Slouching Toward Guatemala
by Fred Reed: Bail
it's wonderful really diverting in a macabre sort of way, at
least if you have a diseased sense of humor and enough Padre Kino
red. Which I do. As I write the world's only delusional superflower,
perennially in love with itself, navel-gazing as narcissistically
as ever, ignorant, self-indulgent, gurbling like an insane relative
in the attic and fondling electro-trinkets from Japan, is broke.
Yes, we see a beautiful dive from the high board, two somersaults
and a half-twist, into the Third World. And so richly deserved.
collection of whores, con-men, and penny-ante sharpers from East
Jesus, Nebraska, ponders the Great Question: Default now, and admit
manfully to being the economic lepers everyone else already knows
we are? Or raise the debt ceiling, keep spending like a spoiled
Swarthmore sophomore with daddy's credit card, and collapse a bit
It's just lovely.
The Worlds Greatest Economy holding out the begging bowl to
China. Alms? Alms for the poor? Maybe I don't have enough
Padre Kino after all. Maybe there isn't enough.
On the lobotomy
box, congressmen come and go, not talking of Michelangelo, like
mayflies but without the brains, calling each other names. They
seem to think that they are in an off-year election. I mean, it's
only the future of the country. What, me worry? What if a huge cosmic
flyswatter came down on Cap Hill and turned them into barely historical
smears? How the hell do you start a cosmic flyswatter?
want to protect the wars, the rich, and the military companies.
The Democrats want to protect the entitlements. Well, OK, I guess
killing Afghans matters more than feeding Granny in Spokane. Unless
of course you are Granny. Who really cares? I mean, how many defense
contracts does she have?
the Dems have the best of the argument of national security. Entitlements
are our friend. Welfare is the price we pay for not having the cities
burn. Mailbox money is our protection, not gaudy aircraft carriers
like the USS Thundertrinket, zooom-kerpow.
the Empire, stupid. You want spending cuts? Easy, if you don't want
to rule the world for three more years before going down history's
cloaca. Pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, and NATO tomorrow.
Pull out. Pull out. Coitus interruptus. Stop wasting precious engineering
talent and nonexistent money on pointless funsy weapons of no utility:
the F35, the Airborne Laser.
to think of it, don't bother. It's too late. The only sensible answer
is cheap Mexican red. The US really is poised to enter Central America.
You know, continental drift. It can't be stopped. South Korea and
Finland among others are far more advanced in their internets. Health
care in America is first-priced and second-rate. The country is
thirty-third in infant mortality. Schooling would be pathetic if
we could raise it to that level, the universities largely farces.
The Russians and Chinese have manned space programs; we don't. Industry
flees Gringolandia or has fled. The great moiling gerbiltry out
there hasn't figured it out. Wait.
I hear babbling
about the recovery. Which recovery is that? There ain't
none, boys and girls. There won't be one. We are not in a temporary
recession or correction or what have you. We are going poor. The
last dance just finished, and the band is leaving.
And it is self-inflicted.
There is, I grant you, a pleasing monumentality about truly phenomenal
stupidity. A certain brilliance is needed to be so witless. In this
sense the American political system is a work of genius, relying
on the principle of Sufficient Ditz-Rabbitry.
You don't need
to fool all of the people all of the time. Enough of the people,
enough of the time is entirely adequate. Lincoln knew this but,
being a politician, didn't point it out. Here is the basis of what
Americans believe to be a democracy. Curious: Mexicans know they
have a corrupt government, but Americans don't. In the US, books
are written about the scams and cons and rips practiced on the public.
Few read them, though, and those who do already know what is in
them. Enough of the people, enough of the time. If the talking heads
on the blinking hamster-diverter don't talk about the swindles,
the rubes never know.
is in fact ruled by the interlocking directorates of Wall Street,
Washington, and the media, Triamese twins joined at the head and
aimed at sucking money from the easily fleeced. We're not talking
Senior Civics and the Federalist Papers. It's straight drain-the-dullards.
And it works. Boy does it.
Can you name
anything in America today that is not a disguised fraud? Credit
cards are not a convenience, but a way of luring suckers into borrowing
crippling amounts of money at usurious interest. The sub-prime circus
was carefully designed to do just what it did. There's the student-loan
racket, and Big Pharma: A tiny bottle of ophthalmic salt water from
Bausch & Lomb, called Muro, costs $23 in Washington, and about
$6 in Mexico. That's our government, fixing prices that weren't
broken. Pure Third World.
I dunno. What's
going to happen when what's left of the cream-flow dries up? Maybe
it's the Padre Kino, but...in the last depression of '29, most of
the country was rural or close. People, many of them, lived on farms,
and didn't need much money.
of the population is utterly dependent on remote mechanized farms
winch are dependent on supplies of gasoline and chemicals and then
on trucks to take the crop to cities that, if the foregoing chain
broke down, could not possibly support themselves. The discovery
that food doesn't really come from Safeway will astonish.
I guess I'm
paranoid, and no real unrest and disruption could really occur.
I guess. I mean, probably. I think. And that's a good thing, because
with so many people dependent on entitlements, to the extent that
they can't eat without them, and everything dependent on intricate
systems that can't handle chaos hooboy. Think: What happens
to skyscrapers if there's no electricity for elevators?
I say invest
in drug cartels. Some say gold, but you can't smoke gold. When times
get bad people want booze, grass, crack, scag, crank, Oxys, and
maybe shrooms for the more advanced. Investment is low, and governmental
interference has proved minimal.
I hope I'm
crazy. I'd better be.
is author of Nekkid
in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and A
Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. His latest
book is Curmudgeing
Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle. Visit
© 2011 Fred Reed
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