Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why the heck not

I wasn't going to add to the collective 9/11 word play on the Intertubz today, but here at this late hour, I've figured "Why the heck not?"

The terrorists have won.   Srsly.

If you don't think so, let's take a little tour.

  • As a nation, we have collectively surrendered huge swaths of our civil rights to laws with warm and fuzzy names like the "Patriot Act".  
  • We have sat unknowingly by while shadowy government agencies built surveillance networks that the Stazi only dreamed about in their wettest of dreams--and we only found out about them when one guy bravely came forth to expose them, and was hounded to the ends of the earth by that same government for revealing their secret.
  • We have allowed our police agencies at all local levels to arm themselves as if they were invading Fallujah on a bad day--and then we're all surprised and butthurt when they actually make use of their new toys.
  • We have allowed agencies at the federal level to form their own police agencies, just in case the EPA needs a SWAT team to visit your farm to check out a mud puddle that they think is a wetland.
  • We parade through airports in our stocking feet, wearing sweatpants and t-shirts so minimum-wage goons can line us up to do things that would be considered sexual assault in any other venue.
Do I need to keep going?  I can, but it does get wearying, so I won't.

We did all these things because we are, collectively, failures at one simple task--we cannot take responsibility for our own lives and our own safety.  We can't collectively "man up" and handle reality.  We want someone to step in and do it for us, because it's hard.

Of course it's hard, you morons.  Do you think that it was easy for the men and women on the Mayflower?  How about the first Americans--the ones who crossed the Bering land bridge?  Do you suppose the Vikings had it easy?  Or the Romans, or the ancient Chinese or the Incans?  It's always been hard, and it will always be hard.  Even with all our technology, it is hard to buckle down and deal with the ugly reality that the world really doesn't give a single shit whether you live or die.  It's up to you to go out and take your living.  You have to work and you have to earn it.

At least you had to.  Now, we have a population where half the people have learned that they can vote to steal from the other half, and there are no--zero, none, nada, zilch--ramifications to doing so.  This situation won't last long, of course, but while it does, let's party!

And while many of these things started long before September 11, 2001, the events of that day have moved those trends along at a break-neck speed that few would have believed.  I remember when the Berlin Wall fell and so many of us thought "Well, damn, now what?"  And we sort of coasted through the 80s and the 90s, and then BLAMMO!  2001 showed up and we had burning buildings collapsing and a whole new war to deal with.

Except it wasn't the war we were sold on September 12.  Not by a long shot.

Sunday, September 07, 2014