Friday, November 16, 2007

One Plane, One Vote

I heard today from some one who knows that (topping the news reports) the Dubai Air Show saw $130 billion in sales--in 2 days. This included $35 billion in sales to Qatar alone, which, as this person observed, would provide sufficient aircraft to put the entire Qatari population in flight a la fois. There is so much that is so grotesque about that but I will limit myself to the observation that it does tend to bring one back to reality with respect to the limitations on the possible impact of individual decisions on the overall future of the planet, or of anything that takes place upon it. I liked the little garbage game I wrote about in the previous entry ('Gotham Garbage'), and I don't intend to withdraw it as I make no claims about what I'm doing with this blog, but I do feel the need to acknowledge, with some distaste, the relative whimsy of this and so much else that I think and do and write.

I started out so much more aware of the futility of liberal politics, and somehow have backslided as I have aged. I didn't bother voting in the first election for which I was eligible. Not because of apathy, mind; but out of a conviction that party politics in the US was essentially an alibi--and not a benign one-- for not engaging in the more demanding work required to build a more just society. While I don't think I ever stopped believing that, I did get to a point where my activism had declined to the point where my (well grounded!) theoretical radicalism had become my excuse for failing to behave as a political actor at all.

Today I vote. On the whole I guess I think it is better to have the right and exercise it than otherwise, even if it is still largely coke vs pepsi. I don't despise the marginal comfort I take from the idea that, while I may ever be haunted by the Mondale presidency that might have been, I am blameless (in an electoral sense) for the depredations of Mr. Bush.

This is a ways from Dubai. Whimsy.

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