The oil slick caused by British Petroleum’s failed offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico (pictured above) is now roughly the size of Puerto Rico, according to The Associated Press. Conventional American “wisdom,” however, has been that offshore drilling is a brilliant fucking idea.
It’s funny, because the wingnuts and I agree on one thing: these do indeed seem to be the end times.
Only the wingnuts and I have a very different view of the causes of the end times.
The wingnuts view President Barack Obama as something like the anti-Christ — if they don’t believe that he actually is the anti-Christ. (In all seriousness, a recent Harris poll shows that about one in four Repugnicans believes that Obama just might be Mr. 666. This is why I call them “wingnuts”; it’s not just that they disagree with me — it’s that they are stark, raving lunatics.)
Obama, in my view, would be instrumental in ushering in the end times not because he’s the anti-Christ. Certainly not because he’s half-black (as the white supremacists among us believe) and not even because he’s “not an American citizen” or because he’s a “socialist” or a “Muslim” or a “terrorist” or some combination of these — as the wingnuts believe — but because he fiddles while the American empire burns.
Now is the time to tackle the nation’s worst problems, not to pander and cater to the “centrists” who claim that the sky isn’t falling even though there are big blue chunks of sky littered at their — our — feet. Now is the time for swift, bold action to prevent total fucking national — and global — meltdown.
Just maintaining the status quo isn’t enough; just keeping our heads above water isn’t enough, because the polar ice caps are melting, you see, and the water is going to keep rising and rising.
It takes a fucking catastrophe for Barack Obama to do the right thing, unfortunately.
He was against offshore drilling (when he was sucking in millions and millions of liberals’ dollars in his campaign for the White House) before he was for it (after he got to the White House) — and now, as crude oil fills the Gulf Coast, he says that maybe offshore drilling is a bad idea after all.
How many global catastrophes will it take for Obama to deliver that “hope” and “change” that he promised?
Obama is a “socialist”?
Oh, I wish!
Socialists, you see, do what’s right for the most number of people and for the planet — not what’s right for the minority plutocrats and corporatocrats, and Obama and the Democratic Party still are very much in bed with the corporatocrats and plutocrats.
The only difference between the Democrats and the Repugnicans is that the Repugnicans love to be whores for the corporatocrats and plutocrats, while the Democrats don’t enjoy putting their legs up in the air for their corporate and plutocratic johns quite as much.
Again, the wingnuts and I seem to agree that these are the end times, but we wholly disagree on the causes.
It’s the wingnuts who would bring us to total ruination, with their love of perpetual war and global pollution and despoilation for corporate profits in the names of Jesus and God and freedom and democracy, and Obama’s role in the end times isn’t that he’s the anti-Christ, but that he’s allowing the wingnuts to make Armageddon their self-fulfilling prophecy; and he’s allowing them to take the rest of us with them.
I’m all for moderation and centrism when we can practice them, but these are desperate times. Our ability to bring about our total destruction has outstripped our willingness to stop our total destruction, it is clear, and therefore now is no time for centrism or moderation, but it is time for drastic measures, and the more we put off doing the right thing, the more drastic will be the measures that we will have to take as a result of our inaction against impending catastrophe.
And, as Ted Rall writes in his excellent current column, the predictable, typical American claims that We just couldn’t have known! are complete and utter bullshit.
We just don’t care.
Recently I rediscovered the 1970s song “Rock Me on the Water,” written by one of my long-time favorite artists, Jackson Browne. I downloaded and listened to Browne’s and to Linda Ronstadt’s renditions of the song, whose lyrics start off like this:
Oh, people, look around you;
the signs are everywhere.
You’ve left it for somebody other than you
to be the one to care.
You’re lost inside your houses;
there’s no time to find you now.
Your walls are burning and your towers are turning.
I’m going to leave you here and try to get down to the sea somehow…
Those lyrics are timely.
Except that now we cannot escape even to the sea — for it now is coated with oil, in no small part because a sizeable number of us believe in the philosophy of “Drill, baby, drill!”