26 March 2009

Odds, Ends, Sods And Such(Part One)

Well, time for the occasional bit of psycho-sociological spew that I call an essay.

Have been busy noodling around on the 'Net, or at least in certain small corners thereof, after getting my new computer, courtesy of my loving family, back in mid-February, and, considering that I don't get out much, nor pay any attention at all to off-line media anymore, it has become an extremely important part of my life.

So, much of what you will see here are reactions to bits, bobs, odds and sods that have seen on-line in that time, and whatever limited and poor analysis that have made of both them and myself.

One of the most disturbing trends that have seen, though, mind you, it's been a sort of underlying thread throughout much of the culture, at least on-line, is all the talk of conspiracy theories, revolution, the imminent end of the world, or at least of civilisation as we know it.

Much of this, especially from the Left, is an outgrowth of the Bush Administration years, although, depending on which segment of the American and international Left one's discussing, it's been going on, in one form or another, since the 1870s. From the Right, which was stunned by the repudiation of its ideas and policies in the recent US Presidential elections, many of the conspiracy theories and revolutionary rhetoric that have since appeared are of considerably more recent vintage, mainly dating back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, though some wrinkles in it, like the New World Order hobby-horse, are even newer, dating only from 1991.

The point is that these theories and rhetoric neither popped out of someone's head fully-formed just within the last four months, nor, thus far, have they borne much in the way of real results.

Yes, there have been the occasional out-breaks of left- and right-wing terrorism in the US, whether the Weather Underground and Symbionese Liberation Army of the 1970s from segments of the American far Left, or the deadlier and more effective, at least temporarily, outbreaks from US Right groups like the Order and Posse Comitatus in the 1980s, or the Aryan Republican Army, which launched a number of bank robberies in the lower Midwest in the mid-1990s, and which may have had at least a tangential connection with Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the perpetrators of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, as well as the militia movement of the 1990s.

But, ultimately, these groups were either suppressed, disbanded, or found themselves pretty much as they were when they started out, rather unimportant and marginal groups in American politics.

So, what is it that makes the re-emergence of these ideas, rhetoric and groups worrying to me???

I think it has as much to do with the current state of US and international politics and culture, the current economic situation, and my own situation, as anything else.

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