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01 November, 2010


It is election eve in this country, and even though I listen to radio stations that don't take ads, have no TV, am blind to pop-up ads, and subscribe to nary a news-source (print or e), I am aware of the divisions plaguing our company. I mean country (really, I typoed that accidentally, and decided not to edit). Oops.

Let me indulge in a Moment of Nostalgic Escapism. Two years ago: tears of joy and disbelief upon learning that my southern home-state had voted for Obama, hope in a rare interval of rational leadership, a house undivided, a sense that old chasms might be bridged...

Then, before the new crop could even take root: red-state/blue-state, capitalists/socialists, rich/not-rich (forget about 'poor,' those saps having lost their place at the table decades ago). A fifth of estate drunk and lazy, overly content or contemptuous one, pleased to let the story be of divisions, each represented by a talking head. Journalism replaced by perspective, reportage shoved aside by 'balance.'

And of course, only the two sides. No other viewpoints possible.

In our advanced modern state, in our triumph of superpowerty, we have become what anthropologists of long ago termed a moiety. Maybe that term still exists, and I don't pretend to understand it fully, but a moiety is a society broken into two more or less equal groups. Wolves and crows, whatever it was in the past, now it is conservatives and liberals.

Each half must think itself better. Each must see only its distinguishing characteristics--no matter how small--and seize upon them as deeply significant. They ask themselves litmusical questions: Pro life or pro choice? (No difference, when the chips are down the rich and the religious still terminate, pro self through the teen years at least.) Social or corporate welfare?

Why is this so inescapable? Why must a president lose the house 2 years after his election? Why is the electorate so evenly divided that a few dirty tricks can steal an election? Why do the wolves and crows both serve corporations?

Why can we not see the lesson of Carville and Matalin?

Cynically Yours,

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