Ho Ho No: Sleigh Riding Through Dystopia

Dadamas by Jay SchwartzThe founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. 
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Reason’s Greetings! Let Freedom Ring! Well, sort of …

The festive season may be upon us, but be careful who you wish Happy Holidays to … especially if you live in the United States of the National Security Agency (USNSA) … or most likely anywhere else in the developed world. But let’s not confuse liberty with the freedoms of privacy or free speech, especially since Santa won’t be filling anyone’s stockings with either anytime soon.

For a society that grandstands for the principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and even goes as far as proclaiming them as ‘the American way’, one would imagine that realizing only 1 out of 3 of said principles just doesn’t cut the mustard.

As for ‘life’, consider the following recent news item: Christmas will not come for the murdered 30-year old New Jersey resident, Dustin Friedland, who was shot in the head by carjackers as he opened the door for his wife. The deadly shooting occurred in the parking area of the mall at which the couple had just finished holiday shopping.

So perhaps a new twist on the ideology of ‘American Exceptionalism’ should apply: anything goes EXCEPT life and liberty. Don’t despair, however, because the ‘pursuit of happiness’ can always be found in the arena of consumerism.

Perhaps a new seasonal national anthem is in order to the tune of “Deck The Malls With Boughs Of Folly” (and something about Orwellian visions of ‘aspartame plums’ dancing in our heads). Yes Virgina, INGSOC lives, especially in Anytown, USNSA. Let’s take a sleigh ride through dystopia, shall we? Ho Ho NO …

Continue reading

Advertisements

Eat The Rich: Socioeconomics 101

Los_horrores_de_la_guerra
Just Another Black Friday

Them that’s got, shall get
them that’s not, shall lose
so the Bible said, and it still is news
mama may have, and papa may have
God bless’ the child,
that’s got his own, that’s got his own
– Billie Holiday, (God Bless The Child)

It’s funny how we build thoughts into ideas, concepts into crusades, mole hills into mountains, and pet peeves into perversions. We preach, we scorn, we rave and we rant. We stand on our soap boxes and express our outrage, spitting bile and brimstone in indignation at the very core ideas we embraced long ago, even those that have become part and parcel of what we call ‘humanity’.

For example, this past week we once again had the displeasure of experiencing another Black Friday, an appalling and dehumanizing ritual of consumerism promoted by ‘Big Business’ in the name of the almighty dollar. I’m not sure when this much-anticipated annual display of commercial beastliness became popularized, but it’s certainly become just another symbol of the decline of American ‘values‘ … and I don’t mean the Republican kind. It’s a perverse version of the ‘running of the bulls’ in which the ‘tall and the small’ get to displace their sanity and civility in the name of lethal consumerism. This year’s theme, by the way, was pepper spray.

Continue reading