I’ve often said before that my generation doesn’t get to live through history like those before us. And while it feels like there may be some truth to this, it’s not entirely so. From the perspective of someone living close to (and therefore heavily influenced by) the good old US of A, we’ve essentially sat through the beginning of the end. We saw something crazy happen in 2001 and the fallout from this was over-the-top. The next few years were very odd. An interesting time to begin following such events closely.
I was much more politically motivated in 2003 than I am now, if only as a reaction to what was happening at the time. But now, less than a decade later, apathy has set in, and set in hard. I’ve tried to figure out why this is, and can only place the blame on what happened over the years that followed 2003. George Bush was elected once more, and his boys ran wild over Washington in a manner that basically told the rest of his country, and the rest of the world, to go and fuck themselves, regardless of circumstance. I think that did it for me.
(I still follow these things closely – news junkie style – but I have a hard time yelling at strangers about how I feel about such things. I’m more here as a general observer; a passenger until my time is up)
By 2007, I didn’t care anymore. I had no more faith that any form of activism can make a difference in American foreign policy. Not unless it was in the interest of those in charge. Which is a fucked up thing to lose total faith in. It’s a shame, really, but that’s the way it goes. So now I don’t get too worked up about it anymore, because I don’t ever anticipate things getting as bad as they’ve been for the last ten years. There’s almost no physical way it can be. Part of that is due to the changing power structure of the globe.
In 2000, America was the unanimous grand champion of the civilized world – this could not be denied. Economically, militarily, and even culturally it was the head of the heap and nowhere close to being caught. Now? Now it’s a laughing stock – doomed to years of stagnation, failure, heavy military burdens, and what essentially amounts to the FALL of another Empire.
It could rebound – this is true – but I have little faith that they could ever come close to climbing to the top of the mountain that they’d found themselves at in 2000. And to witness this as a young man, in a politically active mindstate, it just crushed my spirit. Even in the face of such opposition the country was allowed to not only shoot itself in the foot, but fuck itself in the ass. Well done, America. Now let’s break out those Chinese grammar books and start praying that the Jesus Crew doesn’t take power again. Because a lot of you are some stupid mother:mothers.
There is some hope in me that the disintegration of the hegemony could lead to an era where political activism becomes important again in America. Where things get so bad that a grass roots, or campus-orientated protest could make an impact to some extent. America – If she’s broken down into the pieces she once was … only decades later … may be ready to listen to the logical fringe once more. Or at least susceptible once more. When you’re the Prom Queen you don’t give a shit what the math nerds say. But when your social status (or credit rating) drops down to the dregs, you’d be surprised at what you’re all of a sudden ready to listen to.
So when some asshole like me tries to tell you that nothing ever happens – kick ‘em one in the pills and watch the fall.