Between & Beyond: Dark Times

Even though I am approaching my one-year anniversary of writing this column, I don’t think I have ever really written a precise condemnation of the Obama administration. I feel very lonely in my disgust with his presidency, and this must be the darkest moment of his tenure. On one hand, there are plenty of people that hate him too. Most of them are misinformed and frightened, probably older than me, and probably have some calcified reserve of racism buried deep within that they might not even be aware of. Mostly, people hate him because they see him as a Leftist. I, on the other hand, am disgusted by the fact that he is anything/everything but.

From the start, back in 2008, his campaign speeches contained many ellipses, which is to say empty spaces where he invited the listener to fill in the gaps with his or her own personal hopes and dreams. I mean, his goddamned slogan invited you to do exactly that: Hope. When I would ask people about this, ask them about what exactly they were voting for, they would quickly anger and dismiss me. So, here we are six long years later on the eve of preemptive war. Here is where I feel exceptionally lonely. Democrats, the ones who suffered alongside me in the Bush era, those so incensed by the boy dictator and his cronies, have entered this fogged stupor of utter silence. In part, I don’t blame them. Even I am exhausted. Perpetual war has been in the background of my life ever since September 11th like some kind of inescapable nausea. The edges of every beautiful moment of my life are darkened with the rivers of Arab blood that flow under our flag. The spell cast on that day has not once loosened its grip even slightly, and Obama’s election seems like a pageant designed to pacify us more than ever.

I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial, but even the voices that lie furthest Left never seem to go far enough. Cornell West makes a great example. His critiques of Obama are absolutely on point and eloquent, and yet, when following the line down far enough, he still rests at blaming Obama’s lack of leadership, his indecisiveness, his middle-of-the-road nature. This remains inadequate for me. What Americans are faced with is wholesale corruption. Power is isolated and skewed and we have no control. The rules are fixed to make sure that the powerful remain powerful and get what they want.

At home, we are mesmerized by the torrent of media, Buzzfeeds and iPhones, that keeps us in our obedient haze as the average worker gives away up to 25 percent of his paycheck to oil companies and arms dealers by circuitous route of the federal government. Those oil companies poison the resources we consume. Those arms dealers sell to the police assigned to protect us and those police murder our children. Abroad, we continue to unfold our Phantom Empire. Sure, there are no colonies and no one is planting any flags, but we have a presence in a place where we don’t belong, and we have tenaciously refused to leave.

And here, our Nobel Prize-winning President is leading us into another preemptive war. The silence on this issue is deafening. The lack of disgust and outrage and resistance from all corners of the political landscape is mind bending. No one wanted to enter Syria when hospitals and thousand-year-old marketplaces were being shelled and children were dying in the arms of their parents. Now we have ISIS. The boogeyman has returned and he is just as effective as ever. With the familiar trope of beheaded journalists, we suddenly have no problem getting involved in Syria. We can dance on the edge of conspiracy, but we don’t have to. The murder of journalists, however heinous the method, is a criminal act. Our Nobel Prize-winning President has decided to react to criminal behavior with a declaration of war. If you think that American troops will not be involved in this campaign, the history of slowly escalating military campaigns, built on the same empty promises, begs to differ.

Waking this morning to find that Scotland remains part of the UK has only sunken my heart deeper. The world order remains, as stagnant and putrid as ever. The spell cast on 9/11 has frozen History in place. History, according to Marx and Engels, is about the push and pull between ideologies that forever evolve. History according to Terence McKenna is the fall of mankind from a symbiotic and immediate relationship with the Earth into the spell of language, patriarchy, subjugation, and conquest. McKenna saw us on the edge of a new world, one where we escape the death grip of History. We are frozen on that edge. The next changeover of ideology that lies just before us is one where we escape the concept of ideology itself. Postmodern philosophy predicted it, made us aware that the foundations of Western civilization had major faults. But those in power wish to arrest humanity’s development and have locked us in the shackles of globalization. Global dominance is not a future threat that we must resist. It is here. It is in the way that the West has frozen its paradigm in place, and it is made all the more nightmarish by the utter lack of understanding of the American people.