Black Friday Shopping vs. Protesting Airport Irradiation: 1-0

Karen Garcia
New Paltz, NY

Two days ago, there were images of anguished and angry people on the news. One segment was of the Irish people, carrying signs and protesting continuing austerity and tax breaks for corporations and bank bailouts. Another clip was of a crowd of Americans in a similar mass wave of emotion.

But the Americans weren't protesting their corrupt government. They were shoving and pushing each other in their quest to be one of the fortunate few to score a $200 flat screen TV from China.

It echoed the scene from Orwell's "1984" in which Smith hears a commotion on the street and momentarily rejoices in the false hope that a popular uprising against The Party has finally begun. But it turns out to be only group of shoppers fighting over a few cheap saucepans in a sidewalk market.

I have been encouraged that not only columnists like Frank Rich, Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert have been writing about American social injustice and class disparity - but that a large number of commenters have voiced the need for a rebellion against our own Big Brother-like government. It may not happen next year, or even in ten or twenty years, but it's bound to happen. The current system cannot hold.

As Eric Blair, aka Orwell, wrote in his dystopian masterpiece: "Until they become conscious, they will never rebel. And until after they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious."

May the long national coma come to an end before it's too late.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what's gonna wake us up, the wikileaks? Me thinks not.

Karen Garcia, New Paltz, NY said...

Barack Obama is neither spineless nor inept. He has just succeeded in fully outing himself as President of the Corporate Party of America. He merely pretended to be a Democrat to gain the nomination and win the election. He dropped the pretense the minute he started stuffing his cabinet with Wall Street insiders and Clinton leftovers. We were still so in thrall to his personality cult, we either chose not to notice or hoped against hope that our eyes and ears were deceiving us. No politician who ran on such a message of hope and change could be that crass. But he was.

Obama is not "caving" to Republicans because of political osteoporosis or gonadal insufficiency. He's been a member of their club all along and is just playing his leading role in D.C. Power Theater. He's not some genius strategizing in a multi-dimensional chess game the rest of us don't understand. He's not a sell-out to his base. To merit that dishonorable distinction, he would have had to have some principles to begin with. It appears he never had any.

The charade is over, Mr. President. Nobody expects you to jump your corporate ship and join us in our leaky lifeboats. You are not the president of the people and you never have been. What we will do about it remains to be seen, but there are choices - including, but not limited to, a third party, a primary challenge, general strikes, the rise of a strong labor movement. The revolution may be quiet, or it may be bloody, but the change we can believe in is coming. We don't need a phony leader to achieve it. Maybe the smartest thing would be a quick resignation for personal reasons and a long and lucrative career in reality TV. The transition to a parallel level of stardom would be as glib and fake as the one that began in November 2008.

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