I don’t know how cold it is where you are, but here in Seoul it’s so cold that the mosquitoes’ teeth are chattering. Wouldn’t it be cool if mosquitoes could get Dengue fever (please please please say yes)? That would teach them a lesson in fluent mosquitoese.
In fact, the overall chilliness of the day has made it hard for me to raise my expanding duff from the sofa and go for a brisk walk up the hill. I’m afraid if I attempted to, I’d be paralyzed by a network of frozen veins.
In my underemployed state over the past several months, at least I’ve managed to get a lot of reading done. I’ve always been defensive about people who read fast–even though I’ve secretly envied them–but I’m actually becoming a faster reader. The other day I read Tim O’Brien’s riveting novel In the Lake of the Woods in two days. Of course, that’s about the only thing I did during that forty-eight hour period, but it was nice to be able to plow through the story uninterrupted.
If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. Taibbi’s one of the sharpest American nonfiction writers working today, and he’s also a tenacious and fearless investigative journalist. The story involves the parallel situation in today’s world, in which parasitic Wall Street investment bankers who bilked U.S. taxpayers out of trillions of dollars, while likewise ruining the lives of countless dupes who invested in shady mortgages in the lead-up to the global financial meltdown in the fall of 2008, have managed to hold onto their omnivorous fortunes while police forces around the country harass, bully, and lock up Black people and Latinos for misdemeanors, making sure their lives remain a living hell.
Take a gander to Rolling Stone‘s website and you can get a taste of what the book has to offer in the form of Matt’s latest article, which touches on the most recent–and conspicuously unpunished– atrocities committed by white cops against Black men. Author Mark Leyner calls for collective outrage by Whites on his Twitter feed, which would seem to be a good idea, assuming it would do any good.
My own paranoid inclinations lead me to believe that this increasingly aggressive behavior by various members of the U.S. police force is just a litmus test for later aggression to be committed against the population at large–and not just hapless, unarmed Black men. After all, Hitler victimized gays first because he figured it was a safe bet since homosexuals were all but universally loathed and feared by the rest of the German people, then went on to scapegoat gypsies and, evidently, Jewish people as well.
Why would they do that? you ask. Welp, the country’s bound to run out of resources before long, not to mention jobs and places to park your old clunker.
Chris Hedges is another journalistic firebrand who regularly warns his readers in his weekly blog on Truthdig.com that the United States is probably well on its way to becoming a fascist police state. The Republican Party has certainly evolved into a pathologically rabid bunch, and the Democrats have bent over backwards to castrate themselves on behalf of the GOP, just so none of their intolerant rivals’ feelings get hurt.
Four years ago Hedges wrote a prophetic work that’s a stinging indictment of that amorphous entity in the U.S. who mumblingly refer to themselves as liberals entitled Death of the Liberal Class. He says that one reason that sagacious social critics such as Noam Chomsky are so demonized by mainstream liberals is that Chomsky calls them on their bullshit, denouncing the likes of David Brooks, Tom Friedman, and other watered-down New York Times op-ed columnists who vehemently extol the status quo in the name of fat paychecks and solid reputations beautifully obtuse and shameless enough in their hypocrisy to make esteemed octogenarian war criminal and seemingly hermaphroditic toad Henry Kissinger drool with envy.
Meanwhile, instead of wearing orange jumpsuits and leg irons and swinging sledgehammers on a chain gang the way they should be, more recent war managers George Bush I and II and Dick Cheney are given further airtime to hawk their idiotic wares, as is Bill Clinton (his speaking fee is 500 grand a pop), who helped fill the prisons with nonviolent criminals with his Draconian three-strikes-you’re-out incarceration policy and heartless gesture in ending “welfare as we know it.”
In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next leader of the United States was. . .
President Ebenezer Scrooge!