“TURN, TURN, my wheel (world); all things must change,
To something new, something strange,”
‘Keramos’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 –1882)
When I was a young boy, reality was everywhere: it was in the trees, the Cardinals and Blue Jays, the bluest sky and clean air that filled your lungs and made your heart leap. Reality lingered in the tufts of cauliflower clouds, even though a freckled-faced boy of 10 imagined them to be pinches of cotton candy. When you first woke up in the morning as a young lad, you knew what was real outside your window. And you could simply experience the bright colors and images of the day without the need to question one damned thing. Not even the powerful-throated Cicada’s that sang the sleepy whirring, whirring, whirrrrrrrr…………..in late summer afternoons. There was no need to interpret or cipher anything at all (how lucky could we get?).
You knew the birds, the green and blue and red dragonflies floating on the warm mist of morning, and the guttural sounds of neighbors, banging their car doors as they prepared for maybe an arduous drive to work, squinting with little slits for eyes or as they tried their best to avoid the new sun’s rays. All these things were but a few of the gatherings your senses made and stored to prove once again that you were fully alive (sorry or switching to first person, but I wanted my thoughts to suddenly be more personal). That we all were fully able to function as human beings based upon all of our previous experiences with few crutches, even from the grownups. These things, these cerebral data entries became a glorious data file of our very own exclusive and individual reality, a part of the “collective unconscious”, and it felt like, yes, you, I (we) were a part of the earth. We all were Huckleberry Finns back then. See, we were the human race, and we knew stuff back then.
Nowadays in the early 21st century, mornings for most of us earthlings begin with some R2D2 electronic beeps and some digital language on a small thin LCD rectangle that is the face of your cellphone. We respond with crab-walking our big fingers on the small piece of glass, while magnetic pulses and transistors inside conjure up the images that are our new world of electronic interchange, and the ritual puts us back in touch with the whole wide world (if you like or maybe just your girlfriend on her way to work in heavy traffic, ugh, or maybe just a little something somebody said to demonize Obama for his presidential failure in Benghazi (and even the Huffington Post is piling on him now as he sort of wussy-like admits to some errors). Well, did you ever? All this so (to borrow a book title from the great Aldous Huxley) you can keep up with things in this “Brave New World.” You swerve a bit as you watch the phone out of the corner of your eye while maybe braking hard (your breath stops as abruptly) so you don’t misjudge the other cars doing the same crab-walk of distraction with their phones in their laps and alternating glances up and back down, as vehicles gently weave from side to side in their own lanes, and nobody misses a thing.
Behind the scenes things are happening inside your phone, in your electronic world of software and programs that will update themselves continuously. Inside your cell phone new software updates await the touch of your finger to change everything and to make it all better. The good news is you don’t have to remember to do anything. When data and software become obsolete (or for some other mysterious unknown reason in the cyber world of our new passivity in Time in our very own Universe) programs will change and replace the old with the new. Such a deal. The bad news is that perhaps we become either too dependent or too lazy when we allow our computers to take over some of the basic human functions that used to be such a big part of our lives.
And speaking of more data than one can possibly digest and process, the more confounded life seems to become. We expedite. We scan data instead of seeking to comprehend messages. We study and digest mostly nothing. We don’t check anything out for its authenticity. We succumb to the said warm blanket phrases of political messages, not the content, not the truth within. We become a collective failure of ourselves. We stop questioning messages for authenticity.
Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels understood human nature best. “The more something is repeated, everyone will soon embrace it as TRUTH.” We lose our pedigree as thinking human beings. If it sounds good, go with it. The masses will buy it. Embrace people like George W. Bush (with a 92 IQ) as a cool leader because, wait for it………………………”he is the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with.” Mass confusion based upon lies bought with the most dollars for the best result and for the big money becomes our new truth. It’s amazing. Goebbels was right. You can get anybody to believe whatever lies you repeat enough. Even that Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden to crash our airplanes into the Twin Towers. And you repeat it enough times as America’s blood runs hot for revenge, and all the reason and logic gives way to ignorance. And you attack the country that not only did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction pointed at America’s cities (like Bush said in his State of the Union speech) but never hung out with or hated Osama bin Laden. And not only were there no WMDs pointed at American cities, there were no WMDs period. You buy all that because a little voice inside screams for revenge. In the immortal words of Rummy Rumsfeld: “Iraq is the better target for the US to attack.” Is it just me or do we have a reality problem here in the United States? Did we listen real good to the question of who we should attack for attacking us on 9/11 and why? Was it that difficult to understand that the Bush administration was lying to the people about Saddam Hussein’s involvement (or complete lack thereof) in killing over 3000 Americans in New York City, a field in Pennsylvania, and in Washington DC?
Was America’s thirst for blood that insane? No one seemed to care in this Brave New World Order. But I did. And so did Richard Clarke who said that all the warnings ahead of 9/11 about Middle Eastern males were unheeded by Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, or any other of the White House bozos at the time. And did anyone ever have to answer for their incompetence? Nope. Did anyone, including the 92 IQ president ever have to stand tall and answer how we were going to finance such a long war of shock and awe and endless occupation for the longest war ever in America’s history? In the litmus paper test of Reagan are we better off? In what way? What BS. And this Brave New World Order did not require an accounting of how we would pay for this war when our national debt was over 10 trillion dollars at the time, did it? Or how we would finance it and pay for our uniformed troops who Bush found necessary to send and retour countless times in an endless and mad occupation of Iraq.
So Karl Rove went to work to find an avenue to justify to the taxpayers of the need for us to borrow and spend another $3 to $4 trillion in the eight years of the Bush presidency. You can smell the stench of Bush justification for borrowing and spending and eventually bankrupting America all the way to the North and South poles.
Drum roll, please…………………………………
Shame Congress into paying for the extraordinary war costs by phrases such as, “What are you going to do? Abandon the troops? Refuse to allot money for the wars? Give them second-class gear and weapons so that maybe they will not be safe? Get killed, maybe? The rhetoric worked. Each time Congress was to vote on appropriation monies or the war these Rovian phrases would come out of the mouths of GW Bush and other key Republicans who knew exactly what they were doing. You can finance a whole occupation of another country by guilt. Millions killed and maimed, but does anybody show outage? And back then the White House did not need to submit the required funds as a part of the Budget. They could request billions of dollars “off-budget” and Congress would approve it without any waiting. Congressmen had to get re-elected also, and you can bet your bottom dollar none of those fine, upstanding gentlemen dared challenge supporting the troops. Even if we had to borrow all the way up to $18 trillion in National Debt to achieve such a state of madness that will live on with us forever. So our budget ran up another few trillion dollars thanks to the idiocy of those White House bums and our silent selves, afflicted with lockjaw at that time. We were on an unspoken mission of revenge and forgot all about truth and reason, doncha think? The Bush regime played us like a fiddle. So the next time someone tells you that both parties are all the same just remember the party and the president that lied and dug a bottomless hole of Debt for us to deal with.
Remember too, the majority party just elected in both spouses last November. And how the majority Republican House of Representatives began this New Year, 2015 with their long knives unsheathed and hacking Social Security benefits for the millions of us commoners who depend upon Social Security for the remaining years of our lives. Check it out all you voters who believe that the GOP is on your side. Brace yourselves for the ongoing butchery of people programs by the Neocon Long Knives as they continue to try to starve working families by cutting, bludgeoning, and killing federal programs that benefit the large majority of Americans.
(To be continued next time)