~Meniscus Archives~
Winter 2004
Issue #6
Past, Present & Future

Issue #6 Home


Wake Up Call
Brian O'Connell
Only through true revolution will real change come. Otherwise it will all just be a bunch of theater, puppets and candle light vigils that can easily be shrugged off by the powers that be.

Aaron Ades
Create what you need and eliminate the reliance on things you cannot create.

Diary of a Future Rock Star
The Tonic
2004 for me is about finding what my life goal is truly about. I am beginning to think it has less to do with music than it does with spreading love, kindness and happiness.


Wake- Up Call

Brian O'Connell
Published 12/18/04

“Don't worry, your quality of life is not going to change in the next four years,” my friend told me in consolation. It was Thursday night after the Tuesday presidential election, 2004. I was feeling really shaken by the result. "Maybe he was right," I thought. What has really happened as far as my day to day life activities during the last four years? Aside from personal changes I still have all the same stuff that is really important.

I still have the heat, I still have the AC, I still have my running hot and cold water and my flushing toilet. I got my ATM, I'll pass on the MTV and credit cards, but I'll take my car, CD’s, this computer that I’m typing at, my coffee maker, my toys, gas stations, the roof over my head, roads, trains, bridges, the post office, doctors, police, planes, refrigerators, the internet, plentiful food, any book at the library, free arts, freedom of speech... Stuff like that.

So then I started thinking, well what if it’s OK that he’s in there for four more years, he might want to, you know, chill out and establish a legacy. How much farther can he push this stuff? They won't be able to establish a draft...

There I go again, letting the media put those crazy thoughts in my head, lulled into submission by the relentless and ubiquitous propaganda that keeps us as hungry, horny and confused as possible, distracted from what is real.

The endless misinformation keeps us from clearly seeing the choices that we must make. This is what we must truly wage war against. We are being led into manufactured wars against hyped up enemies like “terrorists” and “communists”. Everyone wants to be safe, to have health care, have a clean environment and have social freedom. Yet we end up using our resources to make corporations rich and the little guy poor. This fact is kept as hidden as possible. And even if it's like trying to avoid an elephant in the room, the media misinformation campaign is very successful. Only through a grassroots social revolution will change come, outside of the media and political culture of our day.

I know that even if Kerry had won the election we still would be in the same mess. The mess that our culture creates, by massive consumption spurned on the powers of advertising that are relentlessly thrown at our perceptions. Our addiction as a nation to having the lowest cost everything at our fingertips is pillaging the environment and creating horrible conditions for the workers in many other parts of the world. Just look at the tag on your clothes, where was it made? Haiti? Mongolia? China?

We can’t go on like this forever. Our massive energy consumption and addiction to fossil fuels as a society is the direct cause of the destruction of our human habitat and our military conflicts with oil producing nations, yet we turn our backs on alternative energy technology that is right at our fingertips. Why would Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Ed Kennedy oppose off-shore wind farms that would create endless clean energy? Is it really because they think that it will spoil the view off Cape Cod or decrease tourism?

Our consumerism is causing us to run up a giant societal credit card debt we are eventually going to max out. Our militarism is creating enemies faster than we can kill them, like some mythical beast: You cut of the head and three more grow in it’s place. We need to stop the insanity; we need to break out of the dream world that is modern America. But the corporate-owned media has a strangle hold on the minds of the American public.

After my friend consoled me with the fact that the world is not going to end due to Bush getting back in the oval office, I looked around and realized that I saw a lot of changes that have happened in the last four years. The things that I read and that I hear about on the news and on the street are far and away from anything that seemed important before Bush, before 9/11.

The war, the international backlash, the polarization, the bumper stickers, gas prices; the hate that is becoming more and more acceptable to us as a people. More and more I find myself thinking, "Wow, that never would have happened back in the 90's, before Bush and 9/11." But the real problems and conflicts that are seemingly coming to a head did not appear four years ago, they have been around for a long time. These changes may not affect my day-to-day life, but like the sea levels, the water is rising.

The mass media and the politicians in this country are not giving a fair picture to us as a democratic people. As citizens in America we deserve an honest picture of what our government’s actions are doing to our society and all the other people that live in this global village. The main news networks are owned by corporations whose interests are not the same as the average citizen's.

Why would those who are in control want us to have a realistic view of the world? Why would the political establishment want us to have an informed world view with which to base our voting actions? Why would the corporations look out for the good of the common people when their bottom line is profit? How much effort is made in our society to encourage the acknowledgment of our fellow humans siblings in the rest of the world? How much discussion is there about how the way of life in our society affects the rest of the world? None of this is encouraged in our civil discourse, at least not on a mass level. Having these kinds of topics on the agenda are not in the best interest of the political establishment and it's corporate pay-masters.

But many today are speaking out in greater and greater numbers and exposing the lies that corporate news media is feeding the American public. We need to create this forum on our own. The major media outlets are a relic of the past, we must leave them behind. We need to create a new massive interlocking web of alternative media that exposes the truth (that Meniscus Magazine is a part of). We need to foster dialog with each other in our day to day life and come together, outside of the political and popular mainstream. Let’s throw out the Right vs. Left conflict and accept that our situation is much more complex than the black and white lie of our existing political structure.

Talk with your friends, with your teachers, family, co-workers, classmates and neighbors. Engage in discussion and debate. Let’s get the issues out on the table. Many people will not be converted, but many good-hearted folks will care if they are exposed to some alternative views. Discussion and education on a personal level can lead to unity in the community. Communities working together can create model societies. There is no other choice, we need to think hard and be serious about the environment, global population, the world economy and war. If we don’t get it together soon it will be all over for the human race; either our habitat will no longer be able to support us or the giant arsenal of weapons we have created will go up in our face.

Responsible business ethics, sustainable consumption habits, environmental stewardship, an end to war, and embracing of pacifism is our only choice. We must stand together as global citizens and demand that our society from top to bottom put this on the agenda. This is a battle that we must begin to fight everyday. This is not cruchy, this is not left wing, this is not radical, this is real.

Has anyone noticed that elephant in the shower?

The emperor wears no clothes!!!

Brian O'Connell


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