"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

January 19, 2006

"Why bother? When will it end?"

by Jerome a Paris

Today, I am simply too tired to do yet another gloomy diary on energy, or the economy, or whatever the latest scandal is in Washington or in Europe.

I've lost count of the time when I read or wrote on this site that this was the last straw, or that one's outrage meter had gone red, or that that particular bit of news would finally tip the scales.

And yet, it's not happening. We are steadily going number, and getting used to increasingly high background levels of outrage. Will we ever pierce through that mortal fog?

In some ways, things are even worse for us news junkies outside the US. While we may not be as sensitive to the latest anti-abortion outrage, or gay bashing, or reality denying soundbite from the right wing think tanks, we have to deal with the reality of the Bush administration, which casts its shadow on the whole planet - and we have to deal with our own mediocre, criminal or incompetent leadership. Chirac? Should be in jail. Berlusconi? Should be in jail. Blair. Bush's poodle. Barroso (EU Commission president)? Blair's poodle. Putin? War criminal and dictator. The EU? Bickering and unable to speak with one voice. And meanwhile, we get all the news from Iraq and other places in their sickening gore. We hear how complicit we are in running the Guantanamo Gulag. We learn how weak and cowardly our leaders are in facing evil, whether in Uzbekistan, China, Russia or in the White House. Plus we have to face the relentless drum about how successful the US economy is and how sclerotic, outdated and dying our own countries are. It's irrelevant that it's mostly not true, it's the prevailing wisdom. At least you guys can still think that you are part of the most successful and dynamic country on the planet, no matter that that success and dynamism are captured by a happy minority at the expense of everybody else, and that it will have a terrifying price tag in the future.

And yet we fight, because we have to, and because it's the right thing to do, and because we still have hope that it's not too late, and that we can bring back some semblance of normality to the world, some decency, some reason, and that we can avoid all the dire scenarios so often predicted on this site.

But sometimes, like now, despair takes over, and giving up sound so tempting. Grab some reality TV instead of dailykos. Read your horoscope rather than the latest news from around the world. Go drown yourself in whatever activities keep your mind and body busy (including even useful things like charity work) rather than caring about where the world is going. There's only so much outrage one can take.

Why don't others just see it? Are we crazy? Are we actually extremists, out of touch with the rest of humanity?

Why are we so few in thinking that torture is wrong? That selfishness should be tempered? That there is such a thing as the common good? Why are we so few to care? How do we fight the fact that's it's easier to just tune out?

And why do I have to be insulted as naive, or parasistic, or lacking in spirituality or values?

I know how to fight. But why do I have to?

This mirrors my feelings.

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