Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Slow Going

I've been experiencing a lot of fatigue after my surgery, what with the five or six hundred calories a day I'm currently consuming, but I've also been experiencing an even deeper political fatigue. There's been so many ripe targets in the last few days, including Chertoff, the Katrina report, the new Abu Graib pictures. I even have a hard time rousing myself over l'affaire du shotgun. Jon Stewart has covered the funny, and Sullivan the serious, and the only thing I can add is how perfect a metaphor the whole "hunting trip" is to the chickenhawk way of life; you ride in your luxury S.U.V. out to the brush where some tame pen-raised quail are waiting, you stomp around until they finally take flight, and you blast them with a big gun. This makes you a hunter. Right.

I once hunted rabbits in the Idaho brush at night from a truck with a spotlight. When you hit the rabbits with the light, their natural reaction was to freeze, and it was easy to pick them off. I came away from the experience with the feeling that what I had been doing was sleazy and unfair, using a cheap trick to accomplish what should have been done by skill. Apparently, this kind of "hunting" is a way of life for the Vice President, and all the other "Big Dicks" out there running the show, who seem to think that being a man means easy winning at as little cost as possible.

But even such a ripe tomato hardly spells me from my stupor. It seems so far from making a difference. We live in the age of freedom from accountability; no matter what the pseudo solons running this country do, nothing changes. So many people are caught in the feedback loops of their own choosing, and no one seems willing to try the big picture anymore. Maybe Yeats had it right and the center cannot hold. There's a reason why The Second Coming is one of my favorite poems. Sometimes it perfectly captures my mood. This is one of those times.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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