Disclaimer: I don’t know why, but I’m apparently feeling all this stuff today. It’s long and (probably) obnoxious so bypass at your convenience or read it if you’re feeling like being accosted by a fool and his “mighty” soap box. Though, I think that the end is positive enough to make up for how negative the middle is… Either way, this is some of the stuff I’ve spent the last year and some change thinking about. I can’t wait to go back to my usual cares of resource management to keep my video game population alive and happy and what the future holds for the Marvel movie franchise. Pretending to care about stuff is frikin exhausting… Hooray for self-deprecation and belittlement. lol No one can undermine my gravitas and sincerity better than I can. lol Boo-ya.
When a society’s cultural heels are dead that society will focus their attention on the true villains and corruptions among them.
10-20 years ago we had the last true cultural heels in America.
Marilyn Manson and Eminem led the way. They played the villains in order to open our eyes and spread some truth.
In the last ten years Marilyn has all but disappeared, his last 2-3 albums being mostly musical with little bite and no one listening. Meanwhile, Eminem has become absorbed into the mainstream consciousness and effectively neutered. Everyone else has either stopped making music or have become middle aged parents and are more focused on what matters to them personally as opposed to things they cannot change.
Fair enough. But very few people have stepped up to replace them and those that have are either unknown or are speaking so softly that their messages are all but lost. They’re not playing heels, they’re playing faces. They’re cultural good guys, but no one takes good guys seriously.
The only person that I can think of that speaks about serious issues in their music is MIA. You remember that catchy little diddy “Paper Planes”? Did you know it’s about refugees fleeing their war torn homes? I didn’t until about a year ago. A lot of her music has similar messages but their all drowned out by how catchy the beats are.
But, hell, she’s trying.
And while a part of me laments our current lack of villainous artists (and the fact that the two people getting the most media outrage these days are Mylie Cyrus and Justin Bieber… yeah, they’re a real threat to our youth… Lita Ford and Sid Vicious, step aside… right…), I think it’s for the best. Because in the last ten years I feel that more and more people are focusing on the true villains in our society. The corrupt politicians and executives and media personalities whose job it is to help each other gather more wealth and power while keeping us distracted on bullshit that truly doesn’t matter.
You see, the reason entertainers garner such heavy media attention when they do something even a little bit shocking is because people want to distract us from the actual atrocities going on in the world.
But then again, that stuff gets so much attention because they’re told that it’s what people want to hear about. We want to hear about Mylie Cyrus’ twerking and Justin Bieber’s misdemeanors and Bob Costas’ fucking pink eye. Most of us say we don’t but we really do because real news would be too much of a fucking bummer. We might actually have to stop and think about how good we have it in this country instead of bitching about the shitty Bluetooth we bought yesterday.
Granted, I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t base your problems on the problems of others. Your problems are yours and who is anyone else to say they’re not legitimate?But still, we go too far with it. We insulate ourselves from the worst of humanity, for what? So we don’t have to think about it? So we won’t be bothered every once in while when we remember that horrible things happen sometimes?
In America our beggars and homeless have more earning potential than a lot of the rest of the world’s population. They have more ready access to education and health care than most of sub-Saharan Africa.
In the last 8 years over 100,000 people have died in the Mexican Drug War.
That’s not including Police, military or cartel members. The Mexican government has lost entire municipal areas to the cartels. And no, I’m not talking about how the Crips and Bloods “owned” Compton and Inglewood in the late 80’s-early 90’s. I’m talking they actually have active control over the police, newspapers and local governments of these cities and the populations are being inundated with propaganda saying that the cartels are the good guys. The propaganda is so thorough that they have even started scholarships to send cartel members to college for computer science degrees so they can track down and silence bloggers and other political activists on the internet. A lot of this violence occurs within a few dozen miles of our border. Do we hear about it? Nope. But we hear plenty of bitching about Mexicans jumping over the border to “ruin our country”. Are you fucking kidding me? If we had to deal with the kind of shit they do, we wouldn’t be waiting months to years for a fucking visa either. We’d be swarming into Canada and working whatever menial job we could just so we didn’t have to go back to a place where our choices are a boot on our neck or getting our head hacked off with a machete in a video that gets posted to the internet.
And the real fucked up thing is that these cartels are as powerful as they are because of us. Not us individually, but collectively. Our so-called war on drugs and the people who partake in these illegal drugs have been fueling these organizations for decades. And do you know why these drugs (marijuana and cocaine especially) are campaigned against so vehemently? It’s not because they destroy lives. That’s just the bullshit we’re fed so we’re sympathetic to their cause. It’s because certain people stand to make way more money than if drugs were legal.
Prisons are privatized and those private companies only exist to make money and prisons only make money if they’re populated and over half of federal prisoners are being held on drug related charges.
And the most fucked up part of that sentence? Prisons make money. Are you fucking kidding me? Prisons shouldn’t make money. That’s a fucking “Save the Date” for corruption. Prisons should be a drain on Federal and state funds. We should HAVE to pay taxes to keep dangerous people away from us. A fee to maintain a peaceful society. We pay taxes to keep potholes out of our streets but we don’t pay taxes to keep murderers and rapists out of those same streets?
What the fuck?
If we paid taxes to fund prisons maybe we’d give two shits about what crimes fill those prisons and what kind of actions are truly detrimental to our lives. The only life a little baggy of blow or pot ever ruined was the unlucky son of a bitch holding it when the cops showed up. Oh, and of course the countless Mexicans that were murdered along the way for us to achieve such “justice”. But fuck them, right Republicans? (I know, I know, “Not all Republicans believe blah, blah, blah…” It’s hyperbole for the sake of making a point. If you don’t like being lumped in with those assholes, clean up your fucking party. It’s like walking around after you shit your pants and being indignant when someone mentions the stench. It’s embarrassing…)
And so the media tries to distract us with the jangle of keys. And most of us welcome that distraction. Which is understandable, really. Who wants to worry about things they can’t do anything about? You can’t stop politicians and corporations from being powerful. It’s a capitalist republic. We gave them that power. You can’t stop atrocities from being committed on foreign soil. There’s literally not a god damned thing you can do to affect something like that.
But I feel that, if I’m not in a position to heal the rotten parts of our world, the least I can do is open myself up and expose my eyes and mind to the most heinous parts of that infection. That way I can see it when it happens and maybe see the roots of why it happened in the first place. That way I can empathize. That way maybe, just maybe, I’ll be in a better position in the future to affect change or nip something in the bud before it becomes a problem.
And that’s why, though I’m saddened to see shock and rebel artists disappear, I think it’ll be better in the long run. Every day more of us are turning our attention toward the real criminals and being able to see through their illusions and mind games toward the real problems in our society. And even though we’re not there yet, we’re moving in the direction where the spread of information is boundless. There are many good people out there focusing our attention through the fog of misinformation and propaganda and towards the truth.
Like I said, we’re not there yet but we’re moving in that direction and that is a monumental beacon of hope for me. As long as we continue to progress toward what’s right, no amount of doom-saying or false social plagues will ever truly matter.
Like they say, “All that glitters is not gold.” Well, even gold is almost completely useless. That’s why they made money and jewelry out of it and not tools. Because it was shiny but worthless. The real stuff, the stuff that has actual, intrinsic value, is almost always grey. It’s not fancy. It’s not pretty. Things of actual substance are nearly always ugly. But if that ugliness is forged and tempered it can be turned into something useful. Something that can help people. Something that can affect change.
As far as I’m concerned, the potential of humanity is the most glittery, shiny, pretty, distraction I can see.