Reckoning with the American future

I’m about to post up some videos in the next entry and want to give a little background on myself before doing so.

To begin with, the topics he discusses in these videos aren’t entirely a new inquiry for me. Just that I’ve been trying to turn my back on it for a few years now, distracting myself with other matters. Because I don’t know what to do or how to act in the face of that reality presented.

In my late teens, my ex-husband introduced me to information that solidified my libertarian stance and heightened my distrust of the American government and its federal agencies.

In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck, and I rushed down South to deliver supplies and to check on my people, only to later learn that the National Guard was blocking people from transporting supplies down to Gulfport/Biloxi and New Orleans, saying the Red Cross wasn’t able to handle receiving and distributing those supplies (for some ungodly reason, nevermind that the Red Cross received more donations for that disaster than they did after 9/11!) — and that’s something I learned firsthand from a National Guardsman after trying to transport all the bottled water and food I’d brought for my family that turned out to be unneeded in their town. I waited in line with so many others, some with flatbeds full of supplies, having driven hours with no place around to fuel up, and all of us were turned away and told to take our stuff as far north as Jackson. Even those who brought boats down with the intention of helping rescue people or recover bodies were turned away. And yet, many months later the local, state, and federal government officials still hadn’t been able to greatly improve conditions for people down that way. Two years later the Mississippi coastline still laid in ruins (aside from the casinos which had money to rebuild). Yet they wouldn’t let the people of this country come in and take care of our own. Oh no, couldn’t do that. [To be fair, they did eventually allow church groups to come in and help strip out moldy carpet and furniture for people, which my Papa and aunt participated in.] They could bring Blackwater (renamed Xe and now Academi) in to patrol the streets of New Orleans and aid in confiscating lawfully-owned weapons from the people, basically in an act of Martial Law — that they could do. Guess they didn’t want too many witnesses hanging about while they violated those people’s rights and did a piss-poor job of helping folks.

On a side-note, I’d like to go on record to say FUCK THE RED CROSS. I will never ever again donate to that corrupt organization. They did virtually nothing to help people down there and then had the AUDACITY to decide to pocket the donations they received for that crisis, claiming they’d put it toward “future disasters.” Yeah, right. All I saw them do down there was hand out coffee. Seriously, fuck them.

Then in 2007 I got into something that changed my way of looking at things once again. Don’t want to go into too much detail here right now, but when I got back to town I began intensively researching my government’s activities, spanning back several decades. This consumed a good bit of my attention for 2-3 years. I read everything I could find. Lots and lots of news stories. Read Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which if you haven’t read it yet, I strongly urge you to do so. Sniffed around Alex Jones’ site until I recognized him for the charlatan that he is. Watched Lou Dobbs until he went fruit loops. Delved into the writings of Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent. And I was still attending college until graduating in late 2008, mostly studying Criminal Justice by that point. Even some of my CJ professors were highly critical of what was becoming of American police forces.

Just began looking into damn-near everything I could, and it wound up freaking me out and breaking my heart. Forever changed the way I look at my country and my government and everyone employed in its service. I was already skeptical beforehand, but delving into that abyss spit me out straight-up paranoid. During that time, beginning in 2008, I also became involved in the local peace community to protest the wars.

And then in 2011, I just lost my heart for it all. Walked away. Set it all aside the best I could. Decided to continue doing what I can in my own life to not feed this beast anymore than I had to, and basically just took off going my own way. Left the peace community. Said “fuck politics” and aimed to tune it all out. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

But it fucks with my head to just let the world burn and pretend like I don’t care. I do care. It troubles me everyday whether I want it to or not. I just don’t know what to do. When I try talking to people, as I always have and still sometimes do, they often react like I’m the enemy or crazy or just some misguided rabble-rouser. Even members within the peace community kinda viewed me that way, most of them being liberals prone toward optimistically believing this system can be fixed. Couldn’t relate to my fellow students on these matters, couldn’t relate to feminists on these matters back when I interacted with them, and the few people I can relate to on these issues are basically in the same boat I’m in. We don’t know what to do. So we just go about trying to earn a living and learning what we can and tending to our own lives (and voting, for what little that’s worth anymore). Most of my friends don’t care to think about these things, nor do most of the family members I keep in contact with. My attitudes and views are considered “extreme” because I have no faith that this system can be bolstered indefinitely. And I am frequently called “pessimistic” and a “downer” on account of it. Led me to holing up in my apartment a lot of the time ever since about 2012 (that being one reason among several). I’m tired of being the bad guy and don’t know how to communicate on these matters with people who fiercely refuse to even entertain these notions. My best girlfriend told me back then that the things I talk about “scare” her [though, in fairness, she has taken an initiative since to learn more and to be skeptical, which I’m proud of her for]. Hell, I’m scared too. But people would rather you entertain them and tell them what they want to hear and focus on trifling bullshit that matters not one iota. That’s what most people want, I’ve figured out.

So I stay alone a lot more now and wrestle with these thoughts in my own time. I can talk with my best guyfriend about them, thankfully, but he’s one of the only ones nowadays. Everybody else is consumed with shopping and alternative medicine and playing on Facebook and basically pretending that whatever is wrong with this country isn’t so terribly bad and eventually will sort itself out. So I turned to youtube and my beers and said “fuck it” for the most part. If they don’t care, why should I? Well, because I can’t help but care. This is just my nature to analyze everything that comes my way and to empathize and worry.

I say all of that because I’ve been wrestling inside with my conscience which tells me I’m not doing what I ought to be doing. Not sure what I ought to be doing, but tuning out isn’t it apparently. And I doubt I’m ever going to have any internal peace until I figure out where I ought to be directing my energies. Not interested in movements much anymore though. Found groups to be stifling and fraught with groupthink. And I imagine my little contributions won’t amount to much, but I suppose every little bit helps. So…that’s what I’m reckoning with and brooding over in private these days.