Permit me an “aside” for my mind, you know, drifts, and I struggle to keep up.
People are animals of complacence. If one is comfortably seated and you push him, not enough to make him fall off his seat, but just to rock back and forth, he won’t come at you. He may say something, but really what he wants is for everything to be like the way it was.
You know — they sometimes call ‘em the good ol’ days.
If you want that man to stand, to not only say but to DO something, you’re going to have to push him so hard that he falls off the chair and never rocks back because you’re changed his way of life.
This is a metaphor akin to Plato’s cave, but with a rocking chair. Deal with it.
But it’s sort of the condition that America is in today. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying in Darfur for oil and inequity: I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. Inhuman treatment of children in China is poising the Chinese to be in a position of claiming its credits and dismantling the west like a bankrupt business: I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. AIDS and cancer are still killing people like they were a decade ago and politicians want to make childhood obesity a priority and call it ‘progress’ to remove soda machines from schools: I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. The corporations that you and I support, along with the bazillions of people that simply don’t think about how much gas they burn and how responsible they are for worsening of the atmosphere are overheating of the planet and guaranteeing the ensuing results: I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. The US Government is illegally and unrighteously tapping all lines of communication against the express wishes and mandates of the constitution for no good reason…I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. An illegitimate President misled the people into supporting a war in Iraq for what today only vague reasons may exist: I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me.
Gas prices go up $0.50. Pandemonium. Radical change is demanded. Faulty the guilty, kill the sinners. It’s judgment time.
That’s the way it works, and goddammit, the leaders can’t be relied on to do anything because they’re animals just like the rest of you. They say that they’re fighting this war in Iraq so that they don’t have to fight it over here…that seems convenient, don’t you think? I’ll bet there would be a lot less support for this war and it’s troops if it were being fought over here…shit, if it was affecting anything here at all.
The truth is that in these times of so much fear, Americans want the borders closed because they like it in here; it’s not quite as real as the rest of the world, where gasoline has always cost $5 a gallon and so people have learned to use it more wisely. It’s nicer than out there, where people have known about the dangers of greenhouse gases all along, and where freedom of press and censorship are openly discussed, not blindly claimed.
I’m not about to announce a rally or try to incite movement in your hearts — if you didn’t already feel something before reading this then all you’re doing is shifting the focus of your obsequiousness. I am not a puppet master and my words are not the strings to which you cling — at least, they shouldn’t be. What my words ought to be is the fire that burns your ropes, the blade to cut your strings; the bombs that blast you free.
Think for yourselves. Vote. Speak. Act.
Or it’s all your fault.