the fictional, cataclysmic decade…

Posted on Wednesday 30 December 2009

It started off with the Y2K issue. Originally, that was about the use of 2 digit year designations in computer programs that might produce some screwy results. But then it turned into some kind of craziness that had people stockpiling food and ammo for the coming cataclysm [type unspecified]. Then came the presidential campaigns and the contested election of George W. Bush in November. Speaking of cataclysms, that would turn out to be the mother of all cataclysms, but it took as a while to figure that out. Come 2001, everything pales in the face of the September 11th attack on New York. Americans sat agape looking at their television sets as people plunged to their deaths and then the towers fell down. It’s been a little over eight years, but it’s still rarely shown as a video, only mentioned. It was a national trauma that drove us all insane – probably a major cataclysm in most of our lifetimes. We went to war with Afghanistan, let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora, lived in fear of anthrax and further Terror attacks. The first three years of the new century were cataclysmic – not a good start.

Then in September 2002, we started the move from cataclysm to fiction. Our government began a campaign to go to war with Iraq – Regime Change was the buzz word. At the time, few knew the background to that change. I sure didn’t, though I didn’t think it was a good idea. It was simply a fiction, the reasons for invading Iraq. So, in March 2003, off we went. As the fictional nature of our reasons for being there became apparent to many of us, we began to realize that our leadership was sick and filled with conscious liars. 2004 brought the Abu Ghraib pictures and the gradual awareness that our government had a torture program, a domestic spying program, and was completely corrupt, but we re-elected them anyway in 2004.

2005 and 2006 brought deteriorating results in both wars. The fighting about global warming was paralyzing. The government was in a bunker. The Vice President’s Chief of Staff was indicted for lying. By the time of the midterm elections, we were demoralized and elected a Democratic Congress [barely]. Scooter Libby was convicted and pardoned. The country’s morale was in the basement. Another scandal – the firing of US Attorneys resulted in a wholesale clean-out of the Justice Department. Then in September 2008, the Stock Market crashed along with everything else that had to do with money – cataclysmic! Our new president faced the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, two lousy wars, and the most obstructionistic opposition imaginable from the Republican Party, in spite of all the cataclysm. It turns out that we are buried in debt to, of all places, China.

We’re not in a very good mood after our fictional, cataclysmic decade. But if we’re honest, it’s mostly been about that picture up there that’s still almost impossible to look at…

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