Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Morning Mindfuck

While traveling down to Virginia to watch the Steeler game with some friends, the resonator pipe fell off our '97 Money Pit. I ended up having to spend the night at my friend, Flaco's house, getting up in the morning, and looking for a garage.

Last night, after that beautiful, beautiful Steeler game, Flaco and I stayed up for a little bit talking about politics--like we've done for decades now. Taking care of a baby all the time, I can generally only talk in stammers and starts or full-on rants around other adults. Last night, I was ranting about the different stimulus packages being proposed, passed, pissed down our throats.

Aside from the proposed tax cuts, the entire idea of "shovel-ready" projects has really been baffling me. With the amount of money they're talking about spending, I don't understand why they have to be in such a hurry. If the point of this stimulus (besides getting people working) is to jump us into this "green economy," then shouldn't every project point us towards this "economy of the future"? I mean, if a bunch of these shovel-ready projects are nothing but expanding roads or fixing potholes, don't they run counter to the very idea of jump-starting us into the future? As I told Flaco, I am all for this idea. I think in a few years, there's going to be steep competition for natural resources, and the further we can extricate ourselves from that competition, the better. Also, our moving ahead with solar, wind, etc., will hopefully weaken the Saudi Arabias and Irans in the world. Look at how Russia's been freezing out the rest of Europe by withholding their natural gas--all because they want to teach Ukraine a lesson. Who needs that crap? So, I say go ahead, give us this "green economy," give us the "America of the future." But don't go rushing on, full-steam ahead, just to spend money and look like you're doing something. If the project doesn't fulfill this environmentalist promise, don't friggin' do it!

As you can see, I can go on.

Well, anyway, this morning, I drove around NOVA looking for a garage that would weld my resonator pipe back on. Of course, you might as well try looking for someone to give you their last kidney. ("But, Mr. Campbell, if we fix your resonator pipe, we can only charge you $75 in labor. If we make you replace the resonator pipe, we can mark up that pipe and the labor and charge you well over $300. Do you see where I'm coming from?") During my quixotic search, I listened to NPR over the booming engine and scraping tailpipe. I could not believe what I was hearing. It sounded as though someone taped my little rant verbatim and were replaying it. Except it wasn't me on the radio. It definitely wasn't any House Democrat nor Republican.

It was Newt Gingrich.

I swear to God, I don't know what's happened to me. I used to be all radical, and shit. I used to be all Black Power--listening to X Clan, reading Malcolm X, eating bean pies. I used to be an anarchist. I voted for Lenora Fulani in '92 because I thought the Republicans and Dems were full of it. Then I refused to vote for years because I thought the whole system was full of it and I didn't want to give my seal of approval. I've read my Lenin and Trotsky and Fanon and Diop and Foucault and Bakunin. I've marched to free Mumia. I've pamphleteered. I've protested war and homelessness. I've worked for homeless causes and in inner-city public schools....

All this to only turn around and sound like Newt Gingrich?

Newt ... Gingrich?!

... shit ...

I cried all the way to the next garage--tailpipe scraping the road.

1 comment:

Nancy Hanks said...

I hear your cry for help! And hey, don't give up on yourself - Newt Gingrich is a lot smarter than most politicians who have drifted to the top of the bipartisan soup. In the meantime, Lenora Fulani has been building a bottom-up independent movement that is having real impact. You might be interested in this post-election analysis "How the Independent Movement Went Left by Going Right" by Jacqueline Salit -- read it on The Hankster at Let me know what you think!