Thursday, November 24, 2016
What is humanity's future beyond the safety of Earth?
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
And, night has fallen.
The light of reason and hope ebbs and so begins a long, dark night of hatred, fear and hopelessness. A night of walls, of bigotry and fear and "extreme vetting." Of hating the outsider in trying to make ourselves feel greater.
A step has been taken backward. Back toward reversing a woman's right to control her life. Back toward reversing marriage equality and relegating an entire group of people to an assigned caste of perpetual inferiority and alienation.
Families may be torn asunder, chasms may widen between nations and religions. But, will our nation endure? Will we still recognize it...and, each other...when the long dark night is over?
And, when will it be over? Can darkness endure forever? Hatred does. War does. Bigotry does. How much more easily those things come to the human heart than love. How much more easily to the human mind than reason.
So easy to revel in our own hatred. Love of war. Love of torture. Hatred of the outsider. Are these our creeds now? Will any of our soul or national character survive in the cold, deepening shadow of a wall that blocks out the sunlight of hope?
All talk now is of healing and reconciliation. Is that even possible in a regime that has fed and grown on division, fear and hate? That depends on these things to continue to grow and prosper? That would fill its ranks with those that would widen the gulf between authority and community? That would move the law backwards while half the country longs to move forward? Can we even try or want to support our elected leader if his goals include only more division, more fear, more inequality and more hatred? When the leader's goals conflict with those of half the governed, then where does healing begin?
The protest marches have already begun. Will they dissipate, or spark violent counter-protests, a taste of which we've already seen throughout the exhausting election behind us?
This election was spawned by a complete lack of hope. By a blind desire for change at any cost. Like the foolish frogs of Greek myth who demanded a king. Zeus gave them a log for a king, because it did no harm, and they were outraged in their boredom. "Give us a king who does something," they cried, and Zeus gave them a crane for a king. As the crane devoured them, they begged to have the log back. But, it was too late.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
If a tree falls and no one is there to hear, does it make a noise? And, if historic events fall on deaf ears and uncaring minds...is history made at all?
We stand now at a crossroads of history. In a tiny march of days, either we'll have the first female president in U.S. history, or...we go backwards, perhaps. We succumb to cynicism, hatred and complete and utter loss of faith in our system and our way of life. "Make America Great Again," is the rallying cry of the madman leading the opposition to reality. No specific date is offered as to when exactly America stopped being great. Though, one suspects that crowd sees it as the day we elected a black president. That was the day they started dressing up in colonial Halloween costumes and screaming about the Constitution. Something they never seem to give a damn about when phones are being tapped or people are being tortured in secret prisons. Only when a black man sits in the White House. They compared Obama with Hitler, supposedly because they didn't like his healthcare plan. A convenient way to vent their racist fury without admitting (even to themselves perhaps) the true source of their anger. Obama's election was a moment in history they desperately tried to drown out with background static and period costumes. They wanted to bury the true meaning of that election with petty grievances that couldn't in a million years elicit such fury with a white president at the center of it.
So it is now with this election. The fact we could have our first female head of state is buried under petty gripes about emails and dusty law files. The election of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Presidency could be a moment in history, yet the forces of reaction, cynicism and moral despondency insist on seeing it as "more of the same". "Business as usual." They have lost faith in America's system of government, so they would elect a brutish clown, a testosterone-driven Neanderthal who plays on their fear and hatred of the outsider. Their fear of the future most of all. Those who embrace Donald Trump as the symbol of yesterday's American dream revitalized...the white, cigar-chewing, swaggering, arrogant dominant male American dream... are like children afraid of change, afraid of growth, afraid of the future. They want to escape into the past. More than that, they simply refuse to acknowledge that they live and breathe a moment of American history. Our first woman President. They don't dare to see her that way. They hide behind cheap shots and name-calling rather than see the bigger picture.
That's not to say we should want to elect just any woman to the presidency, of course. But, it does mean something. It means we as a people haven't given up on the future. It means we can take a step forward, as we did with Obama. It means we haven't given up hope in the capacity of societies to grow and improve.
The Trump campaign is rebellion against reality. Against the future. Against our maturation as a people and as a nation. Adolescent escapism in the form of a misogynistic, racist, dirty old man out of the past. Trump feeds our darker angels, our fear and bigotry and xenophobia and misogyny, yet he hides it skillfully behind locker room insolence and petty gripes. With him, the angry white male gets to indulge his hatred without really acknowledging it. The enemy is always external, always in the ill-defined form of rigged systems and nameless, faceless corruption. It's never about race or gender.
But, let's face it: It damn well always is. What happens next will, one way or the other, change the course of history. The question is, will anybody notice?
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