There will be lots written today and, in the future, as we move ahead on the calendar. Yet nothing can exorcize the revulsion that permeates the world right now. While not alive during the 1930’s when fascism was in fashion and angry, bellicose, small-minded men captured the imaginations (and the lives) of so many millions of people, I see the black magic that they must have felt. The all-consuming news cycles that, bought, paid, and directed by the henchmen of the apocalypse, now direct the masses into submission and, like cattle, lead us to a slaughter not in our language of imagination.
We do not go willingly, at least those who have sentient thought still, but we are swept up in the tide of a storm that has been building for decades now. The fog of war is an apt analogy for what we as a country, and much of the world, is currently stumbling through.
“The fog of war (German: Nebel des Krieges) is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations”
We have been sold a pseudo-patriotic potboiler of a threat scenario that never materialized but has none-the-less taken over our political machine and thus, the body politic and the actual bodies that run the politics that run the country that ruins us all.
I remember thinking “I cannot live under George Bush..we must leave this country, now”. Twice! But we managed to survive and now, even W looks like a benign skin cancer, easily removed with a quick visit to the dermatologist; the scar visible but fading, the inherent poison excised. How strange and now comforting it is to realize that even the scourge of Nixon and Vietnam failed to fundamentally alter our forward trajectory towards right and fair and good.
And then we got the president we have long deserved. Barack Obama came to town.
Obama was not elected with huge majorities. He was a black man rising to power in a society that still had and has strong tentacles of southern bigotry and white-entitlement racing through its blood. But win he did. Fair and square. And govern he did; fairly and thoughtfully. We did not always agree but he and his cabinet and his chosen officers of governance conveyed themselves for eight years with honor, dignity, and not even a hint of a scandal, invented or not. It was what those of us who lived through the ’60s thought we had finally won; a government for us. A government that granted same-sex marriage, a government that in large part allows autonomy in most things we fervently believed so many years ago; legal weed in large part, continued access to abortion…for now; in short, a more humane country than the one we were all born into in the middle of the last century. And then the playing field got hacked.
We weren’t paying attention, we became complacent, we lost track of the true evil that was nosing around our lives and lurking in wait of an opportunity, and a stooge, with which to promote its Orwellian agenda. And now we have him, seemingly forever. The shame of our leaders does not even register and the shock that right-minded people feel has been numbed and beaten into submission by the machinery of the Right and the complicity of the media and the elected officers. We are dealing with a Medusa of mythic proportions, on who, even if we were to behead him, would only spew forth thousands of other, more venomous, snakes to continue his nefarious and deadly visions.
The ends justify the means. The packed courts will carry on their poisonous patronage like the slave owners they descended from. Their naked hatred of Obama and, by extension, all people of color, is now forever enshrined in history and soon will be encoded in our laws. Women, gays, brown-skinned and black-skinned people will all be relegated backward and downwards in the social scheme of our country. It is happening now, before our eyes, to our friends, families, and neighbors. The senators sing the praises of this clown of a sub-human for one reason only; to get the laws and the judges and the payola that they all were promised into reality so that others in the world will sink in stature and pose less and less of a threat to them and their cohort.
Power Corrupts. Point taken.
A fear creeps through the air today, I see it in people’s faces who don’t even know, yet, what it is. Those with whom I really talk about life are as frightened as I am; afraid that the unknown we have yet to envision will be so much worse than the known we are living through now. With the dogs off their leashes all bets are off. More fundamentalist, lifetime, judges are coming. More environmental bombs are set to implode our physical world. More bad actors around the globe are smelling our fear already and readying themselves for assaults that will make 9/11 look like child’s play. You think war is coming? Try a war for the very water we drink. The companies who have been pumping us dry for decades will now have unfettered access and unrestricted business opportunities to sell it back to us at outrageous profits. And those with the least will suffer the most, as always. This time though, they will have NO voice, no stalwart legislators looking out for them and split between the haves and the have-nots will only deepen, corrode, and spill into our human natures in the ugliest of manners.
Yes, today I am disheartened. I am fearing a darkness I have never imagined before. As England leaves the EU today, riding the same train our misguided conductors have cobbled together, more and more millions are being led to a battlefield not of their choosing but exactly of their making.
Inattention leads to inundation.
But a line from a movie I saw recently gives me a glimmer to clutch in the growing gloom.
‘Life brings you to your knees. It brings you lower than you think you can go. But if you stand back up and move forward, if you go just a little farther, you will always find love.
Isabel Díaz (Life Itself)
I am not a prayerful person but today, I pray.
2 thoughts on “Life Brings You to Your Knees”
Brilliantly put. Jesus wept comes to mind.
TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.