Monday, January 19, 2009


God, I hate inaugurations -- a massive commercial for the imperial state, with some "populist" tinsel tossed around to make consumers feel included. And like clockwork, media mouthpieces assure us that no other country on the face of the planet, perhaps in all of history, transfers power so peacefully, so democratically. As if every other nation shuffles leaders via summary executions in windowless basements. Inaugurations show us, full blast, how arrogant and insecure our owners remain, thus the relentless propaganda about American "uniqueness." It's nauseating to witness, but it works.

"Think the rubes bought it?"

"They better. This thing's costing a fortune!"

With the ascension of President Change, the rubes are buying it more aggressively than ever. (No one seems to mind hearing pro-FISA Obama praise Martin Luther King, who was on the other end of government wiretaps.) Electing a President of Color is a boon to the empire, something media and political elites quickly latched onto, noting that the rest of the world will admire us again because our president has dark skin.

Obama's breakthrough should provide the necessary cover for imperial repair, from PR stunts like closing down Gitmo (whenever that happens), to a "humane" reassertion of American firepower. Time will tell how effective Obama will be, but if the man has anything, it's time. That's Bush/Cheney's present to the new prez. He'll be given slack to get America back on its feet, so it can stomp others again with renewed purpose and HOPEfully "success," as Joe Biden put it in the VP debate, insisting that Americans favor military intervention that "works."

Refined imperialism with a smiling face -- that's the Obama challenge. Elites understand this and are inside the tent. Consumers, especially those still blissed out over Obama, waving peace signs alongside his and Biden's name, are left to watch from the cheap seats, their loyalty and general obedience counted on and encouraged by those closer to the action. Contempt for the populace from above is as open and obvious as ever. Whether or not We The Spectators do anything to thwart this is another question. It may be too much to ask for during inauguration time, as compliant excitement is considered a patriotic duty; but when do we start pushing back against this feel-good arrangement? How much CHANGEspeak are we supposed to swallow before clearing our throats?

Oh look! It's Beyonce! Bono! Bruuuuuce! I love this song! "Come on up for the rising! Come on up, lay your hands in mine! Come on up for the rising . . ."

Sorry. What was I saying?