Well, we got our butts in a bear trap and no mistake. Which is a funny thing to post about when I want to do a post on thankfullness.
But we’ve got our butts in a bear trap. And I don’t see any point lying about it. It certainly won’t make things easier, and it will make you distrust me, at which point my talking is useless.
So — we got our butts in a bear trap. And we must escape, even if it means chewing our tails off. Right now, still looking for solutions that free our tails. And having no clue how to do it. Still hopeful of a miracle, but the miracle needed is bigger than the miracle we needed this month, which didn’t happen. So not hopeful.
And yet thankful. Why thankful, you daft woman, when you have your butt in a bear trap, and are likely to have to leave your tail behind?
Ah. Well, first of all, it’s not just our bear trap. To an extent the rest of the world is in this bear trap. It was set by early twenty first century utopians, and reinforced by propaganda before, after, during and post the two world wars.
It’s a beaut of a bear trap, too, you know?
It came from the increasing ease of mass production and concentration of power in certain nodes in the early twentieth century. Mass production was faster and more efficient, so mass everything has to be the same.
And thus we came to hyper-centralized governments and orders issued from above for increasingly minutia and details to be carried out in the hinterlands.
Which of course got into the problem of knowledge. Because humans aren’t machines. And how things are done and what works are different district to district/county to county, let alone across the country.
Only the people giving directions and telling us how things are going to be done don’t know that. It’s an unknown-unknown.
And since the media went the same way, to the same level of centralization, and embraced the same bigger-more centralized-more-topdown philosophy, the media covered up the failures of the model — the more I read the more I think it started failing almost immediately — and made it seem viable and honky dory. And it entrenched more.
But there’s a limit on what you can run on what we’ll call the “Marxlite” model, though in practice it’s more corporatists-fascist, but the excuses are the same until you reach a critical level of failure, all over the world.
It’s reaching that now. And of course the Marxlitians are blaming “capitalism” and “nationalism” when the opposite is pretty much true. Because that’s what they’ll do, of course.
So — what is there to be thankful for?
We’re still us. No, please, shut up. The Doom Brigade on the right is bad as the left for not realizing how unique the US is.
Yes, yes, the founding fathers would already be shooting. Yes, but then again no. They put up with just as great or greater abuses for going on two decades, until it became obvious it couldn’t go on. And then they had to fight: from a position of weakness, with their butts in bear traps.
Americans don’t like war. Partly because we’re so good at it. So we’re slow to engage, because heaven help our foes when we do. Partly because we’re people who make and create things: art, yes, but new ways to make a widget, new ways to farm, a better gadget to do x when it’s needed.
We like our little lives. “Petit bourgeois” the French would call it with a sneer, but petit bourgeois is where the soul of America lives. We want to do work we by and large enjoy and are good at, while having families and raising fat babies who grow taller and bigger and more capable than us, and raiser fat babies, in turn, while doing the daily, unglamorous work of making the world a better place. Look, it’s nothing much. It’s just who we are.
We know that once things go kinectic that option is gone. It might not come back in our life times. Worse, it might not come back during our children’s lifetimes, and that’s much worse.
So we hold off.
Are we holding off too long? It’s always a danger, isn’t it? But so is going hot too fast. And you know it. And we all know it.
So, here in, the balance, we have our butts in a bear trap, and it doesn’t seem possible to get out of it without shooting our way out.
That’s probably true for the rest of the world. And what comes after for them might very well be worse than what they got. But– We are still America.
Yes, I should stop saying that, except I don’t think any of you individually or collectively have any idea what it means. Oh, maybe some. It takes living abroad. It takes living abroad as one of them. Then you see the differences starkly.
The entire world is in this position. And I can very well see the rest of the world defaulting to their historical position of getting in a king by any other name, and defaulting to being subjects.
Frankly, I’m not sure that most of them should ever have gone non-monarchical. Because, yes, it leads to abuses. But in cultures where the only loyalty is personal loyalty, you really can’t do the same with an impersonal “state” entity. You need the personal loyalty.
But that’s neither here nor there. Monarchy is not in any way shape or form an ideal state for mankind. Though perhaps better than the impersonal “international” state.
Fortunately for us, our country is too big, too populous and too diverse (in ways of living/landscape/wealth) to fit well with central control. And that’s become increasingly obvious to everyone for decades. Expressions like “Good enough for government work” didn’t come out of nowhere.
Secondly, fortunately for us we’re armed to the teeth. No, not those teeth. The back teeth too.
Look, I like guns, and I’m okay with one — something I’d never thought I’d say — though I need practice. It’s been. Busy.
But y’all outright scare me when you start gun talk. Dear Lord. I don’t think gun experts in Portugal know as much about guns as someone here, just pulled off the street. And y’all LIKE them. I mean, it’s like a mother talking about her newborn, or me talking about cats. Your eyes lit up, and you discuss mayhem dealing weapons like they’re your pride and joy.
And I love you for it, even when I sit there, gaping going “uh. How?”
Because even if no one on our side — thank Heavens — has yet started shooting, there is that knowledge that if they send people to round us up for the cattle trains, they can’t be sure we WON’T. And that if the shooting starts it will be visible from orbit.
Yes, they’re trespassing, increasingly openly and daring us. But they’re not doing half of what even Canada did openly and in our faces, let alone what places like China do. Because they can’t know where it would be safe, and where it would — literally — blow up in their faces.
And that has kept us relatively safe in the middle of the central state going rabid-badger-nuts.
Also fortunately here is where the internet and the commentary of the political kind took deeper and more irreverent root. I don’t know why even in the rest of the Anglosphere it’s somewhat stunted, and in the rest of world it’s rare as hen’s teeth: but here, online, you can find independent news reporting, commentary and political yelling as nowhere else in the world.
And that’s a good thing because that gives us perspectives the rest of the world lacks into what’s really going on. (Though the sources of information are so corrupted no one can know for sure.)
This is both because of and feeds into: we have different hardware in the head. There is no king of America and there never was. Yeah, yeah, English kings, but it doesn’t fit right atop of our matrix.
So there is no family we default to “just do what they say and we’ll go back to the best of us.”
Oh, the left tries — the Obamas, really? Get over yourselves racist lefties. Being black doesn’t make them special, and they’re such a depository of rabid evil and vapid — but it doesn’t take, because Americans don’t really have the concept to slot into.
And yeah, they project, and think we want Trump as an emperor. It doesn’t help we joke about it, but hey, liability of having a sense of humor. But he’s not, really in any sense. He’s our battle standard, our flag of dissent waved in their faces. They take it down we raise a new one they hate even more.
Because we don’t have a natural “we’ll obey this person.” But we do have a boatload of “No.” And “hell no.” And “You and whose army?”
And we’ll stand by that. And the more we’re pushed, the more we put both feet in the ground and become mule-like.
Yeah, yeah, the covidiocy got under our armor. Partly because people trusted Trump. But it’s a trick they can play once. Here. In the rest of the world they’re going for a reprise, this time with feeling.
But not here. It won’t work here.
Because we are a mule-like people, resentful of anyone ordering us, proud of being able to defend ourselves. We’re ornery and already thumbing our noses at the self proclaimed aristos in myriad ways.
And the more they push, the more my mule-like people will get a boatload of “no” up their noses.
For this if nothing else, I’m thankful.
We have our butts in a bear trap, but we are willing and able to chew our own tails off to get free. We’re trying other things now, in tiny, obnoxious ways. But — well, if it comes to blood, it comes to blood.
It’s an awkard as heck moment, poised here, hoping for the best, expecting the worst.
But still better than any other time and place.
And for this we’re grateful.