A Small Medium @ Large

But seriously.  Word’s gotten back that I’m talking to myself more than usual.  

“It’s an old habit . . .” I blurted to a startled shelf-stocker down at the Town and Country.  “that began during Nixon’s Impeachment.  And now the Democrat Debates have created a flare-up. No one’s discussing my policies for redeploying forces in the autonomous region of Kurdistan! Just saying.”

“Yeah” he snorted. “Our leverage’s shot with the Peshmerga and I’m still pent up over it.” He rattled a bag of chips to illustrate his contorted feelings.  “Do I stop arming the Turks?  Do I align with the Syrians or Russians?”  Our eyes locked.  “You kin to Bernie Sanders?”  He’d suddenly noticed that I am triple his age.

“No. Why?” I replied, clutching at my heart.  I knew where this was headed, had seen that look of disdain before. “What’s the point of impeaching ONE president” he began demanding loudly, “if you still have to replace him with another one?” 

I tried to leave but a homemaker butts in: “Don’t forget that Godless secularization has no self-correcting mechanism to urban anonymity!  Political degeneration’s always followed the breakdown in social and biological relationships. Anonymity creates the necessary secrecy and emotional disconnect required to operate a vast usury based monetary system.  It’s biblical.”

I wanted to bring up Jared Diamond’s collapse theory (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond, Michael Prichard, et al.), but one of her kids was pushing a shopping cart into my bottom and screaming for me to move.  He was wearing an Ironman Halloween suit. “YOU CAN’T HAVE FOREIGN GMO CHIPS,” she bellows back.  

It was getting murky.

These postmodern kids are restless, dear reader; and we must take our everyday messaging opportunities to the younger generations where and when we can.  But it turns out that someone had hit the silent ALERT button on their phone app and the spectral form of the floor manager rose up from the Ragu section.

“The broader issue today,” he said in a calming tone “is to focus on the grand upside of habits. They are not all created equal, some are powerfully helpful, but you wouldn’t know it.   On-line peer pressure has sucked out our Nanny State brains with no conscious permission or process.” He paused to look me over.

“State department’s been corrupted.  FBI’s been corrupted,” he said with a practiced, media-tinged finality.  “No way to keep up with the soaring costs of political dirt and all.  Say! You’ve had too much coffee. Want me to call a ride?” 

“No! And tell me about it!” I parried wittily. “Mister Medium, Mister Medium”- I hear this all the time- “You’ll have to give up your bad habits.” And I ask, “Why?” So they say, “Then you’ll live longer!”  But I reply it’s too late for that.  “It’s never too late to stop!” they insist.  So, I’m like “Well then, I have plenty of time left.” 

Then the encounter ended as quickly as it had begun.  The Muzak played a sedated version of Hey Jude as we said “Have a nice day” in unison, and left better prepared to face the usual nothing that happens in our daily lives.  We knew, mostly, that we can always slow down what’s annoying us by cleaning our neurology to make room for a happier and healthier reframing of the language.

Geezers know a thing or two because we’ve seen a few things. Today’s unhinged conspiracy theory will be tomorrow’s emoji on your smart phone.  “Kids,” I say, “Relax.  Forget the politics of personal destruction!  You only need an improved type of teeth whitener to face the future with a smile!” Plus, the more you keep the goal of positive change in mind, the better the odds of getting it.  

A change model for combating secular degeneracy would begin by restoring a sense of community preparedness for the sake of our kids.  But at the Town and Country I stick to emphasizing the glaringly obvious.  My trade agreement plans for towns like Mtn. Grove are being held back for my next incursion into Walmart.  

That’s where explosive ideas can go straight to the NSA nit-wit operating the face-recognition cameras.  Big Picture:  Independent investigations and economic sanctions can work both ways, dude.  Peace out.

****

Improving disunity. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King

This quote came to mind as I watched Brant Jean hug Amber Guyger on the TV news.  The former police officer had just been convicted of murdering Brant’s big brother, Botham.  This guy was shot sitting in his own living room.  Bryant’s act of pure grace and forgiveness momentarily opened America’s heart. 

We need it to stay open.  We need someone like Rita Klimová.  She was the Czech politician and economist who coined the term ‘velvet revolution.’ It means applying gentleness in the peaceable overthrow of a government, usually a communist one. But the idea can work equally well for causing the bloodless collapse of a globalized corporatist dictatorship like ours.  

The modest oxygenation of representative democracy has always been a form of laughing gas to the moneyed classes.  Wages are up 4% since 9/11 and the money’s worth 40% less.  Thank you Asia Pacific Trade Agreement!  Pure nitrous for Chi-nah! The challenge is to totally monetize human selfishness while time remains.

That’s why the idea of a self-organizing citizenry remains largely untried.  Can everyday people actually reverse the indignities and anxieties that come from a cultural of corporate degeneracy?  Can grassroots democracy be restored?

It’s doubtful.  In today’s America there’s no MLK or a Klimová on the stage, no courageous voice and bold message that demands we speak truth to our own dysfunction. Still, the more things change the more they stay the same.  

Kids of the future will symbolically battle on-line against the technologies developed for large scale commercial ag.  They will virtually march for a return to food freedom while their parents demand more padding in campus melt-down rooms. 

Teachers will imagine what a healthy family life might have looked like in both rural and urban settings. There will be crayon drawings and essays:  “What will you plant when you get big?”  Clergy will thunder from the pulpit: “You cannot strip mine the soil and pass the Creator’s tests!”  Communion will be all-organic.

As a last resort, a few oddballs might seek to personify the balanced mind, free of tension and anxiety on their own. The rest of us can demand Lotto revenues go to research the human ability to find peace and joy right here and now.  It’d be like that movie Cool Hand Luke where, like Paul Newman, we die smiling at the end. 

“John-boy, lemme tell you something.  You know, them chains ain’t medals.  You get ‘em for making mistakes.  And you make a bad enough mistake, and then you gotta deal with the Man.  And he is one rough old boy.”

But seriously, who’s on your ballot?  I feel constrained to ask just in case anyone remains convinced that Missouri politicians are relevant.  Since the days of Mark Twain, our lawmakers have blown feathers in the air while farmers die and schools compound the cost of ignorance, but they always retire richer.  How does that work?  It’s amazing, come to think of it, that these hardworking minions of the law still find time to sell our best land to Chi-nah.

Good ‘ole boys have always regarded Missouri’s great natural wealth as their own.  How else to explain the orchestrated surrender of food ownership to gigantic multinational corporations?  How did fielding the comprehensive contractual arrangements with ADM, Monsanto, Walmart, Smithfield Farms and Cargill become the in-house business of the USDA? 

Truth is, peasants elsewhere are organizing to manage a return on their own resource investments at a far larger scale, and so can we.  The restoration of food freedom will take 1% or so of our generational wealth transfer over 50 years, or 5% over twenty.  It’s all about blowing our own feathers minus the middlemen.