No. 3

The modern sphere of political debate seems more like subterfuge with the aim to keep us as consumers of information, when physical products fail to distract us from being free. Our connectivity to the smorgasbord of facts and talking points as well as the polarized and disputatious content of so many programs and articles might make us feel involved, but how often are we actually effected or given an opportunity to effect change in the political atmosphere at all. The ocean of news and media reporting is fodder for those with strong enough minds to have an opinion but not cognizant enough to disregard the inane and aggravating conveyer belt of trash that plays into our minds, from the radio, on TV, and from mouth to ear throughout the country. Whether it’s a policy with a specific number or an idea such as pro-life, an entitlement program, a military budget, a scandal about income taxes, a racist blurb that gets someone fired or an ecological or infrastructural catastrophe which one faceless department is held responsible of, there’s always something about our culture to gripe about. We are inundated by an assumption that someone is causing the problems in the nation and it’s somehow our duty to scapegoat and shame rather than seek and suggest solutions with equanimity.

There is a they. And they don’t want anyone believing that individuals and families can live outside the bounds of American systemic citizenship, that including paying taxes, renting and financing automobiles and ephemeral housing, shopping for every aspect of “survival” and being convinced that wealth is only defined as a dollar amount. They are those who have long had power, prestige, and capital enough to conduct society how they see fit. There is no conspiracy in this statement. Whether you see them as white men, old bankers, corrupt lawmakers, lavish CEOs, or particular dynasties whose name may have changed though the bloodline has not, there is a chief and that chief intends to keep their status as dominant. There is no great equalizer except the self.

We are too reliant on a system and therefore too consistently bothered that someone else isn’t making life always easier, set up the way we individually believe it should be. We as citizens are responsible, even if we are seemingly powerless. It may be extreme or spartan to suggest that a person or a family reduce their consumption and lifestyle to the point where there is no tie to the grid of information, policy, and infrastructure, so as to be truly independent, but that extremity is only by comparison to too many years of decadence and expectation. While we might be indentured servants in this boisterous world, it is our daily and long term apathy that allows each and every one of us to be controlled by our materialism and a false reality. All of our emotion is stagnant; we need new action to smash the social chains in which we were born receiving – our myriad passwords and identifiers, our fabricated religious and consumer holidays, our constant taxation and illegitimate representation, our greed for material possessions, our competition over others, and our heightened concern for that which appears wrong and that which we take for granted. 

Let it all go, diminish desire, and find a better presence within.

No. 2

In the last decade, Americans have been inundated by the bad news of the world, the political mischief of the country, and the struggles of those close to them who may have gotten laid off or taken a hit by the volatile economy. In that spectrum, I see a complex intersectionality that cannot be denied. We are doing things wrong, living our lives in an unsustainable manner, and we’ve allowed ourselves to ignore life-threatening facts and bad logic so that our daily comforts are not impeded. Real effective change needs to be undertaken.

Our livelihoods are vastly dependent on nonrenewable resources, an acute situation of which everyone is aware nowadays, and though it may seem solar[1] and other renewables are taking a real foothold in our culture and infrastructure, it’s unrealistic to assume such sustainable technologies could completely supplant dirty energy without a major global crisis transpiring first[2].

If you drive a car (and I’d say almost everyone in America is dependent on cars[3] even if they never drive them) then you know that paying for gasoline challenges people to make budgetary decisions[4]. Imagine for a moment everyone had to pay double what the current price is. That would cut back on frivolities in our daily lives for sure, including what each of us might consider necessary diversions from the daily grind. Less theater visits, less in-person shopping, less ventures of all kinds, which would cut into social engagements and thereby increase stress for the average citizen. Corporate magnates from the oil industry likely make it their goal to keep gas prices low so more people use it rather than decide to go electric or take public transportation, which is becoming greener every year. And of course the economy would collapse without it[5]. That thousands of citizens sit in traffic for hours means nothing to the executives of oil companies[6] as long as they’re burning gas.

So what I’m saying is, buying gasoline affords these companies the rationale that building a low cost pipeline across the country is better for their profits. And what is the alternative anyway? An expensive one: that they truck the gasoline or build the pipeline hundreds of miles out of the way due to topographical impediments? Maybe I’m not aware that the planning of this pipeline could have easily been routed through other less sacred lands, but I feel like that would have been addressed in the Dakota Access legislative interim during Obama’s presidency. Why haven’t there been compromises or reasonable suggestions brought to the public attention if they exist?[7]

If you enjoy driving and being mobile, as I myself do, maybe we’re just as culpable as the companies building these pipelines, because our dollar votes give them the power.

The very heavily armed juggernaut of American militancy is unflappable in the face of modern protest movements, most especially because the uniformed men with guns are being funded by the very people protesting! Make a statement by decreasing consumption of gasoline, walk more, use less plastic, and change your lifestyle so that the companies, lobbyists and politicians all in league to turn this planet into a black sky garbage heap will have to adjust their course.

 

(This posting was edited by Green Le Fleur and linked/footnoted by Masha Blind)