Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Return of the Real

Re: that last post. Bush's verbal mismanagement, his utter inability to say anything of actual importance without either some world-class torque on the level of a dizzying whirling dervish spin (i.e., 'More attacks in Iraq is a good thing because it shows how desperate the insurgents are'), flubbing the line, or simply resorting to a pathetic platitude that is so shockingly and obviously banal that even true believers cringe a little bit when they actually are put in a position to do anything but click their heels together and salute . . . . all of this is a clear sign of that to which all such postmodernists cringe (and, yes, I credit the GOP as being postmodern through and through), the return of the Real, that seedy underbelly that renders reality more than itself, the 'itself' of reality that is more than reality, and which occasionally, in glimpses, rears its most disturbing of heads. It frightens us all: it is that from which we recoil, which prompts so many sane, right-thinking Americans to stay away from the civil discourse in general, mostly because in this case it reminds us who has been leading American for nearly four years now, and if that doesn't fill you with dread and horror and sadness and a general disdain for the process that put him there, and doesn't make you wish for a double drop of whisky I don't know what will. And yet it also, ideally anyway, gives us some measure of hope, a glimmer of possibility that doesn't lie in some utopian future, but is here, with us, NOW, a feeling that we're not alone in noticing the horror, that together we can find some other headless Master to lead us down another path.