It is a strange feeling to be deeply touched by someone who never existed for me except as a string of ASCII characters.  But I have to accept it, as it is.  This past week I have been going over Oldman’s blog–which is still up. And noticing some of the things I missed at the time.  

Part of my emotional sympathy with him is–for reasons that are underlying, or built in–we were both strange people.  Normal lives for us were never possible, and we knew it.  In other ways we were very, very different, except for one thing:  A passion for strategy and a visceral concern for the shape and future of the American political economy.  

But if one wants to consider the future one has to consider the present, including the question:  Who are we really?  Because what is to come is built out of who we are.  I have trouble answering this question because I tend not to understand how Americans think–it often feels weird and alien.  American thoughts on this tend to be useless, because of their own self-absorption.  The Agonist offers us a glimpse.  Oldman was talking about this last year before the election:  

“Have you asked yourself why?”  he asked on Monday 4 October 2004.  “Think deeply.  Why?  When you understand why, it’s a simple step to how Kerry could win. . . . Why are these people getting out to vote–and it’s not for Bush.  He’s just riding the wave.  I’ll give you a hint, it has do do with socioeconomic demographics.”  I felt we failed that test:  We had answers, but they weren’t deep enough.  The next day in Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Oldman spelled it out:  

It was the consevative Baby-boomers who gave us Reagan.  It was the liberal ones who gave us Clinton.  . . . Who is benefitting from the housing market bubble?  Who has money to invest in stocks?  

These things were enjoyed by the “Greatest Generation,” first–who afterall is gonnna deny Rosy the Riveteer her Social Security check.  Now the Baby-boomers want their turn.  

Only it’s coming apart–at the seams.   . . .

You see the Baby boomers have figured out the party is gonna end too, and the only way for them to get theirs is if in fact the government is not responsible.   . . .

This is why it doesn’t matter that Bush is a chin-drooling idiot.   It’s better that way, because a Thomas Jefferson or even a HFK would never toerate the present state of affairs.  . . . It doesnt matter that he’s benefitting the rich, it’s okay if they get a biggger cut just as long as I get something–that’s better than nothing.  . . .

GWB winks at you, smirks, and telegraphs the message–look we all know this is going to end, why not get your cut too?

My friend who I mentioned last week is like this–though he was not a Bush-voter.  

Let’s go back and ask ourselves why did 9/11 change everything?  Because Bush used it as an opportunity for propaganda is true but too superficial.  What 9/11 really was was the first public hint that things might not be perfect.  That the End of History, where the party continued while just getting bigger and bigger, might itself becoming to an end.  

We are a people who have forgotten how the party was created, but don’t want it to end.  We are fearful, and clinging.  

We are ripe.  

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