Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Life in post-Bush America: Control freaks, rebels and drones

Forget about the split between Red States and Blue States. Since the advent of the George Bush phenomena, America has become divided into THREE states -- but they are not physical locations. They are all states of mind.

In the first state we have the control freaks. They are easy to spot. They are always righteously telling us what to do. Their whole lives are devoted to making sure that everyone else is thinking the same way that they do -- or at least not openly opposing their control.

If control freaks cannot get the rest of us to support and agree with their agendas, they will happily settle for sullen obedience. For control freaks, having subordinates who keep their mouth shut is a definite plus.

Historically famous control freaks: Religious enthusiasts in sixteenth-century Spain, King George III and the British Parliament before the 1776 American Revolution. Famous American control freaks: Bush Republicans and the "Religious" Right.

Then we have the rebels -- the "Rage against the Machine" types who do NOT like to be controlled. They are the loners, the cowboys, the bloggers and sometimes even teenagers, union members, hip-hoppers and the militia. They are the ones who speak out against lies and injustice no matter how much the Patriot Act tries to track us down and shut us up or the media tells us we are "conspiracy freaks" or the FBI shows up at our door.

Famous rebels in history: Socrates, Jesus, Gandhi, Florence Nightingale. Famous American rebels: George Washington, Geronimo, Martin Luther King Jr., John Conyers, Barbra Streisand and Eminem. Not-so-famous rebels: Me! I HATE being controlled.

And lastly we have the drones -- like the clerk at the mall who recently told my friend Maggie, "But I thought the Iraq war was over. You mean to say that it's not?"

They are the ones who believe that Bush-controlled elections are honest, that the economy isn't tanking and that they lost their jobs to outsourcing through some fault of their own. They have never heard of Jeff Gannon or the Downing Street memos -- or, if they have, they carefully keep their mouths shut. Many of them work for the White House and the Pentagon.

Famous drones in history: There are none. Famous American drones: Barbie? Scott McClellan? Maybe Bill Clinton. The other night when David Letterman asked him if he had heard of the Downing Street memos, Clinton replied, "What was that?"

I have rebel friends in Texas, control freak friends in New York City and even drone friends here in Berkeley -- clearly demonstrating that post-Bush America is no longer just a place. It has become a state of mind.

So. Which state are you in? If you're not really sure right now, just wait for a while and it will all sort itself out. The Bush Republican bubble is bound to collapse -- as always happens when there is reckless over-spending, gross corruption, intentional mismanagement and unjustifiable endless war -- causing the safe and protected world that we now know to vanish like it had been attacked by Steven Spielberg aliens. Then, like what happened to Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds, your bottom-line values will rise to the top and you will soon find out if you truly are a control freak or a drone. Or a rebel.

Another -- safer -- alternative is that we could avoid waiting for the inevitable chaos that comes with poor leadership and figure out where we stand now.

And we could decide right now that we are all...AMERICANS!

And, as Americans, we need to give up the luxury of being divided into control freaks, rebels and drones -- and start using common sense and good judgment instead. Let's go back to the ideals of our founding fathers and become honest, just, respectful, kind, frugal and patriotic Americans once again. It could happen. I for one hope that it does.

PS: What makes a control freak want to risk his life (and ours too) by dragging America into endless war? Let's ask Sigmund Freud about this. Hey, Sigmund! Pick some random CF to do a profile on and let's see what makes him tick. Say, for instance, some guy named George Bush?

Freud was up to the task.

"Our subject probably grew up in a home where any dissent was strictly forbidden and punished severely." Okay. The children-are-seen-but-not-heard thing. I can understand that.

"Further, young George either loved or hated his parents deeply..." Wow. How Freudian is that? "...and internalized every criticism they ever made of him to the point where his parents' endless commentary of constant criticism plays back to him in his head even now." Now that's deep. Go Siggie.

So perhaps what Freud is telling us is that control freaks such as our George like to feel good about themselves and so get tired of their subconscious minds constantly telling them what losers they are? But instead of just telling his subconscious, "Shut up you idiot. I'm wonderful. Get off my case," our Dubya -- bless his heart -- just keeps searching for other people to say "Shut up" to. Like me and you.