Friday, February 03, 2006

A Beast Unchained

“May you live in interesting times.”
-ancient Chinese curse

Indeed. Have any times since the invention of agriculture or the printing press been as interesting as these?

The entire system of government that our country is founded on makes an assumption that, in the era of corporate owned media and super-partisan politics, may no longer hold. This assumption is that the people who are voting will be informed, and will be outraged when their government fails to live up to its responsibilities.

As we have seen, despite an almost continual string of scandals involving corruption, incompetence, malicious deception, and gross negligence, the electorate has failed to remove those responsible from power. A large part of this is the tendency of people to pick a side and stick with it, completely discounting any information that questions their chosen world view. Once a person's paradigm is crystallized, it becomes nearly unbreakable. This fundamental failure on the part of the citizenry to embrace their responsibility to truth over tribe is compounded by the unreliable channels of information available to them.

By breeding distrust of what has become known as the “mainstream media,” (but which would be better known as the “corporate media”), political operatives have closed down one of the vital branches of government: the press. In an era of information overload, where every person who wishes to stay informed must make decisions about where to get their data, it becomes easy to isolate oneself in a bubble of unreality, crafted by those who we agree with to match all of our preconceived notions and never call into question our fundamental assumptions.

This weakness has turned out to be the soft underbelly of democracy. This situation is compounded by the fact that many Americans are not properly taught critical thinking skills and lack intellectual curiosity, and thus do not have the ability to discern the differences between truth and the art of peddling half-truths, lies, and other deceptions known as “spin.”

Even those who feel confident in their ability to do so often get taken in by the spin. No single person has the time or resources to do the detailed research that would be required to fact check every news article they read.

This job, which should be performed by the media, is now often left to amateurs, such as bloggers and indymedia reporters. Unfortunately, most bloggers do not have the resources or time to focus on more than a few stories at a time.

And so we are left twisting in the wind, where those with the power to inform us choose instead to serve their own self interest, and those with the will to inform us do not have the power to do so. This leaves us with a government run amok, riddled with corruption, rotten to its very core, and little to no means to work for change within the system. The powerful and elite have taken away our peaceful means of keeping them in check, and believe that in so doing they have tamed the people. But those who try to domesticate wild animals know that it is only a matter of time before a beast, denied too long its food, air, and water, will turn on its handlers. And when that day comes, woe to those who stand against the fury of a wild creature unchained.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was great. Right on! =)

3:41 PM  
Anonymous ra'gridr said...

Another excellant article, Shark. I wonder if that was what Duh'bya was referring to when he said in the SOTU speech that no human/animal hybrids would be allowed. He knows that the growing number of people who see him for the phony he really is are awakening the wild beast of freedom that resides in every American who truly cares about our country. If so, boy is he in for a surprise!
They think we are weak, disorganized and small in numbers. But if they keep usurping our freedoms and rights, they will find out how wrong they are. I'm just so sad that our country has to go thru this like some third world dictatorship; this is what those in power have pushed us to. Them and the lazy sheeples who don't have time to pay attention because "there's a sale at Home Depot this weekend". I'm losing my patience with them.

10:33 AM  
Blogger WalkingShark said...

Thank you for the kind words. I honestly would rather be wrong about all this. I'd rather live in a world where everything really was ok and no one was stealing elections, opressing dissent, and stripping away my rights.

Unfortunately, that happy fantasy is not the real world, and I refuse to live a lie.

I only hope that those with the power to make change peacefully live up to their responsability.

If they follow the pattern of history, they'll think that it is simply easier to silence dissenters, to kill the messengers. And it is easier. In the short term.

But of course, in the long term, they are bringing on themselves only death and destruction.

I have no need to lift my hand against my enemies. They will either heed my words or destroy me, and if they destroy me they have sealed their own demise. My cause is freedom, and my victory is assured. Their only power is to choose if I will win in the long term or the short term.

Let us all hope they choose wisely.

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Ra'gridr said...

That is the part that is the most frustrating to me, is that it doesn't have to be this way. Everyone really wants peace and happiness, no matter who you are. But for the actions of those most greedy and immoral; it could be that way.
Could this be the yin/yang thing they talk about? Are we, as a species, destined to be at constant war with each other?

4:32 PM  
Anonymous glide said...

I agree shark. No one said it better than John Kay back in 1970. (These lyrics have been playing in my head over and over for a couple of years now.) Kay knew what oppression was all about. He crossed the iron curtain with his mother at age 5.

It's not like we haven't been warned by our ancestors and multiple modern prophets: We got a Monster on the loose...our head is in a noose, and it just sits there watchin'....

From Steppenwolf's Monster-Suicide-America:

The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

10:41 AM  
Anonymous aroura said...

You said: This assumption [that the founding fathers wanted people to be informed and wanted to give them a chance to fight against the tyrants] is that the people who are voting will be informed, and will be outraged when their government fails to live up to its responsibilities.
Is that true? I see it differently. I see the founding fathers having set up an oligarchy in which only men of a certain class and race could be involved in the election process. No one was really given a fair chance, or any chance at all. This country was founded on unnecessary bloodshed. Partly because they were in such a state of justified victimhood, that that fury and anger was turned onto others (I assume you know I am talking of the indigenious peoples). Maybe they even liked it. Maybe they enjoyed being the conquerors for once.
Perhaps these aren't the men you are speaking of?

9:06 PM  

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