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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Vanishing Present

For all intents and purposes, the origin of the word present is usually not an issue, but when we look into the back story of this particular word, it is ironic that it conveys a bit of a mystery. Pre-sent, reeks of fate and the benevolence of either a Creator or a mediator between the cornucopia of life and our hand. In the days of fealty, it was required that each and every servant knew whose house they were under. The divine right of kings was unquestionable above all else. The mediators, between the hand of "god" and man not only had the best maps, but the legions of society stacked in their favor. Might made right and elements who still believe in this medieval anachronism have been taking us to the cleaners ever since. The popular uprising that they confront today is many-fold more educated, many-fold more cohesive and many-fold more disparate than they have ever countered in the past.
the continuous din of naysayers seems to stretch to the horizon, but the sea change of public discourse is crumbling the foundational beliefs in the ancient farce.

The internet, combined with rigorous study and basic common sense has created a situation where most people born today will know more by age ten than many ever learned in their lives. Of course there are those who have for one reason or another have fallen through the cracks, but those who desire knowledge are finding less and less hurdles between ourselves and information. as is depicted in the classic Monty Python scene, "How do you know it was the King?"
"He ain't got crap on him." seems to be turning itself on it's head. The "kings" of our day are getting dirtier and dirtier and their illegal maneuvers are leaving traces across the web, throughout worldwide financial systems and ultimately our pocketbooks. It seems the the characters in the movie Office Space have been eclipsed by those who seek to fry much bigger fish.

I, for one, am happy that their reign is nearing the end. The revolution that is not being televised is unfolding so quickly as to dwarf social changes brought about by The Pill, LSD and The Summer of Love combined. Tune in, turn on, drop out  may have been the rallying cry of the second to the last generation, the Gen X-ers may have had John Mayer's Waiting for the World to Change as their anthem, but today, five generations are rising up to say no to continued exploitation by the lords of capital. "Take this job and shove it" is given real meaning when six or thirty million people walk away from the job market disillusioned and longing to share their skills for a fair wage. The extreme measures being undertaken by the super rich of the world are disgraceful. At once they claim to have discovered the genie in the bottle that can save our way of life, if we all just polish it a little harder, or longer. The theory of austerity rests on the idea that if we let the ultra-wealthy keep just a bit more of their hard earned wealth, they will let more crumbs fall to us.

The severe cuts worldwide into scientific study leave us with a massive black hole where data should be to help us make better decisions about the best course forward. Instead, funding has gone away and the public is saddled with having to try to make up for lacking information as best they can. Just try to find satellite imagery from the North Pacific since Fukushima and you will find the lengths that officials will go to to disappear salient scientific data. We, as a people deserve more than the single data point of an occasional soccer ball or trawler that has made or threatened landfall thousands of miles from "home". Letting folks know that the entire ocean is now contaminated with radiation only begs the question, "Who is in charge of what we know and what is their interest in keeping us stupid?" The United States of America is looking into the teeth of the most severe drought in half a century. Without another bail out, the food industry and people themselves will need to cut back or go broke. We have continued to follow the lead of folks who had us saddled up during the dust bowl.

Those who have paid attention seem to be doing so at greater and greater peril. Forces, often unseen are working to cinch our belts a little tighter that they might greedily sop up our vital fluids. We hemorrhage funds into the dark and gaping wounds of modern society and yet are left without health care, paying much higher prices for food than their crap and paying more each year for the "luxury" of an education that is supposed to be a way up from poverty. this week I saw confirmation that in the U.S. our chances of rising our of poverty, even as high as the middle class, if we are born to it are less than if we were British. Nothing against English chaps, but we always think of you as very protective of your higher classes. To be less able to make a name for ourselves than our brethren across the pond is antithetical to the myth that we cut our teeth on, that anyone with hard work and perseverance could become whatever they set out to be. The same puppet masters who fed us that line are more than happy to tell us that our teachers are now the enemy, the wars were necessary and noble and that our sacrifice will make the world better, eventually.

Saladin, my ancestor, asked rural peasants about the folks that they paid for protection. How long does it take for them to respond when you call for help? How much do you pay in taxes? then he would offer to be there quicker for half the price and allow them to worship however they felt fit. That, my friends is how you win against a superior force. go to your neighbors, find out what they want, make sure you get it for them at half the price and soon you will see the end of the age of exploitation that the current rulers want us to subsist under. If we live for today, rather than trying to exploit one another, learn to live in harmony with both creator and creation, perhaps we can turn the tables on those who seek to poison our world, our relationships, our financial markets and political systems with their greed and deception. We only have now, share it with those you care most about and miraculous things tend to happen. spend carefully, you wouldn't want any dollars spilling into the wrong hands.

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