New year

Howard Zinn: dead. J.D. Salinger: dead. Campaign Finance reform: dead. Healthcare: clinging to life.

Mohammad Yunus, 36, of Afghanistan: dead.

“We have an African-American president and our children can be pulled off the street and beaten until their mothers cannot recognize them.”

A nation never more than an inch from a lynching examines itself through the SOTU. This is foolish, desperate peons joining in the Obamagasm, the collective soma of the modern liberal revolution. There is no “Rorchach Test” to it, because it only shows the media reaction. The real reaction is not with the pundits (a mistake we make so often). It’s in the headlines, in the acts of every malevolent preacher, in the voice of every monstrous cop. It’s in the voice that makes it happen; that which permits, that which accepts, that which withholds, and that which obeys.

This image was released to the AP, but was not taken by them. It is not to the author's knowledge copy protected.The state of the union is unchanged. It is this. It is the face of those who do and those who ignore. 1 in 5 men are unemployed, through the huffpost headline “1 in 5 Working-Age American Men Don’t Have A Job” is more true to the b*tchy verbage of the actual complaint. Our schools decay. Our buildings fall apart. Our plutocrats reign. Silence speaks for us, not the absence of animal rage, but the bland subsistence we prefer to actually knowing. Don’t spend your time on the street and the picket line. Spend it with your kids, with a newspaper, and with your own worst enemy: the possibility that it may be a lot worse than you imagine.

In many ways, Pittsburgh is the state of the nation. The tertiary stages of white flight coalesce around our dying young people. Melvin Pollard of B-PEP and I discussed it, and with a little note he had it dead to rights. “In the old days,” he said, describing cops of his era, “the cops lived in the communities. You got brought home for your parents to deal with.” This is true to the stereotype still used in commercials about youth crime. Some, mostly white, probably still get away with this, which only reinforces the good ol’ boys mentality. But the going trend is that Pittsburgh is a training ground for the suburbs.

“I keep saying that we’re a training ground for Fox Chapel,” Highlands High School Principal Thomas Shirey said before a brief laugh. “Hampton, actually, owes me a little bit of money for professional development.–source

Sourcing is elusive at the moment, but it’s been said that this is the attitude of police as well. Homewood residents recount to CPRB and City Council earlier this week a morbid state of the city, where police target easy victims, occasional criminals, and maraud where they should protect. The implication that these are not neighborhood residents and d*ck-swinging suburbanites vying for cushy jobs in white America seems contrived,but it was in the Pittsburgh Metro suburb of Baldwin that Jonny Gammage died, leading to the CPRB and the 1997 Consent Decree, essentially the fed’s no confidence ruling against city police.

This is every war story at the beginning, the years before the “revolution” when we can avoid all the cyclical self-abuse that entails by watching what is happening. A friend tells me to imagine a week where there is no news or media, and I tell him the truth, that htis is the norm for most americans. Take away their TV, sure, but the lack of news and insight is the norm for the American. This enabled indifference has built a museum to creationism, a shrine to indignity, and the greater glory of half-truths and unconfirmed hearsay for the betterment of the indifferent pseudo-intelligencia. Information has become intolerable, except where it conforms to our existing views.

Crawl out of it, look up beyond the tree line, and we see the sun setting on the 21st century. A dark age coming in spite of all the little blue birds tweeting in the trees. Haiti falls from its bleeding knees and we cheer our noble rescue. We should cheer. We’ve done well so far. But our nation forgets itself in favor of convincing theater, simplifying role and consequence. We stand proud for liberty but inside the coward bends the knee.

You’re happy. Have fun. Make love and enjoy the snow. Hope and change are not buzzwords. They are not platitudes. Point of fact…I don’t think I can tell you what they are, anymore.


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