Diary of a Madman: Part 2, The State of the Union

A few thoughts on Social Disturbance

As I write this a great many cities are burning...

It has been roughly 3 months since the whole world seems to have fundamentally changed. If you're like me, some days feel normal and work and life continue, but there are other times life is seemingly wrapped in a surreal haze, almost like we are in some sort of alternative timeline, or episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.

If one was not paying attention, it would seem like the rage and fire of the last few days came out of nowhere, but the truth is, we are now reaping the fruit of a reality that has been there all along,  often hidden in plain view by the 'distractions' of a society that has us all running too fast.

Increasingly we have been trapped in the false dicotomy of 'liberal' vs 'conservative', a well crafted division that reduces us as cheerleaders for 'teams' that don't have all the answers or even our best interest at heart. Instead of taking a deep look at complicated problems and working together to solve them, we are pitted against each other and often caught in the self defeating game of automatic opposition to whatever the 'insanity' of the other side is supporting. Democracy has been reduced to a reality TV competition, where every few years where we dutifully push a button and then got back to the status quo, no matter the outcome. While many people are truly addicted to the high they have gotten from licking boots for too long, or power tripping off of keeping others down, most of us just want to live in peace with our neighbors. Maybe we would love to change the world but 'just don't know what to do'.

The eternal trap of the laboring classes, we get home from work exhausted, and just have enough drive to see our friends and take the edge off with our poison of choice, before passing out so we can get up again and drag ourselves to the spot where we can get enough money to keep fed, clothed and entertained. Rarely do we have the energy to get deeply informed and deal with larger problems.

The fact is, due to the radical change of routine we have all been through the last few weeks and months, the fog of war is lifting, and the details lost beneath the surface are becoming more clear. It may soon be time to 'stand up and be counted'. The economy will change radically this year, as will the political system, and the powerful  will run a desperate race to remain relevant to ordinary people. 

Political parties will all blame each other for a broken system they have all built and participated in equally for decades. These people wont help us in any meaningful way. The big companies willl  take a bigger piece of the pie, small businesses and precarious workers will be abandoned and working people will be left to foot the bill.

  We have to learn to take care of each other. We have to break out of our individual bubbles and build  healthy, supportive communities. Now is not the time to be afraid of the people you don't know. Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and learn what others are going through, so we can all see how similar our struggles and desires are.

Unfortunately the harvest of life out of balance may have begun, but the future is unwritten. We are not just passive victims of fate, we must build the kind of world we want to live in. The media often drives conflict and sensationalism, but instead of clicking on the most shocking, or conversely, comforting headlines, we can choose to read between the lines, challenge ourselves, and look for the long term solutions, not the easy, self affirming fix. 

We are all capable of rolling up our sleeves and getting things done.


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