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I’m so tired of you America

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, January 28th, 2019 - 61 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Donald Trump, International, Politics, us politics - Tags:

With Rufus Wainwright coming to town in early March, here’s a song about the politics of the United States that’s a decade old, but has weathered well into the age of Trump:
You can decide if you prefer the orchestrated George Michael version.
It’s not that hard most mornings to get struck by a sense that our little country is one of the last of the functioning democracies. Plenty of damage done here. Plenty good done here better than much of the world. It’s OK to say that.
 
It’s getting harder to even wake up and hear of the latest outrage to political decency in the United States. Many would prefer to have their existing prejudices about the United States government perpetually reinforced; that it never did any good, that its actions in the world are never intended for good, that it always damages the world. Plenty including Hardt and Negri, Chomsky, and Greenwald, can take you there if you want.
 
Wearingly, we’ve got several years of Trump’s politics whether he stays or goes. His presence, his actions and the court cases to come loom so powerful that U.S. politics and media discourse about politics will be irrevocably darkened. It’s not a side-show; it’s his necessary task to liquefy public life and public accountability in order to sustain his share within the global 1% and the interests of all others within that 1%.
 
Wainwright is singing of codes within such practices for weaponising evangelical Christianity through racism, homophobia, and misogyny as America does now so efficiently. Beyond specific politicians, this song speaks to a particular disgusted weariness.
 
Wainwright’s video pitches his plight from a concrete cell.
 
George Michael goes full operatic, amplifying the symbols into loudspeakers.
 
The words roll melancholic down either way:
 
I may just never see you again or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down
I’m so tired of you America.”
Sometimes songs say it better than the theory.
 
I’m so tired of you America.

61 comments on “I’m so tired of you America”

  1. DJ Ward 1

    It is an interesting veiw of how duopolies in politics trend towards tribalism. Compared towards the more representative models like ours that force cooperation between parties.

    It is clear that the original US model is struggling with the 21st century enviroment. It seems to have become endless sideshows of denegration, entrapment, and scoring political points. The actual role of politicians seems lost in the propoganda.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Regardless of your political affiliations (for the record I supported Sanders), if you step back from the day to day drama and take a long view, you have to say the political duopoly model is fast outliving it’s usefulness everywhere.

      In this regard the Chinese/Russian model, one party, one state has it’s clear attractions, although we also know this too in the long run a dead end.

      The true role of politicians is to represent the interests of their whole electorate; not just special interest and identity groups. They’re not there to push ideologies.

      • ropata 1.1.1

        capitalism is not compatible with democracy- the US govt/deep state ceased being democratic when it repealed Glass Steagall and eliminated Presidents who dared stand up to the military industrial complex

        • Wayne 1.1.1.1

          Capitalism is the only economic compatible with democracy. All democratic nations are capitalist to a greater or lesser extent.
          In contrast all socialist nations are one party states.
          The reason is simple, socialism is built on stopping people doing things.

          • left_forward 1.1.1.1.1

            How fascinating to see this view of a capitalist mindset.

            It is grossly selective Wayne. For example, you have selected to overlook the socialist Nordic states after the war, or perhaps you are not aware of these models. Many other examples had little chance of survival following aggressive economic hit-man tactics and violent coups orchestrated by the so-called democratic and liberal nations of power (particularly the US). In a number of cases, these effectively overthrew democratically elected socialist Governments, in order to replace them with non elected puppets to steal collectively owned common resources from the people.

          • ropata 1.1.1.1.2

            The reason it’s not compatible is that sans proper regulatory oversight, the bankers and business magnates always find a way to take over the levers of power, tilt the economy in favour of their mates, and disempower the working class.

            Pretty much the situation in the West after Reagan and Thatcher and ya boy Roger Douglas tore up the social contract and pissed on it. The middle class and workers have been going backwards ever since.

            Even in NZ, democracy is reduced to an expensive PR exercise, and the media is focussed on insubstantial trivia. It makes me sick

    • Gosman 1.2

      How is the US model any more or less able to cope than say the German one?

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        German federal police receive a regular paycheque. Unlike some of the FBI agents who arrested Stone.

        • Gosman 1.2.1.1

          I didn’t realise the FBI was part of the Government shutdown. You have evidence for this?

          • arkie 1.2.1.1.1

            FBI Agents Aren’t Getting Paid During the Shutdown — and They Say It’s a Threat to National Security

            http://money.com/money/5509931/fbi-agents-government-shutdown-national-security/

            You understand how to google?

            • Gosman 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Very interesting

              • McFlock

                They also deployed Coast Guard personnel who were currently unpaid.

                People can only work without paycheques for so long, and a “partial” shutdown is like “just the tip” – you stay there long enough, you’ll have an accident with far-reaching repercussions.

                • Gosman

                  As I stated it is all very interesting. But what has that got to do with whether a two party system is more messed up than a multiparty one?

                  • arkie

                    It’s right there but you were distracted and had to quibble from point of ignorance.

                    German federal police receive a regular paycheque.

                    • Gosman

                      Correlation is not causation

                    • arkie

                      Does not imply causation.

                      Jeez get it right.

                      https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/correlation.png

                      …but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing “look over there”.

                    • Gosman

                      Way to miss the point. Just because the US has had a shutdown of the Federal government does not mean their two party political system is to blame

                    • arkie

                      I missed the point?

                      Because the US shutdown was caused by political deadlock between two opposed parties…

                      You seem to believe correlation never implies causation.

                      It would explain some things though.

                    • Andre

                      @Arkie, to be a bit detached about it, most countries don’t have any kind of mechanism by which the government can actually shut down. If the situation arises where legislation can’t get through, it triggers some sort of no-confidence and new election scenario. Or else some sort of stop-gap like the continuing resolution that just carries everything along on autopilot.

                    • arkie

                      @Andre, Yes, and that’s another reason why the US model that allowed this kind of shutdown is more dysfunctional than other systems.

                    • McFlock

                      Our police are paid regularly. Aus federal police are paid regularly. Canadian police are paid regularly. French police are paid regularly.

                      I mean, there’s Venezuela, where police get regular paycheques of next to fuck all, but how many other countries on the planet fail to pay their police regularly? What makes the US different?

                    • Andre

                      @McFlock, this shutdown weirdness is actually Jimmy Carter’s fault. He’s the one that got a new interpretation of the 1884 Antideficiencies Act.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_United_States_federal_government_shutdown

                      To be pedantic, the FBI aren’t really police. Police in the US are a state, county, city and other local authority function. They keep going during a federal shutdown.

                      I suspect there’s still a few african nations that don’t pay their police regularly and said police have a tacit understanding that they will supplement their income in other ways.

      • Ike 1.2.2

        The US model is too open to corruption , lobbyists give huge sums to politicians who are then in their pocket. Some measure to restrict political donations and perhaps some state funding of candidates would go long way to improving things.
        Re-instating Glass Steagall and bringing the intelligence agencies to heel would also be necessary for a working democracy

        • patricia bremner 1.2.2.1

          Internal groups lobbying… we had external groups lobbying, we just didn’t know it ’till JLR.

  2. Gosman 2

    Yet the US has achieved more good in the World thsn any other Superpower ever has.

    • ‘Good’ is very subjective and sorta worthless. I’d hate to weigh up anyone’s, let alone a countries, contribution to the world but if I did the case is wide open on the states imo. Some good, some bad and some very very ugly.

    • arkie 2.2

      I didn’t realise there were that many Superpowers. US and USSR and maybe China? Or that ‘doing good’ was quantifiable. Obviously you have evidence for this?

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        In World history there have been a number of Superpowers stretching back 5 to 6 thousand years

        • marty mars 2.2.1.1

          Nah

          “The term was first applied post World War II to the British Empire, the United States and the Soviet Union.”

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superpower

          • arkie 2.2.1.1.1

            What a surprise! One of Gosman’s authoritative half-answers is refuted by a simple google search!

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.1

              cue a debate on the meaning of the term, followed by a debate on the merits of US hegemony vs any great power from history (regardless of the result of the first debate).

              None of which is relevant to whether the US and every other superpower should go fuck themselves and stop shitting on the rest of us (not that they ever will).

              • Andre

                Well, the US is in the middle of thoroughly fucking itself right now. But it ain’t slowing them down any in their shitting on everyone else.

                • arkie

                  This cynical animated summation always amused me

                  From Wondershowzen

                • Macro

                  +1
                  That is why from a purely self interested point of view NZ, and the rest of the world, should be taking note of the current chaos – because it is already destabilizing.
                  Perhaps the most serious move has been the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. US emission have been pdeclining over recent years, but under Trump they have begun to surge up again.

                  The Rhodium Group on Tuesday reported that US energy-related greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 by 3.4 percent, the second-largest margin in 20 years, reversing a three-year decline.

                  https://www.vox.com/2019/1/8/18174082/us-carbon-emissions-2018

              • greywarshark

                McFlock +100

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.2

            Regardless of when the term was first used there has been a number of Superpowers in World history.

            https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-5-greatest-superpowers-all-time-12815

            • arkie 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Your ‘evidence’ is a listicle!? lol

              • Gosman

                You mean as opposed to Wikipedia?

                • arkie

                  Ah of course.

                  At the bottom of a Wikipedia article there are references which link to prior publications which you can click-through and read further. These links are from a large variety of independent sources.

                  At the bottom of the listicle you posted were links to other listicles that this publication has published. What looked like references were links to Amazon listings. Relevant to the OP there was also this:

                  However, we should remember all superpowers ceased to be such at some point, and most often due to internal events. Even the greatest superpowers, no matter how dominant economically and militarily, should remember this.

                • marty mars

                  Your link is dick. My link was accurate and included the definition and authoritative links and references.

                  You blew it buddy. Gos = credzero

    • Ike 2.3

      More good Really? Maybe as long as you re not Chilean ,Libyan ,Vietnamese, Yugoslavian, Nicaraguan, Afghani, Syrian, Congolese, Laotian, Cambodian ,Korean, Palestinian , Ukrainian, Iranian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Panamanian, Grenadian , Cuban, Mexican, Venezuelan or Native American . Oh and lets not forget the Japanese civilians unnecessarily killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  3. DooDad 3

    “Yet the US has achieved more good in the World thsn any other Superpower ever has.”

    As others have commented, “good” is a very subjective word. And as an American living in America, and one of the dwindling few who supports the US Constitution, these last few elections (well, probably back to Jackson, maybe) have been abysmal, from that perspective.

    There is much to irk us Constitution-loving Americans: capitalism is anything but, political “choice” consists of THE two parties (and an ever more monstrous socialism) and Trump is what passes for “making America great again.”

    So, yeah…you’re not the only one “tired…of America.”

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Binary political structures are the problem. They polarise everything they affect. Democracy locks in everyone as victims of the consequent syndromes and the political behaviour they produce. Not just USA – look at Britain, Australia, as classic examples too.

    Thinking beyond left and right, we can envisage triadic political structures as the best alternative to polarisation. That’s when a third force triangulates the polarity and everyone sees a resolution and a way forward: liberation!

  5. Jenny - How to get there? 5

    Freedom!

    • Jenny - How to get there? 5.1

      The thing about the song ‘Freedom’ by George Michael is that it relates to his legal struggle to break from his record contract. George Michael lost the court case, but it gave rise to the song. (out of pain and struggle comes great art)

      George Michael’s struggle for artistic freedom was shared with Prince who had a similar legal struggle with his recording label.

      Commenting on their shared experience George Michael said tongue in cheek that he was part of the world’s smallest persecuted minority. Multimillionaire recording artists.

      Hidden in this humorous comment is a universal truth. That freedom and self expression is a deep and fundamental human need, even money cannot buy it.

      And in the end capitalism just like communism denies individual freedom, to everyone, even the richest of us.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Our input into Afghanistan as requested by USA.
    Now request is for Iraq deployment, related to Iran, which we are not allowed to trade with. It all sound’s like a ‘beggar’s’ muddle, and we will be the beggar.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1901/S00103/gordon-campbell-on-the-us-exit-from-afghanistan.htm
    As for New Zealand… we have very few (if any) lasting gains to show for our time, efforts and expenditure (of funds and lives) in Afghanistan. These outcomes should not be swept under the carpet. Shortly, the Ardern government is expected to renew our troop commitment to Iraq, and extend a deployment due to expire in June. There, too, it is hard to be optimistic. In Iraq we are sending trainers and spending millions to support the Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad, even while we are dutifully cutting off our booming export trade with Iran, for fear of incurring US sanctions.

    That contrast is weird. Washington forbids us to trade with Iran, but they want our troops to risk their lives to support Iran’s political minions right next door, in Iraq. At times, our military must really resent being used as live bargaining chips in the casino of global diplomacy.

    • Gabby 6.1

      So far we’ve been rewarded with tariffs and meddling in our telecoms. What’s in it for us? We get to buy more overpriced underperforming aeroplanes?

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I think Gabby we should be more open to the opportunities that being included in USA adventures give us. For instance, think of the theatrical performances by our troops while they are fighting overseas; they would be as good as real actors and we could build their exploits into a narrative and win a Cannes prize for movie making.

        Our assistance in Afghanistan helping to rebuild infrastructure, that could be the background for a tender love story between a NZ soldier and a young Afghani woman, a Romeo and Juliet tear-jerker. We just have to be wider thinking about the economic advantages that can be drawn from having the world opened up (ripped down its belly) for us by our USA involvement in the historic events of our age. /sarc

  7. SHG 7

    I find it hard to simultaneously hold in my head my love and admiration for the theoretical USA, surely the noblest and luckiest nation ever conceived, and my disgust and loathing of the practical USA, a cesspool of ignorant cutthroat religious crazies.

  8. rata 8

    I am tired of being told that Presidents of the USA are America.
    Just as much as I am tired of being told the Kardashians are the USA.
    Tired of being told mass shootings are the USA..
    Why do we accept such drivel.
    Russia is the evil Mr Putin
    The Catholic Church is all about child abuse.
    China is a 24/7 sweat shop.
    All these idiotic stereotypes.
    Britain is all about Brexit.
    Muslims are all terrorists.
    Africans are all starving.
    Central America is all drug cartels.
    Are Kiwis that lazy that dumb that ignorant?
    Apparently.

  9. DJ Ward 9

    Clearly a very corrupt country.

    Think about the “Iraq has weapons of mass distraction” Mueller probe. The lawyer tasked with writing it, Wiseman was at Clintons victory party. Hmmm maybe not a Neutral referee and wanting to get revenge.

    Amazing how every single person involved from start to finish is a hate Trumper.

    • rata 9.1

      Clearly America is a corrupt country.?
      Clearly you are being silly.

      • DJ Ward 9.1.1

        Nope. People as intimately involved as that should be excluded.

        It’s like Labours Family Court review.
        A panelist is from a law firm specialising in Lawyer for child.
        The review announced intent to make Lawyer for child compulsory, and want them to have pay rises.

        Corruption in my mind.

  10. Andrea 10

    Do we really want to be republicans after the Queen passes on?

    Really, really want to adopt a ‘system’ born of revolution and literate elites with stars in their eyes about the Romans? Who had slaves and a massive army and was quite exclusive about who could be a ‘citizen’?

    Not even a ‘democracy’…

    Are we kidding?

    Are we so bereft of experiences now, and access to other cultural resources that underpin harmonious living between people and with the sustaining environment? Are we?

    Let’s do something better. Preferably something that makes those of a political bent far less pervasive in society. Short-termist, middle of the road focus, more about stability than generating better ways to cope with massive problems. Just one way among so many others.

    Revolution is NOT the answer. We’ve got a puncture. Time to change.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Have you no standards in the USA to follow for good outcomes from a working democracy? Now that you have overcome Russian ambitions for their nation, you seem to have stopped trying to aim for a good system yourselves. Is it that you have no convictions about the values and practices of your democracy and how it serves its people, which without Communism as an alternative, have been revealed in all their tatters. Are you instead a nation in a shallow groupthink denying facts, truth, pretending good intentions while delving deep in the shadows?

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