a thousand words

Sunday, July 10, 2011

AMERICAN BITCHASSNESS


There is one slang term that's useful in defining the nature of the ongoing failure of our government and society.

I don't usually subscribe to slang as intellectual expression. In fact, I've been known to hate it. However there is a fairly new, colorful and saucy expression that has gotten my attention. But not in the conventional, hip-hop vernacular "I-have-to-use-it-to-be-cool" way. No, this is In the "ironic-that-this-meaning-is-also-reflective-of-serious-shit" way.

Bitchassness [bich-as-nes] Noun. 1. Weak, stupid, cowardly or unfair actions or attitude. 2. A disagreeable act or attitude marked by cowardly or jealous behavior. See, e,g., Diddy, P. Making The Band 4.

Our country has a lot of problems, wars, unemployment, debt ceilings, morality floors. And we argue 24 hours a day on TV about the cause of it. But now I know. We got a bad case of American Bitchassness. Here are some examples:

Rewarding the greed, dishonesty and failure of Wall Street with bailouts, slaps on the wrist and silence.

Calling the President a "liar" in congress, a "dick" and any other inappropriate, thinly-veiled or not so thinly-veiled racist comments.

Extending tax cuts which would have gotten rid of 75% of our debt, then trading them for DADT and an extention of unemployment benefits. This is the political equivalent of being sent to market to sell a cow and coming home with magic beans.

Threatening the entire country with economic armageddon because one ideology refuses to take changing entitlements seriously and the other refuses to have a fair tax system.

Allowing our system of faith to be eroded by poisonous thinking which has created a God who doles out cash in lieu of salvation. Perhaps in the next Bible it will read: "...whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have points in a hedge fund, a Bently and a phat crib."

And the worst bitchassness of all is that We The People are no longer deserving of that first line in the Declaration Of Independence. It should read: "We, The Fortune 500." We have mired ourselves in such pettiness, bigotry and self-interest that we have lost sight of what made America great.

It was us, the people. One person one vote. One nation under you know who.

Not only have we fallen to bitchassness, we now reward it as the prevailing atitude and proper way of doing things. You only have to look around you to see the exalltation of this behavior in just about everything we do. From our crumbling schools, to the nasty way we treat each other to the mind-numbng stupidity of the new millennium pop culture, bitchassness rules.

Well, I will not go gentle into that diminished good night.

NO MORE AMERICAN BITCHASSNESS!

It only takes one voice to begin a revolution. Let it be yours.

It only takes one act to start a war. Take that action.

We can become Super Heroes of society. Fighting our arch enemy with logic reason, love, compassion, faith and a heavy dose of old fashioned patriotism.

Now, take the pledge with me:

In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No bitchassness will escape my sight.
I vow to use all my might.
Beware my power,
Bitchassness fight!

Copyright 2011

THE BOOMERS' LAST BOOGIE

The Baby Boomers Changed The World.
What Will America Be When They Are Gone?

I was in college when I first heard a rap record. That song, Rapper's Delight signaled the end of the Soul Generation. The hip hop generation was upon us. And at the same time, two guys named Gates and Jobs were about to open the minds of the world with the simple notion that everyone could own a computer.

It was the end of the influence of the 1960's, the end of conventional wisdom and the end of spiritual morality's dominance over earth-bound behavior.

Boomers were heading toward the last mile.

In my neighborhood, they were the men and women who fought for civil rights and could do a handshake for a full thirty seconds. They defied their parents and dared to suggest that free love was better than abstinence and they challenged what they believed to be the hypocrisy of their parents, The Greatest Generation.

We can all agree that the 1960's were the defining decade of pre-millennium America. Hell, I wrote a novel using it as a backdrop (shameless plug) But I don't think we fully realized how the Boomers freed us and hobbled us at the same time.

In the 1950's, young people began to reject the last influences of Victorian America. it signaled a sea change in the social and political structure of our country. Suddenly, kids challenged everything, the voice of music, the worth of money, the place of women, the equality of others and even the existence of God.

In the end, they changed this country and probably, the world.



But the mistake of the revolution was the idea that none of what was formerly believed in was good. Free love spawned, disposable relationships and a spiraling divorce rate and the destruction of the family. Aggressive individualism created The Me Generation and bolstered the notion that greed is good and money is everything. And the questioning of God opened the door to those who have perverted the very cause of religion and brotherly love.

The Boomers were great for America but they forgot the basic rule of freedom in this nation. The U.S. was founded by progressive/liberals and conservative/religious men and women. The mixture was always volatile but inevitably balanced by reason, self-preservation and faith. We even survived the ultimate family squabble: a civil war. Always the twin notions of freedom won out. We moved society forward but with a strong foundation in our beliefs and family.

So what will we do when the Boomers are gone? The leaders of tomorrow will have grown up with technology that seemed like magic a generation ago. They have come to age in broken or blended families that belied the promises of religious fidelity. And they will have a cynical self-awareness that buffers vision and imagination.

I used to worry about this but I think the next gen, the pure hip hop generation, will find a way to win and keep America great. Within their culture are the same progressive and conservative powers that lifted us above other nations. Sure, Lady Ga Ga and The Jersey Shore seem like the end of the world but there is also innovation like Facebook and indications that young people will create a new kind of family where there is love and bonds that give positive foundation.

We must remember the lesson of the baby boomers: Progress is good but without structure and humanity, it destroys morality which in turn destroys society. And we must always look to the past but we cannot live in it or we create narrow minds and stagnate freedom.

So long Boomers.

I'll see you on the other side.

Copyright 2011

THE END OF IMAGINATION?


Technological Dependence, Anti-Intellectualism
And Disconnectedness Are Killing The
Human Mind's Most Precious Asset.

When I was a kid, we had these little green plastic men. The same kind you see in "Toy Story." They had one pose and didn't do much of anything. You had to imagine what they did.

I used to see young kids playing with sticks and rocks and ignoring their toys. See, when we are young our imaginations don't need help. But slowly, we've taught people to embrace technology, stupidity and solid substitutes for the world in our heads.

im·ag·i·na·tion [ih-maj-uh-ney-shuhn] - Noun. 1. The ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses. 2. The work of the mind that helps create. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge. 3. The fundamental facility through which people make sense of the world.

And we are losing it.

As time goes on, we fall further to the unholy trinity of materialism, stupidity and faithlessness, our minds lose their ability to create worlds, provide meaning to theoretical experience and thereby grow more wise and humane.

The best proof of this is the falling readership of books, redundant artistry, acceptance of lower quality and believe it or not, the rise of reality shows which ask you not to imagine but to only react to extreme behavior.

You must imagine to enjoy a book. You have to turn the little symbols into sound, then image and organize the world in one process. When you think about it, reading and comprehension is maybe the most amazing capacity of the human mind.

 Readership is falling because now we have tool to help us create those worlds and interpret those little symbols. We have 3D movies, 3D video games and HDTV. We have graphic novels with illustrations and every kind of pod, pad and phone to do what our brains used to do.

Ironically, it is hard to imagine a world without imagination. But I can see glimpses of it in the redundancy of storytelling, the lack of wit and meanness of humor and the acceptance of lowered standards. Imagination was fueled by the opposite of all these things. When you see stupidity, ignorance, ineptitude and shallowness in the world, then you are seeing lapses in imaginative construction.

When John Lennon asked us to Imagine, he sang about a world where we could let go of fear, convention and pettiness and dare to embrace something better than what we had on this earth. And we did, but not because Lennon asked us to but as human beings we were compelled to it. And when Gene Wilder sang of a world of "Pure Imagination" in Willy Wonka, he was speaking of a world of infinite possibility where people could accomplish anything.

If I am right and the mental facility we used to understand life has been blunted, then we face a danger worse than any disease or war. If we cannot imagine, then we cannot create, understand or hold empathy. We will be devoid of the enlightenment which has made us both civilized and innovative. Man will have completed his de-evolution to form over substance.

If I am wrong (and God, I hope I am) then this juncture is just a hiccup, a small respite as we refocus our imaginative powers in new ways. Perhaps we have exhausted ways to imagine and new innovation and discoveries will open up new avenues for us to create. In this notion, we have not lost our power. It has just not been sufficiently challenged.

So, I am waiting for this new idea, a new discovery, something that will change the very way we all live. A new technological, intellectual or spiritual "wheel" that will allow us to have abundance, end suffering and focus on our greater humanity.

Now, Imagine that.

Copyright 2011

NOTORIOUS D.I.C.K.

They tried to be good.
But they couldn't stick to it.
But don't blame the men.
Their dicks make them do it.

Arnold didn't want to knock up the maid
Right under Maria's nose.
But his Austrian banana needed that ass
Like an mp3 needs Bose.

Weiner never meant to tweet his cock
To random hotties online.
But he couldn't resist his congressional prick
So he let that meat pole shine!

And don't fault Tiger for banging whores
And a little dirty sex-talking.
His johnson planned the whole damned thing
It's more smarter than Stephen Hawking!

Liars and Tigers, and Weiners oh my!
We get your logic and how.
Respect and family don't mean shit
When you got a fat boner right now.

So don't blame men just because
We can't keep it in our pants,
Blame the notorious D.I.C.K.
It never gives us a chance.