IT ALL COMES ROUND AGAIN….(Segue of the Day: 10/17/18)

Two articles–one about the past (the 1968 we never walked away from), one about the present (the result of never walking away from 1968), that came to my attention in the last few days.

In case this one ends up behind a paywall, here’s a key quote, which nails a point I’ve been trying to make for a year-and-a-half:

Today, in a major historical irony, the dream of impeaching Trump has driven much of the Democratic Party into an uncritical embrace of the FBI and the CIA. The institutions that have conducted illegal surveillance of American citizens for decades have been suddenly transmuted into monuments of integrity.

(“Aquarius Rising,” Jackson Lears New York Review of Books 10/16/18)

Here’s the second article, which details the current crisis of our “monuments of integrity” with more clarity and complexity than I’ve seen elsewhere (and still only hints at the sea of corruption those monuments must be sunk in to have  made Donald Trump look like George Washington).

It’s not behind a pay wall, but it’s lengthy.  For those who don’t have time or inclination to read the whole thing, the key quote is here:

Initially not viewed with any real seriousness, Trump’s campaign was seen as an opportunistic wedge in the election process. At the same time, and particularly as the viability of his candidacy increased, Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.

If you do choose to read the whole thing, just remember that this article contains about half the names you need to know in order to even have a chance of keeping up with what’s really gone down since the latter part of 2015.

As often happens in “advanced” societies the best chance our agents of corruption have of saving themselves lies in the sheer scope of their disdain for the laws they were supposed to uphold. When everybody breaks the law, nobody breaks the law. To bring them all to justice would literally mean tearing the system apart.

Look for an Ollie North/Scooter Libby-style scapegoat to emerge….(and, as in their cases, eventual rehabilitation–best bet at present is Andrew McCabe, but the odds bear watching).

Or you could just take the long view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bmSEHhIs-Q

[NOTE: Thanks to Neal U. for alerting me to Lears’ article. Please read it in full if you can. I don’t agree with all of the author’s conclusions (do I ever?), but his article is rare in addressing the Christian roots of American protest (and, unfortunately, all too common in failing to recognize how pulling away from those roots has made all subsequent progress a matter of executive order and judicial fiat, rather than popular will expressed through representative legislation. As the future rises to meet us, rest assured every one of the religious leaders Lears cites–including the slain one–knew the danger of building your house on sand.)]

12 thoughts on “IT ALL COMES ROUND AGAIN….(Segue of the Day: 10/17/18)

  1. Regarding the Lears article and the FBI: the week before James Comey’s October Surprise, Clinton was 8-10 points ahead and a shoo-in for the White House. A week later, and it was 4 points. Why anyone left of somewhat-right-of-center has any praise for this man is beyond me.

    At the end of the Lears article are links to three others: Todd Gitlin’s book THE SIXTIES: YEARS OF HOPE, DAYS OF RAGE is one of the best on that decade. Everything he writes is worth reading.

    The Ellen Willis article contains 1970 reviews of two movie: “Easy Rider” and “Alice’s Restaurant.” Willis was one of the few female rock critics and writers in the late ’60s.

  2. Jeff Carlson thinks, “Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.”

    Are you kidding me?

    “The sudden legitimacy of Trump’s candidacy was not welcomed by the U.S. political establishment. Here was a true political outsider who held no traditional allegiances. He was brash and boastful, he ignored political correctness, he couldn’t be bought, and he didn’t care what others thought of him—he trusted himself.”

    Trump “couldn’t be bought”!

    Are you kidding me?

    Carlson determines that Obama and Clinton are the bad guys and Trump the victim?

    Are you kidding me?

    • All you need to do to know how the establishment felt about Trump is study how they reacted (which Carlson mostly does). Comey was a bit player trying to hang on to his little piece of the pie (and no doubt following instructions–given that everybody knew Ms. Clinton would be President, the game was to make sure she didn’t forget who owned her–Comey was the messenger.)

      Whether they gauged Trump CORRECTLY is a whole other issue. One of Trump’s great advantages is/was that he’s not playing against J. Edgar Hoover and the Dulles brothers. He’s playing against morons.

  3. One day you must write about your thoughts on the “Rough Beast” (I get it)!

    I also want to mention that the first article (Aquarius Rising by Leary) is now free to read in full.

    It was nice to read something balanced and nuanced about those days, which were before me yet with me via my parents, especially my father who was both of the extremes in one man (military and hippie and not one that morphed into the other but a happy coexistence of both mindsets). I’ve often noted the spiritual “Make Love Not War” and religious aspects of the 60s is in contrast to how today’s restlessness is (or how it is characterized), but seldom find any mention in mainstream reading. The impression I get is the whole crazy world has abandoned anything like a fundamentally moral spirituality. Doesn’t matter what “side” they think they’re on, moralizing is the antithesis of genuine spiritual truth seeking.

    These interesting reads and discussions tend to confirm my own beliefs about religion in general looking forward to increased pressure and hostility globally. Fun times ahead, oy veh!

    Finally, I propose to read your second linked article (and maybe some of the further reading at nybooks.com) on my long commute home–which crystallizes experiencing life in the “techostructure”, like so many painfully endured daily urban experiences. Hamsters on a wheel have it good in comparison!

    A

    • I hope you get some use out of the second article April….It has a lot of names yo might not be familiar with unless you’re an online news junkie..but if you manage to weed through it, you’ll have at least some kind of handle on the shenanigans the so-called Deep State have gotten up to recently (can’t remember if it was this one or elsewhere where somebody pointed out that we don’t know if this is just business as usual and Trump’s particular ability to drive his opponents crazy had caused it to come to the surface….or whether it was a batch of deep thinking they whipped up just for him). We may never know.

      You are right about the crumbling of religion–and value systems generally–in the West and, because nothing has replace it, we are left in a moral vacuum.

      Of course, our mutual friend, Mr. Ford gave us fair warning, over and over. So much of his oeuvre was an extension of Ben Franklin’s old line–“A Republic…if you can keep it.”

      i need to get back to writing about THAT more, too.

  4. I can’t even think of Ford (or most of his contemporaries) and current events together…I need several hours to decompress first. I think it’s great you’ll be on the road a while. I think you’ll feel refreshed after…if you can avoid the news and I think you should because it will only get worse!

    • I can appreciate your sentiment…I’ve had stretches in the past two years where I have trouble watching Ford or listening to Elvis because such positive visions are residing within…But I always see/hear the note of caution as well.

      Ford, in particular, saw the dark possibilities of the future. He knew the 21st century might be a nightmare because he understood the past so well (and the cyclical nature of history in general and democracy in particular). The future will be as good or bad as we make it…A sobering thought indeed.

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