The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I’m back from Antigua. More on that later, still exhausted after a 22-hour day getting back. Ouch. But one interesting note. Remember just a few days ago, I was talking about how the experience of slavery in the States denied blacks the opportunity to create what an anthropologist would call a “culture”? Well, my impression that that damage wasn’t as bad in the Caribbean was bolstered. Interesting listening to other writers visiting Antigua commenting on the courtesy, diction, education, and general carriage of the students and natives. It was marked, and I was DELIGHTED that the average Antiguan was much darker-skinned than the average American black. It ain’t genetics, that’s for sure.What caused this? The cultural isolation? A different system under British rule? Something else? I don’t know…but I know I was proud to be there, and make a cultural contribution. And if they want me back, I’m goin’.
The Democrats seem to have done quite well indeed. And now, I pray that they will have more consideration and what I would consider “true” American spirit than the Reb[publicans have demonstrated for the last six years—we need bipartisan investigation of the best way to bring our troops home. If there has been genuine malfeasance, let’s investigate, but please not the nauseating spectacle of the kind of fishing expeditions it seemed the Republicans were doing with Clinton. If the Cheney-Halliburton connection is as vile as it has sometimes seemed, I’d love to see the man dragged out of the White House in handcuffs. But please, please, please—I want to see the America I grew up with, not this “everything’s changed” nonsense that we’ve seen in the last six years. Crap—other countries have gotten smacked and not gone so gonzo. There is a middle ground that protects the citizens and their rights, both. That ain’t the way we were headed.I like the idea of the parties sharing power, but to get the pendulum back to the center, it has to swing to the opposite direction first. I’m happy, but cautious. I don’t think either party has a lock on common sense or integrity, but I do think that we hit a “Perfect Storm” of negative political circumstance:
1) an attack on our native soil. People ALWAYS become more rigid and hierarchical under those circumstances.
2) A minimally competant President who trusts his emotions more than his intellect.
3) A Corporatocracy believing that, somehow, private enterprises are more moral than Governments. Bull. People are people, and integrity is pretty much distributed evenly.
4) I believe what Richard Clark and others have said: that for some reason this administration wanted to go to Iraq from the very beginning. Maybe their motivations were good, I don’t know. But it simply makes sense of much of what we’ve seen. If that’s true, it’s probably some combination of paternal competition, paternal love (“He tried to kill my daddy!”); the desire to access the vast oil supplies of Iraq; an honest belief that Saddam was Satan, and MUST have had WMDs; and the incredible ego to think that we could invade a country and be greeted with rose petals, not an insurgency.
The insanity of this boggles my mind.

There’s more, so much more that I feel—but I’ve never claimed to be savvy or particularly knowledgeable about Politics. I’ve never considered my self political. Philosophical, yes. But I don’t give a rat’s ass about political parties one way or another, and think that the Democrats might have become just as corrupt and inefficient given the same situations. We’re all just human. Reign it in, people. Let’s get the country I love back on track. The world is watching, and we need the world. The answer to terrorism isn’t broad-scale military action. It is surgical military action, police action, intelligence gathering and correlation, and massive, massive cooperation between the nation-states of the world.I can understand how people thought that the greatest military machine in history could solve any problem, but people—you can’t fix a television set with a hammer, no matter how heavy.

More later.

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