Friday, April 8, 2011 0 comments

Oblivion

It's dark

I lay my head down and close my eyes

I hear your breathing

Feeling the rocking motion as the air goes in and out of your body is wearing me down

On the backs of my eyelids I see a kaleidoscope of patterns and colors

Your breathing is slow now

There are no more colors or sound

Only a dark stillness

Silence 

The arrival of Morpheus



 







Thursday, April 7, 2011 0 comments

Should We Believe in Loose Change? Obama, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and the 2012 Presidential Race

Growing up in the late 1970's and early 1980's was perhaps one of the strangest times to be apart of American culture, more so even than the 60's and the numerous "counter-culture" movements that sprang up during this time as a response to the prudish and staunchly conservative cultural identity that had been so blatantly pervasive in the years prior.  

My earliest memories of growing up in the U.S. during the 70's and 80's are of living in fear of a nuclear apocalypse as a result of the posturing and sabre rattling related to the escalated "cold" war between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the war on drugs, fear of terrorism from the middle east, memories of one president who was criticized as a backwards redneck from the south who was too idealistic (Jimmy Carter), another president who was a Hollywood actor (Ronald Reagan), who was essentially a marionette figure-head for his vice-president (George Bush Sr.), both of whom were practically caricatures of the previous generations of old guard, boy's club, wealthy, white, conservative businessmen, right down to the white man's burden complex, and lastly, an ex-CIA president who had first served terms as vice-president under president Reagan and who ultimately succeeded in getting elected into the White House himself (Bush Sr.) and brought the U.S. into direct armed conflict in the middle east (where the country still finds itself today strangely).  

The earlier part of this period was a time when there were still people globally, particularly in the United States and parts of Europe who believed that the United States represented the good guys, like the fabled cowboy in the white outfit riding into to town on the dappled mare like the lone ranger to save the day with his colt peacekeepers, defending those who couldn't stand up for themselves, while highlighting the difference between right and wrong.  Like that same storybook cowboy who stood for right and who came to the rescue of those in need, the United States was already playing this role well before I was even conceived, intervening in conflicts in both Korea and Vietnam just before I was born.  For many, the major difference between the fictional cowboy and the metaphorical cowboy that the United States represented during this era is really that the United State's cowboy was basically no more than a mercenary, whose payment was in natural resources and lower production costs, whose view of right actually meant a westernized imperialist based type of government system, that espoused capitalism, free-trade, democracy, freedom, and rights for all, while at the same time establishing a social and economic system which is actually counter to the rights of the few and that enabled the United States to keep its fingers in every area of conflict that they interceded in.

People who had been radicalized or marginalized in this case synonymous with the left and right segments of American society during the 50' and 60's, were now grown up, having their own families, and taking jobs becoming members of society.  For the hippies, beats, and other "counter-culture" folks on the left there was a belief that somehow that the tragic death of the "American Dream" actually occurred in the years prior to the Carter/Reagan/Bush Sr administrations sometime between the 1950's to the 1970's as a result of the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson, the space race, LSD, and whatever other causes one could think up, including Richard Nixon, the truth of the matter for the more activisty and radical left was that they just grew up, stopped drugging and boozing, got old, and realized that changing the world into the Utopia that they believed they wanted was just too difficult (often these same folks came from privilege and had the most to loose from rocking the boat so hard anyway) so they caved to the old ways deciding to become a part of the status quo.  What happened to the folks on the right, who became marginalized during the 50's and 60's one may ask?  They were really the same folks who had always been in power to begin with, conservative, cohesive, white, religious, hive mentality and alot of the time during the tumultuous 1950's and 60's, these same folks didn't rock the boat, they followed lock-step in line with the ancestral ways they were raised to follow and ultimately many of them ended up in positions of power like the U.S. Presidency that helped to form the culture of the 70's, 80's, and some of the 90's, pushing their agendas on the world.  Honestly, just so that I have made it clear, I don't believe that there ever was an actual American Dream.  I think that the concept of the American Dream is more like guidelines or ideas to help placate the masses of the lower echelons, like a modern western bread and puppet, keeping the poorer and under-educated too busy constantly chasing after the carrot on the end of the stick, striving for a goal that can't be reached, like the bible, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or the silver lining to the cloud; always keeping citizens so busy trying to attain the prize which they can never reach, that they are completely distracted from what is really going on around them and often become ineffectual.

The poor bastards that make up the lower echelons of American society have never had a chance at changing anything or really affecting any real change in the broader context of the United States or the world for that matter, so I am left to ask, with the 2012 presidential campaign season already started by U.S. Presidential Incumbent Barack Obama with his announcement on Monday April 4, 2011, what exactly is the specific change that Obama and his cabinet actually believe in and want to enact?  For that matter what are the changes that the candidates and their folks running against him believe in?  Will the U.S. involvement in the joint NATO and United Nations Libyan intervention be ended before the elections?  For that matter, will the U.S. be out of Iraq and Afghanistan any time soon and what the hell are we actually doing in those places? 

In the coming months, I will continue to work on this on going piece about the looming 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections, the candidates, who they are, their views and beliefs, as well as, insight into what they believe they are going to do for this country.  Hopefully though unlikely, by the time I am done with this piece I will have found some kind of common ground with one of the candidates and maybe just maybe, find someone that I can stand behind, believe in, and possibly vote for.  However, the truth of this fucked up mess is that it is far more likely that I will just end up more disillusioned and alienated then before and ending in some sort of drug and alcohol fueled bender, surrounded by the rest of the masses who aren't having their voices heard by their representation either...  -S