We live in a world driven by money. What’s wrong with that? So what if we sell harmful products like cigarettes, vape, alcohol, guns, whatever. I think everyone has the right to pick their own poison, to kill themselves in whatever manner they choose. Except, when they aim those choices at children, create products that appeal to people too young to make that choice fully aware of the consequences. Young, yet still stressed by the world greed has created for them. In Working Class Hero, John Lennon sang, “…Keep you doped with religion, and sex, and T.V. And you think you’re so clever and classless and free….” Yet, we are not classless and we never have been, despite our vaunted ideals. For example, ways class is controlled can be seen in our so-called war on drugs and the privatizing of our prisons. As civil rights struggles reached their height and attitudes were changing, drugs became a focus of law-enforcement and arrests of young, African-American males escalated at an alarming rate, Do you see any correlation? When prisons are run as profit centers, where is the impetus to change the system?
They also keep us focused away from the hard truth with actual drugs, legal or otherwise. They control our perceptions of who we are, who we should be, who we should want to be through advertising. They urge us to want the best, brightest, fastest, sexiest, latest toy, even if that is a car we cannot afford, a video game that inures us to violence, a flavored drink, cigarette or chemically harmful air freshener or anything else significant or mundane. They foster the herd mentality, while telling us we, too, can join the elite if we scheme rather than dream, In effect, we become not only shoppers, buyers, consumers, but also contestants in our vast, world-wide reality show.
Since we are in this show, it becomes acceptable to lie, cheat, steal, profess false loyalty and gain advantage with no thought for other contestants. These others, challengers, are killers, willing to do whatever it takes to win. There are teams, which were created long before you were born. To name but a few, there are military organizations, religions, businesses, villages, towns, cities, sexual preference, race, political affiliations, nations and whatever else comes to mind. Some of these groups, tribes, can be joined by almost anyone. Some, you can only be born into, or converted to become other than you have been. Some, such as the military, may force you to change who you are at your core, either enhancing aggression which is already there or crushing your compassion and empathy.
The well-off have gamed the system by creating the rules of our realty show. They have employed others in the game from faraway lands to do work that was previously ours, undermining our confidence and ability to change our status. However, we still believe changing our status is possible. They distract us with politainment, sports, television, films and music which are fraught with advertising that implies the few who achieve this level were like us in order to create the illusion that we are like them, if only we believe. We are encouraged to live through these personalities and to acquire what advertising tells us will make us all just like these average people who have succeeded and are living the dream. Like many of our video games and soon VR, what we watch is filled with violence, war and rumors of war, where we kill with impunity and always win. If you don’t think this prepares us for a world of violence, brutality and deprivation, you haven’t been paying attention.
And, it seems to be what we want. We buy into this sham, this scam. Since the contestants far outnumber the producers and crew, to stretch this analogy to the limit, it’s time to sit down and refuse to play until everyone agrees to change the rules. I’m, of course, talking about us, people and the planet we live upon. It’s not only about people, but also every living being on the planet and the Earth itself. Yet we let politicians convince us to blame others for our problems, as well as to hold office without actually doing much to help anyone but themselves. Why would they? Money and power provide them with the sense that they are part of the elite. While they live better than most, most are simply pawns, cogs in the machine.
So, for all we allow the few to do to the many, it might as well be a game. It’s a reality show where most are on the losing end, but this does not have to be the case. Lennon’s Working Class Hero concludes with: “There’s room at the top they are telling you still. But first you must learn how to smile as you kill. If you want to be like the folks on the hill.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to learn to smile as I kill. I don’t want to learn how to kill. I no longer want to play this game the way it is currently structured. I do believe we can change the rules, but only if enough like-minded people agree to start the change. How about you?
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