People to Sheeple and a Most Unfortunate Facebook Email

Some of Them … Our Very Own

The term ‘Sheeple’ , in this  iteration, is a  sad portmanteau of sheep and people, denoting the human who carelessly permits his liberty to be coopted and his rights abrogated by embracing the branding of a political party instead of calculating his responsibility as an American to exercise his right as a free-thinker and examine policy.  The latter is the least direct path, most rewarding and sadly … the road less traveled.

The evidence is abundant and the lure of the marketing forces is deafening from the ‘right’ because the resources are abundant and inspired by an oligarchy that is the portrait of avarice. Common to this abundant evidence is that promotion of ‘party’ over ‘policy,’ that is to say, the targets  of this guerilla marketing blitz are ‘low information’ voters – many of whom spend countless leisure hours  watching television, even though their other hours may be filled with hard work for low pay.

Sadly, many of them are our family and friends and they have exchanged slogans and easily remembered sophistry for what once was reason and logic. It is maddening and it assisted by the 24/7 cacophony of partisan newsy broadcasts that have managed to combine pseudo-intellectual dialog with diatribe and with the worst elements of theatrical wrestling; and, at the same time pitch journalistic credentials, even though they explain at great length how they are not ‘news’ shows but rather entertainment. This is a well-kept secret, because the ‘low-information’ voter insists he is watching the news when asked.

The ‘low-information’ voters are the perfect Sheeple because they are high spirited, living life and love to be associated with winners.  They love sports and fist-pumping and cheering and excitement – quite often because their jobs are unrewarding hard work and essentially unfulfilling.  Perhaps their lives are in disarray or families broken.  But make no mistake – this isn’t about class distinction, this is about conditional distinction, that is to say – low information doesn’t necessarily mean low income.  Although it is disturbing how many low-income low-information voters there are vociferously campaigning for politicos who are certain to trample what’s left of their meager benefits as citizens. It is most prevalent among the iconic ‘right.’

Bait and Switch

This extreme group, disguising themselves as conservative traditionalists, is predominantly the remnants of 20th Century royalists, overwhelmingly bankers and industrialists that are and have always been the courtesans of a global economy.  They controlled the requisite wealth in order to move the cog of world-wide business; and, while minerals and other natural resources have changed, as well as the locations of the most adaptable environments or subordinate economies, the game is largely the same.  It is reliant on a disproportionate number of laborers to fill a meager amount of labor positions.  In this way, it is an employers’ market and the company store concept, very often considered Fascism, reigns supreme.

Imagine, we’ve permitted a greedy media megaplex to force most Americans to pick sides.  We’re a society of images and what better image than celebrity, even if the celebrity is consummate failure and his history is mostly a blend of trust fund and crafty press.  You already know where I’m going with this right?  Of course, I’m talking about Donald Trump.  NY’s professional real estate mogul – wink / nod – who has presided over more bankruptcies than Mormon Church inventor Joseph Smith had wives.  The man who recently used tongues of the mid-millennia to express that he’s always had a “good relationship with the Blacks.”  But he is a celebrity, and just as peculiar as half-term Governor Sarah Palin, he is embraced by the royalists posing as a legitimate political party because he is an icon.  It doesn’t matter if they are each without any usable knowledge, helpful experience, or even a believable curriculum vitae – they are celebrity and when the company store is looking to placate the uninformed – celebrity will do it every time.

Dancing with the Stars, apparently the favorite show of the low-information voter starred, now convicted felon, Tom Delay.  It didn’t matter that he has been judged to have stolen money, abused power and the federal code; not to mention racketeering overtones in other lawsuits not yet completely through the legal confidence course – he has celebrity and the low information voter loves celebrity.

The other thing the low information voter loves is a good slogan.  Take America Back, a personal favorite is the bait and switch of the century.  It implores the uniformed to scream at those that are describing themselves as liberal Americans and pick fights with them. The talking heads that otherwise have no credentials whatsoever in journalism, implore their loyal regiments of uninformed to “Take America Back!!” so their royalist masters can send the labor portion of America off shore and evade taxes. And they do.   This is compounded by an appalling cadre of former / retired public service employees whose entire base for wealth was made possible by liberal ideas – that is to say – union protection, pensions and deserved compensation for education and time-in-grade have embraced the phony conservative’s argument and lionize the phony conservative’s icons.  It is greed, not logic – it is hypnotism – it is incredibly sad.  To embrace a myth when you one cashes checks written from the earnest labor of liberalism to me is the depths of hypocrisy.  It is negligence and cowardice and worst, going along to get along without any idea of patriotism or history.  It is unimaginably stupid.

And Now the Email

So there I was giving an honest reply, to what I consider, an unfortunate conclusion by a friend posted on their own Facebook wall.  So I rejoin the assessment, politely and without malice.  Another “friend” of my friend offers a wise crack that was intended to get a laugh from the original friend but at my expense even though he does not know me, in other words, weapons grade hubris.  The individual, in my opinion was rude but it wasn’t the end of the world.  I invited the party to join me privately if he felt compelled to make stupid remarks, and we could spar in private instead of soiling my friend’s wall.  Alas, my friend thought his conduct was out of line and asked him to write me a note privately and concede and possibly offer contrition.  He did so by identifying himself as a Republican, explained he was trying to get a laugh and without knowing anything about me except my comment about global economics and US aid – the difficult matter that it was the basis of the underlying comment, and then proceeded to write that we have nothing in common and any conversations would be fruitless.  In other words, he had no interest in policy or policies – he was a Republican, much like being a Yankee or Sox fan, he was immovable and it didn’t matter what the issue might possibly be – he loves his brand.  Verbatim: “I am a Republican ….” These were the first words he wrote when the topic on the table was not political.

That my friends, is one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard in my life.  A human, lucky enough to be an American, has voluntarily hobbled his free-speech, free-thought and personal liberty in order to be a loyal card carrying member of a political party instead of having an actual and practical interest in his country and actually practicing patriotism, which has little fist pumping but much page turning.

The iconic right is a cancer foisted on the breast of America and it is terribly sad and destructive.  I think of a fortunate American relinquishing his rights in order to repeat slogans and realize we all die a little as a society – because some people have stopped thinking and prefer brand loyalty, party loyalty to patriotism, which according to the constitution as I have studied is inclusive to all Americans.  Very sad indeed.

Epilogue

Despite these unavoidable and sometimes distressing interstices, confinements that is to say, where reason cannot take a deep enough breath – I am routinely inspired by young people. They get it.  They may have to hold their tongues at the obese, intellectually lazy and self-destructive generation preceding them, but they are smart.  They do consider policy, they are only bound by politics as much as their predecessors may control their sustenance – but  when they are left to their 0wn they are inspiring.

I’ve seen it through their volunteerism, their sense of fairness and their drive to fix things.  They are our wealth, and for the most part they are incredibly productive.  Many don’t even have televisions.  They can see the road ahead, even though it is hogged by many corpulent Sheeple, but I enjoy everyday I get to work with my young colleagues because they renew me, where many of my contemporaries abandoned what we know to be right.

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Compassion and Intellectual Curiosity Aren’t Optional

The Warning to Facebook “Friends”

… some will never see this because I ‘un-friended’ you because you were offensive…

If you are viewing this from Facebook and find that you are offended by what I have written here – please ‘un-friend me’.  I don’t want to be friends with you any longer.  Chances are, if you are offended,  we have nothing in common and are only friends because we thought it was a novel idea.  Some of you will never bother to read this, some will never see this because I ‘un-friended’ you because you were offensive in your political comments, your lack of compassion or I simply discovered that you are not particularly interesting or thoughtful.  So please, ‘un-friend’ me, have the courage to part ways and lower your silly friend count.  You don’t even have to say good-bye, just click ‘un-friend’, we’ll both be happier.  And, if you do have the courage to want to intellectually challenge my assertions, please send me an email or comment.  Just don’t complain – the way to complain is to ‘un-friend’ me.

Freedom and Responsibility

… you’re wasting opportunities to do great things with your chronic complaining – and frankly – I quit you.

There is a great sense of freedom in having a my own column.  It is about my opinion and occasionally about the opinions of others; and, often, my opinion about others’ opinions.  I get to do the same at News Trust as a host, founding member and reviewer.  It’s also my privilege to be able to express my opinion in the non-profit that I volunteer, in fact, it’s encouraged.  And lastly, I leverage my opinion because it is my responsibility to use whatever cognizance, experience and gifts that I have to improve the human condition – and it’s yours too.

So what does that mean?  Well, perhaps understanding what, who and how things operate in the world would be a good start.  Please, don’t bore people with a myopic view of the world that labels people or practices because your favorite TV icon said it was so.  Let’s return to reading and thinking and knowing what you’re talking about.  You complain that you’re gaining weight ?  I’ve great news for you, thinking burns calories.  It certainly burns more calories than watching Dancing with the Stars.

Many of us have families that love us.  Shouldn’t we be the best that we can be?   That’s not going to happen hiding in a cave with our toys and our selfish behavior instead of interacting with them. They need us and we need them; and often, it’s not just about partying. Those of you that have packed the tools or wall-papering paraphernalia to assist a friend or relative know what I’m talking about.  What greater joy than helping a friend.  Certainly more joy than posting : “Uggg!!  It’s raining, why me?”  Who cares – family or friend – you’re wasting opportunities to do great things with your chronic complaining – and frankly – I quit you.  In fact, it is my opinion that everyone should quit you and re-purpose those minutes to capture good messages from worthwhile sources rather than to listen to endless stories of you texting about your struggle in traffic or your long day’s work.  Get a dog, see psychiatrist, or call any friends you have left for help.  I’ll show.  But for goodness sakes – enrich us all, stop using social networking as a toilet.

You have freedom and you also have responsibility to all of us.  At least you should.

World Views

… you repeat the same bologna that your heard on a foreign owned TV News station that is  in concert with the greediest industrialists the world has ever seen.

This is code from a distinct part of society that has been co-opted by political parties, extremist ideologues and other liars that picking-off the middle class very much as ducks in a carnival shooting gallery.  Your ribbons, your slogans and your distasteful contempt for humanity is shameful.

How dare you use slogans and send me messages about Support the Troops while you openly support politicians that have worked intensely on cutting budgets that fund supporting the troops.  I don’t want to be unkind – but you don’t sound smart when you repeat slogans that are plain stupid – like “Take America Back!”  How asinine and thoughtless of you to think because we support different politics that I don’t have a share of America because we disagree.

Moreover, you don’t even know what your politicians voted for that directly harm you and me.  Yet because you fit into some demographic that you have been duped because you are too lazy to think – you repeat the same bologna that your heard on a foreign owned TV News station that is  in concert with the greediest industrialists the world has ever seen.  And, their misinformation is debunked daily in the miniscule and smothered remnants of actual journalism. That’s too much work, turn on American Idol… yea !!

It’s mind-blowing how so many of you could get all worked up about Flag pins and symbols yet I don’t ever remember seeing a lot of you on the bus to basic training.  I don’t remember seeing you in formation and I don’t remember seeing many of you with boots on the ground.  But you’ve got that flag on your car, your motorcycle, your trailer, your golf bag and your Costco shopping bags.  After all, real Americans are all about ribbons and fist-pumping, not thinking and action, right?

Stop the Laughter … Stop My Heart

I see my Grandson laugh because we are sharing moments – brief moments that are pleasing …

Laughter fuels my life.  It is decompression, nutritional and cathartic.  When the laughter stops, my heart will have stopped beating, and I’m not quite sure if this is metaphor.  It doesn’t seem so.  It’s one of the few things (other than many people) of which I actually have faith.   Yet, I don’t find cynicism funny at all, yet I hear enormous amounts of laughter associated with it.  It’s deeply saddening when a message can only be delivered at the expense of another human being or group of human beings.

Sure it’s easy if the human lives are just images on a computer screen or television – but if you had ever traveled and lived among ‘those people’ or even experienced these lives through thoughtful study, you would get the same nauseous feeling when you have to endure a blow-hard spouting off unkind and dangerous words about other people, here and abroad.  There was joke circulating on FB recently that a “friend” posted – it was horrific, offensive and abusive.  The guilty party won’t see this because they have been omitted – even though I’ve known them for 40 years.  Like I said – I quit you.

Laughs begin with smiles.  Laughs do not need victims. Laughs are a natural occurence in humanity as are cries.  They are balance.  I see my Grandson laugh because we are sharing moments – brief moments that are pleasing and instantly I am laughing.  We communicate with laughs, we embrace with laughs and we comfort with laughs.  Laughter is beauty.  When laughter is the tool of ridicule we are wounded as a species.  Worse, looking the other way is the height of the lowest form of cowardice.

My Generation … the Worst

… think of us as Kobe Humans – you know – Kobe beef … the Japanese cows that are massaged…

Hey, I get it, they don’t teach civics any more in schools.  What have we done.  Thank goodness there are next generations.  We have, in record time, elected officials and permitted practices in our Nation that have empowered an insatiable appetite for more of everything; and at the very same time, endorsed policies that will guarantee less of everything for most of us.  We stopped thinking and just piled on at the trough.  Shame on us!

There is a National nutritional crisis at the same time there is an obesity crisis.  Why?  Because we have volunteered to be pigs.  It’s that simple.  And we’re good at it.  We consume over 25% of the world’s energy because 99.9 percent of our population are obedient little pigs.  We eat crap, we feed our kids crap, we sit on our butts and we grow huge.  I think of us as Kobe Humans – you know – Kobe beef … the Japanese cows that are massaged and pushed around on carts so their flesh remains fatty and tasty.  The only thing Americans are missing is the massage.

Our veins are so clogged we need boner pills to have sex and cholesterol medication so we can eat the garbage food that corporate conglomerates have paid millions of bucks an hour in order to convince us to buy and eat it through non-stop multi-media marketing.  I predict in years from now, this voluntary holocaust will seem be greeted by future generations with shrugged shoulders and gasps.  How could a species be so singularly focused on hating each other and themselves so aggressively?

We Can Change the Future

… you didn’t serve stop waving the damned flag like its your family room drapes and learn what you’re talking about.

Of course we can change it.  We always could. The question is do we have enough courage to go through the withdrawal.  Can we stop stuffing our faces long enough to hear ourselves think.  Can we turn off the television and actually read books and newspapers.  Is it possible for us to stop talking about losing weight and begin to do something about our state of ill-health.  Can we feed our minds what they need to be creative and resourceful.

There’s a lot of you (if you’ve made it this far) who are either very angry at me or nodding in agreement.  If you’re angry at me – unfriend me now !!!  I don’t want to be friends any longer.  I need the space for positive energy and positive thinking.

And if you are family or friends that want to change – change.  You know who you are.

You, the one that hasn’t shown up for anything that you promised.  Quit feeding your incredible selfishness and hiding in your cave.  You’re a good person and you have let down people who were counting on you to part of their lives – not to do the same thing you’ve done all your life and that is to be consumed with yourself and hold grudges.

And you, stop you’re damned complaining or ditch me.  I don’t care if I love you … you are not holding your end of the bargain and you are consumed with your feelings instead of living.  It’s exhausting learning of your disappointments.

And you, big talk, you didn’t serve stop waving the damned flag like its your family room drapes and learn what you’re talking about.  You have a brain too, not just a mouth.  Think and people will stop running from you.  You’re rude, you’re insensitive and your dispassionate comments about other people are painful.

And you, the one that’s always there for me.  Don’t let me get away with being a talker and not a doer.  Continue to call me out when I disappoint you.  Hold me accountable and I’ll continue to improve.  I may back-slide but it will only be for minutes because you are what make this journey exciting and fulfilling.