All of the recent news re: Edward Snowden’s “treasonous leaks” has me pretty depressed about America; no, strike that. Depressed about the state/condition of America. This is an occasion for a patriotism which is now bordering on nostalgia, since the America many who hold an appreciation for the “ideals” (which is all they seem to be anymore) now have occasion to call upon those ideals in reaction to the outright usurption of said ideals. And I have to be careful in talking about the “ideals” as if “saying them” and REFERRING to them as if the mouthing of the phrases like “what this country was founded on” begins to be a free pass for the government to do whatever the hell it wants in the name of “security”….which more and more is becoming synonymous with secrecy and invasion.
And the Obama administration has been one long acquiescence to the disturbing trends of increasing surveillance and harsh treatment of whistleblowers, detainees in “rendition” sites, and bending over to the corporate forces. Almost everything the Bush administration did that many abhorred has been continued and extended all the while lip service is payed to the things that ostensibly critique the dangers of such things. It’s happened so often that it is no longer a disappointment, but just an extension of the sinking feeling that we simply traded an administration calling itself Republican for one that calls itself Democrat.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit soured. That’s why when I heard Egyptian protesters talk about how backing a military coup is the only avenue to removing a leader who has done nothing but usurp the aims of the revolution which put him there, and nothing to address the problems that led to the initial Tahir Square uprising that signaled the dawn of the Arab Spring.
I think of this in the context of the Occupy movement, and how “passe” the whole movement seems to be now. Not even being mentioned enough to warrant the description “passe”. It’s just forgotten. And yet basically none of its grievances have been addressed, only exarcebated, ie the continued cow towing the interests of the financial elite. I watched Too Big to Fail last night, and the question that was asked at the end by Bernake, and echoed wistfully and nervously by Paulson as he peered out the window “Now that we’ve given the banks this money, will they use it to lend?” And Paulson replies “Sure they will” as he looks out the window with a look of uncertainty. What happened, which was no doubt an impetus for the makingof the movie was that they did less lending after that than before, and I find that despicable, not only a condemnation of the banks themselves, but the no-balls, no-power unwillingness of the government to hold them to the reason for the bailouts (or the EXPRESSED reason, anyway).
And so I am indeed, SOURED on the “America” I see on this July 4th weekend, 2013.