What a week!
Seattle is nearly wiped off the map by a Pacific typhoon. Fascism grows like a cancer on the pancreas of the body politic. Hordes of drug-addled homeless people invade the parks, eating children and leaving booby-trapped piles of poisonous needles in their wake.
All we need now is war with Russia to make our anxieties complete.
It’s easy enough to see why some people are retreating into a fantasy of “the good old days” when America was a shining city on a hill, women were for keeping house and making babies, and everyone was white. We were safe, then, and the world was ours for the taking. Make America Great Again!
The storm-that-didn’t-happen disappointed everyone, I think. We need a little mini-apocalypse, just to relieve some of the tension! A windstorm is better than an earthquake, in this regard, because it doesn’t actually break buildings, roads, and water pipes. You can get the thrill of an emergency without dying of thirst or exposure. I, personally, was looking forward to 5 or 6 days without power, just to see what happens when you take away the Internet.
What’s most interesting about the new American Fascists is that they hate journalists. I would have thought they want all the attention they can get. The Deplorable Orange One certainly used the mass media to rise to the top of the political shit-pile, but now His followers are throwing things at reporters who are forced to take refuge in chain-link pens surrounded by security guards.
When a Fascist beats up a reporter, I think what the Fascist is saying is: “You don’t tell me who I am. I’ll tell YOU who I am, and you’d better fucking believe it!” As the self-definition of the Fascist departs further and further from reality, it becomes more and more important that no one else has anything to say. Ultimately, the Fascist will deploy guns, tanks, armies – whatever he can get his hands on – to enforce his view of himself as the pure, healthy, and righteous creature that he knows he is.
The Fascist is a creature of pure narcissism, but his followers are not. They are motivated primarily by fear. They see their world slipping away, and when they get scared enough they will listen to a story that explains their misery by blaming the contaminated Other. This is true even when people are good people.
You can see it in the comments section of the Seattle Times, where people demand that the homeless go back where they came from, and stop being dirty, sick, and addicted to drugs. The homeless are terrifying not because they will actually hurt you, but because with the tiniest tweak on the knob of fate, they could BE you. The relentless pressure of the capitalist machine is pushing us all toward the filthy dirt lot under the Interstate.
When the typhoon missed Seattle, some people blamed the forecasters for making a big deal out of nothing. I think this is ungracious, as well as ill-informed. The storm is coming. Best to prepare now.