Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Footlong Hot Dogs of the Apocalypse

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Must Read 1   Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 7/1/12

Become a Fan
  (46 fans)

Almost exactly ten years ago, in June of 2002, my wife and I were driving through Colorado, on our way from Los Angeles to New York City. In the early afternoon, while paused to tank-up our Toyota Corolla, at a massive convenience store/self-service gas island that boasted of "two-for-the-price-of-one, One and One Half Footlong Hot Dogs," we watched a family of six emerge from a late model, oversized pickup truck, proceed into the store, and return with a bounty of hot dogs and super-gulp soft drinks.

A few minutes later, we passed their vehicle on Interstate 70, and I remarked to my wife on the connection between oversized consumer goods, oversized people, and the oversized amount of greenhouse gases trapping heat in the atmosphere. I queried, "Do you think they would even look up from their titanic hot dogs, if the world before them ignited into flames?"

After a few more minutes, my question was answered when a series of wildfires (very much like the ones that are scorching Colorado to ash and cinder, as I write these words) began to close in on our periphery.

Stunningly, mortifyingly, the answer to my question was, no. The occupants of the pickup proceeded straight through the screen of wafting smoke without averting their gaze from their gigantic snack food. When the world is on fire and a people refuse to take note " we're apt to find ourselves in a bit of a fix.

People, I have seen the Footlong Hot Dog of the Apocalypse. Apparently, the end of the world, as we know it, comes with your choice of condiments.

Often, when walking the streets and avenues of New York, one is forced to dodge a fellow pedestrian who walks directly into one's path as he/she stares distracted into the screen of some electronic appliance. There have been times when I have stopped in my tracks at the approach of one of these mindless denizens of the Cult of Endless Distraction as he/she has walked head-on into me.

At times, they evince an aura of victimhood " feeling an injustice has transpired, because I fail to clear a path for them. Their trope of entitlement is delivered thus, "Why didn't you get out of my way. " You saw me coming."

"Yes, but didn't you notice yourself proceeding," I reply.  At this " a blank stare " as if I had just posited some fragment of arcane law, adhered to by some alien race lost to time.

Indulge me in the following digression: In the (failed) attempt to create a republic, the early U.S. aristocracy deemed and codified into law that property rights were paramount to human rights " that self-interest would, as a rule, proceed before public good. Later, the age of advertising introduced the notion that instant gratification trumps self-awareness.

The combination of these two principles have engendered a series of generations of consumers (the practice of citizenship barely exists, at present) for whom the concept of civil engagement is so obscure that, for these sorts, sharing a city sidewalk seems a task too complicated to envisage.

"I was born here and I'll die here against my will/ I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still/ Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb/ I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from/ Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer/ It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."

--Not Dark Yet | Bob Dylan


When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate. -- Ca by Creative Commons

Individually and en masse, U.S. citizens are checked-out, lost, possessed by inertia or manic jags of distraction, feelings of hopelessness and powerless rage, and are desperate for some kind of quick fix " as if that were even possible. For example, why else would so many be addicted to unhealthy corporate food, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications? Why are so many so desperate for relief from reality itself?

One reason: There exists a void of purpose, both communal and personal; a keening hollowness that becomes present when a person has been rendered by circumstance bereft of the belief that life can be resonant with meaning " that he is in possession of a unique destiny. The concept has been lost that one's life is a fascinating question that is addressed to the world -- and it is imperative that one quests for answers.

The tragedy is that too many look to their exploiters for answers. Those who insist on dwelling in an ad hoc architecture of denial -- as flimsy as the prefab edifices of this Strip Mall Nation, as empty as the soul-devoid rooms of a McMansion -- conjure disaster, and those who evince a noxious innocence (when no adult is innocent in a blood-sustain empire) become monsters.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

http://www.philrockstroh.com/

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: phil@philrockstroh.com. Visit Phil's website: http://philrockstroh.com/ or at FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000711907499

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Americans Are So Easily Conned

Police State Blues: "Our rights do not end where the caprice of authoritarian bullies begins."

The Great Dismal: "What we speak becomes the house we live in"

Against the Tortured Logic of Obama's Placebo Presidency: A Call for the Audacity of Hopelessness

Reclaiming The Commons: Human Lessons in the Era of Corporatism and Perpetual War

A Day In A Dying Empire: An intimate fable on current events

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your he... by Phil Rockstroh on Sunday, Jul 1, 2012 at 12:20:46 PM
"A mighty hotdog is our Lord."... by steveswimmer on Sunday, Jul 1, 2012 at 4:40:52 PM
  I think this article you are less funn... by Theresa Paulfranz on Sunday, Jul 1, 2012 at 6:27:17 PM