Showing posts with label American Dream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Dream. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Diddy on Ferguson MO, or, Ya'll Need to Get Pissed

I heard a caller on Radio Times this morning mention how none of her white friends were as outraged as her black friends over what is happening in Ferguson, MO.

I agree. More people from all backgrounds need to be angrier and screaming louder in support for a community that is largely ignored in our country, and that is being silenced once more.

Even those on the other side, including the nut-bags should be supporting the locals in their response to an overzealous and over-reaching Police Force, and ineffectual and unresponsive political class.

But we all know what would happen if the Tea-Baggers came out in support of a Black Community fighting for their rights.

But I digress.

This story best represents for me what is going on in Ferguson. His sadness and anger are palpable.
via NPR

As the Pastor, who is standing in front the young man, states "If it's not touching you, if it's not personal, that's where there's a problem."

As a white dude from Colorado I cannot imagine what it is like to live in a world where every moment of everyday you're automatically assumed to be the suspect, the criminal, the different, the other, the watched.

But as an artist I seek stories and narratives, imagery and words that can help me connect to anothers's experience. The young man, Joshua, as well as Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and all those silenced by violence, deserve the dignity of our support and to have their stories told.

Their narrative must be given respect, and must not include justifications for their deaths. These young men did not deserve to die, no matter what their actions. (And their actions are in dispute; there is no proof that Michael Brown stole anything. But he, along with others like him wasn't given Due Process)

That is why the coverage of the story is so important. This event needs to become personal for all of us.

The Police fear this, that is why they don't want Journalists exposing their actions. actions based in an irrational fear of the citizenry.

This diddy from the Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates perfectly describes the Black experience, and how young Black men are being destroyed, and that  "destruction is merely the superlative form of a dominion whose prerogatives include friskings, detainings, beatings, and humiliations. All of this is common to black people."

The fact that people are at best being harassed, and at worst killed, by a increasingly Militarized police force is a problem for all of us. And we need to be angrier.

But again, that Police force fears it's own citizenry. They see in us Terrorists and Bombers so they point their guns at us and chase us away.

It also fears the media because their fear is laid bare when their actions are exposed.
And know you're is in trouble when Egypt criticizes the arrest of journalists and the military-grade quashing of civil rights.

Egypt you say? The surprise inherent in that fact is based on an assumption that we are somehow better than other Nations that struggle with their citizenry.

Coates continues, summing-up the idea that the United States are no longer (and maybe never was) the exemplar of a Free Society perfectly:

"Taken all together, the body count that led us to our present tenuous democratic moment does not elevate us above the community of nations, but installs us uncomfortably within its ranks. And that is terrifying because it shows us to be neither providential nor exceptional"

We could be better and set an example of how a Democracy should deal with it's citizens. But instead we spend billions on Tanks and Armour and Weaponry, rather than community outreach programs, community self-policing programs, and more Police on foot in communities.

For one beautiful moment the violence subsided and people were given hope: rather than pointing a weapon at the people, a State Trooper walked with them. This should show us how the police don't need armor to be brave. Bravery is facing the people, letting them speak for themselves and hearing them out, and even apologizing.

Their anger comes as much from not being heard as it does losing their sons.

That all changed when again, the Police assumed the people were a danger and tried to imprison them in their own homes.

It seems the Media is starting to get it, when CNN's Jake Tapper said simply, "This Doesn't Make Any Sense!'

No it doesn't Jakey. It makes no damn sense at all.

And that pisses me off.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cheaters Always Win, or, Can Anyone Tell Me How One Might Launder My Drug Money?

I know I bitch about jobs and the economy a lot. I mean, being barely employed and dealing with my bank puts me in a mood.

But today amidst my post-bank-conversation bitterness, I got to thinking, I'm trying to do this the right way. I don't spend money frivolously, I work hard when there is work, and only spend the earnings on bills and my once-a-week sanity maintenance regimen of beers and politics.

But the bank couldn't forgive this fee, or release that check, because I went to Starbucks last week and bought a small coffee, which clearly means I'm irresponsible.

Fuck You bank. Fuck you lots.

Stomping around Center City I had an "Office Space" moment: I thought, "I've done things right so far and I'm still getting shat upon. So why not cheat? Why not break the rules? Why not steal and embezzle and con my way through life, because it seems that is the only way to survive these days."

Then I realized that I don't know a thing about crime, or embezzlement, and would likely look up "How To Rob A Bank" on Yahoo Answers and get arrested immediately (I wonder if there's some sort of correspondence course on Pyramid Schemes).

Just so you know this isn't all about me (60-40 me?), I've been thinking along these same lines regarding the Republican candidate for awhile now.

Mitt Romney leaned on the accomplishments of his parents, risked other peoples money to invest and stood on the shoulders of workers, (more accurately laid off-workers, and is rolling in dough. Rather than working the system and earning his place, he gamed the system and he won his place.

He never committed a crime, but it sure as shit was immoral.

The idea that cheaters always win has become a commonplace strategy. Karl Rove outed a CIA agent, Voter ID Laws are being passed and Planned Parenthood is being gutted.

All this because the right can't justify a war's legality, they can't get votes because they alienate most of the country, and they can't make abortion illegal. So they cheat to get their way.

Mitt lies on stage and wins a Debate.

Ryan barges into a non-profit soup kitchen, pretends to clean dishes and leaves after fifteen minutes. All so he can appear compassionate

The facade of truth doesn't even matter anymore, because both dudes will come out looking golden.

The idea that someone can start out as a bag-boy and end up the CEO of grocery is a myth. Maybe once this was possible, but that was when the Middle-Class was strong and the government supported it's citizenry with job and retirement programs.

Another Republican touted myth I hate hearing about is the so-called "Meritocracy." Mitt didn't merit his wealth, and the idea that only by hard work and determinism can one earn the American Dream is extremely rare, or just a myth propagated by those who are justifying their immense wealth.

(Put this in your pipe and smoke it: Republicans care more about tax-breaks than earned income tax credits. See what I did there?)

Mitt's style of Venture Capitalism is a perfect example. He doesn't make anything, at best he makes money of of what someone else has already made. At worst, and the majority of the time, he profits off of their dismantling.

And what's more, he can say he is agains't big government, like the Auto Industry Bailout, while simultaneously profiting off of it You would think that he would support the bailout as he benefits from it. But if he did he would have to admit to gaming the system. Cheaters don't often like admitting that they cheat.

One interesting but related side note, many people who decry the Federal Deficit profit off it by buying very reliable US Bonds which have a solid rate of return Including people who increased the US Debt like George W Bush (can't find the link saying Bush invests in US Bonds, but buying US Bonds is a common practice among Hedge Funds, because it's such a safe bet

All that said, I know for a fact that the Obamas earned their place, they may have relied on family or other external sources for support but they never cheated to get where they are. And a little Affirmative Action does not mean they didn't earn their degrees

I'm also sure they benefited from Nepotism at some point, but who doesn't? It's what you do with it, and whether you come out the other end with enough respect to look yourself in the mirror the next day.

Mitt, obviously hires someone to shave him and brush his teeth, so he has never had the chance to look himself in the eyes. Or maybe he is a Vampire, either way he doesn't deserve to win... come to think of it Ryan does kinda look like two well known Vampires....hrmmm