Less than 12 hours before the election and I'm being bombarded with emails from friends telling me to remember to vote...Specifically for Obama.
Most of the emails are forwards from the likes of groups like MoveOn.org with links to videos extolling how wonderful Obama is, how he's gonna change this country around, and bring about a brighter future. Sure. Whatever.
On days like this, I wish there was some alternative organization against voting that would sponsor a youtube video extolling how voting is for the most part, a total waste of time, and that when it comes to the stuff that really matters, you really have NO choice. Maybe a mash up of Noam Chomsky and George Carlin, just something to shake up American's delusional belief that entering a polling booth once every 4 years is the personification of civic duty.
And yeah, I'll be a relieved when Obama deals McCain a knock out blow tomorrow - Obama's clearly an intelligent, decent human being. The problem is, he's an intelligent, decent human being taking control of a position that is inherently authoritarian and always a breath away from unleashing massive amounts of violence against helpless people (whether they be in Kabul or Oakland). To me, a black man becoming president of a historically racist and patriarchal country doesn't make the country any less racist or patriarchal, no more than hiring black police officers guarantees that black civilians will be safer from police brutality (Ask anyone in Inglewood if they believe that). It's the system that's the problem - Listening to my liberal friends talk about how wonderful an Obama presidency is gonna be, I can't help but think of peasants arguing over whether the new king is going to be a bad one or a good one when, at least to me, no king would be much better.
And just so anyone reading this doesn't think this is simply an ill-informed petty argument from an apathetic anarchist, here's a couple of things that didn't get discussed during this past election cycle, and will most likely not be discussed or addressed after tomorrow's election (and the one after that, and the one there after):
- The United States will continue to maintain over 700 military bases throughout the world.
- The political system within the United States will continue to be controlled by two-ruling parties that will conspire whenever possible to keep any other upstart political entities from gaining power.
- Corporate media, food, clothing, and culture will continue to dominate the thoughts and conversations of the average citizen via commercial television, billboards, and the internet.
- The United States will continue to have a prison population that hovers around 2 million people, by far, the largest in the industrialized world.
- Genetically modified food will remain unlabeled and widely diffused throughout the American food supply.
- The United States will continue to supply Israel with machines that can kill a lot of people very quickly, thereby perpetuating Arab nations utter hatred for Americans.
- The United States will continue to execute people.
- The destruction of wild spaces in the search of riches - be it mineral, energy, timber, whatever, will continue.
- Most people will continue to work meaningless dead-end day jobs for at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (if they're even lucky enough to find employment), then go home to microwaveable dinners, and spend hours alone on the couch watching TV - A completely regimented, mechanized existence. The 20 hour work week will remain a personal fantasy...
- The energy debate will continue to revolve around whether we have enough, and how can we have more, rather than questioning whether we really need as much as we consume.
- The state, from the national, to the local level, will continue to retain the right to punish people for every minor act, whether that be walking on the grass, to sleeping in their cars.
These things just come with the territory of the presidency and the modern industrial state. They are not negotiable. And yet, the emails keep pouring in...Obama is going to change everything! Sure, whatever.