We know we need to diet. To eat more fiber so our poos are tight, so the meat doesn’t rot in our gut for months (oh wait we all know this that meat stays in your gut for three months is a vegetarian fiction….). We need to take off a few pound. We know we smoke too much. Drink too much. That everything we do causes cancer. I have said before, the most important lessons we ever learn in life are those we already knew. We know the Leonard Cohen song.
Never talk to strangers. Don’t vote against your interests. Eat your vegetables and limit your starch. We know that everything is falling apart. We know the weather is going crazy. It’s no longer unusual to say that we have one War Party with two factions – the Democrats and the Republicans. We know the corporations are calling the shots with Citizens United. That feeling of lightness in the head when we get up quick, we know our family has a history of strokes and this should not be ignored. So, with all these things we know, why don’t we choose to live differently? Why do we choose to remain insane?
Years ago, when I was young, a apparatchik told me that the world was getting more complex and that we were powerless to stop it from becoming anything but more insane. That all us kiddie college-types had to learn to compete, to struggle, to innovate and to win. That was good advice. I was told it time and again to stop living in a dreamworld and to join the RealWorld(tm). You mean, the real world where man can fly? Where divers have gone under the ocean? That RealWorld(tm) where someone looked at the ocean and dreamed that he would sail across it and find China? That world. The real world that we have made, and continue to make, continue to choose to make. My generation has had a lot of elders tell us the way things are, the way we need to line up and just take it in the ass. Strangely, these august heads of practical wisdom are generally Babyboomers. At least in my experience, those older from the War Generation were the ones who told me to never accept the world for what it is, but expect to make it as we believe it should be. Strange advice. Especially since we live more and more in the world where we are expected to not change the system, even though we know exactly how because, we are told this goes against reality.
It’s the same logic from those people who say such and such a human behavior is unnatural not realizing that all human behavior since we struck up fire and started living in the skins of other animals is grossly unnatural. You can’t do that! It’s against the RealWorld(tm). The RealWorld where you are just a cog in a multi-culti-international-fuckfest-of-global-free-trade.
Oh, that world. The one we all know will kill us. The one we all know will crush the planet. That one we cannot change.
A few days ago I was listening to the radio when they were interviewing some women from NH about the coming Republocrat primary. The women all wanted change. They all wanted something different. They all wanted someone who never ever ever ever ever flip-flopped. Someone who spoke only about the Regular People(R). However, they all feared Ron Paul. They said he was an ideologue. A danger. Then they discussed abortion. They didn’t like Romney because he flip-flopped on abortion and that was something that one needs conviction on no matter what…. like, in an ideological way. So…. they want change, as long as it’s the same change they’ve always gotten. End the War Machine? No. End Corporate Socialism? Never. Decriminalize drugs (yeah, fuck you NPR it’s “decriminalize drugs” not make “drugs legal”) and end the drug war? Why, it kills so many Mexicans I mean… if they didn’t get killed by Drug Lords they’d come for our jobs and spew anchor babies… No?
It has crossed my tinny little pea brain that we have the world going in the direction we are going because we want it that way. We want to wreck the planet. We need the ocean to be nothing but plastic bags and strychnine. We want black rain and constantly falling spacecraft. It makes us tougher people. We want to be enslaved. It frees us. It gives us the joys and benefits of slavery (essay I can’t cite at the moment). I think about who I really work for. It’s not me. It’s not even my employer who enslaves me. It’s a larger company. The International Corporations. My day is to pay off my mortgage. To pay my credit cards from when I was unemployed. To pay for healthcare charges. I think, wow, if Chase, Sallie Mae, GE Credit, M&T Bank, Bank of America didn’t have their hooks into me for over 250K collectively, who would I be? What would my identity be? How would I spend my day? Would I take more risks at work, thinking up new ideas? I thought about all those slaves the day after master died (old songs such as Masssa’s in the cold cold ground – actual song google it yourself), the day after Tito died, the day after the SOVIET Union broke up, how did people take freedom? (Yes they weren’t really free but just go with me on this one). I considered that if I woke up and all my debts were paid – student loans, mortgage for underwater house, credit cards I used when unemployed and for healthcare…. I’d be reduced to someone lost. Able to choose the work I did, or pay for the things I used for comfort – food, shelter, taxes (I’m not including these in the above rant because like death… they’ve been there always. But…. perhaps that too is up for debate as to if it’s there because we need it, or just because we believe in them being there).
However, maybe I too don’t actually want to be rid of this ownership. We all seem to know that the ruling class doesn’t have our interests, yet, we all consider that we’re stronger, faster, and better for being owned. Maybe we feel safer, we have an identity that transcends old religion, race, and language. Slavery has become democratized and sanitized. Our wipping post is our credit rating where missing a payment on a bill can cause your car insurance to go up (true story, just call Esurance and ask them what happens to your rate when you get a ding on your credit). We’re all slaves and we all think that if we work hard enough, smart enough, we can get to be House Boys, maybe our children will be sired by Massa’ and be promoted to Coloureds, get to be slave owners too, like the Quadroons of New Orleans, the Coloureds of Monrovia, Haiti, the Indians of Ghana, Kenya, Rhodesia, or the Tutsi. We know this is the new slavery, yet…. that’s just the world and we need to teach our children to cooperatcompete to win on a global scale. If we just go to college at midnight, work three jobs, and take huge loans… we’ll all be winner with tiger blood.
Do we really want change? Real change?
The frightening dangerous change that’s in front of our faces? Do we really live by values we can’t just toss aside? The Constitution? Rule of Law? This is not an advertisement for Ron Paul, but I think that he is a good case study in how resistant our society has become to change…. change resilient, really. Here we have a politician as close to pure rock Republicanism as you can get and…. His ideas aren’t even considered because…. I mean…. A world without a War Machine? Get real. A society that lives by the Constitution? Really? What are you smoking because it ain’t legal.
If we really want to get out from slavery, we need to not fear what that really means. It’s apparently frightening. If we want to get out of national debt, we know we need to stop our military involvement. Decriminalize drugs and end the stupid drug war. Empty the prisons of non-violent drug offenders. Audit the Fed. Get rid of subsidies that give factory farms tax money to bring us “cheep” modified corn sugar. Get rid to tax loop holes to the wealthy pay higher taxes than working people. Understand that “small businesses” are not those under 500 people. Stop “cheep” imports and bring our factories back home. Get education as a civil right in the United States so people aren’t as dumb as shit. Solve the health care knot by cutting through the red tape created by the insurance companies and nationalizing the system (really, does a trip to get a dental cleaning really need to cost $500?). Push ahead to make high speed train systems, to dream up new energy systems as well as learning how to conserve more (think – if jobs don’t constantly flee from one free trade zone to another we don’t need to travel as much) with the technology we have. Perhaps rehabilitate those 4000 some odd abandoned dams in New York and New England and use them for power. To put people to work building things we all need. We know this would work. We know that if we do nothing or stay our current course, we’ll have the rest of the world peeing on our dead bodies… that… or the cockroaches peeing on humanity’s collective corpse. What is to be Done?
Get a shovel. We fucking know what needs to be fucking done.