Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Catch 22

I’m pissed.

I can’t tell you why.

I am just angry and that anger is directed more to my fellow democrats than it is to the other guys.

What bothers me?

Friggin’ apathy is what bothers me.

Most of my neighbors think that were it not for the housing crisis and the credit crunch, everything is okay.

My other friends think that whatever is wrong, is somehow due to the democrats.

Either way, we seem to lose….as a people/as a country.

I know it’s damned hard to do anything.

There’s still bread that has to be put on the table so that the theoretical notions of democracy and freedom, abstractions, are put on the back burner.

But these “abstractions” are what define us.

And we see them being eroded a little bit at a time.

And everybody says I can adjust.

It is like Italy in the Second World War when Hitler took over.

Everybody said we can adjust to the deprivations.

And they adjusted, and adjusted until their was no way they could adjust anymore and like the lab frog who is put in the beaker and heated, after a point you simply

Make the final adjustment.

If you haven’t seen it, see “the Garden of the Finzi Continis” and you’ll know what I am talking about.

Well, the reason I bring this is up is because it feels very much like the Finzi Continis today.

We are trying to adjust, trying to suck it up.

But as we do, we lose something—a little of our personal freedoms every day.

Is it a big deal?

Yes, it is a big deal when the rights guaranteed under the Constitution are being denied to you.

Yes, it’s a very big deal not to have privacy, not to have habeas corpus, not to have the Geneva Conventions, and to face being tortured as a citizen without cause.

Yes, these are very big deals.

And they are things that we should get very excited about—not just merely send letters to our Congressmen about but to get out there and demand that our rights be restored.

It is that big a deal!

And yet, we are reserved, placid, content to continue on with our lives such as they are despite the fact that our democracy has taken a steep turn to the right and by most definitions remains a democracy in name only.

Yes, we write petitions that nobody reads.

We send letters to the paper that nobody prints.

And we consider that our contribution to democracy.

It’s excuse me, nothing.

It’s nothing until we change the status quo.

And the status quo won’t change til we get off our dead butts and demand it of our representatives who still take three hour lunches and try to look respectable.

The fact is that they are not doing the job they were elected to do.

Nor is the media doing the job that it receives the franchise of the people to do.

Our leaders have failed us.

And we won’t see it.

So we’ve conjured up a great Catch 22.

The government is not doing the job we want it to do.

But they won’t change unless we force them to change.

And we are too placid to force that change.

In my book, that is the penultimate Catch 22.

So we limp on and wonder why things aren’t getting better.

Les Aaron

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