These two quotes were rattling around in my head from yesterday:
Our youth must be ready
to shed their blood generously
for the sacred cause of Spain.
Who ever is not with us
is against us.
We’ll exterminate the seeds
of the Revolution,
even in the wombs of their mothers.
Long live death!
From the libretto for Ainadamar (“Fountain of Tears”)
Composer: Osvaldo Golijov
Librettist: David Henry Hwang
“Preemptive strike… must mean not declaring war until your cameras are in position.”
From “Ghostwritten” by David Mitchell
The story of Golijov’s opera is about the death of the Spanish poet, Lorca. The name, Ainadamar, refers to the fountain where he was killed by Spanish fascists.
It is striking that the librettist puts words that sound like a press release from the US government (okay just the middle part) in the mouths of fascists.
America is not exactly a fascist country but it’s not exactly free from the taint ofÂ authoritarian state control, either.
We are sending our youth to die throughout the world. The supreme court has just ruled out the use of partial-birth “abortion.”
“Justice Kennedy actually reasoned that banning the procedure was good for women in that it would protect them from a procedure they might not fully understand in advance and would probably come to regret. This way of thinking, that women are flighty creatures who must be protected by men, reflects notions of a womanâ€™s place in the family and under the Constitution that have long been discredited, said a powerful dissenting opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Stephen Breyer.” NYT Editorial
The current attourney general refuses to consider resignation even though it is clear that something is going on. Even if he does resign, his performance Thursday before the Senate committee raises suspicions that he is deliberately acting like a bumbler in order to hide something. Could anybody in his position really be so dumb? Is this an act of ultimate loyalty? Is he choosing to deflect the investigation from his bosses Bush and Rove or someone else?
While I love the USA, I am troubled by how corrupt the national government is right now. As a cynical participant/observer I expect a certain amount of corruption in politicians and government. But the direction of this country under Bush has been paternalistic lieing to the public coupled with the pursuit of private self interest-of those who govern and the corporations who control the government. It is hard for me to see how history of this time in the USA will avoid noticing that Bush and Cheney (two strong representatives of the oil industry) led the country into a war with a major oil producer.
I could be wrong, but boy does it seem obvious that while this country continues to have its own genius regarding diversity of peoples, idealism and openness, at the same time we are on a new path that is leading us away from these principles and toward something else. In Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell uses the word “Corpocracy.” Maybe that’s close.
I do think that Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzalez and others are acting more like good old American CEOs (i.e. scraping off profits and passing the buck and taking public stances that deny facts) than the leaders of our past (who admittedly combined corruption with idealism).
It does weirdly seem to be the government that the voting population of the US has chosen.