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The United States Goes to Pot, November 12th, 2000 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: November 12th, 2000
"The United States Goes to Pot" [permalink]
    keywords: presidential election, USA, president, politics
    soapbox #: 267
    written: November 12th, 2000
    words: 1413

"The United States Goes to Pot", an Essay

Holy motherfucking Mary mamma of God, what the fuck just happened in the election? The depths of my heart quiver with aggravation from the endless throbbing of whining, prattling, and boasting that this election has unleashed upon the United States like the next coming of the Plague.

Not only did we put up a year of two moderates diluting themselves to the point where it appeared as though they were the same person (although in reality their platforms DO differ), I had to endure a night of vote-counting which was at first cute, but quickly became tedious as people on IRC gave the tick by tick numbers of who was winning in the close states, as if those 500 votes here, 500 votes there mattered with 75% reporting.

Fueling that fire of people reposting endless amounts of election coverage were pompous fools interjecting their opinions on everything from the economy to the personalities and intelligence of entire groups of people, who apparently consisted of 50% of the population! As if anybody cares what you think we should do about the country debt, or about abortion rights! As if you really know what purpose the Electoral College serves in the voting process! For Christ's sake, shut everybody up!

And while this continues to become even more reminiscent to me of a Juvenalian rant against the crumbling Rome he saw all around him, the media spawns fresh anchors from their pods to deluge us with hours of coverage of absolutely fucking nothing new occurring in the presidential election. Breaking news from CNN, your only source for complete coverage of the 2000 presidential election of the United States of America, brought to you by Depends adult diapers and Nozulla, which may cause side effects such as hot dog fingers and projectile vomiting: the newswires show that all the roaches have come out from the cracks to contest every little inconsistency in the voting, and Jesse Jackson and the Cubans and some whiny Democrats and some elitist Republicans and anarchist illiterates and attention seekers are now making their presence felt by declaring the entire election null and void, to be replaced with a second vote or a fifth recount or anything to make it okay, and meanwhile the rest of the world makes fun of the United States, the seat of the democratic voting model and the example everyone else should follow.

People egg each other on about each candidates' problems and strengths, and pulling up decades of history to counter every single point the other person makes, and the words "Dummycraps" and "Repuke-ican'ts" are scrolled multiple times every few minutes, the guilty parties people who can't shut up about what everyone already sees right in front of them and who are convinced that they are 100% right and the other side is wrong.

Meanwhile, the NASDAQ sells off hard while the pundits and CNBC scam-bankers blame it on the market's dislike of unpredictability and uncertainty, which is evidently the only factor causing the shedding of billions of dollars of market cap daily, valuations completely useless to follow anymore, investment firms openly scamming the public by upgrading or downgrading stock and then fading their own call by sitting on the market giving retail investors as many shares as they can take, all a product of a NASDAQ that doubled last year and is now paying for its excesses, in danger of losing its ground and falling even lower on so-called "election fears". Even worse, bears are running rampant, even to the point of disrupting election results. I'm ready to short that pig Naz down if it decides to finally lose 3k.

The economy shows signs of halting in its tracks, growth estimates being reduced because of firms' belief in a glut of supply in a market with lessening demand, national economic numbers reversing hard as the Fed's rate hikes (which I incorrectly said a couple months ago had no effect on the NASDAQ) show themselves in the pricing of the market.

The webloggers' web sites recount daily the latest dotcom mishaps with glee, obliviously ignoring the fact that they are extremely overpaid by bloated companies with leaking accounting and no successful business models; soon those webloggers will be out of a job, and there will be no one to take them back, and a push back to the traditional companies, the proven companies, the companies that have been actually doing business all this time will occur.

For other people who are like me, we are reduced to looking at this entire environment and coping with it with humor, by watching the Daily Show's Indecision 2000 Choose and Lose coverage on election night, or by watching MTV and Comedy Central instead of the news channels, or by indulging in sports or going out to distract ourselves from the blinding reality: it's pretty nasty out there right now.

All this brings out what I hate in people the most: their drive to never stop talking, never stop commenting, to always see things black and white, to force their politics and opinions on others who don't want to participate in their games. And all it really does is force people like me to become even more alienated from the people around them, as they do not see any voices of reason who are willing to converse instead of debate, and do not hear anyone making light of the situation, those people instead becoming enraged at the slightest snip at their platforms or becoming angry that you do not care as much as they do about politics.

It's all a fucking joke, and Clinton plays the sax while America burns. While I of course exaggerate with the depths we've come down to, it accurately sums up my frustration with dealing with all these things right now. There are big things happening right now and everyone is ignoring them, blaming them on this election, as if that were the biggest thing ever, and they let it become the biggest media fiasco and national scandal (give it time, trust me) we've had in years.

For now it's best to just put one's head down and walk through it all, finding things you enjoy and waiting for everyone to cool down. It's really turning into a crowded madhouse, and I'm sure salon.com and all the pseudo-intellectuals are out there preparing their next glamorous sensationalist headlines for their next articles that all the pseudo-intellectual non-writers will be linked to and say, "ah, that's what I've been thinking" and then pass to their friends with similar credit-taking, and they'll all laugh at how intelligent they are while the foundations of their lives rot underneath them from their neglect.

It's really no wonder I've been taken to indulging myself more and taking delight in pleasurable things more than I used to: it's the only break I get from the incessant fighting all around us. What a relief it is to hang with people who just enjoy living life and who will surprise you and who agree with you that nothing out there is clearcut, and who like your company and will share having fun with you. I'm sure if Juvenal and all other social critics in their times saw this, they'd be laughing their asses off, because the level of absurdity we've reached is really mindboggling. It is a circus, everyone with their sculpted noses and red cheeks and silly hairdos all blowing hot air at each other and getting excited by their own brilliance.

Maybe sometime in this lifetime the next president will be elected and we can spend the next four years debating how he didn't deserve to be it, and Clinton's powerplay to become eternal emperor of the country by taking advantage of the nation's desire for blatant filibustering to delay the results. Maybe the NASDAQ will capitulate next week and save itself from the abyss just in time for what most people have been hoping for: a winter rally. Maybe my contrarian side is beginning to kick in. Maybe people will shut up and go back to living their lives instead of bothering me about it all.

So hey, maybe I'm just being too fucking cynical!


 
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