The Age of Artifice

The Age of Artifice

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Deceit in public life is now all pervasive.  From the carnivorous Clintons and their zealous minions,  peddling neo-Mc Carthyist hysteria, reflexively indicting every critic and opponent alike as a Putin agent,  to Trump the supercilious poser and charlatan with his entourage of unhinged Storm troopers, shamelessly exploiting an ignorant electorate wallowing in nativist hate, to an utterly craven and whoring commercial news media, on bended knees performing unnatural acts of sycophancy to boost ratings, to a morally decrepit and tainted political class, too reluctant and cowardly to call out the whole fucking masquerade for what it really is……a hollow shell of a scam.  From stage managed political coronations and choreographed conventions to incessantly meaningless verbal jostling among so-called pundits feigning substantive debate, the chattering classes have been more than culpable in allowing the rot to set in.   We’re now in a Trojan horse like artifice, waiting to be sacrificed like expendable fodder to placate the wishes of the ruling elite.
Every one of these mangy self-serving power centers, each playing their particular role of a pliant apologist, are eager to pacify a nation besotted with rage, anxious about their approaching socio-economic and ecological predicament, inexorably spiraling on a downward trajectory.
Most voters now understand, with a jaded sense of resignation, that we’ve brought ourselves to this maddening place, largely as a result of a runaway neo-liberal orthodoxy that has drunk and wenched and thieved its way from coast to coast. And through it all, the heartland of a brutalized country, lies littered with the corpses of butchered toddlers and murdered night-clubbers alike, the end products of a gun-crazed culture still digging in its heels.  Meanwhile, harassed and embattled men and woman of color are grist for the mill, feeding the frenzied avengers of a militarized police force who are increasingly meting out vigilante justice with callous impunity in the name of law and order. These Robocops are the canaries in the coalmine, inexorably moving us closer to the precipice of a Garrison state. Yet this frontal assault, is not without its blow back, as the uniforms too, are being ambushed and killed in acts of retribution at the hands of an embittered citizenry.
All the while, a collective and frightened prayer is being naively uttered, that somehow, things will get back on even keel and that we’ll find our true north again.   Yup!!  That’ll do it, Just Pray!!  Cause prayer and sympathy has now become the perennial broom and dustpan, that’s used with boring regularity to sweep away any traces of public trauma or painful discomfort, because it sure as hell beats confronting the ugly truths and sins that have long afflicted us.
Plunging selflessly into this menacing maelstrom, there are brave people demonstrating acts of principled defiance at great risk to both their lives and livelihood. Colin Kaepernick, a professional athlete, perhaps mirroring the sentiments of those brave American Olympians in 1968 with their raised fists, has refused to honor the “Star Spangled Banner”-the American National Anthem, which is itself a song of defiance against the British during the War of 1812.  The American flag and anthem, both a symbol of our long past independence and our nationalistic present, has become a lightning rod for all manner of points and counterpoints.
Ironically, Francis Scott Keyes’s anthem was also an act of naked belligerence against the freed African slaves fleeing into Canada…”no refuge could save the hireling and slave, from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave goes the last two lines of the third verse……lines that we so conveniently spurn with a supple wink and a nod. the bullshits piled up so high, you need wings to stay above it.……was Cpt. Willard’s line in the movie Apocalypse Now, reflecting on his role as a soldier in a criminal war abroad that was never his to fight.  And thus, we’re living through a near criminal political enterprise at home, where the long since ruined Holy Grail of a People’s democracy has metastasized and morphed into a colossal snake-oil swindle in all but name.
And so, here we are, at another historical crossroad, once again mired in duplicity and cynicism, faced with a Hobson’s choice between a dangerously misguided yet arrogant political family with their pyramids of patronage in tow, while on the other side stands a narcissist ego-maniac steeped in affluenza, who is mutating before our very eyes to become the personification of everything that is loathsome, abominable and weak. He strains to revert back to an earlier imperial time in this country where White privilege could just take the path of least resistance and brazenly crack skulls, back toward an era of supreme entitlement to supposedly render himself “Great Again”.
While Trump cannot seem to stop inserting his proverbial foot in his smug pie hole, snarling at the world in an attempt to prove that his putrid corn nut of a penis, will bring it home to victory, his opponent….lying on everything from emails to Baksheesh from Bedouin gangsters, hasn’t given a full press conference in 9 months, and is finding clever ways to duck and dive from the media firing line, answering one liners on aircrafts, where no doubt her security detail,  can always threaten swift ejection without a parachute, if the press get too inquisitive.
Your guess is as good as mine as to how it’s likely to end.  Either way, barring a miracle, the world will have to wait and suffer a while longer, as deceit and artifice continue to take center stage in this calamitous and wanton exercise of American power.

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