Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Truth Shall Set You On Fire

We Americans have always led a double life. As we grow up we are taught the usual positive ideas of ourselves as a nation. We're told how free we are; how honest and fair and benevolent our government is. There is something about having all of these positive notions constantly reinforced during childhood that allows them to become hard wired into our belief systems. We find it impossible to think about people in positions of public trust being corrupt, dishonest, or flat criminal.

Even when we are made aware of that usually invisible undercurrent of reality, where power meets money and deals are spun that forgive pollution and destruction and murder, we still hold on to our visible world and tell ourselves that everything will be all right somehow. Someone will see to it. When it happens that one of our trusted elected officials, or a group of them are exposed having involvement in organized crime, bribes, racketeering, murder, we shake our heads and say how shameful those men were. But we always see it as an aberration, something beyond the norm. One begins to wonder just how much it will take to shake some people free of their die hard notions of American purity.

People in other countries, who are on the outside looking in at us, are able to see us without that gauzy veil of happy fluff obstructing their view. They just see us for what we are. It is comforting in these increasingly dour times to hear them say they have nothing against the American people per se, but they do truly despise our government. They can see how cut off we are from the rest of the world. They are always astonished how naive we are and how little we know about our own country much less the rest of the world.

They can clearly see how propagandized we've become, having the most censored and controlled press in the western world. As obvious as it is to those looking in, to us it's a totally alien idea. Even though our corporate media output has become the equivalent of something we send swirling down our bathroom plumbing, we have our first amendment which clearly states that we have freedom of the press. It no longer informs us, it insults us with Hollywood nonsense in the place of news, and it reflects nothing whatsoever of our real life experiences, challenges or realities.

Even so, we still can't wrap our heads around the notion that we are being lied to, by design. It is too hard for many Americans to grasp that there are two divided, separate factions, not one united country. That there is an us, and there is a them, and that they have all the power and the authorized guns and most of the money and that they are doing things that threaten all of the rest of us in the most serious of ways. We can't see it as class war. We will chalk it up to capitalism and defend it as evidence of the American dream in action.

It doesn't help that the corporate media speaks with one voice. Everything in print, on the radio and on the television channels we restlessly flip through broadcasts the identical disconnected tripe. We never hear alternative view points, at least not in any serious way. Alternative view points are always delivered from unknown people with little credibility who are never allowed to develop and present their views. Those serious few who try are promptly torn apart at the seams and sent packing; or they soon humbly join with the other side. It leaves many of us with a sick feeling of loneliness wondering if there really is no one else who can see what we see.

Millions of Americans every week are abandoning their television sets in favor of the Internet, seeking serious information about the serious changes happening all around us that the corporate media acts utterly oblivious to. How could they not have any questions about September 11th, 2001 when respected polls are revealing at least 80% of us do not believe the official story put out by the bush administration? Still, when anyone dares to bring it up they are harshly criticized by big media and accused of being conspiracy theorists which in this country at least, almost equates to having a mental disorder.

Yet facts are facts and as more of us take it upon ourselves to just have an honest look at what all the commotion is about it doesn't take long before we are feeling the fear, the pain and the doubt that comes as it dawns on us in no uncertain terms that we have been betrayed. The unthinkable transforms into reality and for many, it is almost crippling. No one wants it to be true but once we understand it is true, there is no turning back. And after the depression comes the rage.

There is always something in the back of our minds, something deep within us, that urges us to seek an explanation for the wall of lies from government and media. We still want to believe that there is a reason for what is happening to our country, so we set out to dig deeper, to get a little more information, in the attempt to make sense of it all. It is disconcerting to say the least, to find that the more we find out, the worse it gets. There is no end to the deceit, the manipulations, and the robbery of the people by institutions and politicians.

We discover the endless chain of covert military operations in the poorest countries we've been involved in nonstop since W.W.II ended. Wars we never heard of, or barely paid attention to. South America and Asia have been the defenseless target of American might and greed, leaving tens of thousands of innocent people dead. We are dripping in the blood of innocents all over the world, and we have no idea whatsoever. Whichever president it is will always take his position before the cameras and tell us contrived lies to reassure us that our involvement is always in the role of saviors of the downtrodden. And we always believe it because the press is guaranteed to fawn and bow and adore our leaders, leading the way for national sycophancy.

Yet all over the world, news that America is coming to deliver democracy to some small country sends a very different, and very chilling message. Freedom and Democracy are well understood code words for death and the oppression of the weak, for the shameless stealing of someone else's resources so that corporations may consume them and turn them into ever increasing profits and wealth. Yes, absolutely the more we learn, the more we realize that things are not what we've been led to believe. In fact, they are unbearably unbelievable. The truth exceeds our ability to comprehend, to excuse, to support. We find that we have been thoroughly used to the point that we, our entire country, is literally on the verge of being totally used up.

It becomes something that eats us up within, and our desire to see truth broadcast on prime time television is painfully denied. We realize how many have tried to break through that great wall of propaganda, and how many continue to try every day. Once we finally comprehend how impenetrable that wall is, and understand that the media is not interested in the truth, it again sends us into a tailspin. It is not easy to stand alone with the ugly truth when all around you revile you for it and violently stick to the nonsense they've been led to believe is true. We get torn between understanding that they just don't know any better, and the desire to punch their foolish lights out.

It is tempting to drop out, to return to ignorant bliss. It is too hard, it is painful, maybe even too painful to look betrayal this profound directly in the face. One longs for days that were not so long ago, when things were better, when people laughed, when life seemed fairer, cleaner, safer, more sane. But we are changed now, because of what we know. And as we walk through our daily routine, we are different, pent up, mourning, angry; while those around us, those closest to us are exactly the same. They don't want to hear what we've learned. They don't want to believe it. Their desire to hold fast to the childhood beliefs of American purity is so profound and so deep, that they will throw us aside before even considering we have never lied to them. They refuse to see the growing darkness, even as it billows around their lives, and wafts into their children's bedrooms. What to do? What to do...

Every day we are drowning in a sea of admitted wrong doing printed in the same corporate media that shrugs reality off like a silk scarf. It's all there, though never on the front page, or even in the first section; and never highlighted or made an appropriate hysteria over. It is simply slipped in the back door, quietly, much like legislation being snuck into bills unnoticed at two in the morning by unknown persons. It is obvious there is deceit. It is obvious we are being betrayed. It is obvious that more laws are passed every day that legalize the crimes of the powerful at the same time our own normal human behavior is criminalized. They are minimizing us in plain sight while claiming rights of arrogant entitlement for themselves.

There is nothing fair about it, there is nothing noble, or ethical, or reasonable. The people would never agree to their own enslavement, or their own destruction. They would never agree to the destruction of the planet by our military; or the development of weapons to be used on us; or the research into mind control or tracking chips or the testing of covert, classified weapons on innocent people right here at home, without their knowledge or consent. They would never agree to ending the constitution, to erasing our borders, or merging with Canada and Mexico to become one teeming mass of poverty stricken, miserable new world serfs. They would never agree to the slaughter, the bio weapons, the prison camps, the looting of our treasury, the export of our jobs, or the import of slave laborers from China, who work for an entire year before they are stiffed a lousy paycheck.

Our friends, families, coworkers are still living in a pretend world, oblivious to the monsters taking up permanent residence within their trusted systems of life. It is only a very small percentage of us who are keeping track of the changes, the rules that excuse their wrong doing, that make it a crime to even look at them with suspicion. Only a few of us are connecting the dots, learning the names, and doing the further digging that never fails to bring up more corpses, more dirty lies, and more terrifying plans in the works. We oscillate between fury and accepting what seems to be inevitable. More are waking up every day, but not nearly enough. Our population is so used to being lied to and used and cheated that unless it sees it on the six o'clock news, it cannot believe that truth is real. It looks like the people are not going to get it until it's way past too late to do anything about it.

So what can we do about it? I wish I knew. I can only keep doing what has become my new way of being alive in this time and place. I can only keep learning, keep thinking, keep asking questions, keep trying to understand why, and keep trying to break through to the ones who refuse to listen. I am becoming more indignant, more vocal, and more unable to suffer the fools who are waving and cheering for the very people who are seeing to their demise. I have to fight the ever growing impatience I feel, and learn how to have the split personality it takes to be a sane being in an insane world. I don't express my compassion for the guy who set himself ablaze for the morning commuters because he couldn't take the killing in Iraq for another day. While all around me tell themselves he'd lost his mind, I am sure that in fact, he found it.

Perhaps therein lies the reason that so many fight the truth. Maybe the full realization of the horror of it all, the reality of the suffering, the dying children, the sickness, the lies, the deceit, the greed and the complete lack of reason for all of it... maybe once it's grasped with all of one's heart and soul and mind it becomes too terrible to bear. Maybe the knowledge that one is powerless to change it is too much to take. Maybe the only reasonable thing left to do is douse yourself with gasoline and go out in a blaze.

That may seem right for some small number of people, but I don't think it's true. It may reflect a deep, instinctive fear, like the fear of sharks. But self immolation due to truth is no more likely than a shark attack due to swimming at the beach. On the contrary. It may just be that this naive population who clings so strongly to our ideals of freedom and democracy will be just as unwilling to let go of that dream to criminals conspiring to take it from them, as they are to having it revealed to them by their own. Perhaps when at last the new world order is officially being crammed down their throats they will surprise everyone by refusing to swallow it. It would not be surprising to me to see the people of America get real good and angry once they can no longer deny what's coming. We don't like our beliefs messed with, that much is certain. Some percentage may willingly lay down and cower in fear, while others proudly don their 21st century brown shirts. But the vast majority will not go calmly into that dark night. I don't know how it all will play out but one thing I can say for sure, it's going to be a very interesting show. It's not over until it's over and that means there is no reason to expect the worst. We shall see what happens when it happens.

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