So the noise is dying down, and the people will have their say. We know ourselves that the real revolution has yet to be won, that the media hasn’t closed our eyes completely to the madness all around, and we await our war cry. Hope is offered and people cling on like limpets to the titanic of democracy. Naysayers are told to pipe down in front, truths are imposed and invented, and any rational debate is all but drowned out by the interminable rolling thunder of hyperbole.
I am going to stock up on tobacco and fizzy drinks, turn down the lights low, plug into the inter-world, and let myself be taken away by the circus folk. Red and blue will illuminate the screen, experts will debate numbers. Counters will crunch numbers, whilst percentages will pour out of their mouths like streams of piss. We will be led on many journeys into the dark and light possible futures that no one can ever predict. Countdown to election night is fun, but now it’s on.
My American birth left me fond for a place that preaches aspiration and hope and prosperity. My Irish blood has made me a realist and cynical and bitter. The combination helps me to be open-minded and judgemental and quick. I watch polls showing opinions slide up and down, caught up in the machinery of the American ideal. The wreckage from the Bush administration was succeeded by something different and samey. I see the contradiction as clear as when I look in the mirror.
I voted early. I voted for Obama. We didn’t have much of a choice on this one. Seeing the once mighty scramble for power is quite horrifying. Just like how I see Fianna Fail (pronounced Fee-a-Na Foil) decry the new masters as the cause of all of Irelands troubles, now I see the Republicans hounding the public into believing all of the problems in the USA were caused during 4 years of the Obama administration. How are we allowing this to happen?
Political amnesia is a human fallacy pounced upon by the power hungry. We allow ourselves to be duped into the same old story, year in and year out. No matter where the election is held, our desire to have democracy leaves us so hopeful to believe, even for a little bit, that they have our interests closest to heart. We listen to our favourite, and point and agree and listen for golden nugget sound bites to quote when we have our inevitable political debate with a rival.
Like squirrels hoarding nuts for hibernation, articles are read and devoured, numbers and figures are lodged and recorded; we pick a side. The fuse is lit, and all that is left is the long wait. I know the end to this story, the damp and unsatisfying end to another anti-climax. The real work I guess belongs to us, and the weight of that, I think, is what we realise.
I voted for Obama because he doesn’t twist the truth as much as Romney. I voted for him 4 years ago because he offered a human take. I watched as he battled against old men afraid of change, and wondered where all of the hope had gone. With his clarion call I examined how the prosperity had taken shape, how the people aspired to be greater than their sums, and how their hope has never diminished.
The world and I snigger at all of it. We laugh when it’s their turn, and then get serious when it’s ours. We all seem to pay the same price, for the same seats, at the same freak show. I get caught up in it as it is there in Washington District of Columbia that I popped out, so I’m one of those strange people called “absentee voters”. We search out our vote. We apply online for the privilege, not really knowing is our vote ever counted, but hopeful nonetheless. I guess it is in the air. Even that was not enough for everyone to be able to participate. New legislation boiled up in the witches brew has left many voteless, angry and disheartened.
I believe in change, and I’m not alone. What else explains us voting? What else keeps us awake at night watching two men debate and never actually say much? I don’t know anymore. I see people certainly rebelling, all over the world, rejoicing in the momentary loss of control. I hear enough people saying “no more” or “increased that” or “less this”, to feel the passion. I just don’t know where it’s all heading, and I guess therein lies the crux of the matter.
Our fear of the unknown is our great motivator. We grasp that teat with all our strength, and won’t let go, like a toddler with a point to make. We stick with this voting system, this system that encourages big business to intervene at ever increasing levels. These same corporations are destroying our own creative lives, running the banks, dictating the field of play, and disfiguring the global body politic. For whatever reason, we vote for this shit.
We roll around in it. We throw it at each other. We eat it every day with our breakfast. We sit in a metal coffin on the way to work and listen to it. We pour it out of our mouths on cigarette breaks. We post it up on this spider’s web. We argue about it. We worry about it. We can’t escape it. We enjoy it. We like it. We love it. We hate it. We accept it.
So whilst I can argue for change, and for some, oh, I don’t know, let’s call it a “neo chaotic breakdown realisation uprising”, for want of a snappier name, I can only partake at this juncture. I had more interest in the Venezuelan vote, to be honest. Chavez is doing some crazy stuff down there, and my interest was piqued because of all of the “rage” and “socialism” being reported. I wonder is any of it really reported as is.
Ireland had their independents, and I helped vote in Richard Boyd Barrett in the last local election. He doesn’t wear a suit or tie to the house of parliament, and entertains with pointing out the bloody obvious using these weird things called facts. It seems that we as a species are waking up to the power within, and that our numbers add up.
I hope one day my vote will be for something quite different, for something more productive than the blue guy over the red guy. I wish that the facts and numbers will be championed and not flipped to mean something they don’t. I dream of a happier, ecologically aware human population. I want us all to embrace and love and change tack.
Step by step though. First thing to do is participate.
So go ahead.