February 4, 2012
Europe’s economy is in the crapper. The American economy barely has its nose above the edge. The prospect of war with Iran dances along the rim, ready to flush both – and perhaps the entire global economy – down the toilet. Scientists now tell us the deadly winter occurring in Europe is due to the melting Arctic sea ice and that the gut-wrenching drought in Texas will go on for another year or two. The world continues its dance along the bumpy plateau of peak oil. Saudi Arabia assures that world that it can increase its output of oil, currently at 9.something mbd, by another 2.something mbd if a war with Iran should send Iran’s oil output down the crapper, even though it hasn’t been able to do so for any of the other disasters that befell the world last year. And One Million Moms, sponsored by the conservative Christian group, American Family Association, tried to force J.C. Penney to dissolve its partnership with Ellen De Generes, as their national spokeswoman, because she is gay. (To Penney’s credit, they are refusing.)
Looking at that odd juxtaposition of news this week, it occurred to me that, in our grief over the impending death of Business As Usual, we have sidestepped moving on from bargaining to acceptance by taking a turn back toward bargaining’s ancient stepsister, the sacrificing of lambs, (or in the case of those million moms, lesbians,) to whatever gods we feel need appeasing so that BAU might live.
And it’s not just conservative Christians that are busy whetting the knives; that sacrificial craving is everywhere. Among Movers and Shakers, the Fed and the TBTF banks here have sacrificed several million homeowners and small businesses to the gods of financial stability. The ECB is busy trying to wrestle Greece and the other PIIGS onto the stone slab for another bout of bloodletting in hopes of appeasing those same gods. The giant corporations have drained the life blood from Gaia and offered it to the gods of commerce in hopes of one more orgy of profits. Conservative leaders everywhere are sure that if they can just cut the hearts out of a few more poor people and offer a few more tax breaks to the wealthy and big corps, the god of fiscal health will be oh, so pleased. While the Liberals would rather cut the hearts out of the wealthy and the big corps (except, of course, for donors) and offer the tax breaks to the poor in appeasement. The DHS, along with its spineless allies in Congress and the White House, has offered up the Bill of Rights to the pyre in hopes of satisfying the gods of security. The Defense Department and the Commander in Chief seem willing to sacrifice anyone, from individual citizens it deems terrorists to whole nations it sees as not acting in our national interests, to the gods of empire.
And we, the People? We – Religious or Non; Black, Brown or White; Democrats, Republicans or Independents; literate or illiterate; OWS or TeaPartiers; doomer or sheeple – have been so busy trying to shove each other into the conflagration in hopes that the gods of chaos will pass us by, we’ve failed to notice that Business As Usual just expired and all our bloody sacrifices have appeased the gods not one whit.