Sunday, August 9, 2009

Apology to my Grandchildren

(About the only way you can see my pre-Welcome Back to Pottersville posts is to go back to my archives at Daily Kos. Tonight, I came across an old post I'd written almost two years ago that I thought was worth a reprint. For some reason, it seems more relevant today than when I'd written it in September 2007.)

To you, Gavin, and my still-unborn grandchild, I am sorry that I have failed you. I have failed you for not, as the wise philosopher once advised, leaving the world a better place than I had found it. When I was younger, stronger and more idealistic, it seemed so much easier to pull off.

Because surely one person can make a difference. Look at George Walker Bush, a man installed rather than elected into the White House. Never mind that three quarters of us did not want him or that he got less votes than the other guy. That is just the way it is, children, and this is the world that I have bequeathed to you.

You were and will be brought into the world into a country that does not care if democracy becomes fascism, cannot rouse itself to action if our government is stolen or even actually support the suspension of constitutional rights given to us by infinitely wiser men than we have today, rights that millions have died protecting so we can shelve them like unwanted Christmas gifts.

Forgive me for not jumping into the breach sooner, an abyss created by the holes burned out of the Constitution by four jetliners, white phosphorous, bombs and mortars and the flame of religious and political bigotry.

Less and less makes sense in this world I hand to you like a worn-out heirloom. We have helped fashion a world in which water is dry, black is white, skyscrapers fall down for the wrong reasons, the sun revolves around our world formed only six thousand years ago and gravity doesn’t exist.

This is your world and you must atone for our sins.

And as you sit on my knee with a room-brightening smile on your unblemished face, you are trusting that I am easing you into a world where all faces will always smile at you and voices will always be soothing and everything is soft. And it breaks my heart that I have to disappoint you.

Because, you see, this is a world in which humans kill each other over differences in politics and religion, wars that get babies like you killed without much if any apology.

This is the ugliest of realities, my darling grandchildren, offered in the most perishable of mediums. But for now, I can continue smiling and dandling you on my knee, pretending that all is well and good in the wonderful expanding world. But, God help me, I cannot maintain it for much longer.

For fiction is overtaken by truth. Yet the truth is, the truth has been overtaken by the fiction.

For water is dry, black is white, skyscrapers fall down for the wrong reasons, the sun revolves around our world formed only six thousand years ago and our stupidity is not burning it up.


At August 10, 2009 at 12:13 PM, Blogger LanceThruster said...

The quandary we were/are in can be summed up by the bumpersticker:

"If you're not OUTRAGED you're not paying attention"

There were/are a lot of people most decidedly NOT paying attention, and as we can see with the bullsh*t brownshirt tactics of the teabaggers, much of the "outrage" is both laughably selective as well as hopelessly deluded.

Maybe the most important key to deciphering the mindset that allows for such blindness and hypocrisy is IOKIYAR. This has been successfully grafted onto the "big lie" concept from Halter’s "Mein Kampf" (Godwin's Law allows for factual comparisons to Hitler), though most seem to think that "Rovian" politics originated with Karl Rove and not Joseph Goebbels and company.

Part of the problem with Cassandra cries is that even when the truth-tellers are vindicated (as is the case with truth since reality just "is" and is not dependent on someone's 'belief" in it), the "Mighty Wurlitzer" conveniently drops any facts in opposition to its agenda down the memory hole. The people who got it wrong either by incompetence, deception, or both are rewarded for faithfully (albeit erroneously) spouting the party line whereas those whose analysis was shown to be remarkably prescient continue to be marginalized as no one in control of the megaphone wants it pointed out that they're manipulative and manipulated parrots.

We are constantly told to 'work within the system" in a game of three-card Monte that is rigged to prevent working within the system to shift the paradigms in any meaningful way. People often fear drastic changes through revolution (peaceful or not) as there is the inevitable power grab in the transitional vacuum.

Things have to get pretty dire for people to wake up from their complicity and by then it is often too late to take action.

What should be a society that moves forward through thoughtful evaluation of our goals and priorities; making course corrections as needed to continue on in the direction we seek, is instead one that plays on the most base fears, capitalizes on instability and inequity, and creates so much systematic unequalibrium that the whole deal is threatened with complete or partial collapse on a regular basis.

The lords of chaos thrive on this cycle as the nature of the rigged game always has them ahead of the curve and we are forever downstream of whatever they feel like pissing in the river on any given day.

The ultimate purpose of torture is instill hopelessness; to make one give up and accept their fate, however horrible.

Do that and they win. Do that and the most rapacious and vile beings on our planet run the show. Do that and anything worth protecting is instantly vulnerable and in danger of being crushed and brutalized by those who actually take pleasure in such acts of depravity.

It's not as if being a truth-teller is easy or a guarentee of rewards or everyone would be doing it. But what other option do we have? Open your eyes, live and learn about the world you inhabit, and show as much care and compassion as you can muster for your fellow travellers, and be true to yourself.

As wise sage Kurt Vonnegut once remarked about what can be done about the human condition, "Don't ask me, I just got here myself."

Welcome to the planet. There's much to be done and we're glad to have your help.

At August 11, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Blogger mary b said...

"For fiction is overtaken by truth. Yet the truth is, the truth has been overtaken by the fiction."

Just as true today as it was in 2007. It's frightening.


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