Stranger in a Strange Land 2012-01-14: The ’12 Comeback Special by The Stranger on Mixcloud
So what did we miss in 2011? A Japanese crisis, Gifford shooting, death of Steve Jobs, the survival of Anthony Weiner, some big British wedding, a bunch of NY Gay weddings, fracking, Iraq War “ends”, and water on Mars? 2011 said “out with the old, in with the new” as we saw the continuation of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, protests in Algeria, Iraq Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, with Southern Sudan Independence. Greek Protests against austerity, London Riots against brutality, Indian Protests against corporatism, and Occupations of Wall Street and all around the world. Anonymous and other hacktivists working in the seedy underbelly of the net.
War criminals, terrorists, dictators were cut down (or simply expired), Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, Qaddafi, Mladic, Hadjic, Kim Jong Il…
The oligarchical status quo remains, but does not remain unchallenged. Rupert Murdoch and his Newscorp under fire, Wall Street is on edge, and the US presidential candidates? They want to distance themselves from the elitist image as much as they can. There are threats that remain, transparency of information being eroded and basic rights to question and defend with SOPA, NDAA. As predicted by George Orwell (and this show) the very definitions in our language are all changing for privacy, censorship, copyright, surveillance, social networks, war, national and international economics, corporations (legalized corporate fraud and political bribery), the Constitution, and what exactly defines an enemy combatant or terrorist? Can our world leaders actually recognize what the rest of us are loudly clamoring for? What needs doing?
We’re sick of waiting for CHANGE from above, bring it about yourself! Is it part of the sick human condition that the true idealists must be crushed, and those few that succeed end up the monsters they overtook and defeated against all odds, and perpetuate the same slavery of mind and poverty of stomach? do we dare hope to believe that mankind will throw off the chains and erupt forth as a better species, a more mindful and careful progeny and guest star to our host planet, a better steward to future generations, and responsible and rightful engineers of our cosmic destiny? Are we cursed to render for ourselves only two choices, and often not even enough wisdom to choose the lesser of two evils? Is change even possible?
Or maybe the world ends in December. the “Doomsday clock” is one minute closer to midnight, after all In which case find yourself a good seat and a case of your intoxicant of choice. But, and I hate to burst the doomsayers’ bubbles, the more frightening prospect is usually the correct one, that things go on this uncurtailed course towards disaster, a caroming minecart of unsustainable corruption, greed, and trickle-down solipsism. Lies on top of lies, until the digitally interfaced reality we all now share is a constant incongruency of truth, with every avatar for themselves.
Look at what was NOT done this year: Gauntanamo was not closed, these Wall Street swindlers have not been indicted with any of their crimes, drone strikes are not ending in countries we are not at war with, Palestinians are still being marginalized, immigrants in our country are having their human rights trampled, people are still being killed by terrorists, the economies of the world are not recovering in meaningful ways that address the fissures allowing corruption and crime, the government is still aiding the drug cartels while prosecuting small nonviolent domestic drug crimes, governments threaten free speech with censorship, mainstream media with blacklisting ideas, and free assembly with police brutality, surveillance and private information collection is increasing, security for the sake of liberty, whistleblowers like Julian Assange Bradley Manning and Thomas Drake are jailed, our country still challenges and boxes in Iran, the news continues to mislead us, nuclear proliferation, military networks are indefensible, the approaching digital war of national espionage, freelance, hacktivist, terrorist, and anarchist, there still abounds racism and homophobia in every branch of government and military… and we still have no flying cars.
Things are strange enough in this land already.
It’s not as though I would normally choose to believe in massive worldwide conspiracy, or that twelve (probably white rich males) run everything, when you see how unapologetic the top CEOs and politicians in this country and around the first world are about maximizing profits by stealing from the middle and lower classes, reducing more and more amenities and rights so they can lie about how much they’re really earning and sitting on not creating jobs or reinvesting in the economy when you see politicians not only accepting corporate bribes but legalizing the process, and even refusing to prosecute fraud and crimes that are destroying the world much more immediately than any ecological threat (there are those too), or even collect their due taxes, enough to pay the annual deficit! when you see how much violent lashback on-point economic disparity protestors in all parts of the world are seeing, whether its the poor rising up in Middle Eastern countries against oppressive oligarchies there and having to face tanks and bullets, or the protest demonstrations of occupy in major cities worldwide, met with varying levels of criticism, rhetoric, slander, loss of rights, loss of property, police brutality, and imprisonment… it makes you really wonder…
Low-wage earning Police covering badge names and confiscating phones and jailing reporters to cover their asses as they are pitted against other low-wage earners or laid-off workers defending and practicing their constitutional rights and you can get pix from Mars sent to your phone now!
Which is good, since the shuttle program ended in 2011 with no apparent replacement. However the first private spaceship has docked to the ISS, and another Mars probe is set to land on Mars this year.
150 billion possible planets, or that perhaps even the 200-400 billion possible solar systems must have at least one planet each when you think of the fact that as our technology gets better and better, we are discovering new exoplanets, more and more Earth-like by orders of magnitude, and in only a tiny portion of the night sky being checked by Kepler satellite, soon to be replaced with something even greater…
Welcome to 2012, the last and finest year.
“White House officials have denied all allegations of the President’s Martian travels, or the existence of a Mars training class. But, of course, they would.”