Happy Festivus, everyone. As I always do, I express my hope that your own Festivus pole has been taken out of the garage, and that you are adequately warmed up for your feats of strength and have duly annotated your list of grievances for airing.
I am not even going to start sharing my own this year. They are likely similar to your own list of grievances, and presumably start and largely end with the abuser of a certain Twitter account. Honestly.
I have mostly said my piece in earlier posts this year (and given the paucity of posts as I have devoted efforts to helping my friend Donald J. Putin (n/k/a Individual One Putin) on twitter and to trying to assist asylum seekers (who are often held in immigration detention facilities) as well as recent immigrants and, you know, try to hold down my responsible-sounding day job and my duties as husband, father, etc., keep up that marathon streak, assuming my ankle ever recovers so I can climb on to the roof and my urban garden, etc., etc.
That said, we are coming to a lot of “nearing the end” points: the efficacy of American capitalism, the American empire, American democracy, the American dream, the American experiment… do you see a theme? We were, of course, never remotely as good as the internal propaganda inflicted on us suggested that we were, but, you know, we were certainly prosperous and people from everywhere legitimately wanted to come here. Now, of course, the people coming here come from the periphery of our own empire, which has long ceased paying for itself, where they are fleeing death squads meant to prop up local strong men trying to stay in our favor (by helping to maintain the USA-favorable terms by which American business deals with them), at the very moment, of course, that we are trying to keep them out in the parochial interest of that twitter abuser (and his racist supporters). Not that an insane low-wage swing labor force benefits the people here, other than, you know, to perform labor that they won’t (usually for reasons of endlessly low wages and awful working conditions) but, you know… COME ON!
Nothing too specific. Media continues to pretend that everything is just fine and will go on exactly as it did before. Even as tens of millions of Americans have been flushed down the toilet of the last recession, losing their homes and jobs and pretty much everything, while Big Finance took over their houses and rented them back to them (at a slight premium), or is holding them vacant on spec. My point is simply that nothing is normal, nothing is good, and it is ending in front of us. Yes, I hope to wake up one morning and hear that President Pelosi has just been sworn in, but I am not holding my breath. See above re: the end of American democracy and the American experiment.
Being the only country on Earth that refuses to provide mandatory paid child-birth leave (completely unfair: Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua new Guinea also don’t provide paid maternity leave) honestly, should tell you EVERYTHING, even as more and more states try to ban abortion at the very moment they maximize the cruelty on women (and children). I could go on with other “American exceptionalism,” such as being the only country to insist that its citizens owe it tax for income generated anywhere in the world (Eritrea taxes ex-pats too, but at a whopping 2%). Just an “amuse bouche” of ways American exceptionalism FUCKS AMERICANS.
Best country that ever existed, best country that ever existed. Keep saying that or Tinkerbell will die.
OK; obviously, as a citizen of this country who just does not see how the hell to get out of it,and who recognizes that, in my particular circumstances as an American Jew, as a historical matter if nothing else, I am still probably better off here than almost anywhere else in the world, I will just have to continue to fight on to try to improve the place. [I should note that we had gone through over 240 years as a republic until President You Know Who unleashed his racist minions to give America its first bona fide pogrom, directed btw, at HIAS, an organization I happen to volunteer for.] And I can only urge the rest of you to try to do the same: fight on.
The idea of America is worth the trouble (even if the reality… might be something else).
Happy Festivus. This will take quite a feat of strength to hold it together. But together, maybe we can get it done.