Monday, January 01, 2007

here's to billmon. i'll miss him.

* chs:
"How exactly do you sleep at night, Mr. President?"
ummm, easy. simple questions, simple answers.

* your president speaks:
"People always ask me about a New Year's resolution — my resolution is, is that they'll [the troops] be safe and that we'll come closer to our objective, that we'll be able to help this young democracy survive and thrive and, therefore, we'll be writing a chapter of peace."
* paradox at tlc (in full):
Goodbye and Thanks, Billmon

I was not surprised to see the image Billmon posted Tuesday, bidding us all farewell (the site is down with an error message now). Easily the most brilliant writer in blogtopia, Billmon was also one of the most offended by degenerative American “democracy,” and I am glad, very glad he no longer feels the burden to write.

I also feel very privileged to have witnessed in real time Billmon’s first post at Kos’s place and the evolution to a gorgeously designed blog. I’ll always be grateful for every post; Billmon did his duty, did it incredibly well, and owes no one anything.

I agree with him that blogs failed in their mission to stop the war and George Bush. I was surprised at myself and blogtopia that after 2004 hardly anyone gave up, and indeed just worked harder. Besides the election victory of 2006, I do believe blogs do a great deal of good by keeping people engaged in the screens and away from filthy television. There are as yet organic developments to web technology and culture we have no clue about that will arrive from that growing engagement, I am positive.

I envy Billmon, in a way, to honorably put down the sword. I have never been sure what I do in the screens is good for me, and I certainly would have been much, much happier detached from it all. It’s no fun to see others note how negative one is, how down one is. Charming.

I actually don’t know why I keep writing in the screens; I long ago gave up any dream to actually effect anything and rationalized that an attempt was better than nothing. It’s pretty tough—many won’t like to hear this, but currently American “democracy” is degenerative, and no, I don’t think 2006 is clear demarcation of recovery. It’s a violent, repressive place in unmistakable regression, ruled with lies, fear and distraction, and perhaps one day our country will come back.

Steve Gilliard says we should keep our voices for the other 40 people we represent in the screens who have no way to get to them or offer input. Sometimes this works, but I don’t want to represent anyone else but me. I often say I’m a Little People liberal, but I don’t think the little people give a shit, frankly. The country still fails them horribly this very second, they're not impressed.

Most people would obviously peg me as an angry person, something I have no trouble with. Only a pervert would not be angry in the age of George Bush, and it’s my nature to fight back when hit. I know who I am, my personal relationships go very well, and it’s not anger that keeps me here.

So I shall carry on in my small, limited way, for what motivations I do not know, other than a base love of writing, but I could easily fulfill that in other ways. I’ll be here for I don’t know how long, and Billmon is already gone. I’m very, very glad to have seen his presence flicker through the ether, and I wish him the very best. Thank you, sir, very much.
touching. we all do what we can. like paradox, i still don't know why i do what i do either - and so it's difficult to know when to quit. one thing i do know, i'll be taking more holidays in the next few months - so you'll have to look after each other when i'm gone. i might even take off for a few days from tomorrow, and i've got a few trips planned in the next few months - not least a 2 week holiday in april with my bro. we'll probably have a new war by then - but i'll dance oblivious on the deck of the titanic, nonetheless - no tv, no internet.

in the interim - i guess i'll still do the blogging thing, and i'll publish a few interviews and whatnot - and pretend to try to make a difference here and there - and i'll make some great friends along the way. i have a somewhat-interesting post re Sibel/Turkey/heroin ready to run early in the week, and then the Richard Barlow interview will probably start to run in increments from perhaps next Monday - and the Lance interview - and a few others.

Is it worth it? can it possibly make a difference? is it worth trying? would it be wrong not to try?

in any case - here's to billmon. i'll miss him. (btw - he once left a comment at this blog. blorgasmic.)

5 comments:

noise said...

Here's my response to Doug Thompson's latest rant. It sort of addresses Bush's comments and the musings about the potency of blogs to change things for the better. (1)

Nice rant but IMO Thompson is perpetuating a myth. The myth is that the sinister occupation policy was implemented and is being continued because Bush is stubborn, incompetent and an overall bad guy. Are Congress and the corporate media so depraved that they would let an unqualified man (regardless of his POTUS status) dictate the Iraqi occupation policy? No. Would they go along with the Iraq policy for other reasons? Sadly that seems to be the case.

Some people have suggested that the real motive was to steal...steal resources from Iraq and steal $$$ from the US treasury. It is no accident that the "Bush as decider" narrative has worked exceptionally well to disguise the base motive of stealing.

Bush is a bad guy. But to understand why one should "follow the money" and not the psychobabble thrown out to distract the public.

profmarcus said...

all we can do is our best... continuing to grope toward the truth and letting it flow out through our fingertips is, in itself, cathartic and a way to retain what little is left of our sanity, readers notwithstanding... the challenge for me is, while constantly facing the black void of current reality, to simultaneously keep in mind a clear picture of what this world CAN be... that is my paradox and, often, my schizophrenia...

LeeB said...

Noise: "Some people have suggested that the real motive was to steal...steal resources from Iraq and steal $$$ from the US treasury. It is no accident that the "Bush as decider" narrative has worked exceptionally well to disguise the base motive of stealing.

Bush is a bad guy. But to understand why one should 'follow the money' and not the psychobabble thrown out to distract the public.
"

Count me in with this bunch. The rapidly-shifting *reasons* for the invasion of Iraq - WMDs, regime change, free the Iraqi people (from their lives, dammit!), establish democracy - all of it was a sham, which many of us recognized BEFORE the invasion.

Early in 2001, bu$hCo was blowing our hair back in the stiff breeze kicked up by their insanely rapid reversal of well-established policies and laws which had us reeling and wondering what the heck they were up to. If one operates from the premise that citizens and members of government want health and prosperity for everyone, it made no sense. To break through that confusion, it became necessary to look at the underlying assumptions.

When their mission of stealing is acknowledged out loud, it all makes sense how successful - NOT incompetent - they have been. They apparently, however, do not recognize how short-sighted their version of success really is; one should refer this bunch (including the corporate media) to Marie Antoinette and her peers for a lesson on that.

I believe it is also true that politicians on both sides of the aisle have supported this mission of stealing, but if nothing else is learned from the election of this past November it should be that we the people have a duty to remain involved and screaming our heads off, however we do that, to both spread the word in our communities and keep our own congresscritters fully informed. They need to be reminded often that we ARE paying attention and we DO expect them to represent US. They all saw what can happen to their 'job security' if they don't remember that.

Apathy sucks, is way too costly to us, and by extention, to the rest of the world. Be part of the parade, because it is the parade that will save us, not the politicians.

steven andresen said...

The President said,

"People always ask me about a New Year's resolution — my resolution is, is that they'll [the troops] be safe and that we'll come closer to our objective, that we'll be able to help this young democracy survive and thrive and, therefore, we'll be writing a chapter of peace."

The troops are involved in a home invasion. The President didn't like the Husseins even though they lived some ways away in another neighborhood. But, Bush got his troops to go in, snatch the Husseins from under their beds, and try them for "crimes against Americans." So, the troops hang Mr.Hussein. The fact that Bush promises to take care of Hussein's kids does not justify either invading their home or lynching their parents.

rimone said...

People always ask me about a New Year's resolution — my resolution is, is that they'll [the troops] be safe

oh, stumbley mcBruisey is personally resolving to keep the troops safe. good one, asswipe! now send yer fucked up daughters over there to make sure your goddamned resolution actually happens.

lukery: Is it worth it? can it possibly make a difference? is it worth trying? would it be wrong not to try?

well, i personally became extremely lax over the last few months (and i'm ashamed of that). but y'all know my thing--y'never know who will read/copy/paste one's article or commentary and it'll be passed on and on and possibly wake the right people up.

i, for one, just like y'all, will totally miss Billmon. i mean, he was one of the few i actually understood. bah...i'm sure he has his reasons and i respect them but still, bah.