Well, here I am, late again with my assignment, and can’t say that my dog ate it.
Fifth Tuesday Topic
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
When asked about the anti-war movement during Vietnam and at the time, during 2003, Kurt Vonnegut (who passed away last week) said the following:
“When it became obvious what a dumb and cruel and spiritually and financially and militarily ruinous mistake our war in Vietnam was, every artist worth a damn in this country, every serious writer, painter, stand-up comedian, musician, actor and actress, you name it, came out against the thing. We formed what might be described as a laser beam of protest, with everybody aimed in the same direction, focused and intense. This weapon proved to have the power of a banana-cream pie three feet in diameter when dropped from a stepladder five-feet high.
And so it is with anti-war protests in the present day. Then as now, TV did not like anti-war protesters, nor any other sort of protesters, unless they rioted. Now, as then, on account of TV, the right of citizens to peaceably assemble, and petition their government for a redress of grievances, ‘ain’t worth a pitcher of warm spit,’ as the saying goes.”
What do you think of this quotation?
How do you think the modern anti-war movement can rise above the value of a pitcher of warm spit?
What do I think of this quotation? I was too young to remember the details of the wars of the late 50’s and 60’s, but my first thought is, “how did government get so out of control that the people have absolutely NO recourse to do something for change?” The people of government know full well how convoluted the laws are. They know how very little the average person knows about the details of what goes on, let alone know enough to effect change… in other words know enough to play the game. Somehow people don’t want to get involved beyond their little sphere. THEY KNOW THIS. So, life goes on. Our little bubbles get thicker and more opaque; and we continue to wear our rose colored glasses. Government officials go on their merry way, without fear of consequences. They manipulated the laws for their own benefit. They fill their pockets, put in their time, then go home to the lap of luxury with any benefits that they can grab on the way out.
IF someone from the rank and file population DOES question what goes on, they have no idea where to start, no idea how to effectively follow up. I sort of felt this way this week when elections came up in our city for the Board of Ed and the “question” resolution. I feel as if it’s all a game and that “right” person to vote for was buried underneath a pile of junk mail, smear campaigns and PR hype with the real issues buried way too deep to be recognized. One guy even had his daughter on a “letter from her” that came to our house (several times in one day) on a 8 x 10 glossy. Oooo don’t vote for the “bad people”.
Politics. Is not straightforward any more. Why do we need lobbyists? People turn their heads because politics is like the Gorgon. To look upon her invokes massive confusion and paralysis, your migraine peaking as you turn to stone and crumble into a heap of rock on the floor. Chalk one up for the White House. The people in power are ill-equipped to handle the sheer volume of this population. It’s no wonder that public opinion gets lost in the shuffle. Maybe that is just what they want. Let the numbers rise and while the crowd presses in on itself, government officials slip by unnoticed and exit stage left… or in this case, right. We wake up to, yet a new day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and there’s a fox exiting the hen house from the left, right and back, unnoticed until we go out there to look for a couple of eggs for our breakfast only to find a slaughtered country with all it’s precious eggs either broken or contaminated by war. The hens shed their tears, the roosters maimed or dead in the aftermath.
I guess all this just runs around the fact that we, the people, are pushed out of any position of influence that we might have once enjoyed once upon a time, like 200 years ago. The truth is that the politicians enjoy knowing that they control this country, that they carry the “keys”, the mysterious American Rosetta Stone of Politics. We must go through them. Sort of reminds me of organized religion. We must go through the clergy to reach God. In America, we must prostrate ourselves before our Man-God hoping that he will smile down upon us and maybe lower our taxes a little bit, or sign a bill to save our environment…. GRRRRRR that is another hot issue. Everything is just too complicated and every time an average person tries to talk about the issues, the politicians are the first to say, “it’s too complicated of an issue to get into right now. But it’s a ‘conversation’ that should happen~ sometime.” I’m serious, I’ve heard that sort of answer on political talk shows. I hate “conversations”. That is all they are. All talk, no action. I am home more than two years now and have this radio on, tuned into public radio all day. All I hear is partial conversations, punctuated with snippets of callers who are hardly given the time of day. We listeners bring up some pretty good points and nobody seems to want to consider them.
If I had an answer to the last question, I’d be a millionaire… or more. If I get any ideas, I’ll update.