Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Opinuary Column

The Opinion "The heart and soul of a country are under the dominion of its most cynical, manipulative power brokers" has died, having been struck by the smallest beam of illumination, the cleansing light of self-reflection. True, the "heart and soul" of the abstraction known as "Real America" is often up for grabs among the hucksters, demagogues and snake oil salesmen who exploit it for all its worth, but for the time being the grab is too weak, too desperate, too unhinged. The FOX may be in the hen house, but seeing as how he is dangerously exposed it is possible he will be pecked to death. At the very least his gnads could be gored.

The Opinion was born and raised in the land of unfettered rapaciousness, where it lived as it pleased and took whatever it wanted. It built the dream and stained the bed, and did it cheaply with slave labor, before and after the War Between the States. It proclaimed the exceptionalism of America, editing out the parts it didn't cotton to, until a time came when ignoring the demon only put more fire in the belly, fire that nearly destroyed the entire nation. What was sold as freedom was bought in caskets and misery, and many a family wept itself to sleep.

In our time, the Opinion has been bought and paid for by those who live as royalty, who wave the flag and their checkbooks in unison, a blur of patriotism and profit. Take heart: there are still those who feel the nation has a purpose beyond gaining mere capital and power, a purpose as an experiment in justice and democratic rule so powerful that the possibilities and potential of all could be vouchsafed, if only as the faintest of hopes in our common dream of democracy. It was in this myth that the greatest power of America lay, for though the advance was slow it was dedicated, though it was outspent it was not denied, though it was shouted down it would not stay silent. The greatest myth of all, the one beginning with We hold these truths to be self evident, survived regardless of the thorough malevolence of its adversaries, and endures as a wise reminder, the brassiet brass ring of all. It is always there, waiting.

A nation's creation mythology is important for a time, but like all myths must eventually be discarded and replaced by something that smacks of reality, of objective accounting, and ultimately of reckoning. Here in America, where the center cannot hold any more than anywhere else in the Universe, the violence that haunts us will still play out, the passion of fear-based belief will still pitch its fits to deny our common humanity, but the ground of what is in the collective gut and heart has been planted with a new crop, a new seed, a new dawn. That seed is you, dear Reader, every single day of your life. Every day that you, a free citizen, consult with your own core, the very essence of your being, and discover anew what is radiantly clear: that Glenn Beck is a malignant, meretricious nutjob and Sarah Palin is a human whoopie cushion--every day that you renew those truths to yourself is a very good day indeed.

In lieu of flowers the family of the deceased Opinion will continue to spend millions and millions of dollars upon lobbyists and media to thwart, befuddle and bludgeon you and yours into a permanently submissive state, except when it suits their purposes for you to march and kill and that sort of thing. I suggest that you be wild instead. Be difficult. Be alive.


The Opinuary Column (now in the morning slot) appears every Friday at Jesus' General for what better way to start your day than to do it reading about death?




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