Here Thar Be Monsters!

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Denial Anger Bargaining Depression...

It's not easy watching a country commit suicide.  It's kind of like a car wreck: everyone slows down to look at the carnage before speeding off happy to still be breathing.

Usually, when folks kill themselves, they seek a little privacy and try to do things as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Occasionally though, you get the jumpers.  They get out on the ledge and wait for big crowds to gather and media to show up.  These big public shows are rarely serious, though.  What they are looking for is some attention - someone to save them.

The United States of America seems to be one of those exceptions.  Not only has it crawled out on a particularly precarious ledge, but it is absolutely defying anyone to help it.  Convinced of its own immortality and what David Byrne called "special-NESS",  Not only has it edged itself out in a very public space, it is tap-dancing on the ledge singing the Star-Spangled Banner and yelling to the gaping mobs below about how privileged it is.

It's a special kind of insanity, really.

There's an additional problem.  This gross display of self-delusion is compounded by the fact that the nation has crawled out on the ledge carrying a lot of weapons and seems hell-bent on taking out a few million folks before swan-diving to a spectacular end.

A lot of countries and individuals around the world are trying to distance themselves from the coming carnage.  The number of people giving up their citizenship or permanent resident status has reached record highsLegislation has been introduced in Russia to ban possession and trade in dollars.  A dozen countries have demanded their gold back from the Federal Researve (good luck - getting smack off a junkie is easier).  Many other countries are establishing trade agreements in their own currencies to by-pass the dollar.

All of this is going on fairly quietly so as not to agitate the loony on the ledge, but he's getting wise and starting to get that wild, haunted look in his eyes.  He's spying on everyone, friends included, out of sheer paranoia.  He's got weapons pointed in every which direction.  He's insisting that everyone sign his Trans-Pacific Pact or he'll by-God jump.  In fact, he's showing all the same signs the USSR did a while back before slipping and falling to its death in a rather spectacular way with a vodka-swilling Jew riding a tank into Red Square.

The world is pretty much resigned to the inevitable, and since the loony gets ever more belligerent with every passing moment, it seems a good idea to stand back and let the guy rush head-long to his demise, while making back-up plans for the inevitable time when the rest of us don't have to worry about his destructive behavior.

Americans, being for the most part provincial and self-centered, don't realize how their country squats on top of the world and, in spoiled child fashion, issues demands and decrees that are completely oblivious to the rest of the world or the harm that it does.

Having been so steeped in "exceptionalism", Americans are blind to the destructive tendency of their culture.  Raised on diets of pro-Cowboy/anti-Indian, the US continues the single-minded conquest of the world in the belief that there is no other way but the Anglo way, and the world must conform or die.

Civilization is something that is grown, not pounded.  It also recognizes that there are many paths to the same destination.  Americans, and America, must reform or face extinction.  No man is an island entire to himself.

The decline of the US is now well into the paranoia phase, in which it is lashing out to blame anyone and anything for its misfortunes.  In fact, the whole problem is as simple as a point of view, but one that is extremely hard to take, because it requires seeing the errors of the current situation.

Slowly but inexorably the American people are waking up and realizing what is and has been done in their name.  This is causing increasing dissatisfaction and distancing from government institutions.  Once the people have been lost, governments crumble  Like marital infidelity, it is extremely hard to regain trust, especially that which was built on complete faith in the goodness and morality of the system.

American paranoia says that the rest of the world is plotting against it, but out here on the Far Side, we know the end is near and it is prudent to prepare.