Obama Speaks Sweet Nothings, Time To Push For Change, My Life As An Angry Young Man
By Gary Crethers / The Rag Blog / September 9, 2009
I caught the last part of Obama’s speech tonight driving home from work. I got the part from where he was listing things like tit and butt examinations as part of the plan. That was probably more than I needed to know, but I am glad he mentioned some of the things he plans to cover.
I liked the bit he read from Ted. It teared me up a little. I didn’t think a political speech could do that to me any more, but I was all choked up for a minute, like a sad dog story will. You know the loyal dog that gets dragged on the road by its master, like that bit from National Lampoon’s Family Vacation. Sad.
No, I am not a total cynic. I knew Obama was going to waffle on the public plan. The last bit that would make this a decent health care plan and he was ready to let it go. Even Congresswoman Lee, a real liberal from Oakland barely could get any enthusiasm to mention single payer she was so enamoured with Obama. The rest is just a windfall for the insurance companies disguised as reform. They are getting exactly what they want, mandatory insurance. The companies get us all and we get no option. We are screwed coming and going.
Thanks Obama, thanks progressive caucus. Not one Republican made even the slightest move to meet you, and you just about bent over and said do it now. I am so sick of these half-hearted liberals and their imaginary reforms. When it gets down to the nitty gritty, they all wimp out. Dean was the only one I heard tonight with any fire left in his belly for the public option. The rest of it seemed to be roll over and play dead and listen to the president make nice noises.
If Obama is going to suck up and kiss Republican ass on tort reform, like Biden did with the bankruptcy laws, then he at least should get the public option for it in exchange. Period. Otherwise I say release the hounds, send the Attorney General on a witch hunt and go after every Republican operative who supported the war in Iraq, who supported torture and don’t let up until they agree to stop blocking on health care. Nixon and Johnson knew how to play down and dirty, even Kennedy did. What is wrong with Obama? Is he afraid to get his hands dirty? Make them pay for all the dirty games they have been playing this summer.
Done with that. I knew it would be a bunch of sweet rhetoric and it was. We have to let them know we want real reform not this bending over for the insurance companies.
Last night I had a hard time sleeping. I woke up thinking about all the evil I have done. I was thinking how I need to use that evil nasty shit kicker side of my nature to get things done. I was thinking about the nasty things Peter has said I did in the past and he was right. I did piss on an altar and walked checks at bistros in Boulder when I was a starving artist.
Hell back then I had shoes with holes in them. I used to have to stuff newspapers in the bottom of my shoes to walk to work in the snow. I used to eat leftover macaroni and cheese from the day care center run by my buddy Howard’s mother. I used to live in an unheated room in the middle of below zero Boulder winter weather. When I left the spiritual commune I had no money and used to sleep on the chairs at the restaurant I worked at as a dish washer.
The three of us, Howard, Peter and I were known as the Wrecking Crew. We terrorized downtown Boulder, not with anything serious, petty larceny, symbolic and poetic gestures mostly. We drove around in Peter’s VW with the Sex Pistols blasting!! We were bad for Boulder, tame by modern standards. We were angry young men hanging out at the Dunkin’ Donuts all night drinking bottomless cups of coffee and writing poetry about our alienation.
We did our punk rock Radio show on KGNU, we had our band the Dancing Assholes, we put on shows at the local Free School and put together a punk fanzine. That was when I founded the Colorado chapter of Rock Against Racism. I tried to organize a union at a couple of places and got blacklisted in Colorado. I ended up only being able to work at the recycling plant as a bottle smasher
Yeah, I was a little mean, and I had an attitude that said fuck you church and state. I was kicked out of school, left the commune I lived in because my best buddy and my girlfriend were sleeping together in the next room. I was glad to be out of that hypocritical BS where they preached about love and honesty and fucked you over when your back was turned just like any other corrupt social structure. When Peter met me I was pissed off and ready to riot.
That was when I started to believe in direct action, to throw bricks through piggy business windows and I protested gentrification, against racism, against capitalism, against nukes, against any and everything that seemed wrong in the world. When I was in my twenties I was ready to blow a fuse and at one point I was about five minutes away from picking up a gun and joining the hard core revolution. But by 1980 when I was ready most of those groups like the Red Army Faction and Badder Meinhof and the Red Brigades and the SLA and the Black Dragon Group and Black Liberation Army and the Weathermen had all been broken up and become inactive.
When they were going underground in the early seventies I joined the spiritual commune. I was ready to make the society that we dreamed of a reality. But by the late seventies I was fed up with the power trips and the false spiritual leadership in the group. I was ready for the revolution but it wasn’t ready for me. I guess I was lucky. If I had joined it in the early seventies I might be dead by now. Instead I waited and when I wanted to bust a move, the only thing left was gang banging.
Last night I felt the weight of the misery of my anger. How it has served me both to ill effect and to help me persevere when a weaker person might have gone under. It got me through the Reagan years of hell and the Clinton years of hypocrisy and the Bush years of more hell. Now I guess I had better get ready for more hypocrisy but I am older and a little wiser, perhaps. At least I can see what is in front of me and understand where it comes from. I rage against the machine in my own way, but I know how to chill and cope with my own frustration a little better. I am still learning the meaning of the old saw, organize don’t agonize.
I am ready to do one more round of attempts to encourage the Democrats to stand for something besides selling out to corporate greed. Then I am going to work for the Green Party, and for libertarian communism in our time. Perhaps this is a waste of time, but I still can feel my heart pounding and feel the blood coursing through my veins. As long as there is life, there is hope. Revolution or evolution, but change must happen in our lifetimes!!!
[This article was also posted on The Carbonholic Anti-Entropic Continuum.]