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Let it Play Out

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Author 64732
Message BK Faunce

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The spectre of America struts across the world stage unencumbered by the sweat of children laboring for scraps in Oakland and Ferguson and Pennsylvania, PA. She heeds them not, stumbling, sickly. Her guns adorn her, head to toe, cocked and loaded, her missiles aimed.

For there has never been a connection. It's simply more obvious now. And no one who had witnessed such a perverse parade of privilege could not help but notice the ever-widening gyre-like breech between the fashionably accessorized and the unkempt crowds kept safely at a distance.

On one side, military police and private security armed with rubber bullets, tear gas, stun guns, sound cannons and guard dogs. On the other, peaceful water protectors.

What say ye, gov't of, for and by the people?

The gov't of, for and by the people says ... "let it play out."

Let it play out? Seriously?

Translation: the gov't of, for and by the people will continue to allow militarized police and private security to brutalize constitutionally-protected protestors because, well, that's how "democracy" works in America. f*ck you and the rule of law. Corporations are the new reality, and those who lack commitment will see the light. So sayeth the phony harbinger of hope-y change.

And the rabble come and go talking of Brangelina and of Flo.

And of car wrecks and of dough.

And of health care and the jobs that are no more.

Example: the corporate elites make demands -- say, more cuts in social services. Huge numbers of people depend on those services, so they protest. If the protests go public, get some attention, the people involved are met with extraordinary levels of state-sponsored violence. Game over. The people lose. The corporate elites win -- tax breaks for businesses, cuts to social security, gutting government regulations, increased funding for weapons, etc. etc. etc.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Staten Island. Flint. Bakersfield. Waco. Boston. Miami.

Don't think so?

Check out the situation at Standing Rock. The issue there is control of resources -- not to mention (don't laugh) the US gov't honoring its contractual obligations to indigenous people. But imagine for a second that the issue is important to you and to your community. Your water quality. Your air quality. The quality of your food. Imagine some corporate entity wanted to run an oil pipeline through your part of the country. Imagine, further, that they wanted to build it adjacent to the river that supplies drinking water for your children. Would you be concerned? Would you feel better if this corporate entity went elsewhere with its pipeline? Would you want alternatives discussed? Green energies investigated?

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BK Faunce is a retired Associate Professor of English (UMW / UCSC) specializing in British Romantic Literature, Film Theory and Writing. His recent work examines the use of state power and its impact on visual culture.

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