The Monster Squad
To be clear, the President-Elect is not assembling a cabinet; it’s more like a team of supervillains. Morons, toadies, gluttons, sociopaths, thieves and ravagers. Destroyers, cynically poised in the positions where they’ll do the most harm. Traitors to civilization. Betrayers of humanity. Loathesome, crawling things that stink of decay. Welcome to the Plutocracy, unfettered at last.
I’d like to think we’re better than this, but significant evidence points to the contrary. It’s past time to quit pretending we don’t live in a house possessed of evil spirits, with a basement full of hungry zombies. This country is lousy with monsters, and we have to light up the pitchforks, load the silver bullets and sharpen the stakes.
In the meantime, let’s listen to W.B. Yeats for a minute:
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
…but then, I am given to hyperbole.
I do understand that the depicted supervillains aren’t the actual eventual Injustice League that the Ordinary-Fathead-in-Command will assemble. Politics and the nomination and approval process will demand that he switch out Bizarro for Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Cruella DeVil for for Leatherface. But look: all of them are intended not to fill offices but dismantle them. It’s a wrecking crew.
It’s a clear message to the desperate, disenfranchised, sometimes despicable and mostly really stupid U.S. voters that chose to vote for Repiglicans, of all things: A message that those Repiglicans embrace the decline of the last 40 years, where moderate social progressiveness had to be traded for a fiscally disempowered and diseducated populace, and now privatization of public property and institutions accelerates, although demonstrably ruinous and ineffective, and third-world wage slavery, unregulated surveillance, and endless war against imaginary opponents are the new normal, where personality makes policy opaque, where you’re in for-profit jail and your grandma has to stock produce at the Walmart until she drops dead at 87 and your kids look delicious to the decadent gilded pigs in their golden tanks.
But then, I am given to hyperbole