To the reader: Please try to read this blog entry in good humour. It was written as such.
I'd like to bitch briefly -if I may- about he state of this foul world in which we are forced to exist. There are a growing number of issues bothering me on a regular basis and where better to rant and rave about them then here...? ...On reflection this may turn out to be slightly more then a brief bitch, but for good or ill, I promise we'll learn a thing or two along the way.
I am a slave. I am shackled, I am chained. I work to feed my captors, and to finance the purchase of heavier chains. Yet, I am told I live in a free country. I am told the taxes I pay are for the greater good. I am told I should be so lucky, and that big brother knows best. Lies. I, and far too many like me, pay into a system that cages us, uses us, drains us, trapped in the bondage that is the illusion of 'freedom'.
I am told many lies by what I'm going to refer to as the 'system'. This perhaps cliched expression seems to me to be an appropriate designation for the vast network of kafkaesque bureaucracies trying -successfully- to restrain us. Organised religion and government are examples of two such forces, but there are many elements making up the system. Some of these elements work in tandem -even with a certain synergy- while some seem to have opposing beliefs and goals, but it all comes out to the same end; control.
Since I was a child I was told I had to do well in school and go to university so I could be successful. If I wanted to have any quality of life this was the path I must take. Then I would be happy. Then I could support a family, buy a home, raise children, my life would be what it should be -what they said it should be. This traditional view of life is a smokescreen, and probably the biggest one ever pulled over the eyes of the developed world. It is an artifact of the system. This standard of measuring success is the heaviest chain of all.
Allow me to ellaborate; a man is measured not by his morals, ethics, values or hell, even stature. He is measured by his education, his bank account, his car and home. Phrased like that it seems wrong doesn't it? So how did it get to be this way? How is it I -and yes, you as well reader- came to be a slave? The answer lies in this measurement of success. The rich is no less a slave then the poor, except that the former can buy his way out of some of that bondage but still never escape it. Which goes to show what it all really comes down to; the aspiration of wealth.
That is the catch. The ugly truth is that the desire for wealth reflects an inherent yearning for freedom, yet it is the desire for wealth that enslaves us. In our quest to obtain our alotted white picket fence and our suburban home with our 2.3 children we have forgotten what freedom really is and substituted it with the system's idealic definition of success, feeding the beast, as it were.
The goal of the system is to keep us so hopelessly enamoured with this dream that we can be bled dry while we buzz around; busy little worker bees, mindlessly carrying out our assigned tasks without a second thought to the bigger picture. Who has time to question the powers-that-be when they have bills and a morgage to pay, and children to put through school? Not you reader? No, surely not, and nor do I for that matter. That's the point; a white picket fence for a cage, and financial obligations for chains.
What is truely twisted here, though, is that it works. And we, as a people, even seem to like it. We have been coddled so long in the nurturing arms of big brother that we have come to rely on the very system robbing us of our freedom. What would we do, after-all, without rules and regulations? Without restrictions and signs? Surely we would collapse under the weight of our own humanity, unable to sustain ourselves without a higher power to guide us to 'success' and prohibit us from making our own mistakes and -by implication- our own decisions... Right?
Wrong. We were suckered into captivity slowly, one baby step at a time. The irony of our situation is no coincidence -it was by design that we became dependant on the system, and it was by design that doing so stripped away more and more layers of freedom. Much like an onion, only so many layers can be peeled off before you are left with nothing, wondering were it all went.
Well reader, I assure you, we are closer to the hollow center of that onion then we are to the outer skin. Any guess on my part of just how close would be purely speculation, but the ominous air of today's world leaves little doubt that we are well on our way. Ignorance, stupidity, fear and loathing are rampant -as they always were- but the system has honed the manipulation of these natural aspects of the human condition into a fine art.
The masses are ignorant. A person can be smart or dumb, but people are stupid. As people, we are fed a great many lies on a daily basis, and we insatiably gobble them up -without proof of the fact- ever grateful to our benefactors for providing us with such wholesome morsels. We trustingly believe the things big brother has told us, and why shouldn't we? He has always been there to show us they way, shit we voted for him.
Fear is a powerful motivator; a man will do a great number of irrational and illogical things when he is afraid, and at this point we as a people are terrified. They say 'boo' and we jump -nae- leap, before cowering in fear and handing over our wallets. Fear is also an excellent diversionary tactic, for example, I'm not making anything up when I say that we've known about global warming for decades but it's only been a hot-button issue since the war in Iraq.
I'm going to re-route this train of thought before I'm lost on some tangent about the farce that is global warming; that's a whole other rant of it's own... At this point I could probably rifle-off several more examples of mass manipulation, but the dark shadow of a raving, wild-eyed conspiracy nut looms threateningly over my keyboard. Instead I'm going to trust that I have inspired you, reader, to start looking at the bigger picture, and leave that can of worms sealed on the shelf.
So... were where we? Ah yes, center of the onion, right. How far can it go? How much freedom do we have left to loose? How many more laws and regulations can be heaped on us? How much more red tape can there possibly be in the world? Well that's the problem; you work for the system reader. You manufacture and process red tape, an endless supply of it. When will we say no more? ...Do we even want to?
There was once a time -long before I was born- when people stood up, pointed out the shackles that bind us all, and proudly exclaimed that they wanted no part of it. I'm not going to make a statement as foolish as to say that the beat generation or rock and roll or the Berkely radicals or the hippies came close to changing things, but I am confident when I say this reader: They came a hell of a lot closer then my generation ever did -or even dared to try.
Hunter S. Thompson might have said it best when he espoused the notion -way back in 1971- that "we are all wired into a survival trip now, no more of the speed that fueled the sixties". Which is a notion that holds true to this very day. It's a dog-eat-dog world; every man for himself; grab what you can and fuck everyone else. And thats just the way they wanted it; so blinded by the flurry of the rat race that we can't see whats going on around us.
Things certainly have changed since the free-speech movement, and the people are silent. The system has grown beyond all confines of reasonability and we have grown complacent. Status-quo is the name of the game, and financial success is the scoreboard. Hell, some of us might not like the way things are, but you still gotta play the game, right? Indeed. No time for a revolution when your barely holding down a nine-to-five and living paycheck to paycheck, or working fourteen hour days to stay ahead of the competition while you build your fortune.
To truely comprehend the depth of this malignant fact of life, perhaps it's time we all take a good hard look in the mirror. Sloth, gluttony and greed are raw, pure qualities of the human race. Stemming from these characteristics grew our drive to 'succeed' -which is essentially a way of saying 'to have more then one's neighbor'- and it is through that drive that we were so easily manipulated into bondage.
We are the system. We dreamed it, built it and nurtured it until it was bigger then we ever thought possible, and we fucking love it. We thrive on it. Like children needing boundaries and discipline we need the system. It is with us that the fault ultimately lies for our incarceration; for who can blame the powers-that-be for seizing the reigns when we so eagerly handed them to any willing taker?
Well, the writing is certainly on the wall now. We have spiraled so deep into the rabbit hole that we can no longer see that faint glint of light from whence we first stumbled and fell. Nor can we see any sign of a bottem to this wretched fucker. Hell, are you, reader, going to stand up and declare "No More!"? No, you won't, you'll go pay another bill. And as for me? I'm off to work. Because at the end of the day, what other choice do we have?