Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Greek In The Saddle
I'm still sort of pissed off that the Soviet Union never annihilated the United States with a horrific unprovoked nuclear first-strike.

I was born in 1974, which means I spent my formative years in the 1980s. I endured glam hair-metal bands, really big sunglasses and people purposely cutting holes in their jeans and I did it happily. Why? Because I knew--knew--that the dirty sneaky godless commies were going to wipe us out and soon.

We didn't need Fox News to tell us who to hate.

It was a simpler time back then.

People say that a lot, writers especially. "It was a simpler time..." Maybe the perception has something to do with the progressive development of human cognitive faculties where we gain perspective, knowledge and insight as a benefit of age and experience.

Nah, it can't be that. It has to be that it was simpler then.

But then I think, Hey, if everyone's childhood was a "simpler time", wouldn't one person's "simple" overlap with someone else's "complicated"? Like 20 years from now are hacky Failed Writers going to look back on 2005 through the pink fog of nostalgia and sigh "It was a simpler time back then... we were safe in the knowledge that we'd all be killed by a terrorist smallpox release or a radioactive dirty bomb. So Ashlee Simpson didn't really matter."

While I agree whole-heartedly about the Ashlee Simpson thing, it doesn't help me handle grown-up reality. The polarized geopolitics of my youth, Red vs. Free, seem awfully quaint. Even the threat (the surety) of nuclear holocaust afforded us a type of nihilistic certainty that kept the really sticky questions of metaphysics at bay. At least it did when I was 8.

The new political polarity, Red vs. Blue, is less helpful in that it's totally domestically, masturbatorially interior. What about the rest of the world? Despite what my president tells me, I still have a passing curiosity. I need to know where I, as an American, fit in the world.

These questions would be easier to ask if I were actually abroad among hordes of foreigners on their own turf. Of course I would be limited by the fact that I'd have to pretend to be Canadian in order to get them to talk to me. Plus I'd have to learn their yucky, phlegmy gutter-talk language...

OK, so I'm not going anywhere soon. But I have the internet to help me prop up any conclusions I might reach with a bunch of bullshit "evidence" and "research". It's almost the same thing.

So if we're not the Last Bulwark Against Communism, what are we? Consumers, right? OK, but look, if we can't even be the fattest people in the world anymore, what the hell is left? We're behind the Greeks? In anything? Sure they had a 4000 year head start on everyone else, but let's be honest, they've been the caboose on the long train of world culture since 1453 at least.

The fact that we're looking up at the Greeks in any category, especially obesity, our #1 stock-in-trade... does anything make sense any more? Are these words I'm typing? Fiddy oodle beedo plam.

This veem on the Nahoogle Skeemi: 5.glorm



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