"Bye Bye American Pie"
by Jim Kunstler
"Way back in the 1950s, the popular euphemism to describe black children struggling in poverty was “underprivileged.” The elegant trope guided the nascent social services industry that reached full flower a few years later in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty - a cause as lost, it turns out, as the War in Vietnam. The wonder is that it took seventy years for the race-and-gender faculty to come up with the corollary notion that white folks must be excessively privileged, and must be punished for their broken promise to bestow more privilege upon those lacking it.
And so, in the paroxysms of early summer, 2020, with Covid-19 raging world-wide and the floor dropping from underneath our shuck-and-jive economy, and the climate doing… whatever it’s doing… Chuck and Nancy led their privileged minions in a ceremony of penance, taking their knees with shoulders draped in kente shawls of atonement, signifying… wait a minute… signifying what, exactly?
That they were surrendering their privilege? Cue laugh track. What it really signified was how plumb out of ideas they are for correcting this diabolical injustice. Of course, the animating principle of the Woke Inquisition is that nobody is forgiven for anything. Your request for absolution is only proof of your wickedness, requiring further punishment. So, what was to be done, then?
Well, nothing. Moiling mobs of the underprivileged were granted permission to go “shopping” after-hours on Rodeo Drive, Midtown Fifth Avenue, and other upscale zip codes around the country - accompanied by privileged white “allies” piously working out their own Ivy League bad karma. When there was no more schwag left to loot, the mob was invited to stage an orgy of statue-toppling. Nobody interfered with that tantrum, thinking, perhaps, that losing a few public monuments was a small price to pay for preventing some more ghastly blood-in-the-streets scenario. The police were reduced to acting as spectators while awaiting wholesale dismissal from their jobs and enduring the censorious opprobrium of their elected overseers, pledged to defunding law enforcement.
The nation managed to get through its shameful Fourth of July birthday without the demolition of Mount Rushmore or the torching of Mount Vernon, but the Sunday following a virtual army of black former military personnel (so they said), armed with assault rifles and clad in combat drag, marched into Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, where a colossal bas-relief sculpture stands carved into the rock wall depicting that trinity of Confederate arch-fiends Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson.
NFAC on the march at Stone Mountain
The militia styled itself as the Not F****ng Around Coalition (NFAC). It’s leader, name of Grand Master Jay, declared “every descendent of slavery a political prisoner” and proposed to found a new all-black nation - “We’ll take Texas,” GM Jay averred. They affected to be met by an opposing army of white supremacists, but none showed up. Perhaps the enemy was not informed ahead of time. The marchers pretended to be disappointed. “We here! Where the f**k you at?” their leader asked. Echo answered…. Battle of Stone Mountain averted.
Now what? What’s next in the escalating 2020 war of (so far) symbols? The resurgence of Covid-19 has prompted more shut-downs, meaning resumed job layoffs, business destruction, and anxious, seething, sweltering boredom for those not privileged to be working from home. The current round of government payments is about over, too, and millions may be facing eviction, mortgage default, car re-po, and other personal catastrophes. Another round of $600 “bonuses” will not avail to solve those problems, and when it’s spent on the imperative need for food, then what?
Well, the political conventions. Personally, and what with the virus rampant, I doubt they will be held in the traditional way - the great civic center jamborees of shoulder-rubbing, sign-waving, and conga-dancing. Meaning that even more than ever before, these extravaganzas will be reduced to mere TV shows that nobody will watch. Could be a boon to the phantom candidacy of Joe Biden, who would remain coolly stashed away in his basement sepulcher, presented to the electorate as a hologram. Then again, an entirely off-stage convention could invite backstage intrigue on the part of those unconvinced that a holographic president will do in this year of pending social and economic collapse. Hillary to the rescue, I’d say.
The embattled and sore-beset Donald Trump looks like he’s on-the-ropes. It’s hard to say if he even comprehends the gravity of this blossoming long emergency or fourth turning crisis. He’s fought off every effort to overthrow him by the Deep States pygmies of sedition, but the collapse of an empire is more like a battle against fate itself. Like him or not, you have to feel for someone in such a monumental struggle."