Photo from Times
The fun thing about leadership is that people will follow. If you propose stupid shit, people will actually do it. Invading Iraq to avenge 9/11 (Afghanistan) was pretty stupid, and yet many people supported it (including, er, me). Mihin Air and Mervyn Silva are pretty stupid, but the Sri Lankan people pay for both. I have always had some faith in the powers that be, but George Bush and Mahinda Rajapakse have given me serious doubts, mainly cause they simply cannot handle money in an adult way, and that has dire consequences for average people. Today there do not seem to be any adults in charge.
I have, in my extended youth, occassionally spent all of my money (and then some). My parents have bailed me out. What’s fun is that we’re now seeing similar behavior on the global scale. Wall Street has totally sucked at its job and now the government has to bail them out. If you thought adults were in charge there, you thought wrong. At a bailout meeting George W. Bush said. ‘”If money isn’t loosened, this sucker could go down” — and by sucker he meant economy’ (via HuffaPost). ‘By sucker he meant economy’. Fuck.
Oh, and locally, I dunno if it’s just me, but I’m broke. I had a lot more money in my pocket before Mahinda’s government took power. Like, I go out to eat and the menus have stickers on them cause they’re raising the prices too fast to reprint. The cost of everything has gone up faster than salaries (who gets a 30% increment every year?) so I suspect that I’m making less in real terms than before. I certainly have less money in my pocket, and I think everyone is doing about the same. The rampant inflation here is a direct tax on everyone, not to mention the new taxes on cell phones and more. What gets me is that a lot of the inflation is self-inflicted – the war, for one, maintaining the bloated government, for two, and direct corruption, for three. They could at least have the dignity to let Mihin Air die a natural death rather than asking for billions more.
I remember I was just 18 when George W. Bush ‘won’ the US election by some 500 votes in Florida. Which I thought was surreal. I was older when Mahinda won (though not unexpected) largely because people in the North and East were not able to vote, paradoxically. At that point I thought the systems in place were good enough that you couldn’t possibly take the wheels off the thing (especially the American economy). But apparently you can. Eight years was enough to totally spend all the moral, military and financial capital that America had. And Mahinda’s already done a lot in three. I mean, I’m broke, I can’t drive anywhere, and my friend just spent the day in jail for walking to work while being Tamil. I just pray that adult leadership emerges in the United States and that this corrupted discourse of ‘fight terrorism above all’ and ‘torture’ and ‘put it on the credit card’ and ‘did I mention terrorism?’ leaves our system. It feels like the world has gotten really messed up since I’ve became an adult and I’d like it not to be.