Dr. Dawg

"A harmony of overwhelming and collective murder"

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Werner Herzog speaks of the jungle, but he may as well be talking about today’s America, a latter-day Roman Empire in its disgusting decadence, where the worst of what makes us human no longer has any checks and balances, only fawning enablers.

A monstrous Id-figure, an orange Ubu Roi, now rightfully presides, a morbid symptom of a crazed and, dare I say it, profoundly evil society. America is the Sodom of the Babylonian Talmud, where justice was stood on its head: assault victims were forced to pay the assaulter for bleeding them, rape victims were compelled to live with the rapist until they became pregnant, and feeding the poor was punishable by death. Immigration was abolished: “Since there cometh forth bread out of (our) earth, and it hath the dust of gold, why should we suffer wayfarers, who come to us only to deplete our wealth. Come, let us abolish the practice of travelling in our land.”

There is nothing new about the reigning monstrosity who has already destroyed the office of the US Presidency. Here is Albert Jarry’s Ubu—sound familiar?

According to [playwright] Jane Taylor, “the central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification.” Jarry’s metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero — fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, greedy, cruel, cowardly and evil…. “There is,” wrote Taylor, “a particular kind of pleasure for an audience watching these infantile attacks. Part of the satisfaction arises from the fact that in the burlesque mode which Jarry invents, there is no place for consequence. While Ubu may be relentless in his political aspirations, and brutal in his personal relations, he apparently has no measurable effect upon those who inhabit the farcical world which he creates around himself. He thus acts out our most childish rages and desires, in which we seek to gratify ourselves at all cost.”

This is a country that has become a human game preserve where Blacks may be murdered with impunity so long as the murderer wears a glittering hunting licence. A nation whose legislators and Executive intend to strip health care from tens of millions of people, abolish environmental protections, and allow waterways to be poisoned. After Ubu and his gibbering family are through with health care, rape victims will find it more difficult to obtain health insurance, because rape is considered a “pre-existing condition” by private health insurers. And so things progress, if that’s the right word: think of whatever can cause harm to others, and there will be a law, Supreme Court ruling or Executive Order to put it in place.

It’s sado-politics at its worst, and the people who voted for and continue to support Trump are deeply complicit. The Sodomic maxim, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours” is not only the law of the land by now, but deeply embedded in that cacaphonous, roiling mosh-pit called “American culture.”

Like many others, rubbing our eyes after that impossible 2016 election, we tried to make excuses for the people who freely chose to elevate Ubu. We talked of voter suppression (which simply abounded), and the disappointingly obtuse other candidate, who never uttered an original word or idea throughout the campaign, and whose operatives ensured that a far better candidate would be shut out, shut up and shut down.

We tried to sympathize with those who were never part of the system and so had no stake in it, who, in Michael Moore’s words, sent a gigantic “Fuck You” to Washington. People who had no hope, and no vision to inspire them, as inequality kept increasing, as good jobs became scarcer and scarcer, as unions were crushed in state after state, and precarious, miserably-paid work was all one could expect, and all their children could expect until the end of time.

The American Dream was over; they shook themselves awake, rubbing their eyes and facing a new empty day, while, far away, other people debated cultural appropriation and trans rights and safe spaces and trigger warnings, and whatnot. They found themselves in a world that, to them, appeared more and more surreal, unmoored from everything they knew. These were people kept permanently at a distance, helpless spectators. So why not vote for the circus that would at least give them a little visceral satisfaction? Voting had always been consequence-free before; why not enjoy the damn spectacle for once?

But we must not patronize from on high. We must grant these people the dignity of agency, and, by so doing, refuse to absolve them. They made a completely indefensible, irresponsible, nasty, dangerous choice, and most still refuse to admit it, even as the wreckage is piling up. They’re getting too much vicarious enjoyment right now, watching other people ridiculed, reviled and humiliated by Ubu, beaten by his roving mobs of Freikorps, stopped at the border, or simply kept in their place, both geographical and social, by swaggering, militarized robocops.

It’s all great fun. And it will continue to be so for the alienated and detached, for the stupid, and for the vicious, psychopathic monsters who always rise to occasions like this, until the jungle overwhelms their shitty little towns of rust and crumbling concrete, and their soulless urban centres, and they are forced to live, not merely watch, what they have brought down on others.

By then, of course, it will be far too late. You don’t get a do-over or a “just kidding, can we go home now?” or a “gosh, we’re sorry, please make it better.” When you declare “a warre of all against all,” and, make no mistake, you’ve gone and done exactly that, America, you can’t just head for the exits: there are none. Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, folks. It’s here, and for once you’re invited.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 28, 2017 6:21 PM.

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