Debates and More Thoughts on the Future State of the Union

First, I’d like to say that I find it fairly odd how, well, how patriotic I’ve become, in a way. Patriotic in the sense of being deeply concerned with where the States are headed as a nation and as a country (note the difference between those two words). I guess that as things have gotten worse and more ridiculous, it’s made me realise how important the state of the nation is to me personally (because I care) and to the rest of the world. I wonder if I’d have so strong a sense of just how important the United States is to the rest of the world if I were still living there. Even a distance of 60 kilometres gives perspective, I guess.

I don’t have much to say on the debates since the talking heads and typing bloggers have pretty much already said everything that might be worth saying. Check out the usual suspects. For my part though, I’m happy that I can say that Kerry kicked some ass. I personally thought it wasn’t a spectacular debate myself after having watched it, but reading what other people had to say, I realised that Bush did look pretty bad. I guess I didn’t really think he looked bad since I don’t expect too much from him, even when he’s reading from a teleprompter, never mind when it’s impromptu.

As for the future state of the Union, I just read this (‘Politics in the “New Normal” America’ by Joan Didion) article. Although Scout over at ‘And Then…’ calls it a must read, I have to say that I’m not so sure. I don’t find that it necessarily says anything new. It’s a nice compendium of different things and for that it’s probably convenient to have it all in one article. So, if you haven’t been paying close attention, read it. Otherwise, just keep fighting against Big Brother.

The Onion‘s top headline this week is ‘Documents reveal gaps in Bush’s service as president’. It’s sad when a satirical newspaper that bills itself as ‘America’s finest news source’ really is, more often than it ought to be, American’s finest news source.

I’m also quite bothered by the fact that the most relevant metaphor available for our times continues to be found in Orwell’s 1984. I was deeply bothered by that book when I first read it in Grade 9. But, in the warm, fuzzy haze of the Clinton 90s–and perhaps also my own lack of knowledge and experience of the outside world–I felt secure in knowing that I had nothing to fear from Big Brother.

Now, the teacher who encouraged me to read that book, who encouraged me to always look at the big picture, who drilled into my mind that Knowledge is Power and that ‘People who have no hope are easy to control, and whoever has the control as the power,’ and, of course, that Power corrupts and that Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely, the person–without a doubt the most intelligent and brilliant teacher I had in high school–whom I credit with a very large portion of the way that I’ve come to think about the world, refuses to visit Montreal because it’s a French city in Canada.

It’s a sad, sad day when the Virgil of my HIgh School Inferno seems to have come to love Big Brother.

Things need desperately to change in the United States and the fate of the world rests in the balance.

(I’d keep going, but it’s almost two in the morning and I’m tired and probably am starting to ramble and not make much sense.)

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