ere are a dozen recommendations of ways to act during a brief era of bad government:
"Show me". The Bush Administration says they'll bring peace and prosperity. We may be very skeptical, but it's only fair to allow for the possibility of such a happy outcome. Let's say, "show me!", keeping in mind that if things don't turn out they'll take all the blame.
"Rip 'em up one side and down the other". Let's savor the role of acid critic. Let's carp, complain, and demean to our hearts' content and let's make it sting.
"Joke 'em". Humor always works better in the negative than in the positive. So let's enrich our dissent in the fine tradition of H.L. Mencken, Ambrose Bierce, and Oscar Wilde.
The real result of the 2004 election is that the rich will get richer and the poor poorer. The rich will have to decide what to do with their windfall of good fortune. So...
"Serve 'em". Got any skills that the rich need architecture, interior design, fashion design, artistry, courtesanship? Most of the rich (especially the new rich) are easily charged two or three times the prevailing price...
"Guilt 'em". Some of the rich just might feel guilty that so few live so well, and so many so meanly. Perhaps they'll now give more generously to worthy causes...
"Flatter 'em". The rich, in their trophy houses and vacation retreats, are chronically short of clever attractive guests. Why not inaugurate a grand new era of sponging?
It can be tiresome to live in the here and now of an egregious era. But we have several avenues of escape
"Go out and see the world". Why live in the US all your life? See the world. Become a part-time expatriate.
"Catch up on your reading". Take this opportunity to deepen your understanding of history and literature.
"Care for your home and garden". Be inspired by the 12th-Century Chinese scholar Li T'ang, who painted the finest landscapes of all time whilst hiding away from the "time of troubles" in his mountain retreat.
"Living well is the best revenge". Whatever happens, we get to live in all the lovely "blue spots" San Francisco, Boston, New York, Honolulu, Washington while they have to live in the bleak "red patches" Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi.
"We'll rule in the blue states". The 2004 election brought no net political change at the local or state level. In maintaining our power at the local and state level, we can show how a society ought to be governed.
"Love and friendship redeem all".(printer friendly version)