The Chain-Gang Dreams of Kryptonite

The Chain-Gang Dreams of Kryptonite etching by Tony FitzpatrickIt has become easy to think of the American Political Parties as two mammoth and unending chain gangs, most Americans belonging to one or another and blindly cheerleading for each group’s particular brand of mediocrity.  I watched the Republican debates the other night and thought the American body politic could be done a great service
if one were to roll a grenade or two into the green room about five minutes before the scheduled event.

The rest of them ganged up on Romney, the Hair-Gel candidate with the Rotarian smile and better suit.  He is the presumptive frontrunner, meaning that eight Iowa farmers liked him better than the cement-head, Rick Santorum, an off-the-rack walking pile of Republican cannon-fodder whom,  I suspect, is only there for the base to hector Romney with.  In their hearts, Republicans know Santorum cannot win.  They allow him to run because they want Romney to move further right in order to court their support.

Every four years we are reminded of the Zero-Sum-Gain American Party politics really are.  It is a massive experiment in the idea of negative capability.  Just HOW loathsome must a candidate be in order for you to support our guy?  What would more repel you as a voter–your guy being caught red-handed with a live boy or a dead girl?

The other day I posited the idea on Facebook that I might not vote.   Jesus.  You’d have thought that I’d pissed into baby Jesus’s manger.  I actually had people I know tell me I didn’t have the RIGHT not to vote.


If our Constitution means anything, it means you have the right to do whatever the fuck you want–provided you not infringe on anyone else’s right to pursue happiness.  This is what I love about the Constitution.  If you want to walk around your house with a lobster hanging from your sack, you can.  It’s legal.  This is America and you are free to get your freak on, however you want to, and nobody can bust your onions about it.

One of the unwritten tenets of the Constitution is that however,  understood–Loud and Clear is,  “Mind your own fucking business and we’ll get along fine, Butchie.”

I have every right in the world to vote or not vote no matter what the squeak-heads say.

It always amazes me how susceptible our culture is to thinking as a group.  All it takes is one fuck wrench in a bar somewhere, floating an idiotic thought or opinion, and the next thing you know, people are pouring Redbull into
perfectly good vodka and grown-ass men are wearing ‘Crocs’ and Axe body spray like 15-year olds hoping to finger-bang a cheerleader.

It is as if our heads are chained together.

One hundred and forty years ago or so, the Transcontinental Railroad was built by slaves; Chinese and Mexican and newly-freed Africans. . .Confederate veterans of the Civil War. . .the newly-indentured Irish immigrants;  you name it– whomever was at the bottom of the American economic scrotum pole.  The railroad was built on the backs of the poor and destitute and was built with as much thoughtless cruelty as the captains of industry could muster.  The amount of discretionary power the railroad had even superseded that of the government.  At a certain point, they had their own police force–actually a collection of mercenary goons called the Pinkertons who were, by and large, the slobs who couldn’t become legit peace officers.   The same assholes you see at Wal-Mart with the spray and the stick.

There is a pretty good TV show about it right now called Hell on Wheels.  It follows the murder of Indians, and anyone else who gets in the way, with a necessary brutality.  When we teach our children how we “settled” and “built” America, it is important they have an idea about just what those words are code for.

It means we stole and murdered our way to ownership.

There are scenes where Indians look positively fierce and heartless when attacking Whitey.  And as well they should. They were being murdered into submission by colonialists who regarded them as less then human.  The wholesale slaughter of the Plains Indians and every other First Nation tribe is still–along with 400 years of brutal slave trade–part of our country’s original sin; a country built by people in chains.  We forget this when asked about rightful things like reparations and creating equitable economic change for those we enslaved and stole from.

When we go to vote, this is never what is on our mind.  We think what our friends think, and this is dangerous.  History is an ongoing narrative. . .
it didn’t happen 100 years ago , or 10 years ago or even yesterday–it is happening now.
And now is our best chance at making it more just. Ask yourself,
if anyone your voting for? –has any of this on their minds.

Published in: on January 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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