How does one who comes in from the cold (that’s what spies used to call coming home from a mission) explain to fellow Americans that they live in a perpetual state of blissful euphoria punctuated by bouts of fake fear?
How does one, who’s ridden the trails, bitten the bullet and beaten back the blizzards of cold-hearted humanity abroad explain anything about the reality of life just beyond America’s borders and fit in? How is it that the basal wretchedness, still prevalent across eighty percent of the world’s landmass, cannot be taught, preached or even much discussed without the principal trying to present losing all credibility? How can America be informed about how it really is in this wondrous place of placid, fair and delightful living, when the principal organs for informing the that public scream just the opposite at the top of their voices? America is too strong to lose any war or confrontation, economic or otherwise, but the people in it don’t believe that.
America has police and other abuses of power that are actually brought to public view and discussed. Have any idea of how rare that is? It’s ‘lonely’ rare. Poor people in America wear clothing! To be really poor is to not even have clothing. To be really poor, out in the world, means to drink flat coke remains cast off by others as daily sustenance, feeding babies like that too. Who will believe that? And what do we do, if the people of the United States come to believe that life is pretty bad at home and violent change needs to be applied, and they don’t know where that violent change likely leads to? Americans travel flying in jets and staying in hotels and riding in cars, thinking they are seeing the world. Eighty percent of the world’s population has never been on an airplane. Ever. 80%.
Seventy percent of the world’s population has never stayed in a hotel or been inside one either! And less than half of the people on the planet have traveled by car. I know one thing about all this. If America cannot take stock of itself to even understand what it has, then it is not going to have what it has for very much longer.
Only time will tell if enough people interested. Probably will take a crisis. The Tet Offensive seemed to change the hearts and minds of a lot of impressionable young people. But we had Walter Cronkite then. And some of the killing and horror from the Vietnam war was on television every day.
Of course many have been manipulated. Look at the last presidential election.
Yes, Mike, the press has become much more sophisticated and deceptive since those old days.
Back then they really were trying to report the news….
but now…and yes, look at the situation today.
Thanks for this intelligent comment…
The American People elected Donald Trump. Perhaps, it’s the bitter pill America needs? I like your quote in The Color Black -“The Russians used to have a saying in Soviet times of the cold war: “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”
This simple realization of how left the Democtatic party had become is why I voted for Donald Trump after ~ 50 years. I also live in Wisconsin.
It is extremely hard to divide one’s mind when considering the giving and receiving thing.
Who is entitled to be helped and what are the parameters that should guide those decisions
Who is faking and who is real. Who deserves to be helped and who does not. This discussion,
if it were to occur inside your head Al is the very same one that has divided humanity from
the start and stands as the most stark difference between the parties and also American thought.
The democrats are not all ‘takers’ or I would not be one. The republicans are not all ‘deniers’ or
you probably wouldn’t be one. I did not oppose Trump over any of that. I opposed him because in
listening to him I came to a quick decision that he was mentally ill. I have not had cause to
change my mind about that. It is this factor that causes me to oppose and fear him.
Look who is calling who mentally ill! You are calling a very successful business man, in Real Estate as well as communications, mentally ill?
If he is mentally ill, it is because he left his billion dollar empire, to try to save the U.S., from a radical leftist movement, that is trying to overthrow our Republic. Perhaps one could call that stupid, but I call it love for one’s country and courage to try to save it.
Can any citizen trust a politician? One seriously doubts it, but you have to start somewhere and go with what you got, until proven otherwise.
The current administration is developing and it is following a classical line
when dealing with someone of the foundational nature of this president.
So, let’s all watch it play out because it is Roman Coliseum shit and
entertaining as hell. For all the people out there that have thought the
U.S. was a shit failing place to live, then I offer you the Trump version.
For all the white people who’ve felt for years that the people not so
white are taking their old life away then I offer you sadness. There are 1.3 billion
white folks on the planet and 6.7 not so white in the world…and the world is
coming to visit whether this minority wants it or not…
Sorry James but I have heard that song and dance since the 1960’s, during the race riots in the South. Dr. KIng was justified back then and it was the white oppression that brought on those riots and the unrest.
However, that is not the same situation as today. Today James we have a lawless country and that is the major problem that this president and our government faces. We had eight years of a black racist president who did all he could to provoke racism, while attacking law enforcement for trying to do their job. He refused to secure the borders of our nation and destroyed the trust of our allies in the western world. He refused to acknowledge our Constitution, as well as the fact that we had a representative government. That is the problem James. You cannot deny those facts!
What you fail to recognize James, is the fact that we overcame our racial problems for many years and in fact, bent over backwards for minorities and look what it got us James, lawlessness, can you even say the word? Oh yeah, that is an unforgivable word on the left, isn’t James?
You live in one of the safest nations on earth and you don’t even know it.
The percentage of police per population has skyrocketed continuously for the last thirty years.
Incarceration has gone up by almost a thousand percent over that same period of time.
Crime is at the lowest it’s ever been.
But you ignore all that and fall submissive to your knees supplicating before a scoundrel so hugely
phony that you are overwhelmed and cannot admit any of it.
What that right wing media has done to people like, in giving you absolute phony crap is astounding.
You are a bright man and you are being told shit is brown chocolate.
Most Americans live with a fear, hiding just below the surface, that they are on the brink of disaster. They are unable to feed, cloth, shelter, medically treat, or even transport themselves without an income. An income that they don’t feel in control of, dependent on mysterious forces that they serve without any sense of giving real value in exchange for.
So, they readily blame others for their fear; they readily give blame to those whose fear has become reality; and they close their ears to those who would educate them for to listen is to name their fear and feel their helplessness in the face of it.
If we are to be free and secure, to be truly blessed, we must be responsible for ourselves, individually, independently, and honestly.
“It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall”
Ken. I don’t know you or your history but from your writing here I assume
that you are not afraid or dependent.
Take heart in that and also know that part of the ‘responsibility’ of being
in that state is helping all those people out there living in fear, as best you can.
Like me and the company. I wanted to survive terribly bad but I needed
the company to do it. I just had to make the company come to believe
that they needed me.
Your responsibility, like my own.
Thanks for the straight shot of a comment.
So your initial question was “…explain anything about the reality of life just beyond America’s borders and fit in?” A question of sales. The currencies of life are time, material wealth, knowledge, security, and prestige and a successful sale gives seller and buyer an gain in the aggregate of these currencies. The challenge is that the currencies are in the perception of the individual.
The price of the knowledge you share is paid with their security, and a little of their time. Can you replace their security, or give them enough prestige or material wealth, for a positive exchange? Ever the dilemma of prophets and saints.
As for my background, I think Popeye got it right. “I yam what I yam ‘n dat’s all dat I yam.”
What a neatly simple way to describe a complex set of situations and social contract.
Using the word ‘contract’ rather loosely. Nice essay on my essay. Thank you very much
for that and I am thinking and am going to be thinking a bit more about what you wrote.
That’s uncommon for me and I much enjoy the process. Thank you again.
Good dialog here about a ‘contentious’ premise.
I agree many people live in fear, but that fear
is mostly self induced.
I am not saying we do not have problems here
and globally that can escalate and affect our current
If only each of us would realize those fears
are mostly socially engineered and spend a little more being active Locally,
and less time fretting or being influenced by National issues,
we may each in our own way start a ‘ship of fools’ turning to a correct course.
I agree exactly with your comment. Most of us will never have the national notoriety to cause the ship of state to make a rapid course correction.
However, all of us working as best we can locally, can cause the course correction overtime. It may take generations.
In the book titled “Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance, that is probably his conclusion as well.
It has taken a few generations to devolve.
But will enough people be interested
or have we allowed ourselves to be manipulated?
“If America cannot take stock of itself to even understand what it has, then it is not going to have what it has for very much longer.”
I have tried since 1960 to explain pretty much that line to friends and relatives , mostly unsuccessfully, I am afraid.
It’s a tough argument chrly. People do not want to be made aware of those things they do not know.
People, for the most part, go to school to graduate,
not necessarily get what’s in the courses!
So, when you dispense wisdom remember you are handing out
bitter pills that can explain and cure but are still bitter
and it is the bitterness going down that is most reflected upon and reacted to.
Careful not to become what I have become.
Thanks for your depth and your attentive thoughts.