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A Plea for Mockery


Whenever an article on the internet discusses Obama or Romney I know it is not serious about politics. Certainly both of these men, and the entire American bureaucratic system, are irrelevant to the serious problems facing Americans and indeed, everyone. This year Arctic sea ice area declined, and continues to decline, to all time record lows. The situation is far worse than it seems for the remaining ice is slushy and thin. Also, unlike 2007, this was not a particularly propitious year for melting. The thicker ice, with on average thickness of only one point five meters, thus far thinner than the seven meter thickness normal in the old days, is now in pieces. It washes out of Fram Strait into the warm Atlantic and melts. If you think this year was hot wait until all the ice in the arctic is gone just a few summers from now.

I could go on with the litany of other real dire problems, but those who know know, and those who do not know will never know.

The American political system can never address these problems. History reveals that the only action it is any longer capable of is military or paramilitary, and that only in a blundering way. Consider Katrina. Consider the collapsing infrastructure. Consider unemployment. Consider housing. Consider a response to Fukushima. With its bloated agencies filled with people whose technophilia necessarily gives them, if they don’t already have, a moronic understanding of human nature, it is a blind and stupid beast smashing up the planet. It’s ponderous structure larded with absurd “political” talk is easy prey for corporate interests, primarily military/industrial and banking, that thrust it into wars whose purpose seems only to destroy our own weapons, so they can order more. The wars are one huge calamity from top to bottom.

No one could any longer believe in the brains or the character of American politicians. Their utter failure in every field condemns them. Their virtue is to be for sale. They lie openly and the pathetic pundits sift their lies for grains of truth. These interests who buy them in no way reflect any human interests, for even those the kleptocracy makes rich will die horribly in the holocaust just around the corner. How can the inclination to falsify the science concerning Global Warming be anything but a death wish? The American political system is a death machine, even for the very rich, who may live a little longer, but it will be no picnic, and it won’t be that much longer in the hot radioactive desert filled with desperados. That is not a climate good for bankers.

There is no need to contemplate the leaders this system throws up. They are good at sensing which way the wind is blowing, nothing more. Apparently full of energy, they blow this way and that, rudderless sailboats in heavy winds. And the strongest winds are the winds of war and their blizzards of cash. With both Obama and Romney devoid of any leadership qualities, who actually sits at the tiller, unconnected to any rudder, is irrelevant, for the wind determines the course. The idea that with Obama at the tiller you might go a little more in one direction than another is absurd. For even if it were so it would make no difference in the face of the onrushing gale of catastrophes that will soon engulf us all.

The whole creaky system rests upon one flimsy leg, the courtroom. The citizen’s acquiescence in the absurd rigmarole of the courtroom is the the stage play of government. That the government embodies justice in the courtroom legitimizes it. But belief is faltering. The courtroom stage play looks ever more absurd. Could anyone imagine a trial of Julian Assange? The courtroom would disintegrate into farce. They are afraid to even acknowledge that a Grand Jury has indicted him. You can be sure that if they ever do drag him over here they will bundle him off to some secret court. Military courts are secret courts because they could not stand the light of day. They are a sure sign that the courtroom punch and judy show has lost its dignity, that the dignified judge should wear a beanie. For he certainly looks absurd in that ridiculous black robe. How long would the Supreme Court last if it had to face a sea of faces all twisted in mockery. Such mockery could be extraordinarily subtle– slight sneer, a roll of the eyes, goofy body language, a gesture. Indeed, I suspect ( and hope) that mockery is involuntary once you get the joke. And how far is the American public away from getting the joke? For the law is,now, a joke. I sometimes imagine a burst of laughter in the face of a Supreme Court justice bringing down the entire American system.

It needs to go. It is not equipped to handle the emergencies the human race faces at this very moment. The US must lead and is incapable of doing so. Laughter and mockery, not violence is the weapon to be used against it. Totalitarian systems fear laughter just as they feed on terrorism. The enforced humorlessness in the Homeland Security den of jackals that welcomes traveling Americans and foreigners shows the world what the US really is, a totalitarian mess drowning in stupidity. Is there any doubt that if a reasonably intelligent human being wandered onto the stage during a presidential debate that he could drive candidates and pundits alike from the stage just with the force of common sense? He might ask, “what is your foreign policy?” Then just watch the hemming and hawing. Todd Akin, representative from Missouri, the “show me” state, revealed himself above all as a dunce without the capacity for thought. But in that he is just an average American politician.

In all probability we are already doomed, as politically incorrect as that might be to say. But it would be far better for us to actually try to use our intelligence to do what we can. The United States embodies the death of the human species within its political system. It serves no one, not even the rich, unless they have a death wish. It must go if a reasonable facsimile of homo sapiens is to survive.

Mockery, mockery. It is our last hope.

Michael Doliner can be reached at

Michael Doliner studied with Hannah Arendt at the University of Chicago and has taught at Valparaiso University and Ithaca College.

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