Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama's Speech on Iraq, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Eugene Robinson
John Bolton

"Wars no longer end with surrender ceremonies and ticker-tape parades. They end in a fog of ambiguity, and it's easier to discern what's been sacrificed than what's been gained." - Eugene Robinson

In lieu of celebration to the end of the Iraqi War as-we-know-it, every pundit has published their opinions. I offer one with the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, ever the voice of reason and stable thinking. Barack Obama will give his speech, and already the conservative blowhards are on the attack. Well, Bush was asked, and he declined, so it's left to the Johns to provide the fireworks. John Bolton, whose greatest assets were that he was so abusive to his employees that he routinely made secretaries cry and quit, published a polemic in the Daily Beast, of all places. If you like the shameless reinterpretation of history, then Bolton's your man. I wonder why people are paying him money for his articles lately, who is really behind trying to reinvigorate his career. Astoundingly, based on a few articles published in the Rupert Murdoch Wall Street journal, all of a sudden John Bolton is bandied about as presidential candidate material? Maybe Rupert feels the need to own a president at least once before he dies...?

The summer is going pretty much as I had predicted, though thankfully, without the nuking of Iran and the ensuing war that it would bring about. Last summer we had the tea party rallies in the parks, where people gathered to make racist signs and chant incredibly ugly and mean slogans aimed at Obama. Later, many tea party organizers, who hoped to make a living if not some money off off the erstwhile grass roots groups, protested a little too loudly when called out for it, and people like Andrew Breitbart made crap up to support his viewpoint.

This summer, the ugliness has a more focused edge, aimed more directly at American Muslims, and I'm afraid that more violence will be forthcoming. Even though Wall Street touts how much money its making again, the jobs here on the local level are not materializing. People who no longer have any incoming income get frustrated, depressed, loss of any self-worth, and start looking around for any scapegoat they can take their transformed anger out on.  Here in Colorado Springs the suicide rate has risen dramatically, with everyone from teens to senior citizens lighting up the prevention hot lines. We have a suicide rate much higher than anywhere else in the country, and that's separate from the military suicides.

Some say its because we live in the shadow of Pike's Peak, some say it's from all of the overbearing military influence, some say its from the lizards invading your mind and turning your thoughts... hearing any voices lately? I admit to feeling depressed this summer. I am living on disability and can barely contribute economically to my sister and brother-in-law, my sister is slowly dying, she currently has pneumonia that seems to be getting worse. I have entertained the thought of wandering off this winter and taking a long nap in the snow, but then get brought back to reality by the realization that I have to take care of my cat for awhile longer... So, the thoughts of taking your own life or lashing out and taking others can spread like a viral disease. Can we make it the extra five or six years until the economy upswing trickles down and we can turn in a job application. In an ideal world, I could trade places with Senator Simpson, at least let him live for a few months in my shoes, the arrogant bastard.

I admit that I was reading a book last night that catalogued all of the mean things done and said during the Barack Obama campaign, and that negativity has skewed my perception today. It's appalling how freaking narrow minded so much of our population is. Even people I meet here in Colorado, who consider themselves fairly rational and liberal-minded often show racial insensitivity in their speech, mainly because they have spent their whole lives around others like themselves and never hung out or made friends with anyone from different ethnicities. Maybe we're doomed to clash with every culture we encounter, and this melting pot theory is just that - some obscure ideal that can never work in reality. Ah, how I burn and rage...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.  

                                        - Dylan Thomas      

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