Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Reluctant Revolutionary

I am the ultimate product of Western Civilization.

White-collar raised, consumer fed, liberal educated, culturally appropriating, politically apathetic, and spiritually dead.

These are the issues confronting me: neoliberalism, fundamentalism, commodification, climate change, nuclear holocaust, subtle racism, misandry, recession, democratic imperialism, The Middle East/Far East/Global South/Africa/anywhere Dick Cheney can shoot quail and hit a lawyer without anyone asking about the right to bear arms.

Most of the time I am encouraged to passively sit and let civilization take its course. Most of the time I am addressed with platitudes soaked in political bullshit. Most of the time I am too busy shaking my head at my own generation to realize the previous ones are wrecking the world before I even get a chance to decide things for myself.

Drugs, poverty, terrorism, war, natural disasters, and corporate controlled government. They make the news, but nobody says the things I'm thinking. On CNN, post-graduate commentators describe and theorize, and all I'm left with is the thought that they forgot something -- real opinions. On Fox News, Rupert Murdoch keeps Middle America happy with Wal-mart commercials.

In all my watching, the tough questions go unasked, the necessary answers are not spoken, and only bad news is on the news.

(I wonder what it'd be like to have a news program that only reported good news. We could call it... The Good News Network! Seriously, wouldn't you like to hear more about what's happening in the world that isn't FIREDEATHTRAGEDY? There could be a piece on millions of dollars being donated to charity, or how we totally saved a bunch of random people in Chile. Hell, why not report on the billions of heroic acts of compassion that happen everyday? Like firefighters, ambulance drivers, and those guys at Carl's Junior who make the criss-cut fries.

But back to my socio-political rant.)

The freedom of information is cached in Google search engines that control relevancy via advertising dollars.

Philanthropy is reduced to buying overpriced bottled water that'll donate $1 to tsunami victims with your phone. (And there's an app for that!)

Quality education is reserved for the sons and daughters of legacies, while the rest of us make due with basic math, writing, and debt that will follow us for at least another decade.

Corporate capitalism has slowly privatized everything, even the military, until one day our own countries will look like the commercial nations of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

Lobbyists dominate politics, while the public is kept slow and happy with American Idol and other reality TV faux-pull yourself by the bootstraps-shows.

Obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes multiply with every kid who grows up thinking the McDonald's their parents served them counts as a meal, that cigarettes are cool, exercise is Dance Dance Revolution, and modern medicine will solve everything... but they can't afford it because America has no healthcare, and insurance companies are now the real death-panels.

Racism, sexism, classism, ageism, culturism, ethnocentrism, prejudice heaped on bigtory topped with hatred festers in the open-sores of long-gone eras where civil disobedience actually accomplished something. Now the power of protest is absorbed by our culture as a futile exercise in commercially viable "free thinking". Now political action is reserved for the top one percent of the top one percent. Nowadays, nobody understands the system.

Billions of dollars are spent every year on defense, and meanwhile we think hunger and poverty are sad realities. The box is clamped so tight around our heads, we can't see that all that money pumped into the military-industrial complex could pay to feed and clothe the entire country.

During tough times we cut "expenditures" like roads, education, health, but why can't we take it from the bullets in the guns that enforce the violence that government has a monopoly on? Why don't we tax the richest who create the biggest strain on our world? Why don't we tax corporations as a group instead of calling them individuals? Why don't we regulate business?

Why do people insist on enforcing exclusive definitions of sexuality, marriage, gender roles, and other personal choices? Why do we politicize our private lives? Why do we spy on our own population? Why is Big Brother a reality these days?

Why is the government persecuting immigrants, calling them a drain on the economy when the sign on the Statue of Liberty says, "Give me your tired, your poor /Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me".

My cries of confusion could lift the sky off the shoulders of Atlas and crash it upon the pillars of every institution that belongs to me and you but corrupted by the few hidden away in Bohemian Grove, The Family, Pacific-Union, The Philadelphia Club, The Union Club, Alibi Club, Alfalfa Club, Skull and Bones, and hundreds of other gated-communities that make decisions for a world they have effectively separated themselves from.

This might seem a little dramatic, but it's really quite serious. Read Adbusters, and watch how the things it says scare the fucking shit out of you. Read Douglas Haddow's article on [Hipsters] and [The Coming Barbarism]. Read David Harvey, Howard Zinn, Chris Harman, Kurt Vonnegut, Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, and Gayatri Spivak. Read some fucking books people! There's all the information of what's happening out there juxtaposed amongst the selfsame billboards trying to blind you. Don't let the competition of noise in a Simon&Garfunkelesque Sound of Silence stop the long drawn out process of leaving Plato's cave of shadows.

For once in your miserable existence LIVE!

I feel like I'm screaming into my pillow, into the night, into the empty cyberspace where these words will fade like pixilated dust wiped away by some avatar's spam. I feel the hopeless useless inconsequential reaching of my hands towards making a difference that will ultimately fail. I feel like the last man alive on Earth inside this blog, separated, removed, and hidden.

I can imagine the end coming: bombs dropped, oceans overwhelming, and then the sound, as if effervescently rising from the susurrus that humanity calls its last words... a taunt.

I told you so.

Please, don't let it be so.


This post is inspired by Adbusters, The BLF, Bombing Science, Alfred Jarry, guerrilla graffiti, and other amazing things. If you are interested in more of what I've written about, check out the original material that came from these highly recommended sources.

0 footnotes: