Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair ...
Except it's afternoon ... and it's a bulky sweater ... and tea ... and a pear
but sun, yes, there's still sun ...
Nine little punch-yourself-awake reminders from Joe Bageant (writing from Mexico last week) in his take on the state of the U.S. today:
- We burn the grain supplies of starving nations in our vehicles.
- Skilled American construction workers now unemployed drive their big trucks into town and knock at my door asking to rake my leaves for ten bucks. There is nothing ironic in this to their minds.
- Energy prices are predicted to stabilize because we intend to burn the state of West Virginia in our power plants.
- The corpses of our young people are still being unloaded from cargo planes at Dover Delaware, but from two fronts now.
- Mortgage foreclosures are expected to double before they slacken.
- Unions have been neutered and taught to beg.
- We have established a permanent underclass and deindustrialized the country in favor of low wage service industries here and dirt cheap labor from abroad.
- We've managed to harden the education and income gap into something an American oligarch can take pride in.
- We are the very products and property of these people and their institutions.
He's convinced that "Somewhere in the smoking wreckage lie the solutions" but they won't be tried because Big Money not only calls the shots but is "constitutionally protected."
Kinda makes you want to scream.
As for hoping for "change" -- Joe Bageant isn't terribly optimistic. He's not alone. Rants and outrage pour out from scattered corners of the country seeping frequently into print or the blogosphere, but little comes of it. Powerlessness is rampant. I am optimistic ... but even from outside its borders I feel the collective powerlessness.
Words are sometimes not enough. People have to care enough to act; and uncertainty, fear and/or apathy prevent most of us from doing anything--even those who most ardently want to. (Do what, exactly? If "it takes a village to raise a child, " what would it take to raise the consciousness of enough beings to work together long enough and hard enough to ensure that a nation--any nation--not collapse upon itself and disintegrate into something no longer recognizable, no longer sustainable, or even livable?)
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
Meanwhile, back on the tube: "Balloon Boy Dad Confesses to Hoax." News at Eleven.
Went out and raked the leaves. Took a walk. Made more tea. Things will arrange themselves. All in good time.