Either you are with us or agin us, the saying goes.
Despite the raw unmitigated cynicism that pervades, nay, assaults the senses on an ongoing basis, there is an unrepentant desire among "us" to overcome the mischief of "them" and work towards a better world.
The demarcation point between the us and the them goes beyond the easily defined lines of race, class, nationality, religion or any other such meaninglessness. Ignorance and the illusion of time allow these isms to perpetuate. But as we all face our ultimate demise the isms are rendered meaningless as we approach our final day on this planet. Something holds us all together as much as the air we breathe. Despite our failure as a species to acknowledge the fact that we are irretrievable intertwined, we in fact do need each other. If for no other reason, than simply to measure ourselves and our own humanity.
At every turn there is some scoundrel, tyrant, philandering cad, common liar or petty thief who diminishes the very gravity that binds us to the planet; the shared sense of community that we all should nurture. We all live in a blue submarine, and for better or worse we are stuck with each other.
All of us want our children to be safe, our parents to be cared for and we want to believe that at least some small measure of our own hopes and dreams will be fulfilled before we perish. Yet we must function with the knowledge that none of these things are guaranteed or even probable.
And so it is with this futility that most of us continue to strive for a better world in our own way, despite the ugliness that assaults our sensibilities daily. We retrieve a single piece of litter that blows across our path knowing full well that garbage is hauled in by the megaton. We donate to causes that most assuredly are as corrupt as the small minded ninnys that run them because we believe in the cause. We protect and encourage young children to stay in school and do well with the understanding that whole industries are dependent on them not doing well and exist solely to incarcerate a huge percentage of our future. But we persevere, we persist in clinging to notions of community and commonality that, if they ever did exist, have surely been proven to be the province of saps, suckers and dupes.
Or are they?
Perhaps, because we don't know what else to do we keep trying. Like the metaphorical pissing in the ocean, with the vastness of the sea rendering our actions utterly and totally irrelevant for good or evil, we do what we can. In the short term it makes us feel better, and maybe that's enough to get us to the next stage.
The assholes will continue being themselves and soon enough their hindrances simply become part of the calculus of what must be overcome in order to succeed. We take two steps forward and three steps back only so long as it takes to find a way to progress despite our barriers. And at some point we all must decide which side we are on, us or them.
Those who choose us must face the rising sun resolute in the knowledge that despite the formidable obstacles strewn across the path to the future, each of us can make it better!
I keep reading about how 4 out of 5 dentist don't want to chew gum in Afghanistan. I wasn't aware that engaging Afghanistan was up for a vote. The original premise of going there has always been about saving them from another trip to come see us here in the US. And Americans are always concerned about the comfort and convenience of others. Its kind of like hood rules, nobody asks for your views on anything much less your preferences on whether or not to have war.
Has something changed? If not maybe we need to focus our poll taking on something that is truly up for discussion.
Charlie Wilson is one of the pillars of soul and R&B music. He tells a compelling story of rags to riches to rags and back to riches and redemption having lost his fortune to drug and alchohol addiction. His music has long since been discovered by the so called hip hop crowd. And therein lies the problem. The music sampling crowd has taken one of the most powerful musicians of the 70's and laid claim to him as their own. The material he now releases is clearly aimed at the under 30 crowd, gangster pimpin, thug living and such. He sings about things that a 50+ year old man should have long since ceased to be concerned about. Its as if he is at war with himself and his true nature. Many of us have been Charlie Wilson fans from the very beginning of the GAP Band releases and it is disheartening to have to share you with the teenie boppers. While I understand why they want you on their team, the truth is Charlie Wilson belongs to the old school crowd. And we want you back singing songs that relate to old school themes. Mr. Wilson, I guess life will go on one way or the other, but its just not the same without you.