Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Maybe I'm Just Rambling, but I am Pretty Sure that Some Funky Smelling Stuff is About to Go Down in the City

"To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." - E.E. Cummings

         I am frustrated. I am angry. I am tired. I am worn out. I have had enough! These are words that I am sure, are muttered, at some time or another, by every single human being alive. Well, I have been muttering them for years, and it does not look like I will stop any time soon. I am not entirely sure why I even decided to start writing about this, but I am going to give my best effort to produce something worth reading. I look around me each and every day, and I do not see people that feel free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. I see people simply existing, hoping, only, to at least be able to make it to the next day. It is almost as if people have lost all hope for a better future in this country. Lately, Bernie Sanders has been motivating the silent far left wing of the political spectrum, and Donald Trump has been energizing the part of the Republican base that does not usually vote. This has given a lot of people hope for their future, if their candidate gets elected. However, someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. How far will the losers supporters be willing to express their discontent? Further, what will happen if neither of them gets elected? Will either side be willing to go all out to challenge a loss, and if they are, how will they do it?
        Ultimately, at this point, how either side would respond to a political loss is not all that important, but it certainly will be in a later post. For now, what is it that is making people lose their hope in the future of this country? There are several things that come to mind. I shall attempt to enumerate just a few of them as briefly as is possible. First, our old heroes have lost their luster, and our new heroes can't measure up to the the false standards that were placed on them by the old ones. It might be difficult to accept that heroes, or big personalities, are necessary, but they are. They motivate people to do more than they think they are capable of. They encourage people to push their boundaries, and they can convince us of anything. Whether their lesson is good or bad, they still drive us to be more than we are or defend what we have left in life, with our own lives. Without those electrifying people that push us to be more than we are, people become complacent and comfortable, and they fail to go anywhere beyond what is close around them. This is known as the Cult of Personality, and it is very real.
        Christopher Columbus was a drunk, a war criminal, and a sex trafficker. The Pilgrims cheated the Native Americans that helped them and their decedents later nearly wiped them out. They and others from England also set up repressive theocratic mini-states that are eerily similar to some recent oppressive regimes. George Washington was a war criminal, a slaver, and a borrowed ladder, in that he married his way into the elite. Andrew Jackson was also a war criminal. Abraham Lincoln did not enter the White House with the intent to free the slaves in the South. Teddy Roosevelt was guilty of genocide. John F. Kennedy was an adulterer. Reagan cuts funds to almost every single social program offered by the U.S government and said it was for our own good, while children went hungry in the streets of the 'Greatest Country on the Planet." Bill Clinton was way to horny for his own good. George Bush started a war that we are still trying to get completely out of, and Barack Obama has failed to unify the electorate as he promised he would. Who do you we have to look to, then? Should it be movie stars, sports players, or someone else of that sort? It is important to know that while such people are important, we need to realize that the problem is ourselves. We are the ones that have set ourselves up for failure. We turn our heroes, all of them flesh and blood humans just like us, into gods, and then we are heart broken when they fail us. What is the logic in that? We are also less inclined to believe something if it challenges our preconceived notions of what this country is supposed to be about.

         Second, for most people, the job that they work is making them miserable wrecks. We get paid too little, we either work way to much, or we are unable to find sufficient work to survive on. We get treated like garbage by our bosses, and we have to walk on pins and needles when we speak to fellow employees, for fear they will get offended by something and report us. In other jobs, if we hold an opinion about the world that is different from the official position of the company that we work for, we run the risk of getting terminated. Work benefits are disappearing for all but the most high paying jobs. Further, physical work that used to pay well, is becoming badly devalued, and many people are not able to adapt to the changes in the market without assistance. Our perceived liberties have also taken a hit, and every time we see the atrocities our own country has committed, it makes us more and more scared that the same thing will soon happen to us. How can people be expected to keep the hope alive, if every time they begin to make progress, something else comes along and interupts them?
        This moves in to the third thing I see. People are stressed out and overloaded. Each day of our lives, we are bombarded with information. We watch the news in the morning, we get loaded with information all day at work, we come home and hear from our spouse and children, we watch the news before we go to bed, and in the interim periods, we get stories from all over the world thrown at us from social media, the radio, television, the internet, and any number of other outlets. The thing that makes it the most difficult to deal with is the fact that many times, there is very little escape from the onslaught. The options available for relieving stress among the poor, and not so wealthy, are limited by their cost. Of course, we are provided with our distractions. Football, baseball, professional wrestling, movies, video games, food, drugs, sex, religion, television, and many others. However, the point remains that after we are done with the fun time, we still have to go back to the crappy job that is our real lives, and when our options require more than we are willing to give, we feel stuck. Of course, our domestic issues are only half of the problem. We are faced with porous borders, domestic and international terrorism, economic downturns halfway across the planet that affect the prices of our goods everyday, wars halfway across the planet that threaten to spill over into our sphere of influence, and many other things like international treaties that put more and more pressure on us each day. What happens if one of those wars does reach our shores? Will we be able to handle it? How are we supposed to react as we get older and learn that everything we were taught as children was a massive scam designed to intentionally keep us ignorant of the screw job being pulled on us right in front of our very own eyes?
         The most frustrating part of it all is that many people are having a difficult time finding the way out of this mess. We find ourselves under attack daily, and we feel like we have no one to turn too. So, we get all of this stress built up that we are never able to completely release. It drives us crazy, and it kills our bodies. Of course, not everyone is able to keep a wrap on their stress, and they end up doing something desperate and stupid. I don't know if any of this makes sense. It if does, great! All I am trying to say is that people, generally speaking, are growing so tired of being mindless drones that the backlash from their final mental breakdown could be fatal to them, someone else, or all of us. When people feel like they are out of options, they can do some pretty daring things that they would not have done otherwise. What is going to happen when people lose the ability to contain the massive amount of energy in their body that their stress is stockpiling? The possibility of an entire nation cracking in half is not unheard of. Unbridled rebellion in the streets is not unheard of either. What is unheard of is a bunch of tired, overworked, underpaid, barely literate, and angry poor people sitting down at a table to talk out an arrangement with the people that are oppressing them. It is only a matter of time before something pops off on a scale much larger than we have yet to see in this country. Many predict, and I have presented the possibility in an earlier post, a Civil War on the horizon. The destruction from such an event would immeasurable. Is it too late to avoid such a unimaginable travesty?

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