The question of are we amusing ourselves to death has never been more pertinent in a time when it seems like all in this nation that we the people used to value and cherish has severely eroded to a point where those erosions are not far from becoming permanent. This economy of shock therapy to the poor and working class that is slowly working its way past the middle class until it stops short of the top 1% should frighten anyone into organizing to defend their future and their children’s future. The policy in the Middle East that has produced a war of criminal aggression with no end, which is fueling the shock therapy of the U.S. economy and other shock therapies of economies all over the world, should be appalling especially in lieu of the fact that much of the policy’s “success” involves systematic torture.
We are a nation that has lowered our sights and allowed our leaders to subvert democracy by refusing to uphold the Constitution and allowing our elected leaders to not impeach a president or vice-president that commits war crimes in the morning, afternoon, evening, and late at night. This administration is the most impeachable administration in the history of America.
Are we amusing ourselves to death at a time when corporate control seems irreversible or are we amusing ourselves to death because we feel corporate control is irreversible?
There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that goes: “To know and not to do is not to know.” So many people aren’t trying to take on the corporate control in this nation that is fueling everything activists and concerned citizens of America are organizing against. It's corporate control that is entrenched in electoral campaigns for hope and change.
I signed up for a focus group that would put together a calendar of events for my college in 2008-2009. The events would focus around the broad topic of “Human/Nature.” A wide discussion was had over what human nature is, if human nature is genetic or learned, and what can we do to coexist in nature. The discussion grew into how we can use our art to bring a focus to the need for more changes in the way humans live in nature.
So many students wanted to fix our problems by asking Big Business to discount their products if you bought something eco-friendly or green from them. Many adults looking to go green instantly consider buying a product. The seeds are already being planted in the minds of the people and too many are thinking they need to consume more in order to save the planet.
It’s in our lifestyle. It’s in what we do. It’s in how we live. How we live and how we mentally think about the world that we move about in on a daily basis will determine whether or not future generations get to see the beauty of Earth.
In order to save this world we live in, we have to fight the corporate control.
For many who wish to become activists, they are interested in the quick victories. They want to claim them and build off those successes so that more and more people will join. That’s not going to work at a time when we need pioneers in this democracy to come together and take on the disconnect and disdain people have for the world we live in, which all stems from the corporate control.
We must struggle and fight the good fight knowing that fighting this good fight is doing what Americans did when they fought slavery and for women's and worker's rights.
Young people aren’t seeing the connections. Many have grown up and become acclimated to the corporate domination of America and would rather not take on the CEOs and Wall Street, which our government has allowed to encroach upon our nation’s democracy. This encroachment must be taken on if we are to get the changes we desire in this country.
We must end corporate personhood. But, you can’t do that if the candidates you agreeing to vote for won’t give attention to the issue of corporate personhood You can’t do that if people are constantly amusing themselves to death. If young people are updating their profile on Facebook or watching the third rerun of Friends or playing Madden or checking their MySpace or looking at lonelygrl15’s YouTube Channel.
Ralph Nader stopped by Chicago and in his speech issued a clarion call to young people in America:
“Update your profile on Facebook some more before we wake up and take back our country. I see a lot of young people from DePaul and other colleges and I wonder about them. I wonder about them. They’re sensitive. They want a better country. But, how do they use their time? Your generation listens to music six times more than our generation. Six times. There’s only 24 hours in a day. Text messaging. Cell phones. Where are you? Where are you a minute later? Where are you five nanoseconds later? Gossip. Silly talk. Trivial talk---while your future’s being torn from you. You’re heading into your twenties. Your twenties are the most creative decade of your life. You’ll be more wise and you’ll have better judgment, experience in your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties we hope. But it’s in your 20s when you’re the pioneers---when you develop the vectors of what you want to do in life, what kind of impact you want to have in this world. Don’t waste your twenties trying to get over personal hang ups you should have taken care of in your teenage years. It’s a creative decade. You gotta rebuild democracy again, remodel it, renovate it. It’s been shredded---especially for the last 25 years.”
Let’s ask ourselves who’s saying no to the things we want. The answers to those questions will reveal who or what we the people need to put the pressure on in order to get the nation we want to live, raise kids, and grow old in.
My fellow young Americans (and old because it's never too late to defend democracy or our Constitution)---We’ve gotta rebuild democracy. We’ve gotta run for office and be on the school boards, parks & recreation departments, city councils, and move on upwards from there. We’ve gotta make our presence felt at town hall meetings nationwide.