I am severely frustrated. The ways in which the United States functions is not working. No one seems to be able to bring about effective organized change or resistance to these ridiculous systems and policies. The wealthy and political classes are free to enjoy and run life as they see fit, and representative democracy seems to be taking more and more voice and power away from most citizens. We have insane racial profiling as evidenced by New York city’s stop and frisk program, ever increasing desire from the government to control internet usage, and then there is the NDAA law that the media has long forgotten. The debates are a sham, to the point where third party candidates like Jill stein WHO HAVE 85% BALLOT ACCESS are arrested for trying to participate. The electoral college makes voting unequal and takes power away from the citizens. Our education system SUCKS. Testing is pointless because it destroys teacher autonomy and puts everyone’s focus on scores rather than the substance of the lessons. Schools have useless age segregation, ever increasing police presence, and dry/expensive textbooks managed solely by the political classes in California and Texas. People are being imprisoned at an ever increasing rate due to an abstract “war on drugs”. Minorities are the main people going to jail because such communities struggle the most with drug related problems, and other systemic factors that the political classes in the states and in Washington D.C. are unwilling to investigate or alleviate. The government’s best attempts to solve the nations devastating problems is through laws and legislature that is inaccessible to most people. If there is a problem with drugs, people are imprisoned rather than helped with rehabilitation. If schools are failing, all the political class is willing to do is create standards in a vacuum, that disregard local school and community needs. They either raise pay or bring down sanctions on teachers as if that will cause teachers to magically know all the best ways to educate students. The political class has said time and time again that they only care about schooling in terms of whether or not it makes people ready to plug into the workforce. And people just sit there and accept that? They accept that school is only good to producing workers? Capitalism is a failing economic system that needs to be abolished. At present, we have vast amounts of overproduction that could easily be given to the homeless and poor for free. Companies make so much these days that giving up the surplus would barely put a dent in their profits. Goods are increasingly unable to be repaired by most people, increasing the amount of goods that end up in the landfills. We have a problem of overconsumption and a throwaway culture that cares more about keeping up with trends than preserving what they have, sharing, or repurposing. This country has thousands of empty buildings and lots that could become community centers, schools, homes for the homeless, and food producing gardens. But because of the stubborn idea of private property owned by banks and corporations, all of these resources are left to rot and deteriorate until the next bank or business can afford to buy it. All of this waste, war, incarceration, and failure to get to the root of the problems plagues our society and what are the citizens doing? Because of rampant consumerism most people are compelled to work constantly. The amount of hours people spend working then contributes to crippling alienation and isolation from others. So when it comes time for the population to decide on critical issues like war and education, we are too tired and overwhelmed by work and paying off debt to get together with our neighbors and communities to decide how best to live. We throw our hands up in exhaustion and give every last drop of our decision making power to the political class. Politicians live in a world of their own. They are usually too wealthy to be connected to the needs of most people. Their whole lives are caught up in corporate and bureaucratic negotiations behind closed doors. Or they are televised on C-Span, but never watched by the majority of citizens living here. And why? Because the media has been degraded into a circus of ignorance and irrelevant issues that are paraded as if they are the most pressing issues of our time. Celebrity issues ARE NOT news. Beyond their performances, their lives are none of the nation’s business. The rest of the media features faux-reality tv, or shows that do nothing other than provide a numbing comfort at the end of a long day at work or at school. There is virtually NO reasonable argument to continue to defend and keep the crap media we have today. People should be boycotting, protesting, and making noise about this trash that litters homes across the nation. There are tv series that are both entertaining and get viewers to make connections to society at large. There are shows that allow people to think critically about universal human issues, but those are not the most viewed shows in this country. Music is even worse! All of the radio music today is vapid, and the lyrics are empty and dull. The beats and rhythms are the only thing that keep people listening. All the while, people whose lyrics cover more universal issues and critical ideas are ignored! And why? Because no one wants to hear all that “depressing stuff”. They “just wanna have fun and forget”. And the fire is fueled. This inaction, silence on serious issues, and alienation is destroying our lives. More needs to be done. I’m frustrated that there aren’t more direct action groups or publicized efforts to change the root of society’s ills. It’s disappointing.
…that the government can strap up and prepare citizens with guns and battle tactics to engage in murder defense, but when other gangs citizens organize on their own to do the same thing, the government wants to stop them, jail them, and criticize their behavior and goals? Is this rational? Is hypocrisy just some sort of intellectual evolutionary hump our species needs to get over, because if it is, it seems that hypocrisy will become more ingrained in human life in the future.
Does anyone question life or think critically? You know, the average citizen. I don’t think so, but back to the government. How is it that politicians have a steak in giving people breaks from taxes, but not breaks from hard work standards?
Is play only for babies and little kids? Does working all your life make you happy? If it doesn’t why do it?
Are we all weak and scared? Probably. Reminds me of something I saw today while waiting by the scene of my dad’s car accident. A girl was walking when three girls walked behind her and mocked her. She immediately got angry and they all started cursing and coming close to fighting. The two girls held back the friend who I think started the taunting. After a while of inching closer and then farther away from one another, the police came near and then the accordion chaos broke away. At first I thought, “Wow, people are so stupid these days.” However I decided to look critically into why it may have happened. The area we were waiting in is low income, with a lot of poverty and low access to quality education, or even nicely paved roads. If I, as a somewhat in the balance middle class citizen, experience so much stress and anger, imagine their situations. I’d say 95% of the people on this planet do not know how to manage, let alone understand or examine their emotions. So emotions (fear) of one thing can boil over into your conscious experiences.
Maybe they have it rough and needed to vent in this unhealthy way. In the end both parties were scared and stressed out. If we got to the core of their feelings we would find that they have inner turmoil that is spilling out into daily life.
I’m scared too, so while I look for understanding of education, I vent. But I also examine. Why are people this way? Does this make sense? Why do I care? And most times, despite my venting and inner turmoil that I don’t understand, when I try to calm down and see the other side, I come across these inconsistencies that I can’t ignore. Why would the government hate street gangs and terrorists when we have the military? What does defense really mean when you are actually sending people to someone else’s home to kill and destroy them? Why does reason not work?
We’re not rational, as much as we try to be with our rules, ideologies, and economies. We’re scared and irrational.
Should I just accept this, do what I’m told to avoid problems? Should I just pursue my art goals, paint, draw, meet people and have as many bright days as I can as the clock ticks closer to my expiration?
Could fear of death and loss be the reason we act so savagely?
**08/07/2010: Jeanstake articulates much of what I feel: