Jun. 25th, 2010

taerowyn: (Default)
Haven't been posting much late. Part of it is the Twitter/Facebook attention diversion--with them, I can let myself be frivolous cause it's short-form and there's not really enough real estate to really explore anything. But here, I feel I should use the media format and the space to actually delve into things and right now? I just don't know where to start...

It's just....it's too much of late. A recent HuffPo piece by Charles Karel Bouley really crystallized it for me:

Yesterday, I closed my syndicated radio show by stating, "Well, the disaster in the Gulf caused by the felons BP is worse today than yesterday. We are no clearer on our mission or its success in Afghanistan but lost a general in great political theater that does nothing to keep my friend, Eric, safe in-country right now (he's in Afghanistan in the Army). We then took a General that MoveOn.org once called General Betray Us, one that Obama then skipped the vote to condemn MoveOn.org for the attack as Republicans wanted, have Orin Hatch of Utah wanting to drug test the unemployed to allow them to get benefits which only further victimizes the poor (there's no provision for medical marijuana, either), lost two soldiers in Afghanistan and have no end in sight really for the worst ecological disaster of all time while a federal judge with lots of oil industry and Halliburton holdings says drill baby, drill. Oh and new home sales plummeted to their lowest ever, in history as unemployment in states like California soared as benefits run out because Congress is three weeks late approving another extension...but don't worry, it's only Wednesday...."

Any one of the incidents or situations should ground us as a nation. Stop us from whatever we are doing, make us take a pause, solve the problem, even if it takes time and sacrifice. But they don't, they blend, they merge, they become news stories and sound bytes and water cooler conversations (does anyone have those any more since, well, no one is working in offices that can afford to rent coolers any more...). They have to, even 9/11 has to, or else we'd be even more medicated than we are right now.

It doesn't help that at work, I see passionate people trying to do everything in their power to right just a fraction of some of the ills of the world today and continually being blocked at every turn.

I often joke that my job is a pendulum between "We can do this!" and "We are so, so screwed." Of late I feel we've stalled out on the latter. And it's not just the issues we work on, but everything Bouley mentions above and more.

And I know ideas like hope and change have been hijacked as slogans and are now fraught with partisan meaning, but I do wonder how we can find them beyond the rhetoric of one man's speeches. One of my favorite quotes is from anthropologist Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

I gotta admit. I'm starting to doubt.

And I wonder....what's it going to take to break out of this place where we are. Bouley continues:

I understand why many of you can't or won't feel it as deeply, or tire of it, but we must remember today more than ever that we are human. The immigration debate isn't about illegals, it's about people. Humans. The Gulf Disaster isn't about who can or should drill where, it's about us causing an event so catastrophic we have yet to see the outcome, hell, it's not even anywhere close to being over. It's a game changer, a life changer, a country changer or should be. It should be the death knell of oil and big energy companies. Period. Don't you feel it? Can't you feel it? Won't you?

The same with war. Aren't you weary of it for any reasons any more? Weary, tired, human thing again. A billion a day on foreign oil, billions more to fight wars to protect it, Iraq and Afghanistan tie directly in to the Gulf. It's all related, everything in the news. And it's all about people, not things, not adjectives, people.

It's time to take a step back. To breathe in; to breathe deeply. Yes, you'll choke on the toxic fumes of the Gulf, but once you recover, you'll be inspired. Another emotion we need to feel. Inspiration. It's been a while since America has felt it as a whole. If we begin to feel through all these events, and the pain they will cause (and they will, they still do because we don't feel our way through then heal, we move on without healing); but if we move through that pain we'll make something so much better than what we have now.

If we don't start to feel more, more pain, more outrage, more of a need to sacrifice to make things better, then we sold our lives and souls to corporate America and like all of our gadgets our battery life as a nation is running out. The only way to recharge is to go back to basics; humanity.


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