I had nothing to do, last night. Wife was at her second job, kids were with their Uncle. If I had had any money, I would’ve went for at least a couple of beers; nothing that grabbed my interest on Netflix, too painful to go Walkabout….(how I miss just walking around!)
Bored. …bored beyond boredom.
So I researched my latest thing;Occupy Austin….checked out the Forum, and the Video, and the “Livestream”….and found only a Profound Disappointment.
It is akin to what I felt when I finally moved there, to the “Liberal Enclave” of Texas, and found it Yuppified, a Shell of it’s former Strangeness. The Weirdness was on the run…cops chasing local color, like the “Drag Worms”….and the cops, themselves, more Stasi than even Houston…
New Ordinances, designed to harass the “Homeless”, and the aforementioned “Local Color”…all the Wonderful Strangeness had gone Underground. It was still there…one could smoke a joint with a perfect stranger at a bus stop…but it was furtive…and running through all of this, was the Nihilistic Urge….the Collective “Fuck It!”…reflected in the manner of Drug Use, even such formerly Peaceful and Thought Conducive things as Weed…now, were all about Escape….from responsibility, from the unacknowledged Pain of being Unwanted, from the Dead Endedness of jobs, and rent that was too high, and the Usurpation of the Streets and the clubs and the Art Scene, the Music Scene…it was all going Corporate, and “Respectable”…Commodified, Put into a Ledger.
The Livestream, and the Videos, on OA, showed this, clearly. There was no one there, save the few Conscientious Proles, and many disconnected youth, from skaters to Drag Worms….just looking for something to do…milling around, occasionally screaming about something, being harassed by cops for nothing.
Texas is Ground Zero for the Hyperindividualist, Rugged, Me,Aloneness that runs through the Mythos of America. Pioneers, the Alamo,Captains Call and McRae, fighting Indians, Oilmen, Ross Perot…all of that which Lil George tapped into so successfully.
Not the stuff of Movements, Marches and Rallies. The Disaffected and Disenchanted, in Texas, have 3 choices….Join the Mainstream, Disengage in whatever way possible…or go all Charles Whitman….just snap, in a paroxysm of Directionless Violence.
Here, there is no Tradition of Unions, or Political Initiative (Texas has never had the Initiative/Referendum/Recall apparatus extant in other places).Here, the cops have all the tools they need to stamp out and harass such things, in their Infancy. One needs a Permit for Everything. For all the stories and Legends about the Toughness of Texans, we are a cowed, timid people….doing what our masters say….taking what the Boss dishes out…
Add to this the fact that every Television in a Public place in the state is tuned to Fox News, and it presents a grim outlook for Change.
Texas has always been “Conservative”…even under 100 years of a Democratic Stranglehold on the Machinery of government.This was a holdover from the Reconstruction Democrats, who were all for Slavery, of course.
The Tradition of Texas Liberals, on the other hand, is one of Retreat and of Hiding…..from the German Freethinkers in the mid to late 1800’s, to the (now more Liberal) Democrats of today…..just hanging on, clutching at straws, attempting to keep the rest of us from slipping Backwards.
Where the “Conservatives” are well funded, plugged into giant Power Structures, and Corruption, the “Liberals” are Broke, and entirely Disillusioned. Scattered, Leaderless….without places to Hang and mingle and organize and formulate. Austin is the exception in this last point….there are many such places…but they are adrift, isolated…just like the “Liberals” they cater to. Efforts are made to Do Something….but it has no Energy behind it. Democratic County Infrastructure has a built in Hopelessness….even the True Believers don’t believe in it.
As far as Protests…I attended many, back in the day. 420, the Pro Pot Day…the main one I remember was the Protest against the Antihomeless Ordinances in Austin, in the early and mid-90’s.That, and Eyore’s Birthday, wherein all the Strange and Colorful Weirdoes came out to play drums. But it was all for naught….and we knew it, before we began….it would Change Nothing.
Why go to the trouble of acts of Civil Disobedience, get arrested, when it would only “Speak” to those who were on board, already? Better to lay low, be furtive and Underground….and wait for better days. Uninspired Apathy.
I intend to go to Thursday’s Rally for Refunding Education…regardless of all of this.
It is an expression, however ineffective, of Hope…and Non Right Wingers must find ways of getting together….even in tiny towns like Mason. We will remain isolated for the foreseeable future, but we shouldn’t isolate ourselves from each other, as well.
Here, Dems vanish after an election…even one as , arguably, Big as Obama’s. There was a party, that election night.(I didn’t know about it, till after) If there are ongoing Dem-like things going on, otherwise, I am unaware of them.
(I admit that I don’t get out much….and I Isolate Myself. I suffer from Agoraphobia…have for my whole life, even when I couldn’t put a name to it…and learned, long ago…to Drink to counter it. Our lack of Funds, and my Cripple-Hood certainly doesn’t help….but neither does the overwhelming impression, from before the advent of crushing poverty and lameness, that there’s No Where To Go…for Intelligence,Liberal Thought, and Enthusiasm for Both. This is a large part of my Reasons for opening my Café…to have a Place for such things. 911 ended that endeavor….and the Collective PTSD we endured after that day. I think, also, I was somewhat ahead of the curve in Identifying the 3 Enders(PO,Peak Econ,Climate), and putting together this Counternarrative that I’ve been working on….folks, even Dems, out here were not ready for such Radical Things. Perhaps Now….)