We’re witnessing another New Romantic historical moment end. We see it wind down in domestic American politics, including L’Affaire Snowden. And in Kiev’s Streets. We turn our gaze from Syrian killing fields. Spontaneous, unorganized mass sentiment failed to create real change anywhere.
1848 Europe’s revolutionary, democratic moment and its lessons come to mind. Europe saw its widest ever democratic revolutionary wave quickly collapse into a Continental reactionary resurgence. Historical analogies should always be suspect, especially here. Yet, we can’t help but ask, “What comes next, now?”
The New Romantics Aren’t A Pop Group
Our last 15 years constitute a Romantic Moment. First it flourished with the Colored Revolutions’ early promise. Even elements of Americans’ manipulated arc in Iraq and Afghanistan floated on misguided sentiment. Mass sentiment erupted in Tehran, ignited the Arab Spring, Syria, rock both Thailand and now Ukraine, again. Obama’s improbable 2008 presidency and aftermath are part of the tableau, too.
Dan Simmons latest, “Flashback”, reviewed in mid Summer by the WaPo was declared a Tea Party manifesto. The plot occurs in a fallen U.S. some 30 years in the future, with Mexico occupying the Southwest, Japan in Hawaii directly and ruling the West and Midwest indirectly via zaibatsu viceroys. Israel is nuked out existence, and the Global Caliphate expands in Europe, Canada and even the remaining 44 1/2 U.S. states by Sharia Law.
The future U.S. is a broke, neo-totalitarian State, with cities and roads lawless. It rents out its poorly trained and equipped army as fodder to Japan and India to fight their wars. People deal with the catastrophes by abusing a drug called ‘Flashback’ that allows one to memory dive and relieve a past moment as new again.
All of the decline, this ‘appeasement’ occurred because of a man elected president in November 2008. His policies like ObamaCare, his speech in Cairo, it all started with one community organizer.
The lone, shining hold out of integrity and self-esteem? Why, the Republic of Texas, naturally.
The news hit a fit days ago. You may be asking why write about it now? When the news hit, one senior Republican of our acquaintance asked us privately if we did it. Nope. But we can say anything that gets that thin skinned crowd up in arms must be doing something right.
Share what’s on your mind. D.C. is rattled at the moment. The recent earthquake itself relatively minor. As a social lubricant? Big stuff — better than the Redskins. Plus, the upcoming hurricanes make for easy TV.
A more pervasive fear adds to tension. Only in August 2011 did the Imperial City Nomenklatura learn they are economically mortal. Their comfort while the Nation collapsed at risk. They may even be forced to share the indignity of lay offs with their subjects fellow Americans. There’s almost something biblical about the approaching reckoning.
We’ll spend some time working out initial ideas for a “The Summer of Fear” theme song. Or the Star Trek movie (Stiftung Style) we’ve mentioned before. And watch the weekend’s rain, mindful of the real oncoming storm.
The Art of Video Games choices announced. The exhibition of 80 finalists will be on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from March 16, 2012 through September 30, 2012. Our list would have been different, but then whose wouldn’t?
Oh, we know there’s dithering amongst the detail weeds about NATO-this, Article I-this, but it’s all petty squabbling. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, ‘Half assed is as half assed does.” So far it’s been tawdry caviling.
The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship. . . .
In 1967, both men [Komarov and Gagarin] were assigned to the same Earth-orbiting mission, and both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn’t back out because he didn’t want Gagarin to die. Gagarin would have been his replacement.
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. — Franz Kafka