I went through a period of my life where I thought Democracies showed that people were too stupid to govern themselves. Period. Saw Reagan get elected against all odds of logic and good taste -- a severe shock to the mentality that I was raised within, where there was a gradiul rising of the middle class, and equality of pay being forced upon the bosses by collective bargaining. Oh, well.
Later on in life, as everything became oh so more complex, and just idling hating someone because they were part of the problem became stupid to me (who by then was past the adolescent mental state of thinking of that I alone was not part of the problem), I started to wonder why did people do all these actions that seemed damaging to them? Why did they do things, like let the unions be broken, that were going to drastially lower their standards of living? This has happened, as sure as 46 million are uninsured because the companies do not have to offer a 'living', just another 'job,' to their employees.
People mostly respond like fish in a school. They almost all swim the same way. The safety in numbers is reassuring. An unconscious process. We instinctively want to be a part of our society, and we unquestioningly follow our genes demand to do so. So... I decided, at some point, to offer humanity the forgiveness that they were not necessarily stupid, just ill informed.
You can see this in cults, or countries that restrict the press. Give people only a few options of what to believe -- and preferably just one, and you can control them.
The health care debate in america is a prime example of most people simply not understanding what this debate is about. They are the fish swimming among a school of barracuda, convinced that they too have teeth. In the end, the insurance companies and their politicians and their media strategists will win. They play the Nazi card, the Communist Card, The Socialist Card... oh, they so want to use that 'n' word that you can hear it in their sneers as they address the cameras and blather stuff that really seems true to them.
People who try to draw a direct line between collective bargaining and their darkest fears of an america with no individual liberty, are duped. Duped. This is at least my writer's take. I want to think that if people can be duped, that they can be 'unduped.' I was 'duped' by a lot of things until I read up on the subject, or ended up confronting the problem in some class.
A hopeful reaction.
Then... there was yesterday, as I read through two scientific bloggers going back and forth about they both could see by the data that the greenhouse was going to devastate life as we know it in the next fifty years, then get worse from there.
They were basically debating what was the best way to dance to our graves? One wanted to spread hope, because what else can you do, but hope you are wrong... while the other considered this 'repressing the truth.'
I think this is kind of debate is premature. What can we do? Try to ease the horror of the effects on the world around us. The best we can do. Without that.... if we truly do stumble into generations of people who are raised by science to know that the world is ending because of our environmetal habits, what are they going to be like? How wild will they get in the pursuit to forget the future.
Forgetting the past is easy. Try forgetting the future. Try sitting around watching a calender, waiting for the day you have to report to prison.
I had to quit reading the debate between these two brave souls, standing out there in the decay of the future, wandering what our path is going to be like as we travel there... I started losing my breath. The anxiety of my day became too overwhelming.
I moved on and read another story, watched a tv show... went to the lake. Tried to just come back to the place where I live, really... rather than all the projections in my head, the labrynths I travel through, trying to get a clear picture with only the fleeting flames of a bic lighter, that grows too hot for my hand periodically, leaving me in total darkness.
Today, this is more of a journal entry than an essay. Is that my way of saying that no structure holds these words together? Maybe... time will tell. Or a tree will fall to the audience of a startled squirrel or two and begin the long journey back into the earth.
Now... I am trying to foster a mentality within myself that can withstand my haunting memories, and the compexities of the life that I find myself trapped within; I got what I wished for, a voice in the world, only to discover that the scrutiny of self and others that comes when you open yourself up to dream your wildest dreams, no matter how tragic and farfetched, exposes you to the eyes of the damning.
I never used to mind being hated for my ideas. I expected that when I started writing from my minority perspective. Well, I guess I am at least in the minority among the media reported... in other circles, I seem to be in something of a great, overwhelming majority...
ugh.... a back ache is forcing me to stop typing. Same as yesterday. Odd.... I had been doing very fine on the back front, and then.... boom. A temproray blip. Hopefully....
Reminds me of the unrelenting pain that cropped up when I started the radio show. I was doing fine before that... then, bam. those were at least partially caused by, I am told and would love to have proof there of, quasars... so, of course, in the part of my mind that I always keep open to wild speculation, just in case there is some truth there that I would ordinarily dismiss with a certain prejudice, I wonder.... are they blasting me again?
They tell me a lot by what they censor. Funny. I find them horrifically over-reacting. I want the world to work as smooth and peacefully as they do, maybe more so... given a choice, I would sit around and discuss the world's problems with my ideological enemies... instead, here I am... a defacto-enemy of the state.
My greatest indictment of this society is that it considers me the criminal. I look around at what is legal and think "Well, that is the true crime... not what i'm smoking."
Hope in a hopeless world.
Our brain will always shoot us a few messages about why we need hope.
which is what government health care would mean -- we have a power in numbers that none has alone. Simple stuff.
The humility that comes with admitting how flawed humans are takes some of the thunder out of my self-rightousness, humbles me down enough to glimpse the truth out of the eyes of others, as well.
the general Peace and Love mentality that raised me as a child in the sixties and early seventies.
Check out all of my blogs by googling my name, John Scott Ridgway