America Needs to Throw-up, by Robert Gore

You went out last night for “a couple of drinks,” but you knew you were going to get drunk. You paid attention to someone who was not attractive or interesting, but you wanted to have sex. You and your newfound partner got in a car that neither one of you should have been driving, managed to avoid the police or an accident, and made it somewhere where you could copulate. That wasn’t what it is made out to be—it never is when you’re drunk—and the pleasure you managed to extract, if you were able to function at all, was minimal and forgettable.

Except circumstances won’t let you forget. After you pass out into a few hours of something that is not sleep, you wake up and there next to you is the hideous thing, name unremembered, with which you coupled. You stumble into the bathroom, drink copious amounts of water, take multiple Advils, and stare at yourself in the mirror. Suddenly, up it comes, that noxious combination of alcohol and bar food; you toss your all in the porcelain pit. And you realize it isn’t the residual beer and whiskey in your system, it’s absolute self-contempt, self-loathing, and self-abasement: your body and your barely functioning mind rendering their verdict on what you did.

Having much for which to loathe itself, America needs a painful but purgative puke, one that prompts a wholesale reexamination. Some people when they reach bottom realize that they have not only screwed up their own life, they have grievously harmed others, especially family and friends, if there are any left. Look at the mess the US has made of what it claims as its remit: the entire world. Considering itself exceptional and indispensable, it tells both friends and foes what they can and cannot do, and throws its weight around to get its way. Wars have been fought, governments subverted and deposed, bribes proffered, tyrannies succored, as a small coterie, drunk on power, tries to order the world as they see fit.

The arrogant always see themselves as exceptions to the rules they insist everyone else follow. To paraphrase Napoleon, the graveyards of history are filled with indispensable nations. A string of bloody, costly, and counterproductive wars, the parlous state of the Middle East, the spread of the terrorism against which the US has supposedly fought, millions of refugees overwhelming Europe, and the determination of a group spearheaded by Russia, China, and Iran (not insignificant adversaries), to push back against US domination should be enough to occasion some soul searching and self-recrimination, but so far it has not. Nothing is as obnoxious as the wobbling drunk approaching your group’s table, blasting you with 90 proof breath, then telling everyone how they should live their lives. Only the drunk is surprised—if he notices—that nobody wants anything to do with him. The US still hasn’t noticed

If no change is forthcoming, the US will self-destruct. Along that path it is far advanced. What once made the US exceptional was its commitment, never wholly realized, to a government subordinate to the protection of individual rights. The US government has become just another unexceptional and immoral enterprise dedicated to expanding its power.

Repression goes with empire. An America that looks itself in the mirror no longer sees the shining words of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights; it sees loathsome images of the national security state: the Patriot Act, gigantic complexes where unfathomable amounts of information on American citizens are stored, and a long line of politicians assuring us that the protection of privacy and freedom requires the destruction of privacy and freedom.

Spiraling downward, drunks become increasingly pathological. A substantial portion of the population has been deemed, like children, unable to survive without their parent, the government. One doesn’t have to be an unreconstructed cynic to observe that those treated as children act like children. Another group grabs for the money and power going to the government. It’s a sign of pervasive perversity that even today’s pejoratives—rent seeking and crony capitalism—don’t capture what’s going on: plunder and theft. Drunks are white liars and euphemism enthusiasts extraordinaire.

The pride of the next generation attend institutions of higher learning not to have their assumptions challenged, or to struggle for hard-won truths, or to hone their analytical and reasoning powers, or to develop their ability to advocate for what they believe is right. No, they’re seeking safe spaces that keep them free from all that. The kind of intellectual ferment—and hard work, delayed gratification, savings, investment, risk-taking, innovation, integrity, and ingenuity—that once made America both exceptional and great are no longer considered worthy of academic consideration, or even topics of polite conversation. The colleges and universities go along with it because higher education has become another government-funded racket.

Long suppressed, America’s from-the-depths-of-its-stomach revulsion is coming. No one will, or should be spared. For too long too many have shrugged and said, “What are you going to do?” If everyone does nothing, nothing gets done. The party establishments, expecting the usual reflexive support this election, have been hit with a gag reflex instead. The wonder is not that it’s happening, but that it has been so long in coming. How can any sane individual listen to Republicans promising more of the same in the Middle East, or anything Hillary Clinton says—her only qualification the pronoun before only qualification—without feeling the nauseous stab that prompts a mad dash to the bathroom?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the bed spins: something’s very wrong. However, America is still a long way from blearily looking at itself in the mirror and saying: change or die. The first step to correcting one’s problem, so the cliché goes, is admitting one has a problem. This year’s insurgencies constitute recognition, the furious counter reactions denial. Sooner or later the US’s string of besotted one-night stands and other idiocies will come to an end. If we’re lucky, we’ll hit bottom and begin a long, slow recovery. That outcome is not assured. Sometimes the bottom is the morgue.

RECOVERY BEGINS WITH REDISCOVERING THE PAST

Unknown

AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

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37 responses to “America Needs to Throw-up, by Robert Gore

  1. frank w. hooper

    Well said.
    Not only are we no longer exceptional, we are no longer indispensable but We Americans are too conceited to believe it. There is nothing we have remaining that can’t be easily transferred elsewhere while we become a thousand Libya”s. Our grain belt can be depopulated and farmed with hungry low skilled immigrants.
    We all brought this on too. We can’t blame the liberals. We all winked and nodded while we got our pet subsidy. Farmers are bigger welfare bums than all the “welfare Queens” put together. Iowans winked at ethanol programs while looking down on Auto bailout recipients. The right squeals about medicaid while voting in enough Pork to feed China for a century.
    We all winked when Congress replaced the bonds in the social security fund with non interest bearing I.O.U’s and then proceeded to give everyone who gets depressed when the seasons change disability payments.
    Me too. Its embarrassing to admit how much healthcare I get for my seven years active duty. My year in Vietnam in 68 doesn’t warrant the kind of bills I ring up except when I’m around guilty “Boomers”.
    The world will not bail us out either.

    Frank Hooper.
    Missoula Mt.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on The way I see things … and commented:
    Long suppressed, America’s from-the-depths-of-its-stomach revulsion is coming. No one will, or should be spared. For too long too many have shrugged and said, “What are you going to do?” If everyone does nothing, nothing gets done. The party establishments, expecting the usual reflexive support this election, have been hit with a gag reflex instead. The wonder is not that it’s happening, but that it has been so long in coming. How can any sane individual listen to Republicans promising more of the same in the Middle East, or anything Hillary Clinton says—her only qualification the pronoun before only qualification—without feeling the nauseous stab that prompts a mad dash to the bathroom?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another extremely well thought out and incisive column. Would that only more people suffered the pangs of guilt, before we get our comeuppance. And get it, we will. The severe lack of any integrity brings these kinds of tragedies home to roost. Our children, their children, and THEIR children are going to have to suffer the fools and liars of this age, in their own. All one, or anyone has to do, is remain honest. Without that, madness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those of us who have “sobered up” will just have to hunker down and take care of our own. There is no helping the average normalcy biased fools around us. They had access to the same info we have but chose to ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “One doesn’t have to be an unreconstructed cynic to observe that those treated as children act like children.”
    No, but it helps.

    “[G]overnment holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force.” One probably does have to be a unreconstructed cynic to respond: “By what means does it hold it? Blank out.” Perhaps a less cynical response would be helpful.

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  6. Sobering………

    I think I need a drink! Everyone else is likely to as well. The problem of course, is that the majority of them will likely seek more of “hair of the dog. that bit them.”

    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great analogy! However, unlike the miserable sot who can look at his self destructive life and decide to make the positive but painful changes to correct his deadly trajectory, the small percentage of us who want to fix America’s social, economic and political mess are powerless, because we’re victims of tyranny-of-the-majority democracy. The vast majority of Americans are still riding the gravy train, living on borrowed time paid for by stealing from future generations. If one or two alcoholics decided to rally all of the drunk visitors to the local watering hole and convince them all to forgo alcohol and return to a healthy and productive lifestyle, what are the odds of success? I’d say slim to none – the same odds I’d give the US of reaching rock bottom and deciding en mass to pull back from the precipice. It’s unlikely for individuals to hit rock bottom and then recover, but historically, it’s unprecedented for a nation to fall this far and then recover. We’re living in the time that future history books will refer to as The Fall of the American Empire. The sad thing is, this didn’t need to happen… but it did happen.

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  8. You nailed it, Robert. You have a way of quickly getting to the crux. And I do love your choice of words and alliterations.

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  9. Robert, I have enjoyed reading you for some time, your work is wonderful, and thought provoking. This is by far – in my opinion – your best. Surely not the ‘happiest’, but; as has been said…
    You hit the nail on the head.

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  10. Although I agree with your points, I very much dislike the misogynistic way you got there.

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    • Anticipating your point, I used no gender-specific terms in my first two paragraphs. The scenario could involve a man picking up a woman, a woman picking up a man, a man picking up a man, or a woman picking up a woman. Nights like the one described are inherently degrading, regardless of the genders and sexual preferences of the participants. Most people will assume the scenario involved a man picking up a woman, but that is people’s assumption, not supported by the writing. I can’t control what others think, only what I write. The assumption may be furthered by the photograph I used, but even that picture appears to be a hybrid of a man and woman. Posting that picture cannot be construed as misogynstic, any more than posting a picture of an ugly man would be construed as misandry.

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      • Thank you for the mansplaination. Shocking as this may be, I had noticed you did that. Doesn’t make it less obvious, tho, as is clear from the comments who did gender the parties. Your use of whiskey and beer, a c&w favorite MAN drink was another touch you did ‘between the lines’. Would you like better feminists than I to parse your piece, or can you just say ‘mea culpa’, learn, and try differently next time?

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        • Is “mansplaination” the same thing as “response”? If not, how does a man avoid “mansplaining” if he just wants to have a debate with a feminist? Do I have to preface every response with “I’m not mansplaining to you, but . . .” or can it be one and done?

          Under what circumstances is it assumed that one is “mansplaining”? Can a feminist ever know that “mansplaining” won’t be an issue in a particular debate with a man?

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          • These are burning questions, ones that have kept me up at night since I was accused of “mansplaining.” Actually, I think the term just illustrates how absurd the whole feminist canon has become.

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          • Is “mansplaination” the same thing as “response”? google can be your friend
            If not, how does a man avoid “mansplaining” if he just wants to have a debate with a feminist? Do I have to preface every response with “I’m not mansplaining to you, but . . .” or can it be one and done? see prior response

            Under what circumstances is it assumed that one is “mansplaining”? see prior response

            Can a feminist ever know that “mansplaining” won’t be an issue in a particular debate with a man? no, nor can a woman know a man is not a threat.

            “Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them.” Margaret Atwood

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            • America needs to throw up, and after reading some of these comments, I’m on the verge. I can feel the bile rising in my esophagus.

              I’d write more, but I need to visit several more sites to post my profuse and sincere apologies for my Anglo cis-male privilege, being oh so careful in my wording so it’s not seen as mansplaining. Remember guys… it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

              PS – If you’d like to see some of this cultural insanity playing out in the major leagues, check out the very recent YouTube video of Milo Yiannopoulos, Christina Hoff Sommers and Steven Crowder speaking at a panel discussion at the University of Massachusetts, and being constantly shouted down and cursed by social justice warriors demanding… tolerance? Yeah, irony.


              (93 minute video)

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              • If you don’t understand the difference in tone policing and calling out misogyny then you must be male! What a surprise! I said years ago to the doomer group, back when we thought maybe some humans would be able to squeeze thru the keyhole before we realized we were toast that there was no point in the species survival if people were going on with business as usual that I do not want to live in a future that continues misogyny. And, as we can see here, even simply asking someone to try to examine it is too much, so I’m cheering for the toast ending — men will finally be experiencing how women always live. I’m growing extra popcorn this year for the show. And peanuts — thought that would be a fun addition, and they grow well here. And I’m hoping for quick Collapse as I’m way past ready for SSS.

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            • You know you’ve met your match in a debate when she says “Google it.”

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  11. “I can’t control what others think, only what I write.” Then why are you writing?

    “The assumption may be furthered by the photograph I used, but even that picture appears to be a hybrid of a man and woman. Posting that picture cannot be construed as misogynstic, any more than posting a picture of an ugly man would be construed as misandry.”

    It’s clear from all you have said that you knew how it would sound, did what you believed to be a little ‘cya’ by removing pronouns and transing the pic, and did it anyway.

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    • I’m certainly not writing to control what others think. I wouldn’t want that power if I could have it. I write because it’s my passion and I’m very good at it. I write what I think and if it affects what others think, so be it. Of course I knew how it would sound, from both the picture (which I did not alter) and the first two paragraphs, but one could not tell, from the literal words, the genders or sexual preferences of those involved. I didn’t do it to cover my ass, I did it to have some fun. I wondered if anyone would bite; you did. Not trying to control what others think, I know I can’t control if they want to label it offensive to a gender, ethnic, or racial grouping, nor do I care if they do. Have all the feminists you want parse my piece; I’ll post their analyses. Throwing around pejoratives only has an effect on those who care what they’re called, which I don’t. So no ‘mea culpa’ here.

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      • Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

        I’m sure that was terribly misogynistic, and I’ll be found guilty in the court of social justice.

        It just seems to me that the author went well out of her/his way to construct a blog post that was gender neutral and was vilified for his efforts. But what do I know? I’m just a guy. Please forgive my privilege, even though it seems more like an albatross around my neck in this brave new world.

        I’m having a mental image of a Monty Python sketch, in which a group of women (actually men in drag) are pointing and shrilly screaming, “Persecute! Persecute! Persecute!”

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      • Misogyny is a huge part of the stomach contents — apparently not something you wish to examine. Hypocrite often?

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      • “I hate them because they take all the jobs away due to affirmative action.”

        I pulled the above statement off the internet by googling “example of racist statement” and I took out all mention of race so now it is not a racist statement. See how that doesn’t work? Doesn’t in your case either.

        And if you think the state of the country is bad, then you should be wanting to examine that which needs vomiting. But you clearly don’t. So, unless you make apologies, I’ll leave you to your 7th frade boys w/ napoleon complex. I’ll continue doing the real work, as usual.

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        • Fine by me. Go to it, I thought you’d never leave. By the way, it’s Napoleonic complex, with the N capitalized, and I believe you meant “frat” or “fraternity” boys.

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          • Middle school male principals coined the term 7th grade boys with napoleon complex, not me. Sorry the ‘f’ key is next to the ‘g’. In HS I could type 60wpm on a blind manual typewriter — now with all the tech orogress I can type 3-5 wpm on a touch screen, and lately I don’t much care about typos cause MOST people know about this day and age. As a former sp.ed teacher I can tell the difference in typos, stupidity, and uneducated hogwash.

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  12. Any point that could have been made by this piece was drowned in a pool of beer-laden, misogynistic vomit. It reads like a yarn spun by a twenty-something male to his buddies during a game of quarters. Grow up.

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  13. I have to say, I found the picture at the head of your essay more disturbing than the possibility of imagined misogyny. Good essay once again. There will be no positive change forthcoming, at least not without tremendous convulsive upheaval across our entire society. It is coming on fast. The only question remaining is what our country will look like when we come out the other side.

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  14. Robert: The purpose of your fine article is clear,and I might add, entirely creative and rational in your use of metaphors, etc.

    The problem that those of us who diligently practice, though not always flawlessly, reason, is that we assume those with whom we deal are diligently doing likewise.

    In my judgment your antagonist’s purpose is clear as well. Getting a response from you simply satisfies one of the goals of her purpose.

    The best,

    Dave

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    • Thank you for the comments on my article. As for Ms. Cummings, whatever her purpose, and whether she was trying to elicit a response from me, she got one and I had fun with it. Having fun is an increasingly important goal for me the older I get.

      Like

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