Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It Is Written…

I’ve been doing a lot of book talk with friends as of late, particularly pertaining to social prophesises. I’m amazed of how people will take vague Biblical translations and apply it to events in our world where we have in our common possession works of literature that seem far more exact and appropriate. I would attach a far more divine nature to Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s A Brave New World than I would to the Book of Revelations.

Perhaps what is most frightening is the display of faith demonstrated by people. This is the problem I have always had with religion in that simply “having faith” in those things I do not understand or that may not seem quite right to me just does not jive with the cynic that exists within my cognitive realm. Just as people give blind obedience and trust to religion, so too do they to their governments and media in Western nations. The hypothesis I have made based on years of education and social observation is that, here in the West, everything is set up to maintain the status quo. In doing so, people might grumble, but, overall, seem relatively content with their lot in life, dulling their senses with pop culture to the extent that they arrive at some form of inertia.

This inertia is both a physical and developmental/action embodiment. The physical inertia is certainly evident in the rise of obesity in both adults and children in Western nations.

The latter developmental/action inertia is evident in people’s unwillingness to think or take action on those things necessary. In Canada, we don’t act unless it’s choreographed first by the media or embarked upon by the Government. To quote Noam Chomsky: “States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions.” This imposition is largely absent from our world as can been seen clearly in our priorities. For example, how much do we spend on things like cable/satellite television, cell phones and other conveniences versus donations to organisations dedicated to fighting poverty, provide education and clean drinking water in the Third World, etc.?

Then there is our blindness to the impositions that these institutions are putting on us here in the West. Certainly look to novels like A Brave New World and how citizens took soma to escape psychological doldrums and tell me that we aren’t seeing this in our growing dependants on anti-depressants. I’m personally a victim of the drug Paxil which I was prescribed for anxiety causing insomnia. Now I continue with the medication because (a) the withdrawal process is horrendous and (b) when off the drug for three months I fall into a deep depression (and I never suffered from depression prior to this). Also, while on this medication, you are deprived from the highs and lows of a normal person. The result: total even keel = status quo.

Next, read 1984 and tell me that this has not come to be the standard of our present day society. Look at how everything is electronically marked – all your banking and personal information is tracked on a hard drive somewhere. Two way security devices in our homes. Security cameras on popular streets. News reports reflecting the proprietor’s perspective instead of objectivity (i.e. listen to the CBC and tell me that this is not the world according to the petit boogies Central Canadian high brow Art and Opera crowd). People are having their children and pets micro chipped so that they may be located at any time. Sure, this is a great effort in making our world safer, but it can also be utilised to darker ends. Read Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale for a picture of a society where “freedom from” supersedes the “freedom to”. It’s all there in literature, but to quote Karl Marx: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”

Jean-Paul Sartre told us that “Man is condemned to be free”, and he was correct in saying so. Whether or not we exercise this freedom is really up to us (pardon the irony of saying so) – that is our freedom. Perhaps to go through life not making waves is simple enough and without the stress off many of the lies accepted by the masses. I certainly would begrudge someone for wanting to simply be with friends, chill and do the things that you like to do – fair play. But was not Jane Addams not correct in stating that “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life”?


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