Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The double standard

Isn't it interesting how, as a people, we have fewer and fewer rights every day - yet as a nation, we have the right to do whatever the fuck we want, whenever the fuck we want to whoever the fuck we want to do it to?
And how we can look on remotely at catastrophic events the world over, feeling comfortably apathetic and removed, ignorantly sure it could never happen to us...
A troubling double standard...
Since my last blog post, it seems that the world is growing ever closer to that apocalyptic climax, where mother nature and our own stupidity will team up to shrug us off this earth like water droplets off a dog.
The three-fold catastrophe in Japan served as a wake-up call in most educated circles. Alternative energy gurus across the globe sarcastically quipped that you can't get cancer from a windmill. Japan is probably the best constructed country in the world to deal with natural disasters. There are some towns, even by the ocean, where if it weren't for the long lines awaiting food, you'd have no idea anything had happened.
As I sit here in downtown LA, perusing the time torn relics hobbled next to fancy top-heavy sky scrapers, I wonder...what are the chances that I'll be out of town when this shit falls into the ocean? I hate to be so doomsday about it, but that's pretty much what will happen. In a recent interview with a foreman at one of California's two nuclear power plants, San Onofre - on the beach by the way - a reporter asked how that power plant would do against a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami. In retrospect, the question seems silly. This particular power plant has had dozens of violations in the past few years including failed emergency generators, improperly wired batteries and falsified fire safety data.
I can almost smell the radiation. Fun news tho - between that and the new airport scanners, maybe we can afford to live without electricity as we'll all probably be independently luminescent by then - fuck!
Back to the riveting interview: the foreman of the San Onofre plant admitted that the power plant had been constructed to withstand a tsunami wave of 30 feet, having built reinforced concrete walls around it. In regards to the earthquake, apparently it was constructed to withstand a 7.0...
BUT - he said it would more than likely handle a 9.0. As the camera panned back to Wolf Blitzer in the studio, he cocked his head to the side and said, "I'm not really sure how those facts match up."
Well, no shit, Wolf. Because they don't. We are royally screwed when mother nature shakes her angry fist in our direction. The South Pacific has been getting a lot of shakes...we're due. All seismologists agree it's not "if," it's "when." And they feel with all the seismic activity as of late, it'll more than likely be sooner.
And as Germany this week, shut down all nuclear power plants that are over 30 years old, we look on with nonchalant arrogance, scoffing at security issues at the majority of our power plants.
Could it be that we're too tied up in our THIRD GOD DAMN MIDDLE EASTERN WAR?!
In a grotesquely eerie timing, on March 19th, we set off 110 missiles into Libya. The very next day marked our 7 year anniversary of the shit storm in Iraq. Happy Birthday middle east - we just can't get enough of you!
A journalist from the week noted that "The majority of Americans agree, whether liberal, conservative or in between" that we have no business being in the Middle East, that Libya is not worth the life of one American soldier. "The U.S. has just spent a decade at war, trying to save Iraqis and Afghans from themselves. Enough."
Well, it apparently isn't enough for the corporate cocks up top. They smell more oil, and more opportunities to use these freedom hungry rebels to their advantage.
It is the same tune as it has always been: we don't give a flying frisbee about the rights of people - particularly dirty foreigners. We care about dollar signs and bottom lines. The rebels in Libya have not proven that they can run a country any more effectively than any mob. I'm not saying I disagree with or dishonor their plight, but fighting for your life and for your freedom is a lot different than running a country.
So, once again, with complete disregard for facts or public opinion, Obama gives the OK to send in the cavalry. On a side note, is there any way we can get his peace prize revoked? If this is the criteria for a peace prize, I think Bush should get one too - to put next to his little green soldiers and his oil tankers.
The dangerous disregard for life and Middle-Eastern public opinion (never mind our own) continues to drown us in a corporate quicksand that is increasingly harder to survive in. It wrecks our own economy and infrastructure while simultaneously doing the same to all those we touch - for the top 1% we are Midas. For the 99% of the rest of us, it is death.
And, what do we have to say about it?
Cricket, cricket....
I would normally put some sort of expletive here to show how my face looks as I write this. But today, it's just sad and disappointed. Yes, we do disagree with the mandate in Libya. Yes, we overwhelmingly feel nuclear power is stupid and at the very least that security has to be flawless! Yet all we do is mutter our opinions to ourselves and then continue on with our day, as if doing something is too pre-emptive for problems that don't really seem too pressing.
You don't feel that damn pressure? You don't feel the raping of your rights, your wallets, your future...if you don't, check your nerves, b/c it's fucking painful. But make sure you have priceless health care (i.e. unless you're a corporate cuddly, you don't) , otherwise you'll end up homeless after a nurse tells you to cough.
So, what are we doing? Honestly. What the fuck are people doing to make them so blind to their own demise? Nothing...and that is the problem.
If you think things are bad now, just wait. Sit and do nothing - be nothing. Continue on with your meandering days, go ahead and plan your next 10 years, buy that baby stroller for the poor bastards who will come after us. And then just sit back and wait.
War, famine, natural disasters, nuclear explosions, lack of water, shelter, power, hospitals - not to mention the workings of an industrialized society: education, roads, public works, social programs.
The ascent of man reached its peak, and now we are nose-diving.

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