Just now listened to / watched the Colbert Report from yesterday, Nov 15th, about airport security. Colbert is to the left as Limbaugh is to the right, devoid of information, nothing but wise cracks, smart remarks and clever quips. He asks his interviewees questions, then doesn't allow an answer to get through his wall of loud cleverness. After 10 minutes of cutsie rant, he has said nothing. Every time I watched one, I went into it with expectation something interesting might get said. It's never happened in the ones I've seen. It's billed as comedy, but I've never laughed. Hearing on the news that Sarah Palin is being set up for the presidency, that's when I bend over and fall on the floor from laughter that turns into crying. Funniest thing I ever heard; even funnier that it might be likely.
Today's rant was airport security, Colbert shooting down everything interviewee said, replacing it with nonsense and humiliation of the guest, who was there to talk about (maybe) the humiliation of body scans at airports, threats, treating everyone like criminals. I got taken aside last time I took a plane ride, things gone through, everybody walking by looking at a criminal abducted. I don't think we had cell phone video cameras then, so there was no danger of turning up on YouTube. I said to the searcher, "I see we're in fascism now." He asked what I meant. I said, "This." He still didn't get it. He didn't have a laptop to google merriam-webster to look up the meaning of fascism, evidently a word he'd never heard. Skipped that day in school, if it's addressed in school now. It's probably subversive to teach about fascism. It sure is against the rules to use the word. The search didn't hurt anything, but I hated being treated like a criminal, talked to like a criminal, commanded like a criminal after paying hard-earned money to fly on a damn plane. All the time Colbert was making cracks about what to do about it, all I could think was: it's simple--stay out of airports.
That was my last flight. It's not that I'm afraid of dying in a plane crash, not that at all. I like the democracy I grew up in school being told we live in. But since I've been out of school, haven't seen a lot of it. Sure, we have elections, but we also have the men in black to overthrow an election when it's not to the liking of the right wing. If the winner gets through with such a large margin that it can't be twisted, then he's rendered impotent by new laws the men in black make up for the occasion. At this time in my life there's no place I want to go to, and if the need arises to go somewhere I have to fly, I'll either drive or not go. They talk about car pollution, what about jet exhaust pollution, each passenger plane burning 4 jet engines? But that's ok, like if my car smoked the air like a dump truck passing through town making it look like the whole town was on fire, I'd be arrested, my car taken and I'd never be allowed to drive it again. I'd be fined an amount I couldn't pay, then threatened with jail. But it's ok for the dumptruck. It's about making money.
The airlines will have to make their money without any contributions from me. It's not like I kept them going before, but I have a problem with paying a corporation to treat me like a criminal. If they were paying me, it would be another thing. Though if they were paying me, I'd quit. They have their justifications, and they can have all of them they want. It's obviously convincing to enough people to keep the airline corporations going that fascism is a good thing. What I see from history is the pattern in fascism is to do extensive damage, implode and take the entire country with it.
I still can't get over that our government has supported fascist governments around the world against the people of those countries wanting democracy. That's been going on all my lifetime. Now we're spreading democracy by crippling helpless countries and forcing the survivors to have elections. When the one wins that isn't the one our corporate government wants, they do like the Supreme Court, nullify the election and put in the one they want, or kill the one they don't want, whichever is the more expedient. Just like home. I don't know a solution for the situation. All I can see is to let it run its course, which it's going to do, and keep myself out of its way, don't play on its tracks. I tell myself stay on the mountain and let all the rest go by. I feel like Artur Sammler in Saul Bellow's novel, Mr Sammler's Planet, published 1970, who in his old age was metaphorically sitting on the bank of a river watching the world go by, aware that one man is no match against such gigantic social forces. Detached by indifference, he withdraws and watches it all go by.