Monday, October 3, 2011

America, America, Where Are You, My America?

Update: Please see the first comment below this blog, by yours truly. It turns out that I had the date of the anti-nuclear rally wrong (my bad!). Therefore, when you read this, I want you to know that going in, so you don't think that the wonderful people of my dear city are truly as apathetic as I momentarily thought when writing this blog. It made no sense to me and I was in shock over it, so I'm very heartened to learn that I was wrong about the date of the rally and thus right that it made no sense that folks didn't show up. They DID show up, bless them all. They DO care! There IS still hope for our world! With that cleared up, I am leaving the blog up because my theme about America being in Great Depression II still stands, sadly. The good news is, since people do care and do get out and protest and work for social change, there is hope. And that is very good news indeed. Fight da powa and keep the light of hope burning!

Yesterday, I walked 32 blocks to the downtown location of an anti-nuclear rally. No one was there. Not a single living soul showed up except me. The '60's died with Jerry Garcia, thought I, and a black cloud of depression engulfed me. Then I thought of what is happening on Wall Street with the protest growing and growing, and I felt a little better. Yet, as I walked the 32 blocks back home, being asked for money by 8 homeless people along the way and passing vacant storefront after vacant storefront, then foreclosed home after foreclosed home, I thought: don’t people realize that the economy and the environment are CONNECTED? WHY did no one show up?

One older guy I passed, looking very beaten down by life, inquired “Baby, do you have a few dollars so I can get some soda pop?” “Soda pop”, struck me as such an old-fashioned term. For a minute, I wasn’t sure if I was in 2011 or 1933. Am I in The Great Depression? He stared into my eyes with such a hopeful intensity, as we stood there amidst the vacant businesses and desperate people. My eyes filled with tears. I’m sorry, I said, I don’t have any money with me. I was thinking: I’ll bet you wouldn’t really spend it on “soda pop” anyway, and even if you would, that isn’t what you need: high-fructose corn syrup and phosphoric acid are not something I would donate to the cause of you obtaining. If I had any money, I would take you to that “Five Guys” burger place I noticed a few blocks away and get some PROTEIN into you. But all I had was the clothes on my back and a political button stating “solar employs, nuclear destroys.”

As I walked the rest of the way home, I felt I no longer recognize my country. This is Lord of the Flies, this isn’t America. It isn’t the American Dream, anyway. It’s the American Nightmare.