Bad Dream


Years from now, we’ll look back, and we will be ashamed of ourselves. Ashamed of our country. Ashamed of our businesses. Ashamed that we were acting collectively like we were on a cocktail of crack, speed, anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, and heroin. We were junkies, addicted to oil, addicted to heedless consumerism, addicted to harvesting nonrenewable resources in the face of the destruction of everything meaningful all around us, addicted to making a few people more and more rich and most people more and more poor. We were manufacturing weapons and selling them to the highest bidder. We were devastating the topsoils of every piece of land we developed. We were polluting the very oceans, the very wombs of life from which we had originally evolved. We were cutting down forests that had existed since before we had a Constitution. We were killing each other, killing ourselves, killing our children.

Worst of it all were not these devastating and inevitable outcomes of industrial capitalism. The worst of it was that in the face of the quite obvious failure of our ideologies and economic systems, we chose to dig ourselves yet deeper into blindness and despair. We allowed greedy, unscrupulous warlords to plunge our country into despicable battles in foreign soils in the name of religion and freedom. We allowed ourselves to become implicated in this pillaging by lending it our full support. We allowed ourselves to become inured by false promises of success, progress, and happiness. We allowed ourselves to think that we had somehow conquered racism, grown beyond sexism, escaped the harness of enslavement, and achieved a free and equitable economic playing field. We pretended that the devastation of the environment, the outsourcing of our jobs, and the ever increasing rifts between us and our children were problems that could be solved through band-aids and half-assed measures and complacent gestures.

Seems like it must have just been a bad dream . . .

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

3 thoughts on “Bad Dream”

  1. I can’t believe you just posted on this. A friend and I just had a conversation that touched on this a few nights ago.

    We talked about greed, and consumerism, and how our country is so caught up in it.

    I went to the movie theater with my daughter. Spent $20 dollars on tickets.. and then indulged in buttered popcorn with salt, and soda to drink. I came home, and I thought, no wonder a good portion of this world hates us. I just spent the equivilant of an annual salary in a third world country on movies and junk.

    Or when I go to the grocery store. I can look up and down the aisles, and any and every conceivable grocery item that I want is right there looking at me. And there are millions of people starving in the world.

    And I bitch about the “war on terror.” I bitch. But what do I DO about it? Nothing. I think technology, while a wonderful thing, has also brought people further apart. No longer do people meet for rallies; they talk about it online. 40 years ago, you couldn’t just email your protests, or complain on blogs or in online forums; you actually gathered as a people to protest and discuss. Instant communication has really put a dent in the practice of people actually gathering.

  2. I’m going to have to disagree on your point about technology; I think on the contrary that blogs and activist groups such as MoveOn.org have demonstrated that organizing and grassroots building through the internet can be quite powerful. Also, the most muckraking of news stories are being broken on blogs, and then mainstream news networks are picking up on the stories.
    That said, though, I do agree that people need to gather and take action and protest and discuss more. The fact is that if we began making physical acts of civil disobedience, rather than just sending in petitions, we could change a lot of things very quickly. The civil rights movement didn’t happen in the Supreme Court; it happened in the streets, on buses, in diners.

  3. Bad dream indeed. But the feminine energy is here and the light is shining more brightly every day. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it’s here and we just need to herald it in loud and clear.
    Good post.

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