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Revolution Blues


I’m already depressed about Obama’s big victory tomorrow. Maybe it’s because my dog is dying, maybe it’s because I’m tangled up in blue over matters of the heart, maybe it’s because I’m listening to On the Beach at 11 AM, but at the moment the only sensation I’m feeling about an Obama win — and I was a precinct captain for the guy — is a slight sense of a relief that Johnny Drama and Bible Spice won’t get their shot at hastening the opening of the Seventh Seal.

Other than that it’s all rearranging deck chairs on the corporate ship of state, resulting in an ever-so-subtle shift to a slightly less unjust social system, if only through somewhat less willingness to sell off the government to the highest bidders. And there will be a slightly better chance of not exacerbating the crimes of the Bush administration. But those crimes aren’t going to be repudiated, let alone prosecuted.

Iraq will remain a tactical mistake, instead of a grossly immoral abuse of national power. We’ll still have “debates” about what sorts of torture we should and shouldn’t be subjecting people to. Needless to say an Obama administration isn’t going to be interested in giving back expanded executive powers to spy on Americans without judicial oversight, or to otherwise ignore the law when it considers doing so convenient (after all, it will be doing so for good purposes).

There will still be 2.5 million Americans in prison, we’ll still be fighting a ferociously idiotic and immoral “war” on drugs . . . and there will be 10,000 editorials about how Obama must take this opportunity to “heal” the “partisan divide” in the nation (translation: Allow the rampant political criminality of the last eight years to go completely uninvestigated).

OK we’ll have a black president. That is something to be.

Update: This post represents a localized and transitory mental state, and not an impeccably objective analysis of the actual state of the world. Although it might be that too . . . (I sure hope not. Favorite all-time Neil Young line: “Though my problems are meaningless, that don’t make them go away.” This has always struck me as perfect description of low-grade depression, or the postmodern condition, or possibly both).

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