The Illusion of Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in interesting times with one foot dragging behind mired in the memory of a gilded past and the other poised to go off the edge into a dark unknown abyss. It’s preferable to focus on the comfortable illusion of sameness, ignoring the obvious signs of change especially if the change is not so good.

Our planet is in trouble and so is our spirit and our collective soul.  In a world with a swelling population and dwindling resources it’s easy to zone out on the meaningless and glaze over that gnawing feeling with yet another distraction and there ate plenty distractions to keep us occupied.

 

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“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” ― Noam Chomsky

We are bombarded with messages everyday, bits of information, much of it totally useless that invade our minds on constant basis. Most of us are used to this constant stream of stimuli. Some of us thrive on it, and depend on it.

These messages are unimportant useless fluff that disguise themselves are dire. They cover up what is truly important. They lull us into complacency, we are not required to think, they do that for us.

They provide our heroes. the dreams and the ideals that we as responsible consumers should aspire to.They also tell us who to point the finger at and there are endless sources of blame to go around.

They give us our scapegoats. They prey upon our fears which they too have cleverly crafted.

 

Credit: Banksy
Art by Banksy

We are managed and manipulated by a system that has become rigged against most of us to benefit a privileged very few. Our lovely planet that belongs to all of us is becoming more and more privatized and profitized used to feed an bulging worldwide economy with a hearty appetite that never stops being hungry.

We are told we must have endless war. That we are not safe.

We are told that the worthiness of a human life is measured by one’s assets. We are told a lot of things.

They distract us. They divide us. We are told what and who to fear. They are very good at this because they have been doing it for so long.  They provide the illusion of choice.

 

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Treated like children we are presented with limited choices, usually two. This team or that team?  Coke or Pepsi? Red or Blue? Republican or Democrat? Left wing or Right?  When in reality it’s the same damn bird.  They who control what we see and and hear they would let us believe these are the only choices but they are not, far from it.  We do have real choice and we can make the world a better place for us all.

There are forces that would polarizes us. They divide us with their illusion of choice.

They want to keep us from finding common ground. Pitting one side against another, distracting us from our common enemy. Because as drastic as that sounds there is an enemy and it those who pull the crooked strings, those in the shadows, the ones that have the game rigged.

 

 

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They manipulate everything they can. There is no pie they haven’t already eaten most of and they are still very hungry.  We are being forced to share what little is left. They distract us with this and that. They divide us. And they are very good at it.

Most of us exist on the bottom of a great pyramid where those very few on the top live on the backs of those on the ever widening bottom. The very top depends on this arrangement and pretty much always has, we the people are waking up to that illusion of choice; that our much touted and much admired democracy is an outright and blatant lie and has been for a long time.

 

pyramid-dollar

 

 

 

Art by Banksy
Art by Banksy

 

consumerism
“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” ― Philip Slater

 

Together we are powerful.  A force to be reckoned with. And we can remake the world into what we want it to be. We can heal our planet and ourselves. We can take back what rightfully belongs to ourselves and future generations.  We can refuse to play, to go along with the idiocy of the day.

We need to focus on what we agree with not what do not, this separates us. We need each other; divided we fall but united we stand strong.

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“We can change the world with every thought we have and every word we speak.” –Alberto Villoldo

 

We can get back to basics. Turn off the damn TV. Go outside. Go for a walk and leave your car behind.  Talk to your neighbors. Grow some tomatoes.  Don’t buy anything you don’t really need. Open your mind. Open your heart. Question what you are being told. Speak up and speak up for others who cannot.

Topple their false idols and render their marketplace a ghost town.

How did this become our God?
How did this become our God?

 

Perhaps we can break out of the illusion and make our own choices. I do think we do have a choice and despite what one may hear about rigged elections and the like, I know for a fact that money talks. Don’t buy what you are being sold. Question what you are being told. Listen to what your inner voice tells you.

Encourage free thought. Listen to those who may have a different view that you. Seldom if ever is one side 100% right or 100% wrong for that matter. Listen to those who may be supporting a different presidential candidate than you. Many of us have friends and family members who fit that category and it is easy to be confused at their choice or their lack of choice at all but there can be found nuggets of universal truths and wisdom everywhere and in everyone, seek that out. Let us not be separated from each other at a time when we need each other the most. In reality we are all on the same side. No matter who is elected to any public anywhere. It is we the people who matter and it we the people can make a difference.

 

~NLM

love-peace-art-street-graffiti“Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.”

Suzy Kassem

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Can humans evolve beyond war?

There was a time when our ancestors roamed in hunter-gatherer bands who lived on the frayed edges of existence. Outsiders were seen as a threat, a valid one indeed. Our survival was insured by this protective, cloistered behavior. We as many other species thrive in a group, a pack or tribe.  This us vs. them is a part of us. It is inborn and innate and it starts early.

At one time this tribal mentality worked to our advantage, but as global populations swelled and competition for resources increased, our survival depended not only on the cooperation of a small group but on the greater one at large. It truly does take a a village to survive for most of us.  We are not only connected in this village but we are dependent on each other. At the very least, what I do effects my neighbor and vice versa.

 

Earth large

This is not a choice. It is a fact.

Another fact:  the earth is changing. Regardless of why, it is and we as a species must adapt. This requires cooperation and understanding.  This at least requires an honest and constructive discourse with each other and ourselves.

Circumstances and surroundings change faster than we do. It is our ability to adapt paired with luck that has gotten us this far.

There is no room for us vs them. This way of thinking leads to the inclusion of some at the exclusion of others. It is a childish attitude that must be eradicated.  We need to grow beyond all this. We all belong to each other on this beautiful planet we share.  We are beyond boundary lines and colored shapes on a map.

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We as a species have always seemed to thrive on war. Is it even possible for the human race not to have war? Will fate allow us the time it takes to evolve past this ultimately self-destructive inclination?

Is it even possible for us to evolve past this?   Is it within the capabilities of humankind to not only see humanity as a whole but as a connected and thriving whole capable of almost limitless potential?

Can we even entertain this as a realistic outcome to our present manic state?

box tax war

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
― Thomas A. Edison

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I am reminded of the story of the Scorpion and the frog.

The-Scorpion-and-the-Frog1

One fine spring morning a scorpion spied a frog at the edge of a stream. “Hello friend frog.” said the scorpion with a smile. “Could you please ferry me across to the other side of the stream?”  At first the frog refused; bringing up the valid point that it feared the scorpion would sting it. After much sweet talk the scorpion convinces the frog it will not. “After all…” said the scorpion to the frog: “I cannot swim therefore if I sting you we shall surely both perish.” The frog finally consents and allows the scorpion to climb on its back. It proceeds to make the swim across the stream. Suddenly the scorpions stings the frog.  “Why did you do that?!” asks the frog as they both sink below the surface. “It is my nature”.  The scorpion explains.

Isn’t it fortunate we are human beings and not scorpions or frogs? It is possible to evolve past our violent and self-destructive nature into something wondrous and incredible. We are a thinking, reasoning species and we do have the advantage over other animals because we can and do play a a major role in guiding our evolution.

We as a species are about to embark on a great challenge and opportunity.  It can be an opportunity if we see it that way.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” 
― Albert Einstein

Wishing you a fantastic and peaceful day!

Strawberryindigo.

war-is-over if you want it lennon christmas

“They’re in love.  F*** the war.”
― Thomas PynchonGravity’s Rainbow

“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo TolstoyWar and Peace

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An Angry Letter to Mr. Obama from a fed-up American

Obama speaks to record numbers in Portland, Oregon during first campaign
Obama speaks to record numbers in Portland, Oregon during first campaign

Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us…A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.”  ― Barack Obama

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BEWARE: I’m feisty again, this is not for the faint of heart…

It is 3 a.m. and I cannot sleep. Images of people fill my mind. I should have known better than to watch the nightly news.  Never before have I seen so many dead people. I cannot shake these images.  These carefully selected images, this horrific display and this obvious attempt at manipulation.

In a desperate appeal to our collective humanity, yes, it is horrible what is happening to the Syrians. But there are atrocities happening all over the globe, even in places that do not sit smack dab in the middle of oil rich countries. Why are we not “helping” these other poor suffering people in Somalia, Sudan or The Democratic Republic of the Congo? What about people in Haiti or even here at home?

We voted you in to stop our American war mongering not to increase it. I voted for you twice. I admit I turned a blind eye to the obvious favoritism shown by the mainstream media to you in the last election. I reasoned we were on the same side you and I. I thought this hope and change you promised was for the common good. I know you inherited much from former administrations.  Afghanistan, Iraq, the economic collapse, even the spying and the drones. But this, Mr President, this Syrian mess, this is all yours.

Can’t you see we Americans are tired of war. We are tired of sticking our noses into other countries business. We cannot save the world. We cannot even save ourselves.

What happened to you? What happened to the wide-eyed optimistic young idealist who spoke at the 2004 Democratic National convention , the one America fell for hook, line and sinker? Are you this same man? What I see now is a tired graying husk with dark hostile eyes.  It is these eyes that frighten me, Are you even the same person? What happened to you Mr President?

What happened to your message? The message that preached hope. What happened to the man who said:

NN_27obama2

“And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.” 
― Barack Obama

 

Why do you call for war? You know I don’t believe you. I cannot and will not believe anything you say…not anymore. Perhaps I’m coming into my enlightenment late in the game. If I am to believe whispers from others, ideas I would have dismissed offhand to be the rantings and ravings of crazy and delusional lunatics. After all this, these rantings don’t all seem so implausible.

obama r-ASSAD-huge

I scour the internet for news;  for some truth. In this wilderness of everything crazy,  these stories run rampant.  Stories that call you everything from disillusioned and misguided to an alien shapeshifter with lizard eyes, a Hitler, and yes, even the Antichrist. I know there is a nugget of truth out there somewhere mixed in with all this craziness. I do know that I cannot believe the propaganda the mainstream media spins.

I don’t know who to believe.  But I do know that I do not believe you Mr. Obama…not anymore.

I expected this out of George W Bush and his father. I even expected this out of Reagan back when I was but a child but not from you.

You promised us change. I expected you meant that we would change; that this country would change. That we would become great again and win the hearts of the world who would see us as they had before as a source of good. You promised us change but it is you who changed.

obama sad and old

“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” ― Barack Obama

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You are a parent. What do you daughters think of this?   I am a parent too. My son is 18 and I we have received a letter from the selective service. Did you know I have hidden this in my drawer among bills to be paid? I will assure you this is one bill I will not pay! Would you send your daughters to fight in a war, do you believe in war that much?  I ask you Mr. Obama, can you sleep tonight? I hope not. I sure can’t!

 

Heart-Water-and-Fire-HD

“I’m inspired by the people I meet in my travels–hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.” 
― Barack Obama

**On a side note to my regular readers. Sorry, I had to get this out. Next time, I promise something lighter. Some sort of happy distraction. It’s just that I care too much.**

~SBI

Barack Obama "Hope" poster, original...
Barack Obama “Hope” poster, originally by Shepard Fairey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The speech that made President Obama (YouTube)


An Open Letter to Barack Obama from a Vietnam Veteran (grumpyelder.com)
Don’t Bomb Syria, Mr. President! (interfaithreflections.com)
Letter to President Obama (billp47.wordpress.com)
Obama Attempts to Preserve His Ego by Proposing War With Syria (armyvetchicrants.com)
POTUS Is Not The World’s Police Chief (johnhaydeninmd.com)
An Open Letter To President Obama (yourfaceispolitics.wordpress.com)