before i go

5 Jan

In recent years a lot has been said regarding the decline of democracy (we are in fact a republic where we vote for people who then vote on our behalf in government). Maybe democracy is in decline. Maybe it isn’t.  We are in the thick of things so it is hard to tell. But any political system worth its salt should be able to weather the storms of change. And with change comes criticism.  Criticism, when fact-based is helpful and necessary. Criticism that is not is not.  In fact, it is quite the opposite of helpful; it is hurtful.

Terrorists attempt to scare the shit out of us so that they can gain control over our lives.  When a society is petrified it cannot think deep thoughts or problem solve effectively.  Society that is being harassed my terrorists is in survival mode. Our base instincts are at the fore.  Our reptilian brain is our cerebral mission control, and that can’t be good.  Cortisone, a chemical that is secreted when we are stressed, is harmful to all of our internal functions. It is like the feeling that you get when you tilt back your chair and just before the chair falls over you catch yourself.  Well that feeling that you get at that moment is how terrorists would have us feel all the time.

Terrorists want control.  And if we play with the language they are ‘con’  (‘artists’) that are trol(l)s who desire to see your way of life, however flawed, destroyed, to be replaced by their idea of the good life (read: fascist state). To these fundamental: Christians or Jews or Muslims or Industrialists or narcissistic business tycoons or sociopathic political leaders, your freedom is troublesome to their desired way of living. Freedom and terrorism are mutually exclusive.  And to play with language again, the word terrorist has in it the reason why it is doomed to fail.   And that is the word ‘error’.  Terrorists cannot see that the human spirit’s default is in freedom.  We strive for and seek freedom.  It is our prime directive.  All these terrorists fail to see the error of their ways. We humans are better than our base instincts and feelings.

As our society changes and adapts to a new world we are confronted with real and new challenges to our way of life. It is ironic that Obama, who championed the protection of whistle blowers, is now the one who is now trying to muzzle and prosecute them. Obama has taken money from taxpayers and has given it to people in order to spy on tax payers.  That is akin to me hiring a private dick and asking him or her to spy on me, collect information, then give that information to people whom I do not know.  And I would keep him or her on retainer so that they could do that all the time. So if Obama wants to bring Snowden to justice for spying then Obama should also put himself under citizen’s arrest and we could have two trials.  Obama, the high-powered civil rights lawyer and constitutional expert (ex is an unknown quantity and a ‘spert’ is just a drip under pressure), should be on trial for ignoring the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. Either Obama gets rid of the 4th Amendment or he goes to trial. You cannot have it both ways in a democracy.

Obama’s argument for spying on Americans is that it is necessary to stop terrorists.  Spying on Americans is terrorism. I shudder with fear when I think of what could happen when a government resorts to spying on its own citizens. Nazi Germany comes to mind as does Communist China and the former USSR/current Russia. A government that does not respect the privacy of its citizens is doomed to go down the path towards fascism.  In fact, the much used term ‘moving forward’ could be completed with the following phrase, ‘towards fascism’.  Groan. The only difference between foreign terrorists/fascists and homegrown ones is the adjective. Obama should be trying to show China that a country can be strong by embracing freedom.  Presently the USA is moving closer to China’s way of doing things than the other way around.  China could not be happier.  The death of Freedom in the West will incite a wave of happiness in the breast of dictators and despots the world over.

So where was I going with this? Oh yes, Snowden and the power of comics and video games.  Since the death of real investigative reporting in the late 70’s, we have relied on corporate owned news channels to bring us the news.  The advent of the Internet changed all that and I for one say adios to NBC, ABC, NBC and other puppet news rooms. After Watergate the corporate sponsored news rooms were muzzled further despite attempts are real reporting from the news anchors of the day,  and we were fed soft brain food ever since. Now things are changing. Grassroots investigative reporting is once again adding legitimacy to news. Snowden was heard to say that video games and comics taught him that one person or a group of like-minded people could make a positive difference in the world. I agree.  Ironman taught me that Tony Stark was a billionaire and an alcoholic and still strove to improve our society.   Batman was a billionaire who suffered trauma in his youth and still tried to contribute to society.  As a kid I saw that I too had deep character flaws (and no money) but that I too could try to better life for myself and others. And comics didn’t talk down to me.  When I discovered that Bruce Banner went to a psychologist I too could go, without shame. I mean if The Hulk could do it….!

The youth of today play video games. Many of the games have as their theme that of a world in a struggle between freedom and fascism. Blending cool graphics and an intelligent story line youth can see an artist’s depiction of what life could be like should we allow tyranny to reign. So perhaps our youth, like Snowden, are going to be the next wave of soldiers championing the cause of freedom due in part to comics and videogames.  Today’s Call of Duty to yesterday’s 1984.

Christopher Reeves said that the real terrorists are the diseases and disorders that we have to fight. Life is scary enough without human beings adding to the mix.  Cancer scares me a lot more that some idiot with explosives strapped to his chest. Death is the great equalizer.  It is true democracy.  We all have to go. Even rich people, but they have to say goodbye to more things that the other 99 %. So while we are here why don`t we try to make our stay as pleasant as possible.  Or at the very least let`s try to live and let live.  All of the good books have bad passages in them and when taken literally these passages cause a lot of damage to people. So let`s dismiss these hurtful passages using a combination of common sense and compassion. Besides, God is a big thinker, if you believe in Him.  He cannot invent the universe and be a micromanager too could He.

There. I feel better for having said all this.  I had to get out there….before I go.

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