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July 18, 2011

Some Mid July Musings

By Dave Lefcourt

Some mid July musings. Was it always this way in America? Something seems different. There's a disconnect and indifference to those in need. It shouldn't be this way.


What is it with people and dogs? They seem to care inordinately for their dogs while ignoring the plight of people, notably those in need, the unemployed, in foreclosure, bankruptcy or the homeless.

It's as if it's their fault, (those who are in desperate need) that they only have themselves to blame for their current plight.

Where is the compassion, empathy and the realization it could be them (those in condescending indifference and contempt for those in need) rather than having sympathy for those who have fallen into the cracks and in unfortunate circumstances.

Was it always this way? Not having lived during the 1930's depression, it is difficult to know how people felt for those in need during those times.

One imagines however, with so many millions suffering a similar plight of unemployment, loss of house and home and destitution during those times there was a greater understanding and a definite empathy for such people.

Of course the rich would never be included with the "masses" as the former have always been (and continue to be) shielded and removed from those in unfortunate circumstances. But what of the middle class today, those with jobs who are able to pay the mortgage and other bills and adequately managing their affairs? What of their attitudes?

Those in the gentrified parts of cities (at least in Washington, D.C. where this writer is somewhat familiar) they seem immune from the ravages of the "great recession", walking confidently, exercising diligently, seemingly secure and above those who are suffering around them. They have their dogs on leashes, plastic bags at the ready waiting patiently to clean up for their pet's droppings.

  It just seems while observing these rituals that the dogs seem more important to these people than those around them who are in need and are suffering.

Are these just imagined musings of a retired old codger and curmudgeon casting aspersions at the scrubbed late 20's to early 40's something's?

From here they do appear an entitled bunch, never having faced a military draft and most likely never contemplating enrolling in the military. Since Congress ended the practice in the early 1970's it has only been those in rural areas and the inner cities, through economic need or some patriotic desires or machismo (misguided as that may be) who volunteer to fight our unnecessary wars.

It just seems we're disconnected and indifferent from one another.

We inhale the same air but we're separate and unequal. What has occurred in the Arab world (and is still happening in Syria, Libya, Yemen et al) seems unimaginable in this country. Where in those countries there has been solidarity and connection to those in their midst, we in this country have insularity and disconnection from each other. Where those in rebellion used the technological innovation of "Facebook" to connect and unite with others we seem engrossed in innocuous text messaging or inane cell phone conversations in complete disregard for others within hearing distance.

So are these musings of some cultural chasm or just meaningless ramblings that add up to nothing of any significance?

Here in the U.S. there seems to be a social tranquility when there ought to be resistance and rebellion against the plutocrats and oligarchs who reign supreme and control the country.

Instead there's a suffering in silence by those in dire need while the rest go about their business as if everything is tranquil, serene and in passive indifference.

Meanwhile our elected sycophants engage in debt ceiling food fights that focus on cutting social security, Medicare and Medicaid, limiting unemployment benefits and the rest of the social safety net while ignoring our bloated defense spending, funding unnecessary wars, giving tax breaks for the rich and sending billions in refunds to the likes of G.E. and other mega corporations.

Sadly when it all eventually unravels and crumbles, most here won't even know how and why it happened. Simply amazing!      

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