The International Writers Magazine: US Comment
2010: Year of the Faux Revolution
"I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all."
- Alexis de Tocqueville
And in Berkeley
And in Greenwich Village
And in Paris
And in Scottsbluff, Nebraska
No one sits around funky little coffee shops anymore
They get a Starbucks to go
- Dan Bern
It is true; this space declared 2009 The Year of the Guilty, as it was ushered in on the wings of a Rod Blogojevich stand-off and ended with what is left of the Tiger Woods brand. In between there were villains of all kinds. They know who they are and let's leave it at that. If there is one thing we shall not do here is be roped into any Top Ten or Year End listings. We prefer a sweeping Fuck You to the entire lot and move on.
And so we roll undaunted into the new decade filled with less zeroes and more complaints, something you may have already noticed in the latter half of the annual bitch-fest by the great unwashed; Whining & Panicking 101.
Everything is screwed.
The system has failed us.
The government is after grandma and the military is a joke.
Hey, we've been more than happy to contribute to these and other half-baked hyperboles, but this year all bets are off. This year we will separate the wheat from the chaff and see who is on board for a steaming bowl of unflinching reappraisals, a hardcore trip to the cruelest type of honesty, the kind that does not accept those mailing it in or regurgitating some weak-ass theology from media darlings. This year, 2010, is the Year of the Faux Revolution.
I am on board. Lord knows we've been holding a DO NOTHING BUT DECRY fest for almost a dozen years around here. It's about time we carry it to the streets; with the caveat that the temperatures rise above freezing, otherwise we'll keep it inside for now. Nevertheless, in 2010, this is the space to visit for all your phony outrage and fabricated incredulity. Our cup runneth over; imbibe, boogie and be merry, for tomorrow we realize it doesn't matter a lick.
Ah, but before proceeding into the quagmire of misdeed, misrule and mistakes, we merely present a few middling ground rules...
Please do not send us back to failed alternatives or discredited "isms", and certainly do not waste our time conjuring opaque fantasy worlds of yesteryear when the roses bloomed, the virgins sang, and the sun shined every minute of every day. These things have not worked and do not exist respectively. Sell it elsewhere. This is real bullshit revolution, like pissed off teenagers or concerned celebrities, well-intentioned politicians and whatever nonsense passes for religion.
Those unhappy with our current state can no longer contradict themselves, for instance asswipes carrying signs like "KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OFF MY MEDICARE" and news anchors telling me to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior need not apply. And for the last time cease and desist from sending anymore of these decrepitly incoherent four-hundred year-old fossils from its ex-vice presidency outpost who did not have the balls to run for president crapping all over the one who had the stones to seek victory and claim it. It's like a lazy-ass neighbor standing on the curbside with a hammer criticizing your carpentry skills. Fuck him and fuck all the others with no guts to get in the ring.
Moreover, and in specific cases, more importantly, 2010 will ask that someone please come with something harder than GIVE ME MY COUNTRY BACK, since there isn't a living soul who can tell me what country that is, and believe me I have asked an agonizingly long line of friends, family, and colleagues. No one seems to know; is it the one when women and blacks had no rights, or the one where minorities could not share diners and hotels and schooling was denied to immigrants and lynching was considered a weekend picnic and rioting in the streets was a common occurrence or hijackings became daily ritual or gas lines wrapped around the block? You can have that country, jack. Perhaps this is an America further back, one ravaged by Civil War? How about one prior to the ratification of the Constitution, which has rendered more self-serving blather and less pure understanding than the Qur'an and the Holy Bible combined.
Finally, could we all agree that we are not, nor have we ever been SAFE, whatever the hell that means? Unless it stands for wrapping oneself in a hermetically sealed existence afraid of everything and everyone and dealing off personal freedoms one by one until this is some kind of highway bound, hot-wired citadel. It's a fallacy perpetuated by halfwits with something to prove and less to lose. No one is safe, and never will be. Accepting this is a joy worth embracing and a key component to a 2010 way of thinking.
Let's stick with stuff we can wrap our hands around, because 2010 is about coming to grips, getting our digits dirty and backing it up with more than just flags and ribbons. True Faux Revolutionaries (with respect to my dear friend Admiral Daniel Bernstein --
goddammnit I've got to call the master soon for a fusion of volume-addled burn-elixir --
I'm blasting your opus right now as I write this inspired bit of gibberish, Admiral, and I will never stop requesting an updated version for our faux anthem) will not be allowed to quip from the sidelines.
And, okay, as a consequence, there will be no more or at least less offending disjointed run-on parenthetically interrupted sentences with cryptic messages to my songwriting pals.
But I digress.
Shit, we've had quite the little rock-slinging group for awhile now; writing, reading and spewing ill humor all over these Reality Check articles. Maybe you posers can get on board. Maybe you pundits will take heed. Maybe we'll get ourselves new chants and new slogans and new places to meet under naked light bulbs in "funky little coffee shop" basements and realize that we sure as hell have ceased trying to alter reality long ago, save for the fashionable bout with the Green Fairy and the gallons of gin I consumed New Year's Eve. Ah, we took it to the streets that night, right kids?
And if you don't understand these subtler forms of indignation, then maybe you should stick to FOXNEWS and MSNBC and MS. Magazine.
This is a new American language for a new year.
That, my dear friends, is change you may not believe in, but you will soon hear it coming.
© James Campion Jan 9th 2010
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