Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday night musings and a response to Dr. Dawg

It's Friday night here in Winnipeg and a few other places. Half Pints Brewing Co. Little Scrapper IPA (that's India Pale Ale for non-beer types) is on the table cos we likes our Half Pints we do, and so should you. You can apparently get it Regina now at something called Beer Bros, but it does not appear to have made it further West, or East for that matter. Shame really. Where was I going before I started talking about beer? I don't remember.

Oh yeah.

Our fucking government. Some dude going by a name roughly translated as Top Cock slagging Winter Soldier stuff at the Woodshed, but then getting all shrinky-dink-raisin-baggy when invited to elaborate. And climatechangeAfhghanistaneconomyandabunchofotherstuffpertainingtoourcollectivefuturethatalllinkstogetherin thissystem.

But first the gummint:

Fuck you, you spineless bunch of fuckwads (not you, dear reader, the but ConLibDipBloc self-reproducing circle jerk that for one reason or another we tolerate). That is all.

Skipping the second point because I can't think of anything clever to say about it after a few of the aforementioned beers, I'm going to respond to Dr. Dawg:

The government as we hold it is an institution designed and constructed in another era, in a different context that that which we face now. Some lament the first-past-the-post electoral system we have a the source of problems but I think it goes much deeper. I think we've hit a cultural-political threshold. Collectively I mean. There is a great mass of people who have lost interest in the politics that run the country, or the world for that matter. We can lament their ignorance. We can lament teh stupid because it is cathartic. But, stepping back, I think this is a function of our time. Our institutions of parliamentary democracy are little changed in several centuries years ago. Our conception of war and peace are still informed by great-struggle narratives stemming from WW2 and the Cold War. Our responses to recent conflict are rooted in both the great-struggle ideal, and European colonial-type interpretations of the rest of the world. While our trade and economic systems are globally integrated, our cultural narratives have caught up only [with limits, right BTs?] domestically (multiculturalism) because we still send our armies half a world away to 'correct' people with whom we have absolutely no connection, whose lives are thus a rhetorical fantasy for the vast majority of us. Elections are won on single, luxury issues, and turnouts are low. How do you change the culture?

I don't think it can be done through simple activism. I don't think people are interested, but I think this disinterest is a function of the status quo. That being stable economy, stable government, stable livelihoods. Without enough people being affected, they won't show interest in change. We're highly resilient creatures when it comes to tolerating skullduggery. We'll keep going down the road until they start sending us to camps. So things need get bad before change happens. Pearl Harbour gets bombed. Or, the global economy collapses because it has grown far too complex to control. Or we suffer a sudden exponential spike in food prices. We don't do well at adapting voluntarily. We're experiential learners. As a culture, we will change when we are confronted with something that our cultural-political regime cannot accomodate. It is then that we shift into a new way of organising ourselves.

I think we're near that transformation period now. This state of static political-cultural dysfunction can be mapped.

The trick then, in my view, is how we manage the coming change.

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