Surely one of the agonizing attributes of our post–September 11 age is the unending need to reaffirm realities that have been proved, and proved again, but just as doggedly denied by those in power, forcing us to live trapped between two narratives of present history, the one gaining life and color and vigor as more facts become known, the other growing ever paler, brittler, more desiccated, barely sustained by the life support of official power.I think the time has come to move beyond the official narrative. I mean, who cares what John Howard says any more? Even if The Lying Rodent can somehow pull off another election win, he will remain a has-been, an increasingly farcical figure, buried up to his eyebrows in visions of past glories which never really happened.
Personally, I find the current election campaign excuciatingly boring. The only interesting story I saw last week was some speculation by John Hewson, Gerard Hendersen and others about what might happen to the Liberals AFTER they get annihilated. There was even talk of forming a new, breakaway party, which someone said would be "Centrist" - as if you could get any more "central" than Kevin "New Labour" Rudd.
Personally, I remain very much on vacation from the latest political news. Campaigning is such a bore. Such a shabby advertisement for the half-arsed system we call "Democracy". Such a sad illumination of the mindless stupid of the target voting audiences.
I wonder what John Howard will do with himself when he leaves the Lodge? Will he go into Big Business, get seats on a dozen boardrooms, line up deals for his mates? Or will he still crave the public eye? Yes, that's far more likely - speaking engagements, his face on TV as much as possible, a few honorary sporting positions... We will never be rid of him, even when he is out of power. Even when he is dead, ignorant people will still talk about him as Teh Greatest PM Evuh, just like they still talk about Reagan and Thatcher.
Speaking of Thatcher, a mate of mine swears he will go and piss on her grave when she's dead. I can understand where he's coming from. As a commenter at LP today said:
I am trying to think through the consequences of ignorance in society, but that is probably a state of normality and why history is tragic.People like Howard and Thatcher thrive on that ignorance. They cultivate it and manipulate it. They shovel it into a mountain and then stand at the summit shouting with glee: "Look at me now, Mum!"
Meanwhile, there is a lot worth watching, and a lot to be done, in the non-political world. Al Gore, for example, is probably right not to go back into politics.