A Cool New World

Making it better

If we would have sat down together, fifty years ago, and said “Let’s create a world” – we would not have created this world.

We would have never in our wildest dreams have created a world where big business holds no responsibility over what they produce. We would never had said, “Hey I know! Let’s make a world where big businesses can create any kind of mess they want, and never have to clean it up.” We would never have have said, “And also, let’s make sure the toxins they spill into the world cause cancer (cause that’s such a fun and profitable disease) and let’s set it up so that the more a business sidesteps decency the more money and power they get, until controlling them is completely impossible.”

We wouldn’t have done it.

We would never have created a world where slick advertising moguls use their awesome manipulative skills to sway uneducated voters to go along, happily, with ideas and policies that are completely against their self-interest. Fifty years ago we would have never imagined that we could become a country that doesn’t believe in science.

Fifty years ago progressive thinkers would have been Republicans. We would have never imagined that our party would take a downward plunge into valuing big business over people’s rights. We would have never envisioned that it was possible to ignore decades of clear evidence that we are poisoning and fouling our environment. We would not have seen that as good government, or smart for business. We would have been proud of our history with Abraham Lincoln. We would have studied Trickle Down Economics and gone, “What???” We would have studied our fore-fathers and learned from their worries about what might happen if mean-spirited, fear-based politics won the day.

Fifty years ago if anyone had said, “Hey, I have a good idea. Let’s fill our air, soil and water with dangerous chemicals for half a century and see what happens.” Everyone would have said… NO!

Just saying. It’s clear madness. We don’t have to continue doing it now.

 

All the pollution on the planet has happened in our lifetimes, folks. It’s our fault. Though there was a lot of carbon pollution and the like for the last several thousand years, the explosion in plastics and chemical manufacturing has happened since World Wars I and II. We are living in a cesspool of chemicals.

When I first was diagnosed with cancer I was ashamed. I thought I hadn’t been organic enough, had allowed myself to be subjected to too many carcinogens, somehow. Had not lived pure enough. That it was my fault. I hid away in my house and endured Chemotherapy alone for six months. I had a 40% chance to live.

And then I watched the meanness and brainlessness of the election, before and after, and saw all hope of a slow path towards environmental sanity evaporate into thin air. And I realized… why should I (or anyone for that matter) have to live a life completely removed from society in order to stay well????

Why do we accept carcinogens as a norm?

There was an excuse before the 60’s. It was great fun to be prosperous and to have all the cheap goods that we want. We were clueless back then, just having a good time. But then came Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and people who were paying attention woke up and started trying to clean up the environment and make a sane world for human beings to live in. What the hell happened to everyone else!

Why have you agreed to the policies that have poisoned me? Why have you poisoned my daughter?

It’s been over fifty years folks – and we have apparently gotten nowhere. In the 2016 election a minority of voters proved once again that they are the dups of big business. You are all walking around right now scratching your balls and saying stuff like “I’m against big government – I’m worried about my guns – I heard that Hillary Clinton was corrupt” But you’ve voted this way for half a century! What the hell is wrong with you?

Do you all have any idea how many people have cancer? It’s not normal, it’s not good. Do you know how many people have diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, high blood pressure?… all diseases caused by our poisoned food supply, gasoline-spewn air, and chemical-laden water. And you remain brainwashed by pundits selling trickle down economics.

You believe in conservative values but you don’t believe in conserving the very planet on which we live?

If you have been voting Republican your whole life this is your fault. Democrats are not a whole lot better – but that’s a different story. Democrats are at fault because of their ineffectiveness. Democrats at least acknowledge the problem, but are powerless against the same big business oligarchy that has everyone brainwashed. But if you’ve been voting Republican, and wasting your braincells “thinking” about politics through the skewed eyes of ignorance and prejudice – then it is your fault.

We have all the skills and knowledge to make a beautiful, clean and healthy world. Cleanness is not anti-business – it is smart business – it is moral business. It’s the Christian thing to do. It’s the Buddhist thing to do. It’s the Islamic thing to do. Homes can be clean. Water can be clean. Transportation can be clean. Businesses can thrive and prosper in a clean environment. We can have fun, exciting, productive lives by learning as we go how to best live on the planet. This shouldn’t even be a discussion.

There is no reason whatsoever that I should have cancer – except that we can’t have a decent science-based discussion in politics. It’s because you, I say YOU, allow yourself to be fooled and then turn around and voted, viciously, from your ignorance. You think it’s funny, but I sit every day in the chemo and radiation lines with the people who are suffering from your neglect. There is this certain “deer in the headlights” look in everyone’s eyes.

There is no reason that I should have to hide from the food, water and air in the “best country in the world” in order to be healthy. There is no reason that we can’t clean ourselves up. Cleanliness is next to Godliness… remember that? It applies to us all, to the way we live, to the decisions we make together.

It’s going to happen to you, sooner than you think. As you sit there with the chemo lines dripping into your veins think about how we all live together. Is this really what we want? We are not powerless against it – though we certainly feel powerless against each other. Today, my fellow community members, we are powerless against each other’s ignorance.

Remember… all the pollution on the planet has happened in our lifetime. In our lifetime!!! That’s us, people. That’s us.

An interesting math problem – and the Two Party Political System.

I heard an interesting broadcast yesterday that made me take pause on the way we hold political discussions. It was a simple math problem.

A lot of people are calling for the end of the two-party system. But, basically, if we have a three party system that that means the vote can be split three ways – and what can happen is that a radical minority can elect a president with only one third of the vote. If we had five parties, then a very small 20% radical group could elect a president.

The hope of the two party system is that both candidates will have to at least “lean” towards the middle.

We tend to think that a third party will give us more of a say. But just think about it. For instance: imagine that the Republican party broke into two factions – one kindof middle, and one far right. And the Democrats did the same. We would then have four parties and the very radical factions could win with 25% of the popular vote.

So the really interesting part about this is that we don’t really hear that kind of simple reasoning when we call for the end of the two party system. Usually when we talk about a new party it centers around how “I want another choice.” But this simple math can turn the discussion from “me and what I want” to a broader discussion about what is best for all of us.

It also really brings to mind the fact that there are people out there who have really studied politics, and understand how things work way more than us every-day people. And that maybe we would do the discussion some good by studying the issues we argue about.

So my own personal experience of misogyny is that it’s so baked into our culture that it’s invisible to the people practicing it. I say “people” because men and women are equal participants. If I walked up and spoke to the people who have been the worst misogynists in my life they would be surprised and completely deny it. I would be told that every instance was because I didn’t behave right, because I said the wrong thing, or I looked wrong… which on it’s face is the exact definition of misogyny. Even with myself, it sometimes takes me years to realize I’m being held to a double standard, and trying to engage this beast is like clawing at the air. Just the fact that I try to tackle it at all makes me wrong.

Here’s a little example that’s easy to visualize. Imagine that Hillary won the election and Bill Clinton became the “First Lady.” Imagine if we then insist that he dresses up nicely in a dress, and is forced to change his name to Bill Rodham, and is expected to wear makeup and do his hair into a big “do” every time he’s in public. Please… let’s put him in high heels!!! Imagine if he is expected to do nothing more than choose the silverware and linens at the Whitehouse? Do know that that is exactly the standard that we held Hillary to all those years ago. She failed at it miserably, and it’s still the seed of our hate and distrust of her. It’s like we all started hating her then, and just refuse to stop.

But it’s way more than that. It’s the impossibility that we hold ourselves up to, and then the impossibility that follows because we fail.

I’m not really expecting a resolution here. But I do want to ask everyone to engage in a little self reflection. Hate is the best emotion to examine because finding the seeds of it is always so informative. I’m of the belief that finding the seeds of hate will always end in a resolution of understanding because hate is always misinformed. This is an exercise that can be done on all sides at this time because we are very quickly going to be called to move beyond our hate. I hope we can make that journey.

Eventually you are simply not going to get what you want if you are mean. Eventually the people around you will rise up and retaliate. It’s just that simple.

Letter to Editor

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