Perpetual Motion Machine - Modest Mouse (mp3)
- Fewer than 25% of people like Sarah Palin.
- The Tea Party gets 36% approval.
- Nancy Pelosi? 29%
- Harry Reid? 16%
- John Boehner? 12%
- 92% of Americans give the economy a bad rating.
- Obama's approval numbers are hovering in the high 40s.
- Democrats in general? 31% approval.
- Republicans in general? 25% approval.
Here's the general gist: The more you are in the public sphere, the more likely you are going to be despised. Now, more than ever.
This isn't just politics. We're seething at Wall Street and big greedy corporations. We despise unions protecting their chaff. We're tired of celebrities who won't shut up. We curse the talking heads on TV, and we are annoyed with athletes who can't seem to keep their private lives private. And the Pope? Are you kidding? Gozer the Destroyer has a higher approval rating.
The level of vitriol and venom is rising from the Land of the Common Man and Woman.... and I've got this wild feeling, based on almost no true historical understanding, based on nothing but pure gut instinct.
We're on the verge of the next '60s.
Sure, it won't be exactly the same. We won't all wear tie-dye shirts and join cults. But that era was marked, above all, by an overwhelming distrust of authority, and we're headed that way again.
Today, different people of different persuasions -- cultural, political, socio-economical, racial -- distrust different groups more and less. However, the bottom line is that we as a nation are less eager to trust The Man, The System, The Church, The Celebrity, or The Big Business.
When's the last time America felt like it was overrun with riots and violence? When it seemed like our country, while not at Civil War, was busier fighting one another than we were fighting the enemies at our proverbial gates? The '60s and early '70s.
Whereas then it was led by restless youth, people of color fighting for equality and respect, and other variations on the "left" theme, the New '60s will be represented by people on both sides. Conservatives and liberals both carry their anti-authority torches and protest signs. Both sides are increasingly mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.
So I'm going to continue my trusting and optimistic ways by hoping that this coming era of anti-authoritarian animosity and distrust will be a healthy reality check for our country, and that we will emerge from this, perhaps 20 years from now, a better and more unified nation than we are today.
Either that, or we'll eventually break off into smaller Democratic nations like the Eastern Bloc has been doing for the last 20 years, with Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton all serving as presidents of 1/4 of what used to be the United States. (Oh c'mon, you just KNOW Clinton would find his way back into a seat of power...)
My point is, buckle up. The next 20 years are gonna be tense, occasionally violent, and full of suspicious citizens. But maybe we'll be more awake and alert, as a country. Since far too many of us have been sleepwalking like cokeheaded bums since Jack Tripper stumbled into his apartment with Janet and Chrissy, maybe this change won't be so bad. But it won't be pretty.