the World is having some sort of fit, or a seizure, or a paroxysm from poison that it has been gorging upon. It is like Robert Schumann, dying at 46 of syphilis and mercury poisoning: a tragedy brought on by profligacy and ignorance.
It’s time to step away from the constant drumbeat of the terror happening *right now* in the world. Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Italy, France Germany, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, England and of course China, Korea, and most of all, Japan. All the oceans, but especially the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. Climate climate, the shrinking polar caps, the growing Fire Belt, the disappearance of potable water, forest fires Insects and sharks and bees and plants – all the invasive species swarming through our ecosystems.
And this doesn’t even touch political and economic issues. I can spend all day following these stories. I have been.
Now it’s time to stop.The death of Marable Manning at 60, on the Friday just before the Monday publication of his life’s work, has rung a bell for me – an alarm bell. It’s time to wake up. Leave the world to dream. Unless you are writing an essay to it, let it go past. Your work is here, right now, write now.