I’ve been told by a few people that they are surprised I haven’t written anything after the election. I’ve been asked by a couple others if I’m ok.
I learned quite a while ago that what we want is not always what happens. I’ve also learned that I cannot expect the level of understanding and insight out of others that I might wish for. And hardest of all, I have also learned that most people choose what is known over what is unknown – an illusion of security. And that fear can be a powerful force to control the actions of others.
I have learned that inaction is, in fact, an active action against change.
I have been asked to believe that each of us would rather give up our freedom than withold money from miltary/industrial complex. I have been asked to believe that a scape goat head is worth thousands of our lives.
I have been asked to believe that this is what most Americans want.
I have to admit, I have been disappointed before. Just tonight I was asked by a friend, if I hold truth in such high regard, and doing what is right so dearly, why the hell would I care anything about him?
I told him I didn’t know – that I had wondered that myself. And he pushed me for more information.
I used to believe that everyone was basically the same. Underneath it all, if we could pull away all the hopes, all the fears, the battle wounds, the broken hearts, the betrayals, the indulgences – if we could unravel the very fabric that weaves the incidental cocoon that surrounds the path of each our lives, we would be left looking at one another, so much the same. Everything else being so much garbage – or rather a long school of hard knocks and automatic electrical fences that propel us, often painfully, toward a greater self.
In many ways I have felt that this understanding would be the sole possibility for our “salvation” from our ruinous direction.
Our collective state is so enormous. So diverse within its atoms. So mindless in its collosal manifestation.
I have recently begun to doubt.
But as most of you know, I often pry where I ought not. I’ve been literally obsessed with exploring and understanding people within their wildy different and always intricate internals – and even the simplest of people contain remarkable depth.
I have noticed much fear – it defines most people more than any other single factor.
If I could amplify fear, and offer to relieve them from the responsibility of choice, what terrible power I could wield – because they would give it – and I would just have to make certain they were relatively comfortable.
There are many, many people who, given a tool, will use it regardless of ethics or consequence – as long as they can benefit from its use.
If you can get away with it – great! If you get caught – try just saying you’re sorry – it will work most of the time. Or if you have doubts, say it never happened, or that it’s something completely different, or blow up a building nearby to draw attention away from you.
I can say that I love you. I can say I love God, and that Jesus is my Personal Saviour. I can say anything that works. And it works the very best when I believe it, too.
My last few years have been dominated by people who are able to believe things, and believe themselves to be things, that are utterly incongruous with reality – observable or otherwise. They are perfectly comfortable looking you in the eye and saying their hair is well-groomed whilst medusa snakes writhe in a blackened mass atop their head.
Your choices are to believe them, seeing hair, or be turned to stone by one of the snakes.
Thankfully these people lack the density of actual substance, and as apparitions, can do little to affect their ends – they just moan, and move on to the next destination.
But sometimes they are given more substance – rarely from powers of their own, but through powers which are mostly occluded. And worse still, is when we begin to see the hair instead of snakes. At that point, they will begin to believe in themselves, though they have simply become a golem. Their ego, formed as a wraith mist, will hump itself high – and higher.
And then it will be caught, constrained by the very forces that solidified it – bound by the same tools it used to gain its strength.
It will be used, and wither.
Later, it will even wonder what it had done – but no remorse. It will be a hazy memory, with a few biting irritants, on which it will gnash its teeth for the rest of its existence. Either that, or recreate perfection, solely within its self, for its history, and what has led it to its now. But those irritants will yet remain.
And I began to wonder, what is strength? Is it forceful determination and absolute adherence to a path? Is it like brittle iron? Inflexible. Easily shattered. But…well, iron.
In martial arts, Lao Tzu is highly regarded. Almost 3,000 years ago, he had a few things to say…
“The supreme excellence is not to win a hundred victories in a hundred battles. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemies without even having to fight them. ”
“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.'”
“When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.”
When the infantile lord descends
To playing with his toys of war,
He must be resolutely answered
With a calm and firm rejection.
And should he kill and conquer,
Let him not revel in his hideous slaughter;
Let him not exult in extermination.
For he who delights in destruction
Shall never live in the Way of Nature.
Celebrate the living body of truth,
Mourn the madness that is power:
For power is the seat of appearances,
Where the dead figurehead resides.
Let a dirge of sorrow be sung
For the victorious commander-in-chief.
Lament as well the grievous slaughter he has wrought.
Fear gains its power through ignorance.
It’s a little surprising to me lately, reading more and more on Christianity and its more subtle effects. It’s good to see these things at last coming into the light. How Christianity teaches people that what we’re going through now is just a tiny bit of time when compared to all eternity. And the End Times are near. Although there is some great wisdom in this, there is also a propensity toward ill effect.
You see, it really doesn’t matter. Nothing does. We go to war, we have abundance, we have hunger – we cut down forests or pollute our rivers and oceans – poisoning our fish with industrial mercury so that it is even hazardous for us to eat.
It just doesn’t matter. We’re dead anyway. But glory and happiness will be there for us, forever after, once we’re dead.
The trouble is, people have been thinking that way for millenia. The End Times have always been coming. The Signs have always been there. We’ve always been just about ready to be taken away from this all in the great Rapture. Away from this mess that we’ve created. Away from ourselves. Away from any responsibility we have toward each other, and our future, as beings living together on a planet.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if these End Times – this Armageddon – was caused by these very lackadaisical attitudes?
Isn’t Christianity more about life, than death? More about forgiveness, than revenge? More about giving, than taking? More about truth, than deception? More about acting with thought and care toward the Creator’s works, than pointlessly destroying it? More about Love, than Hate?
How then, is our leader Christian?
Is it because he said, “I accept Jesus Christ as my personal saviour”?
I, who both believes, and disbelieves in Christianity, can say with certainty that I understand it better. Were I the leader, how is it that I could prove my faith by publicly condemning people who love each other and want to be married?
Are there no other ways – far more compelling ways, to demonstrate his piety? Far more relevant and profound ways to embody the words and teachings of Jesus Christ – who was the very embodiment of love and forgiveness upon the earth?
I have been unable to find anything whatsoever that demonstrates even the simplest of Christian principles.
But I have heard the noises of parrots, felt the pull of common fears, and perceived the tools of utilization and exploitation.
I have watched the Bush family’s business associates, in the Bin Laden’s – Osama – showing himself on television just before the election, personally taunting Bush before the people, saying how weak and useless he was – and that their organization would survive everything. If Osama thought Bush was weak – why would he say it? It’s best to have him in office. Is Osama that stupid? Not likely. From a tactical standpoint, this was brilliant for keeping Bush in office. That is good for Osama and their people. It’s important that we keep the nameless and neverending wars in the East going – not only for good profit, but well, we just have to prove every single bit of Orwell correct. At least I can give the President credit for his apt literary humour.
But I won’t digress to far into bitterness. I had hoped for more. I had hoped for more in a Democratic candidate as well. Is it really surprising that Bush was elected?
Kerry did not engage anyone on the level he was capable. He decided to go with the lowest common denominator – the people like Bush. He went to their level, and engaged them. Is it any wonder he lost?
We need inspiring. Some radical sweeping wonderfulness – a Vision, instead of a talking head.
Something that can set fire to people’s imaginations and hearts once again. That can motivate them to rise, in whatever way they do.
Instead, they entered into Bush’s little arena and waggled their sticks and gnashed their teeth together. Is it so surprising that Bush would be better at that?
The same few questions they approached, over and over again. The same answers, over and over again.
The media in the US is owned entirely by a very few. For example, NBC is owned by General Electric, which will be making hundreds of millions because of the War stuff – which is even a little scarey-er.
You can ask questions like, why during the public debates were no truly penetrating questions asked? There were like 10 or 15 questions that kept getting the same answer over and over again, with slightly different words.
And possibly most telling of all is why did no media services ever go and do any in-depth investigative reporting of what actually happened in Florida with the election between Bush and Gore? It was news in Europe, but not here…
The internet is very good at making a lot of things accessible that normally would not be. But we have to look elsewhere across the net than the big media outlets for information. Trouble is, there is a lot of nonsense out there, too.
From the “meta” perspective, stuff like the gay issue is just a great little thing to throw down into the middle of the huge sea of people to dazzle them, distracting them from more important things.
We rarely see anything of greater importance and relevance in media – it’s mostly just surfaces.
Capitalism is about power as much as it is about money. We can’t think that we’re free from many of the same fundamental problems inherent in any other form of government that has ever existed.
Awareness is very important. As are the small moves here and there that ripple out from it.
I don’t think we can depend on the accuracy of our awareness being provided by “traditional” sources.
I hope this doesn’t sound paranoid. In some ways this all seems quite natural, and predictable.
I am not a Democrat. Nor a Republican. I’m not fond of collectivist mentalities. They cause me to become suspicious. Real people tend to get buried and suffocated by the weight of Ideals and Positions.
I don’t think we should try to disqualify voters as much as possible, on technicalities. And certainly not with profound “accidents”. Convenient accidents and circumstances are another sign of the deceiver.
And why would people push so hard to make it unnecessary for electronic voting to print a hard paper record of each vote? Anyone who works with information systems knows that having no paper trail is not only stupid, it’s grossly negligent.
There are so many claims of voter fraud yet again in this past election. I don’t know how much of it is true. I can’t believe it’s possible. Yet neither could I believe we could be held indefinitely without trial and representation.
Exit poll data suggests that strange things were happening, particularly where electronic voting was being used. Thanks for this site Robert – it had the best representation. There were cerntaily many documented voting screwups. I don’t think this would change much of the actual total votes of the population, however – though this kind of fraud might have altered the electoral votes to cause Kerry to win.
There is an online petition asking Congressional members, many of whom are concerned, to investigate the practices during the 2004 election. Go ahead and fill it out – why not have them investigate – what could it hurt? But do fill it out and submit it – just to see what kind of thoughts start going through your head – what kind of fear it might generate…. 😉
Then ask, why? Ah, the simplest, yet most profound question.
I hope we will remember our humanity. To help each other. To try creating peace, rather than forcing issues. To believe, insanely as it seems, that love is more important than money. And in the broadest sense, duty. The Christian should believe that it all flows forth from love. And isn’t that the backbone, and the strength, of our great Christian Nation?
Not deception. Not appearances. Not duty. Not greed. Not power. Not right. Not wrong.
Love is honestly what sets Christianity apart.
And yet we fear, but have so much.
Where are the thinkers – the brilliant minds who founded this country? A place the world had yet to know? The philosophers, willing to break all molds, and bring hope to people? To work toward the good of people?
And thanks for the cartoon, Jus… 🙂