Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Beginnings and Endings: Reflections on a Lost Decade

OK, let's get this final posting of 2009 out of the way. I may update this entry over the weekend with more pictures.

The grounds of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bethesda, Md., 12:48PM, Jan. 29, 2009

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I'm still without a computer, and I am a little bit skeptical that my mom will follow through on actually buying me a new PC outright on Saturday. That is a $300 to $400 cost and although I told her I would contribute a third to a half, I also told her that would have to be "later" since I'm, as usual, quite broke.

However, I have been able go to into my old office this week (Tue., Weds., and today) because there has been a free desk / computer that will cease to be available to me after today. I will have to go to UMCP to the computer lab. I still have to finish three items in order to be able to pay my January rent by the 20th of the month ...

This is my life.

Regulus -- my blog namesake star -- and the Leo I Dwarf Galaxy, about 75 and 800,000 light years away, respectively.

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I wanted to post a retrospective on this lousy decade of "the '00's" (the naughts? the aughts? the zeros?) that is now ending -- and spare me any crap about how the decade really ends Dec. 31, 2010 because it didn't get going until Jan. 1, 2001, because I don't give a damn. The symbolism is in the '00's.

However, such a retrospective will be (see below) intensely caustic and bitter both about how my stupid D.C. life is unfolding and the degeneracy and farce that is this late stage American Empire.

For starters, and naturally, the Empire's mediawhore machine is in full-bore tilt, bleating 24/7, ever since the would-be "underwear bomber" tried to do his thing.

That's about right.

As Glenn Greenwald correctly points out, the usual cast of media pundit-whores are desperate for their immediate post-9/11 ("9/12") terror-induced high with calls for the hapless President Obama to "hotfoot it" back from Hawaii in a state of code red double-lock down panic so that he can play daddy for them and make them feel "safe" -- and presumably to change their diapers, metaphorically speaking.


Oh, yes, speaking of Hawaiian vacations, get well soon, Butt Rush. We want you back at the microphone helm of rightwing hate radio, the titular head of the GOP.

I suppose the outcome of this latest TERROR! will be to require people to board jets naked with electrodes hooked up to their privates two hours before flights. Only then will the usual "terror analyst" talking heads that corrupt the airwaves be satisfied -- except they really won't because nothing can ever satisfy them or our System such as it is configured. It is an insatiable beast into whose black hole-like maw everything disappears, never to reemerge in any recognizable form.

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The decade of the '00's was the decade when the corporate oligarchical elites who run America essentially completed their takeover of everything. The 9/11/01 attacks were a catastrophe, but in ways far more insidious than anything our Muslim enemies planned.

I include in this internal corporate coup every multi-tentacled hydra from Big Pharma and Big Insurance to Big Oil to the entire Military-Industrial-Oedipal Complex (not my term) to Big Media/Entertainment to Big Banks and the mega-trillion dollar casino of the Wall Street charlatans.

The only caveat to this, ironically, is that some aspects of them -- in particular the credit card industry, which acts as a kind of Ebola virus in the American body politic, basically killing the host before it can successfully propagate -- are so vicious that it essentially precludes the other monsters from getting all that they want.

It was the decade that the Republican Party turned into a bizarre religio-crazed cult while the Democrat(ic) Party gave up an pretense of being anything other than a corporate appendage of Wall Street. We can thank President Obama -- the "Great Mocha Hope" -- for that one.

Squirrel-ly squirrel, oak tree, 1600 block, New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C., 2:09PM, Dec. 30, 2009

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Lacking a computer as I do -- thanks to that virus and worthless anti-viral software -- I have suddenly all this free time when I'm in my dusty, chaotic apartment, from which I will probably have to move, if not be evicted by early March. I have restarted watching TV, or rather, exploring the full range of channels I have rather than watching the usual ones (e.g. Hallmark, TV Land, WeTV for reruns of The Golden Girls, the smooth jazz and easy listening music channels, and occasionally The History Channel). While I discovered I can actually watch reruns of The Honeymooners and St. Elsewhere, I also "rediscovered" in this particularly bad week just how bad all American news now is -- local or national, makes no difference any more.

AUNT ESTER!

The TV screen is filled with multiple rows of electronic graffiti flying by, screaming out "TERROR! TERROR! TERROR!" along with the local temperature and forecast and the latest Dow Jones gyrations (mostly up in the past 9 months as the Government rigged it so that the House always wins). There is also the usual plastic mini-blond mannequins bleating something in between assorted talking heads calling for the U.S. to drop freedom bombs on the latest evil-doing country.

This was a very funny Sanford & Son episode.

It was a decade in which the American economy proved it cannot work any longer as every indicator turned bad except for the oligarchical elites who run the world for their benefit.

I could go on and on but you get the message.

Booeymonger's, Bethesda, Md., 2:51PM, Dec. 30, 2009

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As for me, it was purely a wasted decade. My life is turning out to be a grand-glorious failure. I earned two of my three masters degrees in the '00's, amassing at least $150,000 in debt in the process that brought my overall student loan debt to $206,000. I declared bankruptcy once on about $20,000 in credit card debt and I desperately need to do it again on another $14,000 but cannot do so until August. I lost three, no, four jobs, although I hated three of them, and now I seem unable to find any work at all -- but that is as much a function of the collapse of America's economic system as it is with my failures.

My income this decade was never higher than $46,000 in one year -- or one-tenth that of some people I know -- and mostly it was under $25,000 per year. Well under. For 2009, it was about $14,000.


Everything in reverse.

The Brittany (I think that's the right spelling) across the street from my building, Washington, D.C., 9:19AM, Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, 2009

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2009 was a bad year for my relationships: I lost Kristof for at least a year and maybe two as he went back to Europe; my blogger friend Bryan died too young; my friendship with Phil ended, though it was a long time coming as he and I grew ridiculously far apart in every way; most of my other blogger friends from my 2006 - 2008 blogging heyday sort of disappeared, most disappointingly, Fifi La Australia.

In the 2000s overall, I managed to keep Mike G as a close friend and I think things are coming back with Chester after a four year hiatus.

My dear friend Amie / Quill is still my dear friend even though I don't tell her that enough.

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So I enter the '10's with few prospects and things looking very bleak. My D.C. life may soon be over. Washington, D.C., is a place I really should never have come. I guess I should have just stayed in New Jersey, but that was not an option for me in the 1990s.

Perhaps the most defining, long-running, and intractable event for me in the '00's was the whole Mr. Sirius situation, which I let become part and parcel of my identity. This was particularly ridiculous given I mean nothing to him and he lives in his own world that is in a different Universe, reality, from mine.

I'm not even sure what I feel for him anymore, except I wonder if any of it was ever real. I guess it was all just an internal illusion.That is, in the end, I was just in love with a beautiful illusion.

It is true that I was really crazy about him when I first saw him way back in 2000 and the period after May 2004 -- I refer specifically to the slapping / scuffle incident on May 22/23, 2004, which I still insist was not ENTIRELY my fault -- through about late 2006 was one of extreme mental anguish over him.

Arcturus, my other blog's namesake star.

There was such an emotional and psychic energy "investment" in him (I hate that word but I'm not sure what else to say since "commitment" doesn't really seem to fit) that I really have been reluctant ever since to just give up on him if only because it leaves me with nothing.

Except it was always nothing from the start, so there was nothing to lose. In the end, though, for all my mistakes, he could have been a little frickin' nicer to me. It wouldn't have killed him to be nicer, except that's not how these things play out.

Again, I was just in love with a beautiful illusion that represented something I felt lacking and in no way could it ever fill such a void.

Dorothy: "Rose, if you're worried about voids, start with the one in your head."

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And on that note, I think I will end this entry. I don't have any set plans for tonight, New Year's Eve, except I think I'm going to be with Gary, Chris T., and Gerry and be in or around the Dupont gayborhood. I'm supposed to go over Joe's tomorrow evening for dinner. I'm glad this New Year's Eve is falling on a Thursday rather than a Sunday.

New Years Eve 2010 at the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia. Why do the Aussies always do this so well? It is always a stunning pyrotechnical display from this bridge. More importantly, why doesn't D.C. do anything for NYE? The NYE display 2000 one was the most pathetic ever. Ever.

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My next planned update may not be until the middle of next week (around Jan. 5th).

Oh, yes, I have changed the settings so that folks with Google accounts can post comments. I think that opens it back up to at least two of my regular readers but I'm not sure. I am a bit reluctant to go back to any registered user at this point -- and I will not go back to anonymous comments as that was part of the problem of what lead to the virus attack that destroyed my computer.

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And so the Earth spins restlessly and relentlessly on its axis and the artificial human designation of a calendar year -- based on an arbitrary beginning and ending points of the planet's effectively never-ending nearly circular journey around the Sun -- ends and another begins and I don't know how human affairs, in particular my own, will play out in the next cycle.

Beginnings and endings. Endings and beginnings.

I've no idea.

I'm still as lost as I ever was, but I think so are many people. Ideologies, ideas, systems, gods and GOD Himself ... everything has failed us. We have failed ourselves but I'm not sure how we could have ever succeeded because existence is nonsensical.

As I write this, I am thinking of Robbie Williams' wonderful song Millennium with its poignant and evocative lyrics.

But we keep going on until our each of our allotted times on this planet is over because that is the only free will we have. And, I guess, we still need each other and all the other lifeforms with which we share this planet because in the end that's what we humans require to survive.

The corner of Pearl Street and East-West Highway, Bethesda, Md., 12:47PM, Dec. 29, 2009

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Just some thoughts to keep in mind while looking out across the miles on a bright, cold winter's day at the start of 2010. Forward the millennium.

--Regulus

7 comments:

Rita said...

& I don't even get a mention? What am I...Milquetoast?

Happy (sorta) New Year, anyway.

krzysztof said...

Yay I can post comments again.

Rita, I think you didn't get a mention because Reg was listing people who left/abandoned/deserted him or otherwise departed. Thankfully you are not one of them

Rita said...

Oh I guess I didn't read that part. :)I was having my own pity party, anyway.

Yep..."Forward the millennium" Forge, plod, follow or crawl. Whatever it takes.

krzysztof said...

I'm crawling into 2010 even as we speak.

gaily we prance forth

Regulus said...

Rita -- As Kristof said, I was complaining about my blogger friends who disappeared, not those still here!

Kristof -- I have my new computer! It's all set up and everything is fine. My mom purchased the computer. Gerry helped me set it all up. Now I have him, Gary, and LP over my apt and we are watching "Are you being served?"

krzysztof said...

I'm SOOO happy for you!!!!!!
Go Mom!!!!

Cpt Peacock: I noticed the way you've been handling the customers
Mr Humphries: Oh I can explain that!

Regulus said...

Hahahaha ...

Turning political ... the whores at The WaHoPo had the frickin' nerve (do I even have to finish that??) about whether 2010 will be "better" than 2009 ...

My view is that ONLY if The WaHoPo goes bankrupt will it be better. But I also think the richly deserved electoral wipeout in November will make my year better. Not because I've turned GOP (yeah, right) but because the Democrat(ic) party simply doesn't deserve to rule these days. It's a whore-appendage of Wall Whore Street -- and everyone who thinks about these things knows that I'm right.

Overall, though, today was a good day for me, Kristof.