Let's Pretend Politics
I know a lot about alienated man
But we've all heard as much about that as we can stand
It's just what happens when you let the time span catch you napping - Bruce Cockburn
When I haven't posted for a few days it's because there's too much to say, rather than not enough. There's always too much. That's the problem.
This week, it's not that I've been overworked, so much as overwrought. Principally, parochially, on account of next Monday's Canadian election.
Last night in an interview on CBC, Stephen Harper said he couldn't promise that a Conservative government wouldn't take Canada into deficit because "we might have a war." Does that sound familiar to American ears? Meanwhile, the Liberals' star candidate and putative leadership hopeful, Harvard's Michael Ignatieff, is an apologist for torture and the Iraq War.
I know it's only politics. And thanks to the education I've given myself since first watching Florida flip to the Bush column, I know that can mean only so much and no more. But I'm not one of those who can say they're all the same. And even if they were, I don't think I could say it.
I expect in politics, virtually everywhere, it takes something like a dissociative act of will to Keep Hope Alive. Especially in the clapped-out, qlipphotic shells of the old democracies. Elections become Logan's Run-like lotteries that never pay off, but that keep the citizenry mollified because there's always next time. (And no matter the tyranny that descends upon America, there will always be a next time. So long as the ceremony of the vote is observed, enough people will mistake it for representative rule.)
Canada has more than two parties, or two wings of one party, and so perhaps both more cause to hope and to have them dashed. Mine are dashed regularly by the usually falling fortunes of the socialist/social democratic NDP. Though I expect, should I and my country live so long that I see it govern Canada in its own right, my hopes would be thoroughly and unalterably crushed. Until next time.
Still, it's disproportionately thanks to the NDP that we have the Canada we recognize, even if increasingly it's being perverted into just another national fable to keep our heads held high, so we can't see what's racing towards us.
But not all fables need be disempowering. Especially not if we can write the ending. Here's a cartoon of my favourite political fable, "Mouseland", told by the first leader of the NDP, Tommy Douglas, and introduced by his grandson, Kiefer Sutherland.
Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?"
A great question and a good story. But it can't be the end of the story, because politics is neither the end nor the beginning.
A Village Voice headline reads "Bush is overtaken by events — and overwhelmed." Seriously, I doubt he's been paying enough attention to be. And why should he? He's assured of his eight years, and his minders' lines are well-memorized. His head must still hit his pilly at 10pm. It's projection to think such people above events lose sleep over them. Meanwhile, there's much that keeps me up until four in the morning.
I was reading Kenneth Grant's Outer Gateways tonight, and a passage reminded me of this topic, to which I mean to return. He writes that "the buzzing or humming of insects has often been referred to the presence of the Outer Ones and their vehicles":
It is not difficult to see in this symbolism an adumbration of that future aeon characterized by the beetle, the drone of whose wings is already disturbing the dreams of sensitives and artists the world over. It is therefore incumbent upon those who are initiated into the techniques of dream control to utilize the relevant formualae in an attempt to investigate more closely the entities that are feeding on terrestrial energies and consolidating their power prior, perhaps, to a massive invasion of this planet.
Grant adds that it was the work of his New Isis Lodge to "prepare the ground and to establish points of magical contact within the OTO.... The purpose was, and is, to establish terrestrial outposts for these alien creatures."
I've always had a thing for the quixotic romance of hopeless causes. But the romance lasted only so long as I felt assured that other things were not hopeless. That even though it was dark out there, I could count on a floor to the universe. And more and more causes keep falling through the floor I thought was there.
Tommy Douglas liked to say "Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world." I believe, Tommy. Help me my unbelief.