Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 128: My terrorists

Saw "Waiting for Superman" last night.

The road we're traveling leads off a cliff. The apathy about public education in this country is shameful. As Dub said: "Is our children learning?"

Yep. But what they are learning isn't how to build the world, but rather that a lot of people just don't care about anything except money. We're so short-sighted.

I always wonder where we let the terrorists win. Terrorists aren't always guys who fly planes into buildings. Sometimes they are people who bilk the system, or bribe the government to relax regulations so they can pollute our land, or make campaign pledges they don't keep.

But it doesn't even have to be that grand. My terrorists are all around me. They are you. Sometimes they are also me.

My terrorists aren't even grand enough to do something bold. Bill Maher was right about 9/11: those guys weren't cowards. Most terrorists are.

They are slowly killing us all. And doing so with the slightest, almost imperceptible moves. They are so stealth they do these things in plain sight and we shrug it off.

Ever seen someone throw a cigarette butt out of a car window? Sometimes those cause brushfires. Always they contribute to the despoiling of the air, soil and water. This is the only planet we've got. But everytime someone uses this place as an ashtray, they contribute to our ultimate demise.

How they get away with it -- like the banksters and the corporatists -- is by assuming that by the time anyone organizes and mobilizes to stop them, it will be long down the line and they'll be beyond it. It's a gamble, but one they know they are likely to win. Because we just sit and take it.

Let someone drive you down any major thoroughfare in this country. Make a point to look for the roadside trash dumped from passing vehicles. Now multiply that by every road in this country. Now think of the rest of the world, where it's very likely they don't even have the sort of cleanup crews we have here.

Think of the trash your casually create each week that magically gets hauled away. Where does it go?

Now think of the really obvious polluters: car emissions. Businesses. Think of the poison being dumped into the aquifers and soil by mineral rapists and profiteers. All so you can have more crap.

This circles back a bit to my minimalist interests. Consumerism's ugly partner is trash. Because ultimately these things you have to have become things you don't want or need any more, and since we are not efficient recyclers this becomes garbage.

My terrorists do all sorts of anti-social things that contribute to the inexorable breakdown of civilization. They cut in line. They carry on loud cell phone conversations. They clatter around next door, late at night, careless of their neighbors. They update their facebook status during movies. Or worse, talk. They let their dogs menace passerby, or roam untethered. They don't spay and neuter their pets. Which means feral cats, wild dogs and higher costs as cities are forced to spend more on animal control. Which not only raises our collective expenses but creates public health degradation.

They make decisions that are helpful to them, and don't care about you, and thus the idea of society and community are foreign. So they don't want to do their fair share, and they don't want to pay taxes, and they don't care if they already make more in a year than most people will make in a lifetime. They have millions. They want more. And they don't want to give back any of it, because they are selfish. These are my terrorists.

My terrorists believe in rights: THEIR rights. But if you are gay, or brown-skinned, or unable to afford medical insurance, they don't believe you should fight for the same rights they can afford. My terrorists are feudalists.

My terrorists may believe deep down that climate change exists, that they are being selfish for wanting to drive a 9-mpg SUV, but they deserve to be given leeway because they are so damn special. Let someone else pay for it. Let the poor people pay for it.

My terrorists talk a lot about God, but their God is money. Because God's a nice idea, but money actually provides tangible things. God didn't build that big house, that awesome HD TV, or those fake tits.

My terrorists. My kind of people.

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