We're so many things, each of us. We're male, female, gay, straight, we're progressive or conservative, we're black, white, Latino, we're husband, wife, son, daughter, we're American, we're immigrant, we're blue or red or purple, we're so many adjectives these days, so many names. We're iPhone or Blackberry, Mac or PC, Facebook or Twitter (no longer Myspace), cell phone or landline, snail, or email, we're web traffic. We're the poor or the rich, we're the middle class, we're the unemployed or the uninsured, on and on and on until every bit of every subsection of everything that may make us different and classifiable is exhausted; Especially in, or for, the 24 hour news cycle, for politics, for conversation.
And that 24 hour news cycle, the news alerts beamed to your device of choice from the now archaic yet irreplaceable radio to the latest WiFi device in your pocket, keeps us so busy and so distracted that for many, the one thing we're not any longer is feeling, emotional, rational, thinking humans. Somehow, humanity has been the victim of getting in closer touch, of staying connected 24/7 or knowing it all. It got beaten out of us it would appear. And how could it not?
Yesterday, I closed my syndicated radio show by stating, "Well, the disaster in the Gulf caused by the felons BP is worse today than yesterday. We are no clearer on our mission or its success in Afghanistan but lost a general in great political theater that does nothing to keep my friend, Eric, safe in-country right now (he's in Afghanistan in the Army). We then took a General that MoveOn.org once called General Betray Us, one that Obama then skipped the vote to condemn MoveOn.org for the attack as Republicans wanted, have Orin Hatch of Utah wanting to drug test the unemployed to allow them to get benefits which only further victimizes the poor (there's no provision for medical marijuana, either), lost two soldiers in Afghanistan and have no end in sight really for the worst ecological disaster of all time while a federal judge with lots of oil industry and Halliburton holdings says drill baby, drill. Oh and new home sales plummeted to their lowest ever, in history as unemployment in states like California soared as benefits run out because Congress is three weeks late approving another extension...but don't worry, it's only Wednesday...."
Any one of the incidents or situations should ground us as a nation. Stop us from whatever we are doing, make us take a pause, solve the problem, even if it takes time and sacrifice. But they don't, they blend, they merge, they become news stories and sound bytes and water cooler conversations (does anyone have those any more since, well, no one is working in offices that can afford to rent coolers any more...). They have to, even 9/11 has to, or else we'd be even more medicated than we are right now.
If we step back, take a moment, and be, yes, human, if we, as humans connect with the events and each other as the most basic common denominator, humans, our country, our world would change instantly. It would have to, the pain of its existence right now would be too much for any feeling person to bare. It's too much for me. I often cry on air covering the news these days. Sappy, huh? I know. But when I'm talking about the baby dolphin in the surf, dying, soaked in oil, it's first breaths from coming forth from mom, reaching for the surface, for life, for air, and it sucks in crude...for what. Really, for what? Because corporate America, not human America and Americans, but the soulless corporate America refuses to give us the alternatives at affordable prices to get off of gasoline and petroleum period; government refuses to truly back emergency plans to get us off fossil fuel, because no one has asked us to sacrifice and we won't without being asked, obviously.
I won't preach about how we each could do wonders already to get away from fossil fuels. Walking within one mile of your house, biking within two, no two car families, one car, one motorcycle or scooter, a home can go solar for under $2k in most cities and states now...on and on..it's all there. No, this is not the place for that. This is the place where I wonder if the soulless corporate America has become America and Americans; I truly do.
Because in a feeling world, cars would be parked. Period, end of story. Seeing what uncontrolled oil can do, all off shore wells, ALL OFF SHORE WELLS in the United States would be shut down, capped, left forever untouched. It's just too dangerous should they break. There are no acceptable levels of crude in the food chain. None. Animals shouldn't swim in it, eat it, or "dispersants." Period. Seeing what happens to the people and the ecosystem would make any other society stop, change immediately I would hope. Truly, immediate moratoriums on all fossil fuel vehicles. Trucks parked from X to X, cars not used except for work or emergencies from X to X. Like when we lined up for gas. Your car ends in an even number plate, you use it on even numbered days. Find another way 15 days out of the month. Yup, inconvenient as hell, but it would force the industry to change immediately. We'd have electric cars, hybrids, fuel cells, all kinds of technologies. I got rid of my car for motorcycles and scooters. Not perfect, but the lowest gets 50mpg. In December my Piaggio MP3 300 hybrid will get over 100mgp. I know it's still using the drug, but it's something. It hurts too much, I've got to try.
Afghanistan hurts too much. I've seen too many photos from my Army friends. The soldiers are not well cared for, period, end of story. It's embarrassing how they are forced to live knowing we spend over a million dollars a year each on them. The people there are so..sad..so caught in the middle of so much and we can't solve their problems for them, it's so very, very sad. We often create more.
America, Americans, whatever you are, we don't need to think any more. At all. Really, we don't. The great thinkers are thinking and then marketing their thoughts to us constantly. We need to remember it has always been our job to feel. We, the People are the Soul of America, its heart. Our founders knew that many of us wouldn't be the most informed, but we'd have the spirit, the heart, the soul to do what is right, to vote for what is right based on truths that are "self evident."
Think about the Constitution. It doesn't talk about divisions, about labels, about budgets and committee meetings and moratoriums. It talks about the intangibles,
As I grab my iPad and launch the app "USA Manual" which has so many great documents in it like the Constitution, reading them again, reading it, makes me believe the founders were more emotion than anything else. Courage, fear, hope, lots of hope, they were feeling Americans who reacted out of those emotions. In their very documents defining the country they speak of "justice" and "tranquility," "the general welfare" and "the blessings of liberty." Those are all things that can't be touched or legislated, they are things to be felt, to be achieved. One knows when justice is served not by a sentence, but by their gut feeling. One certainly knows when one is tranquil or blessed. No, our founders felt, they felt anger and rage against a King and a tyrant, they felt love and compassion for strangers, yes, they were greedy, some, another emotion, and yes, unjust, to Blacks and American Indians, and every kind of horrifying part of humanity existed them, the worst we can be. And yes, there was business and corporations of sorts. Yet, to them, all of that was a means to an end, and that end was a country that FELT, that had a heart and a soul to stand up for what was right and defend against wrong. Even right and wrong are emotions and totally subjective points of view at times.
I understand why many of you can't or won't feel it as deeply, or tire of it, but we must remember today more than ever that we are human. The immigration debate isn't about illegals, it's about people. Humans. The Gulf Disaster isn't about who can or should drill where, it's about us causing an event so catastrophic we have yet to see the outcome, hell, it's not even anywhere close to being over. It's a game changer, a life changer, a country changer or should be. It should be the death knell of oil and big energy companies. Period. Don't you feel it? Can't you feel it? Won't you?
The same with war. Aren't you weary of it for any reasons any more? Weary, tired, human thing again. A billion a day on foreign oil, billions more to fight wars to protect it, Iraq and Afghanistan tie directly in to the Gulf. It's all related, everything in the news. And it's all about people, not things, not adjectives, people.
It's time to take a step back. To breathe in; to breathe deeply. Yes, you'll choke on the toxic fumes of the Gulf, but once you recover, you'll be inspired. Another emotion we need to feel. Inspiration. It's been a while since America has felt it as a whole. If we begin to feel through all these events, and the pain they will cause (and they will, they still do because we don't feel our way through then heal, we move on without healing); but if we move through that pain we'll make something so much better than what we have now.
If we don't start to feel more, more pain, more outrage, more of a need to sacrifice to make things better, then we sold our lives and souls to corporate America and like all of our gadgets our battery life as a nation is running out. The only way to recharge is to go back to basics; humanity.