Monday, July 04, 2016


“There’s a lot of things wrong with this country, but one of the few things still right with it is that a man can steer clear of the organized bullshit if he really wants to. It’s a goddamned luxury, and if I were you, I’d take advantage of it while you can.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968-1976

“When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good.”
― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

The USA's Independence from Britain in the 18th century is celebrated today, while Britain, or parts of it now strain for their own independence from the European Union. Hmm. I saved a comment found on a British-Ex-pats' discussion forum this week, as representative of the situation in the UK at present:
"So, let me get this straight… the leader of the opposition campaigned to stay but secretly wanted to leave, so his party held a non-binding vote to shame him into resigning so someone else could lead the campaign to ignore the result of the non-binding referendum which many people now think was just angry people trying to shame politicians into seeing they’d all done nothing to help them.

Meanwhile, the man who campaigned to leave because he hoped losing would help him win the leadership of his party, accidentally won and ruined any chance of leading because the man who thought he couldn’t lose, did – but resigned before actually doing the thing the vote had been about. The man who’d always thought he’d lead next, campaigned so badly that everyone thought he was lying when he said the economy would crash – and he was, but it did, but he’s not resigned, but, like the man who lost and the man who won, also now can’t become leader. Which means the woman who quietly campaigned to stay but always said she wanted to leave is likely to become leader instead.

Which means she holds the same view as the leader of the opposition but for opposite reasons, but her party’s view of this view is the opposite of the opposition’s. And the opposition aren’t yet opposing anything because the leader isn’t listening to his party, who aren’t listening to the country, who aren’t listening to experts or possibly paying that much attention at all. However, none of their opponents actually want to be the one to do the thing that the vote was about, so there’s not yet anything actually on the table to oppose anyway. And if no one ever does do the thing that most people asked them to do, it will be undemocratic and if any one ever does do it, it will be awful.


(mrken30, British Ex-Pats forum)


mike said...

It's always handy to have politicians to hang the turds on. The woes of the UK were there prior to the Brexit vote, but the vote confirmed the worst and brought it all to the surface. A bit like having all of the symptoms of a dreadful cancer, ignoring the signs as long as possible, then receiving a confirmation from the doctor and agonizing over the diagnosis. Denial only benefits procrastination.

Here in the USA, we have two derelict POTUS candidates representing opposing political platforms, yet both are equally appalling to me. Their time has come, because they are in harmony with the plurality that put them there. It ain't the politics, it's US! Say what you will about corruption and dirt in politics, it's the electorate that sustains the performance. Who'd a thought we'd have a war-mongering, corporate elitist running against a fascist, corporate elitist? There were other choices, but they didn't appeal to the majority of the little people. Politicians may be dream thieves, but few people dare dream.

“But one way or another, it is insulting to the Founders’ memory to associate any patriotic feelings you have for the memory of the nation they created with the repressive fascist police state that now occupies its territory; the 4th of July is now a memorial rather than a celebration, and the Spirit of ‘76 is nothing but a ghost.” Maggie McNeill

Twilight said...

mike ~ There's not much joy on either side of the Pond at present. What you said about the woes of the UK can equally be said in relation to the rise of Trump, and the unfortunate likely choice of presidential candidates we'll have to make in November. Trump wouldn't have risen as far as he has had not there been the symptoms of underlying disease present, Sanders would not have been overpowered by the Clinton machine if the electoral system in the US had not been rendered unfair over the years, in various ways.

In both cases, I see the original fault being that there has been no proper left in politics for which to vote, either here or in the UK, for too long. There has been no proper "checking and balancing". A pattern emerged, and too many of the population have been asleep to realising what has been going on.

Ordinary people in the USA and UK have not had representation they needed, only faux left neo-liberal self-serving governments. The disease has found a way to make itself felt, slightly differently in the US and UK.

Not a happy July 4th this year.

Anonymous said...

mike - Is it, indeed, "insulting to the Founders’ memory" - perhaps, perhaps not.

The worm of human self-interest lies within the bud:

'In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.' - James Madison, Constitutional Convention (US), wiki

Twilight, today's first topic led to some interesting links:

(An unfortunate title but good read. This past winter I watched an old 70's TV series about the Quincy Adams family which was quite good, although the earlier episodes were more gripping than the final two. 'The Adams Chronicles 1976 PBS' which I found at my library.)

As to your second topic, I think the ex-pat blogger couldn't have described the situation more aptly!

Happy 4th of July ;P

mike (again) said...

You said, "... have not had representation they needed...". That's true, but they've had representation they WANTED. It shouldn't be forgotten that well-over half of the primary voters in the USA willingly cast ballots for our two nominees. This primary election was so super-energized that it would be difficult to rationalize that the snooze button had been pushed and the average voter was unaware. Ditto for very discouraging that so many Brexit-leave voters wanted to change their vote immediately after the result was announced, but before the half-truths were revealed. And there were half-truths on both sides of the Brexit referendum to even the score. The Brexit-remain voter was analogous to Hillary's business as usual, but with female anatomy; the Brexit-leave voter had much similarity to Donald's make-us-great-again fascism.

mike (again) said...

Sabina - As a Pottawatomie Indian tribal member, I would say there was much pathology in the founding of this country...LOL. I now live in the state of Texas and previously the state of California, both were originally Mexican territories until seized.

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ Will read the links in a while & thank you. I've just been watching a movie on TCM - old 1959 film: "The Devil's Disciple", from a play by George Bernard Shaw - what enticed me to watch it (fairly light-hearted tale if that be possible) of the American Revolution ws the cast: Lovely Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Lawrence Olivier and Janette Scott. LOL! I enjoyed it, silly though it was.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I dio believe the "average voter" isn't aware of the full implications of neo-liberalism - i.e. that they may as well be voting Republican. They are brain-washed. Bernie has opened many eyes, still not enough.

Re Brexit - I don't think you or I are in a position to be sure about our views on this.
The only thing I do feel sure of is that leaving the EU should not have been a matter for referendum, at least not without plans - clear plans of how to proceed should the vote be to leave! The people had no idea what a Leave vote would entail, and nobody properly advised them - or if they did, it was in lies. Cameron is to blame for the awful mess the country faces now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, mike. Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we studied the history (and geography) of the USA in school so I am aware of the depredations of the 'Founding Fathers' of both our countries. The modern PC mania to clothe what we here in Canada call 'First Nations Peoples' with a modernized version of Noble Savage status isn't much of an improvement on the old days. We pay a lot of lip service to our collective 'guilt' but try to do as little as possible to ameliorate the conditions of their lives.

Twilight, that movie sounds worth a gander but without cable it's unlikely I'll run across it. It's ridiculous to me that it is so difficult to find old films to rent/buy/watch. GBS one of my fave playwrights. Took the opportunity in '74 to see 'Pygmalion' at the Albery - tho not my fave play of his, couldn't resist chance to see Diana Rigg and Alec McCowen acting in the flesh.

mike (again) said...

And today Nigel Farage, UKIP-Brexit, resigned!

Twilight said...

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

And NASA's Juno reached Jupiter!