If I’m not dying, I soon will be. I am in the proverbial rut. At night, I lie on the couch and do something I only rarely did in the States: drink beer and suckle on the glass teat, literally watching my mind rot to death. I have watched: NCIS, Boston Legal, Prison Break, The Big Bang Theory, Lie to Me, Psych, The Sopranos, The Justice League, and of course the occasional porn video. Enough TV to feel disgusted by myself. I do feel a slight sense of victory when I access the cyber-sex sites if only because I am circumventing the Great Firewall, but whom am I kidding? It’s another sign of degradation and dissolution. Television, porn, and beer only vitiate the will to live, they are the electronic and cyber equivalents of the maggots that feed on corpses. A healthy person eschews such things; never mind the morality and esthetics that come into play.
I feel impotent and negative: the world is scheisse so why try to change it? My country mirrors my state: it too is rotting. I can smell it all the way from over here in China. Occasionally, when I’m not subjecting my brain to mind-numbing drivel, I read online news sites like Democracy Now! among others. DN! is sometimes liberal sleeze, but most of the time they host very interesting guests with intelligent and researched perspectives. Most of the time.
The hot issue making the rounds in the media today is Republican-elect Mitt Romney’s undisclosed tax returns. They ran an embarrassing clip of Mitt Romney refusing to follow in his father’s footsteps and disclose at least twelve years of income returns. His father made the comment that only disclosing one year could be a fluke, a false return massaged for the dog and pony show that is the presidential election (really it’s more like naked mud wrestling-slash-backroom cock fighting with very very ugly participants, but you understand). Asked pointblank about if he would disclose more returns even the dimmest bulb in the newsroom could see the mortification on Romney’s face: he couldn’t, he just couldn’t. But that isn’t the real issue.
Like the guest from Britain said, Romney has only done what the Super-Elite have been doing for decades since high finance kicked into high gear: bilking the country of billions of legitimate tax funds that could have gone to maintain the country. As he said in his clear London Accent: since the uber wealthy possess the greatest influence and thus effectively wield the most power, they influence the direction of tax laws as assuredly as the moon does the tides. This is only natural. It is a kindness (or fear of mass middle and lower class uprising) that the rich have instituted so many gray slippery nebulous areas around offshore accounting. We can sleep at night after enough TV and beer knowing that our betters really do want the best for our great democracy. All hail the guardians of the State!
Romney has not done anything illegal. Perhaps. But he has done something unethical. And don’t we all? I don’t report my (meager pathetic) earnings from this crap job here in Harbin. Oh, I thought about it. I wanted to say to Uncle Sam: See? Your prodigal son is slaving away here in the Land of the Enemy, but still cares enough to send tax money home. I thought about it and then was so busy I just blew it off. Altogether I was making barely over USD $1,000 a month total and saving less than half that. No raping and pillaging happening here. If I made USD $50K per year, it would take me 433 years to make what Romney did in one year. At USD $500 per year? Math has never been my strong suit, but let’s say at a conservative estimate: when hell freezes over. But it’s the principle. My father would have paid. I never am sure if he would have paid out of fear or respect of the law. I like to think the latter as he is my father. Such risk-avoiders never rise to the top. Obama and Romney have risen to the top because their earnings are staggeringly beyond the average American’s imagination and they have the chutzpah to tap the grey and bury their treasure somewhere offshore. Thus our leaders lead us.
What incenses me most and what has always incensed me about my country is the hypocrisy. The lying through the teeth: saying we are defenders of liberty and democracy and then fomenting dissent and chaos and murder and servitude. Instead of forging freedom we forge iniquity. Not life, but death. We say we are white hats but are really black hats. This I hate.
There are two general narratives circulating the Internet. One runs thusly: our country is doomed because it is rotting from below. Its moral foundation is in jeopardy because lazy blacks and Hispanics won’t work; all they do is do drugs when they aren’t selling them to kindergartners. Oh, in addition they are reproducing vast broods of welfare babies. They are leeching the strength from this country because of their egregious lassitude resulting in grotesque obesity. Fat, lazy bastards! And then there are the Mexicans. Those pinche Mexicans! Illegal usually and stealing our hard-earned tax dollars! The nerve of them! All of those liberal poster babies amount to one tremendous drain on the economy, on the spiritual and moral health of the nation.
The other narrative asserts that the country is rotting from above: the 1% of the nation has been sucking this country dry of its wealth, robbing its fiscal vitality by engaging in endless foreign wars, squirreling away tax dollars in offshore accounts that rightfully belong to the People (us the 99%), playing high risk games with the financial markets and, after they go belly up as all such games do in the end, they come running to the People for billion dollar bailouts. And then they perpetuate a feckless failed Drug War not out of a sense of moral duty but because there is a greater return on their investment in war as opposed to any other alternative…those heinous piratical Wall Street modern day cyber robber barons!
The truth? Is it somewhere in between? Are we not rotting from below or above, but from within?
I really admire the Mexican people (those that stay in Mexico). Despite the unfair hand they have been dealt in the Endless Forever Drug War, they refuse to back down to the Dinosaur PRI or the paid-off Major Media. They fight back with peace and dignity. They fight on where OWS flared, fizzled, and then sputtered into impotence. Perhaps the Mexicans must: the total dead is upwards of 70,000 now. And that is only since 2006 when Calderon took over. To say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of poor little brown girls raped and killed on the bloody altars of man’s greed, lust, and wrath. No one talks about those numbers any more.
Perhaps in America’s future when all of our little demons come home to roost and all around us we begin to wonder why our sweet little virgin-white girls are mysteriously disappearing to turn up dead and ravaged in the wasteland that remains of our nation, maybe then, …we will pause, and then …reflect on what we have created. Pause before slouching on towards inglorious destiny.