Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kidding Me

A couple of posts back, I said that I would be back in about 10 days while I worked on a certification.

It’s been a bit longer. I had my usual crap that made the usual token effort to be witty or inventive or some other desirable writing adjective, but then the new online gaming legislation (or, “The Children may die solely because of your moral deficiency so we’re going to take the time to harness our infinite wisdom and caring to save you from yourselves and the terrorists” Act) was craftily inserted as a rider during the night. The result? An upsetting disruption of my personal enjoyment derived from a game I have enjoyed with admittedly decreasing frequency. My head slowly shook in disbelief as it tilted forward yet again in resignation.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

That was my mantra for the next few days, both internally, and when I could not hold it in any longer, externally. Then it dawned on me. I was angry, not resigned. I suppose that one could postulate that this was the first or second stage of……something. Pulling most of my bankroll due to the new fear of losing it, with the thought that I was taking the only course of possible action, I failed to realize that I didn’t feel a single bit better, even though I had ostensibly done the “smart” thing. Whatever stage it was, I’ve been stuck in it’s throes for a very long time, not just for the last couple of weeks or months. One of my favorite activities, after all, is sitting and watching whatever network news happens to be on, cursing at the constant stream of fluff but never truly acknowledging the desperate need for something real and true that lay at the root. The increasingly pervasive ocean of straw man arguments and liberal sprinklings of various other logical fallacies being accepted as analysis and wisdom is something I have long despised.

The push and pull of wisdom and foolishness, truth and lies, have always been a fact of life, but it always seemed to swing back into balance (or a reasonable approximation thereof) at the right time before all hope seemed lost. It is something that I believe we have always aspired to; you can see its thread in the history of our entertainment, ignoring for now the other areas of our history where such things have been exemplified. It is comic books and it is movies, it is heroism and nobility, honesty and integrity, freedom and liberty. We tout our own virtues, never failing to remind anyone who might question that we are undoubtedly “the greatest of all time.” When Muhammed Ali said it, it can be very reasonably argued that such an assertion was indeed true. Increasingly, though, every time such things are paraded from the mouths of our wise and fearless leaders, I cringe just a bit more than I did yesterday, because I know in my soul that while this statement cannot be true in its absolute sense given we are human, we shouldn’t be anywhere close to saying it with a straight face at this point.

You arrived at this tangent just because they made it tougher for you to play online poker?

Yes. No. I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

After eulogizing (for the most part) one of my favorite hobbies I stayed online to search out more articles and in-depth information so I could throw a hissy-fit in what would be a glorious and raging new post. Not planning on finding such a treasure trove of information (which is, in itself, a fundamentally retarded attitude, considering I was on the INTERNET) I dug down to the info I was looking for about the latest prohibition fiasco, but found that I could not stop there. It’s here that I think most would state something having to do with holes and their various depths. Online gambling prohibition led to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and from there it was off to the races. Ironically, while the hole is admittedly deep, it is much, much wider. The truth about so many things lies right underneath our very noses underneath a few flimsy layers of (oh so tasty!) emptiness and distraction that we can’t, or won’t, put together. We have, as a people gone from ignorant and/or apathetic, to actively ignoring and/or shutting our eyes to what we know (or should know) to be true.

As if we have taken up physical residence on the pages of George Orwell’s 1984, the fearmongering and outright lies are so pervasive they have become the New Truth. It truly seems, now, that the constant smoke and mirrors from our heavily complicit government and media has finally turned the tide past that so very difficult to distinguish “point of no return.” On top of the already steaming pile of lies and increasing oppression, we have now reached what I believe to be the absolute tipping point.

Quite literally, Habeas Corpus has disappeared.

More truthfully, the one major support beam we had as a people has not disappeared, we have given it away. Not only have we simply given it away, we did so while cowering, begging for the protection of our “betters.”

At this point, I believe that I’m beginning to edge my way into a new stage, a stage where I can honestly say “thank you” to Bush & Company for pushing me in the direction I should have gone long ago. Part of these past weeks have been spent considering whether or not I should even post something of this tone. That is the wrong question. The problem with this question is the fact that I now have to ask myself such a question. Why is this question now a serious consideration?

The answer is one of my greatest shames.

I have been willfully ignorant in favor of my own comfort. I have repressed what I know (and hard, verified science demonstrates) to be truth for what I have known is emptiness. The things we have done over these last years are not indicative of a “great” people, or the “best” society. These circumstances have been largely brought about by the cancer of our own complicity. I will say it now, as a veteran who took an oath to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, as a citizen, as an American: I am ashamed of myself and I am ashamed of us. We are, at best, a mere shadow of what we were as a people. If we don’t begin speaking long and loud against the current and coming tyranny, we will never be again.

Some of you will be horrified at these words. I’m sure that there will be plenty of derision thrown my way. But I’m also sure that if just one person wakes up, even a little bit, because I took the time to speak up, then I will be just a bit closer to being able to live with myself again, a bit farther from coming up short when I turn inward. In speaking, I finally know the freedom that is now gone.

The freedom we must fight with our collective voice to get back.