It would probably be this blog, the talking dog, which, while no one was looking, "celebrated" the tenth anniversary of its existence... yesterday, 19 September 2011, when your talking dog himself was engaged in his other past-time, running and finishing his 31st marathon (albeit unofficially, given the brazenly violated official 5-hour limit) the 86th Yonkers Marathon, in this, the month of milestones (where I have also already celebrated a quarter century of legal practice, and in just over a week, 20 years of marital bliss with Mrs. TD.)
Over this blog's course, we've gone from the immediate crisis-ridden post 9-11 America, which feared that its best days might be behind it, to an America (and everyone in it) ten years older and wiser, and now, those of us without our head up our ass are quite certain that America's best days are behind it. The extremist "national security" excesses of right-wing nuts that we have endlessly railed against... have now become what "grown-ups" must do to be "pragmatic"... and ever-so bipartisan. Knowing that we had perhaps 10 years left to remedy global warming if only we would slow down our insatiable industrial appetites, we stepped on the accelerator, and now, can be quite certain that the insane droughts and fires and storms and such we are watching now...are here to stay. And despite the best efforts of many of the courageous souls we've interviewed on this blog [not to mention myself], hundreds of poor bastards remain still trapped in Guantanamo (and its sister gulags at Bagram and elsewhere). And hundreds of thousands of Americans are trapped in hot-wars and occupations in at least Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya... where millions of locals are also trapped in the same death struggle to convince the rubes here that we are securing "their" oil... and that's just what we KNOW about. Of course, we've crashed throught peak oil, although, as hard as it is to believe, I believe as a nation, we still have a ways to go to hit peak dumb-ass-ness, even as hundreds of millions of us are still paying for this geo-political moving Escher painting.
It's clear we've transcended democracy, and are now all in the Green Party (or, technically, given how rapidly quantitative easing and the like are decimating purchasing power just as wage earners and pensioners find even their nominal incomes flat or declining, perhaps the "them-what-has-gets party").
I don't know: Hope Dies. Just a little gallows humor there-- Dolores Hope, widow of the late Bob Hope, who himself kicked off at 100, just passed away at 102. No, as my friend Candace always reminds me, Hope. Dies. LAST. And I'm telling you: there is hope for us all, though more likely, individually rather than collectively. Ignore the macro (such as this country, which is pretty much irremediable) and look out for what really matters. Starting with... your food supply, and that of your family. And look for eventual places to escape, say urban violence, or maybe localized environmental catastrophe. And make friends you can call on in any circumstances (preferably face to face, and not through a telecom system likely not to be functioning). Really-- invest in relationships... There is no more satisfying investment... or safer one in a pinch. What profiteth a man if his gated community is overrun by the hordes and his good shit gets looted? That "invest in relationships" thing was the direction we were going right after 9-11, when it seemed we were finally spiritually in sync... until money made sure we weren't (and certainly haven't been since).
But I'd like to go all the way back to the concept we started with from the get-go here at this blog, back when I was "the left-leaning dog" (in a point-counterpoint format, with "the rabid dog," who left not too long into the blog's run to go be the Raving Atheist, as if dogmatic non-belief was in any way superior to the dogmatic belief he railed against... but I digress.) At this point, there is no more left or right in American politics-- only a simulacrum of that, with the real "battle" between... hard right, and psycho-cracker. And even "left-wing journalism"... isn't. In other words... the "left-wing" concept needs some careful examining.
I'm going to put this out there from the Cultural Reference section at Dictionary.com:
A descriptive term for liberal, radical, or revolutionary political views, particularly the view that there are unacceptable social inequalities in the present order of society. Communists and socialists, as well as moderate liberals, come under the term left-wing . Left-wing groups are sometimes known collectively as the Left. ( Compare right-wing.)
Even with the absurdity of including "moderate liberals" in there... does this definition, by any stretch of the imagination, include my college classmate Barack Obama? Does he seem remotely "left-wing," in that "dictionary" sense? How about "National Public Radio," "The New York Times" or "the Democratic Party"? Not to me either. DO ANY OF THOSE SUPPOSEDLY "LEFT-WING" INSTITUTIONS ACKNOWLEDGE, LET ALONE ADDRESS IN A MEANINGFUL WAY THAT THERE ARE UNACCEPTABLE SOCIAL INEQUALITIES IN THE PRESENT ORDER OF SOCIETY, even as those inequality reach absurd levels (such as, oh, the top 400 wealthiest people in the USA holding more wealth than the bottom 150 million? Are they going to continue telling you what MONEY doesn't want you to know? Of course, that would involve them starting to do that, wouldn't it? Thing is-- all of those institutions are hopelessly dependent on MONEY's money themselves. Same with "professional bloggers," think-tanks and so forth.
I'm not. For me... this is strictly an amateur venture. And money's never really been my raison d'etre. You can elect to trust me, or not to trust me... but either way, nobody's paying me to say anything.
And so, that, I suppose, is my promise to you, for the next ten years (assuming we still have an internet... or electricity... and btw... I'll probably take the "under") and perhaps beyond... I will at least try to bring you a genuinely left-wing perspective-- which often, if not usually, means calling the purported standard-bearers of "the left" on their bullshit... which is invariably just another surrogate for "what money wants" anyway. Because the thing with "money" is that its a construct... a mere stand-in for what it buys (even if we buy the semiotics in lieu of the actual)... and even though we have given this fiction the power over our individual life and death, and of late, over the continued existence of our species on this planet... it doesn't mean money isn't, at its core, bullshit. Bullshit... like the President's proposed "jobs bill" which, of course, is designed to protect one job... or the rest of his kabuki show meant to invoke "class warfare"... even as his own government is responsible for preventing any accountability (let alone prosecutions and jail) for the criminals in the financial sector (or "national security state") who have brought this country to what will prove to be its permanent decline.
And so. You can't win through this system. A "get-out-the-vote" effort will only put in your flavor of Coke or Pepsi in the "hard-right" vs. "psycho-cracker" battle. Which is why I don't play the "left-right" thing anymore: money likes that game-- it keeps us off-balance... by pretending that "progressive taxation" is "class warfare," the hope is that an obese and anti-depressant-addicted American won't actually discover what REAL class-warfare is (the kind Louis XVI discovered kind of the hard way).
Alrightie then. Here's to the next ten years.
I'm hopeful that they'll be more pleasant than the last ten years, but realistic enough to acknowledge that the realities of nature don't make that all that likely. Adjust your expectations... the one "freedom" you really do have. Limitless material consumption on a finite planet wasn't really making you any happier, now was it? Of course it wasn't. So think to eternity-- and devote yourself to how to make life better for your grandchildren, and for their grandchildren. Because that's the only way we'll make life better for ourselves.