Tuesday, November 18, 2014

...and now for something completely different...

“Okay, here’s my theory. So, like in the past,” he began, “when the American people acted like dumb-asses, it actually didn’t matter. Because we were being led by smart-asses, right? But now we’re basically being run by lobbyists and pollsters, while Congress is a bunch of squabbling brats. So when people act like dumb-asses today it matters. We had the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan. We’re going broke buying these billion-dollar drones to chase a bunch of clowns through the Pakistani tribal areas. Meanwhile, every serious country is burning past us.”

“You make it sound like a race,” Tooly said.

“That’s what it is. There’s like one point two billion Chinese, and they want what we got. They become as rich as we are? Well, they just can’t. We’re at war already. You hear this stuff about hacking? I guarantee you, China has a zillion geniuses stapled to their desktops figuring out how to ram us. Look how they’re hoarding our debt. We basically mortgaged this country to Beijing.”

“I remember people saying doomsday stuff like this in the 1980s,” Tooly noted. “How America was falling apart and Japan was going to run the world.”

“Japan was a boutique. China is the whole shopping mall,” he replied. “Our country was in charge of the world for a few seconds. So what did we do? Bitch-slapped Milosevic and Saddam, let global warming get out of control, and convinced the world that we’re a bunch of whack-job crusaders. And went broke doing it. That’s the story of our generation – the peak and collapse, all in twenty years.”

“I don’t actually mind the U.S. not being in charge anymore,” Bridget commented. “Not like we did such a great job with that whole superpower thing.”

“You think that we suck at it?” Duncan responded. “Check out the competition. You want Russia and China running stuff? Russia is, like, the scariest place in the sort-of-free world. And the Chinese will sabotage every climate-change proposal till they’ve had their turn at fucking the planet.”

- from a novel by Tom Rachman

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