The blogosphere has been exhausting me lately. Petty partisan bickering has infected even the most intelligent blogs as otherwise highly intelligent people quibble over the innocence and noblesse of politicians. While arguments break out over whether the tides will rise 3 feet or 20 feet or whether the death of Zarqawi actually has any bearing on anything, America stagnates in its own idiocy.
Reading "A People's History Of The United States" by Howard Zinn did not help. It was an informative, incredibly important work that endeavors to tell the story of American history from the persepective of the people, not the rulers. It is a must read for anyone who cares about history and its impact on the present. The sentiment I was left with, however, was one of frustration. Since the founding of the nation, the uber-rich have divided the lower classes among class, religious and racial lines to keep them bickering among themselves while they are robbed and deprived of rights promised by the Constitution.
Nothing has changed. With all our technology, we are still bickering along class, religious and racial lines. The Republicans create echoingly hollow euphemisms in an attempt to mask it, but the result is the same. Democrats, like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, create the illusion of giving a shit while, behind closed and not-so-closed doors, they accept donations from the same corporations who fund the Republicans. And I am supposed to think there is a difference?
Frankly, I am bored with the idiocy.
Democrat or Republican, 3 feet or 20 feet, we are in fucking trouble as a society and I do not want to hear any more partisan nonsense.
Each day, I spent an hour and a half with the masses each way to and from work. There are kind people I have met, familiar faces who take the same route and we chat daily about whatever is going on that day. Then there are the bottom-feeders who confirm why I am not a "liberal" and never will be one. It takes every ounce of energy not to tell the teenage mothers that if they opened books instead of their legs, their lives wouldn't be so difficult. A few days ago, the filter between my brain and mouth completely shut down as I listened to some fat chick beg the bus driver to drop her off half a block before the designated stop. I thought she was lost, so I said "hey, the stop isn't very far, you can see it right up ahead." She shot back at me with a snotty tone, "I know, but I didn't want to walk." Before I could catch myself, I replied "well, it's not like you couldn't use the exercise."
Yesterday and then again today, there were two different teenage boys, with the same uniform of thuggery - sagging oversized pants, T-shirts 100x too large and headphones on, mouthing the words of the foul, disgusting music they were listening to. For 20 minutes, those of us on the train who could not block it out listened to a young man repeat "what nigga, what, mutha fucka, bitch what" in a loop. That is what MLK and Malcolm X gave their lives for?
This is America and no amount of religion or compassionate conservatism is going to fix this illness. The following quotes from the humorous book "Affluenza" sum up America today and illustrate the hollowness of two parties who waste endangered brain cells debating whether the war in Iraq is good or great rather than addressing real issues plaguing this society:
More than ever, we have big houses and broken homes, high incomes and low morale, secured rights and diminished civility. We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedoms but long for connection. In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger.
Psychologist David Myers
People don't need enormous cars; they need respect. They don't need closets full of clothes; they need to feel attractive and they need excitement, variety and beauty. People don't need electronic entertainment; they need something worthwhile to do with their lives. People need identity, community, challenge, acknowledgment, love, joy. To try to fill these needs with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to real and never-satisfied problems.
Donella Meadows, Beyond The Limits