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We have waited just a little while to observe the discussions following the election results. Our first sign the morning after that the planet had not all turned into some sort of Dianetics For Republicrats Club, was Ishmael Reed’s post at Counterpunch, but ok we expected that there’d be any number of sharp pens readily armed and cynical to the teeth there. Submedia TV of course refuses to “drink the Koolaid” . And then one post which had us laughing on the floor was Erotic Union’s pointing to this ad campaign to Vote for Obama, ( “Wassup 2008″) which uncannily has an even stronger post-election message.
But the general response was far more telling and disturbing. And today, a quote below, from lets call it the art world sector, has triggered the gist of our XLt analysis, and so we are primarily communicating to artivists, but things like Naomi Klein’s warnings re: Larry Summers possible appointment as Sec. Treasury are perhaps far more pragmatic and need our immediate attention !
[ Note: XLt does not usually hold much stock in petitions, but Hell, it's a new day... who knows? maybe this will prevent another asshole appointee. And we're gonna need some time to work out some better responses.]
And it was also painful to watch how some people are even ready to jump into a Fox News Hole and begin bashing Nader AGAIN ( WTF?! as if Fox News is now on yOUR Side??) as if now he can be the punching bag representing all disenfranchised lefties, who just can’t seem to get on board that rickety Obama boat. We wrote a letter to one of our friends in SF, who already seemed ready to bail on the anti-corporate vigilance provided by those rare politicians who rarely play the compromise cards. It’s a bit vitriolic, so we leave that for last ( see Bottom).
The Fog Of Elections
” I am wondering if the rest of us are willing to sit down with Republicans and attempt to lessen the divide.” artist in California
A very revealing thought! Ok, the XLts began meditating on that one for a moment, and here’s a work-in- progress answer, prefaced with a question: Lessening the divide between oneself and a mass murderer means you will have more blood on your hands… and the mass murderer less?!!
“Lessening the divide” is a very dangerous misconception. There are dangerous people in this world.
If we can learn anything from, let’s take as a very tragic example and one that sits still so fresh in our minds: the murder of Kirsten Brydum in New Orleans. There are situations that no matter how much love you bring to the situation, some other’s language, semiotic, possibly deranged and desperate approach to life WILL HARM YOU !
And we are very sorry if we offend some people who are now wholeheartedly of the mindset of Yes We Can , as in, yes we can work together. And do not wish to drag the memory of Kirsten into tactical ideas which she did not necessarily stand for. For all who knew her, she took an inspirational approach in very non-confrontational forms. And she achieved beautiful things… but the fact remains, the moment she stepped out of the garden and into an unpredictable battlefield she faced insurmountable violence.
Barack Obama himself is going to be a very interesting example to watch… negotiating treacherous divides. And probably on some levels we will find ways to be supportive. But already the compromises have led to a very tangled and precarious and misleading hope, which has nothing to do with so many realities on the ground. The fact that he compromised on even discussing so many truths in order to win ( an infinitely debatable electoral tactic, lets not waste too much time now that it’s passed), he has confused and deluded the public immensely, and this is leading to very damaging continuations of abusive power.
This irreality, this falseness that results must be countered immediately! One for the purpose of achieving real change, second because we need to warn our friends that the fields of struggle have not magicly turned cooperative and green.
For example, the fact that all throughout the campaign Obama failed to mention that John McCain is NOT an American hero, but a war criminal who served Richard Nixon’s all the way up to G.W.’s America faithfully, to the extent that he flew over 20 successful missions over Laos and Cambodia and Vietnam before he was finally shot down, meaning that he personally carpet napalmed innocent civilians, women and children… Even more than Kissinger ( + Nixon’s entourage), he should be the first to testify at the Hague, because he himself pulled the triggers, not once, not twice, but an indigestible and incomprehensible number of times. That the full gruesome history of Vietnam ( and up to present-day Iraq) remained off the table is one of the reasons these same warmongers return to perpetuate their patriotic atrocities.
And that’s not to say that his commanders in chief are guilty of a lesser crime of those who actually orchestrate illegal and secret wars. What it means is that one’s the butcher and others are bureaucrats (and/or architects). And when you shake the hand of these bureaucrats, you have lossed the meaning of the divide; When you shake the hand of a butcher you’ve crossed the divide.
Now already day one after elections, Obama-elect has appointed the first in his cabinet, and by all accounts this is someone who is absolutely aligned with AIPAC and the forces which implement a vicious and unsustainable Apartheid in the Middle East. And actually he’s just following through on what he already promised in his miserable and hardly progressive campaign platforms, and now the so-called progressives and lefties who support him have gone colorblind, because they think that an African-American as president is in itself some kind of victory for peace, and he must be supported at all cost.
It’s almost certain that the Republicrats are absolutely giddy with their new man because it has the power to make the left roll over and play dead, filled now with a rainbow-adoration for this very miniscule and superficial victory. A very precision comment was posted on Common Dreams yesterday, that “MLK is Not honored by the color of a man’s skin, but by the content of his cabinet” (paraphrased).
We’ve read posts from a number of friends and acquaintances who say they were teary-eyed by the acceptance speech, but we were teary-eyed because Obama (behind the bulletproof glass walls… for reasons that remain glaringly obvious, racism and thuggery abound) can only repeat the most superficial sound bytes from MLK probably because he must take into account that he might not live long if he attempts, like MLK, to cut the Corporate Military strings at the WHITE HOUSE, or hold international terrorists accountable.
[ Btw MLK was not so compromising as to attach his dream to any American brand. Liberation of the world from tyranny and slavery and injustice is not contingent upon nor will it wait for what happens in DC... the world has suffered enough of "America's Dreaming". And any attempt to resurrect this Dream will be to resurrect a more appropriately termed - ABOMINATION... i.e. the Project For A New American Century sequel under a new leader is absolutely unnacceptable. ]
To further understand The Fog of Elections, there’s a growing theory that the Republicrats chose Obama, NOT you. Why? Because it is the perfect script to avoid the complete downfall of their empire.
Four years ago, no one ever heard the name Obama. And it wasn’t Obama who catapulted himself to overnite D.C. rockstar, it was the pop mechanics of a nauseating system (and its colluding mass media operations) which needed their own saviour, before distrust, outrage and the very real seeds of change ripped them to shreds. (And handing over to Democrats a disaster left by eight years of Bush can be seen as a Republican strategy, but that’s another topic we won’t try to analyze now).
From our perspective, the most hilarious moment of election night was watching the face of Miss Alaskan Opportunist as McCain gave his concession speech, because it appeared as if no one told her she was a stump candidate … meant to lose. At one moment she had this frozen, dumbfounded look of G.W. reading the children’s book to Floridian 1st graders, as if a press secretary came and whispered for the first time the developing script into her ear.
But we digress, back to our and Obama’s strategies and lessening the divide. He’s a politician for Dog’s-sake! And we could debate endlessly on whether he is a hero, spineless, or clever, or the new puppet class Master in Chief. He ain’t no longer in our universe, and we need not imagine that our work is the same as his.
Some of us should go on and construct incredible gardens, some of us should be ready to take to the barricades, some of us should continue shining light on and deconstructing the naked lunch, some of us should kick the nearest republicrat in the ass, put toothpaste (or feces) in his shoes, pull the plug on his antenna as his Wall Street Scores come in… and we’ll have to let your own imaginations go off from there.
As Starhawk once said in a report back lecture after “the battle of Seattle” in 99, as debates raged between NGOs, labor, peaceniks, anarchists et al, “Our movement need not, must not be a monoculture” ( paraphrased).
And here’s an XLT recommendation to all our artivist friends:
PLEASE don’t waste your time becoming a fucking politician in the corrupted wastelands (at least not to the extent that you abandon what needs to be said and done ). The politician’s job is a very very very dirty one, which would likely turn your art into one bloody ass fucking stool. Leave the Republicrats to sit on that one!
Vitriolic addendum coming soon.