Sunday, October 09, 2005

Conversing in the dark

Last night I had an interesting talk with one of the guests staying here for the weekend. We were talking about the resposibility of the government versus self responsibility. "I'm kind of a social Darwinist when it comes to these things [referring to Katrina] it seems obvious to me that if you are going to build your house underneath a cracking damn, then maybe you're particular genetic code does not need to be replicated."

"But these people didn't have a choice, their economic situation left them with nothing to do but live there."

"I just want to empower people. If they want to perceive themselves as victims of some one or some thing then they are welcome to. But if they want to change their lives than they are going to have to pick themselves up by their bootstraps. Complaining and seeking sympathy can work but you have to be really good at it."

"What is the government for then?"

"The government does not exist. What we have is a oil/military/prison transnational conglomerate corporation that is capable of shaping public opinion. The USA is an abstract concept that is given life thru the 1.5 decades or so of indoctrination from the state sponsored school system as well as the self censoring mind altering TV which continues to reinforce the concept of defining one self thru material consumption - instead of you are what you eat, it's you are what you buy..."

"Uhh... OK... I guess, I am going to have to give that some thought..."

"And of course we all know how biased the main stream press has been. Noam Chomsky has been quite thorough in his accumalation of data, analysis and dissemination of how corrupt it has been for as far back as you want to look."

"Who's supposed to help people when there is a disaster?"

"People are supposed to help people. That is how it has always been. I have never seen a government, have you? All I see are other animals trying to get by, stay sane, find moments of happiness..."

"So I guess you mean local government..."

"Yeah, that's just a lot more realistic. What I think happens is that there is a tendency for most of us to believe that politicians are like our parents driving us home after visiting our relatives in New Jersey for Thanksgiviing. We can fall asleep because we have total trust that they will get us home safe. The professional politician knows this. His advisers know this. His PR people thrive because of their ability to exploit this intrinsic human need. So what we hear in the news is what we want to hear. It is broadcasted back to us... basically just the results of opinion poles... and then they go back to what ever it was they were doing before the "interruption."

We sit in silence for a while listening to the crickets' love songs and the distant sound of automobiles pushing the air around in town.

"You know, the only way anything is going to change is when we all start riding our bikes more. The power has just got way to concentrated because of our addiction to oil. Money is the bottom line... everything else is window dressing."