« The Fall »

On this day, thirty-five years ago, two Americans landed on the Moon. It was more than a victory for America; it was a victory for humanity. I mean, it was bigger than life. Hell, we were even fighting an unpopular war back then!

But now, here we are, just a shadow of that great nation. Instead of having a space age pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and determination to be the best of the best the whole world over, we are now living like in medieval times. In 1969, we were battling communism which, at the time, was a noble thing. But at the same time, it was so far off our shores we really didn't need to worry about it taking over our way of life. Vietnamese communism never posed a threat to us, but allowing it to advance from nation to nation may have been an issue, so in that regard, we were justified in fighting a war. I'm not sure it had to be the war in Vietnam, but the war against communism was not all that bad a thing.

Today, what are we fighting against? Iraq? Ideologically, Iraq is not that dangerous. The nation had a corrupt and evil leader, no doubt, but we were never in any way going to be ruled by that sort of thing, and after the first Gulf war (with Iraqi troops surrendering in unheard of numbers), the army was pretty impotent. The people don't hate us. Iraq is not my enemy. Like Muhammed Ali said about Vietnam, “I aint got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. Aint no Vietnamese ever called me a nigger!” I have no reason to wage war on Iraq. Bush is more of an enemy of the state. I wish we could get the hell out and stop being the instigator there. But some idiot in power over here (he certainly aint no Lyndon Johnson, and damn, it sucks to say this, but Dubya aint even a fucking NIXON!) has decided his little turf battle/blood feud has to go on at the expense of the taxpayer, in lieu of everything else that would reflect a concern for citizens. Forget having the money to advance humanity by taking us to places we never went before. Forget education being the main force behind American ingenuity and progress. Forget having a nation with some sort of strong economy founded on the key industries that hold a nation together. Forget having a single earner be able to hold a household together, with a little to spare. Forget all that. George DuMbya Bush (sic) wants to revert to the dark ages where the sword serves as judge and jury, ignorance is encouraged because it allows the elite to stay in power, or all our industrial might is emasculated due to global trade and investment outside of our borders. Our "economy" is one where we all serve each other burgers, t-shirts, gasoline, manicures, dog grooming and a bunch of other stuff that just won't cut it when we need to get back to real work. Gone are the days when one man could provide for his family and still take a few weeks off per year.

I talk to people about this stuff all the time. Frankly, I barely have anything else to talk about. Yesterday I had someone scoff at me for being too radical. She wanted to tune me out as much as any right wing bible thumper. She accused me of not trying to see things from another perspective. Nonsense. That is the fucking place I CAME FROM! That is the place I am LEAVING as I find out more by reading book after book, internet article after internet article, and listening to public radio, and ultimately, working in the community, and knowing people who have to put up with all this, but once knew a time when they didn't. So I am too radical? I like to think of it as being "awake." It is sort of Buddhist, don't you think? I don't know what the alternative is for me, but I see it in other people. People who just roll over in the face of greed at their expense, or at the question of who to vote for (this year is really interesting—people like to ask me what John Kerry will do that Bush won't do—but I say, do you really want four more years of Bush doing what he has already proven himself able to do, like FUCKING UP OUR NATION AND THE WORLD?) Right now, jumping off the Kerry cliff would be nice, if only for the fresh air blowing by. I might be awake, but I feel nearly as helpless as anyone who has given up already. But then I think, this is what leads to more of the same. It doesn't matter to me what party is in charge, though right now I believe the last three Republican administrations have really done some serious damage to the nation. That isn't to say that I think the Democrats are golden boys. Au contraire. At this time, the Democrats are the only ones who can get Bush out of here, so I have to vote for them. I don't know of any established party that reflects my views accurately. Michael Moore isn't a party, but he is one of few who can speak truth to power these days, and still have any impact with the public. I'd vote for him. I already sent in my three contributions of $9.25. He is one of the few Americans with his head on straight.

So I am radical because I allowed myself to let my conscience govern my words and deeds? I am radical because I believe our war is morally bankrupt? I am radical because I believe that a single mother should be able to work at Wal-mart and not be a second class citizen forced to choose between paying rent or feeding her kids? I am radical because I believe that the billions spent on the destruction of war could be billions spent on changing the energy infrastructure, or convincing the public to change their habits, both of which cost a lot less in lives? I am radical because I think that America's greatest days are behind her? I am radical because I think people, not corporations, should be the sole determinant of how resources are spread out? I am radical because I think that the founding fathers and the Constitution should be our shining beacons of light in all the decisions we make as a nation? I am radical because I think the government is hypocritical about family life (ban gay people from creating a stable household, while simultaneously making it really fucking hard to hold a hetero family together due to unemployment, uncertainty, low wages)? I am radical because I think there is NO CONCEIVABLE reason why people need to starve on our streets, when we can afford to destroy a country on the other side of the world, and call it our gift to humanity???

So fuck me. I'm a fucking RADICAL.

Just remember one thing, Mister Born Again Bush. Jesus was a dissident. Jesus was a RADICAL. Jesus thought outside the box. Jesus WAS NOT A PATRIOT. Jesus would kick your ass if he knew the shit you are pulling in his name. Jesus believed in dignity for all. Jesus abhorred corruption. Jesus offered compassion. Jesus was colorblind and genderblind. Jesus sought unity among people. Jesus went in and did the job he was here to do. If George Bush is here to talk about how Jesus wants this or that, or how he is born again, let that asshole go fight for his own damned oil, and avenge his old man's bully. Let him get beaten up by a mob of angry black men, or Iraqis, or anyone else he has pissed off. George Bush is not MY president. I didn't vote for him, nor did I vote for his war. I sincerely hope some terrorist guys can read this and give me immunity from any terror. Fuck, I didn't vote this clown into office. I want no part of him. I won't go so far as to say I am pro-terrorist, but I will dare to try to understand that there is something they are fighting for, and they believe they are right as much as any of us do. We are mired in this self-righteousness. So much for understanding and compassion, or even fucking DIPLOMACY.

So instead of aspiring to man's greatest potential, marked by the lunar landing, we are still fighting in the streets (at home and abroad), still tribalistic (on a global scale now), still allowing our basest instincts the opportunity to rule us. Our actions are driven by fear instead of evidence. War is more important than peace, oil is more important than lives, the sword has resumed its historical might over the pen, and democracy in Iraq is more important to our leader than democracy in the United States (I'm glad he is committed to democracy, but it would be nice if he gave it to the people who hired him). Nowadays, the language of the Constitution is again the language of radicals instead of the mantra we all live by, but the hope of an egalitarian future in a new land is gone too. What is there to aspire to now? Should we just go ahead and wage war on everyone who denies us oil and resources? America is half in the dumper. Do we just finish the job, or get off this path? Does anyone care? Is anybody IN THERE? Why can't we have Buddhists in power? At least they are awake.

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