Roaming Charges: New Days, Old Ways

Golden dawn of the New Age, January 20, 2021, Newell Canyon, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Totalitarian solutions may well survive the fall of totalitarian regimes in the form of strong temptations which will come up whenever it seems impossible to alleviate political, social, or economic misery in a manner worthy of man.

– Hannah Arendt

+ It’s healthy for a culture to celebrate the fall of its tyrants, even petty ones like Trump, particularly when they’re evicted by popular action, however contrived and constrained the mechanisms compelling their removal are. In the end, Trump limped out of DC exposed, humiliated and impotent, and back to the rising swamps of south Florida with process servers hot on his trail. Negation is a powerful, if, alas, all-too temporary, political aphrodisiac. Enjoy the buzz while it lasts, soon the thrill will be gone.

+ In Classical Athens, tyrants (Themistocles, Cimon, Alcibiades) were exiled (or ostracized) and the seditious philosophers, like Socrates, put to death. In Rome and Florence, the dictators tended to get the knife (to assure they’d never return to power) and the poets and philosophers were sent into rocky exile (Ovid and later Dante, himself). Here our deposed autocrats are trundled off under the protection of a small contingent of Praetorian Guards to build their libraries, write their self-justifying books and await national rehabilitation after someone even worse than them assumes office.

+ So, our long national nightmare is over. After this commercial break, the new national nightmare begins.

+ All inaugural speeches are American Carnage speeches, studded with implicit and explicit vows to commit it on a global scale. Trump’s lamentable speech four years ago was unique for our time because he also described a Bosch-like dreamscape of “racial” carnage in American cities as justification for the authoritarian measures on the homefront he sought to impose. In the spirit of comity, Biden reverts to the traditional script, while wielding the very same powers, powers he himself spent years inscribing into the federal criminal code, under a cloak of empathy and diversity.

+ Yes, Joe, a New Day for Old Ways…

+ For a nation whose founding principle, in theory, was a separation between church and state, we are getting saturation bombed by religious metaphors at Biden’s inaugural: “sacred” “temple” “faith” “soul.”

+ The imperial trumpet blasts sounds like they came from the score of the grand ball scene in Disney’s Cinderella…

+  So it’s the anthem and the pledge and despite all the ritualistic kowtowing to BLM over the last 10 months no one in this crowd looks likely to take a knee…

+ A spectacle of guns, flags and religion…only money isn’t openly celebrated at these kinds of celebrations of national values.

+ J-Lo and Gaga. This is not the A Team. Where’s Mavis?

+ J-Lo, the blinged-out reincarnation of Woody Guthrie in the time of Late-Stage…


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