The Power Games: Dancing With The Ringmasters

Young_man_with_the_whip“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark


Such is life, often compared to a circus. Hoops to jump through are ever present while the snap and crack of a ringmaster’s whip are always an arm’s breadth away. And, like an abused Russian dancing bear, we submit to being shackled, tormented and humiliated … and all perhaps for the ‘entertainment purposes’ of some. In the circus tent of life, the power games have already taken center ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the greatest ‘sideshow’ on earth! Come one, come all! Come all ye faithful and join the procession of the people for the people … who are power-crazy. Two-step your mortality away and shuffle towards your salvation: a cold grave. ‘Til death do you part, dissatisfaction guaranteed!”

Freakshow_Girl_and_Her_Horrible_Fire_TortureYes, in many ways, life seems to be a freak-show based dance macabre, and many of us are all too willing submissive partners in this tango. Like human sacrifices, we blindly offer up our existence, freedom, rights, and even dignity. We place our faith and best interests into the hands of self-centered captains of industry, politics, business, media, and even religion. Eventually, we allow these megalomaniacs to metastasize, infecting our world. We should know better by now, but being the dunces that we are, we allow history to repeat itself … over and over again.

Now certainly, it’s an insult to our intelligence and ego that on a daily basis we are being taken advantage of. Therefore, to save face, many continue to buy into the system, we actually paid for with our humanity a long, long time ago. To ‘the establishment’ we pledge allegiance, murmuring “well, if it was good enough for my father and grandfather then ….” To make matters worse, it’s not enough that we surrender ourselves into a life of denial and servitude, but we encourage our children to follow suit, condemning them to the same fate.

Say_AHHHH_-O_(6846455366)To foster a sense of security, it seems we need deities to pray to; we need a system to pledge allegiance to; we need a national identity to stand behind; we need a political party to wave a banner for; we need a sadist to feed our masochistic tendencies.

For all our insecurities galore, we need to appoint leaders, Gods and celebrities to bow before. We need to be star-struck because in some twisted way we can reassure ourselves that the dust we are formed with is somehow better than that of everything else in creation.

Keeping us in line is not that hard, actually. Of course, there was a time when censoring us into ignorance was a good option. While censorship still exists in many ways, it’s much easier these days to simply use the mainstream media to numb our minds and condition us into out-thinking our own sensitivities. This tactic goes hand-in-hand with plying us with a bling encrusted life of convenience that appeals to our self-indulgent vanities. As slavish consumers, we fall over ourselves in our attempt to lavishly adorn ourselves and our homes with as many pseudo-luxury items (read: pacifiers) as possible.

Enough - OccupyOf course, it all comes at a price, however; selling oneself into slavery always does. While we delight in the banal tokens of our false-securities, the ‘system’ that the ‘powers that be’ have designed to protect their interests has itself become omnipotent and almost self-sustaining. In the end, our individual sensibilities, like our votes, will matter very little. And while ‘Big Brother’ may not always be watching, he is most likely is at least monitoring the situation, only an ear-shot and gunshot away.

Wake Up! Occupy your life now. The ‘fat lady’ has already taken the stage!

If we don’t take control of our lives ourselves, there will always be some authoritarian baby-kissing tyrant willing to do it for you … at first with a smile, later with a police baton … or perhaps like a victim of the Occupy Gezi Park massacre in Turkey, with a teargas canister shot into her face.


Suggested Reading


Occupy Poster Source

‘Enough’ –  Art Chantry

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