Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kings Of Nuthing - Nation On Fire

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We have no one to blame but ourselves, Pt. 2

I wrote once before how we have no one to blame for our current social/political situation other than ourselves and the closer we get to another major election cycle, I wonder how we are ever going to break the cycle. When I see people casting blame on their favorite targets of opportunity for anything and everything they see as wrong with society in general, I ask myself when are they going to finally accept responsibility personally?

I watch when the religious right and their associates say that gay marriage is somehow dangerous to the institution that has traditionally been one man and one woman, unless you're Muslim, or Mormon, etc. Gay marriage has been legal in a few states for awhile now and I don't see heterosexual marriages disappearing. Society's overall perception towards marriage has changed over the last several decades and it wasn't until 1967 that interracial couples could get married legally in the South. 2 states even had constitutional amendments banning interracial marriages, the last one finally being removed in 2000. Guess who won that prize? Alabama.

I'm sure there were similar arguments then and now but guess what? Gay people getting married isn't going to be the end of our society. Greed, apathy, selfishness and willful ignorance will be. Social Security and entitlement programs aren't going to bankrupt our country. Tax rates that are at historic lows and loopholes that allow companies that make billions in profits to still receive tax refunds from the government, that will bankrupt our country. When people stop voting against baseless fears, stop blindly following the talking heads and start voting for the good of their communities, we'll stop the slide into the abyss.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A World Full Of Hate, For Profit

There will never be peace in the Middle East. Not so long as you have a proxy war between the West and radical Islam. On one side you have religious ideologues from Iran and Saudi Arabia who have a perverted view of what "jihad" is really about. Instead of thinking "jihad" is a war against the imperfections in one own's life and soul, they believe it is about forcing their own twisted ideas upon everyone else and fighting the West and secular society.

There is so much hate, so much spin, and so many people who stand to benefit from perpetual conflict. Just going along with the spin, it is easier than thinking for yourself. In the US, we idolize those who die for "patriotism" but then demonize anyone who has ideas that opposes the status quo. We are a world addicted to hate, and to the wars that follow. It is easier to demonize and to hate, than it is to study, understand, and negotiate.

I fully believe that progressive and moderate Jews, Christians and Muslims could all live together in peace if it wasn't for the extremists and their backers. Here in America, you have some fundamentalist "Christians" and their resources that support hardline interests in Israel in an effort they believe will trigger the "Final Battle" and the coming of Christ. So yes, Israel is a proxy war with two fanatical alliances facing off, well stocked with money, weapons and support from parties all over who have a vested interest in ensuring the region stays right at the boiling point. The moderates want no part of this, neither do the progressives.

Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is the holiest of places for three religions. Why can't we have a religious center there that is respectfully shared by all three? All three believe in the same God, they just believe in different ways of worshiping God. Don't they somehow think that same God would prefer that they take care of their fellow man instead of pointing weapons at each other? This why I really dislike organized religion. I am quite sure that Yahweh, Jesus or Allah, if they were to return to Earth, would be truly furious with those who claim to be their most devout followers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Elvis is dead

I believe as we grow older, we revert slowly back to those things and ways of thinking that remind us of our childhood. Many of these memories we tend to idealize and think to ourselves "those were the good old days". I see this a whole lot with Baby Boomers and there is certainly a market and media geared towards exploiting that tendency for idealization for profit. This is also exploited heavily by the politicians and their handlers who work hand in hand with those media interests, namely Fox News and the likes of Beck and Hannity. There is money to be made and votes to be obtained from those retirees who are constantly told that things were so wonderful back in the 50's and early 60's, before the Beatles stopped cutting their hair and the hippies came along.

I always find it interesting that when you ask these people when they think things started going downhill, they usually say "around 1964 or 1965". I pin this to a couple of events. First, 1964 was the year LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and 1965 was when US combat units were first officially deployed in Vietnam. A third contender was the 1963 assassination of JFK, which was the first time a president had been killed since McKinley and this was on film.

I don't want to lump all Baby Boomers together as prejudiced because that is a blanket statement that doesn't apply to them all and it is just part of the answer. You have to remember though, many of these people grew up in a time when white people ran almost everything. Blacks attended separate schools, shined your shoes and maybe washed the dishes in the drive-in restaurant you hung out at on weekends. It was definitely a W.A.S.P. dominated society, especially in the southern states.

Media was different then too. You had the cowboy films with a good guy vs. a bad guy, there were few anti-heroes or gray areas in these movies. It was John Wayne and Elvis. Elvis was controversial but still clean cut, and white. Times have changed, John Wayne is long gone and Elvis died on the toilet. Yet, just as there are some people still want to believe he is still alive, there are many more that refuse to accept that they have grown older, society has changed. In the greater scheme of things, not only are they refusing to accept the changes in this world, they are also dodging the acknowledgement of their own mortality. By denying change, it also makes it easier to try to deny the fact you will one day dance with The Reaper, especially if you can afford Botox.

Having grown up in a generation that mostly accepts gay and inter-racial relationships, that thinks not in black and white but in various shades of gray, I wonder what it will be like when we hit that same age? It will be here eventually, whether we want to accept it or not.