The last 10 years really have sucked ass.
First there was the blatantly stolen presidential election of late 2000.
Hey, what harm to the nation could a band of thieves possibly do in the White House for four or eight years? George W. Bush & Co. are whining more loudly for the White House, so let’s just let them have it! In late 2000 that was the mentality of Americans, who, fat and lazy from the prosperous Clinton years, didn’t give a shit that their democracy had been dangerously subverted by Team Bush. Hey, they had things to buy and things to consume!
Bush had lost the popular vote by “only” more than a half-million votes. Close enough! And that his brother was the governor of Florida, the pivotal state that Bush “won” — and that Florida’s top elections official, Repugnican Katherine Harris, also had sat on the state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya — and that the Repugnican-tilted U.S. Supreme Court voted to stop the whole silly recount nonsense; none of that was a problem. Democrat Al Gore was just being a “sore loserman.”
I saw the decade coming. In early 2001 I attended a “Not My President Day” rally at the California State Capitol here in Sacramento to voice my dissent to the Universe. In November 2000 I’d voted for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, but it was obvious that Al Gore had won the too-close election.
Then there was Sept. 11, 2001, and the months of post-9/11 hysteria. 9/11 was the unelected Bush regime’s Reichstag fire.
Speaking of which, then there was the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust launching of its Vietraq War in March 2003. (In February 2003 I was at the state Capitol again, this time protesting the coming Vietraq War, which the Bush regime might have called “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” except that that spells O-I-L, so they called it “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”) On May 1, 2003, “President” Bush declared “mission accomplished,” but thus far the Vietraq War has claimed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives (these Iraqis were permanently “liberated,” you see) and the lives of more than 4,300 U.S. military personnel. And hundreds of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars that the Repugnicans are perfectly OK handing over to the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, via bogus wars – but not to things that Americans need, such as health care. Because that would be socialism! Better dead than red, but, of course, with the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — system, you’re going to be dead anyway.
Then there was Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 to blow away and wash away any and all doubt that it was a big fuckin’ mistake to have just allowed Team Bush to steal the White House in late 2000.
Both Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 killed more than 2,000 Americans each, yet the Repugnicans now are lambasting President Barack Obama — who, if nothing else, actually fucking won the presidential election — because some lonely young dude from Nigeria tried to blow up an airliner but only succeeded in burning himself.
We just can’t trust Obama to keep us safe!, except that thus far he has, and it was George W. Bush who couldn’t keep us safe. But facts have become a matter of opinion in the United States of Amnesia.
But I digress.
After Hurricane Katrina, it was just waiting it out until President Bozo and Vice President Penguin were termed out of the White House.
Barack Obama and Billary Clinton duked it out for months on end during the interminable 2008 Democratic presidential primary season.
Obama won the Democratic presidential nomination and the general election based upon his promises of “hope” and “change.”
Keep on hoping for that big change! That was the theme of 2009.
So yeah, the last 10 years have been a big, steaming pile of dog shit.
But it was an article via AlterNet titled “This Decade Mostly Sucked — Except for the Huge Expansion of the Internet” that made me realize that yeah, there was one good thing about the past decade.
The author of the piece notes:
The Internet is a disruptive technology for our entire species, even if it has a long way to go before it spreads to all humans. The exponential decline in the cost of information brought about by the Internet and mobile phone technology will be, in all likelihood, the top cultural and technological development of our lifetimes. The way this has changed, and will continue to change, our economic, social and mental structures puts it on par with the printing press as an agent of change….
I agree with all of that. Unfortunately, the author then goes on to discuss Net neutrality, which is an important issue, but he misses what I think is the biggest achievement of the Internet: the Internet has been an end-run around the baby boomers, who have been hell-bent upon destroying the nation that they inherited from their spoiling parents (the so-called “greatest generation”) in a fat and juicy state but have sucked bone dry during their too-long lifetimes.
The Internet wasn’t around during most of their lives, so to the boomers the Internet wasn’t that important. It was a mildly useful and/or amusing tool or toy – you can buy stuff on it, you can save money by sending some e-mails instead of stamped letters or instead of making long-distance phone calls, you can look at porn (but you probably shouldn’t, because while they enjoyed wild, uninhibited sex when they were young, the boomers don’t want the generations that follow them to enjoy sex, and since the boomers’ sexual excess brought us AIDS, we can’t).
But the boomers never appreciated the potential power of the Internet.
Until it was too late.
“Inspired” by the multiple rapings to our democracy, starting with late 2000’s theft of the White House, and also “inspired” by the inevitable Vietraq War, which it was clear that the unelected Bush regime was going to start no matter fucking what, I started blogging in late 2002, and millions of others also have been using the power of the Internet this decade to do an end-run around the traditional power structure.
Information is power, and so the informational system is the power system, and we sneaky Generation X’ers (and Gen Y’ers [and yes, a handful of non-evil boomers]) have used the Internet to get around the blockages that the power-hungry boomers placed before us.
Not to get too geeky here, but the human body, when a large blood vessel is blocked or otherwise not functioning, will form a network of smaller, more numerous blood vessels in order to compensate for the lost circulation.
That’s what we progressives have done: gone around the boomers’ blockages in smaller, more numerous ways, such as with blogs and many other new ways of sharing information electronically.
The invention of the printing press indeed made it harder for the powers that be to maintain their power by withholding information from us peasants, and the Internet has expanded upon the success of the printing press exponentially, because while printing presses cost a lot of money, almost everyone has access to the Internet. (Indeed, don’t even get me started on how hard it is to get noticed as a blogger, even if you’re an excellent fucking writer, as I am, because of the crushing number of blogs out there.)
As I said, before the boomers realized how powerful the Internet could be as a tool for the downtrodden to politically organize and to share information that the powers that be would try to keep from us peasants, it was too late; the world had changed irreversibly because of the Internet. The “solid” foundation that the boomers thought they were standing upon had been quietly eaten from beneath them by millions of busy termites.
It’s too late for the boomers who never bothered to join the Internet revolution. The world has changed around these dinosaurs while they’ve remained stuck in the past. (Fuck, I have had boomer “managers” who can’t even fucking touch-type in this, the Information Age!)
So anyway, we end 2009 and the decade with President Obama. Let me remind you that he never was the superhero that many made him out to be, with a big “O” on his chest. Obama simply rode the wave that Howard Dean created in his campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.
Speaking of which, the 2004 election also was a big event of the past decade to me; I’d never been that politically involved before or since, and it was the felons and the traitors of the unelected Bush regime who induced me to become so politically aware and active* — an unintended side effect of their treason and their felonies, I’m sure.
Anyway, even though I always supported John Kerry over Dean, figuring that there was no way that Dean could win the White House in 2004, not with the Repugnicans still rabidly milking the TERROR! cow, I credit Team Dean with having changed forever the way that presidential politics are played, including the phenomenon of individuals’ political donations (including mine) becoming as important if not more important than the fat cats’ political donations.
As 2009 and as the decade come to a close, it’s clear that we progressives — those of us for whom “hope” and “change” aren’t just slogans that you cynically slap on campaign merchandise — have a long way to go, but we start the new year and the new decade with the advantage of having seriously undercut, quietly but surely over the past decade, the biggest threat to our nation and our democracy: the baby boomers.
We did it legally and democratically and, luckily for them, bloodlessly.
*I became so politically active that, among other things, at one point I got to shake John Kerry’s hand during one of his visits to California (too bad that he didn’t become president), and I also met Cindy Sheehan before she became nationally (in)famous for having camped outside of Gee Dubya’s ranch in Texas in August 2005 in protest of the Vietraq War, in which her young son Casey had been killed. (I will brag that I blogged about Sheehan a full six months before she became nationally known.)
I have to say that Sheehan might be my most-admired person of the decade. I can think of no one else who so courageously stood up against the Bush regime — too bad that Al Gore didn’t in late 2000, or the decade might have turned out quite differently — and she took so much bile and venom for her incredibly brave patriotism.
The war that Sheehan opposed but took so much shit for having opposed is now considered by the majority of Americans to have been a bullshit war. (I doubt that anyone has apologized to her, though, because being an American means never having to say that you’re sorry…)