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Gatsby lives!

Politics / Social Issues Jul 27, 2009 - 02:12 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


From time to time, I read my wife's "hometown" paper from my temporary "rest stop" in a Maine coastal town (pop. 2000). Philly boasts that its murder rate has decline 30% from 2007. This year it registers that only 162 homicides have been committed. Adding to this news is better news: The number of shootings has dropped 30 percent to 781 thus far, police said. Rape too has enjoyed a banner semi-year, for just 500 have occurred. All of this is good news to Philadelphia Mayor Nutter, said the Inquirer.

Big city stories don't make the national news until a celebrity is shot in the parking lot of a Beverly Hills restaurant, or a key political figure is arrested for something more appetizing than corruption (sex). Even California "IOU's" have little if any coverage today since its day in the sun (of reckoning). But big cities have spent decades in the throes of depression, rampant crime, gang warfare, random shootings, third-world poverty zones and political corruption. My friend at DHHS in Rockland was shocked to read about "squatters" living in foreclosed properties "back in America" (as I often refer to it). "But that has been occurring in the cities for decades," I explained. Her focus was on property rights rather than human survival rights. She lives in Maine where nothing ever happens - at least, nothing is ever "said" to happen. In Mid-Coast Maine, the time is 1955.

The tourists eat lobsters and the locals eat their money. Construction has finished on several businesses, and is beginning on a mental health facility as large as a motel that will house all of eight residents. In explaining this to a Transplant who thought it an overt waste of money, I replied, "It's a business". The banker said the stock market will take a breather, may go down to 8500, but it's clear sailing ahead, and NO, the market is not in a "dead cat bounce". I almost asked what date the "Bank Holiday" would be held, and would I be issued Ameros when it reopened, but I kept my mouth shut (under protest). Life in a fishbowl requires some degree of tact and silence. One's life could be threatened, as mine was after The Market Oracle published Maine is Not Part of America in October 2008.

Pennsylvania State workers are mentally struggling to accept food provided them by food pantries until they are paid after the legislature agrees on a budget. Pennsy, though, is not California or Michigan (not yet). Comments to such stories are generally sympathetic, but sprinkled between are the seeds of misdirected hatred. Government workers are an enemy to the people, according to "some" people and therefore deserve it. Government itself is an enemy too, according to enough people conditioned from thirty years of Conservative anti-social bludgeoning. Those once called "Young Turks" are in power and remain at the wheel.

The face of a "Young Turk" can be seen any day sitting at the helm of the U.S. Treasury. Generation X people are in the White House, and ex-60s enlightenment people left the stage along with President Carter to become well-heeled Liberal Capitalists reading editorials they would have once derided. The "worker" in America has no self-identity as a worker, proving a frustration to social movements intent on organizing them for resistance. Sadly, if resistance exists in America it is in name only - emotions, radical opinions, fear-mongering, hatred, calls to arms, incendiary speech, political venting, etc., have been moved outside of the amphitheater of real life into the chat rooms and blogs of the Internet, all under watchful eyes. Google and Wiki are the new "authoritative sources". Tom Paine's Common Sense would need to be distributed by email. The cannon fire sounds of the second American Revolution will not resound, but be Tweeted.

The slums of North Philly and Newark that exist today existed for over forty years. Where once they were "labeled" shameful symbols to all Americans, all Americans soon swept that shame aside once the inner cities burned themselves out in rage and the American media no more needed the story anymore than they needed Vietnam. Photojournalism and TV documentaries took the route of least resistance, away from social issue zones into entertainment and sensational ones. Artists and writers need to eat too, and they ate well.

Two ladyfriends from California could signify the new America, the divided America, the America of the future "haves" and "have nots". While "M" disbelieved a report I sent about Los Angeles, its increasing gangs, Bushvilles and drive-by shootings ("I never saw any of that when boutique shopping there" said she), "D", an LA author and educator, wondered if she would be sleeping in a car next year, despite the publication of her newest book. Two Californians: two disparate incomes, two perceptions.

It took a decade to forget Watts and Kent State, but the Detroit auto workers were forgotten in one month. The Pennsylvania checkless State worker will be forgotten tomorrow. The California IOU holder is buried under headlines championing 2nd Quarter Bank profit surges. The Vietnam Veteran was shunned before he arrived home. Wall Street ran and runs the country, and the people are taught to blame anyone else. The American people have a very short memory, and a shorter ability to face facts and take responsibility. As in the 1930's, they prefer Disney and Busby. Depression is just a cartoon unless you need someone to spare a dime.

The "haves" and the "have nots" are separated by a gulf of increasing size. The wealth of the "haves" only can grow at the expense of its size. Expect less but wealthier "haves". The opposite will occur to the "have-nots". Expect more but poorer "have nots".

Learning from the past, in this second time 'round, Gatsby will not die, but live - with a pocket full of dimes that he may or may not share with the 33.8 million people currently on food stamps. So be happy for Gatsby (if he is you) or be sad (if he is not).

The muses do speak, a blessing and a curse, an involuntary guest come unannounced. In clear words, and dispassionate voice, I hear: "By 2021 will the American begin to view things differently". I do not discount such words, for she was never wrong.

The next door neighbor from Utah shared her viewpoint of living in Maine as "living on another planet". I concurred, and added, "I think living in Maine is a training ground for..." I paused. Then, she finished my sentence, "For something!" Yes, for something.

The young people today who "hear" me are ages 20-30, and will be 32-42 by that time (by 2021). Those older, of course, are "smarter" than I, and need not hear. The older group will fight to keep the past. The younger will build the future...

...for they have miles to go before they sleep.

And I have no promises to keep.

By Michael T Bucci

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at Market Oracle and Global Research. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous .

    © 2009 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

    Michael T Bucci Archive

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