I sit on one of the drives
On fifty-second streeet
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odor of death
Offends the September night…
__W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939
One has to wonder how many like Auden had a premonition of WWII coming or did it hit like a blow to the side of the head like a punch thrown from behind? And are we sitting in the same position now awaiting the Third, waiting to be blind sided?
Along with that capacity for being a self-deceiving mammal that makes us uniquely human, is on the more positive side the capacity for foresight. And yet for the most part we make so little use of it when it comes to political and historic awareness. What a waste.
I’m thinking this morning as I crawl into another day of sameness and routine, questioning whether the majority of us even question anymore, what will be the legacy of Obama. George Bush on steroids, more wars, even less accountability in our government, and some health care for some? And since he’s the personification of the complacent, ‘go along” American, he’ll just drift through and out of history pretending something of positive import happened on his watch.
But imagine if it’s WWIII. And he did nothing to stop it, but actually encouraged it because he led from behind and he allowed political forces to control his basketball court, his pretentious paradigm of action for real life.
In 1939 the forces of fascism in Europe were well underway…Hitler in Germany, Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy.
Today the forces of fascism are visibly ensconced at the door step to every home and cardboard enclosure of every American seeking shelter on the sidewalks of our streets.
For those whose eyes are too flushed over and crusty with sleep, take note: the supreme court of the united states of america has enshrined the first and most basic law of fascism, the rule of the corporations over the People, in “citizens united”.
For even back in the day, Mussolini questioned why they called it fascism. He thought corporatism was the more appropriate title.
And Obama just plays the hand he’s dealt, well, give or take a few sleights of hand. For he needs an out when the card tricks fly back in his face. Every politician then has an out to excuse himself, to absolve his being pulled this way and that by the unseen (?) forces of world economics we all pretend don’t follow all the way back through the tentacles to the 1% who are rapaciously stuffing their flaccid jowled pockets beyond their capacity.
Perpetual wars, the legacy? Banksters who pay fines that are pennies on the billions stolen fraudulently? The fabled American reputation for Good shattered by the state sanctioned practice of Torture and Execution Killings of children who got in the way by Drones? The wistful ghost of the Middle Class? The tattered and bleeding carcass of the People’s Commons_that which we collectively own…public schools, libraries, clinics, functioning infrastructure, national parks that are being gutted for the extractive minerals the Corporations greedily want, the earth soil of America seeping with carcinogenic residues from fracking, poisoning our drinking water, depleting the nutritive capacity of waves of grain and fruited plains?
Are we all being so dazzled by our corporately produced media extravaganzas of sports and music and obscene images of wealth that we fail to see the oozing poisons creeping into our American culture? Is Obama so caught up in his own personal, miniscule footprint on the planet that he too is blinded and escapes rather than engages the dystopian nature of our existences?
Nike tells us in their overblown, glitzy advertisements, “Just do it.”
And American and Obama “Just do nothing.”
Who among us will grab the loosely dragging reins of our leaderless country?
Obama has shown us that no one man can.
But the People must, or perish on the dead soil of its own country.