I started this blog exactly two years ago today. Today, it ends.
I have found it increasingly onerous, mentally draining and difficult to justify the enormous amount of time and energy spent here, all largely for the benefit of search engines and Google bots. I really can't tell how many actual people visit here, but considering that the hit statistics are 95% driven by search engines and hardly anyone comments, there is no strong sense that I am providing much of anything that people find very interesting. As we all do, I had hopes for a little more circulation, but, since a peak last summer, visits have been ignominiously sliding and it feels like I could pretty much accomplish the same things I do here by simply talking to myself in a room. I think we can all agree, that gets pretty boring after awhile.
I've met some great people through this venue, though, and for that I am grateful. I've been pointed to some fine blogs, and I encourage those so inclined to trip on over to any or all of them, which will be listed below (I will leave this blog up for awhile anyway). For the most part, these are blogs you won't find the Blog Establishment mentioning very much, as the A-list has ossified into its own self-referential structure. It was bound to happen, of course, as all social networks do. Nonetheless, I wish them all well and hope the struggle does not seem as fruitless as it does to me right now. Some people have boundless faith and energy in fighting the corruptions and crimes of the political classes of this country and let's give thanks for them. I am not one of them, however. Day after day after day of seeing the same cruel intentions and mean-spirited bullshit spilling across the pages and airwaves has rendered me near limp and lifeless.
I may start up another venue at some point but it will be focused on a subject that, while writing this blog, I have discovered is really where my own true interests lie: the ongoing projects of various competing world powers, the jockeying for position and the American empire's response to the rising and would-be hegemons. I can no longer stand listening and watching the asinine spectacle that passes for politics in these United States; horse races, money races and who wears a lapel pin and who doesn't.
I've come to a conclusion that echoes Chomsky. It really doesn't make any difference on the world stage whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. And as our corporate media will continue to ensure, that situation will only become more solidified. Sure a few domestic policies get shuffled around but the tide has been turning against the social compact for thirty years. The vast majority of people in this country have lost ground on real wages and wealth accumulates at geometric rates in the upper reaches of the richest households of America. And the Democrats had been in charge for most of this period.
But the real march of empire, the undeclared wars, the assassinations, the death squads, the black ops, the coups, all conducted for the advancement of "American interests," has mercilessly continued to beat a deadly path across much of the most destitute and ravaged parts of the world. This has happened with Democratic presidents and Republican ones; with Democratic majorities and Republican ones. Lie after lie after lie about US government comportment in the world, whether it was lying about the Gulf of Tonkin or lying about Iran-Contra or lying about Iraq WMD, has never resulted in even the slightest whiff of accountability for any of the perpetrators, whether Democrat or Republican. What did result in an impeachment? Lying about a blowjob. But you won't see impeachment for real crimes. We all know this is true. To borrow a favorite phrase of our current epoch's lexicon, accountability for real crimes has always been "off the table," forever and always. And as long as that remains the case, then, no, things are not going to change anytime soon.
Key to this, of course, is that Americans must remain misinformed, entertained or otherwise distracted from the real news. The real news is not whatever the fuck Hillary said, or whether Obama wears a pin or Larry Craig in an airport bathroom. It is not even what their "policies" are right now, because, a year from the election, it means nothing. You cannot get a straight answer out of Clinton about Iraq, and for good reason. But you won't be told what that reason is. The truth is known but no one can acknowledge it.
The real news is hard to come by through passive absorption of corporate media and for good reason: they are corporations making fortunes from arrangements as they exist today and which are intended to be extended as long as possible. Those arrangements are not very pleasant viewing for most Americans, which is why news about them is not forthcoming. In fact, most Americans would be damned horrified to know all the things that are executed "in their name." This is why, having been publicly exposed, torture must to be turned into something palatable, something that "must be done" to save lives. Can you conceive of having conversations about the efficacy of torture before Abu Graib was brought to light? But we do it now. And on national television and especially on Fox News, where it is now pumped into the soft heads of millions that torture is not only necessary but just, while presidential candidates are asked whether they "pray for the troops." Torture and praying. All together now. Torquemada would be proud.
So, no, I can't really stand paying any attention to that which passes for politics in the United States. It is increasingly stupid and always irrelevant to the conduct of American empire.
***Well, I've certainly gone on a bit longer than I first imagined. I hope I haven't bummed you out too much. As I said, another outlet may arise sometime later and I'll let those I know about it, if or when it happens. And visit the blogs linked below. You are sure to find some good work there.
Cheers and good luck in your endevours, whatever they may be.
-- Ken Anderson
(in no particular order)
The Osterley Times
The November Blog
Swedish Meatballs Confidential
Another Point of View
and special shout to*
Toner Mishap and
and thanks to
for all the comments.
*I think the Misanthrope may have been my first link and The Heretik punched up the first comment.