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Madmen And Sedatives (Joe Bageant) [View All]

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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-10-06 12:59 PM
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Madmen And Sedatives (Joe Bageant)
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Contraband And Muffled Noises From Inside The Iron Theater

Joe Bageant -- World News Trust

Dey Be Monsters!

Sept. 10, 2006 -- Nobody talks about it out loud, but a few million Americans are seriously doubting their sanity these days. Or having their sanity doubted. Or both. They seldom speak their minds because what is going on in there is a vision of society that conjures grave doubt, if not outright horror. It is the kind of stuff that will get your ass kicked off the island in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to hear it.

Yesterday I was gridlocked with my wife in traffic near the new mall, surrounded by cars full of monsters. Every redneck face and bloated or coifed middle class head in every vehicle was a grotesque, awful thing. In them you could see the meanest kind of white man ignorance, or smug middle class obliviousness, the kind that could care less if all the babies in Iraq were fried on spits in the Green Zone of Baghdad, so long as their nails get done on Saturdays. (Ah, you've seen the monsters too, haven't you!) There was that fleshy, overweight killer ugliness America seems to produce these day, the faces of a happy motoring people whose armies hold the world at gunpoint so they can stuff down pizza and check out this town's newest mall. Underneath the ugliness, there's a festering mean streak caused by frustration of knowing deep-down that government and commerce are corrupt -- everybody knows this, but tolerates it for fear of losing their bling. The choice was ever thus (de Tocqueville noted its beginnings) but now has become a waking nightmare. One that brings up rage for some if us, rage that, if expressed in the wrong places and too often will get me thrown into the psyche ward if I tarry too much longer here in the land of the free.

"Lookie there," I told my wife, who was driving, "A fucking car wash right over the spot where Nancy Hanks Lincoln's mother was born! I remember when it was in a cornfield. And all these zombies who don't give a crap about the bloody sand and sweatshops they create, just so they can buy a cheap skirt and drive cars worth 10 years of wages in most of the world through a goddamned car wash! If every American died tomorrow, it is unarguable that the planet would be way more sustainable for not having to feed their greed!" On the inside I was bawling and screaming at the same time. I go off on these tirades increasingly these days. It is not good.

I could see by my wife's face she was wondering if "getting Joe some help" was in order. Oh yes, getting some help -- which in America means calling the authorities, in this case the psychiatric medical ones. Advanced technology and the skills of the medical cadre of the super-state offer its citizens wondrous ways to reach out to those in need of help. But it always comes down to prescribing drugs or possibly of even being locked up "for your own good," until your ideations are more "normal."

And so it is that many of us keep the rage inside as best we can, unwilling to destroy a job, or a marriage. And there are many of us, judging from the emails I receive (see Letters from Readers), men and women alike, mostly over 40 with lots at stake, who fear being judged unstable by the well intentioned folks around us who never in their wildest thoughts would consider themselves good Germans. At any rate, who wants to be seen as unbalanced at the very moment in our lives when we unexpectedly find ourselves seeing Americans and America as they really are (and may have always been) for the first time. Not that it required insight. The sheer scale and pervasiveness of our national condition, plus decades of exposure, made it so damned obvious we could no longer escape it.

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http://www.worldnewstrust.com/content/view/114/lang,en/
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