A darkness from within
© Bryan Zepp Jamieson
This is the Solstice piece, and it’s going out a few days early this year because, well, I want everyone to read it before the world ends on Friday.
I went to let the dog out last night near midnight, and there, near the horizon, was Nibiru, the rogue planet that’s going to destroy us all.
I tried warning people, but they just got out on their back porches and shouted that it’s just the damn MOON, and go to bed, you drunken fool, and other stuff that wasn’t so nice.
Well, let’s just see who’s laughing on Saturday, shall we?
Actually, we have a monster snowstorm due to start tomorrow night, and it has the makings of a Big Snow. That usually means the lights go out, and with them, the DSL. It’s not unusual here in the mountains, but I would be annoyed if I was sitting in the dark on Friday, knowing I could have gotten it out earlier but didn’t. We have heat, and the dog’s edible, so we’ll be fine.
I have the feeling that the United States just narrowly avoided a coup election night that was meant to end the country as a free and democratic nation once and for all. I’m sure most of you have heard the rumors about Karl Rove, and Anonymous blocking his efforts to “turn” the vote totals in Ohio. He was utterly disbelieving when Faux News called Ohio for Obama, and Romney was so confident he had won an election most pollsters were calling “neck and neck” that he didn’t even bother writing a concession speech.
Something went wrong for the corporate right that night. I’m sure of it.
Whatever did happen, it was a respite, not a solution, but even a respite is hope, right? It means we’re not dead yet.
And everyone’s thinking about Sandy Hook, and all those poor kids. It looks like Congress is serious about reducing the flow of arms, but there are over 200 million guns out there, and many of them are in the hands of ignorant, violent paranoids who the murderous thugs of the NRA have spent years whipping up into a frenzy of fear and hate. So don’t expect any quick, effective answers.
Maybe the country will start thinking about how it treats the mentally ill. There’s at least three million people in the country who are hazards to themselves or others, It isn’t because of video games or violent movies or lack of prayer in schools. It’s just the human condition; 1% of people have psychological and/or emotional disabilities that indicate institutionalization. Another 10% (at least) have problems that affect their ability to cope with society, and America is probably the most high-stress society on Earth.
Mind you, that doesn’t even include the problems caused by drug abuse and the fact that many drugs, including some rather harmless ones, are illegal.
Americans are quick to spot this vulnerability, cluck, and shake their heads sadly over it. What they lack is the ability to understand that America, as a society, is responsible for the afflicted. It isn’t a moral failing. It can’t be solved by Jesus or willpower or by buying a gun. All societies have this problem because it is a universal aspect of the human condition. Some societies can do little because the resources just aren’t there. All societies that can, however, do. Except for America, which insists that schizophrenia is some sort of personal failing.
Sociopathy is another part of the human condition, and unfortunately, unrestrained capitalism, by its nature, encourages and rewards sociopathic behavior. Sociopaths thrive in a capitalist state, and the result is a society essentially ruled by people who are glib, manipulative, irresponsible, dishonest, impulsive, secretive, paranoid, authoritarian, and basically lack empathy. And they want to remake society to reflect themselves in order to benefit and control more.
Does that sound valid when you look at the present state of society? We are a nation of overstressed and worn people, existing at the pleasure of sociopaths. This cannot end well.
End it will, of course. This isn’t even the first time a nation has risen on a bubble of capitalism and then imploded. Holland and Florence both experienced it. Japan did it in the 80s, and Germany would have by the end of the 40s, even without Hitler’s madness and the war. Most of South America is recovering from capitalist bubbles that popped, leaving a trail of poverty and looted treasuries.
Can anything be done? Certainly. Another country that rode a capitalist bubble that popped was America, in the 1920s. Americans saw capitalism collapse, and then prove that it couldn’t fix itself and had no interest in helping the people whom the barons of Wall Street built their empire upon. So they elected FDR, and for nearly 50 years, the US moved in the direction of sanity. We got a handle on poverty. We eliminated the worst aspects of racism. Slowly, we learned to be a humane and civil society.
America can do it again. We may have to go through a period of dark before the light, but that is the nature of the winter solstice, is it not? It gets darker, and darker, and darker.
And then the light returns. All we have to do is sit tight, and get through it.
Of course, if Nibiru smashes into us, destroying all life on planet Earth, I may have to rethink that philosophy. Give me a call Saturday and we can discuss it.
Don’t lose hope. Never lose hope.