CALLING THIS THE INFORMATION AGE IS WILDLY MISLEADING
THIS IS A TIME OF UNPARALLELED CHANGE, CONFUSION, CONTRADICTION, CORRUPTION, DISINFORMATION, DISTRACTION, OVERARCHING GREED, AND INABABILITY TO COPE
IT’S THE PARADOX AGE (headless chicken version)
I’m increasingly struck by the fact that despite this being a time when we have never had more answers available—partly, because thanks to the internet, we now have the tools to both find and implement these solutions—we seem to be getting ourselves into more and more of a mess without dealing with most of our problems. Instead, more and more of us seem to be rushing around like a bunch of headless chickens.
If you have never decapitated a chicken with a machete (I saw my step-father in action, and don’t recommend this particular killing technique) they can rush around for long moments in bloody aimless confusion before collapsing dead in a flurry of gore-sodden feathers.
It’s a superfluous expenditure of energy. As snipers like to say about their victims. “It’s pointless to run. You’ll only die tired.”
Much less messy, and more practical, is to wring a chicken’s neck—which I have done a number of times. Necessary though it was, I didn’t much like it. On of my chores as a child was to feed the hens on my grandmother’s farm in Ireland, and I grew rather fond of the things. There is something rather soothing about hens clucking away. I associate that farm with much happiness. It was located south of Dublin in Brittas Bay, County Wicklow. Yes, I know there are other Dublins—but we’re talking Ireland here.
But, I digress. Back to my main point.
- We have a hopelessly out of date constitution which palpably isn’t working—yet there is no discussion about changing it. Why, on earth, not?
- We profess to live in a representative democracy but most of us are no longer represented—and we really live in a plutocracy. That means rule by the rich for their benefit. It is scarcely a mystery. Elections are now bought in the most blatant way.
- We have never had more means of communication, yet it’s increasingly hard to get through to anyone by phone. In fact, it’s increasingly hard to get though to anyone—period. Ideology now wins out against facts—constantly. Rugged individualism defeats rationality nearly every time—and Americans are fiercely proud it.
- We purport to be drowning in information, yet most Americans are alarmingly ignorant of issues that are directly relevant to their lives.
- We are the richest country in the world, yet the earning power of most Americans is in decline—and tens of millions are on food stamps. Yet this catastrophic situation is rarely challenged in any fundamental way. It’s just the ways things are.
- We argue that we have the best economic system in the world—and advocate growth as the solution to most economic problems, yet China—which actually plans its economy—is growing about three times fast than us (and has done so for years).
- We profess to be the guardians of world peace, yet everywhere we go we spread carnage, chaos, and corruption (and we are the leading supplier of weaponry). Look at the current mess in Yemen which was recently touted as a success. We are contaminating countries wholesale.
- We spend twice as much on healthcare as any other developed nation, yet live sicker, die sooner, and—under most health criteria—rate last. Half of insured adults are on legal drugs. That should scarcely be a surprise. God alone knows what the other half are on.
- We eat more calories than anywhere else in the word—yet yet out Food Chain is deeply flawed and a truly alarming number of our fellows go hungry. Why do we find this acceptable? Have we no decency?
I could list such paradoxes for pages—but I believe my case is made.
I’m not sure that writing about it accomplishes anything—one can always hope—but it keeps me in writing trim.
And that is where my primary concern lies.
Still, I have to wonder where this extraordinarily reckless U.S. behavior—political, economic and military (Is there a difference?) will lead us. It’s spreading havoc on a global scale. It is not a case of good intentions gone wrong. A great deal of this is deliberate—pretty damn evil—and immensely profitable.
Actions have consequences. So does inaction.
Whether we are prepared to admit it or not—and the answer seems to be largely not—we have become systemically corrupt.
If we weren’t, we would act. By tolerating this, we become complicit.
We are complicit.
VOR words 752.