Though unemployed, I have a good family, fine friends, decent health, admirable smarts, four degrees, and a roof over my head.
But I’ve been so depressed the last couple of days that I’ve barely gotten anything done. Instead of dancing and job searching, I’ve been sleeping, reading news and commentary online, and thinking about moving to Canada. Really.
For those of you snarky conservatives or pro-war folks out there who are tempted to comment, “Well, then, you pathetic example of a man, why don’t you wimperingly GO to Canada, eh?” I would respond… well, alas, the job market isn’t all that great there either. Otherwise, it’d be a more viable option.
So why am I so upset? It’s not really about the fact that our country is about to bomb the hell out of a third-world country with a two-bit dictator that has been declared by one Hans Blix to be hiding zero evidence of nuclear weapons. No, it’s deeper and more profound than that.
I’ve practically lost faith in my own country.
Our government has basically given the finger to the rest of the world and all the people outside of the U.S. These are countries and people that I like and respect, and I find it rather frightening that it’s now us (admittedly a superpower) against 95+% of the rest of the world. While I’m not generally a believer in the inherent righteousness of the majority, I think it says something that — statistically speaking — there’s only one country (Israel) whose people think the U.S. is doing the right thing. Recent polls have indicated that even the people in England, Spain, and yes, Bulgaria, apparently, are soundly against their governments’ pro-war position.
But once again, the fact that so many government officials are either foolhardy or selfish or just plain stupid doesn’t come as a shock to me, nor is this issue solely responsible for my funk.
No, I’m depressed because there are so many millions of Americans who not only think our government is doing the Right Thing, but that anyone who questions this war is to be shunned, ridiculed, or silenced.
I contemplate the millions of Americans who voted for Bush… the teeming masses in Middle America who are enragedly boycotting the Dixie Chick singer for speaking her mind… my countless fellow citizens who ironically and loudly equate anti-war stances with hatred of their “sons and daughters” overseas… the stupid yokels renaming french fries (invented in Belgium!) who see France as the enemy… and the shrugging millions who are glad to sacrifice America’s freedoms AND our grandchildren’s financial future in this war against the Taliban, er, I mean Terrorism.
I bemoan the fate and pathetic reach of independent journalism as our country’s supposedly “liberal” major news outlets embrace armed conflict as a wonderfully certain way to boost their ratings… national security and peoples’ lives be damned. After all, why is it that Time Magazine offers probing and thoughtful commentary about the upcoming war in their latest issues — but only in the International Editions, and not the copies released in the U.S.? Is it any wonder that over half of the UK Guardian’s online news page accesses are now from Americans, hungry for information that our ‘patriotic’ American press generally isn’t willing to risk printing?
In attempts to pursuade folks to heed the drums of War, our government has engaged in bribery and outright lying, and yet this, too, has been ignored by the mainstream press and largely ignored by most Americans as well. Somehow it’s okay for radio commentators and vast swaths of Americans to be virulently up in arms when a President is receiving consensual blow jobs in the oval office, but when a different President is screwing the country in a more figurative sense, it’s considered Unpatriotic to dissent.
Hell, along these lines, maybe Bush should have had a mistress AND toked up in office; perhaps then he would have been less trigger-happy and he may not have needed all the vacation time he’s taken this term (more than any President in the history of our nation).
In an earlier post, I decried how our country could be willing to spend 100 billion dollars to deal with a foreign dictator when we aren’t willing to even fight, much less win, the War on U.S. Poverty, the War on Illiteracy, the War on Sickness (including of the millions who can’t afford basic health insurance), and so on.
Of equal tragic proportions, however, is the incalculable loss of global good will, and the inflaming of tensions and hatred of the U.S. As most clear-thinking individuals have already figured out, our actions have placed a freshly painted bullseye on our entire country, practically taunting those who already despise America to attack us with more urgency and greater force.
So we’re spending 100 billion dollars, risking the lives of our military men and women, killing innocent Iraqis, erasing Liberty across our land… all to end up with a less-safe America.
Is it any wonder why I’m depressed?