FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Advancing Theories

by WENDY BRINKER

“Some people drink Pepsi,
Some people drink Coke,
The wacky morning DJ says democracy’s a joke.”

– Cake, Comfort Eagle

We’ve got to stop placing all of the peace eggs in the election basket. Even if the current power structure of murderous buffoonery is dismantled in November, our culture will still be woefully sick. John “the Swan” Kerry, now resembling an orange sporting two embedded black eyed peas, says, “Send more troops!” What? Kerry may save us from Bush, but he won’t save us from ourselves, the ugliness in Iraq or our voracious appetites for the world’s resources. Ralph’s going to save us from the corporations. Not that I disagree with Ralph, but can we save the poolside dialectics for November 3rd? Just keep spewing that unabashed liberalism and let’s see where that gets us, again.

We all know it’s about money–white money. This entire election process is part and parcel of a bad standard model, a model of white male constructs of divine providence, hierarchy and dominion. After voting in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, I ran into an old friend who was the director of the SC ACLU for many years. I lamented about the state of politics and the country’s sad choice between a green snake in green grass and a rattlesnake. At least, I rationed, you can hear a rattlesnake and know where he’s at. He thought about it, and pointed out that he would rather have a friend that bites him occasionally rather than one that’s out to kill him. Touche. Perhaps the green snake is a bit more venomous than we care to admit.

Sure, elected politicians play a valid role maintaining the republic because they support the illusion that the masses are in control. And if there was anyone on the horizon who could actually inspire people to vote, we might have a different ball game. But no matter how lofty or dignified you try to paint the process or the notion of “leadership” or the image of the so-called statesmen, the world of politics is and always will be inextricably mired in the lesser realms of ego, greed and power. It takes a certain type to wake up and think he’s God’s messenger and he alone can lead us all to a better life, traits cultivated and encouraged by the bad model.

Geographical insulation, poor education and effective propaganda all contribute to America’s inability to extend human qualities to people much past Canada. But there’s no excuse for our lack of historical context–the collective knowledge of the word is at our fingertips! What the pharaohs could have accomplished if they only had Google! But the constant barrage of non-sequitur corporate media and the carrot of consumer bliss have deadened our ability to advance simple theories. We have become comfortably numb.

We can’t continue to operate as if our individual choices don’t really matter. I know plenty of activists, the so-called intelligentsia with their Sam’s cards in their pockets who find it way too easy to justify their lifestyles and consumer choices. It is this self deceit regarding the processes that afford us our many extravagant indulgences that created the dysfunction now threatening the quality of life for everyone on the planet. Critical thinking and genuine activism is needed to restore equilibrium, not just a Democratic White House.

Consider a trip to the market. If people were in the habit of “actualizing” instead of hiding comfortably in their own reality, they would recoil in horror at the sight of dyed red flesh and green styrofoam and would never eat animals produced by factory farming given the cruelty involved and the resources squandered. They would be outraged at the excess packaging and proliferation of disposable items in near-capacity landfills expelling toxins into the air, soil and water. They would be saddened to know how millions of animals die annually in this country in maniacally perverse LD50 tests so they can have that clean, fresh feeling when they jump into their own version of the hamster wheel. On the trip home, they could well imagine pumping red blood straight into their gas tanks.

And how does one navigate through all the masterful subterfuge and lure of pretty lights, bells and the sexual promise that off-roading and plastic surgery holds? Voting or possessing civic duty or the spirit of volunteerism will not do it alone. The only way to liberate ourselves from bad imprinting is to introduce reason and rationale to our consumer practices. If we can get past our self-involved American attitudes, our ability to associate cause with effect will help us to resist taking the line of least resistance. Get a bus schedule, employ responsible consumerism and cast a vote every time you pull out your wallet!

This affront to our civilization goes much deeper than the sullied business of politics. Be civically active, but if we are to gain peace and the general salvation of humanity, we must first create and sustain personal philosophies of interconnectedness that are of a higher order. Mentor and retired union organizer Lou Cole always warned me, “If someone can lead you in, someone else can come along and lead you out.” He never led me anywhere, but he damned sure inspired sparks of independent thinking that took me great distances. No one can lead us to a deliberate life. We have to get there ourselves.

WENDY BRINKER is an artist, writer and filmmaker in Columbia, SC. She owns DRP Media and co-hosts a morning talk radio show, the Seed Show. She can be reached at: wendy@drpmedia.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail