“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
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
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
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,
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 emperor wears no clothes!!!