Every day on my way into town on the 110 freeway I see a billboard for some minivan with the tag line, HAUL MASS, and the very next billboard, no more than a few hundred yards further down the road is an ad for a Showtime cable series that says, GET FOLKED in fifteen foot high letters.
Basically these billboards are urging us to HAUL ASS and GET FUCKED. Which is fine with me, but it seems a bit funny to see them every day during such a horribly embarrassing, hypocritical, cowardly period in our country’s history.
Radio hosts have become even more paranoid and freaky than they usually are (if that’s possible), and all of television is on a tape delay in case someone says poop, all because anyone dull enough to actually be watching Janet Jackson “perform” (excuse me, dancing around while they play your record may be performing, but it ain’t MUSIC) at the super bowl halftime might have caught a half-second second glimpse of her doctor-improved breast and fancy nipple jewelry.
I know, the pendulum swings, man, and it’s swinging toward the conservo side for the moment, but you have to wonder how long it will last, what with captain crunch on his way out of the white house and few more years of war on the horizon – if not in Iraq, in Pakistan, or North Korea, or anywhere else – throw a dart at a map. Apparently that’s all they do at the white house.
This is just the kind of divisive, shitty atmosphere that spawned the filthy hippies more than 35 years ago, though kids with those sort of leanings today have no countercultural icons to rally behind. All they have is limpbizkit and Sean Penn, and I don’t know about you, but I ain’t following any of those fuckers into a battle, social or physical.
So what? I don’t know. We are either heading toward Berlin in the 1920’s or Orwell’s 1984 – or something else so horrible and incomprehensible that no one has thought of a name for it yet, with bombs going off on every street corner, your mother speaking to you in Morse code over your cable modem and the ghost of George Bush singing lullabies to you in your dreams.
But then, this is probably what it felt like in 1967 too, yet here we all are (most of us). We survived somehow and still manage to wake up in the morning and go to work and make things or steal people’s money and walk around and not all die every day. That’s worth something, I suppose.
But I’m glad I’m not 17 years old today. Which is as it should be, as I’m quite certain that every 17 year old out there is damn glad they aren’t 44.
And so it goes.