There is No Bad Experience for a Writer: The Reality of the Times

I must credit the title of this short essay to a friend of mine whose health I am currently deeply concerned about. In fact, he is a man who is not unlike a mentor to me. I should also explain clearly that he cannot be accused of implanting any of the thoughts beyond the title in my grey matter. This is me just grabbing a ball that was thrown my way and running with it; or perhaps it is more akin to sauntering vaguely Westward like an owl with a broken wing and a dead mouse in one claw. Perhaps I should be skipping happily Eastward instead, merely being happy to be alive. But that could be explored in the future, assuming my mortal coil and the remains of the dead rodent I bear retain enough nutrients and calories to repair my broken wing. Yeah, the wing will likely heal.

As you may have guessed by now, the meat of the subject at hand is politics, economics, life, death, pain, suffering, and finally hope. It is surely the job of a gifted wordsmith to describe their understanding of their perceptions of the times as well as they are able for the posterity of history and progression of human thought and action; or at the very least to assess the current health of society at large. Unfortunately, I could not find a gifted wordsmith, so I feel compelled to write this rather trivial piece of literature myself instead.

We are currently living in an illusory global financial emergency and an actual, yet not fully acknowledged global environmental melt-down. Even first world countries are currently being cannibalized by regional and world powers through finance or war. There is general material instability among the vast majority of the world’s populace and total lawlessness in some places; Somalia is a good example of this. Then there is also the ever-present vexation of actual starvation for far too many.

Probably more importantly, there is a proliferation of conventional and nuclear weapons; which may actually make our species susceptible to near catastrophic global annihilation. The threat of nearly global nuclear destruction has surely been perceived to be more likely in the past. Yet this threat remains, and has become a part of everyday life that is nearly a joke for the simple reason that there is nothing anyone thinks they can do about it. A wise man once said to me: “Sometimes [Impartial Juror], you’ve got the choice of either laughing or crying.” He always laughed after repeating this anti-platitude. So perhaps it is healthy that we can laugh about it; but it doesn’t mean we should merely brush off the danger as if it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I will always be grateful for this wisdom that was passed on to me, and laughing.

Americans live in a society where a nearly half of the population simply lives from one paycheck to another, and a third are near bankrupt. Under such circumstances there is surely going to be some inordinately common and serious social turmoil in essentially all of our lives. Only the most well-to-do are able to avert such serious situations as possible evictions, divorces, addictions, physical illness, mental illness, or even actual starvation.

It is during these times of turmoil that many of our elected officials find the audacity, excuses, and audience that will support their policies of regressive tax policies and cuts in social welfare programs despite the clear evidence that such policies are actually counterproductive. How do they do it? The short answer is that they divide and conquer through manipulation using fear and intimidation. The long answer is a different article entirely.

Should it be any surprise that it seems like everyone knows somebody who is absolutely in complete crisis? Somebody  who has had or is having part if not all of their world shaken so violently that the magma at the center of their planet is in danger of exploding out of the globe and destroying an overwhelming amount of their health, security, and happiness? And who is benefiting from all this misery? Is the answer not most assuredly that the global elite are the only ones profiting from this suffering?

With that in mind, I admit that I too am a part of this shared, sustained, national trauma.  It has become an accepted part of life in our society that, not out of callousness, but out of sheer necessity, nearly everyone is jumping from crisis to crisis trying to manage situations that are often inevitably unmanageable, forcing us to leave some behind.

This sort of lifestyle takes a toll on people. The effects have become evident in every community in this nation. We must bring this to an end. We have to make this rock bottom and rise again. If we don’t take action soon, I fear we will not have the resources or freedom to act at all. In fact, we need to take action yesterday ladies and gentlemen. I have some ideas, and they will be forthcoming in future posts.

All that said, I must admit that it’s good to have something to write about. There is no bad experience for a writer, just material. I think my pal is right about that. Though I wish the material at hand was more positive.

So, let’s inject some positivity into this post in the form of a song about a woman, a single brave woman who made a difference. Let us not forget that we all can. Furthermore, alone we can make waves, and together we can move oceans.

This woman had the determination we have lacked, the passion we should be adhering to, and the kind of courage we need, Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones. Her story always gives me strength and resolve, and Ani Difranco has paired up with Utah Phillips to write an inspiring song about her. It encourages me and gives me a sense of hope for humanity whenever I listen to it. It reminds me that if she alone could make so much of a difference, together, we can make all the difference in the world. So, without further ado, let’s listen to a song about the most dangerous woman in the world! May Day is coming!

“The Network,” the Inevitable Destruction of Us, and Our World Unless We Change Our Ways


As Jürgen Habermas explained, the ‘lifeworld’ of everyday social and moral action and interaction has now been long subdued by the ‘systems world’ of the free market and money.  It was true in the 1970’s when “the Network” was first written and it is more true each day that we allow money and power to dictate our actions instead of our mutual interest in each other, morality, and preservation of our world.  Am I getting through to anyone?  Trees are real.  Rocks are real.  Thoughts are real.  Emotions are real.  You are real.  Power isn’t real.  Money isn’t real.  Money and power are figments of your imagination, they exist only insofar as you think they do.

The fiat currency system and the focus on percentage-based economic growth foisted upon us by those devils we call companies, governments, economists, advertisers, and capitalists is destroying our world, our cultures, our societies, and it will eventually destroy us.  The cycle of endless consumption to continue economic growth cannot continue forever.  Planned obsolescence is a great example of this.

If you don’t think corporations are that evil then ask yourself how long your next computer will last.  Two to four years if you are lucky.  Ask yourself how long your next operating system will last.  Two to four years if you are lucky.  Ask yourself how long each part on your car will last.  Ask yourself how long your next cellphone will last.  Ask yourself how long your next video game console will last.  Ask yourself how long your next TV will last.  Ask yourself how long tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, and mini-discs lasted; and how long will Blu-Ray discs last.  Why is it cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy a new ink cartridge?  Why is it nearly impossible to refill an ink cartridge rather than replace it?  Why do we continue to use fossil fuels when solar power, wind power, and ocean currents could easily supply us with all the energy we need for the rest of eternity if properly researched and managed.

Profit and greed are the primary motivations of our individualistic, adolescent, greedy society.  Why do you think George W. Bush told us to not worry, suggesting we instead that we go out and shop after 9-11.  Well, he did want us to worry, (or it wouldn’t have happened) but he also wanted us to continue to consume.  The masses couldn’t figure it out in the 1970’s.  We can only hope that they will be able to figure it out before it is too late.  Perhaps the continued degradation of the chain of life is more easily recognizable now.  I will keep trying to point it out.

Stop worrying about yourselves and your money.  It is all an illusion.  There is only us, the one interconnected system of life called Gaia, and we are being killed by the systems world with our willing participation after being brainwashed by a group of short-sighted, greedy, capitalist elites who want to be served like kings for eternity by the rest of the population.

We live in an age where, because of our advanced technology, we could all live in comfort and easily only work 2-4 hours each day.  But our endless desire for more stuff, largely generated by advertisers, is necessary to prop up an unsustainable economic model and is requiring two people to work 40 hours each week to just barely scrape by in each household.  Unemployment isn’t the problem.  The idea that everyone should be employed and working 40 hours a week is the problem.  The fact that we allow the capitalist class to take 90% of the profit from the work we do is the problem.

We live in an age of technological progress and increased production that could allow us to use the vast majority of our time to sit and think, make art, enjoy the company of our loved ones, explore space, explore consciousness, and work on even better technology that would allow us to work even less while producing even more efficiently; yet we live in perpetual fear that a machine will take our job away instead of make it (and our lives) easier.  Wake up America.  If we don’t change our ways soon the dream will surely be dead.