Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Politics Monster

Sometimes I feel like we're completely disconnected from the candidates we vote for (or don't vote for, but who win anyway), from events of national and international importance, from the decisions made in our names and for our "security." I feel like there is a separate universe in which the politicians and powerbrokers and media figures live, remote and removed from the reality of our everyday lives. The politicians, media, and powerful rich bigwigs have helped create this insulated separate world; I think they must enjoy living what are for the most part consequence-free lives of leisure and plane trips and big banquets and photo ops. Sure, occasionally someone gets caught in his or her excesses; every once in a while, the blind squirrel finds (and indicts) the nut. But for the most part, this universe is untouched by justice, by equity, by the hand of the common man or woman.

But the people in this other universe know nothing of our world, nor do they want to know. This alternate world, in which the power and the money are concentrated, is like a giant monster that can no longer be controlled or contained; it doesn't even know we exist:

See that tiny little black dot under the monster up there? That's us. You and me. We are as a speck of dust to this monster. The way this separate monster universe is set up, we have no impact on the monster, no matter how loud we scream or how hard we try to poke the monster and get its attention.

The rest of the world sees only this monster when it looks at us; the rest of the world, and indeed a small number of us, only see how it tortures, how it lies, how it exploits, how it shits on everything it touches. People in other countries can't see us, you and me, after all. They only see what their monster-controlled media lets them see.

We pretend to live in a democracy, but the monster chooses our candidates. The monster gets its loyal footsoldiers to control who "wins" elections. One man pretends to be king, pretends to be running this monster, bullying our representatives in Congress and telling them what laws to pass or what trade agreements to approve. One man pretends the monster speaks for all of us when he approves torture, decides what countries to invade, or throws trillions of dollars of our money to his pals. The monster chews up everything it sees; it has no conscience, no sense of restraint, no knowledge of finances and budgets.

Those things are for ordinary people to worry about. The monster can't be bothered.


Mary Ellen said...

Ok, for once in my life I'm going to be optimistic...don't get used to it.

I'm sure you've heard of David and Goliath....it doesn't matter how small we are, it just takes one good shot with a stone and a slingshot and BLAM! No more monster. Our votes are the stones of that slingshot.

Man...what a bunch of whooey that comment was! Did *I* say that??? Just ignore it, it must be the bran cereal I had for breakfast talking.
Nevermind....we're fucked.

Randal Graves said...

ME, don't think you think it's a bit early for flights with mary jane as your copilot?

Oh, dguzman, this is why you completely rule. I can't help but think of Ambrose Bierce's definition of cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

Liberality said...

it seems that most of recorded history has been this way and only rarely has the monster been slayed. I blame wealth for these disparities, it is always some greedy asswipes who control more than their fair share and trying to get everyone else to agree that their greed is warrented.

dguzman said...

ME, I think Liberality is right--wealth has helped to create this monster, and until there is more income equity in this world, we'll probably always have the monster. Wealth and the privileges people THINK it entitles them to--those are the monster.

Randal--thanks, man. But don't poke out my eyes!

Lib--totally. Depressing, isn't it?

Jess Wundrun said...

I don't know d- if you let them poke your eye out you can add disabled to your list of minority cred: There may not be a voting block of disabled hispanic lesbians, but damn you'd represent!

I'm reading Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine on the advice of the good doctor Monkey von Monkerstein. It's obvious that this corporate greed monster that you describe is responsible for millions of deaths (5.5 million in the Congo alone), yet acolytes of Friedman believe that his economic theory of screw the little guy is nothing but pure goodness. Pick up any copy of Forbes magazine and you'll find someone praying at the bloody shrine of Friedman.

Think of how Ayn Rand taught that altruism is a bad thing and the same fans of Friedman's shout "hell yeah, it's bad to help someone else - society will be ruined".

Yet there is always a Ghandi. He was just one person too. And Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King. And Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower and Ms. Delia Guzman.

don't bogart that joint, Mary Ellen.

FranIAm said...

This is an extraordinary post. That image will be with me for a long time.

Power, wealth, prestige, position.

And then we are the speck.

dguzman said...

Jess--thanks for the idea on the minority thing--like I don't have enough with the female hispanic lesbian thing! I'll add "poked-out eyes" and really clean up!

I'm always amazed and disgusted when people say they don't want to help anyone else, and they don't believe the govt should help anyone else either. Some "christian nation" we are, right? Hardly. Whenever someone tells me that Katrina victims should just take care of themselves, or welfare recipients are just too lazy to work, or whatever--I say, "you know, if I knew that my tax money was going to feed poor children free breakfasts and lunches, or to build more public libraries, then I'd give half my salary for that--without complaint. Wouldn't you? Or would you just tell those kids they need to starve, or that they don't deserve to have books to read?"

Fran--thanks, friend. The image has been dominating my mind for a while now, and it seems like everything I read just confirms it.

CDP said...

Awesome post, Ms. Guzman

Liberality said...

hi, just came over to ask if you are going to post about fair pay for women day tomorrow? I hope you will be able to contribute a post to this swarm. more info at feminist sites.


dguzman said...

Thanks, CDP.

Liberality--first I've heard of this--but I might well have to comment!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...


TomCat said...

Well said DG. As long as the speck is content to be a speck, it will be.

Anonymous said...

DG - If we're all specks, why is it that this post is screaming at me with the volume turned to "11". Don't think for a second that the monster of which you speak is not afraid of the specks that we are. Why else would they go to great lengths to try and defecate on us?

dguzman said...

Dr Monkey--thank you.

Tomcat--well, that's the thing--there's so much apathy, yet so many of us bloggers and movers who want to be more than a speck.

Spartacus--cool--I'm on 11, man. It's true--they're defecating on us double-time right now, knowing they need to keep us down there, as a speck.