APOCALYPSO

February 5, 2007

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I’m not sure about the former.”
-Albert Einstein

“My fellow Americans, I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.
We will begin bombing in five minutes.”
-Ronald Reagen

The 80s are back!! The pastle jock/goth dichotomy is the dominant high school fashion code, mindless consumerism is the ‘rational’ compulsory lifestyle ‘choice’ and the world is about to blow itself up. Again.

I remember the 80s, I was in school. Mostly people ignored the ‘issues’. They drank West Coast Cooler, watched Hey Hey It’s Saturday Night and went to Westfield Shoppingtown Thursday nights to hang ‘round McDonalds.

Beneath our ultra-conformist, two-dimensional exteriors lay a deep distrust of all authority figures: parents, teachers, police, government, the United States etc. The whole 60s thing had discredited activism. Politics was a nerdy game losers played. Cool people didn’t read anything more sophisticated than a style mag’s table of contents; didn’t talk about anything deeper than a 12 inch single.

Like the generation following the Russian Decemberists: we didn’t like the system, but we didn’t think it we could beat it either. There wasn’t any point doing anything, so we didn’t. We preferred to think of the 60s as just a game show or a fashion riff to be played when the mall got boring. The 60s was just history’s biggest party. The 80s weren’t; that’s why we remember the 80s.

The world was close to nuclear war, the American president cracked jokes about it. But it was beyond our control so why bother. All the shots were called by old men. They’d had their jollies and looked forward to loss of bowel control. Us kids, green-haired and glue sniffing, needed WW3. A character building exercise I suppose. We’d thank them for it later.

That was the 80s, and the 80s are back with slight amendments.

Russia’s ‘democratic’ now. Not that things like freedom of speech have improved much, but Russian kids can hang at McDonalds too. Sure the U.S.A. and Russia still have tons of bombs, still strapped to missiles, still aimed at each other. But they aren’t really thinking of firing them.

So thank the lord there’s a new bogeyman: Islamic fundamentalism. Nothing like a mutual enemy to turn the nagging questions off. Yesterday North Korea, not Muslim but in business with same, exploded its first bomb. The world went ballistic. Blogs crammed full of charming little comments like “blow ‘em back to the stone age”.

The commentary whilst slamming NK for being a Stalinist oppressive state want everyone in the ‘free’ world to act like they live in a Stalinist oppressive state: no questions, no argument, no criticism. Just blind adherence to the U.S. regardless of its blunders, its abuses and its hypocrisy. Sure I’d rather live in a modern liberal democracy than in a starving military dictatorship run by a God-king in a bad pants suit. But sue me if I don’t actually want to live in a democracy and not a fascist sham pretending to be one.

North Korea has a bomb but as Mercutio said: ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. Even small nukes kill big. Not to be outdone the U.S. is spending big on a new program of nukes: 6.5 billion in 2004 by itself. Seasonally adjusted of course Bush’s spending more money than the whole cold war. Smart nukes, nukes that drill holes in the ground first. Presumably the neutron bomb’s back on the drawing board. Wouldn’t want to destroy private property unnecessarily would we.

This is part of the Project For A New American Century, the neo-conservative think tank with its foreign policy hooks in the White House. The basic idea is that the yanks should stop being Mr Nice Guy (mission accomplished) and simply beat up everybody who challenges their authority. An empire by any other name would break your legs just as bad. When so many American voters are also adherents of the rapture its easy to push this insanity through the decrepit corpse of the American state.

Today for the first time in twenty years I had a look at the Bulletin for Atomic Scientistsdoomsday clock. Not quite as close as it was then but closer than it has been in a while. And the North Korea bomb hasn’t registered so next month it might be closer still. Things are different: I downloaded the clock from the net, didn’t have to go to the library. Also I found another version of the doomsday clock: the fundamentalist version.

The Armageddon clock features a longer range countdown with more factors featured: the establishment of Israel, the formation of the E.U., the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and cyclone activity increases. The Atomic scientists’ clock moves closer to and farther away from nuclear conflict depending on the geo-political situation. The Armageddon clock goes one way straight to the big ka-Boom.

They don’t mind though, looking forward to it actually. Going up in the Rapture they are.

This isn’t to say all American Christians are nuts. They aren’t. Hopefully it’s this type of Christianity, the type that y’know actually takes what Christ said into account that are predominant. Still considering the anti-democratic tactics of the conservatives, their cohorts in the Supreme Court and the surprisingly little fuss the whole thing’s caused; the so-called will of the people is probably irrelevant.

If this sounds a little childish, it is. The 80s are back. If everyone else’s going back I might as well. What use is being an adult anyway? I can’t exercise anything remotely like ‘citizenship’. It’s an irrelevant concept. Hanging on to it’s like dreaming about the middle ages on a nineteenth century steamship: a romantic reaction to modern inevitability.

I’ll just kick back in my wayfarers, crank the equalizer up, dance to some old time rock n’ roll: The Smiths and New Order and…

No!

I’m an intellectual! Sort of. I should be standing up, being counted, making sure the relevant agencies file my name, track my reading habits and Google searches. That’ll show ‘em. I’ll write an essay about how we’re all a princess, a brain, a freak, a jock and a criminal.

Nah!

Go hang down the Mall, get drunk on West Coast Cooler. Who cares if the North Koreans are Stalinist? They could be fascist-anarchists for all I care. It still wouldn’t change the fact: I don’t have a car!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

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