I know many of you have been wondering where I have been these last months.If it’s any consolation, so have I.
The press of various activities has left me rather beleaguered on all sides, and I have been investigating a rather complicated issue concerning spies who go sailing and then disappear off their boats.(There has been something of an epidemic of this of late.)
In addition, I’ve been researching some arcane “ascent” literature concerning attempts by our ancestors (European, Jewish, Arab, Asian, Latin American, Native American, African, Caribbean … so, yes, all of our ancestors!) to reach heaven through ritual and meditation.It’s a continuation of some of the themes I explored in Sinister Forces, particularly in the (sold-out – what’s up with that? – and soon-to-be-reprinted) Volume 3, but in a heavier, purely academic, approach.
In addition to allthat, I am also researching the connection between shamanism and the “terrorist” cults of the Middle East and Asia; especially the relationship between Indonesian concepts of dukun (a kind of shaman) and the leadership of the JI group that has claimed responsibility for the Bali and Jakarta bombings, among others.My research is resolutely non-political;I am looking for the application of “sinister forces” to the creation and maintenance of this type of cult.(Yes, from my point of view, JI is a cult rather than a political party;it’s programme includes establishing an Islamic state throughout Southeast Asia and as far as I am concerned that is a religious rather than a political platform … but, I could be wrong!)
But … tomorrow is Election Day and I felt that some sort of message was called for and here it is:
Most of you are pretty cynical about the democratic process these days.Why wouldn’t you be?We are being lied to consistently and continuously by every branch of our government.Our privacy has been invaded.Habeus corpus has disappeared.We are on the verge of becoming a fascist state.
I attended the Norman Mailer Society conference this year, held in Provincetown.The keynote speaker was the novelist William Kennedy (author of Ironweed which was made into a film starring, I think, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep).At the end of his remarks, there was a brief question-and-answer period and, in response to one of the questions, he said that fascism was coming to America, and that it was brought not by Huey Long but by George W. Bush.
You may be interested to know that many of our most influential thinkers are of the same opinion, but they are generally afraid to voice it.
Maybe our votes don’t count.(I live in Florida, so I know they don’t in this state!)Maybe we are all being manipulated by one secret society that lives underneath the streets and counts the votes coming from machines that were designed and installed by Republican Party supporters.Maybe there is no real difference between Democrats and Republicans.Maybe even Ralph Nader is nothing more than a red herring.Who knows?
But one thing is certain:the parties are counting on us NOT to show up for Election Day.A massive voter turnout would throw all their nice statistics into complete disarray.And they would learn that we are angry and onto their tricks.That we are motivated.That we are willing to take some kind of action, no matter how futile.
And that may result in more lack of privacy, more arrests of innocent persons, more home invasions … more fascism at home and imperialism abroad.But not for long.
No fascist state can last for very long; it’s a one-trick pony, a shaggy-dog story.
These past months we have been subjected to the bizarre sight of Republican Party stalwarts being caught as pedophiles, as bribe-takers, as closet-gay tweakers.The Catholic Church must be breathing a sigh of relief as guys like the Rev Haggart are being outed, thus taking the spotlight off of Padre Pederastia for awhile.The important message behind all of this is simple:the emperor has no clothes (at least, not while he’s getting a massage from a gay escort…).The moral high ground that the GOP has maintained it had over womanizers like Bill Clinton and Jack Kennedy has collapsed under them.So, they are desperately trying to focus our attention on the war in Iraq, which would be pretty funny if it wasn’t so … obscene.
Not that the Democrats are coming out of this any better.We all know they have no stones.John Kerry can’t get a joke right, and that’s the joke right there.The Democrats have been agonizingly slow to go on the offensive against the GOP, leading some of us to wonder if maybe there really isn’t a difference between the two parties.
So … what should we do on Election Day?
Simple.Vote.It doesn’t matter who.It’s the numbers that count.Massive voter turnout would shake the oligarchy to their boots, whatever the party.It would upset the system, frighten people like Karl Rove, and give our enemies a few restless nights as they wonder what an energized voting American public will do in the future.
So, for once, let’s screw paranoia, and cynicism, and fear and the "dog and pony show".Vote.Vote for anyone.Vote for Mickey Mouse.Vote for your boyfriend.Or vote against the existing oligarchy and replace it with the other one (my personal favorite; a Democratic Congress would prove, once and for all, whether or not the Dems really are the heterosexual wing of the GOP).