Taking Responsibility

Call me crazy.

Say this protest in my city had driven me to ridiculous, idealistic, unreasonable extremes.  I don’t care.  I’m done.

More and more every day this unbelievable stalemate over the voice of middle class workers in Wisconsin makes me just sick and tired of every aspect of the status quo.  All the excuses.  All the selfishness.  All the screaming and never being heard on both sides.  I live in a society where it is both legal and encouraged for the strong to smite the weak.  Where competition itself is prized above all methods and manners and happiness is derived from material things.

How can we stand for this when life is so short?

I admit, my tipping point came tonight, when I watched ‘The Edukators’ again, a German movie about some idealistic, anti-capitalist radicals who go through some heavy shit.  Specifically, I hit it when I re-heard this speech, which the main guy gives to the uber-wealthy exec he and his allies have just accidentally kidnapped and carted off to the Alps:

Happy?

Look around, get out of that company car.  Walk on the street! Anyone look happy?  Or more like scared animals?  Look into their living rooms, all glued to the TV.  Listening to chic zombies speaking of a happiness long gone.

Drive around town.  You’ll see all the filth, the overcrowding, the masses in department stores, up and down, like robots on escalators.

Nobody knows anybody. 

They think happiness is an inch away, but it’s unreachable, because you stole it.  That’s how it is.  You know perfectly well.

But I have news for you, executive.  The system is overheated.  We’re just the forerunners.  Your time is almost over.  Swim in your shit technology, but others are full of rage.  The rage of children living in slums, watching American action films.

That’s one part.  Let’s see.  Mental illness is rising.  Serial killers, shattered souls, senseless violence.  You can’t sedate them with game shows and shopping.  The antidepressants won’t work forever either.

The people have had enough of your shit system.

Enough.  I have had enough.  Though I admit, my desire for change comes from selfish reasons, as do those of the writer behind the character above, no doubt.  I really mean it when I say life is short.  It is so fucking short.  So wasting it on things of no substance that exist outside reality is unspeakably absurd for all of us.

But people are complacent, myself included.  There is always some excuse for why things are the way they are, why they can’t be changed, why it’s no one’s fault.  Corporations across the world prop up powerless, underpaid minions as the face of their companies to keep the true powers from being held accountable.  Trash a Target store, and the only person who gets hurt is the girl behind the counter, not even making a living wage.  And the uber-wealthy ones all work for someone else, too.  And they all go home to loving families and deserve no harm.  They’re not responsible.

But people are miserable.  They are lonely.  They have had enough of this shit system.  Even a lot of the rich ones.

Personally, I’m done.  I’m done with it.  I’m done saying ‘I vote, but I don’t follow politics’ or ‘politics just make me angry, and you can’t trust anyone, so why bother?’  The system is entirely broken and being destroyed more and more every day, and I can’t be civil and pretend that’s okay. And I’m sick of any thought of change getting shrugged off because one little fight won’t hardly make a dent.

We need a deluge of a hundred million little fights.

Just because peaceful equality has never been achieved on the national scale before doesn’ t mean we shouldn’t strive for that absolute horizon.  Every second is an opportunity for improvement.  People are responsible for themselves and what they do.  And for others.

And so, in the wake of all this anger over large-scale, political things about which I feel so helpless…

I am coming up with an extremely rough draft of, well, a mission statement I guess.  A proactive attempt to help me take responsibility for my own short life, because no civil authority is going to improve the world for me on principle, or so it appears.  Not without a tremendous fight.

And because I am kind of an exhibitionist, I am going to share it with you, as follows.

*Ahem*  Rachael:

1. Take responsibility for yourself and for your life.  Question everything you can.  Just because perfection isn’t possible doesn’t mean improvement is pointless.  And civic morality absolutely does not end with middle age. Don’t ever buy that. ‘All created things must pass.  Strive on, dilligently.’

2. Don’t ever put your faith in objects.  Focus on living things.  Live simply.  Don’t think shoes or nachos or technology upgrades will make you happy.  Take what you need and give away the rest.  Be compassionate, and trust in the compassion of others.  Impact the planet as little as possible.  Appreciate everything.

3.  Put yourself in others’ shoes every day of your life.  Read between the lines, hear what people are really saying.  At the same time, say only what you mean whenever you can.  Don’t be afraid to piss people off if necessary.   Don’t be afraid to be impolite when justice requires it.  Wake up.  Wake others up.  Put your faith in education, in community, in hard work, and in the future.

Call me overreacting, call me an idealist.  I don’t really care.  Fact is, life is short, and in this regard,

I–like our governor–will accept no compromises.

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~ by Rachael on February 26, 2011.

One Response to “Taking Responsibility”

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