So absolutely many things have gone horribly wrong in the US and the world over the last few weeks that I’ve got several blogs half done. Half done because I have not had the emotional energy to continue them before getting wonked on the head with the next thing. Really, it’s all ridiculous. The most recent NSA thing, the summary of which can be found on the Guardian here, is just the most recent in a long line of fucking bullshit coming out of Washington D.C. I’m not even going to start into it beyond saying that what a few years ago would have looked like excessive paranoia is no longer looking so excessive. It’s starting to look like the new state of living. I don’t speak to it much with most people, but my friends and some family know that I am slowly preparing for some massive societal shifts in the next few decades. The least likely is my zombie apocalypse theory followed by a mad engineer decided to design something that destroys our technology, you know, EMP style or some such. Perhaps it could even be a financial disaster engineered by some really assholeish people to break the whole world economy thing and bring it all back down to haggling. Hell it could just be the sun sending out some pillars of gas that short circuit everything all at once. Lastly, there will be another civil/revolutionary war of which I’m going to be in a very uncomfortable position as a prior service member and also one of those people who would really rather not have anything to do with the conflict or the government. Awesome.
So why do I mention that? Because this whole NSA thing is setting off all sorts of fireworks in my brain. George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein all have books you can look to that show just how bad Big Brother is for the normal person. For the person that doesn’t do anything. For the person that just sits there and tries to live their own life. See, the NSA has walked up another step on the stairway to the top of the pyramid we see in 1984. Big Brother is there at the top, looking into his past, urging his previous self to continue taking another step.
What if the people of the US forgets about this after two weeks like what it has with the Benghazi scandal or the wrongful invasion of rights from the IRS, all of which are quietly being swept under the rug now that all attention is on the NSA. Or what if we continue to have DOMA and SOPA brought forth in another bill 2 weeks down the road and this time it passes because we’re too focused on the rites the NSA has violated to send in even token protests to our representatives. That’d be a great way for Washington to sneak past a bill that has little to no support from voters but all the support in the world from media executives and guilds. The way the Patriot Act passed because of all the doom and gloom proposed by those who profit the most from greater access and fewer overseers. The current way of the US government is to protect those with money or other means of power and guiltily turn away from or ignore the ones without anything.
I’m one of the people who doesn’t have money or power. I do, however, have a voice. And sometimes, a rare sometimes, the ones who turn away from those with nothing out of guilt will hear a voice. They may not see the face, the gender, the clothes, the multitudes she is standing with. But they will hear her voice and they will continue to hear it. All it takes is one person to start speaking out, whether they are right or wrong, to start a conversation. I am starting a conversation. There are dozens of way to go about this. Social media is a good start. First, read the news. Watch what is on the news. Discover for yourself just what you care about and why. Then start somewhere, anywhere. Social media. Handing out posters at a college. Impromptu soap box speeches in public spaces. Conversations with friends and family. There are some things that are more important than your immediate comfort. Standing out is scary. Standing up for something makes you a target. Sometimes that target finds themselves surrounded by others who just needed to see that something was being done and they aren’t alone.
Yes, my target analogy here is rather appropriate. A target is seen and set apart from the background. Others look at targets with the intent to use a weapon against it. Sometimes that mean bullets. Sometimes arrows. Sometimes spray paint. Always the target is presenting itself as a passive entity. With one exception. If our target is a person who has only stepped up and made himself a target for something that others are thinking, they may step up too, thus becoming targets. With each new target they will pull up with them even more targets. Suddenly there is not a man painted above the rest but a mass painted in unity and with an intent.
You, my dear friend and reader, also have a voice. You can say something about the things that trouble you. You can praise the things that please you. But a voice alone is not enough. You must make it be heard. There are a lot of places you can do this, as mentioned above. That is how you both make your voice heard and make yourself a target and just by your presence bring forth others who feel like you do. Here’s step one for you, if speaking is what you want at this time. It’s a White House petition, one of those that can actually get a response if they get enough signatures. See their response to the Deathstar petition.
Right, I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago and have to wake up for day one of summer classes in less than 7 hours. So, I present for you something to either amuse or offend you.