They Decide, and the Shotgun Sings the Song*.

We’ve been had.  All of us.  Every facet of American life has been corrupted.  Even those who took advantage of the holes in the system to acquire wealth and power have discovered that wealth and power do not feed their souls.  So, like cocaine addicts, they keep chasing that first high, and it never comes.  They bought in, and they rage when someone points out the emptiness of their endeavor.

I was a victim of Madison Ave’s influence, early on I thought the acquisition of things was a worthy pursuit during my time here on this rock.  I did not think what I was chasing was unreasonable, I wanted the nice house, the sexy car, maybe a nice suit to wear to work.  It took decades for me to understand that, globally speaking, those were extravagant goals.  I’m not prone to feelings of guilt, at least not to the extent that I will let past personal failures define who I am.  That said, it is difficult sometimes to allow myself to enjoy the finer (material) things in life, especially knowing that roughly twenty percent of the people on the planet lack clean drinking water.  I suppose that makes me a bleeding heart Librul.

Alternatively, perhaps, I am someone who really wants our system to work, both to protect what I have managed to accumulate and to make sure others have the opportunity to do the same.  The American dream is still in it’s infancy, historically speaking, but my fear is that for too many of us, it is the ultimate empty promise, something we chase because we are supposed to, but one that leaves us unsure if we’ve actually achieved it.

It may well be that the post WWII era set the standard too high from the jump.  There was a big push toward infrastructure.  and we got world class dams and highways.  We wanted to provide opportunity to our returning Veterans, so the emphasis was affordable housing and the G.I. Bill.  We were still an industrial economy, and job stability was a given, as was a pension plan that would reward a lifetime of work with some measure of security.  With the exception of the G.I. Bill (which is not the same as it was but still exists) those things are gone.  Let that sink in.  They are gone.  No one is building affordable housing.  Before some of you point out that “affordable” is a relative term….I think we can safely assume that new construction in our little boom town consists primarily of luxury condos and custom homes.  Most working people will not be buying either of them.  Pension plans are few and far between, replaced by a system so corrupt, so rigged, that few Americans will ever be able to count on their participation in one to provide a secure and dignified retirement.  Ask the people who worked at  Enron how stock options worked out for them.  Even Social Security is beginning to look like yet another empty promise, which brings me back to this…..

We’ve been had.  All of us.  To some degree, we have all bought in to some form of tribalism or another.  We are being encouraged to do so by those who want to loot our treasury while we clobber each other for any number of ginned up differences, racial, gender, economic class, the list is way too exhaustive to try and list.  When a large enough group finds some collective mindset and decides to reshape or improve our system of government or the economy, it becomes a target for those with a stake in maintaining the status quo, and they are ruthless about it.

We used to value the journalists among us who’s job it was to shine a light on corruption or ask the questions that needed to be asked for all of us.  What we have now is largely a media consisting of one dimensional shills for one group or another.  Others within it are too worried about protecting their gig to truly report what is being done to us by the rich and powerful.  Sure, there are exceptions, I really admire the people at Vice news for at least taking a stab at reporting real issues and legitimately compelling stories.   There are still old school editors and free-lance journalists among us who look for the truth and report it, sometimes at great personal risk.

Today, I don’t have answers for these problems.  Even if legit answers are offered by people smarter than me, they will likely be drowned out in this sea of noise we’ve paddle around in every day.  All I know is, I do not want to be part of the problem.  I do not want to buy into this tribalism, it is the thing that is being foisted upon us much like leisure suits were in the 70’s.  Yes, I have real trouble with those on the Far Right, but no more than I do with the Purity Posse of the left.  So, I don’t plan to deal with extremists of any kind.  Rather, I intend to engage with anyone who seeks to find common ground with me, as I believe our failure to do that will bring about the end of our once great Nation.  We can hammer out the details after I’ve learned you’re not a Nazi in disguise, and you have learned that I am not a baby killer.  Let’s start there

*And, my beard has indeed grown longer overnight. Bonus points if anyone can tell me where I am in the pic.






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7 responses to “They Decide, and the Shotgun Sings the Song*.

  1. democommie

    Zapata Vive!

    Awesome rant, Mac!

    I am less polite than you on the blogs. In person I’m as charming as I never was.

    It is a shitshow. I just sent my Congrifter a bons mal about his announced intention to upvote the Senaturds’ efforts to remove the rail system as they back out of the stripmine that used to be the U.S. economy.

    I bang heads with Berniebros who seem to have gone from, “We can change the world” optimism to “Burn the whole fucking thing to the ground in about 18 months.

    All of the good and great programs of the last 80 years are being dismantled at a breakneck pace becasue 40M or so voters couldn’t be bothered to try to understand that the worst possible democrat we might elect to be PotUS could not IMAGINE doing what Trumpligulamygdala does as casually as I flush the toilet.

    I never really bought into any of it, personal history augured against such rosy optimism. Otoh, I never gave up on the idea that I might just be able to live my life at my pace, in my own way sans the trappings of wealth and power. It appears that everything that has been put in place since 1932 to cushion the blow when we fall down the stairs of a recession or depression is being removed to ensure that the oligarchs become, once again, the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age (they’ve been robbing for years, but they’ve just found a way to accelerate the process, yet again, with this latest “Tax Reform” bill).

    I just hope that as they die off, the MAGAmoronz will have their tombstones decorated with the likeness of their feckless leader’s Red Cap of Sewerage–it will make my job easier, finding the graves to piss on.

    I have no children, I do have a ton of neices and nephews and they have something like 40 kids amongst them. I fear it will be difficult for them to maintain their standard of living as jobs and money are “off shored” to put them beyond the jurisdiction of an “overreaching gummint!”.

    I tell:young people, “Vote”. When they say that they have no choice I tell them that several scores of thousands of votes separated the winner and loser of the last presidential election. This nation has gone from the possibility of being “governed” by a person whom I do not like to the reality of it being governed by someone who doesn’t like anyone.

    It would have to be much, much better to just suck.

  2. democommie

    I was just gonna go ahead and do it, then I dedided that I’d ask, first.

    Is it okay to put your url up on Friendly Atheist or Gin and Tacos? Some smart, funny commenters @ both places but also, too, a troll or six.

    Lemme know.

  3. mack50

    Hey Demo, of course I don’t mind, but it is far from my best piece of writing.

  4. democommie

    It’s not about good writing (although I think it’s just fine). It’a about examining a fuckedup situation and trying to figure out how to unfuckitup. I want more conversation, not less.

  5. Hey Demo! How are you?

    Nice piece, Mack. Well said.

    There are times I miss blogging but these days I stay so ticked off at that passes for government in Washington that I know it would just make me need more blood pressure meds,

  6. democommie

    Good evening Mr.Voorhies. Wow, been what, at least a couple of years? I miss both Mack’s and Ms. Beale’s posts.

    I spend a lot of time over at some atheist blogs on Patheos these days.–different trolls, but trolls all the same, to deal with.

    My blogs basically dead, not that it was ever all that lively. I got the boot from “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” for being folulmouthed towatrds and intolerant of liars.

    We are all the creatures we became for better or worse. My body is sorta falling apart, slowly but irreviersibly it seems. I get up every morning and wonder if I can have that Tinkerbell sortamoment when I just KNOW that I’m gonna get a rush of juice to go pour invective over someone’s head.

    I heard that just today, Donny Jr. said he couldn’t talk about conversations that he had with his daddy in the Oval Office (re: Russia) ‘cuz there was a lawyer present. That doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is the GOP.O.S. bobbleheads just not along with that idiocy.

    Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow, even if I have to drink more to make it happen.

  7. democommie


    It only took until 3 minutes or so ago for me to get the reference in the post’s title!

    And it only took me until 2 minutes after that to realize that you had changed your nym. Are there 49 other “Macks” on that server?

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