Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Who I am and why this is here.

The name is a modification of the Minutemen song title "One Reporter's Opinion" (the lyrics basically have no relevance here, but I like the title). The Morlocks were a literary creation of H.G. Wells. In "The Time Machine", they are a humanoid race, assumedly evolved from working classes that were treated poorly and forced to live underground. They do all of the dirty jobs for the upper classes, keeping them happy and content, never having to think about the work done to maintain their comfortable society. The metaphor here is belabored to the point of cliche, and I probably shouldn't have explained it at all. The most interesting wrinkle of Wells's hypothetical future is that the Morlocks survive by eating the beautiful, contented Eloi. Don't worry, I don't eat the rich. Yet.

I think a lot about politics, specifically the mainstream American electoral politics that influence the lives of everyone that make their home in the United States of America... and let's face it, pretty much everyone on this planet. It's a constant soap opera struggle that I follow closely. But most of the time, I don't feel like it's a subject in which I have any say. This is despite the fact that it has a great amount of say in what happens in my life. It seems to me that the strings are mostly pulled by the rich, that acceptable public opinion within the mainstream debate framework is ridiculously restricted as far as its spectrum, and furthermore ignores or outright suppresses most of the information that the average American citizen would need in order to have an informed opinion. This information is the kind of thing that I track down in nonfiction books, alternative magazines, obscure corners of the internet, etc. And as a result, what passes for political debate in this country is often infuriating for me.

When I was younger, I focused on the sort of radical political thought that is more focused on pie in the sky concepts like revolutionary anarchism, socialist alternatives to capitalist government, or the downright dismantling of our modern society with all its conveniences and a return to pre-industrial agrarian or even hunter-gatherer culture. As a college dropout from a relatively affluent family background, who voluntarily rejected the middle-class lifestyle I was supposed to inherit, for both moral and emotional reasons, I was already on the fringes of cultural thought, and was spending most of my time within the subculture of punk rock. This was the sort of political thought I was mostly exposed to. However, as I got older and started to recognize that discussions of the ins and outs of revolutionary anarchism had no relevance in my life, and further started to realize that there were plenty of political issues that did have a great deal of relevance in my life, most of which I was ignoring, I found the entire punk rock subculture's political dialogue untenable. As a friend of mine memorably said about crust punks, "All they really want is to live in a treehouse and smoke weed all day." That was nothing I could relate to.

But where else was there to turn, politically speaking? The worker's revolutions of the early and mid 20th century were co-opted and neutered by increasing affluence of American society. Capitalism was running rampant over the political landscape, and in the late 90s, when Bill Clinton was still president, it didn't seem like either of the two main political parties had anything to offer someone who wanted to see the working class be taken care of and not left to starve. For a while, I thought Ralph Nader and the Green Party had something to offer, but after the electoral debacle that was the 2000 presidential election, I turned away from the idea of third party politics as well. I guess at this point I'm a Democrat, simply because nothing else that seems any better seems the least bit viable. I still know plenty of anarchists and socialists who scoff at everything mainstream American politics sends down the pike as all being equally unworthy, but they never seem to have any ideas or concrete actions that will change anything for the better. So for now, I'm in the Democratic boat, for lack of anything better. And I still don't feel like I have a voice.

But there is the internet, and in recent years it's become more and more of a way for people to make themselves heard. Therefore, I've decided to join the chorus, and throw my hat in the ring as a political blogger. If nothing else, it might alleviate some of the frustration I feel when I read the internet news feeds and watch mainstream political coverage on cable news. I don't expect it to change anything, and I don't expect anyone to read it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm screaming into a void. And who cares what a Morlock who hasn't even learned to eat the rich has to say anyway? But it's better than nothing, I guess. And maybe it'll help me to sleep a little better at night, to have an outlet for the frustrations I feel about this whole stupid process.

So hello. This is one morlock's opinion. I hope you get something out of it.

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