You're watching the wrong movie. Tora! Tora! Tora! ends with this:
I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
- Adm. Isoroku Yamamato
Have you... seen the Washington Post lately?
This is an organization that Jeff Bezos bought at a fire sale so that he could get better coverage out of Wonkette. Shit was over. We were all banking on maybe hopefully kinda sorta Pierre Omidyar might let Glenn Greenwald do journalism when it didn't bite him in the ass. Now all of a sudden a deeply complacent majority finds itself energized and engaged. Look at this shit:
One of the benefits of my job is the Helicopter Channel. See, I work for a large, three-lettered network on a lot that they own and that large, three-lettered network has a cable plant. Unlike analog TV, digital TV has virtually no limit on the number of channels it can carry; all you need to do is crank down the bandwidth and up the QAM and you can stuff 128 channels down a single analog TV band (should you so choose). And since it's a large, three-lettered network with a lot of content, they distribute pretty much everything they have across everywhere they are which means, for example, that I can tune one of my spare monitors to 127.8 and see a constant live feed of everything coming out of their local helicopter.
You may not have thought of this, but the way "helicopter" and "news" collide is that generally, the helicopter goes up at 6am and 3pm and stays up for one or two tanks of fuel. They fly around looking for stuff to report on and meanwhile, they shoot traffic jams, sunsets, carnivals going up, whatever. Literally, you have a roving news crew flying around looking for trouble. This is one reason car chases in LA get so much coverage: if it happens during prime commute times, there are at least three and up to seven helicopters that can be on top of it in ten minutes or less to stream it live for as long as it takes.
We were watching the Helicopter Channel a lot following the election. Know what we saw?
None of them made the news, really, because okay, there's fifty disorganized guys stomping down the street. Three blocks over, another 25 guys stomping down the street. Uptown, 40 more guys stomping down the street. Will they meet up? no. Do they know each other exists? No. Do they have a plan? No. Do they have a message? sure - this shit sucks and we're mad. but it went on for weeks. Literally weeks. Pissed off people with signs stomping around Los Angeles. No organization to speak of, no greater organization. That comes later. That's been happening. That's the emboldening of an electorate.
The Right likes to point out that Obama cost the Left a thousand elected positions. They're not wrong; fuckin' rednecks hated Obama. They were batshit against Obama. And that rage motivated the Tea Party, the Alt Right, all of it. Ohhhh shit there's a niXXer in the white house. Ohhhh shit the first lady looks like an orangutan. Ohhhh shit better buy me an AR15. Ohhhh shit better pay ten bucks on the dollar for 5.56 'cuz THEYZ COMINZ TO TAKEZX MY GUNZ. The left? the left had to deal with the fact that their guy was largely making things better for them while also perpetrating a clandestine remote air war and forwarding a neoliberal-lite globalist agenda.
One of my first home-grown political philosophies was that music sucks under a Democratic administration because generally, artists are liberals and generally liberals are democrats. It really is easier to get worked up when you feel under threat and right now? Everybody smart feels under threat. Not just leftists, fuckin' choke-on-a-dick republicans like Andrew Sullivan are all twitterpated. Frickin' Ann Coulter is experiencing a crisis of faith. Right now? Everybody with the tiniest bit of political conscience without a heapin' helpin' of Trumpist power is all riled up.
"I can run wild for six months … after that, I have no expectation of success."
- Adm Isoroku Yamamoto, 1940
You need to watch this. It is not a particularly hopeful piece, but it's a piece that puts our current political situation in a cold, analytical light... and that's something that people aren't doing a lot of these days.
I'm reading John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crash right now. In addition to proving that Rumsfeld's "known unknowns" word salad used to be much better ("One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know"), he makes the point time and time again that crises are caused by a lack of information. The crash of 1929 was inevitable given the climate but the proximate cause was trading volumes increasing above the ability of stock tickers to provide real-time information which forced panic. A less proximate cause was speculation by people who lacked the information to evaluate what they were speculating on.
Knowledge is power and the more knowledge we have about the Trump administration (the "House of 'Tards" as one of my friends has been calling them), the more we see that they aren't making bold moves, they're making unforced errors. Which is exactly what you would expect a group of people with zero experience in diplomacy to do when they're driven entirely by vanity and ideology and have no basic indoctrination into the daily practice of governance.
This movie is not sad. This movie is fucking Lord of the Rings and although the hobbits haven't made it to the volcano yet, they're on their way.