Wednesday, December 12, 2007

AMERICAblog and “American Prospect”

Yesterday, John Aravosis over at AMERICAblog quoted an “American Prospect” article by Courtney E. Martin (“All the News That's Fit to Depress”). Martin said, “Being informed is depressing”. How true! Staying on top of the news is depressing. But it goes further than that. It’s the clear seeing that is depressing and horrifying. Getting a handle on how the Bush administration works is like being present at the autopsy of a murdered friend. The information is ugly, monstrous and difficult to deal with. In the early days of the first George W. Bush term, it was so much easier just to despise the man for his arrogance, mental problems and stupidity. But now, seven years later, it’s possible to be privy to precisely how George W. Bush and the Bush administration got from Point A to Point B and right on down the whole insane spiral that finally culminates in today’s annoying press conference by GWB. The knowledge is maddening and depressing. And the most depressing thing is that all the Republican candidates for President and many Republican voters see absolutely nothing wrong with the executive branch malfeasance and ineptitude fostered by the Bush administration. Not only do they see nothing wrong, they intend to continue the unethical, immoral, corrupt policies and methods if they can get another Republican team elected in 2008. Courtney Martin wrote: “I also can't help but wonder if the average liberal American's love for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert isn't a direct result of the emotional relief that comes from being told: "This is the news. Now laugh at it." The action becomes the laugh. The instinct to torture yourself over how to respond to the situation in Sudan is displaced by a chuckle at how badly other people -- namely our eternally comic president -- are responding. “I enjoy those shows too, but it's not enough. We can't settle for laughing our outrage away when there is so much violence in the world -- some of which we are directly responsible for. We also can't keep shoving the lesson of informed citizenship down good people's throats -- Do your duty! Stay informed! -- if we aren't going to create new ways of responding to all that information. It's actually a destructive recommendation in many ways -- pushing people to grow accustomed to disaster, disconnected, numb, and ethically dumbfounded. At the very least, it's breaking our hearts.” As Martin says, “there's got to be a better way”. But what that better way might be, I do not know. What I do know is that staying informed about how George W. Bush and the Bush administration is ruining America is depressing.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

Doesn't depress me. Makes me angry, however.

A belated unhappy Coup Day (Dec. 12).