Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Washington Note Archives

Middle Ages vs. Enlightenment....That's Steve Clemmons' argument when whe quotes Suskind's work in the NYT magazine.

"Just in the past few months," Bartlett said, "I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do." Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . ".

Perhaps, though I think that oversimplifies things. Perhaps it is New Ageism, as William Gibson suggests over in his blog. I'm not sure. I am increasingly aware that our media is, as Gibson says, "narrowing the creativity gap" (or something to that effect). Indeed, dogmatic rulers are both a product and a user of our paralyzed media. As the audience cheers John Stewart, Fucker Carlson and Paul Begs-a-lot retained their veneer of "decency" while they spewed the pornography of their respective parties. This nation is addicted to junk food, junk politics, junk journalism, myself included. At least I know it and do something about it. Are there any watchdogs? Are there any standards. Just capitalism--wait--no, not even that. We are no longer a primarily capitalist society except at the local and small-scale level--the major players of the economy are post-capitalist marriages of state and economic empires that say "screw you, workers" more often than not. It's amazing to me that we've let democracy slide this low. Hello, 19th century, here we come... Seriously, somewhere in this mess is democracy and economic system, and they are SEPARATE entities. Maybe it's because I study France, maybe it's because I've lived overseas and seen how successful other models can be. The American economic-poliltical system no longer works for democracy or many of its citizens budgets, health or happiness. When are we going to start questioning ourselves.

I dunno. Fogive me for some of this incoherency.