Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Drill until we drop

Perhaps a society such as ours has as finite a lifespan as the individuals it's composed of and I think I'm seeing the kind of memory loss and dementia in the American public that we associate with extreme old age. The aged body sometimes can't absorb sustenance very well and neither can the American public assimilate the things that make a capable and dynamic Democracy possible. a large part of our population, for instance, seems to think that the huge environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico means that we need to do more of what made it happen and in the same careless, unregulated way. Presumably a number of those live far inland and don't like seafood or care that the Earth is becoming less livable because these are still the "end times," but not all of them. Some just think that as long as their immediate, short term needs are met, the rest of the world can go to hell, and so it goes.

A recent poll shows that despite the total lack of evidence and the extreme unlikeliness of the scenario, nine or ten percent of Americans do believe Limbaugh's idiotic proposition that it was the "enviros" behind the drilling platform explosion, but the scary part is that 22% are "unsure." Amongst self-identified Conservatives, the number jumps to 44% who believe it was sabotage by liberals. The evidence to the contrary is out there, the evidence for it isn't out there, so either 31% are unable to assimilate it by reason of dementia or have no interest in the survival of the USA as we think we know it -- or Like many aged people, they've given up and are simply wandering in a senile, paranoid daze of denialism looking for their lost youth and vigor.

"Perhaps most surprisingly 21% of voters said the spill made them more likely to support offshore drilling,"

said Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen. 55% of Americans polled after the disaster began, still supported offshore drilling, according to the same poll.

Am I pushing this too far? Is this really only more of what America has been doing since its beginning? We are, after all a nation that is happy to continue its war on drugs and embargoes on foreign countries that cause more harm than good; a nation that has had to struggle tooth and nail to overcome our vicious habits. Most of all we're a nation that always waits for a calamity before doing anything. What I'm afraid of is that this time the calamity we're waiting for won't come until we're a nation incapable of taking care of ourselves but a nation with a huge Army.


Steven said...

As a self-identified Aged Person, I didn't appreciate your casting aspersions upon our ability to persevere. This one hasn't given up. I'm 70 and very much a Liberal and proud of it. I am not wandering in a daze and looking for my youth. My youth was crappy, why would I want it back? Elder means wiser and always has, so I'm proud to have attained elderhood. I hope you do as well.

Capt. Fogg said...

Oh, I'm an official codger, I don't deny it, but it's dementia I'm talking about, not age itself. Where I live, 70 is young anyway but I know so many that have really lost touch with reality. Still it's only a metaphor and I'm not trying to stretch it too far.

The youth America is looking for really never existed -- a good old days that never was, where we didn't need health care and there was no crime and no taxes.

I know an awful lot of people who tell me they don't keep up with the news because it's depressing -- one last night said he didn't take any papers because the government is planning to make gambling illegal! It's not Alzheimer's but it might as well be.

Too many of us are living in a paranoid nightmare, fearing progress, looking always backwards toward a past that never was. That's all I'm trying to say.