#16 Air in Review

We are all familiar with the sentiment when we say, “something is in the air”. We have a hard time putting our finger on it, but it surrounds us and fills us up, it is both a state of being and common knowledge. This makes it all the more difficult to blog about, but let me take a stab at it. Having just watched the video of an entire baseball stadium “spontaneously erupting” in a chant U-S-A, U-S-A because their text messaging phones informed them of Osama bin Laden’s death. We have systematically injected deep pathology into the very air we are awash in. The animosity “we” Americans feel for a certain manufactured enemy who has now met his demise at the wrong end of a weapon, which he normally popped off rounds from for fun. One of the things that I though everyone was aware of, is the maxim, live by the sword, die by the sword. Apparently, same is true for automatic weapons.

In the air, are feelings of discontent nay, outrage at being fleeced by the multi-billion-dollar companies who collectively steal from us daily while receiving huge government subsidies. Some still remember the “America, Love It Or Leave It” bumper stickers and t-shirts. Remember them? Laced with guilt and the implication that if you were not supporting, even the ugly underbelly of our nation, you were some kind of communist. What was in the air still holds sway over a vast sea of consciousness that is alive around us. It’s in the air. Expression of our angst must continue to be mediated (“by jealous forces, because there are always jealous forces in such tales.”-Todd Rundgren) for if it were to really seek out and find the reasons behind our discontent, heads would roll.

What was “in the air” after 9-11 was utter confusion for many Americans, they were wondering how agents from across half the world could hate us so much as to “do this terrible thing”. Virtually every message that we have been given about the issue since has been either misrepresented or completely fabricated to form opinions about it rather than exploring facts. Remember the young and hopeful face of “Young Osama”? They asked him outright if he was involved in the Trade Center Bombing, he said he applauded those who would do something like it. World Trade has been the source of supreme injustice since it has been foisted upon most of the rest of the world. Perhaps he is the only one of the Saudi Royal family who grew a conscience. Perhaps we need to ask what it is about a young, idealistic young man going to liver in a cave, rather than in the lap of uneasy luxury knowing that just outside your door there were countrymen who would prefer that your entire family were dead. People who know that your wealth is off their suffering, labors and death.

Readers of this blog will understand that this analogy is not new. The only real difference is between the facts that normally I try to speak for the trees as it were. In this instance, the trees are only part of the story. The millions of us who constitute a forest of humanity are being summarily poisoned by our mediated environment. Many have said that the soul sucking anti-nature experiences that we surround ourselves with are at the heart of a deep isolation from mother Earth and that this in turn leads to a poverty of spirit. My read is that there are social and cultural pollutants swirling about us, just as there are toxic compounds and carcinogens. Perhaps there are forums where this relationship would be overlooked, sequestered or outright ignored. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to my fellow human beings as well as the planet, that is why I want to at least speak the truth  here, so that others can find it if they are on the prowl for knowledge.

I was raised in a time when it had been long discovered that opinions are at first malleable but that in short order they ossify and become virtually unbreakable, no matter how much truth one injects into a person’s consciousness. Having studied politics and the media since childhood, no one could be more aware of the dangerous liaisons between advertising and self image, or the media and politics. For centuries, magicians have understood full well the art of deception. As long as we are continually baffled with bullshit, misled down a primrose path and are having our heads turned toward petty distractions, truth can hide in broad daylight right under our noses and we will at best only smell a fart.

At least when someone passes wind, no one dies, they may wish they would but that is another story. Within the past month and a half, our eyes have been opened and then immediately blinded to the fact that an ongoing nuclear tragedy is unfolding in Japan. We have neglected to cover our own deadliest day of tornadoes because of the “Royal Wedding” and our preoccupation with the mundane. A friend asked the same thing I wondered, didn’t we fight a war with the British so we wouldn’t have to give a fig what happened to their royals? Here we sit on a powder keg of nuclear materials, with no known plausible disposal options available. Some of it hazardous for longer than it has been since the first humans walked on the planet. We have been out of caves for generations, but we cannot face the facts yet? We must grow up into big boy responsibility if we are to continue playing big boy games.

I first planned to write this post about air quality alone, but the events of the past few days have restored my sight. There is a deep pathology barely hidden under the surface of our planet. Our air is both poisoned by corporations and individuals and the importance of that fact is summarily ignored, or worse. With the recent “ecological focus” brought about by Earthday, I heard “experts” say that we had largely solved most air quality problems in America. I’m sure that is why we now have smog and air quality alerts in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Remember, the smallest city with an NFL team? Each time My wife and I come home from a trip outside the city, we see the smog and pollution. We regret deeply the need to reenter the bubble of bad air and it breaks our hearts that the city we love is shrouded in terrible air. I only wish that I had raised the money in the seventies to print my own bumper stickers, America, fix it or shut up! One cannot feel guilty for demanding what is right, best or good. As long as the lies perpetrated by “business as usual” folks remain obscured, we cannot hope to grow or change. The ecosystem they have left us with has been summarily degraded and basic needs of the many seem to be at odds with the desires of the wealthiest among us. I want to find a peaceful way to sort out all of our current unfolding catastrophes. I am completely committed to finding our way clear of destruction and mayhem, but the longer our “royals” keep people out of power, to benefit the oligarchy, there will be few left to defend them when the chips are down. Pandering to public opinion is quite easy if you dispense their opinions at will. The “something” in our air at this moment in time is bigger than any of us imagine, educate, share and work for change, before it is too late. We only have this moment. Share what you can, as long as you can. It may save the lives of the ones you love.

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About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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