Thursday, December 30, 2010

ArtTraveler's New Year's salute

This is when we're supposed to talk smart and make predictions we fully intend breaching as anticipatory contracts tossed to the wnids of meaningless expectations, or.......

Or, we limit our goals and myopically select perhaps just one goal for the year: Like getting healthier or living more in tolerance and acceptance. Don't be specific, like removing X kilos from your body in some super effort to regain a sense of your old vanity.

No, not at all.

It's also the time when it's fashionable to review the year that was.

Well, it's damned easy to morph into total cynicism as indeed, facts on the ground, as journos opine these days, suggest we are all about to quickly join those religions whose Revelations' mission is to make sure we catch the last commet to Heaven or such other guaranteed post of posthumous deliverance.

I remain unimpressed with the human mamal.

But when I see the springtimes of creative energies exploding about our arts landscapes, urging us to do be better humans, the small images of hope and promise emerge like delusions on some endless desert trek across the Sahara.

There's not much good one can say about 2010.

But I need to take a moment to reflect on my expectations that the Great Black Hope for America, Barack Obama, may have failed in achieving Change We Can Count On.

Anyone understanding the DC Beltine political realities knows Obama would fall far short of his promises and yet, think about it, he brought about at least tentative health care access for more than 37 million Americans, far short of the public option that would have gutted the endless cycle of greed practiced by the US health care and pharmaceutical industries..

But Obama did it! And regardless of how much most of us hate the banks (and I do with a passion), the actions Obama took along with Gordon Brown probably saved total collapse of the global financial system. I still hate bankers and think they, not the real people who are the working stiffs of the world, should bear a large share of the cost of the new age of austerity we are seeing.

When US President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed ahead enacting Social Security, the Tea Party nutters of the time decried this was pure socialism. Now, these old farts (I am 67) screaming with rage against our black president would never forgive anyone tampering with their Social Security. Obama has opened the door for change.

The reaction by the Tea Party madness (promoted by Fox and a horde of private fat cats) was of course to castigate Obama as a socialist or worse, selling out American ideals of self-indulgence and laisse faire self-destruction.

In foreign policy, Obama has failed and for this, there is no rational excuse; he chose to become a two-term president and thus forfeited statesmanship for political gamesmanship. Sad but true. His Nobel Peace Prize was misplaced and unearned.

Even though Obama remains quite popular in Europe, my Spanish friends brand him as just another promise-breaking politico for whom power is the elixir and the people remain the pawns.

I have no answers. I barely bear hope.

But in art there is life and love and something for our own very intimate salvation.

Be well for another year....and more.

Rock on and practice peace and love. And please check out my videos on YouTube:

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

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