Legislating, Marketing and Entertaining us Into Insanity
By Daphne Muse
Each day as more impossibly absurd matters “drone” and attack the landscape of our humanity, I say: “This must be the last act in the theater of the absurd,” only for the next act to be even more egregious, vile, unholy, treacherous and breathtakingly unbelievable; more ready to make the last atrocity look normal.
There appears to be no more reverence for reason, as the beacon of compassion has been snuffed out, twittered away and spun beyond any semblance of recognition. Cauldrons filled with legacies of hate boil over, as mighty minions tap dance on the Metaphysics of Morals doing all the bidding for the new corporate personhood. Moral clarity, ethical behavior and principled standards have become tongues tied into knots of lies that languish, embedded in the national psyche and turned into public policy. The mental illness of racism is suffocating the very life out of those who could be future doctors, engineers, visionaries and presidents.
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before putting them in jail even if officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband. But being colored has been a long standing tradition of being contraband in and of itself. Employees are requiring your Facebook password in order for you to be hired and privacy is just an illusion that even the one-percent can’t buy their way out of, as so adeptly demonstrated by Wiki leaks and hackers of every stripe. We’ve been “blingsided,” entertained, marketed and legislated into insanity, as demonstrated by what has become the daily barrage of enraging stories about black men being murdered wantonly, children being raped in what was thought to be the trusted hands of “responsible” adults and relentless efforts to drag women back into the caves by our clitoris. Power buys more power and those who challenge it are deemed unpatriotic, demented and get parked in the cue for camps that have been kept fresh since the internment of the Japanese in 1942 through Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
On airplanes, in grocery stores, along sidewalks the tensions that people hold are palpable. From a disgruntled man walking into a college classroom in Oakland, California and killing seven people to reality television and presidential candidates teaching the basics of Bullying 101 to lottery winners refusing to share with colleagues who were part of the buy-in and Second Amendments proponents legislating weapons as part of the daily diet, the national psyche is dialed up so frighteningly high that I find myself awakening almost daily wondering what the calamity of the day will be. But let us be clear that this has been and remains a well orchestrated effort to dismantle any semblance of Democracy and render chaos the modus operandi. From presidential hopeful Rick Santorum comes yet another inane statement from his bucket overflowing with lies. This one notes that he read “something from the state of California” and within the system of seven or eight universities they don’t even teach American history. Never mind that some of the country’s leading historians and historical scholars teach hundreds of thousands of students in the UC system on a daily basis and that several of the schools offer advanced degrees in American history. Legendary historian Leon Litwack taught classes with seven to eight hundred students in them at a time.
People eat up the five star lies and chaos by the platter. Our country is so broken in spirit and fact that one can smell, hear, see and taste just how irreparably broken it is. The massive boil on our guts has imploded and the blood of our souls continues to spill from sea to shining sea, across landscapes plagued by foreclosed homes, businesses and dreams. Efforts to climb the ladder of optimism, and look beyond the quagmire over into the fields of Democracy, are thwarted and derailed by the endless Dr. Greedloves, politicians and state sanctioned operatives set on taking us out rather than seeing us climb another step. The takedown would not be so brutal had the victories claimed not been so bold. I think we got so mired in what we didn’t accomplish, through a range of movements and initiatives connected to social change, that we forgot how to build upon what we did.
Now on life support, can America ever be America again? So many days, I find myself mourning for what could have been, who we could be/become. The profound words from Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again” continuously resonate all over the spirit of my topography, as a reminder of what never was but could be:
Let America Be America Again
By Langston Hughes
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
To read a complete version of the poem, go to http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15609.
Can the country find its way into becoming a nation, using the collective intelligence, wisdom and skills of its people and the best of its history to build something truly formidable for all the reasons that can make a country sustainably great? There is no singular savior or movement to shift the paradigm and return to the path of new possibilities for who America can be in all the incredible glory of her racial, ethnic, class, gender, cultural and spiritual diversity. This must be a collective movement across all lines of demarcation, for this position of weakness primes us for an even greater vulnerability than most can imagine.
While history can be instructive, bold new ideas have to be put on the table for discussion accompanied by even bolder strategies for realizing them. There are just too many intelligent, visionary, compassionate and highly skilled people among us to allow the country to embark deeper into the hell in which we now find ourselves. I so want to work even harder at being a practicing futurists, if only for the sake of passing on something far greater than legacies to our young.
· Send me a link to a website, blog or video reporting positive and progressive news
· Suggest a strategy or idea for taking us sustainably forward
· Provide links to things that are working
I so appreciate every effort, strategy or action to help us navigate our way out of the lockdown of despair into the realm of new possibilities and realizations of who we really can become/be.
I will post those results on my blog: www.daphnemuse.blogspot.com.
©Daphne Muse 2012