"GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!"
You know, it's one thing watching the great Bill Paxton in the movie Aliens.
Paxton as Pvt Hudson, face all screwed up in fear and horror, spittle flying from his mouth:
“That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?”
That’s why Paxton is a star. That’s why people remember his every performance.
But it's another thing entirely when it's your political philosophy.
“Presidential elections are won by a few million votes. If Hillary wins, we’re going to be overwhelmed with refugees, with immigrants. That’s it. It’s lights out America.”
It's lights out America.
LIGHTS OUT, AMERICA! LIGHTS OUT! WE’RE IN SOME REAL PRETTY SHIT NOW, AREN’T WE! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!
That was Ann Coulter this morning. Once again predicting the fall of America and the End of the World.
With these people it's always lights out, America.
GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!
Everything is a worst case scenario. Fear. Terror. Panic. Fire and flood, invasion, war, plague and famine, chaos in the life support system. And if that's not enough, their mean spoiled little shithead of a God is always about to send in a hurricane or an earthquake or a flood or a Wall Street crash because he's pissed off and throwing a tantrum about some goddamned thing. Ebola. Iran. Vladimir Putin. Gay marriage. Transgenders in the bathrooms. The shambling 50-years-dead ghost of Saul Alinsky. United Nations troops marching on Texas. Black people in the streets. Islam in the schools. They're coming for our daughters, they're coming for our healthcare, they're coming for our Jesus, Oh My GOD they're coming for our guns! They hate us for our freedom, they hate us for our exceptionalism, they hate us because they anus.
It's always some goddamned thing with these people.
They crow about how great America is – this mythological magical exceptional America where everybody is either a straight white protestant who lives in a little house with a white picket fence and a giant H-1 Hummer SUV out front and farms the land from horseback with an American Flag and a Bible in one hand and an AR-15 Super Jesus Peacemaker in the other while the woman folk pop out little white Christian babies like Pez dispensers and God showers down Viagra from the sky in a rain of freedom and liberty Hallelujah and Amen or they're the fucking help and they know their place.
These people, they harp endlessly about the greatness of this nation, how their God has chosen us – us – over all others, our military might, our fabled Constitution ... while at the same time crying endlessly like Chicken Little about how it's all so fragile that if you don't do exactly as they say, why, it'll all come tumbling down. Lights out, America. GAME OVER, MAN, GAME OVER!
This is a symptom of a people who have no challenges. No goals. Other than keeping what they have.
This is a symptom of a people who live inside a castle surrounded by a moat and barbed wire, terrified every single day that the peasants are going to rise up out of the mud and the shit and their slavery and show up waving torches and pitchforks and demand the good life too.
This is a symptom of a diseased greedy religion, a religion of selfishness and intolerance, one where salvation is the promise of eternal happiness and smug satisfaction for you and yours while every single other person who has ever lived or will live burns forever in endless torment.
This is a symptom of a political process that intends to make a nation of immigrants "Great Again" by banning immigrants and building walls to keep refugees fleeing war and horror and starvation and small mean gods from getting in.
This is a symptom of a people who don't want to make the world a better place for everybody. And in point of fact, their satisfaction is utterly dependent on everybody else being worse off. They have to have the biggest house, the biggest gaudiest church, the biggest truck, the biggest flag, the biggest army, the mightiest ships, the most food, the best medicine, the most TV channels, the biggest gun. They see freedom, liberty, justice, as zero sums and if others get more then they are diminished. Lesser. Ashamed. Just like their religion, heaven isn't heaven if everybody gets to go. America is only great if everybody else isn't. America is the shining city on the hill, the one with the moat and the wall, and everybody else lives in the mud below.
They get to live in the Plantation house and everybody else gets to pick the cotton all the live long day.
This is a symptom of a bankrupt intolerant exclusionary morality.
This is the end result of a political ideology that values mammon over people just exactly as their own prophet warned them of.
This is a political party who has now spent four days spewing hate and fear and pissing its collective pants in terror, LIGHTS OUT, AMERICA! LIGHTS OUT! wallowing in small fears like a child crying in the dark.
This is a political party who has now spent four days telling each other who is NOT an American, who doesn't belong, but has not once – not one single time in four days – actually offered a single solution to any of the problems we face as a people.
I passed a sign yesterday. In front of a small rural Southern Baptist Church. The sign said, “Only prayer can save America now.”
Only prayer can save America now.
This sums up modern conservativism in six simple words.
Here’s a small church in the middle of nowhere, safe, protected, unburned, free to worship as they please, free to yell at the rest of us without consequence, protected by law in fact and in practice … and yet they feel persecuted. Under assault. Endangered. Doomed. The end is nigh and it’s game over, lights out, America. Oh woe, woe! Save us, Jesus!
And they feel that way solely because they have to live in a world with other people.
They feel like that because they are afraid every single goddamned day of their lives.
This horrible religion didn’t create that fear, their fear created it.
I have watched the messages that appear on that sign for years, decades now.
There’s never, not one time, been a message of peace or hope or tolerance or optimism.
It’s always about impending doom, any minute now.
And if America doesn’t end, they’ll take credit for it – even though they’ve done exactly nothing but shit their pants and hate their neighbors. They’ll give credit to their God instead of the people out there right now laboring every single day to hold civilization together. They’ll pat themselves on their own backs in smug righteousness. Wew, dodged another one. Good job, Everybody, but it’s not over because now God’s mad about this other thing over here. And there’s the ebola. And the gays. And the immigrants. And…
… and it just never ends with these people.
Just another group of angry bitter selfish assholes peering fearfully at the sky.
That’s what we’ve become, a nation of angry bitter selfish people. Pessimists. Staring out from the walls, worried somebody is going to come take it all away.
As I’ve said to you before, pessimists don’t build starships. Pessimists don’t build the future. People like Ann Coulter never inspired anybody to anything but fear and hate and pessimism.
Fear, hate, intolerance, guns and pessimism, those things don’t make nations great. Those things don’t make for a great people or even a good person.
Hope, tolerance, inclusion, inspiration, initiative, shared purpose, spirit, justice, liberty, optimism, those are the traits of a truly great nation, a great people, a great religion.
If you want a better nation, a better future, then you have to be better citizens.
And it starts by rejecting this philosophy of doom and selfishness.
You can choose, you know.
In the end, Hudson faced his fear, found his courage, and stood steadfast in the face of horror and gave his life so that others might live.
You can choose to be that Hudson.
But better yet, you can choose to be Ellen Ripley, who said memorably:
“Get away from her, you bitch!”