Thursday, May 23, 2013

Serious Business

Life is serious business
It’s dog-eat-dog out there
There’s no time for lallygagging
Tongue wagging

Life is serious business.
But I say, 2013, that it doesn’t need to be.

We can live in a la-di-da paradise world where people cooperate in peace and harmony, mediating their problems with reason and compassion, where every human life pursues its path to glory and all the shit jobs are done by robots.

So now all the serious people are ready to stop reading. Fairy tale worlds are not for grownups. There are harsh realities, tangled complexities, power and human nature to contend with. Global warming, economic recession, unemployment, environmental destruction, religious fundamentalism, vampires…wait, not vampires. Unless you really think about it.

Life’s consumptive nature does pose interesting challenges to the pursuit of a pure heart (the primary goal Hollywood has spelled out for us). Food, water, oxygen, belonging, sunshine – our bodily needs, and the basic insecurity to life they create on an hourly basis, rot away trust, breed fear and enslave us to the powers of evil men.

Evil men. I’ll say it, and I’ll say it again, because this might not be a fairy tale but we are, each and every one of us, bit players in the stories that real human beings are creating. Except when we’re not. But I’ll get to that.

Let’s start again.

Have you noticed how stressed out everyone is? How busy? Do you see the scared-rabbit look in their eyes when you ask them how they are? People are secretly wigging out, all over the place, under the pressure of stress.

Stress comes from the necessity for consumption. We are consuming creatures. Chomp, chomp, chomp. Which breeds mistrust, which…wait, we’re back to the Evil Men. Damn.

Well, there it is. We could spend all day explaining how they got evil, how they are a byproduct of the socio-economic bla bla bla, but here is the truth: some people see their lives as a quest to accumulate private ownership of as much of the earth’s resources as they possibly can, even if it means taking the entire down planet with them.

Many don’t even know they are evil. The reality where they live has its own laws of nature, which disallow any argument that presumes collective responsibility. What makes them dangerous is the limitations on their thinking parameters, and their devotion to a particular gambling ring we call the stock market. No, wait. What makes them dangerous is that they control most of the world’s resources. Right. The stuff of a good apocalypse story.

For whatever reasons, these naïve, Evil Men are as blind to inherent collective responsibility as a colour-blind person might be to blue. They cannot see beyond the rules of the game they define. They are disabled, deficient, lacking in the collective sense. Many now realize this and are seeking relief through donation and charity. I believe they can be taught how to value more than they do today. Even the most far gone sufferers. I believe it’s possible, over time, over generations, in 200 years, in a thousand.

By chipping away, throwing pebbles, making little cracks in the armour. Then rushing in with collective will. We win the way all the great fantasy underdogs win, with spirit and valour and fine guerrilla tactics. We open up spaces for love to rehabilitate. First we turn the ship back in the direction that values collective responsibility, then we haggle over the hows and whats. Right now, we’re pointed straight for the waterfall drop.