Every paper, TV station, blog, outfit, demagogue and twittiretero is posting best and worst of 2011. I will accordingly, sort of.
But this is the exclusive and only truth: The best and worst, at unison, is the sad and surrealistic GOP soap opera disintegrating right before our eyes: this is the real USA.
It wasnt difficult to predict Cain’s fall of grace (get the names’ irony?), hope for Newt imploding (almost there), Perry busting (he did, didnt he?), Paul own his own words and eat them (poor man, with his son nefarious Rand), M. Bachmann in heels (and thongs), resplandescent, shining. Romney having intercourse with Callista, naked, and eating brioches afterwards (did you read about his Obama Marie Antoinette comment?). It actually pains to watch Santorum wriggle and wiggle, I kind of awe his animal innocence?? has he any decorum?
Sing Goddess the rage: declare the GOP dead, at last. Oh I forgot the Donald Duck and Palin, constant sources of cheap, but deep comedy: the world is not the same without them, they are busy making some money.
How bad this is? It is so bad it can be good. I mean: It was about time for the USA to come to terms (another futile attempt) with 150 years of self denial, starting as a Civil War (which wars are civil?) and realize that the system as it is, doesnt work. It worked before, when there resources ad libitum, less people, slaves, servants, defranchised people to dump capitalist bullshit on. And despite the scientific triumphalism, which is ridiculous, as claiming we live perfectly in a world of better angels (Pinker), and that knowledge will take care of global warming and 4 billion people living the 2 buck shuck life, and the sanctification of western capitalism and free markets economies as the epitomes of cultural evolution and the solution to humankind (N. Ferguson, Hitchens (on sabbatical in hell), Fukuyama, twice, (he repented), Hutington and others).
Yet, there isnt one single convincing argument that capitalism and knowledge themselves will take us out of the toilette. Maybe the collective shame will cathartically emerge a sense of astonishment regarding our condition and induce change, positive change. Yeah right.
Not that the democrats are any better at doing government , however, i can still sense a decency about them. Who can say that Barack is not decent?
In science, we lived warped zone(s). The “neodarwinians” have transmutated unto the “new atheists”, some of them, the ones that blog; others are busy working in science. The darwocapitalists are fighting the creationists, IDers, christian and catholic and muslim scientists; going nowhere, raising bad karma and collecting insults and contempt and anyone that disagrees with them is qualified as a dumb, ignorant self: Darwin is here to stay but corrected!! by saner minds. So? big deal! Somehow, evolutionary psychology (the collection of adaptive behavioural manouevers humans use, we use, to increase fitness?) has a rebirth, fueled by just so stories taken seriously by news media and scientific so journals. At the bottom of this resurgiment is the conviction that we are nothing but physics, that human nature, its causality and meaning are engrained in the quantum mambo danced in our brains, since the human lineage showed up in this one universe of the multiverse, carrying all the quantum mambos of our phylogeny (however serious doubts that our current version of microreality is flawed have appeared: Weinberg, one the Limbaughs’ of physics has challenged quantum mechanics at its core).