I hope everyone had a good holiday. I spent mine in bed with a fever. Seems I am very susceptible to catching whatever is passing around and that is why I am supposed to wear a mask. I found myself in a crowded Trader Joes without my mask and sure enough some lady who was coughing and wheezing decided to let loose just as I was passing by. I ran from her, but it was too late. I was burning up Monday night and all day Tuesday. I just recovered around midnight after a day spend mostly sleeping. I am wide awake now at 3 am and wonder if anything is open.
I am thinking of that John Lennon song, “War is Over” they sang it on Colbert report the other night, very festive and appropriate political message, wars are still going on and seem to be accepted as normal as long as they are far away and don’t affect us personally. The war that is affecting people in the US is the atrocities committed by gun toting suicidal maniacs who are looking for glory in carnage, why is a good question, simply bored with life? As one girl sniper said after shooting up an elementary school “No more boring Mondays” that was way back around 1980. The US has been under assault by the gun ever since the Texas Tower shooting back in the mid sixties, but these are only the most noteworthy killings, certainly gang warfare in the inner cities has taken its toll and these schools now do have armed guards, metal detectors and limited access, a far cry from when I went to school and smuggling in our underground newspaper was as exciting as it got. The problem is the proliferation of guns in America and the fear mongering that goes with it. Underlying causes are the economic disparities and the sense among poorer classes that they have been left out of the American Dream. That sense of being left out has recently hit the middle classes and in despair some people turn to their guns to express their hopelessness in the face of huge debts, unemployment and a sense among whites especially of a loss of entitlement, It is as if white folks can’t get over the fact that a black President is the image of America and instead of embracing multiculturalism they reject and sulk and come out shooting in the most extreme cases.
Some of my radical friends have given up on white people in general. They see them as totally lost in consumerism and buying into the capitalist carrot and stick, but that is an oversimplification and ultimately leads nowhere. What is required is a general consciousness razing, something that can be done in the schools where many professors can present to students alternatives especially older returning students. Especially if they are not simply taking trade courses.
Generally as the squeeze on the middle classes gets more intense people will have to reevaluate what they want out of a social contract. We are not here to serve the state, the state is here to serve us. Perhaps a less militaristic America, with a greater budget going to social services would be a start. Certainly we cannot go on as the dominant military force in the world without our society suffering. With domestic oil production now growing, there is a change to pull back from the excessive dependence on the Military to protect the sea lanes and promote American Corporate values, and return to a more main street oriented society that is less militaristic.