This Changing Country

I think more telling than approval ratings, Congressional hearings that seem to have neither end nor real purpose, ethically dubious wars, cronyism that can result in horrible mishandling of natural disasters, or even the convenient rewritings of history where personal lives are concerned, the current administration’s blatant disdain for the Constitution and the rights it gives American citizens is the greatest sign that not one of these people is of the character to lead this country. We have an Attorney General who perjures himself every time his mouth falls open, a Vice President who would presumably as soon take you on a hunting trip as have you arrested if you dare to disagree with him or his policies, freedoms being stripped away and laws being broken on a daily basis in the name of — oh, right. In the name of those very freedoms and laws, of protecting and preserving them for future generations.


I don’t expect much from politicians, and I expect even less from third generation politicians (who seem to have the worst combinations of dishonesty, greed, entitlement, and the sort of arrogant ignorance you only find in the wealthy). I do expect better and more from the rest of the people in the country, though. Lindsay Lohan — a spoiled 21 year old girl with substance abuse problems (among others) — is regularly paraded across our television screens. We scream that Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie should spend time in jail, that Britney Spears shouldn’t get custody of her kids (because, oh yeah, you fuckers are doing such a good job raising your kids that your opinion matters), that Michael Vick should be fed to the wolves before you’ve heard shred one of the evidence against him. Scooter Libby gets pardoned by Bush before he’s even gone through the appeals process — all to avoid jail time — and …

Nothing. Tumbleweeds and the chirping of bored crickets. Wait, some liberal guy in the media said someth — sorry. He was too busy trying to get HOSTEL II boycotted.

You want to prove that Americans get desensitized as they are exposed to more and more horror? Look at the public reaction to Bush and his gang. We hardly remember Katrina anymore — and hopefully, when we do, our first thoughts go to the people who lost so much. But what about all those people who don’t have anything back yet? What about the promises made, the buck passed, the dishonesty and just plain stupidity that the nation saw in the weeks after?

Who can be bothered to remember that? Claire Danes’ boob popped out on MTV! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Valerie Plame? Who’s that?

Remember all those things that Rumsfeld and Ashcroft said and did? No? You’re not alone.

Quick — which member of the administration SHOT ONE OF HIS FRIENDS? And never saw the inside of a jail?

But we don’t get worked up when Gonzales lies (again). We don’t even notice when Libby Lewis is let out of jail before the court system finishes it’s job. We might blink if one of our freedoms is taken away — but only if we’re using it at that moment. Otherwise, fuck it — gimme another beer and let’s see who’s on AMERICAN IDOL tonight?

Maybe we’re all just focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel, finally reasonably secure in the fact that if we somehow survived the last six and a half years, another 500 or so days can’t be that bad. Maybe we really don’t care, on the whole — we’re okay with trading our hard-earned freedoms for a nebulous sense of security against an enemy that we help create every day? I guess, but I don’t see it.

No, I think it must be the chance to see a celebrity fall on his or her face (preferably coupled with a nip slip and maybe proof of substance abuse) that’s distracting us from the real show. Which is sad, because at this rate, you won’t be allowed to have nipples in the next ten years, and the only celebrity you can see will be the ones the State tells you you can see.

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