12/1/11

Revolution of Interdependence



The independent are no longer self-sufficient. Borders no longer determine the lines between what matters where and to whom, or who matters where and why. Instead, globalization has redefined the globe and, in the process, has rewritten it’s borders—leaving a new generation scratching their heads as they scour old maps that don’t include either the paths they find themselves on, or an accurate picture of the world they live in. It’s a strange sensation. To think that a planet bustling with 7 billion people is only six degrees of separation away from reaching common ground. And, yet, we the people can’t quite seem to make it; it’s as if all of our potential and all of our dreams are held just out of reach. And that struggle for power, for control and for having a voice, is what is happening right now on a globalized scale. Revolution is brooding. And to both those in power and those reaching for that power, the feeling of change is unmistakable. Though, to the everyday citizens caught up in this whirlwind, even while sitting on the sidelines, the massive protests and growing civil unrest may seem more reminiscent of chaos than progress, lest we forget: progress struggles out of chaos just as we the people can only progress so far without becoming chaotic. History repeats itself. But people have short attention spans.

Viva

6/3/11

Facebook for President


The internet changed everything. Simple things mostly. How easily someone can navigate a map or access information. How quickly a purchase can be made. How goods are sold. How services are provided. Music used to be controlled and filtered, now it’s free; now it’s with us all the time. Movies used to be owned and collected now they’re streamed, inhaled and ‘liked’. Videogames became social. Privacy became less private. Social networks put in writing the social circles that control our lives. We’re online everywhere. We’re connected all the time. We have the world at our fingertips. The web gave us a way to control how we navigate the globe—a way to have a voice anywhere about anything. The Internet changed everything. But what it gave us, more than all the things it changed, was a way to build a user friendly democracy. One where everyone has a vote and no one is elected to vote for them. Our voice is online. But until the paradigm of leadership shifts from the political arena to the public’s opinion, the voice of the people will not be heard. Facebook for president.

5/30/11

Time

Hell is an old man staring at a beautiful woman unable to touch or speak to her. Lost in his memories of the feelings and tastes of his former life, quietly disappearing in front of our eyes. Young people are all around, laughing and chatting, idling their time away. And the old man sits alone, quietly observing the room like a mirror of the future. But rather than look scorned and defeated by his solitude, the old man holds his chin up high. He delicately sips his coffee and peels his eyes away from the woman, thinking something so wise and profound that I can barely stand to be left out of the loop. I see myself in him. Every hard day of life will chisel away my youth and spit in the eye of my innocence until, like him, I’ll be wise and forgotten. Until, like him, I’ll be a man. I was wrong, hell is the naïve prison of youth. And I’m just old enough to grasp that.

5/2/11

Shame on US

In ancient Rome, the arena beckoned the celebration of death, demanded by a crowd hungry for the spilt blood of barbarians and gladiators. And as savage as the sights witnessed inside of the ring were, far worse were the cries of joy and jubilation from the crowd. Today I am ashamed of my country. Today the death of Osama Bin Laden has been made a spectacle of celebration and America has been made a mockery. The parallel between those who heartlessly cheered the events of September 11th and those who took to the streets to applaud the murder of this man seems to be lost on a populace convinced that justice is synonymous with revenge. For to celebrate the death of a man, no matter who he was, or what he did in life, is to lower ourselves to the level of terrorists. It is to present ourselves as animals, to conduct ourselves as children, and perpetrate a cycle of emotional decay and senseless brutality we so hypocritically have shunned our enemies for.


Of course, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, it gets worse. The mainstream media and it’s cluster of parrots masquerading as journalists have taken to deeming this event as the defining moment in Obama’s presidency. And while the day will be remembered, and the president’s involvement is historic, this day is also overtly the choice of those in power to define history as they see fit to write. For declaring that a presidency has been defined by the murder of a man is as much a statement of decrepit values as it is an admission of visceral ineptitude. Because despite the following occurring on president Obama’s watch: extension of Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy elite, his prolonging of the profoundly unconstitutional Patriot Act, raising the Federal Reserve’s debt ceiling (pending), failing to pass universal health care, permitting corporations to give endless untraceable political campaign contributions, failing to take a firm stance on don’t ask don’t tell, starting ANOTHER illegal war without the consent of the American people, torturing Bradley Manning, keeping Guantanamo Bay open, advocating a financial bailout of the very corporations responsible for the financial crisis itself, and countless other betrayals and lies, it is the act of sending other people to another country to murder a man deserving of a trial and cell, not martyrdom and immortality that has ‘defined’ a presidency. I am ashamed of my country. 

1/31/11

Santa Clause Exists

Santa Claus used to exist. I’d see him in the mall talking to kids, on billboards smiling and enjoying a Coca Cola. I’d even wake up on Christmas mornings to find only the crumbs remained from the milk and cookies I’d left out for him. Allegedly, he always knew whether I’d been naughty or nice, and the idea of him being an all-seeing-300-pound-fat-man with complete control of the presents I received, scared the hell out me. Fortunately, I suspected he had misplaced my file because every year he gave me presents not coal. Of course, I happily overlooked his mistake. I got everything I wanted even though it seemed like it was too good to be true.

The American government used to exist. I’d see it on the news and in my textbooks, filled with glorious pictures of heroic soldiers and dead presidents. I’d even wake up on 4th of July mornings to find packages of fireworks waiting to blow the crap out of my action figures. Allegedly, America always knew if a country had been naughty or nice, and the idea of it being an all-seeing-free-and-righteous-military-power scared the hell out of the bad guys in the world. Unfortunately, I suspected America was misunderstood because every year I'd hear people say it had been naughty not nice. Of course, I happily overlooked their mistake. America was everything I wanted and it seemed too good to be true.

The truth used to exist. We’d see it with our own eyes and hear it from the mouths of the people we loved and respected. We’d even wake up every morning, convinced that the world we lived in was free and democratic. Allegedly, people would know if their government was  corrupt, and the idea of it being controlled-by-the-wealthy-elite-who-murder-lie-and-exploit-for-profit, was about as likely as Santa Claus existing. Unfortunately, those people don’t see the world clearly because every year they continue to believe the lies. They happily overlook their own mistakes. They follow the doctrine of nationalism, locked in the same naïve trance as when they believed in Santa Claus. Their truth is too good to be true.