Gone are the days of rebellion, the days of revolt, the days of speaking out, standing up, standing out, standing for something or someone. We no longer watch each other’s backs. And none of us has the courage to stand alone, completely alone. We can only watch as things just happen. Things just pass us by… ’cause that’s the way it is.
Ya’ know, that’s just the way it is, so ya’ll had better just accept it.
Why are you such a rebel? You’re going to have trouble in your life because you’re just too rebellious. (That’s what they told me when I was very young.) Guess what?
They were right. I thought I grew up in a conservative city. Little did I know… Now I live in a conservative country–so conservative that I don’t recognize it anymore, and… Guess what else?
I feel like a foreigner in my own country.
Gone are the days of activism, of activity, of shocking revelations, of refreshing words of wisdom. The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave is not free at all. In fact, it’s scared to death. And it doesn’t even have a home anymore. It’s homeless. And those of us who belonged to that land, that erstwhile land, are homeless along with it. Where shall we go? What shall we do now?
Yes, those of us who remember the USA, the real USA long before surveillance, before outrageously expensive rent, education and health care, before chronic unemployment and jobs with tiny wages that don’t meet the cost of living, before increasing poverty and homeless, those of us who remember will soon grow old. We’ll be replaced by those who won’t remember, those who find surveillance to be the norm. Heck, they might even enjoy being groped by the TSA. But there was a time, and not so long ago, when there was crime but we didn’t believe in fighting it by violating people’s privacy, keeping each other under constant surveillance, and hiring cops so aggressive that they’re more dangerous than the criminals who used to scare us. And we still had the courage to talk to our neighbors in those days. We also had the time and money to socialize, to go out and have fun. (Do you remember this, people?) We weren’t quite as afraid of each other. And odd, unique, rather strange people were all around us. They dressed differently, walked differently, talked differently, had strange ideas and accents we couldn’t quite place. We didn’t know where they were from but we respected their right to exist. And so, even though they were different, they walked among us (without worries of being tasered or beaten up by militarized police forces who can no longer solve problems nonviolently.)
Not anymore. Today, such characters are taken away. Are they jailed? Forced into homeless shelters? Perhaps there’s another Guantanamo secret prison set up especially for people who are just different from the norm so that the rest of us don’t have to deal with them anymore.
Here now are the days of conformity, complacency, and acquiescence at its finest. Today we say nothing that hasn’t been said before. We say nothing.
We say what’s already been said, say what we’re told, do what we’re told, think what we’re told. Over and over again.
The same songs play over and over again on the radio. Slightly different lyrics but the song remains the same.
The same shows play and replay on the same TV stations–all 1000 of them.
The same movies we’ve already seen show in all the theaters all over town. The same actors, the same directors, writers, announcers. It’s always the same. Different screenplay, same story. And all the characters look the same. They’re all pretty. They’re all thin. They’re all glamorous–even after running a marathon, the leading lady isn’t sweating and her makeup isn’t smudged. No one farts or burps… Well, not usually. Sometimes in comedies, but only to keep the audience from thinking serious thoughts.
Heaven forbid we allow anything new. That might make some of us think. Might form new synapses, change our brain chemistry in ways the pharmaceutical industry never dreamed of.
And we don’t want that.
We censor our own thoughts. We cannot think for ourselves. We dare not even think of thinking for ourselves. What will the boss say if he finds out I voted for the Green Party? What will the wife/husband/crazy neighbor think if they find out I’m a socialist? What if I don’t agree with what everyone else is saying? What if I have a different view?
Americans like to talk about diversity. But “diversity” (along with “family values”) is like the weather in America. Everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it. We “embrace diversity” and we’re so “politically correct” yet we see the same ideas, opinions, TV shows, films, songs, rock bands, movie stars, celebrities, experts, newscasters, etc., over and over again. We see cookie-cutter houses being built–each one the same as the other–because it’s more efficient to build them all the same way.
What if someone built a purple house?
Have you ever walked into an office and seen a diverse crew of employees hailing from different races, age groups and genders? Have you ever worked within a truly diverse work environment?
I HAVEn’t. But I have worked for people who claimed to embrace diversity. (I suppose on some level they did: somewhere inside the deep, dark recesses of what little was left of their imagination, they embraced diversity. Hugged it real tight. Real tight. Then they let it go forever.)
I wonder if I’m the only one who gets bored with it all. In school, my teachers kept repeating the same things over and over again. I suppose some of the other students needed that repetition. Perhaps they hadn’t learned it yet. But I had. And I was bored. Very, very bored. Please, please, teach me something new. But they wouldn’t. They just wanted to repeat the same things over and over again.
Over and over.
And if I yawned I was in trouble. If I skipped a class, I was in trouble. A teacher threatened to fail me once because I wasn’t coming to class. “Seriously, why don’t you give me a reason to come to class?” I wanted to say. Sorry to say, I am not so polite anymore. But I wish I could go back to school, a real school where I could actually learn something new. But then maybe my brain would explode from the shock. And since I seem to be the only one who is bored with all this mindless repetition, this endless conformity, this nonsensical drivel that passes for “news” and “entertainment,” I suppose there’s just no point. No point at all. It’s over, folks. Over. (The USA, that is. The rest of the world might survive, but not the USA.) The USA is a goner. Over. Finito. How does one spell “sayonara?”
Over and over.
So here’s my drivel for the day. Sorry ’bout the mess. I’ll go grab some tissue and pick up as much of it as I can. Then I’ll be more careful with the next blog entry… and there will be at least one more.