Monday, September 07, 2009

Reaching Past Redundancy's Echo Chamber

While the issues we debate are important and quite pertinent to the health of our nation and the direction in which it is headed, I think we've beaten several horses to death over the past few weeks. Though every creative, thinking person can manage to find some new permutations to bring up for discussion, I find that it is becoming harder and harder to manage a brand new take on the same issue as spin and weariness begins to replace substantive discourse. I myself am having a difficult time knowing what to add to the collective discussion when we seem to have analyzed matters from almost every point of view imaginable. What I wish for more than anything is a desire for us to be able to see the forest for the trees.

Blue Gal's post of yesterday nails it perfectly. In it she discusses in no uncertain terms what she does not want to write about anymore (and what she does). In so doing, she cuts to the heart of the matter. Blue Gal periodically rewards worthy bloggers who push past conventional lines of discourse to seek the truth underneath. Those who do receive personal mention on her site and the always richly deserved "Don't Sugarcoat It" Award. In this instance, she might as well pin the distinction on herself.

I want to write about Life. The very same culture of life that so many say we're lacking in this country. Are we willing to believe and promulgate the belief that safety is in carrying a gun so that the Black president will not euthanize your mother?

The culture of life? Really. And we as a nation have this huge generation facing retirement and aging and they have health insurance but all you have to do is say "death panel" and "grandma" and "abortion" and the collective freak out from these people is ridiculous. I just want to scream to them, you are MORTAL and your time on this earth is ticking away and you scream about it but what you really truly want is for a white leader to tell you you don't have to worry about sickness and death forever because he will keep you safe to the point of starting fake wars and torturing the brown people and paying off the insurance people with your money, and the white guy is, guess what, not Jesus Christ. Jesus was born to an unwed mother in Egypt. He didn't have a birth certificate. And his skin? You'd grab your gun if Jesus knocked on your door, asshole.

Amen. What else really is there to add to that? People are often very short sighted and if they honestly recognized that diversity enriches us instead of weakens us, then we might be getting somewhere as a race of sentient beings. I've read study after which states quite persuasively that women and men benefit from the strengths that both genders bring to the table. I've read study after study which states persuasively that a pluralistic, racially balanced society creates a wealth of alternative perspectives that no one group would have ever managed in isolation. And one can, of course, expand this line of thinking to include every possible combination of different identity groups that influence each of us either directly or indirectly. I hardly think the point of such contrast was for us to self-isolate and throw rocks at those we deem "not like us". One would have to be a petty, pessimistic person to believe that the whole design of human existence was for us to be thrown together, separate but unequal, and surrounded by mortal enemies. The real enemies, I often discover, are inside the heads of the people who create them.

Yet, I do acknowledge the numerous challenges multiculturalism and cultural plurality presents. Arriving at the negotiating table requires an ability to propose and advance a mutually agreed upon set of rules of conduct, and it is this very same problem that creates so much friction. An attitude that asserts, what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable is what has gotten us to this crossroads. I'm not an idealistic dreamer who thinks that the power of positive thinking alone is sufficient or even particularly plausible. Yet, even so, we must, in my opinion, find new theories and new ideas to fix the problems of our time. New times call for new solutions and I've watched as we've committed much brain power to explaining the flaws in our opponents' arguments and in so doing sensibly advancing our own cause, but the problem is that many of those who have drawn a line in the sane in front of us are simply unwilling to listen.

It would seem then that we ought to consider changing tactics. I wish to discover or even contribute to the next big paradigm shift and the brand new innovative theory upon which we try to find ways to live together rather than living in the hell of perpetual conflict. As our planet grows every larger with each passing day, I really do not believe that growing more entrenched and isolated will do us much good at all. In times past, if one considers the historical record, fragmentation and division has been ultimately harmful and poisonous. As Blue Gal herself points out in the post I've cited above, we are mortal beings. Eventually all of us will die and as such our time here is finite and of a very short duration. We are certainly allowed to waste our time with trivialities and surface banalities but then again we can also use our brain power and our compassion to seek to open up channels of communication, knowing full well that the established players and the power brokers will attempt to throw monkey wrench after monkey wrench into the gears. But if I understand it, no worthy cause comes without a degree of discomfort and toil, and though we might be our own worst nightmare, we are also just as capable of being our own salvation, too. That with which we currently struggle will always require constant forward motion and that simply is not possible without our will and energy.

1 comment:

Fran / Blue Gal said...

thanks for the link!