I haven’t written since November, I realize this. Well, that’s not true. I haven’t posted since November. I have written several things. One entry I spent quite a bit of time on was the death of President Mandela. Mostly to do with the anti-Mandela sentiments I was encountering that were nothing short of racism. But then I thought, “Why bother?” The people that agree will already agree and the racists will just defend their racism with some profound rationale that is a tautological exercise in nonsense.
At least the internet still has cats.
And that’s really what it comes down to. I can’t say I don’t care anymore, because I will always care. But I have lost the effort I need to continue to expound on my contemplations. This happens to me every few months. At least once a year it happens. But this time it is a bit more profound. I came back to the US after an extended stay outside of the United States and I have to admit, I am already looking into leaving again.
It’s not what most people think, though. It’s not the racism or the religiosity. It’s not the rampant consumerism or the lack of education. The injustices and the lack of gratitude. All of those things are frustrating. What really bothers me the most is that I see no signs of improvement. It’s the lack of addressing the problems with the economy coupled with the anti-academic attitudes… or, moreso, the anti-humanities attitude.
The economic situation is just absurd. Wages have been deflated and employment has increased, but with less hours and pay (and more productivity). And we have to talk about “decreasing the deficit” and “reducing the debt.” This is the equivalent of being on the Titanic after it hit the iceburg and arguing about how to improve the gas mileage. To be fair, this is the talking point of the conservatives. Their opposition (the less-conservatives, or Democrats) won’t even say “the deficit doesn’t matter” or ask “Why does the deficit matter?” The truth is that it’s relative to revenue. Of course, with an exponential decrease in revenue, we would want to decrease the deficit… so, instead of taxing the rich, we want to decrease the deficit and farther stifle the economy? If I was 17, this is where my response would be “whatevs.”
The other situation is the anti-intellectualism that is spreading through the United States. Everyone hears it (if you don’t hear it, you probably say it): “Why would you go into debt for a degree that doesn’t even pay well?” The less nice comments are, “What do you expect when you get a degree in basket weaving or art theory?”
The truth is… getting a degree in art theory from UC Berkeley or Yale or UMich requires a lot more than getting a certification from a local community college. To get that degree, the student had to produce work showing they understood the material. They likely had to write at least one lengthy research paper. And whatevs… someone thinks a lot about something and suddenly their “opinion” is just as warranted as someone that took the time to study it? I’ve thought a lot about plumbing… I guess I’m a plumber. I guess, if we continue the Titanic analogy… it’s like being on the Titanic and heading towards an iceberg and arguing over who should steer the ship. Obviously, if the maintenance crew thought about it enough, they should do it instead of a trained helmsman.
I don’t know how often I’m going to contribute in the future. It all seems so pointless lately. Just go paint a sign, put on a mask of a religious terrorist, and claim that the democratic government is the enemy because a private contractor ran off to Russia because he values privacy and civil rights over his livelihood.
Before you head off to protest capitalism, make sure you get your mask that gives a profit for Warner Brothers and spout of the mantra “Remember, remember the fifth of November.”
In case you readers didn’t know it… here is the full rhyme:
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.
By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.
And what shall we do with him?
Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
A stick or a stake for King James’ sake
Will you please to give us a faggot
If you can’t give us one, we’ll take two;
The better for us and the worse for you!
Guy Fawkes, Guy
Stick him up on high,
Hang him on a lamp post
And there let him die.
Poke Him in the eye,
Put him on the fire
And there let him die
Burn his body from his head
Then you’ll say
Guy Fawkes is dead
Hip, Hip, Hooray!